Spring is Here! A celebration.

Time to revisit an old post.

Maintaining a balanced diet is the first casualty of a busy lifestyle. I often wonder what on earth we women did when we left the home and went out to work. (Please, no spam about this. I am ancient enough to have been a part of that movement and I will bore you to death with stories should you dare spam me about this. It was an exciting, exhilarating time for women. But now? We rock the cradle, clean the house AND run a business.)

It is especially difficult if you are vegetarian (and, like me, do not eat eggs). Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But, yes, still I struggle to eat my 5 veggies and 2 fruits a day. It is hilarious what I will call a veggie, just to make the numbers match. A bunch of parsley whizzed into a sauce? Add 1 veggie. A bunch of coriander magic’d into an Indian chutney? Add another veggie. You would think eating vegetarian would make it easier, but, well, a meal of rice and dal and maybe a veggie curry does not make the math. Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Beetroot, Bread, Broad Beans, Capsicums, Carrots, Cucumber, Eggplant, garlic, Italian, Lentils, Grains, Rice and Nuts, Olives, Pasta, Potato, Pumpkin, Salads, Soups, Spices and Herbs, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Tofu, Yoghurt and Paneer, Tomatoes, VEGETARIAN, Zucchini | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella.

Grilled Fennel Mozzarella Salad

Are you like me? Hate those 6pm meetings that are catered? Few vegetarian options except for chips and other deep fried snacks. I have one of those meetings tonight, but thankfully I got it licked.

Around 4pm I stopped work and made this salad. It is Nigel Slater’s originally, but I have adopted it as my own over time. I do love his way with vegetables. Simple and respectful.

I knew there was a fennel lurking at the bottom of the vegetable bin, and a large mozzarella ball further up in the fridge.  I so adore soft oozy mozzarella with a faint whiff of Italian heaven, lost in its bath of whey. I love it torn into bits, drizzled with olive oil, piled with tomatoes and cucumber, and decorated with pomegranate molasses. That dish has saved me many a time, late at night, tired from a long day, collapsed in front of the television. Tearing adds great texture, great mouth-feel, and a much more interesting look than slicing. I never slice the large balls.

Grilled Fennel Mozzarella Salad Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Fennel, Olives, Salads, VEGETARIAN | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pungent Kidney Bean Feijoada from Goa

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The Portuguese occupied Goa for some 400 years or so, so the cuisine of Goa is multi-faceted. There is very traditional South Indian/Hindu food, food very much influenced by Spanish/Portuguese/Brazilian cuisines, and you have the cuisine of other groups in Goa eg migrant workers and Muslim dishes. It is fascinating and layered.

Feijoada is a Brazilian dish that has been adopted and adapted by Goa. This is a vegetarian version, pungent with spices and tamarind.

Kidney Bean Feijoada From Goa Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Indian, Lentils, Grains, Rice and Nuts, VEGETARIAN | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coconut-y Rice Flatbread/Roti from Goa

Goan Rice Flatbreads Roti

I have such good memories of Goa, both from my first trips there over a decade ago and my recent trip early this year. Three weeks sitting on a beach eating Indian food – you can imagine the wonderful heaven I was in.

So a couple of Goan recipes in The Kitchen this week. Today, an easy Rice Flat Bread. Continue reading

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A gentle, quick Asparagus Soup, so good for you

Asparagus Soup

Wanting a quick boost, I resorted to my favourite quickie – a blended asparagus soup. It is so easy, and asparagus is plentiful and cheap at the moment. Continue reading

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Phanta Tea (Basil Tea) – for when you need to rest

Phanta Tea

Phanta tea is very good for you, especially in early spring. Ayurvedically, it is good for sinusitis, flu, hayfever, bronchitis, asthma and some fevers. (Consult your Ayurvedic practictioner.)

It is gentle and calming, reducing Vata and Kapha, but raising Pitta. Drink it at a time that you can relax and take some bed rest. It is best to avoid cold for a couple of hours after drinking.

Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India, with a taste somewhere between mint and basil. You can often buy Tulsi tea in organic and health shops. If I can’t find Tulsi, I make this tea with ordinary basil and it still works wonders. Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Drinks and other liquids, Indian, Teas, VEGETARIAN | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kampung Ghee Rice: Malaysian Village Rice

Kampung Ghee Rice

So many recipes exist for Ghee Fried Rice, a Malaysian dish often called Kampung Ghee Rice. Kampung refers to its village origins. This is a wonderfully fragrant rice, lighting up your whole house with its warm spice fragrance. I was first introduced to the recipe by my friend and cook extraordinaire Franz. Thanks Franz.

Franz’s recipe uses a kilo of rice. I never cook that much at one time, so have used smaller quantities.

It is a dish that you can cook on your stove top or in your rice cooker, even your pressure cooker, should you so desire.

For rice cookers – if yours allows you to fry off ingredients in the rice cooker before closing the lid, it is very easy. Otherwise, fry off the spices in a pan on the stove-top and then add this to your rice cooker and cook in the normal way.

Note that basmati rice takes a little more water to cook than your normal rice.

Kampung Ghee Rice

Continue reading

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