Oh I love you Oskar Mini.

3 May

I have been on an Italian kick last week, and I blame it on the amazing spinach and cashew “ricotta” cannelloni that Danni made for us last week. It wasn’t even that hard to make, (save for useless weak blenders!) this will be a cinch to make now that I am in possession of an Oskar Mini. Goodbye crap blenders!

First up, Vegan Yum Yum’s Mac and Cheese. The recipe called for boiling the potatoes and carrot in a saucepan, but microwaving on high for 5-6 minutes does the job faster! I also skipped the baking towards the end as I was hungry and did not want to deal with more washing. So tasty and easy, and doesn’t thicken up quickly like the other recipes that use a heap of nutritional yeast and flour.

Two nights later, I made VYY’s Tomato Basil Cream Pasta, using a tin of tomatoes as I didn’t have any fresh ones. Also with the food processor (remember to put on the lid in the chute; I now have some pasta sauce on my ceiling), this was super fast. I might soak the cashews first next time as the sauce wasn’t super smooth. I also sauteed some marinated tempeh (soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper and sesame oil) before adding the sauce in. Whole wheat spaghetti has so much more texture than the white ones; I enjoyed the chewiness and the fact that it is almost impossible to over cook it – perfect.

Roasted some pumpkin, potatoes, brussel sprouts and an onion on the first night, then had leftovers over a salad on the second with a balsamic dressing.

DESSERT! Apple Strudel/Turnovers – thinly slice two apples, marinate in some cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, 3 tbs sugar and some lemon juice, then wrap it in thawed puff pastry. This one is from her book! I used two sheets of pastry, so had enough desserts for two nights, complete with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream each.

There have been a bout of cheeze posts lately on VegMel, with the latest being Vege Quiche. Sounds like a good plan for dinner tonight.

Mac N Cheeze
(from Vegan Yum Yum)

Macaroni for 4

1 Cup Peeled, Finely Chopped Potatoes
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Carrots

1/3 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Miso (I used red)
1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/3 Cup Nuttelex Margarine
1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1/4 cup water

Boil macaroni in a pot of salted water.

Cube potatoes and carrots and microwave on high in an air-tight container with vent with a bit of water, until soft. Takes about 6 minutes.

In the food processor, blend cashews, miso, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, Nuttelex, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper with 1/4 cup water. Then the softened potatoes and carrots, until sauce is smooth and creamy.

Serve this over cooked and drained macaroni.

Tomato Basil Cream Pasta
(from Vegan Yum Yum)

Whole Wheat Spaghetti for 3

1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/3 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/4 cup water

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1-2 tsp Freshly Cracked, Coarse Black Pepper
1 Large Handful Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

Marinated Tempeh

1/2 packet of tempeh
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs water
some ground white pepper

Marinate chopped (or broken up by hand) tempeh and set aside for 15 minutes.

Boil pasta in a pot of salted water.

Blend tomatoes, cashews, tomato paste and water until smooth.

Saute tempeh in some olive oil, until nicely browned, then garlic. Add blended sauce in and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I thinned mine out with some water. Salt to taste. Add cooked and drained pasta in, then season with black pepper and chopped basil.

One sort of relaxing Saturday arvo

1 May

Yucks March and April have gone by so much faster than I had anticipated, and the food that I have cooked and ate have gone by unnoticed. Not that it really matters, but highlights were definitely in the form of chocolate cake, pancakes and tempeh that I all make on constant rotation. We decided that today was the day to relax for a bit before strapping ourselves down on the study chairs, and boy how lovely was the sun for a nice walk about! Continue reading

King of Mushrooms

2 Mar

We’ve just received a new design brief for class, and it involves designing wall decals for The Wall Sticker Company. Exciting! It seems like most of the current designs are very gender-specific; dinosaurs and cars for the boys, flowers and butterflies for the girls. Lots of floral, some video games-related and the occasional “furniture” theme for the general public. What would you like to stick on your wall? I am sort of thinking along the lines of a “roof” that is customisable, so that you can have your own shed inside! With little fun things to accessorise! We also have a couple of other projects involving other local small businesses, and a scarf for the upcoming Scarf Festival 2011 in Geelong.

This week, I realise that I’m willing to spend a lot more time in the kitchen if I had to cook for more than one, ie. myself. I bought the sweet potato on my first week back at school from Radical Grocery (which the new location makes it ridiculously easy for me to shimmy my way there between classes to get myself a Mr. Nice Guy cupcake), and only managed to cook it in week three. Anyway, this dinner was fast and easy, just the way weekday dinners should be.

Mashed sweet potato – Peel and cube sweet potatoes, microwave with a bit of water until tender, mash with Nuttelex, garlic powder, soy milk and salt.
Pan-seared king oyster mushrooms (love the chewy texture!) – Slice vertically into 6, marinate in 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp bean paste, 1 tsp dark sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, white pepper and a bit of water. Pan sear in hot pan/griddle until nicely browned.
Brocoli and sesame seeds – Microwave florets on high for two minutes, toss into pan with leftover mushroom jus, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

… and back to school.

15 Feb

Can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve been back in Melbourne. In the last month, I have been in Singapore, removed 2 wisdom teeth, gone to Taipei, eat amazing vegetarian food, returned to Singapore, removed another 2 wisdom teeth, celebrated Chinese New Year with congee, and back to Melbourne with bruises on my face and neck, courtesy of the surgery. And stitches in my mouth that I have no dentist or time to remove. 😦

But I managed to find time to cook tteokbokki and some ridiculously fudgey brownies with Steph on Saturday. And watch lots and lots of Gilmore Girls. 😛 Tteokbokki is so easy to make, and stores really well. A package of rice sticks feeds 4-5, depending on your preference for dessert, which in our case, was damn high.

You will also need this sticky spicy sauce from the Asian grocer, of which I paid $4.65 for, and soon find out that I already have one in the fridge. 3 months away and so must cook tteokbokki another 10 times this year. I reckon this will make a great paste for fried rice or fuscramble too.

Tteokbokki

1/2 a package of rice sticks
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 springs of spring onion, sliced
5 dried mushrooms, soaked and sliced
1 tbs chilli paste

Cover frozen rice sticks with hot water and let sit until slightly soften and separates.
Heat some oil in wok and fry garlic, then mushrooms for a minute. Add rice sticks and fry for a while, then chilli paste. Stir to coat everything, then a bowl of water to cover everything. Put lid on and let simmer until rice sticks have soften (pierce-able), add more water if necessary. When this is all ready, throw in spring onion and cook until just wilted. Sprinkle white sesame seeds and serve.

Hal’s Maple Chocolate Flax Brownies
(via La Dolche Vegan)

1/4c sugar
1/4c ground flax seeds (2 egg replacers)
1/2c maple syrup
1/4c oil
1/4c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2c flour
1/4c cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4c walnuts, chopped
1/2c chocolate chips

[wet] Stir together sugar, ground flax seeds (2 “eggs”), maple syrup, oil, milk and vanilla. Let stand for 10 minutes.
[dry] Stir in flour, cocoa, salt and walnuts until “just mixed”.
Pour into 8×8″ baking pan, sprinkle top with chocolate chips, and bake for 20-25 minutes 175C, until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool before cutting into squares.

(I mixed about 1/4c chocolate chips into the batter, and baked for 25 minutes in my loaf pan. Try to eat it the next day if you can.)

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

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