Miso Stir Fry

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I don’t eat a lot of Asian style cuisine at home. I love to go out for Asian food, but in my own kitchen I hardly ever cook it. I rarely have Asian ingredients in my fridge and I’m not very familiar with the flavours either. Despite having a Filipino mum and living in a very Asian populated suburb, I wouldn’t know where to start with all the different types of sauces, vegetables, herbs and vinegars.

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After too many lazy nights of avocado of toast, I was starting to crave something a little different. When I do cook a proper dinner I tend to stick to Indian curries, pasta or salads. I felt this time I should venture out and try something different. I put this recipe together after gathering a few ideas from different recipes that I’d found and by using ingredients that I already had.

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I love eggplant, but only when it’s cooked well. I’ve had too many experiences with dry, rubbery and bland eggplant, so in the this recipe I decided to slowly roast it so that it would be creamy and soft on the inside. Once you’ve chopped all the ingredients and have the eggplant in the oven this stir fry is so easy to make. You’ll be sitting down to a hot bowl of noodles in less than ten minutes!

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Adapted from Kenko Kitchen and Casa Veneracion

Serves 4

Roast Eggplant:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tbs white miso
  • Rice bran oil to coat the eggplant

Miso Sauce:

  • 1 heaped tbs white miso
  • 1 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1/2 cup hot water

For the Stir Fry:

  • 1 packet of rice noodles (I used pad thai noodles)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 long red chilli, minced
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 100gm shiitake mushrooms
  • 100gm tofu
  • A drizzle of sesame oil
  • Salt to season
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Slice the eggplant long ways into wedges. Brush the flesh of the eggplant with a thin layer of miso and then toss them in a bit of rice bran oil. Place the eggplant on a baking tray and bake them for  30 minutes or until the flesh becomes soft and creamy. Turn them over after about 15 minutes.
  3. Chop the tofu into cubes. In a large pan, heat some rice bran oil over a high heat and cook the tofu until the sides become brown and crispy. Remove the tofu from the pan and set them aside for later.
  4. In a small bowl combine 1 heaped tbs of miso, 1 tbs of tamari sauce and 1/2 a cup of hot water. Stir the liquid until everything is combined. Set aside.
  5. To prepare the vegetables mince the garlic, ginger and chilli. Slice the white ends of the spring onion and save the darker green parts for later. Chop up the broccoli and slice the shiitake mushrooms into halves.
  6. Place the rice noodle in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soften for 10 minutes. Alternatively follow the cooking instructions on the packet.
  7. In the same pan that was used for the tofu, heat up a small amount of rice bran oil. You should still have some oil left over in the pan from the tofu. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilli to the hot pan and cook them for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook them for about 2 minutes or until they start to soften slightly. Add the broccoli and cook for a further minute. You still want to the broccoli to be crunchy. Add the tofu along with the miso sauce and toss together until everything has combined.
  8. Add the rice noodles and remaining spring onions to the pan. Toss one last time until the noodles are evenly covered with the sauce. Drizzle with some sesame oil and season to taste with salt.
  9. Serve the noodles in bowls with a few slices on eggplant on top.

 

11 Apr 2014

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Cumin Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

I’m not a big salad eater, and I’m not the biggest fan of leafy greens unless it’s cooked or served with something where I don’t notice it. At restaurants I’ll usually eat around the salad or drown them in my sauce so that I can’t taste them. I don’t really enjoy eating leaves.

I do however love hearty and warming salads made with grains, pulses, roast vegetables and other yummy things. I enjoy salads that fill me up and don’t taste like grass. This salad is all those things and will also keep for a few days in the fridge to grab and eat later, which is perfect if you’re like me and don’t have time to cook every day of the week.

This is another recipe inspired by In The Making By Belen so go have a look if you haven’t already!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • A generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • A couple handfuls of fresh coriander leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place the soaked chickpeas in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring the water to the boil, cover it with a lid and allow the chickpeas to cook for 20 minutes or until tender. When the chickpeas are cooked drain and rinse them, and set them aside
  3. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Place it a pot along with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil. Turn down the heat, cover with a lid and allow the quinoa to cook for 12 minutes. When the quinoa is cooked gently fluff it with a fork and then set it aside to cool.
  4. Chop the sweet potato and cauliflower into chunks. In a large bowl bowl toss the sweet potato and cauliflower with the chickpeas, cumin, garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. Line two baking trays with baking paper and spread the vegetables evenly onto the trays.
  5. Place the vegetables into the oven and cook them for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Remember to toss the vegetables after about 15 minutes.
  6. When the vegetables are cooked though place them a large bowl and combine them with the quinoa and coriander.
  7. Season with more salt and pepper or lemon if desired.

 

28 Mar 2014

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Raw Three Layer Berry Cheesecake

If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would definitely be raw cheesecake. I try not to make them to often though because I’m not very good at rationing out portions. If I make a raw cheesecake I’ll probably have it all eaten within a day or two. Instead I wait for special occasions when there are other lucky people around to share the cake with.

I made this raw cheesecake last month for my very lovely friend Sarah’s birthday and I was extremely happy that everyone there enjoyed it. It was also the first fancy thing (other than smoothies) that I made in my new shiny red Vitamix blender!

Makes 1, 20cm cake

Base:

  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (I used a combination of almonds and hazelnuts)
  • 3/4 cup dates, pitted
  • A pinch of salt

Vanilla Layer:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry Layer:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup agave necter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (defrost if using frozen)

Blueberry Layer:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (defrost if using frozen)
  1. Soak all the cashews together in a bowl over night. In the morning drain out the water and give the cashews a rinse.
  2. Line a 20cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor combine the nuts, dates and salt for the base. Pulse until you have a sticky crumb. Press the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  4. For the vanilla layer place the lemon juice, coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract and cashews into your high speed blender. Blend on high until it forms a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour the vanilla layer over the base.
  5. Repeat the same process for the raspberry layer however add the raspberries along with the other ingredients. There’s no need to rinse the blender before doing this. Pour the raspberry layer over the vanilla layer
  6. Repeat the process again for the blueberry layer, adding in the blueberries in as well. Again there is no need to rinse the blender before doing this. Pour the blueberry layer over the raspberry layer.
  7. Cover the cake tin with foil or cling wrap before placing it in the freezer to set. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
  8. Remove the cake from the freezer half an hour before serving.
  9. Left over cake can be stored in the freezer for next time.

 

21 Mar 2014

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Baked Peach Overnight Oats

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The weather is starting to cool down here in Melbourne. I’m not a fan of the colder months, especially because my house has zero insulation and gets pretty chilly at night time. The end of Summer also means the end of stone fruit season! In the next few weeks all the amazing Summer produce I’ve been enjoying these past three months are slowly going to disappear.

I’m not quite ready to give up the sun just yet so I’ve been making the most of the little time we have left. I’ve been making this baked peach puree every weekend for my oats for about the last month and I’m still not sick of it. If I had a big enough freezer I’d stock up and make enough of it to last me through till next Summer. Unfortunately I don’t so I’ll just have to savour the taste while I can.

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When I make I dish I like I tend to eat it everyday until I can’t stand the taste anymore and then I won’t eat it ever again. I haven’t had that with this breakfast yet and I honestly don’t think I ever will, and because in a couple weeks I won’t be able to buy peaches anymore it’ll only make me super excited to make it again next Summer!

The inspiration for this recipe comes from In The Making By Belen's roast apricot sauce. If you haven't checked her out yet I would definitely recommend you hop on over to her beautiful blog to have a look.

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Serves 4, with extra puree.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups non dairy milk (I use oat milk)
  • 6 large peaches
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs brown rice syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the oats, chia seeds, pepitas, almonds and coconut sugar. Pour in the milk and stir until everything is combined. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge overnight. In the morning give the oats a quick stir before serving.
  2. To make the peach puree preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones. Place the peaches on a tray covered in baking paper and bake them for 20-30 minutes or until the peaches are soft.
  3. Remove the peaches from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. When the peaches are cool place them in a blender along with the lemon juice, brown rice syrup and salt and blend until the peaches form into a smooth puree.
  5. Evenly pour a few tablespoons of the puree into 4 glasses and then top them with the overnight oats.

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7 Mar 2014

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Braised Mushrooms, Caramelised Onion & Kale with Chive Potato Mash

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Most of my dinner inventions are created out of the need to use up old lonely vegetables that have been forgotten and left for days unattended in the fridge. This dish was one of them. I recently had half a bunch of slowing wilting kale that needed some attention so I quickly threw it in a pan along with some garlic and mushrooms. Since then I’ve altered and perfected this meal and it’s now one of my favourite things to make and eat for dinner.

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Serves 4

Braised Mushrooms, Caramelised Onion & Kale:

  • Olive oil for the pan
  • 1 large brown onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary, about 4 sprigs
  • A few handfuls of button mushrooms, about 4 cups
  • 4-6 stalks of kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chive Potato Mash:

  • 6 large potatos, chopped into quaters
  • 1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I use bonsoy soy milk for an extra creamy mash)
  • A generous drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chives, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Start with the caramelised onions. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a small pan over a medium to low heat. Add the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt and cook until it turns a golden caramelised colour, about 20-30 minutes. When the onions are caramelised set them aside for later.
  2. Add another drizzle of olive oil to a larger pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook them for a couple minutes until they become fragrant.
  3. Toss the mushrooms in with the garlic and rosemary and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Mix the kale in with the mushrooms along with a 1/4 cup of water. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down to a low temperature and allow to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  5. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring them to the boil. Continue cooking the potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked drain the water and place them in a large bowl. Mash up the potatoes while gradually adding the non-dairy milk and olive oil. For extra fluffy potatoes I use a hand held mixer to mash and mix everything together. When you’re happy with the texture fold in the chives and season with some salt and pepper.
  7. When the mushrooms have cooked through stir in the caramelised onions and fresh lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve the mushrooms and kale with a dollop of mashed potatoes.

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26 Feb 2014

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