Meatless Monday: Kimchi Fried Quinoa

kimchi fried quinoa

I love quinoa. I really do. Give me rice, brown rice, couscous, and I’ll still be hankering for that bowl of quinoa. But, the truth is I can never really finish a serving of quinoa pilaf on its own, unless it’s got my favourite squash-kale combination spelled all over it.

I’ve had it in salads, granola, and more recently in a faux-pizza crust, but no other fanciful flavour quite takes the cake for me. That was, until I realise that you don’t need fancy to enjoy good food. And that’s when this easy kimchi fried ‘rice’ came into the picture, and I wiped out the bowl as fast as it took to cook it.

And just between you and me, I’ve had this 3 times in 2 weeks. Obsessed much? Continue reading

{Recipe: 2-Ingredient Pizza Dough}

2-ingredient pizza dough

You guys should know by now that I’m all for quick and fuss-free recipes, be it in cooking or baking. While some of us may have the luxury of time to bake and crumb coat and frost and decorate a three-layered cake, wait for two to three rising times of a loaf of bread carefully and gently kneaded with love, or even slave away at the kitchen at what appears to be a five-course meal at a restaurant, there is then me.

The one who wants to be in and out of the kitchen as fast as I possibly can, often times wishing for Calvin’s transmogrifier and duplicator, while the mister tends to an active almost-3 year old whose voice I can hear from down the stairs, singing an irreverent tune as of a running commentary on what she is doing, and a crankily teething baby who really just wants a hug (or two, or like forever) and chooses to let the whole apartment, and the passersby walking outside and possibly across the road, know of his discontentment.

Guess what I’m trying to say is, make this. Keep this dough recipe in your repertoire, even if you’re not half as frazzled as me. Because we could all use a little shortcut in the kitchen at times. And by the time the pizza, or dessert pizza, or tortilla, or quesadilla (all variations made with the same versatile dough) comes out from the kitchen, you’ll almost feel like yelling, “Who’s ya momma!!”.

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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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