Friday, March 26, 2010

pickled ginger (beni shoga)

I put this ginger on top of most things - noodle dishes, soup, stir fries... I used to buy the bright pink ginger from the grocery store, but I like making it myself because I know exactly what's in it.

I pretty much followed these instructions, with some editing (and way less sugar)...

I did 100g of ginger, which is a nice amount. I also use a lot less sugar than most recipes state - I guess this means it won't keep for as long in the fridge, but should last at least 3 or so months.

100g ginger
1 tbspn sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tspn salt

First comes the fun part - chopping the ginger! Okay, when I say fun I mean not-so-fun... Peel the ginger and break off the knobbly bits, so you have nice easy pieces to slice. For the small pieces just use a little knife and slice finely, for the bigger pieces try a grated or something like that.

Next, sprinkle the salt on and rub it through the ginger with your fingers. Sit for 1 hour.

After an hour, the ginger should be turning slightly pink and will be a lot more limp. Pick it up in your hands and squeeze so lots of the juice comes out. If you prefer you can pat dry with paper towel.

Finally, put the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and heat on low until the sugar has melted. Pour over the ginger and push the ginger down - you may want to add a tiny bit more vinegar so that the ginger is covered.

That's it! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

vegan banana & fig cake

We've been getting lots of bananas almost every week in our organic vegie box - I'm not a big fan of raw bananas, so I've been baking a lot. I love this recipe! Works great in a loaf tin, or as cupcakes. It's not too sweet... mmm.

I have had this recipe so long, and keep on editing it to suit my less sugary tastes.

Vegan Banana Cake

1/3 cup oil (I use a fruity extra virgin olive)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tspn cornflour mixed with 1 tbspn water
1 tspn baking powder
1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
few drops of vanilla essence

250g plain flour
1/2 tspn baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tspn cinnamon powder
1/2 tspn allspice (or a mix of ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 cup milk with 1 tspn lemon juice added (I use soy milk)
7ish dried figs, chopped finely.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Mix together sugar, oil, cornflour mix, banana and vanilla well, until it's all smooth and pastey (this is not a chunky banana cake people!)
Sift in the dry ingredients and lemony milk, mix together until it's all just mixed (don't overwork your cake mix please!) Add the figs and mix through.

Pour into a greased loaf tin or cupcake cups.

For 1 cake- bake for about 45 mins.
For cupcakes- bake for about 20 mins.

Test with a toothpick type device - it will be cooked with the toothpick comes out dry, but with some moist crumbs sticking to it.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Vegan Bento 5

Another Vegan Bento! Sometimes I find it relaxing to plan what to have in a Bento Box... Takes my mind off work!

This one contains:
Onion and silverbeet/rainbow chard lightly braised with soy sauce & sesame,
Short grain rice with nori stars,
Apple & tomato (the tomato is hiding at the bottom),
Pumpkin and puffy tofu in teriyaki sauce.

So good! I find the trick with Bento is to balance everything - fresh & cooked, salty & sweet, colours, textures etc.

Action photo! (Chris took the photo, I'm not that skilled at one handed photography.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I love yakisoba, but I've never cooked it that successfully before. But, I was determined - I googled and settled on this recipe. I substituted the capsicum and bean shoots with puffy tofu and carrots, and I didn't add the lemongrass paste (I've never heard of that in yakisoba before??). I also subbed fried onion flakes for sesame seeds. But other than that I followed the recipe faithfully, and it was delicious!!!

I mentioned a few posts back about not overcooking the soba noodles, and defo keep that in mind. I cooked them until they had just started to go floppy, but so they were still very firm - they absorbed the sauce and the dish was quite dry and delicious.

So good!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shyun, Carnegie

Most days I have to take a walk to the Post Office in Carnegie, and if I'm feeling peckish I get a little Teriyaki Tofu Don from Shyun. The staff are all so lovely, the service is fast, and the tofu don is only $7!! They do other good things too, but I really think that Tofu Don is one of my top 5 favourite meals.

Apparently their actual teriyaki sauce is not vegetarian, so this one has a miso sauce. So good. $7. Awesome.

126 Koornang Rd

Sunday, March 14, 2010

vegan hamilton island

Chris and I went to Hamilton Island for Chris's brothers wedding, which was lovely! Pool bar- woo!

Unfortunately Hamilton Island is not super vegan, but these cocktails are! Mostly we ate bread rolls with hommus and vegies, but that's not such an exciting photo, I know.

The pool bar is awesome. You can stand up in it, so you wade over to the bar in the middle. They have Happy Hour twice a day too. The purple cocktail totally tasted like purple!