Healthy Instant Noodles via The Londoner

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A lovely blog and such a good idea, I wish I would have learned about this sooner.  I love pot noodles, but not with all the sodium and MSG.  I just simply don’t buy them.  Can’t eat ramen when in Japan because it’s not vegetarian.  This is easily modify-able and portable!

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Saturdays…

Just two more days left here in Turkey and I can tell there will be things I will miss after I’ve had some time away.  I am very much looking forward to variation and options for vegetarians in the supermarkets as we head back to Holland on Monday, but I am not looking forward to dipping 15c and going to the non stop rain! Still, I’m on holiday and I can’t complain.  The weather is a helluva lot better than Canada!

bread

This beautiful bread recipe was just posted on the My New Roots website and I cannot wait to try it.  Any kind of bread that purports to be healthy and doesn’t contain white flour has got to be good in my books and my time in Europe has me leaning towards this dense brick like breads.

Here are the most popular search terms in the past 30 days that brought people to my blog! Despite the fact that I have not been updating it very regularly, I am still getting visitors, thankfully.  My Spelt Roti and Dahl Recipe continues to be one of the more popular! Thank you 🙂

 

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Smoked Tofu, Kimchi and Gomae Rice Bowl!

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Sorry for the weird lighting in this photo.  The sun was shining brightly through the window and I just couldn’t get it right.  This dish comes together very simply once you have a few things made in advance.  I started making homemade kimchi a while ago to avoid a lot of the salt and fish sauce.  My favourite recipe for kimchi is from Dr. Ben Kim.  I love the addition of grated fruit and the step by step photos are great. 

The smoked tofu recipe comes from Grouprecipes.com and it turned out great.  I will definitely be using this recipe again for sandwiches.  I would just say to ease up on the liquid smoke a bit as that stuff packs quite the punch and can be a bit overwhelming if you add too much.  1/2 tsp. is more than enough!

The spinach gomae is just in my head after years of making it.  This is more like the gomae you would get in Japan and not at all like North American sushi restaurant gomae which usually uses peanut butter and includes a big dollop of sweet, sticky sauce on top.  Regular gomae is usually just sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and ground sesame seeds.  I just kind of wing it.  Steam the spinach and squeeze out as  much moisture as you can.  Grind the sesame seeds in a spice grinder or invest in a Japanese grinder which is kind of like a mortar and pestle with grooves in the mortar part.  Chill the spinach at which point you can squeeze together and slice into pieces or not as I didn’t bother to do in the photo above.  Add sauce and enjoy!

All of this is put atop Japanese short grain sticky rice with some slices of avocado.  Mmmmmmmm…

Fig and Anise Irish Soda Bread…

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Hey guys! Just wanted to share a recipe with y’all.  I was inspired to make a Fig and Anise bread by my longing and missing Terra Breads in Vancouver.  They make the most amazing Fig and Anise loaf and I wish I could get it here.  This recipe, by Kristine Kidd is from her Williams-Sonoma Cookbook and is, as she mentions, an Irish Soda bread recipe and therefore really nothing like the Terra Breads loaf.  I modified it further by adding pumpkin seeds (I wanted to add walnuts like the Terra Breads version but I didn’t have any!) and I used soy milk + apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.  This bread is so good with a slab of cheddar or just toasted with some butter. Enjoy!

Fig and Anise Quick Bread from Kristinekidd.com
 
For a memorable finish to a company dinner, offer a plate of assorted farmstead cheeses, such as a fresh goat’s milk cheese, a bloomy rind cheese, an aged hard cheese, and a pungent blue, with thin wedges of this aromatic round loaf. A glass of Port is a perfect accompaniment.
 
Makes 1 round loaf
 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole- wheat flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed in a mortar, plus more for sprinkling
½ teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature 
1 cup (about 6 ounces) coarsely chopped dried figs
¾ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing 
1 egg
 
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, 1 teaspoon aniseed, baking soda, and salt. Scatter the butter over the top. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the figs. 
In a small bowl, whisk together the ¾ cup buttermilk and the egg until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended and a soft dough forms. 
 
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 20 turns. Form the dough into a ball. Place in the prepared pan and flatten to 1½ inches thick. Cut a large cross 1/3 inch deep into the dough. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with aniseed. 
  
Bake until the bread is light brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and then turn right side up to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into thin wedges.
 

Vegan Chili with Barley…

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Barley is an awesome meat substitute for chili.  It gives you that texture and “filling-ness” that is normally taken up with ground beef but is so much better for you.  I used to make this with Yves Ground Round but I’m moving away from processed vegetarian meat substitutes as much as possible.  Throw in whatever veggies you want in this recipe, and make it your own!

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1-28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2-19 oz. rinsed cans of beans of your choice (here I use black and kidney beans)
  • 10 oz. can of sliced mushrooms*
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 c. dry pot or pearl barley
  • 1 c. H20
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tbsp. poblano chili pepper
  • 1 tsp. Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oil in large pot on medium-high.  Add onions and celery and saute until onions are tender and nearly clear.  Add garlic last and stir (garlic burns easily).  Add zucchini and rinsed can of mushrooms and stir occasionally for a few minutes.  Add can of diced tomatoes and cans of beans and mix well.  Add 1c. of H20 and barley.  Reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer until barley is cooked through.  If chili begins to look too dry, add more water, a quarter cup at a time.  When barley is cooked, add chili peppers, hot sauce, brown sugar and salt.  Mix well and cook for a few more minutes so spices can release their flavours.  Taste and adjust salt and spices to taste.  Let sit a few minutes before serving! Tastes better the next day!

*Why do I use canned mushrooms? Yes, I know, living fresh mushrooms are probably better nutritive-wise and I always used them in chili up until recently.  But something about the texture of canned mushrooms is more appealing to me and works better for chill.  Of course, the recipe works just fine with fresh, sliced mushrooms.  Add them to the celery at the beginning and sauté until cooked.