Satay Noodle Soup with Grilled Tofu

This soup was adapted from Shredded chicken satay noodle soup. Not such a great idea while we were having a heat wave, but still delicious and very healthy.

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Satay Noodle Soup with Grilled Tofu (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 large red chilli, diced

1 tablespoon diced ginger

2 medium brown onions, chopped

5 tablespoon natural peanut butter

3 tablespoon soy sauce

2 litres vegetable stock

sea salt to taste

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

2 bunches buk choy/other asian green

2.5 serves bean thread noodles/other noodles

2 x 200 g packets of marinated satay tofu (or homemade)

coriander (optional)

Method:

1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and red chili. Saute for a 5 minute or until the onions are browned.

2. Stir in the peanut butter and soy sauce.

3. Add the vegetable stock and whisk so the peanut butter mixes well through the stock.

4. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 30 -40 minutes. Season with sea salt or more soy sauce.

5. Wash and slice the buk choy and leave to the side.

6. Bring the kettle to the boil, then fill a pot and soak the Bean thread noodles for 5 minutes, then strain.

7. Add the coconut milk to the soup and season with more sea salt if you need.

8. Add the buk choy, let it wilt, then turn off the heat and add the noodles.

9. Before serving the soup,  slice the tofu and grill it. Then serve the tofu on to of the soup. Also top with some fresh coriander if you have on hand.

*Serves 6

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New Beginnings

I’m back again after a little break from blogging. I finally have some time off after seeing the dentist. I have a few days off to recoup at home. Finally got out my last wisdom tooth. The one I begged the dentist to leave last time because I couldn’t have him take 2 at the same time again. This little break is also great timing for me to start packing up my things, because we signed papers to buy a house this weekend past! After two years of looking off and on and many disappointments we have finally found the one for Marco and I to start our adult life together. I say ‘adult’ because we are going to have to start doing things for ourselves. Although I love to cook I’m not a great cleaner. Marco on the other hand loves to keep his room in order, but we both can’t iron his shirts. But its time to grow up and leave the nest!

A couple of nights ago mum took us out to dinner to celebrate. We decided to try Rouj Modern Lebanese. I discovered them a few weeks ago at Rosalie. They were full with people and the reviews are great too, so they must be doing something right. After checking out the online menu I found a dish that was vegan friendly. I ordered the Vegetarian Delight, which included ftayer (pastry filled with spinach), Silver beet rice roll, pumpkin kebbi, hummus (instead of tzaziki) mjadra, tabouli, pickles, Lebanese bread. I was so full after this that I didn’t have room for anything else.

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Other vegan eats this weekend was brunch at The Green Edge. Marco was the one that suggested to go. He just loves their vegan burgers, brownies and milkshakes, but we still hadn’t tried their breakfast. We ordered a little too much but the food was fabulous! Marco and I shared the Big Breakfast, which had tofu scramble with garlic-sautéed mushrooms; smoky strips; breakfast potatoes; toasted Turkish bread with guacamole; seitan sausage patties, served with a homemade tomato relish. Mum had the special, smokey strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capsicum Relish. We also all shared the Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup. Can’t tell you what was my best part because I loved all of it. Lucky for me our new house is just down the road from here, so it won’t be such a big deal to travel over for a bite to eat or replenish my vegan pantry.

The Big Breakfast

The Big Breakfast

Smokey Strip Sandwich with Roasted Capscium

Smokey Strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capscium Relish

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Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup

Other then buying houses and eating out, the weekend before I visited the Organic Growers Fair.  Marco is obsessed with growing trees at the moment, so I picked up for him a dwarf Mango, dwarf Apple and Vanilla bean orchard. He also has a dwarf lemon, dwarf lime, dwarf mulberry, dwarf avocado, more avocado trees. At the moment they are all in pots, so hopefully we will plant some at a new home.

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Here a just a few of the trees we have transported to mine house. Isn’t he a gorgeous boy! Unfortunately he hasn’t been protecting our mulberries from the birds. He only chases people.

The following are some recipes I cooked during the week. This first one was my favourite. I have never cooked soup with old bread before. The first time I tried a soup with old bread was  the soup Ribollita in Sienna, Tuscany. The bread and vegetables were really mushy, but full of flavour. Pappa al pomodoro is another summer Tuscan soup. I used old ciabatta bread (finally some leftover). The rest of the ingredients were simple, evo, onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, vegan chicken stock and fresh basil. This had to be the most delicious soup I have ever made. Marco was a really big fan and said it tasted like real Italian food.

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Pappa al pomodoro (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

900g fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

200g ciabatta bread/other ‘country style’ bread, remove crust

850ml hot vegan chicken stock

20 basil leaves, diced

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Boil a pot of water, then add all the whole tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you see the skin peel back a little bit. Then place tomatoes straight in a bowl with ice water or cool down with rinse with water in strainer. Once they have cooled down, peel the skin and then dice and set aside.???????????????????????????????

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add onions and garlic. Saute for 6-8 minutes on a low heat, not letting them brown.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the tomatoes to the pot. Leave on a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.

4. In the meantime tear the ciabatta bread into small pieces and heat the vegan chicken stock.

5. Add the bread and stir through a couple of times.

6. Gradually add hot stock and allow it to soak up all the bread.

7. Add the basil leaves and season if you need. Cook for one more minute.

8. Serve warm or wait an hour and serve at room temperature.

*Serves 4-5

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I have finally found and eaten golden beets! I got them from the Wednesday Farmers Market in the CBD. They were only small but had the leaves attached as well. They are so delicious and sweet! I really nice change from the regular beets. I’ve never tried making coconut yogurt before, but it was really simple. I just added lemon juice to coconut cream. Just be careful to not add to much or it will be too sour. I got this idea to make chickpea nuggets from The Japanese Vegetarian Kitchen’sVegan Chicken teriyaki steak. Funniest thing was Marco took leftovers to work and some of the blokes sauce his container when he was heating the nuggets. They didn’t know whose it was but they were all trying to figure out what it was.

Sweet Sumac Tahini Chickpea Nuggets with Quick Coconut Yogurt and Quinoa Kale salad with Golden Beets and Sweet Potato (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Chickpea nuggets & sauce:

1 can chickpeas

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour

sea salt to taste

Ingredients for Marinate:

1 tablespoon tahini

2  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1 teaspoon crushed ginger

sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon agave

Ingredients for Salad:

4 small golden beets, sliced

1 medium sweet potato, sliced

olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 cups tuscan kale

sea salt

pine nuts

Ingredients for Coconut Yogurt:

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Then toss the golden beets and sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt and place on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked.???????????????????????????????

2. Mash the chickpeas with a fork and add arrowroot and plenty of sea salt. Then form into nuggets. I made about 9.???????????????????????????????

3. Combine all the ingredients for the marinate. Coat the nuggets in the marinate and leave in the fridge for 20- 30 minutes. Leave any extra marinate aside for later.???????????????????????????????

4. If you have’t already, cook the quinoa and prepare the kale. Chop the kale, then massage it with sea salt until the fibers have broken down. Once the quinoa has cooled down combine with the kale.???????????????????????????????

5. Heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil (olive/coconut). Cook the nuggets for a couple of minutes on both sides until golden.

6. Prepare the coconut yogurt by combining the ingredients the put to the side.

7. Toast the pine nuts.

8. Assemble the salad, then top with Chickpea nuts, extra marinate and Coconut yogurt.

*Serves 3

This was my veganised attempt of Sichuan Noodles. I swapped pork for brown lentils and shiitake mushrooms, egg noodles for sweet potato noodles, chicken stock for vegan stock, and hot bean paste (didn’t have any) for miso paste. Not sure how Chinese, but it was a healthier version.

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Spicy Shittake, Brown Lentil and Spinach with Sweet Potato Starch Noodles (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

100g cooked brown lentils

100g sweet potato noodles

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 tablespoon ginger, diced

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon dry sherry

2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 small red chilies, diced

1/2 tablespoon white miso or hot soy bean paste

1 tablespoon peanut butter

125ml vegan chicken stock

2 cups of spinach leaves  (chopped)

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook sweet potato noodles according to packet instructions.

2. In a bowl combine brown lentils, soy sauce, sherry, sea salt. Heat oil in a wok and saute brown lentils for 3-4 minutes. Then add shittake mushroom and cook for 2 more minutes. Take out of wok and place to the side.

3. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chili to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.

4. Add miso/soy bean paste, peanut butter. Heat for a few seconds.

5. Add vegan chicken stock and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens.

6. Add lentils, shiitake mushrooms, spinach and noodles. Heat in the wok until spinach has wilted. Season.

*Serves 2

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Healthy Italian Hot Chocolate for 2 (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 mugs of coconut milk

1 tablespoon cacao

1 tablespoon maca

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon vegan custard powder (to make thicker, optional)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in small pot. ???????????????????????????????

2. Heat on the stove on a medium-low heat and whisk while cooking. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until it thickens a little.

3. Serve immediately.

Straw and Hay Soy Mushroom Noodles

This is a quick dish I whipped up tonight for dinner and for tomorrows lunches. I am obsessed with Skiitake mushrooms at the moment and I love soaking them in liquid stock to give them a really nice flavor when you bite into them. If you want to mix noodles make sure you use ones that take the same amount of time to cook. These soba and ramen noodles are Organic Hakubaku Noodles, that are available at major supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.

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Straw and Hay Soy Mushroom Noodles (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 serves soba noodles

2 serves ramen noodles

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

1 bunch shallots, diced

1 large chilli

20g skiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup or vegan chicken or vegetable liquid stock or water

2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce

2 carrots, sliced julienne

1-2 zucchini, sliced???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions then strain and put to the side.???????????????????????????????

2. In a hot wok heat sesame oil, then add onion, garlic, shallots and chili. Cook for 2-3 mins or until slightly browned. ???????????????????????????????

3. Add carrot and saute for 2 more minutes.

4. Add mushrooms with the stock/water, and mushroom soy and cook for 4 mins or until the carrots are tender.

5. Add zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes or until zucchini are tender.

6. Add noodles and stir through. This should soak up most of the liquid. Add more mushroom soy if not enough flavor, then serve.

*Serves 4

Orange, Mint and Basil Noodles Stir fry with Assorted Mushrooms and Cabbage

I am addicted to mushrooms at the moment. Dried and fresh, I love them all. These little fungi are low in carbohydrates, calories, and sodium. They are cholesterol and fat free. They are also high in fiber, protein, a good source of B vitamins, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They are good for our metabolism and if consumed regularly are proven to decrease the amount of cancerous cells in our bodies [1].

I like to use them in pasta and noodle dishes to substitute where I would normally use meat. Dried mushrooms especially have a meat like texture and they help to make a balanced filling dish. I bought a packet of assorted mushrooms from the local Asian supermarket. They are really affordable and easy to work with. Another one of my go to recipes with dried mushrooms is Risoni Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Mushrooms. 

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Orange, Mint & Basil Noodles  Stir fry with Assorted Mushrooms and Cabbage (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 serve of brown rice noodles

1 garlic clove

2 shallots

1 red chili

1/2 cup cabbage

handful assorted mushrooms (dried & fresh)

1/2 cup vegan chicken or vegetable stock (or water)

10 basil leaves

10 mint leaves

segments from 1/2 an orange

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil (plus extra for wok)DSC02630

Method:

1. Cook the noodles according to packet directions, then strain and set to the side.

2. In the meantime dice the garlic, shallots and chili. Chop the cabbage and fresh mushrooms. Soak the dried mushrooms.DSC02632

3. Prepare the herb sauce. Place basil, mint, orange in a mortar and pestle. Then add sesame oil and tamari.

4. Heat the wok with a little bit of sesame oil. Then add garlic, shallots and chili. Cook for 1 minute.

DSC026345. Add all the mushrooms with stock and cabbage. Cook for 3-4mins or until cabbage has wilted and stock has dried up.

6. Add the herb sauce and noodles. Heat through for one more minute, then serve.

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[1] Leslee Dru Browning 2008, Mushrooms: The Underestimated Super Food, <http://www.naturalnews.com/024548_mushrooms_cancer_food.html>

Sizzling ‘Chicken’ with Kale, Peas and Noodles

Now I am back home I am back to cooking.  Don’t have much left in the fridge, but making use of the fresh kale and basil that I got from the farmers market at Murwillumbah yesterday  I wanted to make something different then my usually standard stir fry. I was looking through a Chinese cookbook and found Sizzling Beef dish. I used similar flavors for the sauce, but adapted the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t have vegan mock chicken strips, like  Fry’s Chicken Style Stripes, then you can substitute with tofu or shiitake mushrooms.

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Sizzling ‘Chicken’ with Kale, Peas and Noodles (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup mock chicken strips

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar

1.5 tablespoon corn flour,

soba noodles or prefered other noodles

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small red chilli, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 shallots, chopped

10 pieces tuscan kale, chopped

1/3 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce

Method:

1. Place mock chicken in a bowl and add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and corn flour. Stir through so that the mock meat is all covered and let it marinate for a few minutes

2. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions then place to the side.

3. Heat sesame oil in the wok then add garlic, chilli and shallots. Cook for 2 mins.

4. Add the mock chicken and cook for few more minutes.

5. Add kale and peas, vegan oyster sauce and cook until peas are tender.

6. Add noodles and cook only till noodles are heated through and coated in the sauce. Take off heat and serve.

This makes two large serves. If making for four you can use the same amount of ingredients for marinating the mock meat, increase by a little bit or double it. It depends how strong you want the taste to be.

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For dinner I used the huge bunch of basil to make pesto. I make the same recipe that I did last time for the Basil & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, but I used 1/4 pine nuts, 1/4 pecans, couple of pinch of cayenne and only pulsed the sun dried tomatoes through. I just served it with some hot fettuccine pasta. So simple and so delicious.

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Before I go a big thanks to Miss Marzipan who nominated me for the Blog of 2012 the Year Award. She nominated back in on 31 December last year and have been meaning to thank her since then. If you haven’t seen her blog she is a very creative girl, who lives in Sweden and blogs about her diy projects and her delicious recipes. I especially love her sweets recipes!

Thanks to her I have received my 6th star for the award! I promise I will reply to the other awards my blog has been nominated by fellow bloggers and share the love soon!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

‘Honey’ Soy Tofu and Vegetable Stir-fry

This afternoon we were debating whether to get takeaway noodles or make our own tonight. We decided we would eat more vegetables if we made our own, plus at least we would know what was in it. So we went to the local asian market at Darra and bought all the ingredients. I found heaps of vegan brands of Asian products that I would usually buy from the health food shop and they were much cheaper. The only thing is that I had to check the expiry date of everything very carefully. They just have so much stock, so I guess its hard to keep track of.

I’ve never tried mong toi before. It was the freshest asian green they had. It is also known as malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach, and climbing spinach. It has a nice flavor and has a bit of sap in the leaves, but you won’t notice it. I decided to use soba noodles, since I felt like something different. I’m not sure if the Soyco Honey Soy Tofu, that I got from Woolworths, was vegan. I made more sauce, so if you don’t get flavored tofu you could always make a double batch of that. I had some chicken stock left over, so I soaked the shiitake mushrooms in that. If you don’t have any at hand just soak in water, then add the water to the stir-fry. As for the vegetables anything goes. I always like to have onion, garlic and ginger to start with and add whatever I have in the fridge.

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‘Honey’ Soy Tofu and Vegetable Soba Noodles (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 garlic cloves

1 nob of ginger

1 onion

1 carrot

10 snake beans

1 zucchini

handful of shiitake mushrooms

1/4 cup vegan chicken liquid stock (optional)

bunch of mong toi or asian greens

1x packet of honey soy flavored tofu

soba noodles or other noodlesP1000468

Ingredients for sauce:

2 tablespoons mushroom soy

1 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons agave

1 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

1. First prepare all the vegetables and tofu. Dice the garlic and ginger. Slice the onion and cut the carrots julienne. Cut the zucchini and snack beans. P1000469Dice the stems of the mong toi and slice the leaves. Soak the skiitake mushrooms in stock or water (just enough to cover). Cut the tofu in cubes.

2. Boil water and cook the soba noodles and put to side.

3. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Just combine the ingredients in a small bowl.P1000471

4. Heat coconut oil in the wok. Then add the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot (I don’t like the carrot crunch). Cook for 3-4 mins or till onions are browned.

5. Then add the snake beans, zucchini, stems of mong toi, shiitake mushrooms, soaking stock/water and sauce. Cook for 3 mins or until tender.P1000472

6. Add tofu and mong toi leaves. Cook for 2-3 mins or until the leaves go limp.

7. Lastly, add the noodles and heat through before serving.

*Serves 3-4

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Bean Thread Noodle & Vegetable Stirfry

Bean Thread Noodles are my favourite noodles. They are gluten free, quick to prepare and not heavy, so you feel great after you eat them. When I have a busy study day downloadand I want a quick lunch I usually make this dish. Its very quick, healthy and satisfying. Even though the individual packed noodles look small,  after you cook them they look like a lot more then what you started with. But never fear they are not fattening, so don’t feel guilty eating them all. They are also extremely cheap here in Australia. You can buy them from Asian supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths. I know they are usually about $0.97 for a 5 pack from the big supermarkets. At the Asian supermarkets you can also find other starch noodles made of potato, peas and mung bean starch. They all taste great, well rather they don’t have much taste at all, but they soak up what every else you are cooking with it.

I also discovered a great chicken substitute that is vegan. You can buy it from the big supermarkets or health food shops in the frozen section. It is download (1)Fry’s Chicken Style Stripes. My boyfriend and his little nieces and nephew didn’t even realise they weren’t eating chicken, when I made it a couple of weeks back. According to his niece ‘this is what chicken taste like when chickens eats lots of vegetables’. I doesn’t taste exactly the same, but its closer then tofu. Of course its not an every day thing to eat, but its a nice comfort when you are craving chicken.

The ingredients for this recipe can be altered. The vegetables are all optional, depending on what you have in the fridge. For me onion, garlic and ginger are a must and the rest doesn’t matter, so long as you have some leafy greens in there as well. As for the soy sauce, sweet chilli and oyster sauce (vegan), add as much as you like. I usually start with a little bit then add more depending on the taste. Basically more soy sauce for salt, more sweet chilli or sugar (if you don’t have for sweet chilli  for more sweet or to balance the salt and more oyster sauce for more flavour. To make this perfect you need to be quick and not let anything cook for too long, otherwise the vegetables will go limp and the noodles will all break up.

Bean Thread Noodle & Vegetable Stirfry (gf, nf)

Ingredients:

3 packed thread bean noodles (1 per dish)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 red onion diced (or other)

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 small knob of ginger, diced

2 baby leeks, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, diced

2 carrots, chopped into match sticks

1 small red capsicum, diced

1 handful of mushrooms, diced

1 large zucchini, chopped into match sticks

2 big handfuls of baby spinach

1-2 tbsp soy sauce

1-2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce

1-2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp of mirin (optional-its sweet)

200 grams Fry’s Chicken Style Stripes (1/2 packet) (optional)

Method:

1. Boil water in the kettle and take a large bowl. Soak the noodles in the bowl with boiled water.

2. Heat coconut oil in a wok, then add garlic, onion, ginger and leeks. Cook for 2 mins, continuously stirring so all gets cooked evenly.

3. Add the carrots, celery and capsicum and vegan chicken strips. Cook for 3-5 mins

4. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 mins.

5. Add noodles and spinach, and add the sauces and stir through. Once you have the flavors and strips have cooked through you can serve.