One of my fondest memories from our visit to Honk Kong is discovering Teh Tarik for the first time. We just arrived after a long flight (as all flights going out from New Zealand are) and I happened to be a little bit tired and most likely caffeine deprived as well. The rich, strong tea was just what I needed and I subsequently tried drinking as much of it as possible during our visit.
Since then we became vegan and try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. Not good news for Teh Tarik. Thus I was much delighted when I discovered a beverage by accident which immediately reminded me of the rich flavour of Teh Tarik. I don’t know if it would have had the same affect on me as the original that morning after the flight but it sure pleased me now. So without further ado, here the recipe for two mugs.
I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate greens and beans into our food. This tomato bulgur recipe with kale and fava beans is a great way to do just that. It’s also very YUMMY. Max absolutely loves it (so do I!). And the great thing is that it uses ingredients that I usually have in my pantry/fridge. To top it all of, it is also super easy and fast to put together.
I hope you will too 🙂
Difficulty level: Absolute beginner
Time: 45 minutes, including preparation time
Serves: 2 – 3
3/4 cups of bulgur (I used the quick cook type that only needs soaking)
1 medium onion, sliced
5 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tightly packed cups of chopped kale
1 large, or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
6 Tbsp Passata
3 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
pepper and chilli to taste
For the beans:
400g can fava beans (I used a mix of fava beans and chickpeas), slightly drained (I got rid of some of the liquid but kept around half or more)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
Soak the bulgur in hot water for 10 – 15 minutes (if you have a different type of bulgur, cook it according to package instructions).
In a small pot over low heat, heat the 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic slices and fry for a few seconds (until the garlic starts to change colour near the edges).
Add the beans with their liquid.
Add the 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp salt.
Cook over low heat, uncovered for a couple of minutes.
Then, add the lemon juice, cover, and let it simmer slowly while you cook the rest of the things. Stir it from time to time.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add some oil (about 1 Tbsp) and the onion. Cook until onions get soft and start to change colour.
Add garlic and cook for a few more seconds, until garlic is fragrant.
Add the kale and tomatoes and continue cooking until the kale is wilted and tomatoes are soft to your liking.
Drain and add the bulgur, and continue cooking for a minute or so.
Add the 6 Tbsp of passata, 3 Tbsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper & chilli to your taste. Mix well and let it cook for a couple of minutes so the passata is not raw anymore and is combined well with the bulgur.
Take both the frying pan and the small pot of beans off heat and serve with optional avocado on the side.
Dinners that are QUICK and TASTY are the best. This is ticks both of those boxes.
This recipe doesn’t make an authentic soba noodle salad. No, my friend, but it is yummy and it is healthy. And, its quick and easy to make, taking only 30 minutes including Win-win-win 🙂
180g soba noodles
1 carrot – julienned
100g – 200g shiitake mushrooms, sliced or quartered
3 stalks of spring onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp mirin
Olive oil (for frying the mushrooms)
Toast the sesame seeds: Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Let it roast, stirring constantly, until a delicious aroma starts coming off it and the seeds begin to get lightly golden. Transfer it to a small bowl and put it aside.
Return the frying pan to the heat. Add a little bit of oil and the sliced mushrooms and spring onions. Cook on medium-high head until the mushrooms begin to get browned. Add a pinch of salt. If using baby spinach, you can add it now and let it wilt. Remove from heat and transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl.
Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. If you are having edamame beans, you can add it to the pot of soba noodles in the last couple of minutes of cooking. Once noodles are done, drain and rinse under cold water. Add it to the bowl with the mushrooms.
Add the carrots to the bowl of mushrooms and noodles.
In a small bowl, mix the 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Add it to the large bowl.
Finally, add the toasted sesame to the large bowl. Mix everything together and enjoy!
We don’t eat many salads around here. Mainly because of two reasons: 1. I’m not a fan of raw food, and 2. I’m often looking for quick dinners after work and making a salad adds to another thing to worry about and increases the time it takes to get dinner on the table!
BUT, I’ve made this particular salad multiple times already in the past month. I really like it very much. Why? Because it is not raw and I can make it on a day where we are having leftovers – this salad is quite filling so it makes the leftovers into a whole meal! Win!
I’ve adopted this from She Likes Food. The original recipe had raw kale, which I have opted to cook a little bit. Check out my modified recipe below and I hope you enjoy this, especially on a day when you don’t feel like making a whole meal.
Difficulty level: Absolute Beginner
Time: 30 – 40 minutes, including prep work (I had the kale pre-washed, which would otherwise have added more time to this)
Serves: 2 – 3 people as a side dish
1 medium sweet potato, cut into cubes, approximately 2 cups
4 cups tightly packed chopped kale (I just tore into bite sized pieces with my hands)
1/2 can of chickpeas (half of a 425g can)
1/2 large avocado, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/8 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 Tbsp olive oil (for the kale)
2 tsp olive oil (for the sweet potatoes)
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup tahini
3/4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 heaped tsp salt
1/4 cup water (I like my dressing not too thick but if you want it thicker just add less water)
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
In a large bowl, mix together the chopped sweet potato with 1 tsp of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt and some cracked pepper. Transfer it to a baking tray lined with baking paper and put it into the oven. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes. No need to turn it.
In a large frying pan, add 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and when it is warm, add the kale and a splash of water. Add 1/8 tsp salt and cook until it begins to get bright green and starts wilting. Take off the heat and 1/2 Tbsp add lemon juice. Transfer it into a salad bowl.
Add other ingredients into the salad bowl: 1/8 of a red onion, chopped, 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained, 1/2 large avocado, chopped, 1/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup chopped almonds.
Once the sweet potatoes are made, add it to the salad bowl.
Make the dressing by mixing together everything listed under “Tahini Dressing”.
I love pasta bakes – but it has proven difficult to make vegan versions with the same satisfying taste of comfort food. That is, until I found this pasta bake recipe from Izy Hossack. It tastes delicious and has all the warmth and satisfaction of comfort food without being unhealthy! The secret? Cauliflower! Yes, there is a whole head of cauliflower hidden in this recipe! My version below is slightly changed from the original recipe from Izy.
It is a bit of an involved recipe and requires some time but is oh so worth it.
I hope you try it and I hope you love it 🙂
Difficulty level: Confident Cook
Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (I had the cauliflower pre-cut and washed and also had the kale pre-washed)
Serves: 3 – 4 people
1 small head cauliflower, cut into medium florets
1 small potato, sliced into about 1 cm slices
250g penne pasta
2 Tbsp plain flour
200ml unsweetened soy milk
200ml vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
200g button mushrooms, sliced (not super thinly sliced)
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat.
Add the cauliflower and potato to the pot of boiling water and bring back to a boil. Once it is boiling again, lower the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, remove the cauliflower and potatoes to a large bowl.
In the same water (add more water as necessary), add the pasta and let it come to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain pasta, mix with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking and set aside.
Mix together 200 ml of stock and 200 ml of soy milk in a bowl or jug.
In a medium pot, add 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir over low/medium heat and let it cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, add the stock and milk mixture gradually, mixing it constantly.
Once all the liquid is added to the pot, let it come to a simmer and continue to simmer for 2 minutes – stirring frequently to avoid clumps forming.
Pour the liquid over the bowl of cauliflower and potato, add a tablespoon of dijon mustard and blend it all together using a hand blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I used 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 C.
In a medium fying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme and cook for 6 minutes, uncovered.
Add the kale to the frying pan, turn heat down to low, cover with a lid and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the lid and set take the frying pan off the heat.
Now, make the topping: in a small bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, and 4 tablespoons of vegan parmesan.
In a medium casserole dish, mix the pasta, mushrooms & kale, and the cauliflower sauce. Mix it well to combine. Sprinkle the topping on top and drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the top is golden brown (darker in some places is absolutely okay).
My poor wife had to work very long hours one day last week and so I got command of the kitchen again. I cooked up something interesting since I wanted to use both udon noodles and beans. Anyway, it didn’t taste all too bad and thus I present here without further ado the recipe:
270 g Udon Noodles
400 g White Button Mushrooms, quartered
3 bunches of baby Bok Choi, sliced in half
1 can of Mexican Mixed Means (Red Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Black Beans)
8 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 small Red Onion, chopped
2 tablespoon Kikoman Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Cooking Sake
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
Heat canola oil in a large wok or frying pan
Fry onion on low heat for 5-7 minutes, until it starts to brown
Fry garlic for 2-4 minutes, until it starts to brown
Add mushrooms, slightly increase heat and fry for 2 minutes
Cook udon noodles as per instruction in a separate saucepan
Add soy sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and Cooking Sake and increase heat to medium high, cook mushrooms and sauce for 8 minutes
Add beans and cook for another 2 minutes
Add bok choy and cook for 3 minutes
Add sesame oil
When udon noodles are ready, add about a 1/4 cup of the cooking water to the wok, then drain udon noodles well
I read this article from Dr Michael Greger about the significantly lower rates of cancer in India as compared to the USA and was absolutely blown away. I mean, US men get 23 times more prostate cancer than men in India?! Whaaaat?
Americans get between 8 and 14 times the rate of melanoma, 10 to 11 times more colorectal cancer, 9 times more endometrial cancer, 7 to 17 times more lung cancer, 7 to 8 times more bladder cancer, 5 times more breast cancer, and 9 to12 times more kidney cancer. And this is not like 5, 10, or 20% more, but times more. So hundreds of percent more breast cancer, thousands of percent more prostate cancer—differences even greater than some of those found in the China Study.
What causes such a crazy difference? Well, the main thing seems to be turmeric – you see, Indian’s use a lot of turmeric in their cooking. But, it’s not just the turmeric, it’s a combination of things such as the fact that 40% of Indians are vegetarian and the population overall does not eat much meat. It may also be the fact that they eat not only turmeric but many different spices, and lots of it.
So, after reading this, I thought I would share my favourite lentil/dal recipe with you. This version does not use any stock and is, in my view, more authentic and more delicious than my Simple Dahl recipe.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
A small piece of fresh ginger, crushed, or some ginger powder (about 1/4 tsp)
1 cup of lentils, soaked in water over-night or for a few hours (I usually mix 3 different types of lentils, 1/3 cup each. I use any of the following, depending on what I have at home: red lentils (masoor dal), yellow split peas, toor dal, moong dal, channa dal)
4 cups of hot water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (heaped)
Optional: tomatoes, carrots, other veggies
For the tempering:
3 -4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 chilli roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin (whole, not the powder)
Just over 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon butter/vegan butter
1 tablespoon oil
Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft.
Add the garlic and cook for a few more seconds until the garlic is fragrant.
If you like, you can add some fresh chopped tomatoes at this point and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
Wash and drain the lentils. Add it to the pot. Stir to mix and let it fry for a few minutes.
Add 3 – 4 cups of hot water and the turmeric and ginger. If you are using additional vegetables like carrots or potatoes, you can add it at this stage. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat a little bit, cover it partially (if you cover it fully, it will boil over!) and let it simmer away until the lentils are breaking apart and mixed into the soup. I did not time this part but I estimate it takes about 45 minutes.
After about 20 minutes you can add some salt to taste. I usually add about 1 teaspoon or a slightly more.
If the dal is looking too thick, feel free to add some more hot water until it reaches your desired consistency.
When the dal is almost done, heat a small pot/saucepan over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil for tempering. When the butter starts to melt, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Let it sputter then add the garlic and chilli. Let the garlic fry until it starts to turn golden brown, but be careful not to let it burn!
When the garlic starts to get golden brown, take the small pot of the stove top and add the oil and spices to the pot with the dal in it. Mix well. Taste to check the salt and add more if needed.
Add chopped coriander to the dal, stir to mix and turn off the heat.
Way before I went vegan I used to love baking up sweet treats for myself and the family, one of our favourites was this super moist lemon cake that I made a few times. But after becoming vegan I pretty much stopped baking because I didn’t know how to make anything without using eggs. A few days ago I was seriously craving some sugar and was feeling inspired to finally hit the kitchen and try to veganise my lemon cake recipe. Spoiler alert: it was a huge hit with the fam :))
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce (I used a sweetened one)
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (~3 oranges)
1 cup olive oil
3 tsp lemon juice
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~8 lemons)
250 g icing sugar
Grease and lightly flour bundt cake pan
Mix all cake ingredients in a cake mixer (you could do it my hand it’ll just take a while). The mixture will probably fizz up, don’t worry it’s normal. Keep mixing until the batter is smooth with no lumps
Transfer to the greased pan and bake at 150 C for about 45 mins to 1 hour. Check every 20 mins or so with a skewer, it’s done when the tester comes out clean
Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together with a whisk and place it in a jug with a spout
Remove the cake from the oven and with a chopstick, or something of a similar size, poke holes into the cake making sure not to reach the bottom
Slowly pour about half of the glaze over the holes and let sit for 15 mins
Flip the cake onto a plate and gently remove from the pan
Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and let sit for another 15 mins then you’re done!
In our house, we LOVE ramen. Before we became vegan, there was a time when Max and I used to go and have ramens for lunch at least once every week. There was a little restaurant run by Japanese guys down the road from my office and they had a lunch special where you could get a huge bowl of ramen with gyozas and rice for something like $15 NZD. It was epic. And epic-ally delicious.
But not so healthy 😦 Max gained some fair amount of weight those days haha.
Anyway, I digress.
It has been really hard finding a good vegan ramen. We went to a few places but none really hit the spot. Then I came across a recipe from Serious Eats that just sounded too good not to try. I tried it but with some modifications to save time. The first time I made it, Max’s verdict was that I shouldn’t make it again because it took a lot of time and for that amount of time the taste was not matching up to it.
But I didn’t give up.
Since then, I’ve been trying different variations and trying to perfect it and make it better each time. The last time I made it was about a month ago and it was DELICIOUS. We all loved it and had seconds. And, it took less time.
Max especially requested that I made ramen today and I was more than happy to oblige 🙂 And this time, I recorded it all down on paper (or well, actually, on this blog) so next time we can repeat it exactly as it was this time around. Perfection. Max said he wanted to eat my ramen because he had ramen a few days ago for his work dinner, only it was not vegan (vegan fail!) and he did not like it. Can you believe it, after dinner today he told me that this vegan ramen tastes much, MUCH, nicer than the one he had a few days ago. WIN!! YUS. DELICIOUS, PERFECTION, VEGAN RAMEN: ACHIEVED!
For the sweet potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or other chilli powder)
pepper to taste
For the eggplant and stock
1 medium sized eggplant
1 medium onion
1 bulb of garlic
Some slices of ginger
6 spring onions
a small piece of dried kelp
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp mirin
For the crumbled tofu
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika powder.
1 pack (approx 380g) extra firm tofu
For the tahini-miso paste
2 cloves finely diced garlic
3 Tbsp white miso paste
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp soy sauce
fried shiitake mushrooms (I used approximately 400g)
desired amount of ramen noodles
Step 1 – Roast the sweet potatoes
Cut 1 large sweet potato into cubes. Place in a large bowl.
Season with 1 Tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or any other chilli powder you have/prefer) and some pepper.
Mix the sweet potatoes so that it is coated well with oil and the seasoning.
Put into an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Roast in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.
Flip and roast for another 5 minutes
Step 2 – Roast the veggies
Pierce 1 medium sized eggplant all around with a knife.
Cut 1 medium onion into half.
Separate one head of garlic into cloves and put it on a sheet of aluminium foil. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and wrap the foil up.
Put the eggplant, onion and garlic into the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius or until the onion is charred and the eggplant is cooked through and soft so that it has no resistance towards the stem or the base.
Remove the eggplant and wrap it foil. Set aside.
Set aside the onion and garlic too.
Step 3 – Make the stock
In a large pot (I used a Dutch Oven) add: the roasted onions, garlic, 6 sprigs of roughly chopped spring onions, a small piece of dried kelp, 6 dried shiitake mushrooms and a few slices of ginger.
Add in 4 cups of stock and 4 cups of hot water.
Bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1 hour.
After the 1 hour, strain the stock. Save the garlic cloves and discard the rest of the veggies. Set aside the garlic cloves for use later.
Add any juice from the roasted eggplant to the stock and then set the stock aside.
Step 4 – Make the crumbled tofu
In a large bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or chilli, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika powder.
Crumble in 1 pack of (approx 380g) extra firm tofu. Mix well.
Lay the tofu on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes, checking and turning the tofu every 15 minutes.
Step 5 – Make the eggplant topping
Take the roasted eggplant and scoop out the flesh into a bowl (you can also keep some of the skin if you like).
Add 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of mirin.
Mix well and set aside.
Step 6 – Make the sweet potato mixture to add to stock
Take the garlic gloves that you had set aside earlier, peel it, and put it into a blender.
Add 1/2 cup of the roasted sweet potatoes and 1 cup of stock to the blender.
Blend until smooth.
Step 7 – Fry the mushrooms
Slice the mushrooms and fry with a little bit of oil in a frying pan. Set aside.
Step 8 – Prepare the tahini-miso paste to add to stock
While the mushrooms are frying, begin to prepare the tahini-miso paste. Take a small bowl and add: 2 cloves of finely diced garlic, 3 Tbsp of white miso paste, 2 Tbsp of tahini and 2 Tbsp of soy sauce. Mix well to combine.
Step 9 – Heat the stock and add in the sweet potato mixture and tahini-miso paste
Start to heat the stock over low heat. Add in the sweet potato mixture and the tahini-miso paste. PS make sure the stock is not boiling (some bubbles are okay, but not a steady/rapid boil) otherwise the tahini will start to separate and get clumpy!
Stir to combine.
Step 10 – Blanch the bok choy and cook the ramen noodles
Wash and cut the bok choy vertically in half.
In a large pot over high heat, add in boiling water and then the bok choy.
Blanch the bok choy in the boiling water for approximately 1 minute then remove from the water.
Add the ramen noodles into the boiling water and cook according to the time on the packet. Drain.
Step 11: Putting it all together
In a bowl, first put the desired amount of noodles, then the bok choy, then laddle with the soup.
Add in the toppings: the sweet potatoes, fried mushrooms, crumbled tofu that we made and eggplant.
Dahl and veggies with rice, ah, perfect dish for cold Winter nights. Aaaaaand, according to Dr Gregor, lentils beat other beans in their antioxidant content, and they are good for heart health and for fighting cancer.
So, win for the lentils!
This dish is easy to make and makes enough for yummy leftovers the next day.
6 cloves of garlic and 1 chilli (chilli is optional), crushed or finely chopped
1 Tbsp of vegan butter (or normal butter, if you’re not vegan)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of whole cumin
1 tomato, chopped
A generous pinch of garam masala
Coriander, chopped (optional)
Soak the split mung dal and toor dal in water for at least 1 hour
When ready to cook, drain and rinse the dals. Place the dals into a pot. Add the masoor dal into the pot.
Add 2 cups of hot water, 3 cups of stock, and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder. Add the crushed ginger. Turn on the heat to medium and let it come to a boil.
Once it is boiling, add 1 1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste), reduce the heat to low and let it continue to cook (you can partially cover it but keep checking as the dal tends to boil over).
Keep cooking until the lentils break down and are completely soft and smooth.
While the dal is cooking, prepare your other ingredients: slice the onions and crush the garlic and chilli.
Start making the ‘tadka’ (the tempered spices and oil) – in a frying pan, add the vegan butter and olive oil. Turn on heat to medium/low. Once the butter melts, add the cumin seeds and let it sputter just a bit. Then add in the onion and fry until the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden near the edges. Add in the garlic chilli paste and cook for a few seconds. Then add in the tomatoes and continue frying until the tomatoes are soft and breaking apart.
Add the tomatoes mixture into the pot of dal. Mix well and taste; adjust salt as necessary. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add garam masala.
Add chopped coriander, mix, and take the pot off the heat.
Enjoy with rice or roti alongside other vegetable curries.