Sunday, November 27, 2011

vegetarian san choy bow

Not the prettiest dish in the world, but it's my new favourite dish.

This week, we've got heaps of lettuce leaves in our vegie box.
I don't normally buy lots of lettuce leaves myself, as they tend to wilt in a few days in the fridge, and to be honest, I thought iceberg lettuce is the most boring tasteless vegie ever.
Sorry iceberg, not your fault, I shouldn't have judged you too soon, blame the restaurants or cafes that turned you into a boring dish they called "garden Salad".
Anyway, this particular iceberg lettuce that I've got is far from boring, it tasted really fresh and crunchy!! So I searched for a non-salad recipe that uses this crunchy baby.
Holly google brought me to Zoe's recipe, from vegan easy. I don't like fake mince, so I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and came up with this recipe:

4 - 5 iceberg lettuce leaves, break carefully, don't leat them tear, wash and drain (this will act as a vessel for the tofu)
1/2 block of firm tofu
2 cups of mushroom, sliced (I used plain old buttons, but you could use fancy mushrooms as well)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
a few drops sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari (or less, I don't normally measure it)
1 tbsp kecap manis
1 tsp sriracha chilli sauce
salt and pepper to taste

serve 2 - 3

heat olive oil in a frying pan, add onion and fry until fragrant
add crumbled tofu, I normally crumbled my tofu straight on top of the frying pan, but there's a high chance of having crumbled tofu everywhere in the kitchen
mix it up with the onion, add sliced mushroom and garlic, cover with a lid, and let it cook for 2 minutes
uncover, and stir for further 2 minutes
add sesame oil, tamari, chilli sauce and kecap manis
season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust
to serve, arrange the lettuce leaves, and put the tofu mixture on top
to eat, put a squirt of sriracha sauce if you want extra hot, roll up, and eat with your hand. YUM!

Monday, November 14, 2011

rocket and parsley pesto

A lovely lady from work (a different one from last one), shared her fresh rocket from her vegie garden. It's the freshest rocket leaves I've ever tasted! I don't want them to wilt, but I really want to enjoy it longer. So, I bought myself a bag of walnuts, and googled 'vegan rocket pesto' just because I don't want to use parmesan, trying to cut back on my saturated fat intake.
The search landed me on this page from easy as vegan pie.
I made a teeny bit of changes, and omitted the raw garlic, I just can't stand the lingering taste of raw garlic in my mouth.

here's my take:

2 handful of rocket leaves
1 handful of parsley (I didn't add much, as I want the rocket to be the star of the show)
1/2 cup of walnuts, toasted on frying pan
1 tsp of miso paste (as parmesan substitute)
juice of one lemon
1 to 2 cloves of raw garlic (I omitted this, but feel free to add)
1/4 cup of olive oil
pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor, and blitz away!! taste, and add something if you think it fit. blitz again for a few seconds.
transfer into a container or jar, and pour a little bit of olive oil on top.
Tore a piece of bread, take the blade out of your food processor, wipe your food processor bowl with the bread, and eat.
repeat if necessary
no waste allowed! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mung Khichadi

A very lovely lady brought this dish and share it over lunch break, I fell in love instantly, and asked for the recipe.
It's the kind of food that give your tummy a warm comforting hug, lightly spiced with turmeric, a super spice that is also act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Just make sure you're not spilling the powder on to your white t-shirt.
The only changes I made is I cracked two eggs, and cover the pan to cook the eggs.

1 cup mung beans soaked over night in 4 cups warm water drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive/canola/sunflower oil
1teasp black mustard seeds
1/2 teasp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 teasp salt (adjust to your own taste)
1 teasp brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
coconut to garnish
fresh coriander leaves to garnish (i used parsley, it's all I have)
1 cup hot water

mix the soaked rinsed grain with the turmeric, salt and sugar before beginning to heat the oil.
Heat the oil in a thick based frying pan
Test if the oil is hot enough by adding one mustard seed to it, if it bursts add the rest of the mustard seeds to the oil and allow them to pop slightly.
Add the grain mix to the oil, stir mixing well.
Add some hot water to cover the grain and allow to simmer covered stirring occasionally till water is reduced to bare minimum about 10 minutes.
Serve warm with lemon juice, coconut and coriander leaves.
Can be consumed as is, or accompanied with low fat Greek yogurt or served on a bed of basmati rice or whole grain bread.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mixed Business, Clifton Hill

On the way to high noon festival, we stopped by for a late lunch at Mixed business. I was predicting that the festival will be too crowded to enjoy and digest food properly, and I was pleased with my decision.
I ordered a sweet option from the menu, which is a bit unusual, but, hey its a special day :)
besides, who can resist gingerbread waffles with candied walnuts, and vanilla bean ice cream?
The waffles has a right topping waffle ratio, so I didn't end up with sad pieces of cold soggy waffles.
By the way, they are not cold and soggy at all, they were 2 pieces of crunchy-on-the-outside fluffy-on-the-inside- kind of waffle. The vanilla bean ice cream was lovely, rich, smooth, and I could see tiny vanilla seeds in the ice cream.
I would definitely come back for more brunch goodness, and for the gingerbread waffles.

Mixed Business,
486 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

Monday, September 12, 2011

Avocado chocolate cake (egg free)

This is the recipe that screams healthy food! but doesn't actually taste that way.
First of all, this cake incorporate avocado, the buttery creamy avocado replaced the role of butter in a cake.
You could leave out the chocolate chip and make this into a vegan and dairy free cake, you could also replace it with cacao nibs.
If you're gluten intolerance, you could also swap the flour with gluten free flour, just adjust the liquid content, or just add more avocado.
I've got the original recipe from here, I just tweaked it a bit, since I've never add vinegar into any cake ever, i just don't want to risk it.
I also leave out the avocado oil, I figure it's only two tbsp worth of entire batter,don't think it will affect the texture too much.

My photo doesn't do justice, this cake tasted better than it looks like. trust me.

180 g flour or a bit more than 1 cup of flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
110 g raw caster sugar
60 g ground walnuts or hazelnuts or almonds or dessicated coconut if you're allergic to nuts
1 small avocado, or 1/2 large avocado
1 cup water (you could add more if the mixture a bit dry)
1 tsp vanilla extract (not vanilla essence)
1/2 cup milk chocolate chip or 1/4 cup cocoa nibs

preheat oven 180 degree, and line baking tray with baking paper
mix flour, ground nuts, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt
blend avocado and vanilla extract in a food processor
you could also mash it, but you will end up with bits of green avocado in your cake
add water to avocado, stir or pulse it again
mix wet to dry ingredients
don't overbeat or you will develop the gluten in the flour and the cake will become tough
fold chocolate chip into the batter
pour the batter into cake tin and bake for 25 min
test with a skewer, if ti comes out clean, then it's done

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

green pasta

a few weeks ago, I bought a packet of dried spinach fetuccini, when I cooked it, it leeched scary looking fluorescent-green colour in the cooking water. They must have been packed full with green food colouring. I vowed to never buy that pasta again.

Last week, I picked up the same pasta! exactly. the. same. one. :(
Anyway, this recipe reminded me of my stupidity, well maybe its the silver lining on my stupidity cloud.
No exact measurement, as this is a midweek-quick pasta dinner type of food.
Here it goes :
2 cups of cooked spiral pasta (fussili i think it's called?)
1 bunch spinach
1 handful of dill
2 tbsp grated parmesan (add more if you want, more cheese always better)
2 egg yolks
1 cup chopped broccoli, steamed or boiled
2 slices of brie or feta cheese diced
olive oil
chilli flakes

place egg yolks and parmesan in a food processor
blanch spinach and dill in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and squeeze all the water out with tongs
put the spinach mixture in the food processor, blitz, taste and season with salt and pepper
toss with hot pasta and chopped broccoli, topped with brie
drizzle with olive oil, and add chilli flakes

I purposely leave out garlic in the recipe, just because I hate sleeping with garlic breath, it doesn't matter how hard I brush my teeth, I could still taste it in the morning. yuck.
But, if you're a garlic fan, pop 1 clove of garlic in the food processor.

aaah, much better than the fluorescent green pasta :)

it took me five years, but I finally love you, Vegemite

First time I had a taste of vegemite was five years ago, straight from the jar (belong to my ex-housemate), with a teaspoon.
my thought was, revolting.
second time, in a scroll from bakers delight, couldn't finish the whole scroll, but I manage to squeeze a few bites-full.
third time, in a scroll form again,this time from coles supermarket, it had smaller vegemite to bread ratio, I finished the whole thing! Maybe I was hungry, or maybe I just started to warmed up to this yeasty jar of brown paste.
next thing I know, I bought a small jar of it.
Now it's a part of my breakfast repertoire,slathered on wholemeal toast, with avocado, rocket leaves, and lemon juice. YUM!
oh yeah, and a cup of soy latte. perfect.
Strangely, now I thought it taste a bit like parmesan cheese.
I'm glad I was persistent.