Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Poached spiced cocoa pears with vanilla and golden syrup yoghurt

A light and yummy desert for two and perfect for winter.

I poached segments of a brown pear with a little water, about 1/2 cup brown sugar, some cinnamon, a small amount of cardamon, a piece of orange peal, and about a tablespoon of cocoa.

It was a risk! I've never poached with cocoa before but it was very good. Not as good of course as if I had drizzled huge amounts of dark chocolate over the dish but hey, I'm trying to watch my weight.

I mixed some thick Greek style low fat yoghurt with some vanilla extract and about a teaspoon of golden syrup. You don't want it too sweet so it takes away from the pears.

Once the pears were soft I served them on a plate with some of the yoghurt and two tiny squares of 75% cocoa dark chocolate.

I ate the dish with a friend and it was gobbled up. Yep, I'll make this again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Miso hungry

I find it difficult to eat breakfast when I first wake up. Usually all I can stomach is coffee and water, and, if I'm actually hungry, a banana. I usually feel ready for breakfast around 10am and by that stage I am ready to really get my nutrients.

I can't stand most cereals - having not eaten them for a while, I find most are sickly sweet. Weet Bix are ok but I tend to prefer them for afternoon tea! Oats are ok, but miso is where is is at for me. Although this may change once I grow tired of it which I so often do with food!

I always feel good if I have a bowl of miso for breakfast. I sometimes have it with mung beans or alfalfa, seaweed, bean noodles, ginger, garlic, silken tofu, chili, sesame oil, watercress, the combinations I think are endless. I like to experiment too. One of my fave additions is the alfalfa sprouts. I only worked that out after a work friend was throwing out her alfalfa sprouts as she wouldn't be at work for the next few days and didn't want to take them home. Yup, I mixed 'em with my miso.

What miso combinations do you know of or have heard of? I'm always looking for new suggestions.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

All mine

I'm eating alone tonight and I feel like noodles. Delicious, fresh, healthy, nourishing noodles. Not takeaway shop noodles. Noodles that I can make myself. The 'ramen' recipe below is straightforward. Very straightforward.

Being vegetarian, I find it really fun to make meals that surprise! I think this one surprises with the different textures and flavours - the meatiness of the mushrooms, the crispness of the corn and watercress, the slippery soft wakame and noodles.

Ingredients I used (mix and match whatever you like, it's a surprise soup after all):

Mixed mushrooms (inoke, shitake, etc)
Dry udon noodles
Fresh corn (kernals sliced off the cobb with a knife - please don't use canned, it's so not the same!!!)
Dried wakame or other seaweed
Shiro miso paste
Soy sauce or tamari
Fresh chilli and/or dried chilli flakes
Fresh ginger grated finely
Fresh garlic grated finely
Salt and pepper

Using two bowls rather than one is so much easier. It means you can load in lots of things and nothing overflows :-) Put all the ingredients and soup in one bowl, and the noodles in another.

Boil water in a medium saucepan and cook the noodles according to the packet. I drop in my broccoli in the last couple of minutes of cooking so that I don't have too cook it separately.

In one bowl, place the watercress, mushrooms, corn, dried wakame, chilli, garlic and ginger. Boil the kettle and pour enough water in the food to make a soup. The ingredients will cook slightly to make your ramen fresh and nourishing and not overcooked. Add your soy and mirren.

In a separate cup, place a couple of big spoonfuls of miso paste. Pour some of the hot water from the kettle on the miso to dilute it. I've heard it's not good to pour boiling water on miso so wait a few moments after the kettle has boiled. Pour the miso dilution into your bowl.
Add the broccoli.
Place the noodles in the separate bowl.

Easy isn't it? YUM.
No doggies, you can't have any. ITS ALL MINE (insert evil laugh here).


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Joining my pics

Playing with apps - Pic Joiner...

Some beautiful still life set-ups from a friend's engagement...

From the most amazing fish tank in the local RSL would you believe...

Some bird ornaments...

Dogs and Lentils...

I'm house-sitting again and I am in heaven...

The dogs are small and cute...

And big and boisterous...

After a LONG time cramped in a small granny flat, and a LONG LONG time since my last holiday, house-sitting is a real treat. The heating, the second story, the bath tub, the large TV, the massive kitchen...Oh happy days.

To celebrate my first day here, I made the most delicious mushroom, lentil and barley soup with rye Mountain Bread garlicky olive oil crisps. 

I made a few amendments by using sweet potato instead of potato, adding fennel and fresh ginger and upping the spices a lot by including garam marsala, clove spice, paprika and cumin. The fresh ginger definitely took it to another level (excuse the Masterchef speak please), so I highly recommend you use a good dose of it. I'm not really a recipe kind of gal. I throw in what spices I want and taste until I get it perfect.

The rye bread crisps were my own addition - easy to do. I lightly coated some rye Mountain Bread wraps with garlic and olive oil and cooked them under a grill until brown and crispy. 

I ate two bowls full, and I stole by boyfriends crisps. Yum.