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Dandylion, Bondi

A few months ago I attended a Meetup event at Dandylion – a new hip vegan friendly restaurant situated in North Bondi. There were about 20 of us and we had the 6-course vegan degustation menu. I can’t remember the last time I had a degustation dinner as a vegan so I was pretty excited, to say the least.

Dandylion - Cucumber and seitan

Cucumber and seitan

We had two antipasti dishes: (1) Cucumber and seitan (cucumber half filled with bbq-flavoured seitan and sesame seeds) which was fresh and flavourful; and (2) Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse – crunchy, creamy mousse which was delicious. The dishes were great but unfortunately they were only bite-size pieces… I wish I could have had seconds!

Dandylion - Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse

Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse

I forgot (or more accurately, was too hungry to wait) to take pictures of the second dish – Beetroot Carpaccio with wild rocket, walnut, piquant vegan cheese & aged balsamic dressing. I recognised the piquant cheese used for this dish: the Vegusto No Muh Piquant cheese. The salad was seriously good! Fresh, slightly tangy, mildly sweet and just yum!

Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce was the next course. This was my favourite dish. Even though I found the dumpling skin a tad undercooked for my liking, the filling was very delicious. It had a nice balance of salt, sweets and spices and it was full of ‘umami’ taste. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Dandylion - Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce

Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce

Next up: Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce. The shell pasta was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato sauce makes you forget that it’s dairy-free. It’s so creamy and rich. A generous sprinkle of coconut ‘bacon’ bits doesn’t hurt either.

Dandylion - Orechiete with kale and maple sweet potato sauce

Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce

The second last dish was Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce. Soft pillows of gnocchi with rich and ‘meaty’ sauce.

Dandylion - Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce

Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce

And dessert comprised of Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry. It was a lovely dessert to cap off things – mildly sweet, rich and nutty. I loved the whipped coconut cream.

Dandylion -Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry

Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry

It was a delightful degustation meal. And the best thing was how easy it was to forget that they were ‘vegan’ dishes, which is always an indication of great cooking.

The Meetup event was a success, I met lots of friendly vegan foodies and had great time talking about veganism, food (mostly food) and how good the food is at Dandylion. As vegans and vegetarians, we are so used to putting up with served sub-standard meals at restaurants which often have no clue how cook delicious food without animal products. It was a real treat to experience something of this quality.

Dandylion has certainly lived up to its vision to present vegetarian food that is full of flavor, hearty, and delicious. Combined with great drink selections and a hip interior, it’s definitely going to be one of my favourite places to go to in the Eastern Suburbs.

 

Love and greens,

Keren Natalia

 

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In Asia – North Strathfield

People who love to eat are always the best people. Julia Child.

In Asia

What’s better than eating great food?

Eating it with people who are passionate about it as much as you are.

This post is long overdue. I blame myself for losing the first draft of this post and spending too much time trying to find it instead of just letting it go and writing it again. Sometimes it’s hard to let go.

A while back I was invited to an Instameet at In Asia, a contemporary Asian restaurant in North Strathfield. I was joined by Brendon The Smiling Chef, the organiser for this event, as well as 15 or so other passionate food bloggers.

I was quite surprised with how much food there was available for me to eat. The restaurant was super accommodating of my plant-based needs. They ‘veganised’ some of the dishes for me, and served me with some of their very own vegan-friendly options. Let’s just say I didn’t come home hungry. Here are some of the things I had that night. Mind you, I was the only vegan in the group so all these were for me. Mine, all mine!

Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce

Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce

First I had the Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce. I have to say that the tofu is probably one of the best deep fried tofu I’ve had in Sydney: crummy and crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. I loved the tofu and peanut sauce combo and the fact it was served with loads of salad made it a light and refreshing bite.

In Asia- lovely colourful plating

Great colourful plating

Second, I had the Rice Vermicelli Salad – rice vermicelli, enoki, betel leaves, eschallot, pomelo, Asian herbs and tamarind soy dressing.

Rice Vermicelli Salad

Rice Vermicelli Salad – rice vermicelli, enoki, betel Leaves, eschallot, pomelo, Asian herbs and tamarind soy dressing

This salad has a multilayered texture with soft noodles, roasted peanuts and crunchy battered mushrooms and betel leaves. They all kind of dance around in you mouth as you slurp, bite and crunch. I don’t think I’ve had anything similar so it’s quite exciting, very original, and it has a tangy dressing similar to a Thai papaya salad – but milder.

For the third dish / first main course I had the vegan version of their Turmeric Curry – with fried tofu instead of soft shell crab, along with lightly battered enoki mushrooms.

Turmeric Curry with fried tofu

Turmeric Curry – with fried tofu instead of soft shell crab, along with lightly battered enoki mushrooms

The sauce was creamy and fragrant; mildly spiced and not too heavy. The mushroom was crunchy and the combination of the two is just heavenly. I think it was almost my favourite dish of the night, second only to the tofu roll.

Stir Fried Mushrooms

Stir Fried Mushrooms

And for the second main course I had Stir Fried Mushrooms. This plate had a generous serving of mushrooms – enoki mushrooms, button mushrooms, mini king oyster and oyster mushrooms, all stir fried in black pepper and… get this, mushroom sauce!

Given that I had finished all the previous four dishes by myself, I didn’t think there was any room left for more food.

Monkey Snicker

Monkey Snicker

Hang on? Did someone say dessert?

In Asia-33

Romantic ambiance at In Asia

They gave us all three desserts from the menu to try. It was a shared plate so I picked at bits and pieces that I knew were vegan (sorbet, banana cake, corn flakes, etc).

Monkey Snicker

The Monkey Snicker banana pudding came with passionfruit curd, pandan foam, pandan granita, shredded coconut and coconut ice cream.

The banana pudding was definitely vegan and so was the granita. It’s easily made vegan by replacing the ice cream and curd with sorbet. The banana pudding was quite delicious – soft, sweet and slightly chewy.

RS B’s First Kiss featured organic banana lightly battered in shredded coconut and fried palm sugar caramel

RS B’s First Kiss

RS B’s First Kiss featured organic banana lightly battered in shredded coconut and fried palm sugar caramel, tapioca sauce, and rice puffs, served with passionfruit sorbet. I didn’t try this but it looked pretty good! Deep fried banana could be vegan, but it’s worth checking first.

Everyone was oohing and ahhing over the spectacular looking desserts, cameras started flashing everywhere and everyone crowded together to get a perfect shot of the food. It was madness!

In Asia - food bloggers snapping photos of dessert

Snaps!

Finally the Popcorn Parfait had crushed corn flakes, caramel popcorn, grilled sweet corn and caramel jersey cream. Definitely not vegan-friendly (unless you’re happy to nibble on the popcorn and the sweet corn). but it looked pretty impressive.

opcorn Parfait with crushed corn flakes and caramel popcorn,

Popcorn Parfait – crushed corn flakes, caramel popcorn, grilled sweet corn and caramel jersey cream

Apart from me, I think everyone had a little bit of everything….

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Spoon war!

It was an exciting night which I’d definitely do again. It was so much fun and I made lots of new friends.

If food brings people together, then food events bring food bloggers together with all guns blazing.

Disclaimer:Thanks In Asia for hosting our Instameet event with Brendon Smiling Chef , My Food Lust, Ant Wales, Hungry As Fork, Becmakes, ThreespoonsfullThe Girls Who Ate The WorldThe Walking Advertisement

 

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7 Tips For A Delicious Green Smoothie

I genuinely love starting my day with a green smoothie. I always recommend it to people and I think more people should get on to the green smoothie band wagon. It’s a great way to consume your greens, refreshing and full of nutrients. Most people think that vegetable smoothie tastes awful, perhaps from bad experience in the past or just because it looks green and healthy. Of course it can be, I’ve had my shares of terrible green blend in the past. But trust me, when prepared the right way, green vegetables can turn into a super delicious drink that is packed-full with all the nutrients, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals that is so nourishing for our bodies.

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There’s so many green smoothie recipes online that it can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out. Unlike juicing, blending vegetables can be a more tricky in terms of making it delicious and share-worthy. so I wanted to share some tips that I’ve discovered through experimentation. Hopefully, this gives some of you the inspiration and encouragement to start blending up those greens.

7 Tips For a Delicious Green Smoothie

1. Freeze green leafy vegetables to remove their ‘green’ taste

Freezing will get rid of vegetable’s grassy, often, bitter taste. This works really well with kale as it can taste a bit too overpowering for new green smoothie drinkers. It also works well with other green vegetables such as spinach and silverbeet, fruits (including avocado) and nuts. Freezing is also a great way to store fruits and vegetables. It preserves their nutritional content and you won’t have to worry about them going bad in the fridge.

2. Know your fibre

There are two types – insoluble and soluble. Green vegetables are high in insoluble fibre whereas fruits are high in soluble fibre. You need both for a great, well-blended smoothie. If you have only insoluble fibre (i.e., just veggies and water) – your smoothie will separate into layers of insoluble solids and liquid because insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water. It will taste awful. Add fruits into the mix and your smoothie will blend a lot better with thicker, smoother consistency. This is because the soluble fibre in fruit dissolves in water and allows the water molecules to blend with all the ingredients in your smoothie.

3. Fruit it up

Apart from being rich in soluble fibre needed to make a rocking smoothie, fruit makes any smoothie tastes good. It provides natural sweetness and flavour which masks the bitter earthy taste of green vegetables. Banana, papaya, pear, apple and berries are my favourites. You can also throw some soaked dates, prunes, figs for added sweetness

4. Herb it up

Add parsley and mint or both to make your smoothie smell and taste FRESH!

5. Add flavour

Maple syrup, vanilla extract, rosewater, etc. I tend to use Vanilla protein powder or Vital Green so I get both protein as well as a tad of their sweet flavour.

6. Add some fat

Yep, a good smoothie needs fat! Not just any fat of course, good fat! It will transform your watery smoothie to a creamy, rich and morish velvety drop. Avocado is my fat of choice but soaked nuts (cashews or almonds) and coconut oil are also good.

7. Put some ice on it

Not only does it make your smoothie icy cold, ice also helps with the blending process so you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a power blender. I’ve been using my eight year old $80 Breville blender for my smoothie and this works magic. The ice will help your blender grind vegetable leaves and stems so you won’t have bits of leaves stuck inside your straw.

Note: The important thing is to start simple. Start with a couple of ingredients first, taste and build it up.

Now, your homework is to starting blending using these tips and let me know how you go. Happy Blending!

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Edible Mini Dipping Bowls

Brussels Sprout Mini Bowl-1

This is more an idea than a recipe and it’s so simple it’s almost not blog-worthy. But I thought I’d share it with you since you might find it useful.

When people serve vegetable sticks and dips at parties or events, often you see the vegetables are arranged nicely with the dip sitting in the middle, either in a bowl if it’s homemade or in the original container if it was store-bought. Nothing wrong with that except when people start double-dipping (ugh!) or you’re faced with the dilemma yourself.

It happens to me quite often, actually. I’ve always wondered whether it would be socially acceptable if I turned the carrot stick around and used the un-bitten end to get an extra dip. Sometimes the amount of dips you get at first instance is just not enough to cover the entire stick and you want an equal proportion of dip and carrots at each mouthful, since that’s the whole point of having dips, right?

Brussels Sprout Mini Bowl-1-3

This idea came to me one day when I was cutting up some carrots and celery at home to take to work, and thought I’d need some small containers to take my favourite Pilpel Dips to work, since I didn’t want to take the whole thing. I was cutting up some Brussels sprouts to eat with the dip, and a light bulb went on. Why not make mini edible bowls out of them. So I did! Behold the Brussels Sprouts Dipping Bowl. It’s study, it’s edible, and there’s no messy clean up after. The best about it is that everyone can have their own mini bowl of dip and walk around with it.

Why didn’t I think of this before?

Edible Mini Dipping Bowls (serve 2- 4)

Brussels Sprout Mini Bowl-3

Ingredients

  • A handful of fresh large-ish Brussels sprouts (about 4 sprouts), rinsed and dried
  • Some tasty dips
  • Some veggie sticks (carrots, celery, etc)

Brussels Sprout Mini Bowl-2

Method

  1. Cut the stem off and peel off the layers. These are your edible mini bowls.
  2. Spread ‘bowls’ on a plate and place a tablespoon on dips into each bowl. Note: You can also make your guess do this themselves if serving these at a dinner party
  3. Grab a veggie stick and dip away!

 

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How To Cook Quinoa

quinoa (1 of 1) Quinoa is one of my favourite superfoods. It’s slightly chewy (when you don’t overcook it) and it has a delicate nutty flavour. It is also easy to cook compared to rice and it’s also much more nutritious.

5 facts you should know about quinoa:

  1. It’s pronounced ‘keen-wah’
  2. It’s technically a seed not a grain
  3. It’s high in protein and a good source of iron and fibre
  4. It’s gluten free and has Low GI
  5. It comes in a different varieties, there’s white, red and black quinoa. I think they all taste pretty much the same.

So how to cook quinoa? If you never made quinoa before, it can be a little daunting so here’s a simple and easy recipe to make perfectly cooked quinoa everytime.

Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (use 1 ½ of liquid if you like it slightly chewier)
    Note: Vegetable broth gives quinoa a nice flavour but you can also use plain water with a pinch of salt to cook and add flavour to the quinoa.

Method:

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer and gently rub the seeds together with your hands to ensure that any residual dust and saponins have been removed. Saponins are just chemicals produced by the plant to protect themselves against microbes and fungi. They are bitter-tasting so they might make your quinoa slightly bitter if not removed properly.
  2. Add quinoa and vegetable broth into a pot.
  3. Cook over medium heat uncovered and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the quinoa seeds have become translucent.
  4. Rest for 5 minutes and fluff it up with a fork before serving.

Quinoa is so versatile. You can serve it so many different ways: You can make quinoa salad with roasted vegetables; you can add it to a soup or use it to replace rice. You can also cook quinoa with almond milk and serve it as a ‘power’ porridge with some chopped nuts and fruits. The choices are endless.

My favourite Quinoa and Tabouleh Salad. You can check out the recipe here.

Quinoa Tabouleh

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Steel-Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful New Year celebration.

For my first post I thought I’d cover something I’m very passionate about — Breakfast. Up until about 5 to 6 years ago I used to skip breakfast. I felt like I had no time for breakfast and I’d rather sleep in for a few more minutes rather than getting up to get myself some breakfast. My breakfast was usually a cup of coffee at work and I did this for probably about 7 years on and off until one morning, I woke up with a really sharp pain in my stomach. It was so bad I really thought I was going to die. I went to visit the doctor as soon as the pain dissipated and later was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and prescribed with some medication. I was also told to not skip a breakfast in the morning as it can result in an excessive burden on the gastrointestinal tract and cause gastritis, indigestion and other gastric diseases. Best advice I have ever received. Since then, I always make sure I have breakfast, no matter how busy I am in the morning.

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Did you know that 65% of Australian adults skip breakfast, with 41% skipping at least twice a week? At least that was the result of a recent study, which also revealed that almost one million Australian adults skip breakfast because they are dieting or watching their weight. And that’s not the end of the bad news: As many as a third of Australians would rather start their day tweeting or facebooking instead of eating breakfast.[1]

Seriously?

I don’t know when it became trendy to skip breakfast. I personally think that having breakfast is a really important part of my health and so I started to do some research into this topic. I’m very pleased with what I have found thought none of them were a surprise to me: Those who consumed breakfast had a healthier lifestyle, generally speaking, than others who don’t. Having regular breakfasts also helps people lose weight – and keep it off.[2] [3]

So I want to share a really good wholesome and healthy breakfast which I hope will make you want to invest the time making and eating it. Like a bowl of creamy steel cut oats porridge.

Steelcut oats power porridge

Yes! I can have this everyday.

Warm, creamy and comforting. It is also nutritious and full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You will love this.

Steel-cut oat is the second most unprocessed form of oats. They are whole oat groats which have been chopped into pieces.  Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than instant, ground, or rolled oats, but I think they have more flavour than rolled oats. They’re nuttier and they are chewier. They take about 20–30 minutes to cook but you can pre-cook and then soak them the night before to make an almost instant porridge the next morning (check out Step 7 in the recipe instruction).

Steel Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries
 
Thick and creamy bowl of nutrients, antioxidant and happiness
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Power Porridge
  • 1 cup of gluten-free steel cut oats
  • 3 cup of water
  • 1 cup of your favourite nut milk (I use a mixture of almond and macadamia milk)
  • 2 Medjool dates, pit removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries
  • 2 tablespoon of cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
Topping Mix (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries (soaked in water for 5 minutes if they are hard)
  • 2 tablespoon of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon of nut and seed mix
Method
  1. Pour water and nut milk into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add oats into the pan. Add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  3. Return the water to a boil. This should only take a few seconds. Keep an eye on the pan as it can sometimes foam up and spill out. Take the pan out of the heat when you notice that the water is about to boil over.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting and bring the oats to a gentle simmer. You should see steam coming off with a bubble or two every few seconds.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (dates, goji berries, cinnamon and chia seeds)
  6. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (every 5-10 minutes or so) and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  7. Cook until the oats are tender and creamy. Longer cooking makes thicker oatmeal. Option: If you want to soak your oats, this is the time to do it. Take of the heat, cover the pot and let it sit overnight, 8-12 hours. To serve soaked oats, just stir the oatmeal to recombine the oats with any residual liquid and heat over medium for 1-2 minute until the oatmeal is heated through.
  8. Serve immediately with a few tablespoon of the topping mix.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, grain-free

You can also let the oats cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The oats will thicken in the fridge but you can just stir some nut milk or water into them to loosen them when reheating.

Steel cut oats.jpg

Cheers to the New Year and a good wholesome breakfast!

Keren

References:

[1] ABCMF Study, 2013, Galaxy Research. A representative sample of 1001 Australians aged 18-64 years. Conducted October 2013.

[2] International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 1998, Vol. 49, No. 5 : Pages 397-40 – Breakfast and mental health Andrew P. Smith

[3] 2002 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) – Long-Term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control Registry.

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Vegan Halloween Edition- Roasted Brain

vegan-brain-1 Halloween. The second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. What should I say, some people are for it, others are against it. As for me, my last Halloween dress up party was years ago so no spooky costume for me this year. I’m not really into gory stuff so the whole spooky halloween theme doesn’t really appeal to me.  I do however, love pumpkin and themed food so I love the creativity aspect of this event. I remember my last proper Hallooween brunch at Mr.G which was pretty weird and spooky with animal blood, hearts, ants, and other strange stuff. Reading the post again I can’t believe how much I’ve changed, being vegan and all. Eating animal body parts is now history for me. But as is the case with anything, it’s just good to reflect on the past, to see how far we’ve come.

So this year I’m doing a much much kinder Halloween :) Still somewhat spooky but definitely not as scary and weird.

Alright, let’s get into this recipe. It looks like brain, it’s vegan, gluten-free, paleo and it’s easy to prepare. It’s also healthy, tasty and certainly Instagram-worthy. If it doesn’t look impressive on camera, then what’s the point, right?

And right now you’re probably wondering how to create a vegan brain, eh? Well, it’s easy! It’s already out there.

Read more

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Why Brussels Sprouts Are Good, Bitter and The Best Way To Cook them

Honestly, I used to hate Brussels sprouts. Yes I know. Hate is a strong word.

But it wasn’t because my mum used to force feed me with it when I was a child, I mean, we didn’t have Brussels sprouts back home. In fact my first taste of Brussels sprouts vegetarian was here in Sydney, when I was in my early twenties (feels like a long time ago).

Anyway, somewhere, sometime ago, I had it.

It was a bad tasting experience. The dish was bitter and awful. I didn’t like it at all. Since then, I never dared to order Brussels sprouts again. Let alone try to cook it at home.

But a few years ago I gave Brussels sprout a second try at Porteno. I ordered the Crispy fried Brussels sprouts with lentil and mint which was highly recommended by the wait staff. I was skeptical.

brussel-sprouts-233125_1920

It turned out to be amazing.

It was deliciously crispy, fresh and bursting with flavours. It wasn’t bitter at all. It changed my whole perception of Brussels sprouts.

Fast track to today, I am now a Brussels sprouts convert. I found the best way to cook Brussels sprout, reduce the bitterness and increase the awesomeness of this highly nutritious (and often misunderstood) vegetable.

Before I go on about cooking, please indulge me in taking a closer look at this vegetable and its amazing properties.

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Why Brussels Sprouts Is Good For You

Brussels sprout is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it shares the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli (Brassicaceae).

Brussels Sprouts Contain Anti-Cancer Properties

Cruciferous vegetables contain high sulfur compounds, including sulforaphane, which has powerful anti-cancer properties. It not only helps neutralise and eliminate damaging free radicals, but it is also able to activate the tumor-suppressor genes in cells which are turning cancerous, stopping the cancer cell from growing.

Bitter = Stress

Interestingly enough, the more stressed the plant is, the more sulforaphane is produced. When the weather is too hot or too dry, or when they’re getting chewed on by insects or infected by virus, bacteria or fungi, they produce more of these compounds to survive the unfavourable condition.

So, stressed sprouts are more likely to be bitter, as well as the ones harvested when they are too mature.

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How To Make Brussels Sprouts Less Bitter

Two words; Short and Sweet. Pick them young, cook them quickly and store them for a minimum amount of time. Stressed out sprouts mean bitter sprouts so keep them cold, keep the storage time short and don’t cook them for too long. Easy right?

Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts

It should probably read “The Tastiest Way to Eat Brussels Sprouts”

Stir frying – hands down – is the simplest, quickest, best way to cook Brussels sprouts without making it taste like ass. It’s true.

15 minutes to prep, 5-7 minutes to cook, 20 minutes from fridge to table. Take that Jamie!

Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Ginger and Mushroom
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy recipe to a delicious tasting Brussels Sprouts. This recipe guarantees to give you crunchy and tasty sprouts while preserving all the beneficial anti-cancer properties of the sprouts through rapid cooking method. Free-radicals be gone!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 big handful of snow peas, string removed
  • ½ red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy mushroom sauce
  • 1 large brown mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seed to sprinkle
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm ginger
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to season
Method
  1. Heat coconut oil in wok on high heat.
  2. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add all chopped veggies except mushroom. Stir.
  4. Add mushroom sauce and water into the wok.
  5. Stir fry until all the veggies are nice and soft (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add sliced mushroom and mix through (the residual heat will cook the mushroom).
  7. Serve immediately with some brown or white rice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me on the picture.

 

Keren x

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How to Make Roasted Chestnuts

Today I’m going to show you How To Make Roasted Chestnut.

Chestnut1-1024x1024

One of the fond memories I had of Japan was the sweet roasted chestnuts I bought from a street vendor at Nishiki Market, in KyotoIt was a really cold night and I remember the exact moment I walked past this chestnuts roaster and his huge wok full of sweet Japanese chestnut. I was so excited! I can still remember rushing back to the hotel and then having these beautiful Japanese sweet chestnuts for supper. They were the best chestnuts I’ve ever had!

Chestnut

Since then, I’ve been waiting for the chestnut season to come so I can re-live the experience here in Sydney.

And guess what…It is now chestnut season!

chestnut

Chestnut season in Australia runs from March to June and now is the perfect time to enjoy fresh chestnuts — just as the nights are getting colder and the winter weather is kicking in. Nothing like a hot cup of tea and a bowl of freshly roasted chestnuts to snack on while you sit in the couch, cuddled up in your favourite fleece blanket, watching your favourite DVD. Hmmm…

I’ve been making roasted chestnuts almost every weekend now and I just can’t get enough of them. When I did it the first time, I thought it would be complicated and hard to do, but it’s actually quite easy and a very rewarding process. Don’t settle for the canned, preserved, sweetened chestnuts. Make your own freshly roasted chestnuts. They are way better.

how to make roasted chestnut

Did You Know

Unlike other nuts and seeds, chestnuts are low in fat. They are relatively low in calories but are rich in minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. They are also gluten-free, low GI, and rich in complex carbohydrates.

Chestnuts have a mildly sweet and nutty flavour with a slightly crumbly texture. They are so versatile. You can add them to any sweet and savoury dishes: salads, soups, stir fries, pasta, pesto, you name it. You can also make chestnut flour by grounding them up and use them in baking.

As for me, I think they are delicious on their own.

 

How to Make Roasted Chestnuts

Ingredients:

1. When it comes to roasting chestnuts, the secret is to pick even-sized chestnuts to make sure they are cooked evenly.

2. Look for firm nuts with undamaged shiny shells.  For roasting, select large-ish size chestnuts as the smaller ones are more suited for boiling.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Rinse the chestnuts to remove any dirt.

2. Make a criss-cross slit across the round face or the top of the nutshell using a serrated knife (normal knife is too slippery). This allows steam to escape as the chestnut roasts so it doesn’t explode. Please be careful not to cut yourself.

3. Place chestnuts in a single layer in a roasting pan or baking tray. Roast chestnuts for 20 – 30 minutes or until the shell splits open.

5. When they are cooked, chestnuts will be fragrant and browned. To check if they’re cooked, just pull one out carefully and pierce it with a knife. If it is tender, the nuts are done.

6. Transfer chestnuts to a tea towel and let sit until cool enough to handle.

7. Peel your chestnut while they’re still warm and enjoy!

how to make roasted chestnut

Keren x