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This dessert was inspired by peach and almond galettes from Coles magazine summer edition. I replaced the peach with nectarines, and couldn’t be bother to cut the pastry into circles.  I didn’t actually plan to make the banana ice cream, but after I pulled the tarts out of the oven, they looked desperately needs some companion of something cold or creamy. Having just finished 2 lt of ice cream the previous week, I tried to find a healthier replacement other than yoghurt. Then, I remember that I bought a bag of over ripe bananas (1 BIG bag for $1.90!!), and froze most of them. And I thought, hmmm,  I came accross a simple banana ice cream recipe on vegan family vs omni world, stonesoup, and a few weeks later on where’s the beef? . I don’t know why it took me ages to make this ice cream, despite all the reviews, maybe I was being too skeptical. It was really easy to prepare, so sooooooo good, and because all the bananas were already over ripe, I didn’t need to add more sugar to sweeten it. Give it a go, highly recommended if you crave for something sweet.

ingredients :

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large nectarine
  • 2 tbsp butter / margarine
  • 2 tbsp almond meal / flake almonds
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup frozen banana
  • preheat the oven 200 c or 180 c fan forced

sliced the nectarine about 1/2 cm thick wedges

in a food processor, blend almond meal (or any nuts you have in hand), 1 tbsp brown sugar, and butter until the consistency resemble a paste

slice the puff pastry sheet in half, cut the pastry into 2 quarters and place on greased baking tray

spread the butter-almond mix on the pastry, arrange the nectarine wedges on top of it

sprinkle with the remaining of the sugar, bake for 20 min or until the pastry puffed up, and turn golden

while waiting for the tarts to cool of, whizz frozen banana in a food processor, if its too dry, add 1 tbsp of water / soy milk, blend until smooth and creamy

(2 Serves)

Call me crazy, but on a very hot and humid day in Melbourne, I craved a hot Indonesian or Malaysian style curry. Maybe because the hot and humid weather represents my homeland? So, I googled some recipes, and decided to settle with this curry recipe. It looks easy, doesn’t have a long list of ingredients, and the chicken can be easily replaced withtofu or tempe. The only problem was to find the same or similar curry powder they strongly suggested. With my fingers crossed tightly, I went to minh phat victoria market the next morning, and found it for a real bargain $2.30 a bag..! yaaayyy..!

I obviuosly replaced the chicken with fried bean curd, add some carrots to make it sound healthier, and cut the amount of oil, onion and garlic (come on, 2 large onion and 8 cloves of garlic!! you must be kidding..!!). I’m going to rewrite the recipe here, because I made quite a bit of changes.

The result? The fried bean curd acts like a sponge and soak up the creamy hot sauce really well. I personally like the texture of spongy and chewy bean curds, I don’t think I will get the same result with regular hard tofu. The sauce was thick, creamy and hot, not for the faint hearted. It really satisfied my craving though. 🙂 Next time, I would probably serve it with some roti. I heat some of the leftover for lunch the next day, and it tasted so much better. So far, this is my favourite malaysian hot curry recipe.

Ingredients :

  • 4 cubes fried tofu / bean curds, sliced
  • 3 small potatoes, diced
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 tbsp Malaysian curry powder + 2-3 tbsp water, mix into a paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 handful chopped coriander
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups of water

in a food processor, blend :

  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chili (you can omit this if you don’t like spicy food)

boil the potato and the carrot to speed up the cooking process, because there is nothing more annoying than waiting for the potato to cook, while the other ingredients in the pot already done, even the rice.

heat oil, and stir fry onion mixture about 3 minutes, or until fragrant.

add curry powder, reduce the heat to low, stir fry until the oil started oozing out from it. (I didn’t bother, but it still turned out ok)

add the sliced tofu and vegies, stir to coat them with the curry paste.

add coconut milk, seasoned with salt and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce the heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

stir occasionally, add some water until you satisfied with the consistency.

laddle to serving bowl, top with chopped coriander and serve with rice or roti.

I’ve bookmarked this recipe from Cindy’s where’s the beef? ages ago, but only today I got a chance to tried it out. They are really easy to prepare, no chopping required, but tasted soooo yum.. changed the recipe a bit, I used crumbled walnut instead of pecans. Just because they’re on special, and already crumbled, so no further chopping required ($1.79!). I also add worcestershire about 1 tbsp, other than that, the recipe is perfect as it is. Cindy also made the vegan version of it, and they look as good as the vegetarian one.

I served the rolls with some crunchy salad on the side (it came from a bag, straight out of supermarket), and watermelon and feta salad. We’re currently in love with this salad, we probably had at least 3 times this week, its perfect for a hot summer day. sweet, salty, cool, and minty. Even though it’s technically a salad, but we treated it as a dessert, we ate it after our meal.

ingredients :

  • half a wedge of watermelon (about 500g)
  • 100 g crumbled feta cheese (the saltier, the better, more contrast)
  • a handful mint leaves, chopped

dressing :

  • 1 tbsp lemon / lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

diced the watermelon 2×2 cm, top with feta, mint leaves, drizzle the dressing over the salad, and mix.

most recipe I found add chopped red onion, but I just don’t like the taste of raw onion.

A few days ago, my house mate cooked up butter chicken with her slow cooker, it looked yummy and smelt sooooooo good!! That night,unfortunately, I had to satisfied with my boring looking stir-fried vegies with boiled eggs..  The next day, I tried to recreate the vegetarian version of the creamy-orange looking curry. I searched for vegetarian butter – chicken recipe to find out what’s in the sauce. Most recipes seemed pretty simple, and I can pretty find all the ingredients in the pantry. In the end, I made up my own recipe, inspired by all recipes I found. The end result was a huge pot full of smooth-mild curry, not as sweet as butter chicken curry sauce, but waaay better than any other curries I made in the past. That’s why I decided to post my recipe here. On the side, was jasmine rice, (I know, it’s supposed to be basmati rice, but I didn’t have any) cooked with 4 – 5 crushed cardamom pods.

I reduced the amount of peanut butter (1/4 cup into 1 tbsp) because I simply run out of it, I think the curry would be much creamier if I add more. I also downsized the amount of butter in the recipe, I don’t know why, but I tend to reduce any butter in every recipes I found. One more thing, instead of heavy cream, I used light sour cream.

In food processor, blend until smooth:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I used keens)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and peper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 medium potatoes (boiled, to shorten cooking process)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of green beans
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream / sour cream / coconut milk / soy cream
  • 3 tbsp butter / margarine
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I used macro smooth peanut butter)
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes

melt 1 tbsp butter, and stir fry the onion mixture for 3-4 min

add tin tomatoes, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to release some of the onion bits stuck on it, add peanut butter, bring to a boil.

throw in the vegies, add some hot water if its too thick, cook uncovered  for 10 min, season with salt and pepper.

turn of the stove, stir the rest of the butter / margarine, and stir in the cream.

Serve with rice or naan.

banana and mixed berries smoothie(please ignore the mess and the overloaded book shelf behind them..)

I recently bought a tub of 500 g protein powder from the clinic, just to experiment with myself, and just to know how it tastes. Just in case, if i prescribed to my patients in the future, and they asked how does it tastes like, I can give them a real answer. Anyway, as soon as I got it, I mixed it with cold water, gave it a strong stir, they just DIDN’T mix evenly. I still found some lumps after stirring for a few minutes. So I thought, oh.., how bad could it be? and took a sip. mmmm….yuuu..ck..!!!! this is NOT the taste of “smooth vanilla” (as the label says), it was really thick, lumpy, and milky rich (not in a good way for me, cause I hate the taste of cow’s milk). So then I added some ice cubes, just to make it icy cold, and thus, numb my tastebuds.

The next day, I bought some bananas, frozen berries, and soy milk to turn the yuck powder into yum powder. I peeled and froze the bananas as well. Guess what, IT WAS AWESOME..!! yaay.. 🙂 the banana takes over the flavour,  and the berries give the smoothie it’s freshness.

ingredients : (2 tall glass)

  • 4 tbsp protein powder (I used whey, but soy, rice, or pea protein powder with neutral flavour will work as well, or, 1/2 block of silken tofu will give a boost of protein)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 handfull frozen mixed berries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3-4 small – ish  ice cubes

put all the ingredients in a blender, and blitz until smooth.

transfer into 2 tall glass.

 

snake beans

very easy. very-very quick. The type of dish when you feel I-can’t-be-bothered-to cook-but -I don’t-want-to eat-crap-either-and-I’m-too-broke-to-eat-out. we ended up waiting for the rice to cook after I finished cooking it. Snake beans tastes pretty much like green beans, but less sweet, and without annoying strings that stuck in between your teeth after dinner. The Asian basil gives the whole dish a lift in flavour, so I recommend you to not skip it. I imagine a squeeze of lime juice would be great, but I didn’t have any at that time.

ingredients :

  • 1 bunch of snake beans, trim ends, cut 4 cm lengths
  • 1 bunch of asian basil, chopped
  • 200 g firm tofu or half a block, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek (you can add more or less, depends on your love-ness to spicy food)
  • 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

heat 1 tsp veg oil in the frying pan, fry the tofu for a few minutes, transfer into a plate

heat another tsp of vegetable oil, add sambal oelek, and garlic, stir fry until fragrant

add snake beans, if too dry, add 1 tbsp of water, add the fried tofu to the frying pan, cook until the beans turned bright green but still crunchy (around 2 – 3 min)

drizzle with vegetarian oyster sauce, and sesame oil, add the asian basil leaves, cook for another 30 seconds

serve with rice

broccoli pesto I really3x love broccoli (hence the blog name),  I always buy them every week. Unfortunately, my friend told me that, unless organic, they are heavily sprayed, and the tiny florets catch all the chemicals. So from now on, I always buy organic broccoli, they cost a bit more, but I think it’s worth it. They tend to be a bit smaller, just like other organic produce i suppose, they look cuter, and it actually saves chopping time :), which is a good thing.  I don’t buy all my vegies organic, I can’t really afford it, I wish I could. For now,I get, maybe 2 – 3 types of organic vegs in each shopping trip. This recipe is inspired by 101 cookbooks recipe, with a little changes.

Ingredients :

  • 1 small – medium head of broccoli
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup parmesan / soy cheese
  • 1 clove garlic (i regreted it, it gave me garlic breath all night!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 – 4 glugs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup cream / silken tofu

steam / boil the broccoli for 3 min or until bright green, chopped half of them into bite sized pieces, and chuck the other half in the food processor (don’t process them yet)

put basil leaves and garlic (if you prefer) in the food processor, blitz them together with the broccoli, add parmesan cheese, olive oil, and cream, process until creamy

season with salt and pepper

toss with hot cooked pasta, and the chopped broccoli florets

or you can also use it on a pizza base, a nice change from the usual tomato based pizza

 

For dessert, I had some fruit salad with grapefruit syrup, and yogurt / soy yogurt.

fruit salad

ingredients :

  • 2 medium grapefruits
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 punnets of strawberries
  • 1 large mango
  • 3 tbsp sugar

juice 1 grapefruit and lemon, add sugar, stir, heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave it one more time for 30 seconds

chopped all the fruits bite sized pieces, (1 grapefruit, strawberries, mango, I imagine it would be good with kiwi fruit, but my husband hates kiwi fruit) transfer into a large bowl

drizzle with the grapefruit syrup, cover with cling film, and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hrs

serve with yogurt, ice cream, or you can even have it for breakfast, with muesli, and soy milk.

oh yeah, if anyone know how to diced mango perfectly, please share… 🙂

 

pizza pitasometime, there are days when I just feel can’t be bothered to cook anything, and pizza is the easiest thing to assemble when those days come. In this photo, i just smear some tomato paste / pizza sauce on wholemeal small pita pocket, on top of that i add mashed pumpkin, some sliced mushroom, olives, sundries tomato strip, cottage cheese, and grated parmesan cheese. I served it with salad leaves, and bolied potatoes, with french dressing and chives.

I promise, I will post more interesting recipes in the future 🙂  I just need to find my inspiration back. Assignments drained all my energy and creativity.

soba salad

I don’t have a specific measurement for this recipe, this is sort of a -last minute-use what in the cupboard -type of recipe. I packed this for lunch today so I don’t have buy take outs. Soba noodles usually packed in three individual serves, in this recipe, I used 1 serve of noodle. I served it with leftover standard stir fry vegies from dinner. You can tell it’s a leftover from the colour of the broccoli, they look a bit overcooked and tired, and already lost it’s vibrant green colour 🙂

Ingredients :

  • 1 serve soba noodles
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Japanese red chilli powder  (nanami togarashi)
  • 2 tbsp water to thin out the dressing

cook soba for 3 min. or according to the package instruction, drain, and rinse with cold water. if you have time, it will be better to chill the noodle in the fridge to stop the cooking process or to dump the noodle in iced water. Overcooked noodle will clumps and mushy. (I got this tip from my husband, he’s working in a fast food Japanese restaurant).

mix the dressing ingredient until smooth, taste, and add some more if you feel like it.

drizzle the dressing to the noodle, mix, and sprinkle a little chilli powder (optional)

I imagine this dressing will be better with grated ginger, but I was in a rush, and didn’t really have time to grate a ginger (yet, I still have time to take picture of the noodle..).

creme

I couldn’t remember where I got the recipe,  i think it’s from some magazine in a cafe.

Ingredients :

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup caster sugar + 4 tsp

500 ml cream

1/3 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla paste from real vanilla bean (its worth it!)

  • break the egg yolks, and give it a little stir
  • put the cream in the mixing bowl, add sugar, microwave for 30 sec just to disolve the sugar, stir with fork
  • stir in the egg yolks, add vanilla and salt
  • divide in 4 ramekin cups, put the cups in a baking dish filled 1/2 with water, this to prevent the creme brulee from drying out
  • bake in 150 – 160 C oven for  1 hr
  • chill until set ( I skipped this part)
  • sprinkle the top with 1 tsp caster sugar
  • put under a hot griller for 2-3 min. until the sugar caramelized (be very careful, not to burn the sugar- like i did 😦 )

what goes well with creme brulee?

coffee cup - east brunswick project

A cup of coffee..! (preferably from east brunswick project)