Sunday, May 30, 2010

why does nutritional yeast hurt my belly? :(

Nutritional Yeast hurts my belly! Does anyone else have this problem too? :( I like the stuff, but I have felt like a freaking balloony-elephant since eating it this morning and my belly is not in comfort! 
I looked online but can't really find any explanation as to why this may be the case. Perhaps it will go away if I keep eating more cheesy french toast.......... :D :D

or i could try pop my belly with a pin!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Breakfast of Champions.

Condiment city. Population: bug.

Lemony scrambled tofu
½ block firm tofu, crumbled
1 Tablespoon oil
¼ red onion, finely sliced
¼ zucchini, finely sliced
½ teaspoon nigella seeds
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon pickled chillis (or just chilli)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Press tofu for about 20 minutes to remove excess liquid. (If you like soft scrambled eggs disregard this step)
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, nutritional yeast, pickled chilli, mustard and salt and pepper.
In a frying pan, heat oil and add tofu, onion, zucchini and nigella seeds and fry for a few minutes.
When there is no excess liquid in the pan, add in the rest of your ingredients. Fry for another 5 minutes until no liquid remains and tofu is a golden colour to your liking. Serve with dry toasted nuts on top for added crunch!

Vegan French toast
Make a slurry of soy milk, flour, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.
Thoroughly coat mixture on either sides of bread.
Fry in vegan butter until browned on both sides.
Place in 200C oven to crisp up a little. Leave this step out if you prefer your French toast a little softer.
To make a sweet version you could remove the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and instead add in cinnamon and a little sugar.

Rosemary mushrooms
Soften some fresh rosemary in a little vegan butter and olive oil. Add in 2 large field mushrooms, chopped, and sauté until mushrooms are soft and brown. When pan is very hot, deglaze with white wine and add in a little soy milk, salt and pepper. Reduce until no liquid remains and serve.

all gone.

On another note, straw straw straw! this is my straw! Anyone who knows anything about me, knows that I am a straw lover. This is my 2nd one as I managed to shatter my first one within about a week of having it! It is delightful and lovely and environmentally friendly and the perfect size for a smoovie :D

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pizza pizza man! I want to be a pizza man.

(sung to the tune of Macho Man.)

pizza dough:
1 sachet dry yeast
1 cup tepid water
3 -4 cups bread flour
olive oil

Let yeast foam for 5-10 minutes in a small bowl with the sugar and a 1/4 of the water.

Place all ingredients together in a bowl and mix until all have come together. Take out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until silky and not sticky.
Place dough in a large bowl and leave, covered with a tea towel, in a warm place until doubled in size. About an hour :D

Punch out air (THE FUN PART)!
Roll dough to whatever size you desire and place on oiled baking tray.
Top dough with sauce and whichever toppings you feel are necessary.
I topped mine with roast pumpkin, mushroom, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli and olives!
Bake in a very hot oven for about 15 minutes.

pizza production line.

pre calzone

pizza before oven


.. and listen to the Village People.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

you scream, I scream, we all want POUTINE!

Oooooh ever since I saw poutine on Steph's blog (which was less than 24 hours ago!) I was hooked on the idea of making it with potato gems. My boyfriend is Canadian and we lived in Canada together for the past year so quite clearly that makes us poutine connoisseurs!

My great guilt food over there was poutine from New York Fries. Mmm Hmm. I am sad to say that I just looked up the nutritional info and a regular sized tub has 50 grams of fat in it! WOAAAHHHH. I mean, I obviously knew it wasn't healthy - it is a bucket of chips smothered in gravy and cheese! but that is absurdly fatteningly gross! The website also mentions beef gravy but doesn't actually say whether it has beef in it or not. It does go as far as to say that the fries are suitable for vegetarians though. I think I will post them a letter!

all gone. (not really, I couldn't finish the sammidge.. I am only one person!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Salt and Pepper Tofu and Cold Rolls.

Salt and Pepper tofu! I. Love. It. Almost everyone in my family loves it too! My brother is a deep-frying connoisseur, hence we have tried many different variations of this recipe. First of all you have to decide what tofu consistency you like best. I like the silken firm and muffin likes the firm. The most simple and light coating to use is corn flour. With that said, the most fatty and oily (but still devilishly delicious!) coating is a beer batter! MAN IT IS GOOD. It's like a vegetarian fish and chips - but with tofu. So very tasty.

You'll need to heat the vegetable (or peanut) oil to around 200C, roll the cubes of tofu in the corn flour and drop them in the oil. If you're using silken firm, the easiest way to flip them is with a fork - so you don't break them, if not just use tongs. They take about 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how hot your oil is etc. Drain them slightly and place in a bowl with freshly crushed sea salt and black + white pepper. Garnish with finely sliced red chilli and spring onion. YUM YUM YUM. This is so simple - but really amazingly delicious. The crispy outside with the soft tofu inside is heaaaavvvennnnnnn.
If you use firm tofu it can also benefit from a light soy sauce marinade before the flour too.

It is best eaten with steamed rice and asian greens in garlic sauce. My opinion. But I am very correct. hahaha.

Cold Rolls are a delight. I make them often, that's possibly because I like to play with my food! I use rice vermicelli noodles and then a mixture of finely sliced vegetables. Whatever is laying around in the fridge really. The only one vegetable that MUST be in there (says I) is cucumber, oh and mint. Obviously mint. These ones have noodles, mint, cucumber, carrot, capsicum, mushroom, toasted sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots. 

I serve mine with 2 sauces.
A creamy peanut sauce: Mix 1 Tablespoon peanut butter with 1 Tablespoon coconut milk and a squirt of sriracha.

Also a soy dipping sauce: Mix 1 Tablespoon light soy, 1 Tablespoon dark soy, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon sriracha, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. If you prefer a thicker sauce then you can thicken it with a teaspoon corn flour.

Everyone loves a good cookie!

Mmm cookies! I have been flirting with the idea of baking my own white chocolate and macadamia cookies lately - and yet the extortionate price of macadamia's changed my mind. Chocolate chip it will have to beeee! 

I used the basic cookie recipe in The Professional Chef. All of the recipes in this book serve about 246 million people. Fo. Serious. Ness. 
I relied on my brother's math skills (as numbers are not my forte!) and not wanting to screw with the recipe too much, he halved it. Even when it was halved it still made about 30 big cookies, so I froze half of the dough. THEN I just found the recipe online, happily making only 12. Dang it! 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugars on medium speed, scraping down the bowl periodically, until the mixture is smooth and light in colour, about five minutes.

Combine the eggs and vanilla. Add to the butter-sugar mixture and blend until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. 

On low speed, mix in the sifted dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Stir through the chocolate chunks.

Shape the dough into a log on a sheet of cling wrap, and refrigerate or freeze until firm enough to slice into sixteen pieces.

(this was my log which made 30. TOO MANY!)

Bake at 190C until golden brown around the edges, about twelve to fourteen minutes. 

Cool completely on baking trays.

At first they tasted of shortbread. Quite boring shortbread. But by the next day they had hardened up a bit and were decidedly more tasty! Especially with a cuppa Lady Gray T. I think they would benefit even more from some white chocolate chips too. 

Making these reminded me of the weird logs of cookie dough you used to buy at the supermarket when you were little, and they had multicoloured chocolate chips in them and were like magic! Except at least this way - you know exactly what ingredients are going in to them. Way better. 
The end. Cookie day - over and out.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oh delicious roast goodies.

It has been a chilly week. And that only calls for one thing. Roast! 
I bought some Fry's Vegetarian Golden Crumbed Schnitzels from Foodland, even though they were about $7 for 4. I've never seen any Fry's stuff anywhere and figured I'd give it a go. Verdict = meh.

Too too chickeny for my liking. I found myself trying to eat it really quickly so as not to think about it too much. Not the best reaction! The best stuff is always measured by being the final thing left on my plate; the final bite. And this was definitely not the case with that schnitty.

My first roasty dinner had a Fry's schnitty topped with some home-made pesto, fresh tomato and aged cheddar - parmigiana bug style! I roasted some potatoes, pumpkin, carrot and onion in some italian herbs, wilted some baby spinach and made that creamy mushroom and leek thing that mum always makes! I added some zucchini and peas to this too. The downfall to this meal was probably the Schnitty! Hilarious - because it was meant to be the best part.

The next roasty dinner was even more simple. I had some of the leek thing left over so I added more mushroom and zucchini and some mustard and made it a creamy, mustardy vegie thing and it was quite nice :D I roasted some pumpkin with salt, pepper and olive oil, and steamed some peas, carrot and broccoli. We ate it with some roti.
Muffin had his meal with a Fry's schnitty parmigiana and he was mighty keen. That's highly likely because he likes chicken and EATS chicken and I neither! He can eat the other two as well :D

The best part of this meal was the pumpkin. MAN I love pumpkin. The taste of simple roasted pumpkin is just deliciously sweet and amazing. YUM. Muffin doesn't like pumpkin - so even more for meeeeeee.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Exploding food.

A question... Is there any particular reason agar agar or vegan margerine should explode in a microwave?!

and by explode - i really mean explode. Like. Loud bang that really scares you and you think you've broken the microwave kind of explode!

I was only softening some agar agar with marg to make some icing and it went BBBAAANNGGGGG!

- so i did it on the stove instead. I guess the original way is the best way :D

But really - are there any reasons this would happen that I am unaware of?! Does anyone have a similar story to this one?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Moroccan invention!

Tonight I perused some food blags for quite some time and out of nowhere (I was looking up vegie burger recipes!) I came up with this Moroccan style (very loose style!) dish. And I must say, it was delish! The balance of flavours was quite nice and I’m very much into mint and yoghurt lately – along with the spicy chilli this just seemed to work. Muffin liked it and we both devoured it within about 2 minutes. Yum yum yum and yay for new creations!

Moroccan vegetables with herby cous cous:

Cous cous:
Sundried tomato pesto
Pre made salad dressing (optional)

½ cup yoghurt
1 handful mint finely sliced

Herb slurry:
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 handful basil torn
1 hot red chilli, finely sliced
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup (ish) olive oil

1 zucchini
¼ capsicum
1 japanese eggplant
1 juicy tomato
1 leek
3 mushrooms

1 lemon wedge

Cous cous:
Bring 1 cup water and 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the boil. Once boiled, take off heat and add in cous cous and stir with a fork quite quickly. Cover and let stand for up to 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready – you don’t want the grains to stick together. Loosen with some more olive oil, sundried tomato pesto and salt and pepper. I find that it needs quite a bit of salt. You can always chuck in some pre-made salad dressing if you have any laying around also, this always tastes good :D

Mix yoghurt with mint. Duh.

Herb slurry:
Mix all ingredients for 'sauce' in a bowl. It should make a kind of slurry, there should be an even balance between oil to herb.

Cut zucchini and eggplant in half and then slice each half into about 4 pieces each. These should be fat, long triangular type sticks (excellent description, bug) just look at the picture!!
NOTE: the word I was looking for was 'wedge'! It came to me in the middle of the night! :p

Steam these vegetables for a few minutes to soften them.
Slice capsicum and cut the tomato into wedges.
Toss all vegetables in a bowl with the herb slurry. Bake in a 220C oven for about 10 minutes.

While that is happening, fry mushrooms and leek in a frying pan until golden brown.

When vegetable come out of the oven throw in the frying pan and give a quick flip to mix all of the flavours together.

Serve on a bed of cous cous, with mint yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon.


Belly warming soup of goodness.

Today it was chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilly. I was rugged up to the nines!  (Hahaha, just adapted that saying to suit me, really) I made a soup! A roast vegie soup! It consisted of many delicious vegies laying around at home.

Heart Warming (perhaps belly too) Roast Vegetable Soup.

On one tray, cut into chunks and roast for about 30 minutes at 200C:
1 carrot
½ butternut pumpkin
½ sweet potato
Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano and olive oil.

On another tray roast for about 20 mins at 200C:
5 whole tomatoes, scored to help remove skin
1 capsicum, cut in chunks
1 onion, cut in chunks
1 garlic bulb, cut in half

While that’s happening, melt some butter in a big saucepan and add 1 big leek, sliced, or 3 small homegrown ones like I did, eeek – homegrown! :D

When tomatoes are out of the oven carefully peel away skin and destalkify tomatoes.

Add carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, tomatoes, capsicum, onion and garlic to a blender and blitz. Add some water if it is too hard to blend.

Pour mix back into saucepan, add 1 vegie stock cube and 1 cup of water.
I always think it is best to let soup cool down and absorb all of its flavours before adding more seasoning.

Serve with a dash of soy milk in the bowl for uber creaminess. Mmmm winterrrr.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vegan Baking Day 1.

The other day I went on a baking rampage and baked...

oreo cupcakes

vanilla rainbow cake.

all vegan. all a delight to bake.

Sour (but in a good way) Paneer Curry!

Tonight tonight I made my very first curry from scratch. This is a ridiculous fact! My dad was almost ashamed. But not really.
His words were: “WHAT! You’ve never made a curry? You said this was your first curry?! ...... WHY?”
my words were: “cause you’ve always made good ones!”
End scene.

Anywho, it was a weird one – but quite lovely. Weird sounds bad, we’ll just say different. Just like I wasn't a weird child... I was just .... different! ;)

It’s sour from the yoghurt but creamy from the paneer. Result: I like it.

excuse the photo - i was hungry and impatient.

Slightly sour paneer curry.
Serves many!

½ block paneer, cubed*
½ block tempeh, cubed
6 slices zucchini
4 mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup frozen peas

2 Tablespoons peanut oil
Pinch asafoetida
½ T cumin seeds
4 cloves
1 onion, finely chopped

200g plain greek yoghurt
2 T ground coriander
½ t ground turmeric
½ t red chilli powder
½ t garam masala

200mL water
1cm ginger, finely diced
Juice of ½ lemon

Heat peanut oil in pan until quite hot. Cut paneer and tempeh into 1cm cubes and fry for 2 minutes on each side. The easiest and most fun way to do this is with knife and fork! They will turn golden brown like magic! Magic, I tells ya. Remove from pan. Try not to eat all before meal is prepared.

Using same pan, fry vegetables until tender and then add to paneer/tempeh mix.

To make sauce, heat peanut oil until quite hot. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and cloves and fry until they begin to (snap, crackle and) pop.

Add the onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt with the coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and garam masala. It will make a lovely yellowy-reddy looking picture!

Add the yoghurt mix to the onions and continue stirring rapidly until it comes to boiling point. This should prevent the yoghurt from splitting. Mine split : | No biggie, yo.

Once boiling, add 200mL of water, or less – depending how thin you want the sauce to be. Add the vegetables and peas and heat through.

Serve with freshly squeezed lemon and adjust seasoning with salt and sugar.

Eat with roti!

*****The paneer could be substituted for root vegetables for a nice change. I think pumpkin would be ultimately delish dish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vegetarian Delight

Muffin and I went to Vegetarian Delight for dinner.

welcome says little buddha man!

everyone loves a good napkin lotus flower.

crispy fried dumplings - means deep fried. not too good, just full of mock chicken and quite bland. hot and sour sauce however - win!

Hot and sour soup. Muffin's ultimate favourite. I loved it and put it in my top 3 h+ss experiences at least! Muffin felt otherwise but still enjoyed it. He has high standards :D

Bbq pork. Weird. Apparently this tastes nothing like bbq pork at all. It was ultra sweet but kinda fell apart in your mouth which was pleasant. A little too much in one serve though.

Asian greens. Who doesn't love them? Bring out the best in every meal! Although I did forget that it's a buddhist restaurant and is thus served with ginger and not garlic. Garlic trumps ginger in my opinion. Still, fresh and delish.

We also had salt and pepper tofu which i forgot to photograph. Gasp! It was pretty nice, not the best I've ever had. Very salty and yet not a spot of pepper.... strange.

All in all, I like the place and am willing to give it another go. Maybe we didn't choose the greatest things on the menu? Maybe I just don't want to give up on a vegetarian chinese restaurant... we'll never know...

Vegetarian Delight
462 Port Rd
West Hindmarsh
(08) 8340 8488

Vegetarian Delight on Urbanspoon


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