Category Archives: cooking

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

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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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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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Mix-Pour-Walk-Away {Recipe: Upside Down Puffy Apple Pancake}

stovetop upside down puffy apple pancake

Need a pancake recipe for one? Not confident on flipping pancakes? Never too sure when the pancake is cooked through?

Then this is for you.

For something with a long name, this really ought to be called ‘The Lazy Pancake’. Essentially made from pouring the whole pancake batter at one go, this is what I turn to when I don’t have the time to stand by the stove cooking two to three servings of individual pancakes. With the high wet to dry ratio, however, this is not your typical old-fashioned pancake that soaks up your maple syrup. The texture is a little moist and denser than your everyday pancake, which makes a great snack on the go with powdered sugar on top.

With a simple mix-pour-walk away method that calls for no flipping, the only caveat here is the temperature control. You’ll need the lowest heat on your stove, and follow your instincts to check on the pancake. Too high a heat, and you’ll burn the apples; too long a cooking, and you’ll end up with a dry pancake. Having said that, I’ve burnt the apple slices once, and they still pretty much tasted great, and I’ve had a dry pancake a couple of times when I forgot something was cooking under that lid (yes, lid-covered recipes don’t serve well for forgetful janes like me), hence my addition of a grated apple into the recipe for added moisture and flavour.

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