Archive | January, 2011

LivingGreens

20 Jan

I got to the dental clinic this morning, just to find out that those stitches holding my gum together can’t be removed as my gums are still too swollen, I can hardly open my jaws to chew, and there will be far too much discomfort. So more medication and back to the clinic on Saturday. AND scheduled to have the other 2 teeth removed on the 31st when I return from Taipei, Taiwan.

Dropped by the office for lunch with my family and colleagues. More dining companions, more options! Living Greens is a 5 minutes walk from the office, but such a shame that I’ve only been here twice. The menu is extensive, with about 6 daily specials including sides and mains. This is another one of the “organic healthy-eating eastern-western” places like Onaka, but absolutely vegan! It boasts of being MSG, white sugar-free, low salt and oil, while cakes are GF. Continue reading

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Onaka

19 Jan

I love how every trip home brings about new experiences and people. I’ve spent almost all of my summer vacation drinking expensive soy flat whites (and sugary soy lattes from one of the 70 ****bucks on this island) playing Scrabble and doing crosswords that stump me at every pop culture clue. My new friend A, is adamant in kicking my Scrabble ass and the recent scoreboard looks something like this: Em-10, G-2, A-2. In A’s attempt to fulfill his new year resolution of eating healthier, we went to Onaka for dinner one weekday night. Continue reading

Ling Zhi Vegetarian

16 Jan

I just got 2/4 wisdom teeth out on Thursday, and holy poo of the cute baby, cannot get the sound of the drill out of my head. They were all under the gum, with the top two being impacted, so had to be removed to prevent decay of the other surrounding molars in future. He had to split open the gums and saw the top tooth in half due to its awkward position. It was very very awful. And looking at these pictures of delicious food only serves as a reminder that I’ve had 3 meals of congee and 2 of oatmeal.

I’ve been yearning for some super tasty dim sum for a few months now, even though Vegie Hut in Box Hill does a pretty fine one, it still doesn’t come close to what I’ve had in Singapore and Hong Kong. I suspect that this might also have to do with the memories associated with the usual family Sunday yum cha, as with most food we eat anyway.

We had some half-off vouchers to use at any Tung Lok Group of restaurants, and so went to Ling Zhi (灵芝) Vegetarian to check out their dim sum. The selection was plentiful, and the ala-carte menu was also available to choose from. We started out with one of my favourites, Crispy Fried Yam Dumplings (芋饺) and it did not disappoint. The filling was warm and creamy, oozing out just slightly and was a delight against the crispy outer shell.

No self-deserving yum cha fanatic will skip this essential dish. I could eat Cheong Fun all day. Continue reading

Sorta Italian Dinner

10 Jan

It is hard for my family to sit down and heavy a meal together. Now that I’m home for a little while, I’ve made a conscious effort to make at least one dinner a week for all, in a bid to negate all the carcasses that they put inside their bodies for the other 13 meals per week. I make all vegan meals and sometimes that doesn’t really excite the omnis so they make extra meaty stuff. We eat out at Chinese places almost exclusively, so when I bought polenta / corn grits at the fancy supermarket one day, I decided to make it an Italian night.

Polenta was made by sauteing 1 diced onion, garlic and pepper, before adding in 2 cups of corn grit with 5 cups of broth and 1 cup of soy milk. Simmer on low-medium heat, stirring constantly (!!!!!) until it is thick and most of the water has been absorbed. Your arms should ache after 30 minutes. Transfer to a cling wrap-lined baking tray to cool for at least an hour. It will harden and taste frickin’ good even when cold. Slice and pan fry until golden brown before serving.

Red wine mushrooms was easy (and lazy). Quarter some swiss brown, portobello, etc., and toss them in a heated oiled pan with some minced garlic. I also added hojimeishi mushrooms. When they are nice and brown, pour in some red wine where it just covers the surface of the pan, or more. Let it bubble away and when most of it has evaporated, throw in a pinch of S&P and chopped parsley. Stir around until it has just wilted and serve.

And there was a try of roasted vegetables – pumpkin, potatoes, onion, carrots and beet. I tossed mine in some balsamic vinegar when they were just out of the pan. I need to find better ways to dress my roast. And ways to cook a beet because it is certainly not a Chinese vegetable that I’m familiar with!

Happy 2011!

6 Jan

HAPPY 2011!

Of all the silly resolutions that I plan to keep such as:

1. Eat right – focus on health
2. Less fluid time
3. Discipline – sleeping, waking and working

The last one seems to be the hardest. It also involves being disciplined enough to write my posts quite close to when the actual event occurred. Not weeks or month *hangs head in shame* after, when I have close to recollection of said event until flipping through pictures in the camera. 😛 Also, that is the Rilakkuma oven mitts that I got for Christmas, along with a million other Rilakkuma goodies.

I purchased the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook back in the Fall of 2009 while I was in Chicago. But I didn’t bring the book back to Melbourne with me in 2010 so had not tried many recipes. Finally got down to doing so when I selected three dishes to make for our weekly family dinner (that my parents would actually eat). I ran out of time so ended up with 2, and saved the third for lunch the next day. Easy peasy.

Roasted Cauliflower and Wilted Spinach Salad (p212) was absolutely delicious, the recommended serving of 4 was enough to feed 8 when paired with one or two sides. Leftovers was enjoyed cold the next day; I will make this for my school bentos for sure. Dad being my dad, left the raw spinach leaves untouched; he likes his veggies cooked through. I think roasted cauliflower is a bit underrated, this needs to go into future roasts more often!

Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder (p171) was also a hit! As usual, the portion was so generous that I had soup for my next two lunches. It was so hearty and was a breeze to cook. It asked for 3 cups of fresh sweet corn, and I had to take 3 breaks between slicing the kernels off the cob because it was that painful for me. I hate doing such boring crap, but it seems like the extra work paid off, the chowder required a bit more salt than stated to balance out the sweetness. But if you’re pressed for time, then dump a bag of frozen corn into the pot anyway. Perfect with some crusty homemade bread.

Sugar and Spice Snap Peas (p111) was a cinch to make, but the sweetness in the sauce was a bit odd for me. I mixed it up with both snow and snap peas, and added some sesame oil in the sauce. The addition of chilli flakes in a sort of Chinese dish with soy sauce was also strange, I might try this again with chilli sauce instead, minus the agave.

words@random recently received this book and had a positive review of the Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta. I might make this soon!