Monday, January 29

heyhey!

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Heyheyhey leeky ladies! sorry for the long absence. work's been crazy and I haven't been cooking anything interesting! I'll get my ass moving on restaurant reviews, though, because there are some jems here in Tokyo.

Thought I'd share a pic from a christmas party with students and staff from work. The restaurant staff were kind enough to whip up a vegan meal for me at the last minute.

and another pic...
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well, a friend gave this book to me recently. honestly, it's not a book that i'd be interested in reading but there are some good recipes and info on japanese women's relationship to food e.g. valuing and savouring seasonal, local food.

more later!!! i'll be catching up on everyone's rockin'postings soon!

Sunday, January 7

lintil's master shopping list (or, how my mind works)

so sad. i haven't been here in SO long. :( but, it's a "new year" so i feel the time is ripe...

in the past few months, i have been trying to become more and more organized (or perhaps anal and compulsive :D ). i have been trying to keep track of things: what i do with my time, what i spend, exercise, and what i eat and how much i spend on food (it's a lot, because i eat out a lot) in order to know how to spend my time and money better.

one of the organizing and/or compulsive tools that i came up with (and which professional organizers actually suggest) is having a master shopping list. i realized i needed this after going grocery shopping and i'd be getting the same things, and thus, writing out the same shopping list, or using previous shopping lists. so, here's my master shopping list categorized by function (not recommended by professional organizers; they recommend to organize it by location in your grocery store so that you're not walking back and forth all over the store!). i've included the places where i buy things. :D NF= no frills, CT=chinatown, BS=bulk store, CC: Carrot Common (health food store), KM=kensington market

breakfast:
NF: oats
NF: brown sugar
CT: bananas

breakfast/snacks:
NF: pita
CC: sundried tomato spread
NF: vegan cheese

NF: bread
NF: jam
BS: peanut butter

meals:
crispy fried tofu:
CT: firm tofu
BS: nutritional yeast
CT: beans
CT: garlic
CT: soy sauce

mutton curry:
KM: veggie mutton
CT: soft tofu
CT: dau fu bok (tofu balloon-type things)
KM: potatoes
NF: mushrooms
CT: carrots
CT: nappa
CT: tomatoes
CT: ginger
NF: soy milk
CT: curry paste

noodle soup:
CT: noodles
CT: bean sprouts
CT: dong gu mushrooms

neccessities:
CT: rice
NF: oil

i added today (which i may or may not ever buy again):
NF: pasta - to use up sharmalade's tomato sauce while she's gone
NF: avocado - i guess for guacamole? i made some the other day with friends and i have sharm's leftover lemon. cooking with friends totally increases my confidence with cooking.
NF: broccoli - for the pasta dish i made today.

so there you have it. simple, simple, simple. now you have an idea of how i eat: same thing for brekky everyday (oatmeal), some snacks (bread/pita and spread that can also be a fast brekky) and basically 3 different meals, because that's about all i can handle. :D crispy fried tofu is my mainstay; i LOVE mutton curry but it takes so long to make so i have been avoiding it; and noodle soup i still have to master. :D

lately i have taken up making crispy fried tofu sandwiches with soft tofu instead of firm, and adding on fried mushrooms and other veggies. yum!!! i used to cook more pasta in the past, but i didn't grow up eating pasta dishes, and i've been wanting to focus more on things like what i did eat while growing up. (i.e. i didn't grow up eating mutton curry, but it's mom food. :)

but the pasta worked well today: fried up broccoli and carrots ("hard" veggies), when tender, added in mushrooms ("soft" veggie) and garlic (quick cooking), added in pasta sauce, then added in cooked spaghetti (which boiled while the veggies were cooking) to heat up the sauce and mix everything in. once cooked, i dumped a pile of nutritional yeast on it - YUM! (n. yeast is a vegan alternative to parmesan cheese, tastes better, and has loads of B12. :)

i used to be more complicated with my cooking, which resulted in buying things that i wouldn't end up using and having things go bad in the fridge. that's why i want to just be REAL simple now and take tiny steps to build my repetoire. :D i don't even have onions or watercress in there!

someday i will add in packed lunches and expand my snack repetoire. :D (i want that to be fruits, etc.: apples, oranges, grapefruit, pomelo, chestnuts, peanuts...) again, i want to be careful about what i buy so that i will eat the things before they go bad! (dry peanuts don't go bad at least. i bought a bag in september, forgot about it (see what i mean?) and finally ate them last week or so.)

so what does your master shopping list look like? what's your approach to cooking and feeding yourself?

Monday, January 1

NOW’s ultimate veggie burger challenge

Thursday, December 7

Cook up rice with black eyed peas

This post is mainly for Lavender, who has been asking for this recipe for a while now. Sorry for taking this long! This is my mom's cook up rice recipe with a few additions. I may have posted another version here a year ago.

Start off by soaking a cup or so of black eyed peas in water for about 8 hours, either overnight or in the morning if you're going to eat this for dinner. Make sure there's about 3 times more water than black eyed peas, because they expand.

Drain the black eyed peas, and start boiling about 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot. Put in the drained black eyed peas and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until they're slightly soft.

Add half a can of coconut milk, 3 green onions chopped, some hot pepper (1 wiri wiri pepper is what I used), an onion chopped and salt. Some people also add a veggie bullion cube for extra flavour.

Add 1 cup brown rice. Add enough water to make the rice cook (ie, whatever the rice-water proportions are).

Stir this all in, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat. The trick to this recipe is to make sure that the timing is right. Adding the rice before the black eyed peas are half-cooked will make overcooked rice and undercooked black eyed peas. It's better to add less water and keep adding as necessary.

Meanwhile, grate 2 carrots. Also defrost 1 package of frozen spinach and cut it into half.

When the rice and black eyed peas are almost cooked, add the grated carrots and frozen spinach. Taste it to make sure that there's enough flavour. Could also add some thyme at this point.

Keep stirring to make sure that the bottom doesn't burn. Turn off the stove when almost all of the water is evaporated, and it will come together nicely after it cools a little.

Monday, October 23

yet another freezer post...

Moving into a new place, it's quite a process to accumulate a good, well-balanced set of freezer contents. It's tempting to start throwing all kinds of things into the freezer. But really, there's only so much space. Since Lintil and I moved in about 6 weeks ago, I've been carefully establishing the ideal freezer contents (Lintil doesn't seem to be into freezing stuff, so we didn't need to establish freezer etiquette...so far)

Here are the contents of our freezer:

washed and chopped cilantro
washed and chopped green onions
about 20 wiri wiri peppers

1 package of frozen chopped spinach
half a bag of frozen peas
half a bag of frozen corn

1 unopened package of 4 veggie burgers
6 veggie weiners (of an 8 pack)
1 frozen pizza with sauce

half of a baked butternut squash
3/4 of a baked acorn squash
3 pieces of veggie lasagna (wrapped in aluminum foil)
3 bags of bread, about 4 slices left in each (ok, i did just throw these in...)

half a can of crushed tomatoes (in tupperware)
2 half cans of 2 different cream of mushroom soups
half a can of coconut milk

3 cans of frozen orange juice
2 ice cube trays

1/4 package of stewed 'mutton' (lintil's)

Tuesday, October 17

this beet wonders...

(i'm curious, but also testing out this poll thingy)


How often do you cook per week
7 times or more per week
5-6 times a week
3-4 times a week
1-2 a week
practically never
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday, September 24

Mutton Curry



I decided to make a simple textured vegetable protein (TVP) curry for lunch yesterday. It comes dry, and needs to be soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes before it becomes reconstituted.

So I soaked a handful, and 15 minutes later, I started the curry. I started off with onions, garlic, pepper, curry powder and garam masala. Start off by frying all of these ingredients in some oil. Then drain the TVP and throw it into the pot.

Then I remembered the potatoes. A few weeks ago, I decided that what we really needed was a giant bag of potatoes, which was on sale at the time. Since then, I've felt this enormous pressure to put potatoes into everything. So I peeled and diced the potatoes, and threw those into the pot as well. Added water to cover all the ingredients, and let it simmer. Oh, and green onions and some salt can go in at this point as well.

But then, as it was simmering, I thought...hmmm... I had some green beans that I got a week ago that won't last much longer. I never EVER eat green beans as a full dish. Only when they're in something else, and rarely a whole green bean. So I chopped up all the green beans into very small bits and threw those into the pot.

Realizing that a carrot would probably go well with this 'simple' curry that was simmering away, I chopped one up and threw it in.

At this point, there was WAY too much curry for one person, so I asked Lintil if she wanted some (she was sitting in her pink room; note: red curtains + bright sunlight = pink room), and of course she said "YEAH!". The deal was that she had to make the rice. She knows how to make rice with the right amount of water so that it comes out all fluffy and dry. I always use the 'pasta' method: throw in as much water as possible, and drain it afterwards.

So Lintil made the rice, which actually DIDN'T have the right amount of water afterall, and so at the end, she had this toasted sort of rice pancake at the bottom of the pot.

But in the process of making the rice, Lintil said "Why don't we throw some of the mutton in??" She had this TVP stewed mutton in the freezer that she got from King's Cafe in Kensington. It is by far the best TVP I've ever had. I don't remember what mutton tastes like, but this 'stewed mutton' had fantastic texture and the flavour is really yummy.

And this is how we ended up with mutton curry for lunch yesterday.