Wednesday, May 29, 2013

work snacks

To celebrate surviving hump day of the working week, here are a few pictures of snacks that get me through the 9 to 5 day:

Banana pieces 'iced' with cashew nut butter and sunflower seed butter

A garden looking snack. Carrot crudites with a spinach garlic dip.

Broccomole (guacamole made with broccoli and silken tofu) with carrot crudites. I got the dip recipe from this website, with a few amendments to make it less spicy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

zucchini fritters/omelettes

I eat half a handful of nuts everyday and if I'm lucky, I might have some meat/tofu/legumes with lunch or dinner. I realised that I need more protein in my diet, so I bought a packet of eggs... other than morning pancakes, I've lived without eggs for so long that I kinda have no idea what to do with them. Fritters maybe? I've had some pretty good fritters from restaurants and cafes.

I grated one zucchini, mixed it with one egg and some gluten free flour (this was leftover from my diet earlier this year). It looked kinda promising. I also put some spinach in a couple of fritters.
As I poured the mixture on the pan, I gradually realised that they looked like mini omelettes... I waited with patience...
And who would have known, they tasted like omelettes too... (of course, you idiot). Nice and mushy on the inside. I think they had too much liquid in them, probably from the zucchini. I should have squeezed the water out of the zucchini beforehand. Or I should have put in more zucchini to increase the solid:liquid ratio. Oh well... next time!

gluten free bread: Deeks Bakery

Ever since my non gluten/soy/nuts/dairy diet, I've become more appreciative and aware of what food substitutes exist for key food groups and how these can help form a balanced diet. During my diet, I remember craving the texture of bread. I then discovered gluten free flour and it felt like I was alive again.

Deeks Bakery is a specialist bakery in Canberra offering a complete range of gluten free products, from loafs to sweet baked goods. Their loafs can also be found in major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolies. During one boring work lunch, I decided to browse Coles, and bingo - Deeks' bread was on sale.
With gluten free baked goods I've eaten, the key difference between them and and produce with gluten is the elasticity. Biting into Deeks bread was like biting into cake - there was no stretching of the bread, no bounce and no 'tearing' across the grain of the bread. But this isn't a bad thing, it's just different. The bread probably doesn't fill me up as much as, say, Burgen bread would, but I could definitely live on it.

veggie patties attempt

I love eating pre-made veggie burgers and sausages from the supermarket. But as usual, I wonder how natural these products are, how much unnecessary sugar/salt/flour/vegetable is added, how different would it taste if an ingredient was substituted for another. I've made my own veggie patties in the past but they were unsuccessful as they would either crumble in a heaped mess or taste bland. However, I gave it another shot.

I wanted something that was dominantly vegetables rather than legumes/beans. I used mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, home grown herbs, home made wholemeal breadcrumbs, brown lentils, garlic and onion.

I put all the ingredients, except the lentils, in my food processor (first pic below)... however, the mixture crumbled everywhere as I tried to assemble the patties. I was almost close to giving up, then thought I should pop half the lentils in the food processor. Out came a mix that looked like dog food, felt dense and compactable (second pic below). I could then assemble the patties.

I used a cookie cutter to shape the patties and baked some of them in the oven til they were crispy (I froze the rest). They looked adorable! The texture of the cooked patties was good, but they needed more flavour, perhaps through the addition of more herbs, spices or a nice sauce.

I sauteed some mushrooms in a home prepared Moroccan spice, tossed them with some raw spinach and voila! I made myself 4 lunches and many more to come.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

dairy free 'ice cream'

Most of my colleagues know that I'm a foodie so they often provide me endless recipes from mainstream magazines/newspapers. I came across one recipe for dairy free 'ice cream', which was essentially any fruit frozen blended with dairy free milk until it forms an ice cream consistency. I froze a kiwi and banana... one ambitious morning, I got out my whiz stick and blended the frozen fruit with a dash of soy milk. The fruit didn't budge at first, but with a lot of persistence and noise, out came a delish frozen slushie that resembled ice cream. I sprinkled a few nuts on it, and voila! Ice cream for breakfast :)

It was a special treat and had a gelato-like consistency. You could probably add sugar/honey to sweeten it. I wish I knew about this recipe during summer!

moroccan salad/burger

During the warmer months in Canberra, one of my favourite foods to prepare is a Moroccan salad as it's light, sweet and tasty. I got the recipe from a free Sanitarium cook book. The salad is pretty simple and consists of spinach, carrots, chickpeas, sultanas and sunflower seeds. The dressing is probably my favourite part, which is a mixture of tahini and orange juice.

I was cutting up the carrots, and one strip naturally separated with little spears coming out from the side. I was bemused.

I ate the salad by itself or with store-bought veggie burgers. The one below was a Moroccan burger from Woolworths. I've been trying out different veggie sausages/burgers from Coles/Woolies/major supermarkets and this is probably my favourite one so for its complex taste and spiciness.

naked blueberry

Who knew you could peel off the skin of a blueberry with your teeth? Another amazing thing I learnt when paying attention to my food. The skin doesn't really have much flavour and the naked blueberry actually has the texure of a soft lychee.

hello again

I realise that I haven't blogged for about 3 months, which is a really long gap in the life span of my food blog. Right now, I don't really want to explain where on earth I've been. However, I've continued to take pictures of food, so I'll let the pictures say the majority for me :).

I've ordered take away from the Turkish Pizza House in Weston once and was pretty happy with it. In attempt to re-experience this, I ordered a falafel plate to take away. It was around $10 and a somewhat safe take away option. The texture of the falafel was kinda like a bunch of condensed and over-soaked chickpeas. The falafel were also too salty on their own. This didn't discourage me from ordering from here again but just taught me to not order falafel by themselves again.

Turkish Pizza House
8 Liardet Street
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