Wednesday, February 18, 2009

VWAV's (Fava Beans &) Quinoa Croquettes and Corn Chowder

It was one of those days when I was out of inspiration and looked at VWAV for ideas. I decided upon the black eyed peas and quinoa croquettes with corn chowder since I had 5 ears of corn at home. Unfortunately, I realised I had only fava beans or kidney beans at home. So I decided to swap the black eyed peas for fava beans. This made a decent meal, something different from the usual fare but again I think I need to work on the spice level a bit to suit our taste. It makes a pretty presentation for parties though!

VWAV's Mashed Potatoes and Chickpea Gravy

The first dish I made after acquiring the Vegan With a Vengeance was the mashed potato and chickpea gravy. The chickpea gravy had received rave reviews and so I decided to try it. It was pretty good and interesting but I found that it was a bit bland for my taste. I also made the the tempeh crumble from VWAV but I didn't quite care for it. I think the recipes are a good base to start but I'll probably have to tweak it to suit my taste. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ramen Noodles

I've always been intrigued by Japanese food. The emphasis on quality, details and aesthetics is rather amazing for me.  The simplicity of Japanese cuisine which allows the food to speak for itself is yet another reason why I like Japanese food very much. So, when I chanced upon fresh ramen noodles when on a grocery trip, I naturally purchased it. After doing a search online, I came to realise that ramen noodles is actually the Japanese version of instant noodles and it is mainly made with chicken, seafood or meat based broth. Luckily, miso is also used for the broth. 

So, I made a simple noodle base with miso and grilled some tempeh which was marinated in hoisin sauce and chilli powder. I also pan fried some dried red chillis and crushed it on top of the noodles as a garnish...

Blueberry Muffins

I've been wanting to make muffins for the longest time ever and I have finally managed to make it. Since I managed to pick up some cheap blueberries at Giant, I decided to make blueberry muffins. This is the first time I'm baking with fresh blueberries. Initially, I was a little worried about how they would turn out but I love the feeling of the fresh blueberries bursting in my mouth when I bite into the muffin. I made some with a crumb topping and some naked. Needless to say the crumb topping, perfumed with cinnamon, was much more delicious than the naked ones. Even my anti-vegetarian brother liked it and was surprised that it tasted good! 

Double Choc Brownie Cookies

This started out as an experiment for a vegan double chocolate chip cookie. However, along the way, they yielded delicious rich, bitter sweet brownie like cookie. It was well received by my classmates, so I'll be putting it up for sale as well soon :)

Heart Shaped Mousse Cake

This is a birthday cake I did for a friend for his significant other. :)

Look What Came in the Mail....

I was suppose to have received this package sometime in November but only got it in February! It all started with my brother's suggestion of getting his friend from the US to bring the books to Singapore. His friend travels to S.E. Asia alot for work and we figured we could save quite a bit in shipping! 

So, after placing our orders, we waited for my brother's friend to finalize his business trip to Singapore. Unfortunately, soon after, my brother's friend lost his job due to the economic meltdown in the US! So, we just decided to get him to mail over the parcel through the US postal mail. That was in early December. We waited and waited but did not receive the parcel. 

After a couple of emails to his friend, we discovered that his friend has asked his wife to mail out the parcel but she completely forgot about it!!! Grrr... So, in January, his friend finally mailed out the parcel. Again, we waited and waited but there was no parcel! Finally, we gave up thinking that it might have got lost in the sea of mails that passes through US. :(

And then... when the last hope was extinguished, I came back home one day to see a parcel on my dining table....  And I was finally enlightened on why the parcel took over a month and a half to get to me... my brother's friend wrote the address wrongly!!

Well, I suppose I shouldn't complain... after all I did get what I wanted in the end!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Garlic Yum...

After looking at Hannah's post on her garlic bread, I just knew that I had to make it. Firstly, I love, love garlic and secondly my hubby loves freshly made bread. And most importantly, its vegan! I never thought I would enjoy bread making as much as cake making but I find it so exhilarating to handle a mount of soft, pliable dough. And of cos, nothing tastes as good as bread fresh out of the oven... just crisp on the outside and cottony soft on the inside. Slather on some non-diary margarine and you have a nostalgic melt-in-your-mouth goodness. 

Only For Beet Lovers...

I was running low on veg stocks and since it was prior to CNY, I couldn't bring myself to brave the throngs of crowd in supermarkets to buy veg. So, I digged about and found a pair of beets waiting to be used. Somehow, just the day before or so, I caught a glimpse of the Rachel Ray Show and she was making drunken spaghetti in beets. Her version was to cook the pasta in red wine and add the sauteed beets to it. I decided to do it a little different by cooking the beets and pasta separately and tossing them in together. I loved the deep burgundy red of the pasta as the beets stained it beautifully. Topped off with some Chinese celery for contrast, it made a rather tasty meal for me. Hubby has never liked beets, but he did enjoy the pasta minus the shredded beets. He suggested alternatively to puree the beets into a sauce. Maybe I'll do that the next time round. 

Recipe for Beets Spaghetti (For 2 ample servings)

2 small beets (or 1 medium beet)
1 onion, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of chilli powder (reduce/increase to preference)
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast (adds a nice 'chickeny' taste to it)
salt to taste
Olive oil
Sufficient pasta for two.
Some Chinese celery/spring onions for garnish

1) Prepare beets - I trimmed the sprouts of the beets, scrubbed and boiled it whole for about 15 mins to 20 mins. After which, I peeled parts of the beets that I found offensive and left the other bits of skin on. (The beet's skin is edible. Just make sure to remove all the soil and dirt) 
2) I julienned the beets but I think a food processor will easily do the job as well. 
3) In a pan, heat some olive oil and add the onions and garlic and saute until brown and fragrant. Add chilli powder and continue to saute until its cooked. (At this point the chilli powder might stick to the pan, I usually add a tiny bit of water instead of oil)
4) Add the beets and salt to taste and saute until it is completely cooked. It should go limpy. It will taste pretty good by itself now. For a more savoury taste, add nutritional yeast.
5) Prepare pasta according to package instruction. Once cooked, drain most of the water away, leaving the pasta a little wet. Throw in the beets, toss and serve.
6) Garnish with spring onions or Chinese celery