Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ratatouille Style Spicy Sauté

Here we are again with the spicy dishes. This one is easy to whip up. All you need is a little eggplant, a tomato, and a handful of spinach.

Required: 1 Small Eggplant, 1 Large Tomato, Spinach, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil

I was lazy today so I decided to use garlic powder instead of chopping some fresh cloves. Take your eggplant and chop into small rectangles. Do the same to the tomato. Tomatoes can be more triangular rather than square.

Heat up the pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Throw in the tomatoes first. Stir. Then toss in the eggplant. Stir in 2-3 tsp of turmeric and cayenne. Add 1 Tbsp of garlic powder. Add salt and pepper for taste. Keep stirring. After the eggplant gets nice and soft, add the spinach and cover for a few seconds. Uncover and stir again.
Serve over rice.

The spice from the cayenne will add a nice touch to the eggplant and tomato!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cauliflower and Tomato Curry

More curry! MMM... This one is super easy to whip up too! All you need are spices, cauliflower, and tomatoes.

Required: 1 Cauliflower, 2 Medium sized tomatoes, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Curry Powder, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Butter or Soy Margarine

Take a vegetable steamer and place it in a pot or deep pan and fill with water. Add cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Steam the cauliflower until soft. Meanwhile chop two tomatoes into small chunks. Take 2 Tbsp of canola oil and heat on high in pan. Throw in tomatoes and stir. Keep on high heat. Toss in the steamed cauliflower. Stir in 4 tsp of garlic powder, 4 tsp of cayenne, 3 Tbsp of curry powder, 1 Tbsp of turmeric, and 1/4 cup of margarine or butter. Keep stirring until butter melts completely. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over bed of brown or saffron rice!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Curry Spinach and Brown Rice

The weather in Los Angeles has cooled down in the last week or so. It's allowed me to go back to cooking. I discovered a new treat from Trader Joe's in the form of bagged brown rice. It inspired me to make this Spinach Curry to serve over the rice.

Required: 1 Batch of Spinach, 1 box of White Mushrooms, 1/2 of a Yellow Onion, Curry Powder, 2 cups of Brown Rice Medley (from Trader Joe's), Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Turmeric, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

Prepare the rice before cooking. Follow the directions on the package. Or use a rice cooker!

Chop the onion. Slice the white mushrooms. Take 2 Tbsps of the canola oil and oil a pan. Turn on stove at high heat to warm the pan. Sauté the onion first. Cook until soft. Throw in the mushrooms. Add 4 tsp of turmeric, add 4 tsp of curry, and add 2 tsp of garlic powder. Stir. Make sure your ingredients get mixed well with the spices. Finally add spinach. The spinach will cook quickly. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice medley!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Julienned Carrots

I can attest that this recipe is super yummy. It might even convince you carrot haters out there to start eating carrots (or not)! This simple dish can compliment other dishes really well. For example, I made the carrots and then cooked a separate batch of green beans. Then took a little of both and packed them over brown rice for lunch. I could just tell that my co-workers were envious!

Required: Carrots, Olive Oil, Salt, Sugar, Black Pepper

First, you should julienne the carrots. Julienning is essentially cutting a food item into thin long strips. I used baby carrots and sliced them in half first. Then I took my knife and cut them thinly at approximately a 45 degree angle. This helps make them nice and thin!

Poor about 3-5 Tbsp of Olive oil into a pan. Just realize that the ratio should match how much carrots you're using. Since I usually only cook for myself, I'll make a little more than I need so I can have leftovers for lunch or the following evening. If you need more olive oil, you can always add more. Set the stove to high heat. Wait until pan heats up and then add the carrots.

Cook carrots until a little brownish and soft. In the meantime, add 1-2 tsp of sugar. Make sure you stir thoroughly, you want it to mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simple, easy, fast, good, and good for you!

Fresh Mint Tea

Maybe you already know this, but just in case... I have a suggestion for those of you who have purchased fresh mint for a specific recipe and then wonder what you to do with the leftovers.

You can simply make mint tea, (hot or iced) by chopping fresh mint and soaking it in boiled water.

Required: Fresh Mint Leaves, Water, Honey

Pour desired amount of water in a tea kettle. Place on high heat. Chop some mint leaves. Take your leaves and place them in a French Press or teapot. If you don't have one, you can put them in a tall glass. Place 1 Tbsp (or to taste) of honey into the press or glass. Pour boiled water. Stir to mix up the honey. Let steep for about a minute or two depending on how strong you like it. If you are doing this in a glass, be sure to keep stirring so that the water absorbs the leaves. They'll be floating to the top.

For the iced version, once your leaves are finished steeping. Drain and pour only the water into a glass full of ice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tahini Noodles

Cold Tahini Noodles are great for the hot weather. Inspired by the Vegan Yum Yum recipe and the Real Food Daily Sesame noodles (no longer on the menu)... here is a nice almost raw and all vegan cold noodle recipe. This recipe takes a little preparation, but it's fairly easy to make.

Required: Broccoli, Carrots, Cabbage, Linguine Noodles, Tahini, Mint, Sugar, Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Mustard, Salt, Black Pepper

Optional: Sesame seeds, Shiitake Mushrooms

First before doing anything you should boil the noodles. I used Linguine which I thought was the perfect noodle for this dish.

Next, prepare the Tahini dressing-like sauce with the following:

1/4 cup Tahini
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Red Chili
1 tsp Mustard (I used Dijon)
1 pinch salt to taste
Dashes of Black Pepper

Mix all of the above in a bowl. Use a whisk until completely mixed. Let sit. In the meantime, check on your boiling water and noodles. When the noodles are finished please drain and run cold water over the strain. Place a few drops of olive oil in the pasta. Let it sit in the refrigerator.

Chop your broccoli into smaller pieces. I got my broccoli from Trader Joe's so I just cut the small pieces in quarters. Then take two carrots, peel and slice. Take 1/4 of your cabbage and shred. I don't have a shredder so I just sliced the cabbage thinly with a knife. Mix the veggies together. For giggles, I added some cooked shiitake mushrooms. I cooked them in oil and soy sauce. Mix all of the veggies in one bowl.

Once your noodles have been chilled enough, take them out of the fridge. Place some in a bowl. Add the semi raw veggies. Add some sesame seeds. Stir in the Tahini sauce. Mix well. Try not to put in too much since it might get salty quickly. Add some chopped mint leaves. Keep stirring until you see the sauce completely covering everything!

Taste the sauce before you add it to your noodle dish. You want to make sure the sauce is to your liking so you can adjust the ingredients before mixing it with your veggies.

Lastly, throw on some chopped mint leaves as garnish!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tofu Scramble Part Two

Here's an example of how having the same ingredients in your fridge can go a long way. Here I used my staple ingredient tofu to make a spicy breakfast scramble. It's super quick and easy.

Required: Firm Tofu, Onions, Spinach, Sea Salt,
Turmeric, Garlic or Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Curry Powder, Olive Oil, Cayenne Pepper

Half of a carton of tofu makes about 2 small servings. Take the desired amount of tofu and smash with a fork. You can do this in a large bowl. Make sure the tofu winds up looking like the picture when you're done with it. Chop half of a small onion. Mince a small clove of garlic.

Start by oiling your pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Turn on high heat and dump the chopped onions and minced garlic into the pan. Stir in a dash of salt, 4 tsp of turmeric, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Keep stirring. Next place the squished tofu into the pan. Add a few dashes of black pepper, 2 tsp of curry, and another Tbsp of oil. Stir. Lastly put in the spinach. Add more salt and pepper to taste. If you need more turmeric or curry please add a little more.

I served this with toast and a few slices of mozzarella cheese.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cool Tofu Snack

'Tofu Snack' is quick, easy, and perfect for the hot summer weather! It's great as an appetizer or healthy snack when you're not in the mood to cook. Take a slab of chilled tofu (meaning tofu that's been in the refrigerator), drain, and cut in half. Or if you're really hungry you can use the whole thing.

Firm Tofu, Vegetarian Oyster Sauce (you can get this at most Asian stores), Vegetarian Nori Furikake (thanks Stacey)

Slice drained tofu into cubes. Pour some oyster sauce on top and then sprinkle with Furikake. Oooh we're mixing Chinese and Japanese condiments together! You may want to repeat the condiment mixture on the second layer if you used all of the first layer. You'll see what I mean once eat the first cube.

Super cool!