Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Tom Yum Spaghetti

Before I begin, I’d like to highlight that Tom Yum Spaghetti is my mother’s brainchild. If you’ve heard it from anywhere else, it’s probably travelled via word-of-mouth all the way to you. My knees crumbled the first time she did this for dinner, so I begged her to make it again for my 20th birthday gathering.

 

This really takes Asian-Western fusion to the next level. Know what Tom Yum Soup is? Well, take that, minus all the water, and fry with spaghetti. In essence, it’s a fried spaghetti dish much like Aglio Olio, just that instead of basil, oregano and olive oil, it’s Tom Yum Paste. No idea what that is?

It looks a little something like this:

BAM!

This is done best with seafood i.e. prawns, mussels and fishcake. But it can be done vegetarian as well, with mushrooms, eggs and chives. If you want an extra crunch, use red or yellow peppers, or carrots. Don’t forget the slice of ginger and minced garlic!

Happy days.

P.S. This works with fusilli too:

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Bolognese Brilliance

Bolognese Brilliance: no serious slurping, no mess, just awesome food.

Building on from Springy Bolognese, I’ve decided to list some numbers and ingredients for this massively easy pasta dish. Its hearty and satisfying; perfect for that one time when you’re feeling incredibly hungry. Hurhur.

The brilliant thing about bolognese is that there’s no hard and fast rule about what goes inside. To me, it’s like Chinese Fried Rice; you add whatever tickles your fancy. Personally, I aim for ‘colourful’.

So here’s what I had in mine this time. Extremely extravagant. 

  • 1 third of pasta from a standard size quick cook spaghetti pack
  • 1 handful of chopped red pepper
  • 1 handful of chopped yellow pepper
  • 1 handful of peas, frozen works the same
  • 1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 white onions, minced
  • 1 third of a finger chilli, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized knob of butter
  • 50g of double concentrate tomato puree
  • half tbsp of dried basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 handful of finely grated cheddar (if you have parmesan, even better)
  • 1 handful of fresh rocket (optional)
  • 1 handful of beef minced (omit this is you’re vegetarian)

With all the ingredients ready, what you’re going for now is efficiency and speed. No mucking about. You’re hungry, and if you’re not about getting angry yet, your stomach is. A hungry man is an angry man. Whatever.

This is how to roll:

  1. Since we’re going for speed, quick-cook pasta is the key choice here. Get that in a pot of boiling water and let it work its magic. If you believe in the Italian saying that ”the water for pasta cooking should be as salty as the Mediterranean”, then go right ahead and salt that water.
  2. While that’s happening, get another pot/wok on the hob too. If your peas are frozen, get them straight in, together with that knob of butter. If not, get everything you want in your bolognese e.g. onions, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc. and dump them in. Let them fry about while you wash up your chopping board and knife, and welcome the Aroma Fairies.
  3. When they (the ingredients, not fairies) are just about done, in goes the minced beef. Toss.
  4. Then, tomato puree goes in too. Here’s a tip. Instead of using plain water to dilute your sauce, get some of that starchy pasta water, about half a cup full and pour it into the sauce. Happy days.
  5. Mix about before adding the dried basil. Mix some more and taste. Season with salt and pepper your liking. Turn the heat off.
  6. Your pasta should be done, so drain the water out and get it straight into your superb bolognese sauce. Toss about, coating every strand of that spaghetti in red goodness. Move all to a serving dish.
  7. Top with fresh rocket leaves. Then, grate your cheese straight onto everything.

Long Lemony Pasta

I slept in today and was inexplicably lazy to get food. This was sort of a suggestion from a friend this morning, and it came at the perfect time.

Lemon Linguine

It’s a segment off Nigella Bites, so watch it here, from 0:45 onwards. Saves me the trouble of attempting to transcribe the goddess’ every word.

Here’s about what you’ll need:

  • a single serving of long pasta, depending on how much you can slurp at a go
  • two egg yolks
  • 70g of parmesan, or as much as you want
  • 100ml of cream, or just enough to make the sauce perfectly creamy
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 50g of butter
  • parsley

I made a few changes and came up with this; I can’t do without my meat. Plus, the peas added a lovely burst of sweetness in every bite. (;


Spanakotiropita

Strangely enough, after coming back from Oslo, I found myself reminiscing Greece. One of the things unique to Greek cuisine is the Spanakitiropita, or more commonly known as Spanakopita, which is a spinach and feta cheese pie. There are proper better recipes out there but here’s how I did mine, as little tarts.

Stuff you’ll need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 200g of feta
  • 75g of cheddar
  • a bag of prewashed spinach leaves
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • a box of filo pastry
  • a 12-hole shallow muffin tray
Doing it:
  1. First things first, get everything ready. Preheat the oven to 200°C, boil about 2 pints of water, get a pot on the hob on low heat.
  2. Next, into the mixing bowl, crack the eggs and dump in the cheeses. Add the lemon zest and dried oregano as well. Pepper goes in as well. Stir about and stop before it’s all smooth. In this case, chunky is pretty good.
  3. When the water has boiled, empty the bag of spinach into the pot on the hob, then pour the boiling water in, just enough to wilt all the spinach leaves. Add a sprinkle of salt and toss about. The leaves should wilt in about 40 seconds or less. Once wilted, turn off the hob and drain the spinach leaves. Add them to the mixing bowl and mix everything about.
  4. Get your muffin tray ready. Then, on a board, lay out a layer of filo pastry from the box. Half it lengthways and sideways so you get four individual pieces. Drizzle olive oil and pat each of them so they are coated evenly. Sprinkle paprika over the pieces. Layer each of them atop each other. Don’t worry if they’re broken here and there. Once done, lay it in a well of your muffin tray. Repeat for all 12 holes; you should only need 12 layers of filo pastry then.
  5. Fill the wells of filo with the spinach and cheese filling, or with spanakitiro. Pardon my urge to speak Greek. Wrap the little tarts up erratically.
  6. Pop them into the bottom rack of the oven. Welcome the Aroma Fairies into your kitchen.
  7. Take those babies out when they’re golden brown and let them rest for about 10 minutes or so, while you salivate.
  8. Wait some more if you want. If not, DIG IN.

Lazy Fried Rice

One of the first meals I prepared for myself when I was younger. Beginner level.

Fried Rice is probably the laziest dish in the world. After pre-made meals from the frozen section, that is. Choose whatever you’d like in your meal. Then, simply cut everything up, and fry it all, together with rice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and you’ve got a proper meal right there. Best part is, because you’re deciding what goes inside, it can be a vegetarian meal as well!

For best results, use rice that’s sat in the fridge overnight. The rice comes out not gooey at all and sometimes even crispy. Freshly steamed rice tends to be a tad sticky.

Also, if feeling extravagant, serve with a fried egg.


Pizza Saucery

 

Tried out making your own pizza dough yet? Here’s how you can make your own Pizza Sauce now. Yes, that tomatoey first layer that goes onto your perfectly round and flat pizza dough. Instead of buying a jar off the shelf at the store, here’s a really good cheat. It’s actually Spaghetti Bolognese without the spaghetti and chopped up ingredients. Just the sauce alone. Combine a lug of olive oil, tomato puree, basil, pepper and water into a bowl and mix. Add water bit by bit till you get the consistency of a spread. You don’t want it too paste-like nor too runny.

So simple to do, it doesn’t even take a minute.


Mediterranean Couscous

There are a couple of things that are absolutely necessary in a couscous dish, especially if you’re making one ‘cos you crave the rich flavour of the brilliant Mediterranean. Oregano and Cumin are essential. Unfortunately, I had a craving and had no cumin powder of any sort. But here are the ingredients I used to satisfy the craving as best as I could:

  • Onions, preferably red.
  • Mushrooms, just because.
  • Balsamic vinegar, for ZING.
  • Garlic, for wholesomeness.
  • Parsley, for healthy colour.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Oregano, essential.
  • Sage, as a pathetic substitute for Cumin.
  • Tomato puree, for lush redness.
Roasted root vegetables like aubergines or cucumbers would’ve been lovely. Bell peppers even. But I really had to make do with what I had in the fridge and great thing I had Asparagus and Greek Feta to save the day.