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Vegan Mayonnaise

Last night I made vegan mayonnaise. I absolutely love whole egg S&W mayonnaise. I don't love the calories/fat.

I did the following in a blender:
About 400g of tofu (you can use soft or silken)
1 clove of garlic
Half a teaspoon of mustard powder dissolved in some water
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
(Other recipes say to add sugar if you want a bit of sweetness)
Water to combine

Blend til smooth!

Other people say you can use oil to bring it together, but I used water. I have it in a tub in the fridge and used it on some noodles/chicken last night with some avocado blended through. Don't get me wrong, you're not going to fool anyone that it's S&W Whole Egg mayo, but if you're craving something creamy and a bit healthier, it would be great on pasta salads or potato salads.

...

My eating is going well at the moment. I have eased off on the weighing/calorie counting and just trying to eat a bit more instinctively. I need to get more creative with food again but have been so wiped out from work it's hard. My fridge is filled with Lock'n'lock containers of food - am trying to cook bigger batches and using the left overs for lunch.

Other things I've taken to doing are roasting up 2 - 3 sweet potatoes with the skin on (no oil, just a dry roast) for about 30 - 40 mins on 180C. I then let them cool in the fridge and when I am craving something sweet, I have half a sweet potato with some sour cream or ricotta and some cinnamon. This is the high life!! But you don't get PSFG rolling with pastry :(

Overall I am wasting less food and feeling good. What are some things you are loving at the moment?

Berry Friands - gluten free

IMG_4259

I made a batch of these delicious Berry Cakes. They're friands to me. The recipe is similar to other friand recipes I've seen.

Ingredients

* 150g ground almonds (almond meal)
* 1 1/4 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
* 3/4 cup gluten-free plain flour [I'm sure you could use normal flour if you didn't need them to be gluten-free]
* 1 lemon, rind finely grated
* 5 eggwhites, at room temperature
* 150g butter, melted, cooled
* 150g punnet blueberries or raspberries

* [My alterations: I made half the batch Lemon+Poppyseed by replacing the berries with some lemon juice and a teaspoon or so of poppyseeds.]


Method

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12 x 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan or an 8 x 1/2-cup capacity mini loaf pan.
[I used a 6-hole friand tin which are 1/2 cup capacity, and put the rest of the mix into about 10 mini-cupcake moulds].

2. Place almonds, sugar, flour and lemon rind into a bowl. Mix well to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites with a fork until frothy. Add to flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in melted butter. Gently fold through berries.
[For one batch, I subsituted the berries for a squeeze of lemon juice and some poppyseeds]

4. Spoon mixture into holes so they are three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



These were absolutely delicious. I'm making them again for a baby shower high tea. I'm making some in the traditional friand shape, and some as little bite-sized cupcakes.

Pea and Ham Soup

I made a very tasty pea and ham soup the other day . . .

The only downside is that it took a very long time (3 hours) to cook fully, but the end result was definitely worth it. Also, not much labour. So good!

I used a recipe from here and modified it for what I had available:
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/6681/pea+and+ham+soup

I used whole dried green peas, diced ham (though I'd love to try it with a ham bone) instead of a ham bone, more carrots and celery, water + stock cubes instead of liquid stock.
Also, soaking the peas overnight wasn't necessary, just cooking them for longer worked fine.

Ingredients
500g dried split green peas
2 onions, minced
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
1 celery, finely chopped
1 tsp dried basil
2 bay leaves
2L chicken or vegetable stock
200g diced ham

Method
Put everything in a pot at once, bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours, stirring regularly.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chocolate Flourless Muffins

Choc flourless muffins!

On the weekend I made Chocolate Flourless Muffins. They weren't as difficult as I was expecting. They turned out really well. Absolutely delicious!! Pretty good for someone that doesn't bake very often. I recommend giving them a go. They're easily the most delicious chocolate thing I've ever made. The almond meal and the lack of flour makes for a light, moist, crumbly and chocolatey-ness that I can't resist. Yum!

IMG_4171
Melting the chocolate and the butter.


IMG_4173
After choc had cooled a bit, I stirred in almond meal, sugar and egg yolks and then folded in the whisked egg whites.



Recipe is from taste.com.au


Ingredients

* 150g dark chocolate, chopped
* 125g butter, softened, plus extra to grease
* 3 eggs, separated
* 1/3 cup (90g) caster sugar
* 100g almond meal
* 2 tbs caster sugar, extra


Method

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease 10 x 1/2 cup (125ml) muffin pans with the extra butter. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave on 50%/medium power for 1 minute or until smooth.

2. Add egg yolks, sugar and almond meal. Mix well. [I waited a bit for choc to cool down in case it scrambled the egg]

3. Use an electric beater or balloon whisk to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle over the extra sugar. Beat until firm peaks form.

4. Fold into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Spoon into the muffin pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Website says it makes 10, but I got 12. A couple crumbled a little when I tried to get them out, but the rest were fine. I suppose they could be made in paper to avoid this and make them easier to serve.

Butter Chicken

My mum made this and it was delicious - of course, we asked her for the recipe!! Mum always knows best:

Ingredients

Marinade

1 tblspn ( heaped) youghurt
1 tblspn chick pea flour (besan)
1 tblspn oil
1 heaped tblspn kashmiri chilli powder
half tspn tumeric powder
half tspn cummin powder
1 tblspn coriander powder
1.5 tspn salt
1 tspn ginger / garlic paste

plus – 1kg of chicken cut into bite size pieces

Method

  1. Mix all above marinade ingredients well and keep aside.
  2. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  3. Apply marinade to chicken and keep aside for approx 2 hours.
  4. Grill or pan fry chicken until almost done.


Sauce:

1 tspn oil or butter
a pinch of cumin seeds
2 tbspn tomato paste
a dash of thickened cream
half tspn salt
half tspn sugar

Method
  1. Heat a tspn of butter.
  2. Add cumin seeds.
  3. Immediately put in tomato paste and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add thickened cream and sugar.
  5. Add marinated chicken as prepared above.
  6. Fry for a few minutes, then add water. taste if salt is needed. add as desired.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes. the sauce must have a thickish consistency.
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. eat with rice or naan.

Thai Recipes from Thailand!

About 3 years ago, J and I made a trip to Thailand and did a cooking school there...we made some great food and I'm doing a massive houseclean atm - so thought I'd share these recipes and then get rid of the paper copies. The highlight was going to the wet markets and seeing these British girls squirm at having their pretty sandals getting all gunky in the fish water. Another highlight was a girl asking

'I don't like coriander, seafood or chilli...am I able to omit it from the Tom Yam soup?'

You know how nice the Thai are...they couldn't even give that a dignified response.

Enjoy!!

Green Curry Paste

Makes 250g

Ingredients

2 tsp coriander seeds
24 small fresh THai green chilli peppers
2 stems lemon grass
3 tbsp galangal, sliced
1 tbsp kaffir lime zest
30g coriander root
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
60g shallots, chopped
1 tbsp shrimp paste
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
salt and pepper

Preparation

  • Dry roast the coriander seeds until an aroma rises.
  • Ground, pound in a mortar or process chillies, lemongrass, galangal, coriander seeds, kaffir lime zest and coriander root together.
  • Mix in the remaining ingredients and grind into a smooth paste.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Note: Can be kept for 1 mth in an airtight container in the fridge or 6 mths in the freezer.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the shrimp paste.


Green Chicken Curry / Keang Keaw Wan Kai

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp green curry paste (as above)
0.5 tsp roasted ground cumin seeds and coriander seeds
1 cup coconut milk
70g chicken breast in bite sized pieces
2 eggplants, quartered
10 small 'thai' eggplants (once cut, leave in water/lime juice)
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
10 leaves Horapha basil (sweet basil)
1 fresh red or green chilli, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut cream
1 coriander leave

Seasoning

1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce

Method
  • Heat oil in wok until hot.
  • Add the curry paste, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, and stirfry until it becomes aromatic
  • Lower the heat and add the coconut milk, a little at a time. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken, both types of aubergine and cook until slightly cooked through and a touch brown.
  • Add the sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and chilli. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add basil leaves and mix well - do this off the heat. Transfer to serving dish.
  • Garnish with coconut cream and coriander leaf.


Phad Thai

Ingredients

70g rice noodles (3mm wide)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 prawns - shelled, deveined and headless - leave the tail on
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp yellow bean curd, finely diced
1 tbsp, ground dried shrimp
1 tbsp ground roasted peanuts
1/2 tbsp sweet turnip - pickled in honey, minced or finely chopped
1 stem spring onion (scallion) or Chinese flat chives cut into 2 cm pieces
30g bean sprouts

Garnish

1 lemon wedge
1 tsp ground roasted peanuts
Fresh coriander leaves for sprinkling

Preparation

  • Soak rice noodles in cold water for 20 minutes
  • Heat the oil in a wok until hot, break the egg into the oil and scramble it.
  • Add the prawns and the noodles. Stir fry for 15 seconds
  • Add the fish sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Stir fry for 15 seconds.
  • Add the dried shrimps, peanuts and sweet turnip. Continue to stir fry for a further 15 seconds.
  • Toss in the spring onion and bean sprouts. Mix and remove from the heat.
  • Garnish with ingredients as listed above.


Green Papaya Salad - Som Tam

Ingredients

70g unripe green papaya - peeled and shredded into long thin strips
1 clove garlic, peeled
5 green bird eye chillies
Handful of long beans/french beans - cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
1.5 tbsp dried shrimps
3 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

The Seasonings

2 tbsp palm sugar
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp lime sauce

Method

  • In a mortar, roughly pound the garlic and chillies.
  • Add the dried shrips and pound until crushed.
  • Add the beans, the peanuts and pound.
  • Add the sugar, fish sauce and lemon juice and stir together. Add the tomatoes and press with the pestle.
  • Add the papaya and stir until well mixed in.
  • Remove to a serving dish and serve at room temperature.
  • Note - you can use green mango if you can't get green papaya.


Sour & Spicy Prawn Soup - Tom Yam Koong

Ingredients

5 small chilies
1 stem coriander - roots and stems
250g seafood stock
4 pieces of thinly sliced galangal
1 stem lemon grass, finely sliced
1 kaffir lime leaf
2 pieces small button mushrooms, quartered
3 pieces prawn, shelled, deveined and headless (with tail attached)
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Nam Prik Phao (Chilli paste in oil)
1/4 tsp sugar

Prepration

  • In a mortar, crush the green chillies with the coriander (roots and stems).
  • Heat the stock to boiling point.
  • Add the galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves (tear them), curshed chillies and coriander and bring back to the boil.
  • Add the prawns, mushroom, fish sauce, sugar and chillie paste. Simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add hte lemon juice and remove coriander. Serve hot in individual soup bowls.

macarons!

I've been baking a bit, much to the delight of my co-workers. Last weekend I made macarons. They worked perfectly, I was pleasantly suprised after hearing so many horror stories of failure. I don't like to fail. My oven is very finicky, so I was very happy when they turned out perfectly. They were very very sweet though (I guess more the filling than anything) and actually gave one of my co-workers a toothache. Everyone else gave them thumbs up though:


Macarons with white chocolate and raspberry ganache
Serves 40
Cooking Time Prep time 20 mins, cook 15 mins (plus resting)
130 gm pure icing sugar
110 g almond meal
105 g eggwhite (about 2), at room temperature, left out overnight - I don't know what kind of giant eggs they are using, but it took me 3 eggs whites to get 105g
65 gm caster sugar
4-5 drops rose food colouring

White chocolate and raspberry ganache
50 ml pouring cream
100 gm white chocolate
45 gm raspberries, coarsely chopped


1
Process icing sugar and almond meal in a food processor until finely ground, triple-sift into a large bowl and set aside. Whisk 90gm eggwhite in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes). Add caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously until incorporated and mixture is thick and glossy (2-3 minutes), then add food colouring. Stir in almond mixture in batches until incorporated and mixture slowly slides down sides of bowl when bowl is tilted. Add remaining eggwhite to loosen mixture, spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe 3cm-diameter rounds of mixture onto heavy baking-paper-lined oven trays, stand until a crust begins to form (4-5 hours).
2
Preheat oven to 140C. Bake macarons until firm but not coloured, swapping trays halfway through cooking (10-12 minutes (more like 20 mins!) ), set aside, cool completely on trays.
3
Meanwhile, for white chocolate and raspberry ganache, bring cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand until melted (5 minutes), stir until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate until firm yet still pliable (45 minutes-1 hour) then stir until smooth. Add raspberries, stir to form a ripple effect, then spoon a teaspoon of ganache onto half the macarons. Sandwich with remaining macarons and refrigerate until set. Macarons will keep for 1-2 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Note If fresh raspberries are unavailable, substitute defrosted frozen raspberries.

This recipe appeared in the July 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

before baking

The finished product. The colour is a little off due to having to iphone photo them because I couldn't find my camera but needed to capture the moment.

Healthy Muffin Recipes

Doing a clean up and found these recipes for muffins that a friend made for me...fantastic and no wheat flour (not that wheat flour upsets me) and no oil.

Apple and Berry Muffins

Ingredients:

1 tbs cornflour
440g (3.5 cups) spelt flour
2 tsp bicarb or baking soda
2 apples, peeled and finely chopped
180g (1 cup) chopped dates
235g (0.5 cup) honey
300g (2 cups) blueberries or raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. MIx together cornflour, spelt flour and bicarb in a large bowl. Add the dates, honey and apple and mix together.
  2. Add 410ml water and fold together. Lightly fold in the berries. Mixture should not be too wet, if it is, add a little more flour.
  3. Spoon into prepared muffin tray and bake for about 25 mins


Banana, pecan and maple muffins

Ingredients:

2 apples, peeled and finely chopped
85g (1/2 cup) chopped dates
3 ripe bananas, chopped
125ml maple syrup
3 tbs finely chopped pecan nuts
310g (2.5 cups) wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp bicarb or baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon.

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. MIx together all ingredients by hand until well combined.
  2. Add 375ml water and fold together. Mixture should not be too wet, if it is, add a little more flour.
  3. Spoon into prepared muffin tray and bake for about 25 mins


Now I can throw out this tatty photocopy of the recipe!

Work Lunch Ideas

Been reading food magazines at home (loving Delicious and BBC Australian Good Food) and here are a few recipes which I haven't tried yet, but will be working it out in 2010 as part of Operation Let's Not Get Bored of Work Lunches

Lunch Idea #1

Pasta Salad

Ingredients
150g pasta
100g broccoli
100g halved green beans
1 grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Method
  1. Boil pasta and 3 mins before end of cooking time, add broccoli and green beans. Drain and refresh with cold water
  2. Toss through carrot and coriander. Split into 2 containers
  3. For dress, mix together lime juice, soy, ginger and sesame oil. Dress salad before serving.


Nadz' mix up for my lunch
Use wholemeal pasta. Add grated zucchini as well for more bulk and more veg. If I get my Benriner slicer, add ribbons of carrot, zucchini and sweet potato to bulk out the pasta and cut down the complex carb factor. Add avocado, handful of nuts and chia seeds for the addition of 'good' oils/fats. Add a lean protein to balance out meal - ie. grilled chicken, turkey or some kangaroo.

LUNCH IDEA #2

Bean Salad

Ingredients
Can of red kidney beans (400g)
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Avocado - sliced
1/2 sliced red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil (um, original recipe said 1 cup!)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce (optional)
1 hardboiled egg, quartered

Method
Mix together. Serve with tortillas.

Nadz' mix up for my lunch
To add some protein, I would probably add a tin of tuna. I'm a sucker for shredded cabbage too in my lunch (high in fibre, fills you up and is more satisfying than lettuce), so I'd probably throw some in. I would probably use a wholemeal sorj for a wrap rather than a tortilla, but could also use large lettuce leaves to wrap the mixture up. I have no idea why the original recipe would suggest ONE CUP of olive oil, that is madness.

LUNCH IDEA #3

Spinach with Almonds & Miso Dressing

Ingredients
1 tablespoon soy
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon flaked almonds
1 tablespoon oil
250g baby spinach (chopped - tbh, I probably wouldn't bother)
1 teaspoon grated ginger

Method
  1. Combine soy, miso, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat up work. Toast almonds until fragrant and toasted. Set aside.
  3. Heat up oil, add spinach and ginger and stir fry until just wilted. Transfer to another bowl, add miso dressing and toasted almonds and serve.



Nadz' mix up for my lunch
You guessed it, I'd probably add some grated zucchini to this. And probably some garlic too. To be honest, you could probably do a super quick and 'cheat' version of this and just microwave the spinach/veg, mix in the dressing and skip toasting the almonds. Sure, it wouldn't be as 'nice' as the above, but it'd be a lot quicker and probably almost as tasty.

LUNCH IDEA #4

Lemony Beans with Almonds

Ingredients
400g sliced green and yellow beans (yellow beans? TBH, I would just use green ones)
1 cup (150g) frozen broad beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 green spring onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup (35g) slivered almonds
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Method
  1. Cook long nad broad beans in a saucepan of boiling, salted water on high for 2 mins. Drain and cool in iced water, then drain again. Remove broad bean skins.
  2. Heat oil in fry pan. Stirfry green onions, almonds and spring onions for 3 mins without allowing garlic to brown, until soft and fragrant. Add beans and stirfry for 1 min until heated through.
  3. Toss through lemon rind and juice and serve.


Nadz' mix up for my lunch
Would add the lemon juice at work so it doesn't get too broken up. Don't know if I would bother with broad beans (peeling!) and might just use frozen peas instead. Too lazy to slice garlic, would probably just crush it. Again, if worst came to worse, you could probably leave out the onions and garlic and just microwave the beans and add almonds and lemon juice/rind afterwards.

Food Year Resolutions

Does anyone have 2010 new year food resolutions?

I do...nothing that revolutionary...but I want to really try and get a bit leaner this year which means keep doing what I was doing in 2009 - clean, natural foods and balanced meals. Things I want to try and do though is to keep it interesting so I'm not just having the same lunch every day.

I want to keep it interesting - different dressings, different salads. Different textures. I just don't want to get bored with my food.

I want to try and be more organised, so I can get in the habit of preparing 2 - 3 days of work food at a time, so I don't spend every night preparing my work food.

I've also cut out my 'work day' coffee in DEC09 and am going to try and keep this up in 2010. This kills me, but I drink too much of my calories, so it's better for me to have some yoghurt/berries/nuts/bran for a mid-morning snack than a blessed capuccino. Instead, I'm trying to drink more green tea and jasmine tea.

My typical work day food is:
  • Morning snack: 80g low fat, low sugar yoghurt with 20g wheat bran, 20g oat bran and a handful of frozen blueberries and some walnuts.
  • Lunch: I pretty much have every day for lunch a small tub (about 150g) of shredded green cabbage, a shredded carrot and zucchini, maybe some tomato, some avocado and some form of protein (chicken, turkey, kangaroo, tuna), with a slice of grainy bread for carbs. I mix up the dressing and usually microwave my cabbage/zucchini/carrot so it's hot.
  • Afternoon snack: An apple and banana and some meat/salad (usually left over from lunch).
  • Post work-out snack: Protein shake, with 200ml skim milk.


I'm a pious bastion of healthy eating at work in the kitchen. But sometimes it can get pretty tedious, I'll admit it. It's hard to be innovative when work has ground you into the floor.

Things I'm thinking of buying to help me in 2010:

Benriner horizontal slicer

My mum has one of these and it's awesome for making thin strands of carrot, zucchini and sweet potato. I like having it in salads. It's so much more interesting to have things thinly shaved or shredded in salads, rather than chunks of anything. Of course, the problem is always storage.

Lock n Lock Storage Containers

I'm such a dork, I fricken love kitchen storage. Nevermind where I'm going to put 40+ plastic storage containers...I also want to get the divider set too (these are my favourite lunchboxes, because I can put in 2 dividers, 1 lunch box...one side has salad/wet stuff and the other side has my bread and other stuff for lunch). That TVSN price looks really cheap too for Lock n Lock...

I'm also thinking of starting a food blog...to see how I go in 2010 with eating and exercise.

Anyway, does anyone else have any resolutions? Let me know!

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