Kimbap

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January seems to be crawling by. Its been a while since my last post and I think I might have just gotten a little lazy. But I finally managed to get my lazy ass together and made my first breakthrough of the year. Hope this starts the year on a good note and looking forward to many more delicious breakthroughs !

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice ( washed )
1 japanese cucumber ( skinned and cut into strips )
1 carrot ( julienned )
1 egg (beaten)
200g stir fry beef ( cooked )
5 sushi seaweed
1 bunch of spinach
4 cloves of garlic ( minced )
white sesame seeds
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

1) Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker

2) Remove the roots from the spinach and separate the stem and leaves. Boil a pot of water and blanch the spinach. Place the roots in for about ten seconds before adding in the leaves for another twenty seconds. Using a strainer, strain out the boiling water and run the spinach under cold water. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove the excess water.

3) In a bowl, mix together the minced garlic , soya sauce , 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and loads of sesame. Add the blanched spinach and mix well.

4) In a pan, pour a little oil into the pan and use a kitchen towel to wipe the oil evenly through the cooking surface. Heat it gently and add the egg to the pan after it is heated. Swirl the pan to ensure that the egg is evenly spread out. Ideally it should be a thin layer of egg instead of thick like an omelette. Gently flip the egg to allow it to cook on the other side. Turn off the heat before the egg turns brown on the surface. Cool it slightly before cutting it into strips about 1cm thick.

5) Add the salt and remaining sesame oil to the cooked rice and mix well. Add in some sesame seeds for an extra kick.

6) Bring out your bamboo mat and be ready to get wrapping.

7) Place a piece of seaweed on the mat before lining it with rice and the ingredients. Watch this video for tips on how to roll your kimbap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMEuSVa1ZJ4

8) Use a clean knife to cut your kimbap into pieces.

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Apple rye cake

Its the season for apples from the village! I visited my boy’s grandma at her village and the place was an apple wonderland. So many apples and of different varieties and the best part is that they are all homegrown with zero preservatives! They might not be as perfectly shaped as what we see at the supermarket but they definitely tastes ten times better. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the glorious apple wonderland. Anyway I am on work leave this week so I have a lot of free time . With nothing to do and a whole lot of apples sitting at home, I decided to a bake a cake. And did I mention that the apple juice used in this recipe is also homemade? Seriously all these homemade stuff are getting to me and I am loving Lithuania so much!

 

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups rye flour
3 red apples (skinned, cored and cubed)
3 tbsp melted butter (browned)
1 banana (mashed)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup apple juice
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp cinnamon powder

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a bowl, mix the cubed apples , 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder and brown sugar. Allow it to sit while preparing the batter.

2) Combine the mashed banana, white sugar , apple juice , eggs and melted butter in a large bowl. Stir till well-combined.

3) Mix the baking powder and 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder into the rye flour. Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till well-combined.

4) Line a baking pan with baking paper and pour half the batter into the pan. Layer it with half of the apples before pouring over the remaining batter followed by the remaining apple. So basically its batter, apple, batter , apple. Do remember to gently press in the apples on the top into the batter to ensure that it sticks after baking.

5) Bake it at 175 degrees for 90 minutes or till an inserted fork comes out clean

Pumpkin crackers

Matt Damon bought a zoo while I bought a pumpkin. Just like him in the movie , I thought “Why not?” . I am the only pumpkin eater in my family and I am not even that much of a pumpkin lover. Darn you Buzzfood, for all that yummy pumpkin recipes! So I baked my sweet pumpkin and dug out a huge bowl of soft pumpkin flesh to be consumed over the week. My brain said, “Challenge accepted “but I knew my belly thought otherwise. On hindsight, I should have gotten the smallest pumpkin. But what’s life without regrets? So here is the first of my pumpkin recipes, I present the pumpkin crackers.

Adapted from recipe by Karma Per Diem

INGREDIENTS

2 cups wheat flour (sieved)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/3 cup milk
Some pumpkin / sunflower seeds for pressing onto the crackers before baking

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix till combined.

2) Add in the milk and sunflower oil into the dry mixture. Mix till a soft dough is formed.

3) Divide the dough into three equal portions. Dust the surface of each dough with flour.

4) On a dusted surface, use a pin to gently roll the dough till about 1.5cm thickness. Using a knife , cut the sheet into bite sized pieces.

5) Press in the seeds on the surface of the cut dough or sprinkle it with a mixture a brown sugar cinnamon

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6) Carefully lay each cracker on a lined baking tray and bake it at 170 degrees for 10 minutes.

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7) It should stay well in an airtight container for a week or more. Should it turn soft, just pop it back into the oven for a couple of minutes.

Whole wheat pancakes

A perfect start to the weekend is with a wholesome homemade breakfast. A bad week at work or a terrible hangover from the partying on Friday night disappears with a great breakfast. My first attempt at making pancakes from scratch was with him and today it was different to be doing it alone. Cooking is not just something we do for survival . It is a bonding activity, the act of caring and it always tastes better when a little of your soul is in it. Loving what you are doing always makes it a lot better.

This is a basic recipe so feel free to add in some of your favourite fruits. Add some oatmeal and banana into your batter for some extra punch!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup whole wheat flour ( sieved )
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch of salt
Some low fat butter to grease the pan

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix the milk and the vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for around 5 minutes .

2) In a big bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder.

3) Add the milk and egg into the dry mixture. Whisk the mixture till it forms a smooth batter.

4) In a heated pan, add in the butter. Twirl the butter around the base of the pan to ensure that it is evenly coated.

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5) Adjust the fire to medium low heat and add a large scoop of batter to the pan. Cook till it turns brown one side before flipping it over to cook the other side.

6) Serve with a side of sliced bananas and blueberries! Skanu!

Simple tomato pasta

So we were at the supermarket and my sister told me she was craving for tomato-based pasta. Naturally I volunteered myself for the job which she readily accepted. So while I was being indecisive about what to include in the pasta, she asked me which pasta sauce to get. I was in shock and horror of her audacity to insult me and ask me that. Then again, maybe not everyone is as obsessed about doing every little thing themselves as I am. So this is dedicated to her. To my dear sister who almost got yelled at a supermarket. I apologise for the drama but SERIOUSLY?! This is a really simple and basic sauce to guide those who are new to sauce making. Feel free to improvise and make it your own secret recipe. 

 

INGREDIENTS

6 tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot ( peeled and cubed )
1 zucchini ( peeled and cubed )
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
Handful whole wheat pasta ( cooked )
Dried basil
Dried thyme
Dried sage
Dried oregano
One tablespoon greek yogurt
One tablespoon brown sugar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Halve the tomatoes and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle the the tomatoes with sea salt, pepper and olive oil. Crush the garlic and add it to to the baking tray. Bake the tomatoes at 170 degrees for 40 minutes.

2) Allow the tomatoes to cool a little. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic into a food processor and blend it into a thick sauce.

3) Transfer the sauce into a pot. Add the herbs into the sauce and allow it to simmer to 20 minutes. Add the herbs in whichever quantity you fancy, I highly recommend experimenting with the proportions to create your own special sauce.

3) In a heated pan, add some olive oil, carrot and zucchini. Fry it for about a minute before adding in the mushrooms. Stir fry at medium low heat till the mushroom starts to sweat. Turn up the fire and cook till the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.

4) Pour the cooked sauce into the pan and allow it to simmer for five minutes. Stir in the greek yogurt upon completion.

Homemade apple butter

I wrote a post about making chia pudding with apple butter without realising that I forgot to do a post about the butter. So here it is ! The most amazing and healthy butter ever! Apple butter is basically a thick apple sauce which can be used as a healthy substitute for butter in some recipes. Most recipes available needs at least a couple of hours to make it and I was really reluctant to do it considering the small batch I was planning to make. But I remembered how my grandma used to boil apples to make special juice and that inspired my apple butter. With help from Google and a fantastic food blog, I managed to create my own apple butter. This recipe only takes about half an hour from start till end.

Adapted from recipe by Chefinyou

INGREDIENTS

4 red apples
2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 tbsp cup brown sugar
3 tbsp apple juice (fresh)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Peel the apples, remove the core and dice it .

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2) Add all ingredients including the diced apples into a pot and heat it till boil. Adjust the heat to low after the juice has boiled. Cover and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes or till the the apples turns soft. Give it a stir occasional while cooking. 

3) Transfer the apples into a blender and blend away till smooth.

 

Cauliflower pizza crust

As a kid, I always looked forward to the occasional pizza treats. Not because pizza is really pricey but my mum was really concerned about how unhealthy it was. So as I embarked on my journey towards healthy eating , I decided that nothing shall between me and my pizza. And I am excited to share this great news with everyone ! PIZZA CAN BE HEALTHY ! This pizza crust is made entirely from cauliflower flower and with zero trace of flour. It works perfectly for those who are allergic to gluten. I modified the original recipe and made a thin crust pizza. I absolutely adore thin crust pizza and it brings back memories of my Italy travels. Those warm thin crust pizza during the cold winter nights.

Adapted from recipe by Detoxinista

INGREDIENTS ( pizza crust )

4 cups raw cauliflower rice
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until a rice-like texture is achieved

2) Boil a large pot of water and add the cauliflower rice to the pot. Let it boil for about 4-5 minutes before using a fine mesh-strainer to strain out the cooked “rice”.

3) Place the “rice”on a clean cheese cloth and squeeze it. Given that it will be hot , do run it under cold water for a few seconds before squeezing. Ensure that the “rice” is squeezed till dry.

4) Pour the “rice” and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

5) Press out the dough on a lined baking tray. I flattened my dough till it was thin like an omelette however the thickness depends on individual preference. Bake the crust in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 30 minutes.

6) Your pizza crust is now completed ! I loaded my pizza with baby spinach, bell pepper and mushrooms. But feel free to experiment with any toppings ! Was hoping to try a sweet version with nutella and banana. Will tell you how it goes as soon as I try it.

7) After adding your toppings, pop it back into the oven for another ten minutes. Just ten more minutes and you will be with a healthy and tasty pizza!

Do make a few more and store it in the freezer. Then just pop it into the oven for a few minutes when needed. This is also a perfect way to get kids to eat their vegetables.