Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vegan Pizza Margherita

David Rocco's Dolce Vita is a new find for me. I loved the episode on pizzas. I just wonder when I will find a guy who feeds me freshly made pizzas?!

So, when I saw there was fresh basil available at Nature's Basket, thats when I decided to buy a couple of ready-made pizza bread from there as well. I don't have a really good  oven - everything takes at least twice as long to bake as is prescribed in a recipe, despite the fact that the oven is at its highest setting. David Rocco baked his pizzas in a wood burning oven for 10 minutes. If you're lucky to have one, bake it for 10 minutes. Else, just go with your gut. I baked mine for approximately 45 minutes at 250 degrees celcius.

I've used silken tofu - the softest variety you can get. Mush it up with your fingers to get a cottage cheese like texture. The tofu  - or any manner of vegan cheese - isn't going to melt and go all gooey like cheese. No one said being vegan was without its sacrifices. :)

Vegan Pizza Margherita
  • 1 tomato
  • Handful of silken tofu
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pizza crust
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt, per taste
To make:
  • Pre-heat the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes so its nice and hot.
  • Slice the tomato finely and lay over the pizza crust.
  • Spread the tofu on top.
  • Season with salt.
  • Lay the basil leaves on top.
  • Top off with olive oil.
  • Bake until slightly brown on top.

Small Bean, Grape and Potato Salad

It's been a week or so since I bought fresh produce, and so I was rummaging through stuff in the fridge and found some boiled potato and some small beans. Also decided to make a dressing using my newly bought balsamic vinegar.
I did not quite enjoy the salad at lunch as the dressing was all dried up and made the potatoes extra sticky. And am no big fan of raw small beans either. So, won't be making this one again in a hurry.

Small Bean, Grape and Potato Salad

  • 1 potato
  • 1-2 cups of small beans
  • 1 cup of green grapes
  • Handful of almonds
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
To make:
  • Boil, skin, and cube the potato.
  • Combine the beans, potato, grapes and basil leaves.
  • Dress it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Top off with the almonds.

Lettuce, Grape, Almond and Basil Salad

As far as salads go, this one is a keeper, as far as I am concerned. Real easy to put together (but so are all my salads!) and yummy enough to polish off an entire bowl in one sitting.
Lettuce, Grape, Almond and Basil Salad

  • 3-4 cups of loosely packed iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups green grapes
  • 5-7 leaves of basil
  • 12-15 almonds
  • About a handful of sunflower seeds
  • Dash of olive oil
To make:
  • Tear up the lettuce and basil.
  • Combine all ingredients except the oil and sunflower seeds.
  • Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Top off with the sunflower seeds.

Hoisin and Sesame Tofu Fry

Here's a really simple and quick to make tofu dish - You'll need hoisin sauce and some white sesame seeds.

Hoisin and Sesame Tofu Fry

Servings: 2 bite sized pieces
  • 50 grams of extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • Oil to fry
To make:
Cut the tofu about an inch thick.
Coat generously with the hoisin sauce. Let it marinate for an hour or so.
Dip the tofu in the sesame seeds.
Shallow fry or grill the tofu till nice and brown on the outside.

And Thou Shall Have Cake

I turned thirty a couple of days back. To be honest, I was dreading the day I couldn't call myself twenty-something. Thirties is another word for "responsibility" and I'm not sure I want to say goodbye to my days of wild abandon, reckless drinking, bad boys and such.

The girls at work very generously arranged for a made-to-order vegan cake from a bakery. No-egg cakes are quite common here, but i've never seen a completely vegan cake. I thought I had to forego my days of eating cake forever -what, I am not baking my own custom cakes!! This one's made of soy milk, but you'd be hard pressed to tell a vegan and non-vegan cake apart.

And, speaking of cake - I recently won the fabulous "A World of Cake" from a giveaway at Sprinkles of Parsley. I guess beginner's luck counts - I entered several other giveaways after this one, and haven't won a thing!

Its 350 thick and glossy pages of mouther watering cakes from all over the world. Completely non-vegan of course, but hey, you can always admire food porn and gain not an inch on your thighs, right?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney beans are a good source of cholestrol-lowering fiber, they're cheap, and are available all year round. You do have to wash them well, and then soak in water for at least 8-12 hours. But then the upside is that you dont need to cook them! They look soft to the touch after an overnight soak, but start to cook them and they will actually harden and take a hell of a time to be completely cooked. Why bother cooking at all?! They're perfectly edible raw.

The Kidney Bean Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans, presoaked overnight
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 2 cups green cabbage
  • 2 cups green peppers
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 leaves of sage
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Salt, per taste
To make:
Drain the kidney beans.
Chop your veggies fairly small.
Mix in with the kidney beans.

Add the salt, curry powder, lime juice, sage and mint leaves, along with the oil.
Let it marinate for an hour or so before eating.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I Want Now: Chocolate Coated Orangettes

I love the chocolate and orange combination - they complement each other so well. That is why I am over the moon over my latest find: Chocolate coated orangettes. The orange rinds, even before cooking, look so pretty and glossy all uniformly sliced up. But the devil's in the details - I'd skip the corn syrup.

Photo and recipe from Someone who Bakes:


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