Thursday, February 11, 2010

rice paper rolls

Perfect food to eat when it's humid & warm (I ate this yesterday!) I felt like something raw(ish) so I had them without noodles.

Clockwise: big bowl of warm water (to soak the rice paper in), sliced carrots, rice paper, fried onion, puffy tofu & capsicum with kecap manis, another rice paper, bowl of Vietnamese mint & sliced spring onion, bowl of shredded lettuce.

In the middle: hoisin sauce, okonomi sauce, shichimi togarishi.

Construction (excuse the light, Chris would sit in the way!)

Voila! They're a bit wobbly looking, but I was too hungry to take care :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

miso noodle soup

Pretty much all I have been eating this week is miso noodle soup & rice paper rolls. I really am not a great candidate for having a food blog, usually I eat the same thing for a week or so at a time then switch. Chris is not such a fan, but I really enjoy it!

This week is miso noodle soup, so easy!

1 cup water
sliced onion
pumpkin chunks
puffy tofu
Simmer until the vegies are tender

handful of soba noodles,
little bit of soy sauce
a bit more mirin
Cook for about 3 mins, until the noodles are still a bit hard

Some miso paste that you've thinned in some water
Simmer for 30 secs

That's it!
Put in a bowl with cherry tomatoes & spring onions, and some shichimi togarishi.

Obviously you can use whatever vegies you like, but it's important to not cook the noodles for too long, as they will turn soggy in your bowl.

Do you like my new bowl? My grandma gave it to me!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saigon Orchid, Glen Waverley

We went to Saigon Orchid with the family. I've been here a few times before, and it's been consistently fairly good, and we enjoyed it a year or so ago for someone elses birthday, so I was expecting just a nice, fun night.

I would say this time it was average. The restaurant, whilst having a few vegetarian / vegan dishes, is obviously not trying too hard in this area. All the meat-eaters enjoyed their meals, so obviously they're doing some dishes right!!

Chris and I ordered spring rolls to start. The spring rolls were inexpertly rolled, and seemed to have been fried on too low a heat. The non-veg ones looked great, so I am not sure what happened with ours, but the ends of the spring rolls seemed to unravel a little so that when fried they absorbed HEAPS of oil. I had to mop the oil off with my napkin. Hmm. The filling was nice though, pillowy pieces of silken tofu and fresh vegies, but spring rolls shouldn't make you feel ill!

Chris got soft fried egg noodles with veg. This was the only veggie noodle dish on the menu... it was a little bland. I know that usually this dish is bland, but this one was ultra-bland.

I got red-cooked vegetables (with rice on the side). I admit, I had no idea what red-cooked anything was, so while we were ordering I Googled it on my phone. Google told me it was a richly sauced dish, so I was a little disappointed at what tasted like your very bland standard takeaway / food court bean curd & vegetable stir-fry with a bit of bright red sweet & sour sauce added.

So, overall - vegie dishes were average. The staff were all lovely, though.

Spring rolls were $7ish per serve,
Mains were $12ish per serve.
Plus rice, drinks etc.

Saigon Orchid
179 Coleman Pde
Glen Waverley 3150 VIC
Phone: (03) 9561 5055

Saturday, February 6, 2010

simple things

Just olive oil, organic onions, zucchini, tomatoes & basil from the garden. A bit of salt & pepper, and spaghetti.

So good. Tastes like Summer!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wood Spoon Kitchen - Collingwood

I was totally inspired by this amazing review of Wood Spoon Kitchen by Ms Fat Feminist Foodie, so Chris & I went there for my birthday. It was great! Hooray! I'm going to start by saying what she said - go there and have the tofu!!!

We went for drinks around the corner at Birdman Eating first, hooray! Then at Wood Spoon Kitchen I started with Umeshu (plum wine). Delicious.

Next up, Okonomiyaki (this isn't vegan, so try not to get too hopeful). It was a lot denser and less full of vegies than most okonomiyake I've had, but despite being dense it wasn't too heavy or doughy. It was like eating a really amazing pizza dough, and realising that all the pizza doughs you've had until now have been terrible excuses for pizza dough. So, it was good.

This is the tofu! Excuse my awful photo, clearly in my excitement I forgot to take my finger off the lens... but this Agedashi Tofu was so very good! The sauce was thicker than you'd usually have on agedashi tofu, it was like a sweet chilli / teriyaki combo. The tofu was so lovely & fresh, and all crunchy on the outside. And the beans & eggplant were great! The tofu wasn't that oily, so the eggplant was super welcome, and the beans were nice and fresh.

Go there and eat this!

They don't look it, but the onigiri in the Onigiri Set were massive. They come with edamame (yum!!) and pickles (meh). We got the three vegan onigiri - Sweet Potato, Seaweed & Sansai (mountain veg). They were each about the size of my fist - big onigiri. The sweet potato one was great! The sweet potato tasted almost candied, and the onigiri was studded with toasted black sesame, mmm.

The other two I found a little average - the seaweed one was rice & the standard seaweed salad mix, and the Sansai was a little bland. Basically this was a nice, comforting, filling (very filling) dish, but it wasn't spectactularly tasty.

Finally, we ordered two small miso soups. Yum. The broth was full & flavoursome, and didn't taste too seaweedy (or suspiciously fishy). I loved all the vegies that were in the soup - there were also big pillowy chunks of soft tofu, and little pieces of fried tofu. The soup was quite thick, but wasn't overly salty. Whenever I've made miso soup (I make it a lot) I have never managed to achieve this consistency - go there for the miso soup too!

You can see all the prices etc on their website - it's all very reasonably priced! We were too full for dessert, I guess that means another visit is in order.

The staff were all super lovely, great decor, and we had a good time. You'd better make a booking though - it's pretty small :)

Wood Spoon Kitchen
88 Smith St,
03) 9416 0588

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

vegan chocolate cupcakes

Birthday cupcakes! I love this recipe, I cook it a lot, and it's very forgiving. I often add extra things and change it around, and it always seems to work out! Normally I make a big cake, but this time was cupcakes.

The little cupcake cups are from Cake Deco. Yay!

Vegan Chocolate Cake (or cupcakes!)

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup oil (I use a nice olive oil)
1 cups water / juice
1 tablespoons vinegar or lemon/orange juice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

This time, I used a cup of liquid comprising 1 tbspn orange pulp (from a boiled orange) and the rest of the cup full of water. I also added about 1tbspn choc chips, and I used 1 tbspn orange juice (instead of vinegar). Yum!

In a large bowl, mix the oil & sugar. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients.
Mix in the dry ingredients, and beat until just smooth.

Pour into cupcake cups, or a greased cake tin (about the size of a loaf tin).

Bake at 180C - cupcakes for 20 mins or cake for 40 mins.

This recipe is adapted from Grandma's Eggless Butterless Milkless Cake. Mmm.