Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French influence consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with the rice. I decided to make a vegetarian version of this dish using whatever vegsetables I had on hand and kidney beans as a protein substitute for the meat.
This is a highly recommended dish to anyone who has only 30-45 mins to cook and is looking for a hearty meal to feed the family. And a big plus ? it requires only 1 pot!
Vegetarian Jambalaya (Serves 4)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pounded
2 celery sticks, sliced thin
1/2 a large bell pepper, cut into big pieces
1 litre veg stock
1 can of tinned tomatoes
6-8 baby okras
6-8 baby corns
1 cup of Arboria rice
1 can of kidney beans
Salt & Pepper
Chilli Flakes or Paprika
1) First, take a large heavy pot and fry the onion, garlic, celery and bell peper for 8-10 mins till cooked.
2) Pour in the veg stock.
3) Add in the diced canned tomatoes. If you don't have any canned tomatoes, just chop up two medium sized tomatoes and add them to the pot. At this point, add salt, pepper and some chilli flakes for heat.
4) Next, add in the washed Arborio rice. Arboria rice is recommended when your dish requires a creamy texture. If you don't have this specific rice, any shortgrained white or brown rice will do. Keep stirring regularly to avoid the rice sticking to the base of the pot.
6) When the stock has reduced in quantity, add the okra pods and the baby corns. I don't add this too early as then the okra will overcook and turn mushy.
7) Next add in the kidney beans.
8) When the stock has been totally absorbed by the rice and vegetables, turn off the fire and let it cool slightly before serving warm, garnished with parsley leaves.
9) Enjoy this wholesome guilt-free, gluten-free vegan Hearty Vegetarian Jambalaya.
As long as you have you have some vegetables and eggs at home, you can easily whip up a frittata. Frittata is an egg based Italian dish similar to an omelette or a crustless quiche with added ingredients like meats or vegetables. It is quite a wholesome meal with the protein from the eggs and the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.
Broccoli in a Frittata? Why not? And frittata doesn't always have to have whole eggs. Why not just egg white only for a twist?
Ingredients (Serves 2)
A small piece of broccoli flower (roughly 100gm) broken into small florets
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 - 4 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced into small strips
6 egg whites
Salt & Pepper
4 cherry tomatoes halved
2 tbsp crumbles feta cheese
1) Boil the broccoli florets in salted water for 5 minutes.
2) Drain, then plunge into cold water to retain that beautiful green hue.
3) Take a frying pan and fry the the onion, garlic and bell pepper for 8-10mins till the vegetables are softened.
4) Beat the egge whites with pepper and salt.
5) Add the boiled broccoli into the pan and stir.
6) Pour the egg white into the pan.
7) Add a few cherry tomato halves for colour.
8) Cover and cook for 10 mins on low heat till the top is cooked as well.
9) Serve warm for breakfast or as a side for any other meal.
Has anyone missed my recipes? I apologise for my hiatus but I have not had time to blog my recipes for the last 3 months. I didn't have time to even try new recipes with my own twisted version of them. But I made time for this recipe as it simply had to be posted.
My older 16year old girl had just completed her mid-term exams and was bored with too much time in her hands. She decided to venture into the kitchen to try her hand at baking instead of her usual scrambled eggs or spinach banana smoothies. She came across this one bowl easy brownie recipe and turned out fabulous! Never mind my kitchen which looked like a tornado has just passed through. Never mind the cleaning I had to do after. I enjoyed it tremendously. This recipe is really worth sharing here on my blog. Of course, I replaced 1 cup of caster sugar with a mix of 1/2 cup caster and 1/2 cup brown sugar, to avoid that cloyingly sweet aftertaste.
The key to getting really choclatey ooey gooey fudgy brownies? A few points to note :
Yields 18 squares
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbsp canola/sunflower oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
1/2 cup plain/all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
A few crushed pieces of walnut/cocoa buttons (if you prefer nut-free brownies)
1. Preheat oven to 175deg C. Spray cooking spray onto 10 x 6 inch flat brownie baking tin and line with baking paper. Set aside. Whisk the melted butter, oil and the sugar for 1-2 mins.
2) Add the eggs and vanilla essence and whisk further for another 1-2 mins.
3) Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Do it over the butter egg mix for a one bowl less clean up baking.
4) Add the sieved flour and cocoa to the butter egg mix. Mix well but do not over mix. You can add walnuts at this point.
5) Pour the batter onto the prepared baking tin.
6) Top with cocoa buttons or more crushed walnuts. Bake at the top shelf for excatly 21 mins. Remove, let it cool for 10 mins and cut into squares. Enjoy for a sweet after dinner treat.
Anne Wightman, a member of the training team for NMS Docent Training made this multiple flavoured, grainy and of course aesthetically so pleasing cake during one of the early days of our training. She has gladly shared her recipe here. Her original recipe did not have rose flavor but I added it into the syrup because pistachios and rose somehow just go together.
Ingredients (for a 21cm high cake)
75gm unsalted butter, softened
75ml canola oil
175gm shelled pistachios
50gm unsweetened desiccated coconut
125 gm plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
A pinch of salt
4 medium eggs, room tempertaure
200gm castor sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (keep the lemon for juice)
3 rounded tbsps of sour cream
Ingredients (for the syrup)
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
3tbsps caster sugar
200ml cold water
1 tsp rose essence
Ingredients for decoration
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup dried rose petals
1) First line a 21cm round springfoam baking tin with baking paper. Butter the sides. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
2) Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat and add in the canola oil. Mix, remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.
3) Place the pitschios into a food processor and whizz until they are finely chopped. Add the coconut, flour, baking powder, and salt and process for another 10seconds just to combine.
4) Beat the eggs and sugar using an elctric mixer until they are thick and pale.
5) Gently fold in the lemon zest and the pistachio flour mixture.
6) Add in the cooled butter and oil mix and three tbsps of sour cream.
7) Pour it into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 40-50mins in the middle shelf of the oven till a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave it to cool.
8) In the meantime, prepare the syrup. Put all the ingredients into a small pot and boil until its thick and reduced by half.
9) Run a knife around the cake to release the sides from the tin. Remove from tin and place on a cake holder. Using a skewer, make holes all over the top of the cake for the syrup to flow in.
10) Drizzle the syrup all over the cake.
11) Get the decoration ingredients ready.
12) First sprinkle the desiccated coconut over and then top with rose petals and chopped pistachios.
13) Enjoy your hard work ! Bite into a delicious Pistachio Rose Lemon Cake with your favourite cuppa.
Eggplants are a vegetable that you need to have an acquired taste for. I realised this recently during a dinner with my friends from the National Museum of Singapore. I was surprised when a vegan friend Christine refused an Eggplant Zucchini Salad claiming that they are slimy and prickish to the tongue. Hmmm...don't entirely agree with you there, Christine. Okra is slimy I agree like what you said but this is the first time I have heard that eggplants are slimy! :) Even my teen girls don't like eggplants. They don't like broccoli either even when I make a chinese stir-fry weekly. But that's a whole new story with teens and their taste buds. Moms with teens will agree on this one.
This recipe is a simple Meditarranean stirfry incorporating the eggplants with celery, tomatoes and onions and served with either hummus, quinoa or brown basmati rice. I happened to have a packet of Tilda ready-made quinoa and brown basmati rice mix (see pic below) from London, purchased during my holiday recently. (Gosh, I miss London. Again, that's another story.) Alternatively, you can make your own quinoa or brown basmati rice but do cook them in veg broth instead of plain water for an added flavor.
Ingredients (for 2-3 servings)
4 tbsps EVOO for grilling eggplants
2 tbsps EVOO for the stew
I big dark purple eggplant roughly 200gm
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 celery stick, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pounded
1 can 400gm tinned tomatoes
2 tbsps capers, rinsed
6-8 olives, rinsed and sliced or left whole
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped roughly
Quinoa & Basmati Rice
1/2 cup tricolor quinoa
1/2 cup brown basmati rice, soaked for 30mins
2.5 cups veg broth (homemade or storebought)
Salt if needed
1) Cut the eggplants into medium chunks and sprinkle some salt over the eggplants to remove the bitter juices. Leave aside for 10 mins.
2) Prepare the other ingredients. Onion, celery and garlic, black olives, capers, coriander leaves and toasted pine nuts and lastly tinned tomatoes.
3) After 10 mins, pour the 4 tbsps EVOO onto a skillet and start grilling the eggplants. Drain on paper towel and keep aside.
4) In the same skillet, add 2 more tbsps EVOO and start frying the onion and garlic.
5) After 2-3 mins, add the sliced celery.
6) After another 3 mins of stirring, add the tinned tomatoes and stir to mix again.
7) Now, add in the capers and olives. Isn't it already looking so so delicious ??
8) Add in the grilled eggplants and season with salt and chilli flakes. Let the stew cook for 10 mins on low heat. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the base of the skillet.
9) Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and basmati rice in veg broth in your rice cooker. I cooked the pre packaged Tilda quinoa and basmati rice mix and it took only 2 mins in microwave. This is how it looks. Don't judge by its blah look - it is really tasty.
10) After 10-12 mins, when the eggplants have stewed well with the rest of the ingredients, switch off the fire. Serve the egg plant stew on a bed of quinoa and brown basmati rice. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and coriander leaves. Serve warm.
Who would have thought mashing boiled individual baby potatoes and then baking them with butter, condiments and cheese would give us a delicious potatoe side dish? That's what we are going to get from this quick recipe. unbelievably easy and unbelievably yummm....
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
10 baby red potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps garlic granules
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
A handful of English Parsley chopped and extra for garnish at the end
1) Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 mins.
2) Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Grease a flat baking tray.
3) Melt the butter and then mix with the olive oil.
4) Drain the potatoes, pat dry with kitchen paper and place them on the baking tray. Slowly mash each of them flat.
5) Top each with the melted butter and olive oil mix. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for 20 mins.
6) In the meantime, mix the parmesan with the chopped parsley.
7) Remove the smashed potatoes and now top with this parmesan & parsley mix, garlic granules and drizzle some more butter olive oil mix.
8) Put back into the oven for another 10 mins to become all crispy and golden brown. Serve warm, garnished with extra parsley. Didn't I say EASY? :)
An easy french toast recipe that allows you to whip up these sweet delicious protein rich bread triangles in minutes!
Ingredients (3 servings)
3 slices of bread, cut into triangles
1/2 cup fresh milk
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1)Mix all the ingredients and whisk them till well combined.
2) Dip each triangle into the egg batter and let it soak for a few minutes.
3) Heat a skillet and swig a little canola oil.
4) Fry the dipped bread triangles in batches.
5) You can have them on their own or serve with honey and whipped cream too!
There are tons of pancake recipes out there. Why is this recipe so special? Well, this recipe is from my sister June who passed it to me years ago. It has been very well received for years in my family and friends. It’s a simple basic recipe for fluffy soft melt in your mouth pancakes and so many other variations can be made out of this one basic recipe. Like you could add mashed bananas, blueberries or raspberries or choc chips etc. I added chop chips this time round at the request of my younger Daughter Riya.
Ingredients ( for 6 pancakes)
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsps caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup fresh milk
2tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Other additions ( Optional)
1) Mix all the dry ingredient first and then add all the wet ingredients.
Get a pancake pan ready and when hot, grease it with a mix of butter and canola oil. Pour the batter in and add the chop chips on TOP. Drizzle a few drops of butter and canola oil mix.
2) When the bottom looks light brown, flip over and let it brown on the other side.
Enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup on top and butter on the side.
For those who are following my food blog, you'll know that I have a habit of taking a non vegetarian dish and making it vegetarian or vegan. If I can take pride in my culinary skills, its mostly a success. You can see my posts under Skinny Vegetarian Laksa or Skinny Tofu Rendang to see what I mean.
This recipe that I have posted today is no exception. I saw a recipe for a Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Scallion and decided to try the recipe with firm tofu cubes instead. It turned out quite well when I experimented today. But I missed a bit of heat in th dish. So, I have added bird's eye chilli to the ingredients, but do remember that its optional if you prefer a less intense dish. Serve this with a bowl of Jasmine rice and condiments on the side and it makes a light satisfying Chinese vegetarian dinner.
Ingredients (serves 4)
300gm firm tofu cut into triangles
For the Marinade
2 tsps corn flour
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsps water
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsps canola oil
1 onion, sliced
5-6 pieces sliced ginger
1 bird's eye chilli, sliced (optional)
2 tbsps vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
3 stalks of spring onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps Chinese wine
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 stalk of spring onion cut into 2 inch stalks
A few onion rings
A few bird's eye chilli slices
1) Mix all the ingrdients for the marinade in a bowl.
2) Cut the firm tofu into triangles (or cubes if you prefer) and pour in the marinade. Let it sit in the marinade for 20 mins. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and get all the sauces and garnishes ready.
3) After 20 mins, heat a wok or a skillet and pour in the canola oil. When heated sufficiently, add the marinated tofus. Be careful the oil will splatter because of the water in the marinade.
4) Flip over the tofu pieces till all the sides of all the tofu pieces are browned nicely. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain the oil.
5) With the same oil in the wok or the skillet, add in the sliced onions and start to fry till translucent.
6) The sliced ginger pieces go in next. Fry for 2 mins.
7) Add in the white parts of the spring onion and the following sauces :
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsps Chinese wine
1/2 cup water
8) Now, add in the marinated tofu pieces. Turn it over constanly and let it cook in the sauce for 10 mins on low heat. Add in the rest of the spring onions just before turning off the fire.
9) Switch off fire and serve with a bowl of rice. Garnish with more spring onion, a few rings of onion, topped with bird's eye chilli and a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds.
I was about to post about Cheesy Baked Rice (my earlier post) when I realised that the stir fried spinach and mushrooms which I use as a filling can be a dish on its own. Simple to whip up and again simply delicious, it will make a perfect side dish at any meal or a get together. I'm sure you are already aware that spinach will wilt and reduce in quantity when cooked, so increase accordingly for a larger group of people. The mushrooms I have used in this recipe are the Narcissus brand canned button mushrooms very commonly used in Asia. You can, of course, easily substitute them with fresh button mushrooms. Last note, chilli flakes are completely optional.
Ingredients (for 2 as a side dish)
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
200 gm mushrooms, drained from tin and washed
100gm baby spinach, washed
Salt & Pepper
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes ( optional )
1) Heat a skillet and melt the butter. Add in the olive oil. When heated start frying the minced garlic.
2) Once lightly browned, add in the button mushrooms. If you are using the canned version, they have already been boiled so they need only 3-5 mins of frying. However, if you are using the fresh kind, you may need to fry longer till the mushrooms are cooked and their water evaporated and the skillet is mostly dry.
3) Now, add in all the spinach and cook till wilted. Add salt and pepper. Check for heat before adding in the chilli flakes.
4) Switch off fire and serve warm.