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Category Archives: Foods

Fried Japanese Tofu

Now that he is home I search recipe blogs for yummy vegan dishes for him.

The other night I made something tasty on my own with what we had available – tofu, sriracha sauce, and soy sauce without a recipe.

I squished all the water out trying not to break the tofu. The paper towels were soaking wet. Once it was as dry as I could get it I sliced it into cubes – probably 2 inches each.

In a separate bowl I put sriracha sauce, soy sauce, garlic flakes, and some seasoning. After mixing it and putting some gloves on I placed the tofu cubes into the sauce. I gently moved the pieces in the bowl to make sure I covered each piece.

While I let this sit I heated some olive oil in a frying pan on low heat. Once heated I added the pieces one by one placing a lid on top.

After about 3 – 6 minutes I flipped them – they were brown on one side. Be careful and keep the heat low or use protective gloves because the grease does splatter.

I removed them from the fire a few minutes later.

Next, I reheated some rice with soy sauce and sriracha along with scallions, thinly sliced carrots, and broccoli.

Finally, I placed the rice on the plate with the fried tofu on top. I tried a bit myself and my mouth did a happy dance. I actually made something yummy.

My son ate his meal with enjoyment.

What did I just make? I know from eating at Japanese restaurants that they have something like this so I searched online.

It’s called Agedashi Tofu. You make in a similar way except you add a coating to it.

1. Agedashi Tofu by Nami of Just One Cook Book

She uses soft tofu in her recipe along with vegetable oil, potato starch, dashi (kombu dashi for vegetarian – she has a homemade recipe on her blog), mirin, soy sauce, scallion, daikon radish and Japanese seven spice.

Included is a step-by-by step photo tutorial as well as video tutorial.

She suggest squeezing the liquid out of the tofu for 15-minutes. I think I may have done 5-minutes so I’ll have to try getting more of the water out next time.

After chopping the onions and grating the radish (and making the sauce) she deep fries the tofu. Agedashi is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Read the rest of her tutorial as well as some interesting tidbits about this appetizer on her blog Just One Cook Book.

2. Deep Fried Tofu by Bebe Love Okazu

This recipe looks very simple.

– drain the tofu

– coat it with potato starch

– fry it

– make sauce and cut up vegetables

– serve

Tomato and Zucchini Squash Pasta

This recipe may be easily doubled. Serve the pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, not cheese in a carton.

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces (half a box) of spaghetti with extra fiber
1 1/2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (more if you wish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small zucchini, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon salt (may be omitted)
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup pasta water (approximate)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

METHOD

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. While it is cooking, prepare the vegetable sauce. Chop the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl. Shred the zucchini and set aside. Pour olive oil into a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, seasonings, and capers. Take a half cup of water out of the pasta pot. Drain the pasta and add to vegetables in skillet. Moisten with pasta water and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle basil leaves over pasta and toss well. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 generous servings.

Information of Potato Leek Soup

Ever had a generous amount of potatoes on-hand, and at a loss for innovative ideas to create for making a new, different, yet delightful dish? I know that leeks are NOT the first vegetable to come to mind; though, please know, leeks when added with other vegetables and spices can really make a smooth, easy to digest soup when cooked and flavored properly.

Leeks are an uncommon vegetable; not regularly purchased or utilized for everyday cooking in America.

The history of leeks is said to possibly date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

It is rumored that Egyptian Emperor Nero ate leeks- His believed that by eating leeks often, that he could improve the quality of his voice. It is not really clear what part of his voice he wanted to enhance, though voice enhancement is what he sought, no less.

Suggested Ingredients;
One large stalk of leeks; cleaned and chopped discarding most of the bitter darker green parts, which are less tasty and more bitter, as well as cutting the roots and the parts that came directly from the ground.
sea salt —- 4 teaspoons
white pepper— 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
three cups of low-sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth or stock
1 to 1/2 cups heavy cream or non-dairy cream of your choice, to taste-* Almond milk or coconut milk are also great alternatives to milk, or cream products.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese topper; or Mozzarella cheese—- added at the end and sprinkled, sparingly in your individually served cup or soup bowl
3 to 4 starchy IDAHO potatoes
two stalks of celery, add the leaves too, full of powerful antioxidants and loaded with flavor when cooked in porridge, broth, soups or stews.

Begin:

Start by sauteing chopped leaks, and celery. Season with sea salt and white pepper let rest.

In another stock pot or pressure cooker, to save time, add your stock and more sea salt and sliced medium-sized potatoes, cutting in rounded slices for less cooking time. Add all ingredients and bring to a boil; let simmer an additional 20 minutes, do not over cook potatoes.

Upon cooked potato, leek, and celery mixture puree in an electric blender when blended to soup consistency return to stock pan and add heavy cream; cooking on medium-low heat.

Season with additional salt,and ground nutmeg finish by adding a teaspoon of smoky cumin.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese or any other grated, rich cheese of your choice and top with dry parsley flakes for color! Serve with oyster crackers or sliced bread

The leek (porrum), like the Welsh onion, forms only a cylindrical instead of a rounded bulb. The leaf of the leek, however, is flattened and solid, while the leaf of the onion is cylindrical and hollow.

Tips Pick Party Cakes for Kids

Take into consideration the kids’ tastes

Kids are fussy eaters, and they have strong likes and dislikes. And it applies not just for regular food items but cakes as well. For example, never order fruit cakes or carrot cakes, etc for a birthday party. It is always better to avoid anything with nuts. Most kids love to have plain milk chocolates. Similarly, when it comes to cakes too they love mostly classic flavours like chocolate or vanilla or red velvet or strawberry flavour, to name a few. When it comes to icing, always choose butter cream frosting, or fondant. In short, never try to experiment with flavours while ordering cakes for kids.

Add a fun element

Instead of ordering one single cake, you can order a small cake and many cupcakes. This will add a fun element to the party. And kids love cupcakes. You can order cupcakes, which are miniature versions of the birthday cake. You can also order plain cupcakes and ask the children to decorate them with sprinkles and other decorations or order cupcakes in different colours and arrange them in a fun pattern, or one that spells out your child’s name or ‘Happy Birthday’. The guests can either eat them at the party or take them home.

Take the headcount

Before ordering a cake, you should know how many guests will be attending the party. If you are not sure about the exact number of guests, you should at least know approximately how many people will be attending the party. You can take the help of the bakers to know exactly how many kilos or pounds of cake will feed a particular number of people.

Cook Fresh Pasta

Storing Handmade Fresh Pasta

If you’ve made it yourself and you’ve already cut it, then you can either choose to refrigerate it for later use, or you can cook it right away. If you aren’t going to be cooking your noodles immediately after having made them, then you will want to give them 1 to 2 minutes of drying time on a baking sheet.

Next, give them a generous dusting with flour so that when you store them together, they won’t stick and form a solid clump. Gather them together into small bunches and either fold them in half or wrap them into small nests. Allow them to dry for an additional thirty minutes and then wrap them up and place them into the refrigerator. Fresh pasta will remain good for up to 2 days in the fridge. If you think that it will take you longer to consume the noodles, freeze them for up to 2 weeks.

Cooking Handmade Fresh Pasta

If you can cook dry noodles, then you can cook fresh pasta. The reason is that freshly made noodles are far easier and faster to prepare! Use a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. For about 4 nests, you’ll need around 8 cups of water. That may seem like a lot, but it is good to have a lot more water than pasta. This helps to ensure that the noodles will be able to move freely in the water instead of cooking to each other.

Once they’re in, bring the water back to a boil, and after a minute and a half (yes, that’s all!) of gentle simmering, you’re all set! Drain the water off in a strainer and serve right away with your favorite sauce. Don’t overcook it or you won’t be happy with the texture it produces. Al dente should be your goal. If you aren’t sure, just take a noodle out of the pot, let it cool for a couple of seconds, and take a bite!

Info of Mexican Frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles or 1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed well and drained, if canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (or Mexican blend) cheese
  • 1/2 cup of homemade or bottled salsa

Preparation

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Whisk the eggs with salt, pepper, and dried oregano in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, serranos or jalapeno, poblano, and onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until softened, 7-8 minutes.
  5. Return the heat to medium and add the tomatillos, chipotle chile, black beans, cilantro, and oregano, stirring well to combine. Cook until the tomatillos soften and some of the liquid is absorbed, 5-6 minutes.
  6. Re-whisk the eggs and pour slowly and evenly over the vegetable mixture. Tilt the skillet back and forth gently to help the egg penetrate the filling and set on the bottom and sides.
  7. When the top is almost set, but still a little runny, scatter the cheese over the frittata.
  8. Broil until slightly browned on top, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 4 minutes.

Cold Soup Recipes For Refreshing Meal

The Cool Cucumber

What you need:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint

In a large bowl, mix together cucumber, garlic, vegetable broth, yogurt and sour cream. Blend ingredients together until smooth using an immersion blender. Add dill and mint to the mixture and blend again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until soup is chilled.

Beet the Heat

What you need:

  • 2 cups sliced beets
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

Combine beets, cucumber, onions, buttermilk, vinegar, dill and salt in a large bowl. Stir to mix ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

Coco Citrus Cold Carrot Soup

What you need:

  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil then cook 1 tablespoon cilantro, chili paste and cumin for 1 minute. Stir in onion, garlic and ginger and cook until onion is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot and cook for 5 minutes more. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are tender. Remove soup from heat then stir in lime juice. Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving.

Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas

Sandwiches and rolls

Sandwiches are such an easy choice. However it doesn’t have to be cheese and tomato sandwiched between two slices of white bread. There are many, many ways you can make this simple option more interesting. Begin by varying the bread you use. There are an abundance of different breads out there these days. Think wholegrain, rye, spelt, pumpernickel, sourdough – to name just a few. Furthermore, it doesn’t just have to be sliced bread. You can have rolls, baguettes, pitas, wraps and all the different variations that come from these options.

Now to choose your filling. Mix and match to make some tasty combinations. There’s cheese and all its varieties – including cream cheese and spreadable cheese. Don’t forget cheeses such as halloumi and feta, which work so well in wraps and pitas. Then there’s egg – mash or slice, add some curry powder or mustard, or just salt and pepper. Beans and chickpeas go really well – you can mash them up for a roll or sandwich or keep whole for pitas and wraps. Cannellini or butter beans are great as you can mash them up and then add herbs or spices to transform them. You can pad out your sandwich with your favourite vegetables – salad leaves, grated carrot, sliced tomato, corn kernels. Things like broccoli and cauliflower go well in wraps – raw or roasted. If you like, you can finish off your sandwich with some relish or mayonnaise.

Salads

A salad is not just some lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Really it is a combination of ingredients, mixed together to make something delicious and perfect for your lunch box. To make your lunches more filling you could add a base to your salad. Things like couscous, bulghar wheat, pasta, brown rice and quinoa are good options. Couscous is a great option as it is so quick to prepare. Whilst your base is cooking you can prepare the rest of your salad.

Add whatever vegetables you fancy. Onion (whether, spring, brown, red or even pickled), baby kale, spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, avocado, rocket are some options. You can add them raw or roast or fry them if you like. Your vegetables can also come from a tin or jar. Things like artichoke hearts, olives, capers and sundried tomatoes work really well and their flavour goes a long way. You can even add some nuts – I love toasted pine nuts, but cashews and almonds are good or just whatever takes your fancy. Don’t forget beans – just rinse and drain and stir them in.

To enhance your salad further, make a simple dressing. Simply combine extra virgin olive oil with your choice of vinegar or lemon juice (or lime). For a salad for two, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar is the quantities you need. You can add spices and herbs, even mustard if you choose. Then stir the dressing into the salad.

Spreads and dips

This is a fun way of eating lunch. Add some crispbread or similar to your lunch box, pop some spread in a container, remember a knife and you’re good to go. Instead of crispbread, you could always make up some polenta. Cook the polenta, pop into a pan and leave it to firm up. Slice it up and serve with your choice of spread or topping. Alternatively you can cut the polenta into fingers and serve them with a dip. Try cutting up some raw vegetables such as carrot and bell pepper. These are perfect with dips along with button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and radishes.

What works as a dip generally also works well as a spread. Cream cheese is a good choice and can be enhanced with herbs, spices, mustard. I like to blitz up chargrilled peppers and mix them into the cream cheese. You can also blitz up beetroot, artichoke hearts, any type of canned bean or chickpeas. Try adding horseradish sauce and some blue cheese to beetroot – it’s lovely. Raid your pantry and don’t be afraid to experiment.

To add even more variety to your lunch you could add a hard boiled egg, some cubes of cheese, raw nuts, olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles. Grapes also go well, as does dried fruit.

Pepperoni Casserole

You can eat it by itself or add some meat to it to create a meal. I needed a meal idea and had several boxes of macaroni noodles. Since my daughter has a love thing for pepperoni, I came up with the idea of baked pepperoni casserole. Here’s my daughter inspired meal for you to try.

Ingredients

1 lb bag/box of elbow macaroni

1 package of sliced pepperoni

1 onion

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 can black olives

1 8 oz package of mozzarella cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions or until al dente which is firm. Please do not overcook noodles in water since you will put the pasta in the oven to cook. Drain the noodles and add in a casserole dish. Chop up the onion and add to a skillet with the olive oil to sauté for a few minutes then put in the casserole dish. Drain the can of olives and add to the casserole. Add the entire package of pepperoni. Use your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce or you can make a homemade sauce if you choose. I like the brand Ragu. Add the spaghetti sauce to the pepperoni casserole. Mix in half the package of cheese to the dish and mix well. Use the rest of the cheese to sprinkle all over the top of the casserole. Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over of the dish. Add the casserole to a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve with buttered garlic toast.

Buttered Garlic toast

4 slices of Texas toast

½ stick butter (room temperature)

4 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Macaroni Shells

Anyway, it’s simple to make, and all it requires you to do is boil macaroni and cut up some cheese. That isn’t so hard to do, is it? I mean you can always buy the box kind with the orange powder or the orange glob of cheese that is full of additives and salt. If you have a lot of it left over from the holidays, you can add hotdogs or polish sausage to it for the kiddo’s lunch entrée.

Ingredients

1 package of elbow macaroni or shells

1 package of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup of diced Velveeta cheese cubes

1 egg

4 Tbsp butter

½ cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions. I add salt to the water and 1 Tbsp butter. Don’t over cook the pasta since you are going to bake it in the oven. Cook macaroni until it is al dente which is firm. Over cooked pasta has a higher glycemic index than firm pasta. Drain the pasta but don’t rinse. The salt and butter from the water has seasoned your pasta. Put the macaroni in a casserole dish and add the rest of the butter to the pasta. I sometimes make a cheese sauce with milk and Velveeta cheese in a sauce pan or add the cubed cheese to the macaroni and pour the milk over the pasta. If you make the cheese sauce, pour the milk into a saucepan and add the cheese cubes and cook until melted then pour over macaroni shells. I then add half the package of shredded cheese and mix it into the shells. Afterwards, I beat an egg with a which. Add the egg to the pasta dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the macaroni. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and take off the lid and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes until it is bubbly.