Meatless Monday: Carrot Tofu Patties

eggless tofu burger patty

Since my first foray into tofu burgers, I’ve been playing around with a lot of recipes;- with breadcrumbs, without; with egg, without; with firm tofu, with silken tofu. And with that, comes several things I’ve picked up about tofu burger patties:-

1. Forget about the silken tofu. Save that for a chocolate mousse or a tofu brownie, and go firm tofu (or tau kwa) all the way.

2. It’s tempting, but try not to drop an egg into the mixture. That way, not only will you have a perfect meatless monday meal, you can safely serve it for vegan vednesdays as well. Okay, I totally made that up, but you get me.

3. Opt instead to pair tofu with vegetables like grated carrot and shredded zucchini, as well as black beans or pinto beans, to act as a natural binder, and added nutrients and flavour.

4. Season, season, season. Tofu’s pretty bland, which makes it a great vehicle for all sorts of flavours and spices waiting to burst on your palate.

5. Dry your tofu. The one I used here did not come in water, so it was perfect, but for regular versions, don’t skip the drying part, as tofu can contain a lot of moisture which will make your patties crumbly.

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Recipe: 4-Ingredient Healthy Wholewheat Banana Muffin (No Sugar, No Egg, No Oil)

wholewheat banana muffin

Ever since I began baking banana breads and muffins without any added sugar;- yes, not even unrefined sugar;-  I’ve never looked back. I’ve seen healthy recipes with added pure maple syrup, sucanat and honey, and all I can think of is;- one, they must have a sweet tooth; two, their bananas must not be spotty enough; and three, they must not have tried going the 100% banana route!

Seriously people, as daunting and drastic (and life-changing) as it may sound, slap that wrist, and drop that sweetener the next time you want to bake a banana bread or muffin. So what happens if it’s not as sweet as you like your quickbreads to be? Well that’s where your optional chocolate chips come in, for an easier transition. Or if it’s already baked, and you scream bloody murder “Thou liest, Ovenhaven! Thou liest!”, then make a healthy date syrup or chocolate glaze (add a lil cocoa powder to date syrup) to go with it.

There is nothing quite like embracing the natural sweetness of overripe bananas, lending a warm subtly caramelised flavour to their baked counterparts. And something as natural and basic as that definitely calls for a simple no-frills 4-ingredient recipe that is healthy, delicious and full of that yummy banana flavour! Continue reading

Love is Everywhere {Recipe: Wholewheat Strawberry Honey Muffins}

wholewheat strawberry pancakesI can’t even begin to recall when my last blog post was; the time of day, the emotional or physical state I was in, the dessert I had in hand (if anything, I’m certain I must’ve been munching something); everything is a blur. These days, timeline exists only this way for me: pre-kids, post-one kid, and post-two kids.

All praises to Him, I am now a mom of two. Something I still have yet to get accustomed to saying out loud, without doing a double-take and giggling to myself. I admit I still have yet to fully grasp the art of being a helicopter-parent / homeschooling mom / SAHM, and handling an active toddler and a clingy nursling concurrently, and I’ve been told things can only get more interesting. But I have had my good days when a silent self high-five awaits (silent because it means both kids are down for a nap at the same time;- too good to be true!), and not-too-good days when I wonder how my mother raised all six of us, with the youngest me forever tugging at her sarong.

But at the end of the day, at the end of each Duplo-stepping, sensory bin-toppling, and baby spit-up everywhere day, we return to this; a reminder of the overwhelming love that encapsulates my every day, as I hear my cradled 3-month-old baby-babble emotively in between nursing, while my 2.5-year-old holds my free hand and dances along to a random tune she came up with, laughing uncontrollably as the mister imitates her.

And yes, lil A, “when Adik (younger sibling) bigger, can share muffin”.

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One of Those Days {Recipe: One Pan Salmon with Roasted Vegetables}

one pan salmon with roasted vegetablesI’m sure everyone has had their fair share of one of those days when you feel uninspired and perhaps too busy and overwhelmed to spend hours to whip a complete meal in the kitchen, pored over the counter and stovetop, chopping and stirring and mixing and sweating and tasting (no wait, tasting is the best part actually). I for one have had perhaps a little too many of such days, particularly with an active and inquisitive toddler who never fails to be at my tails like a shadow, opening supposedly sealed drawers and cabinets in between exclamations of “Oh my!” and “What is this?”. And when those days come knocking by when all you want is minimal prep yet maximum foodie satisfaction, the oven’s your best bet.

With the beautiful amalgamation of flavours courtesy of the sweetness of the sweet potatoes balanced by the nuttiness of roasted broccoli and asparagus, and the sweet-sour zing of the cherry tomatoes, I must admit this dish to me is more about the roasted vegetables than the salmon itself. Though in its defense, the salmon baked to its dreamy pink hue, was juicy and moist, proving to be a favourite of lil A, who kept taking forkfuls, paired perfectly with her favourite carrot chunks. A well-rounded and beautiful meal, no one would’ve guessed you made it on one of those days.

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Ditch the Processed {Recipe: Easy Soft Flour Tortilla}

easy soft flour tortillaMuch like these so-easy-you’ll-never-buy-instant-ones-from-the-supermarket-anymore soft flour tortillas, I’m going to keep this post short and simple.

You need to try this. Trust me, you’ll be looking forward to brunch every weekend, where you will attempt this recipe in every thinkable flour combination you can possibly concoct from your pantry, and decide on which gives you the best flavour and texture your family approves of. (Mine is spelt flour, which makes these tortillas taste like my favourite Indian roti, chappati.) Sure, it takes a little more time than just ripping into the pack you get at the supermarket, but with only 5 fresh ingredients as compared to 10 – 15 ingredients you can barely pronounce, I say ditch the processed and go through this process. Your family will thank you. And it’s always a bonus when you see your 2-year-old’s eyes light up and say, “Toe-yee-yah!”. Continue reading

Toddler Tuesdays: Fluffy Vegan Pancakes (Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

dairy-free egg-free pancake

I know of some who turn their noses at the sight of the word ‘vegan’ in recipes. In fact, there are some who immediately gloss over vegan food blogs or Instagram accounts primarily on differing dietary preference reasons alone. It is a grossly common misconception that vegan foods and/or recipes are tasteless, bland, and lacking in texture and complexity of flavour because of the absence of fundamental go-to’s like eggs and dairy.

My first foray into vegan baking began when lil A started on solids, and I chose to strictly adhere to the no-eggs-and-milk-before-one rule, fearing any allergy on this lil bub of mine. It was difficult, and needed some getting used to, especially since I also opted to administer a refined sugar-free diet for her, turning to dates and bananas for natural sweetness. Now that we are assured that A is allergy-free, and loves her eggs and milk, I still turn to vegan recipes not only for the ease (oh you know those days when eggs or milk mysteriously disappears), but to share with other parents who may have difficulty baking / cooking for their little ones with allergy. And when they taste as good as these you’ll-never-guess-they-are-vegan fluffy pancakes, I know I had to share.

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