Oktoberfest Pretzel Cake

Again, it has been a while since I last updated this blog. Uni life takes its tolls and free time and space for creativity, baking, cooking and writing are shrinking simultaneously. When you come home from classes by 8:30 on a weeknight there is other priorities than whipping up cake … (PJ’s YAY). However, I won’t sound pathetic here, as I do in fact love anything working in and around the kitchen. There is still time for making pancakes for breakfast, blending nuts into nut butters and trying out a recipe once in a while.

The best occasion, or let me call it „excuse“ for making a cake is a party. Birthday, anniversary, whatsoever. Almost a month ago, I was delighted to attend a friend’s personal Oktoberfest celebration and so it happened for me coming up with this cake. It’s a simple cake dough that is very easy to make and can be compared to what is known as „Wacky Cake“. This traditional cake is a spongy most cake made without eggs, butter or milk AKA vegan. There are rumors that this cake recipe was created during war-time and food rationing when ingredients such as butter or eggs were really expensive and also rare.

I for my part really like the moist and dense texture. I made one „traditional“ batch using cocoa and one light version without cocoa that, of course, created a cake lighter in color. For decoration, I used simple chocolate glaze and to make it all Oktoberfest themed I went for small salty pretzels.

So, here we go:

For 1 cake in a 22 cm circle cake pan you’ll need:

  • 125 g whole wheat or spelt flour and 75 „regular“ flour
  • 125 g sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 75 ml of oil (can be supped with applesauce)
  • 250 ml of sparkling water
  • for the cocoa version: about 2-3 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa


Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F and grease your cake pan.

Mix dry ingredients in one and moist in another bowl. Then, quickly, start to combine both mixtures. Fill in the final mixture into your cake pan and bake it for 35-40 minutes.

(light colored version vs dark one)

After baking let the cake cool in the pan. When completely cooled you may want to cut it into 2 sheets and fill it with some frosting or, for instance, with Nutella (droooolllll). This, however, is optional. For the party, I went for a Nutella filling. Afterward, I covered the cake with a simple chocolate glaze and put on the pretzel bits as long as the chocolate was still warm. Voila:


Have a great day,




A Change For Good: Upping My Protein Intake + A MyProtein Vegan Blend Review [Regular / Chocolate]

As I told you in my previous post, I started to up my protein intake. Since I begun (heavy?) lifting from about April onwards, I somehow fell in love with this type of exercise. Claiming to be a runner almost half of my life (I’m as old or as young as 24 to this very day), I never claimed anything beyond running aka cardio and a balanced diet without processed food being essential for a fit and healthy life. I refused to lift a bar as much as I refused to concern my protein intake.

In summer 2013 I came across the high carb vegan lifestyle. Coming from a past of eating disorders and anorexia nervosa, I was more than prone to be attracted to any type of new diet, especially this one promised me to eat as much as I wanted to as well as not to worry about carbs. This, for me, was in a way liberating since it took this fear from me and also allowed me to enlarge my poorly pathetic portion sizes. On the other hand, I neglected the growing concerns about fat and protein intake. You may say that I did not do it correctly – and you be right on this – however, for me it soon became a challenge to lower and lower and lower both fat and protein. Ugh. No good…

I won’t go too far on this… Long story, short ending. I somehow realised I needed to increase both fat and protein and feel better than ever. Well, I started out with Vegan Protein and here it starts, my review of the MyProtein Vegan Blend both the neutral flavour as well as the „creamy chocolate“ one:


As I said I chose this sort of protein since I was still on a vegan diet at this point. It is a great substitute for whey protein if you are either vegan, living a dairy free lifestyle or you just want to keep your diet plant-based. Now, your are probably wondering what the „blend“ consists of: It is a mix of Pea Protein Isolate, Brown Rice Protein Concentrate and Hemp Protein. It is always good to combine different vegan proteins to achieve the best nutritional bioavailability. I would not recommend going for single component vegan proteins since you are probably missing out on essential amino acids then and your body cannot make the best out of the efforts you are putting it!
Other ingredients of the blend are digestion-aiding enzymes (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Beta-D-Galactosidase, Lipase) and for the chocolate one additionally cocoa powder and Sucralose, which is, in fact, an artificial sweetener, but not one of the uber bad ones.
For nutritional info, a proper scoop of about 30 grammes will provide you with 116 calories coming from 21 g of protein, 1.7 g of fat and 3.7 g of carbs which is all in all not that bad.

As almost any protein powder, you are recommended to mix a scoop with about 150 – 250 ml of water, depending on what consistency you prefer.

Now coming to its taste: The regular one has a slight „plantly“ note if you know what I mean. It is very neutral but not total. It can certainly be said to be nutty which I actually like. The chocolate one, on the other hand, is a tiny bit too sweet for my tooth and also a bit too less chocolatey. It tastes like a very mild milky cocoa drink children have for breakfast.

Mixability is no deficiency of both the products. I like to use them plain or also mixing both of the powders to even out the very sweet taste of the chocolate one. I also like to add additional cocoa powder (go for the fat reduced ones) for extra chocolaty-ness. Also, I use the powders for making protein cakes, adding it to my cookie dough or make my own quest bars or a really nice low carb „dessert“ with a secret ingredient that I will both feature very soon. Mixing the neutral flavour with MP’s flavour drops is also a good idea!

When it comes to the prices, it is slightly more expensive than MyProtein’s whey, however, I would not dare to call it expensive. Go for SunWarrior and you will pay more that twice the amount.

The products come in the usual pouches you can easily open and close. Being a loyal customer to MyProtein, I can rely on its good service and quick shipping.

For me, it is a perfect alternative to milk based powders. Although, there are only two flavour choices, there still is a variety if you are only a tiny bit creative.

If you are maybe convinced by the products as I described them, and you think about giving them a try, please feel free to enter my code (MP31339552) when ordering.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you are using protein powders as well and if you maybe used these two types already!

Have a great day!



„Long Time No See“ + Putting My Health First

I know it has been a very long while since I wrote my last post and oh so much has changed …
I will probably do an update on this at some point.

To give you guys a short version: I fell for a guy, I got fooled before it even started and I got my first academic degree. I gained weight and I lost it again. I built muscle, upped my protein intake, and opened up to more food choices which was – seriously – for good. I’m not a hundred percent vegan anymore for the poor reason that I want to put my health first. This might sound pathetic and selfish, however, I eventually turned insane. You can call me a liar or a fool. You can call me weak. I know all these names from arguments against and about omnis or vegetarians … so don’t teach. I don’t claim this change in my life to be eternal and forever but for the best solution right now. FOR ME. It might work for you, but right now, not for me.

I don’t know if I want this blog to be a mere recipe blog in the future. I might post on my exercises, on books I read or series I watch. Life hacks. Further, I’m thinking about occasionally posting in German since this is my mother tongue. Especially my weight loss achievement could be guiding and explanatory for German readers. However, I really love speaking English (I have a degree, bro) and enjoy the possibility to write down my thoughts on this blog in that very language.

Well, I might even start today… I’m excited as „the best is yet to come“

Venna IMG_7017

About Being Sensitive Towards Certain Foods I + Healthy [Protein Rich] Vegan Cookie Dough

Finally, it’s Saturday! I was working a lot this week and relied on easy and quick food options. My current food choices aren’t as much varying as I want them to be, honestly speaking, due to abdominal cramps and digestive complaints… Long story. Food intolerances suck – amen.

[If you are vegan and you are dealing with food intolerances too please let me know more about how you are handling them and how you are eating! Thanks!!]

I’m really happy that chickpeas are on my current „okay“- list. By current I’m alluding to the fact that in my case food sensitivenesses are rather flux. Variety is a key here. Although I’m still attracted by the idea of „mono meals“, originating from the high carb vegan movement, I really rely on variety. When I eat oats each day, I can tell you that after a week or two I will start to react with bloating or other delicate symptoms. The same already happened with millet, corn, bananas AND most recently: carrots. Yes, you’ve heard me right carrots. I never thought this was going to happen. I know it won’t be like this forever, however, it will take some time to recover. The quintessence out of this for me is that I try to circle around with my safe foods. I’m having oats one day, rice the following. I’m having spelt pasta (somehow I’m okay with them) the one night and go for amaranth the next. Veggies are the dark green ones like spinach, kale, broccoli. I eat lettuce each day but make sure I’m eating different types. The same applies to the nuts I eat and also tempeh, tofu and tvp.

But for now, back to the chickpeas. Chickpeas are a great source of plant protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and folate. Sadly, nutritional value information varies for reasons I didn’t figure yet. You will find one brand claiming to be 79 calories each 100 grams and another being as high as 164 calories for the same amount of chickpeas. I was considering that it depends on the cooking process, however, I can only guess.


Since I’m currently watching my protein intake, I’m adding some vegan protein powder to this recipe. However, it is totally optional. I’m using either pea protein isolate or some vegan blend (rice / pea / hemp). I’ve one with chocolate flavour and in case you are using a flavoured one too, you are probably not relying on any additional sweetener.

Measurements can totally be adjusted to individual preferences. I will only give you some rough guidelines here!

You will need:

  • 200 grams of chickpeas (7 oz)
  • 50 – 60 ml of soy milk (0.25 – 0.3 cup)
  • a bit extra water for smoother consistency 
  • 0.5 – 1 scoop of your preferred protein powder (optional!!)
  • flavour drops or agave nectar (if using unflavoured protein)
  • extra toppings like unsweetened cocoa, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, chia seeds etc.

The only instruction is basically to blend all ingredients but the topping(s).
That’s so simple! Blend it, put it into a bowl or have it right from the blender and indulge!

Have a nice v – eekend,


Cookie Dough

My „Week-on-Instagram“ – Monday II

Hey there,

How did you spend the long weekend? I hope you’ve all had a fab couple of days and some cake as I did. I’m home from the gym now, took a shower and ate some lunch that I prepared in advance. Not because I had no time or no ambitions making something, but because I didn’t want to do the dishes twice haha. Does it make any sense after all? I really hope it does.

Lunch is the key term here. I’ve had some vegan cookie dough made from canned chickpeas, some extra protein powder (vanilla type), some soy milk and extra cocoa! It’s so easy and all you need to make this is some ordinary blender (ordinary as opposed to high-speed extra power blenders like the Omniblend or Vitamix for instance). I made it several times within the past week as I could eat it 24/7 without getting bored after all. Hence, you could see it on my account a couple of times actually. Sorry for not being sorry here! You should really give it a go …☺


The nutritional information for a good bowl is about 400 calories, 36 grams of carbs and up to 44 (!!) grams of protein depending on the amount of added protein. I’m not an advocate of supplementing in general. However, since I can’t have big amounts of tofu or tempeh without getting bloated, organic pea, hemp or rice protein is a good option when you are into building muscle.

Earlier this week I went to a bigger grocery store with my mom. It’s some type of wholesale and we just go there for special occasions. Anyway, they also have „normal stuff“ and although we didn’t get what we were looking for I was able to get some treasures:


I got frozen mangoes, a baking book (vegan and gluten free!!), two types of soy milk, some cliff bars and vegan „beef“ made from peas, onion „juice“ and whatsoever. I’m not a big supporter of meat alternatives, but in this case I was curious.

On the last picture, you see salad with textured vegetable protein. (Eeek, meat alternatives again I know … haven’t had it in months! Seriously) It was an easy weeknight dinner: I soaked it and put it onto the panini grill. I ate it with some leafy greens and salt-free seasoning.

Have a great week,


Glutenfree Vegan Easter Bundt Cake

Happy April, happy Easter!

Time is rushing. The new semester is knocking at the door and one quarter of 2015 is already done. I received the great news that I passed a huge exam and I’m beyond relieved.

As it’s the Easter weekend I decided to bake something. It has been far too long, and since I’m off gluten baking became a merely rare occupation of mine. I used to love baking – like seriously!! Easter and carrots go hand in hand to me. Carrots are among my favourite foods. They are handy, all-year-round available, healthy (1 cup carrot slices contains about 113% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A, and also good amounts of biotin, vitamin k, fiber and B vitamins) and so versatile! I love them plain, steamed, mashed, pureed, grated in oats, dipped in hummus and used in cake.

So here we go …. Glutenfree Vegan Easter Bundt Cake

The recipe is a mix of several recipes I used before. I adjusted ingredients and proportions according to my own preferences so it became a new recipe. It’s an all-occasion cake with medium texture, not too moist but neither dry. There are nuts involved that create a nice and tart crunch. The nutty flavour is further enhanced by some buckwheat flour.


The recipe serves about 8 portions

The ingredients are:

  • 200 g of gluten free flour (~ 1.6 cups)
  • 100 g buckwheat flour (~ 0.8 cup)
  • 100 g sugar (0.5 cup) 
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 ml vegetable oil (~ 0.42 cup)
  • 200 ml soy milk (~ 0.85 cup)
  • 100 ml water (~0.42 cup)
  • some vanilla powder / essence 
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • a nice amount of mixed chopped nuts. I used pistachios and cashews! (please more than I used in the picture!!)


(The weird cup measurements occur due to conditional conversions. Conversion factors are different depending on the particular ingredients as they are of different desity)

Preheat the oven to 350° F / 160° C if needed. Modern ovens don’t need this, so it’s totally okay for probably most of you to just start when you are done mixing the ingredients.

You will start to combine all dry ingredients: the flours, baking soda, salt and sugar.

In another bowl combine soy milk, water, oil, vanilla and the grated carrot. I always need to peel two carrots as I end up snacking at least half of it. Ooops…

Then, quickly mix both dry and liquid ingredients plus the chopped up with a wooden spoon. Don’t overdo it as the baking soda will start its reaction immediately!

Put it in a Bundt pan. Grease before if necessary. I’m usually going for silicon pans so this step isn’t needed after all.

Bake for about 35 minutes and let cool in the pan. Then: slice, indulge and be merry.

Happy Easter!!IMG_5560

nutritional info:

1/8 of the cake contains approximately 335 calories, 43 g carbs, 17 g fat, 5 g each protein and fiber.

My „Week-on-Instagram“ – Monday I

Today is Monday and as long as I’m not back to school yet, I will try to make each Monday an occasion to reflect upon the previous week on Instagram. I don’t want to generalize it as „my week“ because it would be quite boring I guess.

Instagram is my drug and I must admit that I’m addicted to it and I love it more than any other social network. I’ve been using it since late 2012 I guess, however, since 2013 I started to do food posts on a regular basis.

I just passed the 1000 follower hurdle and although I know it is not a lot for some people, I’m beyond proud and also thankful for each single follower. If you want to see who I am and what I’m doing over there, please check out @venna.just.ve  

Enough words of introductions – here we go:

woi 1

The first picture is taken from my Kefir-post the other day. I received some positive feed-back both here and on IG which made me really happy.

The middle picture shows my breakfast from Sunday: It is millet „porridge with carrot, Cacao nibs and some chopped apple. These days I’m either going for oats or millet for breakfast. Both of them go really well with carrots or zucchini. Please let me know in the comments below if you are interested in further instructions on how I made it. I’d more than happy to write about this.

The third picture was taken at a local flower fair on the very same day. I went there with a good friend and we were really lucky weather-wise. It was nicely warm and sunny. A lot of people have been out there as everyone is longing for some sunshine.

I didn’t post that much as I have been a bit busy. I will try to keep it up posting my weekly favourites and create a habit that way. Thanks a lot for stopping by,