Saturday, 7 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013
|Easy Homemade Nutty Vegan Granola|
Hello! I hope your week has been going well and you are still keeping your head above water with all the added chores and stress that inevitably comes with the festive season.
I had a nightmare about writing Christmas cards the other night. It was as if I just could not get the spelling right and had to waste many cards and just could not complete the stack that I had to write. Of course I woke up and realised that it was a dream but the reality remains that I still have a huge stack of cards to write and send.
Anyway, there was nothing inspiring for breakfast in the pantry so I decided to make this Nutty Granola. I have been experimenting with a whole lot of granola recipes this year and had my fair share of hits and misses. I remember a recipe I got from a world renown chef’s cookbook only to have it turn out tasting like a Chinese takeout with too much sesame seeds. My friend’s words, not mine.
At the end of the day I think the best is to work with a basic oats, oil and sweetener ratio and then go crazy with your add ins. I used an assortment of nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips and desiccated coconut in my take of nutty granola. The most important to remember is that it is so easy to make, easier than you would imagine and much better for you than processed boxed ones.
Recipe for Nutty Vegan Granola
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cooking Time 25 minutes / Makes approximately 650gm
300gm Rolled Oats
120gm Assorted Unsalted Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Brazils, Hazelnuts, Peanuts)
80gm Flaked Almonds
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
40gm Desiccated Coconut
20gm Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tsp Cinnamon
1. Pre-heat oven to 150°C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, pour in the vegetable oil. Whisk in the honey, vanilla essence and cinnamon. Add in the rolled oats, nuts, flaked almonds and sesame seeds. Mix the ingredients evenly and pour the mixture onto the baking tray. Spread it out into a thin, flat layer.
3. Bake the mixture for 15 minutes, thereafter, add in the sultanas, currants, desiccated coconut and chocolate chips. Mix through evenly and return to bake for another additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool. The mixture will seem slightly soft when you first remove it from the oven however, it will be dry and crunchy once it has cooled. Once cooled, store in an air tight container.
Monday, 2 December 2013
|Vegetarian Japanese Egg Tofu|
Happy Meatless Monday everyone! I hope you are as excited about Meatless Monday as I am.
This Monday, I am going to share a recipe for Japanese Egg Tofu with you. This tofu has egg in it and can be easily bought from most Oriental grocers. This is what it looks like in its packaging.
|Japanese Egg Tofu|
As with most tofu or beancurd, it is a very versatile protein in that it goes well with almost anything. For this dish, the tofu is sliced, dusted with corn flour and then fried until it is golden and crispy. You then braise the vegetables in a thick sauce before adding an egg in the sauce to thicken it and to bulk up the dish. I also added a lot of vegetables to bulk it up further. Here, I used mushrooms, sugar snap peas, baby corn and carrots.
You can use firm tofu if you cannot get your hands on this Japanese egg tofu.
Recipe for Vegetarian Japanese Egg Tofu
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cooking Time 20 minutes / Serves 3
2 tubes of Japanese Egg Tofu (150gm each tube, cut into 1.5cm slices)
3 Tbsp Corn Flour (to dust the tofu slices in)
250ml Corn Flour Mixture (1/2 Tbsp Corn Flour and 250ml water)
150gm Sugar Snap Peas
125gm Baby Corn (halved and cut into 1cm pieces)
200gm Fresh Button Mushrooms (sliced)
2 Cloves Garlic (diced)
2 Stalks Scallions (chopped finely)
1Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
½ Tbsp Oyster Sauce
½ tsp Salt
Dash of White Pepper
150ml Oil (for frying the Japanese Egg Tofu)
1. Dust the tofu slices in corn flour. In a wok, heat the oil until hot and fry the tofu slices until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the wok, for this amount, you should fry the tofu slices in at least 2 batches. Each batch should take approximately 5 minutes. Flip the tofu slices over once to ensure that both sides are equally golden brown. Once done, remove and set aside to drain on some paper towels.
2. Drain the oil from the wok until you have about 1.5 tablespoon of oil left in the wok. Using the same wok, sauté the diced garlic, before the garlic colours, add half of the scallions and sauté quickly. Before the garlic burns, quickly add in the carrots and baby corn. Sauté for about a minute until soften slightly before adding in the sugar snap peas. Keep cooking for another minute or so before adding in the mushrooms.
3. Add the oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, salt and pepper to the vegetables. Stir until evenly combined with the vegetables before adding in the corn flour and water mixture. Bring to the boil. Let the sauce boil for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked and the sauce is sweet. Taste and add more seasoning if required. Just before switching off the heat, crack in an egg and stir gently through the sauce. Lastly, add in the fried tofu slices and gently stir through. Switch off the heat remove from wok. Sprinkle the remaining chopped scallions over the finished dish and serve with some rice.
Friday, 29 November 2013
|Spicy Garlic Prawns|
You can serve it with store bought bread or home baked bread, whatever works for you. Keep it as a side dish or increase the portion to make it a more substantial main. In the photos you can see that I paired it with some oregano and sesame crusted rolls I made. Do choose bread that can work as a sponge to soak up all the delicious sauce! There you have it, a quick and delicious meal. It really does not get easier than this. Happy eating friends!
Recipe for Spicy Garlic Prawns
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cooking Time: 5 minutes / Serves 2
200gm Prawns (rinse and pat dry)
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic (diced)
½ Tbsp Chilli Flakes
¼ tsp Salt
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Once hot, add in the garlic and sauté quickly, before it colours, add in the chilli flakes and continue to sauté for a few seconds, be careful not to burn.
2. Add in the prawns and sauté over medium high heat coating the prawns with the garlic and chilli flakes as you go. Add salt. Once the prawns have turned pink, switch off the heat and remove from the pan. Serve immediately with warm bread.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Tell me what you did over the weekend! As for me, I went to watch the second installation of the Hunger Games movie – Catching Fire. I must say that I have read the books and the movie stays true to the book. It was more grown up then the first so it appealed more to me however there were no fireworks or clincher for me to be wowed. But, I digress as this is not a blog for movie reviews but one about food. So, to recover from the excesses of the weekend, here is a simple and satisfying vegetarian couscous recipe for you to try. If not for today, then bookmark it for next week!
Recipe for Vegetarian Couscous with Pine Nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cooking Time: 15 minutes / Serves 3-4
40gm Pine Nuts (toasted)
120gm Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
200gm Fresh Button Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 Carrot (finely diced)
1 Onion (finely diced)
½ tsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
1. In a deep pan, sauté the finely chopped onion over medium-high heat until it has softened (but not coloured), add in the carrots and sauté for a further minute before adding in the mushrooms. Continue to sauté until the vegetables have softened. Next, add in the seasoning and sauté until fragrant.
2. Add in the cherry tomatoes followed by 250ml of water. Bring to a boil and add in the couscous. Switch off the heat and cover the pan. Leave the couscous to steam in the covered pan for about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat until slightly coloured. Remove from the pan. Once the couscous has steamed for about 8 minutes, fluff it up with a fork and stir through the toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.