Asian style broccoli

I love broccoli in most things, but this has to be one of the absolute best ways to eat it.

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Ingredients – serves 2-3
1 pkt broccoli, steamed, about 250g
Pinch garlic powder
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp hot Paprika
1tbsp toasted Sesame oil
Toasted Sesame seeds to top

1. Mix everything together
2. Serve immediately
Enjoy!

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oat & banana flapjacks

This recipe was adapted from the Dietician UK website.

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Ingredients – makes one 9×13″ pan

400g rolled oats (I used 300g jumbo organic steel cut and 100g mornflake instant)
150g butter or spreadable butter, or margarine/ non-dairy alternative
2 tbsp honey or golden syrup
2 large, ripe bananas, mashed

1. Melt the honey or syrup and fat together in the microwave, in a large bowl.
2. Mix all the ingredients together
3. Spread into an oiled, parchment lined 9×13 ” pan and bake at 150 degrees C (fan). No need to preheat.
4. Half an hour later, or when the top is starting to turn golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Allow to cool fully then store in an airtight container.
Enjoy!

Incredible korean style crispy green pancakes – vegan, gluten free, low carb, paleo

You know when something tastes so good you can’t resist eating it while you cook, and when you finally get to the table you forget all about things like table manners and cutlery and start tearing bits off with your hands in excitement? This is one of those things. It took me a full 15 minutes of eating before I could muster enough sense to pick up the fork. I’m stuffed now but still find myself longingly staring at the uneaten half of my third helping. Oh yes. This is one to get the fat-pants out for.

Except, it isn’t… It’s almost all veggies, with gram flour, onions, vegan kimchi  (thank you miss Maangchi!) and seasonings – apart from the oil used to fry them in there aren’t that many calories in them at all, for the way they taste. It’s like an amazing, crispy, pakora-like pancake but a billion times better… No overabundance of powdery dough, just the sweet, cruncy green veggies coated in a light layer of delicious, crisp, spicy batter… If I don’t stop describing this thing soon I’ll cave in and finish my plate. Make this. Especially if you find – as we did – a beautiful bunch of beets with greens intact that it’d be a crime to waste. They’re like kale but softer, less grassy and more sweet tasting. Although I’m sure baby kale or de-veined regular kale would work just as well.

Adapted from Maangchi’s kale pancake and kimchi pancake recipe vids on YouTube.

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Here it is next to some stir-fried veggies… Yummm

Ingredients – serves 3-4
1 large bunch of beet greens with stalks, maybe 150g, chopped
1.5 pak choi, washed, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green onion (scallion), chopped
1 medium chilli pepper, de-seeded and chopped finely
1/4 tsp smoked Paprika
1/2 cup kimchi of choice (we used vegan homemade – to Maangchi’s easy recipe with soy sauce instead of fish sauce & pear instead of rice flour slurry)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp toasted Sesame oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp salt
About 3/4 cup water
Up to 1 cup gram flour, or as much as required to make a thin batter that coats everything.
Generous amount of oil to fry in (2tbsp per pancake)
Optional – toasted Sesame seeds as garnish

1. Put everything except frying oil and gram flour in a large bowl
2. Mix well then add half the gram flour, mixing and gradually adding more until a thin batter coats everything and there are a few tablespoons more of it at the bottom of the bowl
3. Heat your pan with 2tbsp oil on high, putting ladlefuls of the mixture into it when hot, then flattening them out to make a relatively thin pancake (thinner means crispier and tastier). Fry until crispy on the bottom (around 3 min) then flip using a spatula, or just using the pan if you want to show off. Cook the other side until that’s crispy too, a few more min.
4. Transfer to a plate then start the next pancake in the same way. Stack the pancakes to keep them warm as you cook. Try not to eat too many as you fry!
5. Serve immediately, topped with toasted Sesame seeds if you like.
Enjoy!

Vegetarian cheese buldak – vegan option

This was adapted from Maangchi’s recipe on YouTube for tradition korean cheese buldak – firey chicken topped with cheese. We made it twice in the last two days with our chosen chicken substitute and it is delicious! Spicy, flavoursome, savoury with a little hint of sweet, a little crunchy from the veggies, soft and juicy from the “chicken” and covered in cheese- what’s not to like? Sometimes fake meat recipe substitutions fail because the flavour is off, in this it was perfect because all the punchy pepper and strong flavour takes over and all you really need from the substitute is its texture.

I’ve made a couple of changes to her recipe – first I added some fresh (unfermented) kimchi because, hey, why not? (also made to her “easy kimchi” recipe but made vegan and lower carb by using soy sauce instead of fish sauce and pureed pear instead of rice flour slurry), and I didn’t have any korean hot pepper flakes or paste in the house so I substituted with a mix of hot and smoked Paprika, and a few crushed chili flakes and some other stuff, to mimic the smoky-hot-sweet flavour.  If you want to make this vegan just use a vegan cheese on top instead (she used mozzarella so something like that, we used feta because we had it in the house and my other half has a thing for it).

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Ingredients – serves 2 generously, 3 moderately

1 med/ large onion, diced
Sunflower oil to fry – 2tbsp
500g chicken substitute of choice – we used quorn chicken style pieces (nb ours contains egg)
1 cup vegetarian kimchi (you can leave this out if you want)
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp pomegranate molases (optional)
1 tsp each smoked & hot paprika
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder (more if you like garlic)
1/4 tsp ginger powder (or less to taste)
4 tbsp Sundried tomato paste
2 tbsp toasted (dark) sesame oil
4-6 tbsp crispy onion pieces, optional
400g cheese of choice to top – we used 200g feta because that’s all we had about

1. Fry the onion in a little oil in a large, heavy frying pan until starting to brown
2. Add the “chicken”, kimchi if using, and fry for a couple of minutes
3. Mix all the other ingredients apart from cheese into a paste, then add to the pan with about 1.5 cups water, stirring very well
4. Stir, cover and simmer for about 12 min or until “chicken” is done – don’t let it boil too dry and burn though. It should have a thick juicy sauce. In the meantime preheat the grill /broiler to high
5. Top with cheese and a little more water if the sauce is too dry (the grill will dry it more) – just a couple of tablespoons – then grill until cheese is toasty and soft. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Sweet potato & chickpea mash

With sliced green onion, veggie sausage and melted cheese on top. Yum, yum & yum!

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Ingredients – makes 1 bowl

120g steamed or roasted sweet potato, peeled, mashed
100g chickpeas, cooked, drained, mashed
Half a green onion (scallion), finely chopped
1 vegetarian sausage of choice, cooked, chopped
2 tsp mayo of choice (I used egg free homemade)
Salt & pepper to taste
20g grated cheddar to top

Put everything in a bowl apart from cheese
Mix well, then season
Add cheese then melt under the grill or in the microwave
Enjoy!

Amazing oriental style meatballs with rice

This recipe is adapted from Monique’s slow cooker lamb recipe on the Divas Can Cook blog. One thing about Monique is she really knows her flavours, this combination blew us away. This is a stovetop version using our favourite vegetarian meatballs, absolutely delicious on a bed of buttered rice (that’s rice 3 days in a row this week lol – my new favourite thing)

See previous post for rice quantities/method

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Ingredients: serves 4
600g meatballs of choice
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 medium red onion, diced
4 tbsp olive oil plus 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil (do not sub – important for flavour. Must be dark black brown coloured toasted sesame oil, not the light coloured version )
4 tbsp soy sauce (we used Japanese)
2 vegetable stock cubes, or 2 1/2 cups stock of choice (we used organic veg cubes)
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp thickener of choice – cornflour, flour or arrowroot (optional)
3 large cloves garlic (you can increase this, up to one small head, it’ll be delicious but the leftovers will be lethal – garlic develops in flavour & gets stronger over time)
1 sweet pointed red pepper, diced

To serve: rice & steamed broccoli

Method:
1. Fry the onion, garlic in the oils until soft & translucent
2. Add the pepper and ginger, fry for a couple of minutes
3. Add everything else except thickener, plus 2. 5 cups water if not using stock.  Dissolve thickener of choice in 2 tbsp water & pour in.
4. Bring to the boil, simmer 15 mins or until the sauce has thickened & meatballs are done
5. Adjust seasoning, then serve.
Enjoy!

Sweet potato and spinach curry with rice

This was too good of an experiment not to write down. Toooo good. Hot, spicy, satisfying, slightly sweet from the onion & sweet potatoes, perfect on a fluffy bed of buttered rice.  Not as fast as most of my recipes, but so, so worth it.

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Ingredients: serves 3-4
4 small yellow onions, peeled & diced
4-6 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil (we used untoasted sesame oil – anything with no strong flavour)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 rounded tsp each of: ground cumin, hot paprika (use something hotter if that’s what you like), garam masala (or mild curry powder as we used, not having anything else in the house)
2 rounded tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste (about 1 level tsp)
1 very large sweet potato, peeled & cubed (about 500g)
Half a bag of fresh spinach, chopped (about 100g)
4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Rice: serves 2-3 (nb: less than the curry serves. Just how it worked out)
1 builder’s mug full of good quality basmati rice (about 250g, we used Tilda)
450g water
2tbsp butter
1tsp salt, or to taste

Method:
1. Heat the oil on a medium low heat, in a large saucepan.  Add onion & garlic, cover and let cook for about 15 mins.
2. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another 20-25 mins until everything is very soft and mushy (I start the rice now so it’s ready with the curry, see below)
3. Put the spices in and fry for 2-3 mins until fragrant. 
4. Add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover at least 2/3 of them, about 3 cups. Cover. Bring to the boil.
5.  simmer curry 10 or so mins or until potatoes are soft. Break them up somewhat with a spoon to thicken the sauce.
6. Add spinach & fresh coriander and cook for another 2-5 mins.
7. Test seasoning, then serve.

Rice:
1. put the rice in a microwave rice steamer (or large bowl, or saucepan with a vented lid) and soak in lots of clean water.
2. once rice has soaked for a minimum of 5 min – drain water, rinse in fresh water then drain well again. Place in chosen receptacle (we used a microwave rice steamer) and add 450ml fresh water.
3. Affix lid (or cover bowl in cling film, pierce, then place whole bowl in a larger bowl) and microwave at 900W for 12 min, or until all the water has disappeared and rice is fluffy & soft.  If using saucepan, add water, cover & bring to the boil on a medium heat until water is absorbed (don’t uncover too much but make sure it doesn’t boil dry. 
4. Allow to stand 3 min before stirring in butter.
Serve.
Enjoy!