All posts tagged: vegetarian

A Healthier Meal Plan

We are getting this The Honesty Box delivered every week now. For $39.40 including delivery to Auckland central, our F&V small is 8kg (sometimes 10kg) of fresh fruit and vegetables. Shared between The Koala and I, this needs careful planning to eat everything before the next box arrives. I’ve been testing out gluten-free recipes and I think avoiding processed food is good practice regardless of my health concerns. I’m seeing an Endocrinologist (for the first time) today and hopefully there will be time to discuss diet and Graves Disease with him. I’m fairly adamant at this stage I want to try medication and diet only before than permanent options like surgery or radiation. If possible, I’d like to stay away from radiation. It’s starting to get cooler but since we’re still receiving salad ingredients, we shall eat salad this week. Here’s a guide to what we’re eating this week: BREAKFAST Avocado and tomato on toast Banana and peanut butter smoothie Cumin hash brown with a fried egg and grilled tomatoes Fruit and vege juice and soft boiled eggs Rice noodle soup …

Eggplant Misocheese recipe by Bunny Eats Design

Do Something With Eggplant Part 2: Eggplant Misocheese

A couple of years ago I tried to conquer my most loathed vegetable: the eggplant. The slimy fruit of nobody, I never thought I could like it. I grilled it and paired it with orzo salad and we ate it for dinner one night. The Koala left most of his eggplant on his plate. He wasn’t a fan either. I thought I had cooked it correctly but the evidence was clear. Eggplant 1, Genie 0. Your comments told me that I should give eggplant another chance (at some stage). Let’s call that experiment Part 1. Two years later, I have a different view on eggplant. Let’s call this Part 2. A few weeks ago, a group of us dined at Nishiki in Freeman’s Bay. I was delagated the pleasure of ordering for all (one of my favourite pastimes). One of Nishiki’s best dishes is the Bei-naso Misocheese (eggplant miso cheese) and I ordered 3 for the table. $9NZ for half an eggplant may seem steep but if you’ve ever tasted it, you’ll agree that it is …

Something Something Fritters

Fritters are a New Zealand summer icon. Any neighborhood fish and chip shop sells mussel fritters, paua (abalone) fritters, even pineapple fritters. These are usually deep fried, but at home, most kiwis pan fry or bbq (grill) fritters. I had never tried making a fritter. It was one of those simple iconic New Zealand foods that had somehow escaped me. A few weeks ago, with sweetcorn the cheapest it will ever get, 5 ears for 2 bucks, it was time to fritter. Sweetcorn fritters with salsa cream Makes 4 giant fritters or about 20 to 30 fun size fritters Recipe adapted from Lifestylefood.com.au Ingredients for fritters Sweetcorn kernals cut from 2 cobs 1/4 cup sliced spring onion A handful of coriander, chopped 1 cup grated cheese 1 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder paprika salt freshly ground black pepper 2 eggs, beaten 3/4 cups milk vegetable oil Preparation In a large bowl, combine corn, spring onion, coriander, grated cheese, flour, baking powder, salt, paprika and pepper. Stir to distribute ingredients evenly. Add beaten eggs and milk and …

The Koala’s Taters

The aioli I made today paired wonderfully with hot smoked salmon, roast broccoli spears and The Koala’s special potatoes. Our kitchen is mostly my domain, but The Koala has a few recipes up his sleeve, one of them being these fried potatoes. These potatoes are easy to make and uses very few ingredients. We usually have these with steak or fish and the crunchy outer gives way to a fluffy interior. Koala’s Taters (The Koala’s special recipe) Serves 2 Ingredients 3 medium potatoes 1 cup cooking oil Salt Preparation In a medium saucepan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil. Peel the potatoes, leaving whole. Once water is boiled, add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and once cool enough to handle, cut into 1.5 to 2cm (about 3/4″) thick slices. Heat 1 cup cooking oil in a deep skillet or a saute pan. Once oil is hot, using tongs carefully add potato slices to the oil in a single layer. Fry for 10-15 minutes until golden, turning once. Remove potato slices …

Tomato Soup

It’s been raining all weekend and we spent a hungover day holed up at home, wrapped in blankets, watching movies and feeling pathetic. It’s not super cold yet, but when you are feeling fragile, comfort is priority. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches was just the ticket – pretty easy to make and to eat. I always have canned tomatoes in the pantry. I buy 3 to 4 cans at a time because one brand or another will have a special deal on. Canned tomatoes are a handy base for pasta dishes, nachos, stews and more recently, tomato soup. In terms of equipment, you really need 1 large saucepan and a stick blender. You can use a regular blender if that’s all you have. I would use 1/2 a cup of milk minimum. If you’re prefer a bit more milk or even full fat cream, go for it! Tomato Soup Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 onion 1 clove garlic 2 cans of canned whole or diced tomatoes (400 grams/14.5oz each) 1 can of …

Try A New Grain

I get bursts of foodie enlightenment from non-foodie movies. Years ago, when I watched the Japanese epic film Seven Samurai, I learned that  millet was a food. In the movie, the poor, desperate villagers offer their precious white rice to the samurai when they could only afford to eat millet. I always wondered what could possibly be less precious than rice? In my life, rice has always been cheap. Many people will screw up their noses at millet as it’s known as bird feed. Not so glamourous and hardly something today’s foodie would choose to eat, right? Millet is technically a seed but used as a grain so for blogging purposes, I’m calling it a grain. Millet is gluten free and being a seed, it holds decent nutrients and makes a great substitute for pasta, rice etc. It’s very easy to cook, lasts in the pantry for ages and fairly versatile it seems. Tomatoes are in season here but if they are not, feel free to omit them or replace them with capsicum (peppers). I used …

Cream cheese stuffed mushrooms

I have no idea when I moved from the mushroom hating camp to the mushroom loving camp, but I love them fiercely now. There’s something uniquely satisfying about popping a whole stuffed mushroom into your mouth. Maybe it’s the piggish feeling that I like so much. I first tried these stuffed mushrooms when my sister cooked for us a couple of summers ago. My sister Joey can bake and cook. Her version had streaky bacon weaved throughout but I decided to try and make something similar sans-bacon. Not because I’m against bacon, not at all. But even a meat eater can enjoy these tasty vegetarian morsels. Mushroom hating camp may still not be convinced. These stuffed mushrooms are a summer BBQ winner. These can be made a day ahead and they cook quickly on the BBQ so you can pop these on the BBQ just before everything else as a tasty pre-dinner snack. They’re easy to make ideal if you want to employ any idle hands floating around your kitchen. My 30 mushrooms is just …

Caprese Salad

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event I have started to encourage us to try new food related things. If you have a blog and have tried something new this month, come and join this event. I put Caprese Salad on my Summer To Do List because I always loved the simple, contrasting ingredients. Summer tomatoes + soft milky mozzarella fior di latte + green fragrant basil. It looked easy but I’d never made it before. Since I just made mozzarella fior di latte from scratch, Caprese seemed to be the perfect way to enjoy it. The gist of it: Cut the mozzarella and ripe truss tomatoes into thick slices. Alternate slices on a platter. Tuck fresh whole basil leaves here and there. Finish off with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and black pepper. Dig in with forks 🙂 Check back tomorrow to see what I made with the rest of the mozzarella.

Macadamia Pesto (by hand)

Pesto is one of those things I buy all the time and I often wonder if it’s worth the price for what you get. Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive and with a macadamia nut tree in our backyard, I figured I should try to make some macadamia nut pesto. The macadamia nuts I harvested from our tree about 6 months ago are now dry are ready for eating. The nuts haven’t been roasted, but in their raw state, the are great for pesto. Let me start off by admitting I don’t own a food processor. I had one once but I never used it so I gave it away. This pesto recipe is all choppped by hand which doesn’t take long at all, but would be faster if you let a machine do the chopping. Saying that, it’s also really satisfying chopping up a whole bunch of stuff. I mixed this batch of pesto with a pan of whole button mushrooms and baked for 20 minutes in an 180°C / 350°F oven but this would …

Artichoke Dip

I’ve always wondered what artichokes were like and while I’m sure that fresh artichokes are different to the canned ones, I tested the canned ones yesterday because they were easily accessible and required no messy leaf scraping. What do canned artichokes taste like? The canned stuff has the textured of leeks and tastes a little like leek in a light brine. I was hoping for something stronger flavoured. I whipped up this artichoke dip on a sunny afternoon when we had some friends over. It didn’t take long at all and would go well with crackers, bread, crudites or with a platter. We also had a dollap on the side of some crumbed, pan-fried fish. It was really good. I admit, it’s mostly fat so resist the urge to eat all of it by yourself. Artichoke Dip Makes a party sized bowl  Ingredients 1 tub of cream cheese (250g) 1 can artichoke hearts (390g) 1 cup finely grated parmesan 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 clove garlic, finely chopped Optional: Salt Preparation Warm the cream cheese in …

Make Hollandaise Sauce

I made a ten egg hollandaise sauce once. Don’t be impressed, it wasn’t my intention. Years ago, long before I got into cooking, I tried to make hollandaise sauce. The sauce split on me. The recipe I found had the tip to salvage split sauce by adding it to egg yolks in place of butter. So I took my split sauce and added it to two egg yolks. It failed. So I tried to salvage it again. Ten eggs later, I had ten egg hollandaise sauce. That experience meant that for years, I didn’t attempt hollandaise sauce again for fear it would take ten eggs to get right. Well, it was time to put on my big girl pants and give it another try. Here in New Zealand, Eggs Bennie (Benedict) are held in high regard. On their own or with couple of strips of streaky bacon or smoked salmon and the compulsory toast or toasted English muffin, this dish can be found in cafes in every nook and cranny of the country. It takes …

Halloumi with Balsamic Reduction

There is an almost unbearable smugness that comes with frying up a piece of home made halloumi. It might be a bit of work, but the satisfaction and the cheese is completely worth the journey. A couple of weekends ago, I roped in my best friend Coco into a day of cheese making. She is more adventurous than I when it comes to cheese, but we have a mutual love of squeaky cheese or halloumi. As a virgin cheesemaker, I didn’t have a single specialty item I needed to make cheese, so instead of buying each new item on it’s own, I opted for the easy way out and bought a Mad Millie Fresh Cheese kit. There are several kits available, but for me, the fresh cheese kit meant quick results so fresh cheese it was. The fresh cheese kit also makes feta, quark, cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta. It’s not cheap at $70NZ but the items soon add up when bought individually and at least I knew I have all required pieces. The …

Do Something With Eggplant

As well as attempting to try new beloved recipes this autumn, I put “Do something with eggplant” on my list of things to try. You can read more about my autumn list here. Eggplant is one of those vegetables I loathed as a child. Shiny and sinister looking, their heft is light beyond their size. Slimy and bitter and neither egg nor plant, this weird looking vegeta-fruit was not a friend of mine. I hated mushrooms – which I adore now, courgettes (zucchini) – which I also love now. Over the summer, eggplant made appearances at a few BBQ feasts and I let my guard down. Maybe it was time to be a grown-up and try eggplant again. I decided to cook with eggplant for the first time ever. Maybe I should have introduced it slowly, as a minor part of a meal, rather than diving in and making it the star of the show. We had two eggplants and ate them with an orzo salad. I picked yellow and red tomatoes and rosemary from …

Spiced Carrot & Coconut Soup

With the amount of eating over the last 7 days, I’ve been craving some simple vegetable dishes. I had half a loaf of Blackwoods Bakeries focaccia from the weekend and my parents had just given me a big bag of carrots. What started off as a pauper’s dinner got fancy real quick. Don’t let the carrots full* fool you. This is a rich and satisfying soup. *Edit: Wow, genuine Freudian slip. Spiced Carrot & Coconut Soup Dinner for 2 or a starter for 4. Ingredients 5 carrots 3/4 can coconut cream 3 cups stock (I used chicken but use vegetable if vegetarian) 1 teaspoon green curry paste (check if vegetarian) 1 tablespoon olive oil Sage garnish  *Use vegetable stock if you want to make this vegan or vegetarian Preparation Chop the ends off the carrots and cut into bite sized rounds. I didn’t see any point in peeling these ones, it’s up to you. In a large pot, quickly brown the carrots in olive oil. Add the green curry paste and stir through. Add stock, bring to …

The Secret World of Private Kitchens in Hong Kong

Before our super epic trip, I’d mentioned to my cousin Charing that I wanted to dine at a private kitchen. From Wiki: Speakeasy, also termed private kitchen in Hong Kong (Chinese: 私房菜), is a term in modern Hong Kong referring to an unlicensed, restaurant-like establishment for eating. Some of the perceived problems with running a restaurant in Hong Kong—high rents and the common practice of landlords extracting profits from restaurants through clauses in tenancy agreements—have led to the establishment of this type of eatery. Owners also have the additional benefit that many government regulations concerning restaurants can be avoided. A typical speakeasy will be based in an ordinary apartment in a block of flats. Customers gain access by ringing the bell before the door is opened from the inside. Inside, the flat will be set out as a simple restaurant. Usually, it provides not only quality home-made food and drink, but a sense of being at home. Advertising is usually by word of mouth—it’s often not possible to have prominent signs outside to advertise the business’ presence, as with a normal commercial establishment. She knew …

Vegetarian superfoods dinner

A 2 course vegetarian meal with superfood. Quinoa (keen-wah) is a South American seed and “The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or mother of all grains”. You eat this, you can carry llamas and build civilisations at high altitudes*. Broccoli is awesome too. I’m pretty sure that if you eat broccoli you can move small hills and clear forests with your bare hands*. Quinoa salad with balsamic mushrooms and red onion. Brocolli soup served with buttered toast (not pictured). * Disclaimer. I’ve never actually done these things, but I have a vivid imagination.