Heaps of Hummus

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Spread the hummus! Many of my friends and me use it a lot. We bring it to pot luck meals and picknicks; use it as toppings or dips for about anything and as ingredient for warm meals like quiches and wraps. Chickpeas, the main ingredient of hummus, are such good peas. The next best ingredient of hummus is tahin or sesame paste, which is in itself pretty awesome as well. And then there’s garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil and possibly more… If you particularly care about proteins: they’re in there as well, loads of them.

These pictures show how hummus is supposed to look. You see the drips of olive oil near the edge of the spread out hummus, the bulbs of tahin closer to the centre, topped with what’s probably paprika powder and some parsley flakes or so.

My boyfriend and me had lunch at De Hummus House in Amsterdam, where it has two locations. This one is at Korte Leidsedwaarsstraat 62 close to Museumplein (museum square). They serve hummus plates like this one with the fluffiest pita bread and toppings of your choice. I had an aubergine topping, but I liked the fava bean one of my boyfriend better. Aubergine remains to be an odd vegetable.


Hummus with topping of slow-cooked fava beans and stewed tomatoes

The whole plate of hummus was a bit hard to swallow, for it was a large amount of hummus and it’s just much of the same. Maybe with another topping I would’ve liked it better. But we were well supplied with salt, pepper, pickled cucumber, garlic-lemon sauce and olives so we could spice it up! I managed to finish most of it.

The star of the meal may as well have been the pita bread actually, for it was super soft and fluffy, oohooh. If you know how to produce something like that, please share!

Check out the website of De Hummus House to find their locations, find this specific location on HappyCow (added by me, ha!) and check their menu (with pictures!). They also serve other Mediterranean dishes and salads. Most of the dishes are vegan and this is quite easy to distinguish from the menu (how I understood; I may forgot an exception…). The Coconut Malabi dessert is vegan too! And they have soy milk for in the coffee.

Happy happy Thai food

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In the Forest Monastery in the North of Thailand the abbot or chief monk would motivate the people by giving pre-meal speeches packed with the phrases ‘happy happy Thai food’ and ‘big party’. He did seem to be an exceptionally happy guy, so something must be good there. Is it Thai Buddhism or the Thai food?

Thai food is great. I’m not a fan of the animals and the increasing dairy use, but leave that out and you got yourself some great variety of rice in all forms, soy in all forms, many vegetables and mushrooms, tropical fruits, peanuts, chilli and other spices, lots of coconut milk and desserts made out of beans. They also like all forms of frying, and sugar. Food can be bought on the streets everywhere – in Bangkok there’s even a market on a railway. And food comes in many layers of plastic, which is a bit sad. And they have ice coffee, but often with cows milk in it, even though many Asian bellies cannot handle it so well. More about that later.

In my pictures the glorious dishes of fried rice and curry (especially that particular massaman curry with coconut milk, peanuts and potatoes of Doi Soi 12 in Bangkok and the crispy tofu one on Koh Chang…), fried morning glory and the mango sticky rice dessert are missing, but still they give a good impression. Most of my pictures are taken in restaurants instead of on markets where food is cheaper and a bit less polished, but where food can taste just as good.



Summer rolls and sunflower salad at Doi Soi 12


Pad Thai/fried noodles with soy sprouts, soy tofu and peanuts


Street fruits papaya and water melon in re-used plastic container


Luxurious vegetarian meal on the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok


Forbidden fruits (it stinks!)


Dessert of bean curd, black jelly and dough things in ginger water


Vegetarian papaya salad (not all of them are vegetarian/vegan!)


Street food in Chiang Rai: veggie packages and mushrooms


The best mango shake


Bear of rice with vegetable and mushroom tempura


Matcha cookie and brownie of the vegan bakery Veganerie in Bangkok


Coconut-boiled banana dessert

World change starts here

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My time in Thailand was great. It was the first time I got out of Europe and into the tropics. I went there to reunite with my boyfriend, who’d been out in Asia for some time already. We travelled together for a month after which I settled in Bangkok for three weeks to work on a project related to sustainable food production.

Thailand is very different from what I’m used to in the Netherlands. Being there was a really valuable experience, to be able to explore the Thai culture. I think I learnt a lot, but it’s always hard to pinpoint such things, because change often occurs gradually.

It became clearer to me that in the end many things aren’t really important. Thai people generally have different lifestyles and standards than Dutch people, but does it matter? Only if we think it does. Things are only as important as we make them to be, which makes importance a matter of choice – and practice.

Most important to all of us, eventually, are matters of basic human needs including good health and ability to love, stretching out to human rights, equity and our environment. I choose to add animal rights to the list. I think we should strengthen our love to not only reach those people close to us but to also include people far away and other living beings.

There is no perfect way to live one’s life. My attempt to find the most utilitarian formula for how to spend my resources of time and energy for a better world led to no answer. There are many different ways in which we can contribute and there is no way to measure the total impact and this is fine.

What we can do is to start simply with ourselves. Take care of yourself first before helping others. Do what works for you and which doesn’t harm others. You don’t have to change everything at once, but each constructive act and each hint of positive energy can create positive change. The smallest things can spark a butterfly effect to take place which can eventually change the world.

I believe that one of the best things to do is to just be a nice and good human being in the presence of the people around you. Positive energy and good deeds will inspire the people who come in contact with it. This may not directly give big results, but I think it can lead to the most durable change there is.

So, be the good person you are and do what you think is important. Be open to people with their different backgrounds, cultures and ideas. This is one way of changing the world.

Thanks for reading! There is more to follow and questions can always be asked.๐Ÿ™‚

Love is a river that fills everything

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โ€žFor me, love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant and rank.โ€œAthena in The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Music by Braids and Blue Hawaii

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Hi there!

I am semi busy finishing stuff and getting packed, because I’m heading to Thailand this Friday! My boyfriend has been wandering around there for four months already and I’m joining him for five more weeks. I will try to squeeze in some writing before I leave, but I am not that organised.

All right, I’ll do some squeezing right now. I’m procrastinating cleaning my room anyway.

It’s always nice to share good music, so here’s one of my favourites: Braids! They are a three-piece experimental pop band from Montreal and their music is just really good. It takes some ‘getting used to it’, because it’s a bit unusual, but then it’s really cool. The voice of singer Raphaelle is really beautiful. She does a lot of long notes and I totally dig it. I know first two albums Native Speaker and Flourish // Perish and they’re good!

I’ve been waiting for the right moment to write about them and now it’s here: They already have three records and now they are releasing a new 19 minute EP named Companion! This one is written during the sessions of their third record, Deep In The Iris, and completed in August 2015. Find Braids on Bandcamp and on Soundcloud.


They’re totally cool. We’re in a band and don’t give a shit.

What I like slightly more than Braids: Blue Hawaii. This is another project of the singer of Braids (Raphaelle Standell-Preston), together with Agor (Alexander Cowan). They released Blooming Summer and Untogether on Arbutus Records. Blue Hawaii makes electronic pop and it’s more relaxed than the music of Braids. I find it really dreamy and harmonious, the sounds along with her voice. And it’s not boring at all! It’s super interesting with many layers and such. The same goes for Braids, but that’s a bit more raw in my opinion. Find Blue Hawaii on Soundcloud. (The song Get Happy is about an addiction, it’s nice.)

On a wholly unrelated note: I discovered stock photos. So from now on I will insert nice and sharp pictures in every post, like a professional. Like this one:


Stock photo from qimono on Pixabay

I like the picture because the cat looks like our house cat Minoes! By posting it I also feel like betraying Minoes a bit. See how cute he is here. (Our house cat? He’s his own cat, meow!)

Like a professional procrastinator; I successfully did not pack a thing this evening! I’ll regret it later. First I will be happy.

By posting this one just now I found out: there are now 50 posts on Munching on a Dream! I’m impressed by myself. So many important things and procrastinations in my life.๐Ÿ™‚

Check out Made in Heights too.

The Circle: we are all connected, all the time

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The Circle, written by Dave Eggers, is a novel sketching a terribly plausible scenario for the future. The story is about an employee at The Circle, a young and hugely successful company that has started integrating all different online services into only one interface, to make your life easier. But that’s not all the company does: it not only markets its products but also its philosophies.

The-Circle smallThe story starts when Mae Holland, a woman in her early 20s, is recruited to work at The Circle. As a reader, you follow Mae’s experiences in the company and in life, which more and more take place on the high-tech, super luxurious campus with glass walls. Mae illustrates how easily one can get influenced by its surrounding culture – and how big a role social media can play in one’s life. At first she seems to be living in a dream world, but is she really?

So what does The Circle do? They have bought up all social media platforms and integrated them into on. And it isn’t only about social media: wouldn’t it just be easier if you’d only need one password and one interface for everything on the web, instead of having all these different systems next to one another? And if all information would be easily accessible to everyone? They’re inventing all kinds of new technologies, meant to make your life easier and safer.

And how does one use technology to make life safer? You may be able to think of ways. I don’t want to spoil too much, but you can imagine where it could go from the combinations of social media, ease and safety…

Although quite some passages are too lengthy in my opinion, enough alarming events happen and ideas evolve to keep you reading. The philosophies of The Circle are so intriguing, mainly because they make sense in a way. All ‘circlers’ including Mae accept them and live accordingly. I don’t want to spoil the nice details for you, but there are quite a lot shocking things happening! You should really read the book. I’d also say that you better not read more reviews before starting, to prevent encountering the spoilers.

To tickle you a little bit more: one thing that made a huge impression was a quote or slogan that gets a prominent place in the The Circle buildings. It is so completely mind-blowing and bewildering, it confuses me still. If you’ve read it already, you probably know what I mean!

I think everyone should read The Circle, because this novel is highly relevant to our time, in which ‘everything can be found on the internet’ and we aren’t sure where we’re heading with this. Social media is still so young and the internet and its (our) culture is shaped by whom really?

If you really want to, you can already read a few fragments of The Circle here and here, but you can better start at the start! I just read a few passages there and I’m impressed again. Woah.

Please consider the environmental before buying the book. Ask your friends and public library first.๐Ÿ™‚

Barbie’s got Curves

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In the absence of interesting personal experiences, I’ll just write about Barbie’s.

The iconic doll Barbie not only got a large array of accessories, careers, relationships, style, she has also been critiqued widely for her ‘far from average’ body negatively influencing body image and for over all distorting the world view of the little children playing with her.

In reaction to declining sales rates, with Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Lego taking over market shares, Mattel gave her designers the freedom to do whatever to make Barbie more relevant. The outcome? In 2015, a larger variety of skin tones and hair textures were added to the mix of blondness. These dolls will all be wearing the name Barbie, instead of having different names and being Barbie’s friends

What’s more: Barbie got Curvy!

Curvy-Barbie-smallIn January 2016 three new body shapes got released: Curvy, Tall and Petite! You can learn more here on TIMES. More interesting is this article on TIMES titled ‘What I learned watching moms and kids meet curvy Barbie’. Apparently, the kids really liked the blue-haired doll, (because) it reminded them of Katy Perry. They don’t seem to mind the curvy bit at all. That is just so cute. This linked article also features a gallery of pictures of a variety of new dolls, including the blue-haired one on the right.

I like Mattel’s change towards having different body shapes and I found the new Barbies quite nice to see! If it will really make a different is still unknown, but it can’t be much other than an improvement, no? Of course Barbie’s one-sized body isn’t the only thing that’s shaping body-image in children, but it’s not really a positive influence either.

You may not be convinced of the importance, are you? Well, this from the TIMES background article will make you doubt the original Barbie design: [Barbieโ€™s body was based] ‘on a German doll called Lilli, a prostitute gag gift handed out at bachelor parties. Her proportions were designed accordingly.’ Yeah, it makes total sense to design bachelor party gifts and toys for small children in the same way. Also, when Barbie was introduced ‘in 1959 at the New York Toy Fair, her male competitors laughed her out of the room: nobody, they insisted, would want to play with a doll with breasts.’ Well, they were proven wrong.
And here, research found at least some effect of Barbie on body image: ‘The most compelling, a 2006 study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, found that girls exposed to Barbie at a young age expressed greater concern with being thin, compared with those exposed to other dolls.’

Perception of the inner child & mom

From personal experience: I do remember observing Barbie’s body as a child and be somewhat puzzled about its shape and wondering whether it was ‘normal’ or something. Perhaps that would’ve happened regardless of the exact body shape, since my body definitely didn’t look like an adult woman’s back then, but still! I do think the high dosage of Barbie’s uniform body in childhood combined with the ‘idolised image’ of Barbie contribute to internalising the ideas of having to live up to this ‘ideal’ body shape. And this is totally wrong.

I remember feeling more comfortable with the smaller Shellies and finding it a relief to play with other dolls which looked differently and were less ‘perfectly styled’ sometimes. However, I did come to believe that Barbie was prettier, which kinda sucks. So I think having a variety of dolls is good and I would have liked to have the Curvy, Tall and Petite Barbies in my collection! I’m sure my mom would’ve liked it too, which is important, for moms get to decide on the toys.

Browsing through the pictures makes me want to make them clothes! My sisters and me used to do that, under supervision of our mom. Those’re good times. But now we get to clothe ourselves, yay. (Ay?)

What do you think about the transformation? Do you like Barbie? Are you interested?๐Ÿ™‚ If you are, you may also like other posts on my fabulous body image tag page.

This isn’t the latest news or anything, but I am writing from this cave where the Facebook algorithms decide which information comes to me. Can you hear me?! (I’m exaggerating a little. Okay.)

Canola Corn Bread

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This fluffy yellow ‘canola corn bread’ may as well be called a cake, but then there would have been too many Cs.

To make it, I used a corn bread recipe from one of the many cookbooks named ‘cooking vegan’ (Veganistisch koken by Parragon Books LTD). The main ingredient is corn flour, the others are white wheat flour, canola oil, lots of soy milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, baking powder and some salt. The recipe is pretty similar to this one of The Post Punk Kitchen.


The canola oil contributes its distinct taste and I’m still undecided to whether I like it. (I don’t know whether corn bread always has canola oil, but in The Netherlands the oil isn’t commonly used.) So it tasted a bit sweet-ish from the corn and maple syrup and canola-ish from the canola. The structure was really soft and fluffy! Maybe I put too much baking powder, but I felt like finishing the package… So it was a perfect cake, except it wasn’t so sweet like most cakes. It combined quite nicely with a garlic rosemary plant-based butter: this made it a bit less dry and more interesting. So I’d recommend to make sure there’s something next to it to spice it up a little! (I brought it to a putluck dinner, so didn’t compose a whole meal with it myself.)

Next time I may try a sweeter version. I’m also interested in making one that’s gluten-free, so even more people can enjoy it. It should be possible. It would also be cool to put herbs like rosemary or lavender in it.ย  Yes yes, there’s potential in the corn bread.

The Cs reminded me of the song Prayer in C by Lilly Wood and The Prick, remixed by Robin Schulz. That one’s pretty nice.