Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lunch-breakfast-lunch-dinner.


Breakfast for dinner is probably better than breakfast for breakfast. 

I've been busy working long hours, testing carla's recipes and taking care of a sick, sick muffin. So today I had english baked beans, spinach, hash browns, tomatoes, rosemary mushrooms and toasted turkish bread with mushroom 'pate'. Yum yum yum. delish. 

More recipes coming soon when I have the time and muffin has the guts to eat! I'm seeing a mushroom pie in my future....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Salad City - population: my stomach.

What do you do when you wake up looking like the elephant woman? (For serious, I woke up with a lip the size of my nose!)

Well you obviously go to the doctor first and get a magical cream to fix your disfigured hideous face ... AND THEN when you can't go to work (for obvious reasons, such as scaring customers off of their food), you stay home and make about a billion salads. When you realise a billion is probably a little much to fit in your fridge, you settle on six. Just six. . . of the best salads of your life.



These are:

  • soy soba noodle salad
  • rosemary lemon potato salad
  • pesto pasta salad
  • balsamic bean salad
  • chargrilled vegetable salad
  • meditteranean cous cous salad

soy soba noodle salad:


this could easily be made super spicy, but I like to taste and enjoy the flavours of the noodles themselves. Also, hold back on over saucing the noodles as they will get sloppy < this is not good.

2 rounds soba noodles
2 T soy sauce
1 T sweet soy sauce
1 T vinegar
1 t sriracha
1 t sesame oil
1 t fresh ginger, grated
1 T toasted sesame seeds
Capsicum, 1/4 cup thinly sliced
Cabbage, 1/2 cup thinly slices

Cook soba noodles for a couple of minutes in boiling water, remove and dunk into cold water to give them their chewy slurpy texture and stop the cooking process.
Mix together all other ingredients to form the sauce. Toss noodles in sauce and leave the flavours to infuse for at least half an hour. 

rosemary lemon potato salad:


this one would be delicious with something green like spring onions, but alas I had none. I feel like the extra roasting of potatoes at the end gives them a better texture than usual mooshy potato salad, which I dislike.

10 baby potatoes, cut into bite size pieces, par boiled
2 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 T fresh rosemary, finely diced
1 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Par boil the potatoes until almost cooked through. 
In a big frying pan add oil, garlic, onion and rosemary. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in potatoes, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a 180C oven for about 15 mins or until slightly golden. Remove. Cool in fridge. EAT!

pesto pasta salad:


I mean honestly, is anything bad with pesto? When basil is not in season you can use rocket and save on money - and probably the taste of bad out of season herbs! 

2 cups mix of rocket, basil and spinach
2 garlic cloves
1/2 red chilli
1/2 cup cashews
good glug of olive oil
squeeze lemon juice
salt

Blitz! 

1 tomato, finely diced
1 avocado, finely diced

Cook 2 cups spiral pasta until al dente. Drain and while still hot add about 2 Tablespoons of the pesto, extra salt and pepper. When slightly cooled add the tomato and avocado and mix through. Serve cool.

balsamic bean salad:


This salad will bring you great joy and make you as strong as Popeye! Even though there is no spinach in it... It's simple and full of things that you can just throw in from your pantry. Excellent!

1 tin mixed beans
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 t horseradish
salt 
pepper
5 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
cucumber, 1/4 cup finely diced

Add oil, balsamic, garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rinse beans and mix through, add in artichoke and cucumber. Let flavours combine for at least half an hour.

chargrilled vegetable salad:


THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SALADS EVER. Fo real. It sounds really strange with the sweet marinade, but it brings out the earthy flavours in the mushroom and eggplant. The Asian flavours don't come through in a strong way in the end, just the flavour of ohmagoodnessdeliciousness.

10 swiss mushrooms, small and roughly the same size
eggplant, 1 cup, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms
pumpkin, 2 cups, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms and eggplant! (see a theme?)
1 T sweet soy sauce
1 T sweet chilli sauce
1/2 t sriracha
1 t water
7 marinated green and black olives
1 cup rocket, chopped

Roast mushrooms and eggplant at 180C on a tray for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked and soft.
Roast pumpkin on a separate tray at 180C for about half an hour or until cooked and browned. 
In a bowl whisk together sweet soy, sweet chilli, sriracha and water. When mushrooms and eggplant are still hot, add to this mix and coat well. Leave them soaking in this until the pumpkin is out of the oven. In a big bowl add the rocket, olives, pumpkin, mushroom and eggplant mix. (there was some sauce left over in mine and i opted to save it to dress the salad later if it needed it.)

meditteranean cous cous salad:


Yum yum yum! The flavours in this dish are delightfully balanced and Moroccan. I love me some Moroccan flavours. You can use any dried fruit, but I tested a couple and found apricots to be the best. It really does round off the flavours nicely, and therefore I banish you from removing it!

1 cup cous cous
1 cup water
glug olive oil
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t za'atar
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1 t dried chilli flakes
1 t salt
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 handful roasted, unsalted mixed nuts
5 olives, quartered
1 T dried apricots, very finely diced
Oil for extra body

In a saucepan bring 1 cup of water, olive oil, smoked paprika, za'atar, cumin, coriander, chilli flakes
and salt to a boil. Add in cous cous, stir quickly with a fork, cover and leave for 5 minutes until cooked. Pour into a big bowl and fluff with a fork. Add in carrot, nuts, olives, apricots and extra oil if the consistency is too dry. 

--------


This seems like a crazy amount of salad (it does make a LOT), alas, it only took me about an hour and a half to create. Stick some funky tunes on and get chopping. The crazy thing about all of these flavours is that they all work together! Nothing really overpowers anything else and it is a nice harmonious mix in the belly (and head) :D

* T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon.
Just incase...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A stew and two massive plates.

Sometimes you see a recipe online and you just have to try it! This happens to me often. They get stuck in my head and a lot of the time I subconsciously end up buying ingredimots from a recipe I have read and liked. This one is from the gluttonous vegan (she seems super cute) and was adapted by moi.

I added lots more vegies and made it more of a zucchini stew with not as many chick peas. I don't think I toasted the spices long enough because it has a strange earthy flavour. Anywho! Still very tasty and healthy and full of all things that are generally in your cupboard. Easy peasy!



Earthy Zucchini Stew:
1 onion, sliced
3 chopped cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, mustard seeds, ground turmeric, ground ginger, nigella seeds
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 a shredded cabbage
1 big zucchini, cut into chunks
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 can of chickpeas
250ml of vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste

In a big saucepan heat some vegetable oil and throw in your onion and garlic. After a couple of minutes add in all of your spices and wait til you hear them start to pop.
After that, add in all of your vegies, your chickpeas and your stock. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until they are tender.
Add in tomato paste and season to taste. I ate mine with a simple cous cous and some yoghurt on the side. Delish and so quick!

Muffin and I both felt we hadn't been on a proper food shop in a good couple of months (with starting a new job and whatnot) and so we went a tad crazy yesterday and stocked up on some fresh and delicious things.
Hence my MASSIVE breakfast/lunch plate yesterday. I ate most of it too......


it was brie, mushroom pate, sundried tomatoes, olives, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, pickle, basil, rocket, mushrooms, potato salad and a delicious home made bread roll (thank you bread god, aka dad)

Tonight I followed my own theme and had another giant plate. This time the plate was smaller than my wrap. Fo serious! 


I had a huge spinach tortilla and filled it with about a trillion things: avocado, brinjal pickle, mushroom 'pate', rocket pesto (hello condiment city!!), toasted sesame seeds, mushroom, tomato, baby spinach, cucumber, olives AND sun dried tomatoes. I tell you what. Sometimes I get carried away and it doesn't taste good. hahaha. No, no, this was tasty - verrryyy full of flavour. Here's a pic with a small bowl of my vegie stew for the sake of scale! 


Wow.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lasagna, lasagne, lah-san-ngah!

Lasagna's are so simple, this is just another variation whipped up with whatever was at home. I was laughing with my mum the other day that I've been making them since about the age of 12 and that I still remember my first Home Ec class in school when I was 13, where we all sat around to learn how to make A SANDWICH!!!! I was mighty confused and whipped up the sandwich in no time and didn't really understand how others were finding in difficult?!


(this looked a lot prettier before dad hacked into it!)

Anywho, as time has gone on, baking lasagna is in my blood! This is solely due to my mum, because I would sit in the kitchen as a little kid very awe-inspired that she could do so many things at once and end up with this amazing result of a lasagna! It's a great meal to make as you inevitably always have too much sauce left over which in turn makes great pasta sauces or pizza bases! Three meals in one! I'm really thinking like a mum now ;) Also, muffin LOVES LASAGNA - so its a very great skill for me to have!


Vegetarian Lasagna
2 whole zucchini's, sliced 1/2 cm thin
1 eggplant, sliced 1/2 cm thin
1/2 pumpkin, sliced 1/2 cm thin
1 sweet potato, sliced sliced 1/2 cm thin

olive oil
salt
pepper

3 giant field mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped finely

Approx 1 cup basic pasta sauce recipe (substitute lentils, beans and soy granules for the soy chunks)

1 cup dried soy chunks * (I buy mine at an indian grocer - you just rehydrate them in water and they puff up and are quite firm but squishy)

Approx 1/2 cup basic bechamel  (or soy)

1/2 cup cheese (optional)

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Lasagna sheets (mine were skinny, I used about 9 and made a giant lasagna)

HOW TO:
Roast zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin and potato on baking trays with salt, pepper and olive oil for about 20 minutes.

Fry mushrooms and rosemary in olive oil until browned.

Assemble lasagna by adding a small layer of tomato sauce, lasagna sheets, vegies and so on. Top with a final layer of lasagna sheets, all of the bechamel and finally, the cheese. Top with sesame seeds for a nice crunch and also a nommy toasted flavour.

Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

Eat with a nice green salad and deliciously fresh bread rolls your father has made moments earlier!



*My sister and I didn't really like these chunks as they are really meaty! My dad even yelled the words "what this meaty stuff?! Yeah.. I thought it was meat - its like sausages!" .... I no likey.

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