Vegan Korean Udon Noodles

My husband’s friends are visiting us from American soon. His friend’s wife is Korean, who apparently cooks really well. Not only that, she apparently is really good at presenting her food, which is NOT my strongest points. Koreans are really big on meat and I want to introduce them to my vegan diet with something they are familiar with. So I came up with this recipe as an experiment and it turned out to be pretty scrumptious.

Before I begin, let me introduce you to Gochujang. It is THE ingredient to have if you want to cook delicious korean meals. Gochujang is a korean chilli paste which is very hot, with a fair amount of saltiness.

picture from google images

I hope you like the recipe:

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients:

1 bag of stir fry mix (vegetables)

1 Pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

10 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced

200-300grams of mushrooms (I used a variety of exotic kinds sold in tesco)

a handful of spring onions chopped into couple of inches long strips

750 gms of Udon Noodles (I used the already cooked kind)

1 1/5 tbsp of Gochujang

2 tbsp of Tamari (or soy sauce)

3 tsp of sesame oil

400 gms of firm tofu

half a cup of water

1 tsp coconut sugar/maple syrup (or regular)

1 tbsp of rapeseed oil

Method: 

First things first, make the sauce. In a bowl, mix gochujang, sesame oil, tamari, water and sugar. Mix well and set aside.

Next, prep the tofu. I simply press the tofu in between two chopping board with couple of heavy books on top of the chopping board to drain out excess water. Then cut them into bite sized pieces and simply fry them in very hot oil. The trick is to have the oil very hot, shallow fry it and don’t rush to turn them over. If you are hasty, you will find your tofu stick to the pan. Fry them and set them aside.

Now in a wok, heat some oil. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the stir fry mix. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the noodles along with the sauce. Let the noodles cook and soak up some of the sauce. After about 5 minutes, add the tofu pieces, peppers and the spring onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or until most of the juices are absorbed. Don’t overcook the noodles, even if there’s plenty of sauce. A bit of extra sauce is better than soggy veggies and noodles.

Serve hot and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.

Tips: Sprinkle some crushed seaweed, it will add an earthy flavour and more crunch.

 

Vegan Gnocchi With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

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This recipe is a complete experiment and it turned out delicious. This is my healthy version of Mac n Cheese or Alfredo sauce.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 chopped carrots

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp dried sage (or fresh)

3 tbp of nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of grated vegan pizza cheese

1 cup soy milk

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt to taste

500 gms gnocchi

Method:

Cook the carrots and cauliflower and then blend it with the soy milk to get a creamy thick mixture. Set aside!

In a hot pan, add the oil and fry the onions. Add the garlic granules and mustard. Stir well and add just a little dash of water to stop it from sticking. Now add the cauliflower mixture, cheese, sage and nutritional yeast.

Let it cook for a couple of minutes and set it aside.

In a separate saucepan, cook the gnocchi as per instructions.

Once cooked, drain and stir it in the cauliflower sauce.

Serve hot!

Tip: Sprinkle some chilli flakes or throw in some butternut squash. Instead of gnocchi add macaroni or any other pasta of your choice.

If you thin out the sauce with some plant based milk, you could have it like soup.

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

Copyrights @beachwalkmuse

Copyrights @beachwalkmuse

There is something very soothing and warming about baking as we all know it. After a long and windy walk with the kids and the dogs in the month of February, there is nothing as comforting as baking some deliciously rich and chocolatey brownies that are nice and gooey on the inside but firm and crispy on the outside. Also, brownies are one baking miracle that only marvels in it’s taste, presentation can be tossed!

Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate (dark chocolate)

120g butter (I used salted as I think it cuts the extreme sweetness of the chocolate overload)

2 eggs

85g plain flour

90g sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

handful of chocolate chips (optional, my daughter insisted)

Method:

Preheat the oven at gas mark 6.

Melt the dark chocolate and butter either in a microwave or place it in a bowl that fits on the rim of a saucepan with some boiling water. The steam from the the boiling water will melt the butter and the chocolate, make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl of chocolate. Once the ingredients are all smooth, set it aside to cool gently.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together until smooth and set aside.

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.

Now incorporate the dry ingredients, the egg mixture and the chocolate together.

Now place the mixture in a baking tray that is lined with a grease-proof paper or simply brush the tray with some melted butter.

Place the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the outside is nice and firm. Inside will be goey and that is exactly what we want. Let it cool down before cutting them into squares.

Don’t worry about the cracks that form on top, unlike cakes, there is a certain charm in those cracks when on brownies.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you give them a go.

Enjoy baking! 

 

 

Sushi’s Cod and Prawns Stew

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

I take credit for the recipe simply because I made it up as I went along. I put a few things that were sitting in the fridge together and surprised myself. So here you go..

Ingredients:

3 Cod fillet, cut into halves

8 to 10 large king prawns

500 gms of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

1 onion, finely chopped

5 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

few basil leaves, chopped

handful of parsley, finely chopped

1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method: 

In a saucepan or pan, heat the oil. Sweat the onions and garlic for couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes melt. Add basil leaves and the seasoning. Throw in the cod, splash of water and cover it with lid for another 10 minutes on low heat. Open the lid, add the prawns and parsley and cook for further 4 minutes until the prawns cooked.

Serve hot with rice and my fennel salad.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

Vegan Fennel Salad

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

Like celery, fennel is one of those vegetables that can be a bit of a struggle for some people like me. I struggle with celery, whereas my husband struggles with fennel. We have learnt to juice them in order to get the nutritions out of them but I have to say this fennel salad recipe got everyone raving.

Ingredients:

A small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

1 pear, thinly sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

Half of cucumber, thinly sliced

2 satsumas roughly chopped

Handful of chopped parsley

For the dressing:

Salt

Sugar/runny honey

Lemon juice

Method:

Combine all the ingredients together and set aside. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a little bowl (I use jam jars, makes it fun for the kids to shake it) and pour it all over the salad. Now get in there with your hands and give those ingredients a good rub.

I would taste the dressing as you go along, I don’t use fixed measurements because it totally depends on your palette. I like mine sweeter, some others might like it tangier. So help yourself!

I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you like the recipe.

 

 

Malaysian Laksa Soup

IMG_4735

I am always intrigued by Malaysian cuisine, as it has evolved from various cultures over the years. It combines the spices from India, China and Thailand. It is so versatile yet unique in it’s own way. A taste close to home yet not. Here is one of the easiest and house special Laksa soup. It is very warming and comforting bowl of goodness on a cold evening. You can use chicken, seafood, fried tofu or all of them in this soup but I am going with seafood and vegetables.

Ingredients:

For the Laksa Paste:

1 chopped onion

5 -6 cloves of garlic

a big chunk of ginger or galangal

2 big tbsp of turmeric

3 to 4 dried (or fresh) red chillies (add less if you like)

2 sticks of lemongrass

1tsp shrimp paste (optional but preferable)

For the Soup:

Handful of cauliflower florets

Handful of chopped spring greens

Handful of beansprouts

1 fillet of cod

1 tin coconut milk

2 tbsp oil

1 lime

1/2 tsp sugar

2 to 3 tsp of fish sauce (or salt to taste)

Few drops of soy sauce (optional)

Method:

Blitz the ingredients together with water to form a nice yellowish paste. Add more turmeric if it isn’t bright yellow.

In a pan, heat the oil. Add the paste and cook it thoroughly for 5 minutes or until the oil separates. Then add cauliflower and water. Cook until the cauliflower is al dente and then throw in the greens and bean sprouts along with the fish. Add all the seasonings (fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and soy sauce). Once the fish is cooked, remove the fish separately. Last step is to add the coconut milk and let it simmer for just a few minutes. Make sure the vegetables are not overcooked.

Serve hot on a bed of rice noodles or jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Tip: If using shrimp paste, please remember to taste as you cook. Shrimp paste is very salty so be careful with the rest of the seasoning.

 

 

Cheat’s Cajun Chicken with Mushrooms

IMG_3709

We are not a very mushroom loving household, I have to admit. But when our weekly veggie box arrived with a big bag full of fresh, organic and locally grown mushrooms packed with vitamin D, we had to get creative.

And as much as I like to make my own spices combination from scratch, some days it is simply nice to not work so hard yet be able to put a decent plate of food in front of the family. So, in this recipe I have experimented with Asda’s Cajun mix. Worked really well!

This is nothing like a traditional Cajun stew that is simmered for hours with freshly ground spices but a quick and simple cheat’s recipe. Anyone with minimal cooking skills can put this one together quite impressively.

Ingredients:

2  Organic Chicken Breats (diced)

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Cloves (grated or chopped)

200 gms of Mushrooms

1tsp Flour

3 – 4 tbsp of Cajun Mix (or to taste)

Salt to taste

1tsp Sugar

3 tsp Vegetable Oil

Method:

In a pan, heat the oil. Add onions and mushrooms. Sweat everything together for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and chicken. Once the chicken goes white from the outside, add flour and cajun spice mix, salt and sugar. Add lots of water, and once everything comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until nice and creamy.

Serve hot with white rice and some greens (I used fresh seasonal purple sprouts from our veggie box).

P.S: If you don’t eat meat, swap it for any vegetable(s) of your choice or some fish. Enjoy 🙂

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