Sweet Potato Nachos

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2015 is here and I thought I would try ‘making a comeback’ by posting more regularly (maybe weekly or bi-weekly). In the past year or so, I have been posting my food pictures mainly on Instagram (among all other photos I take in my daily life). That said, with the new year come the New Year’s resolutions, including eating healthier, being more organized and disciplined.

The first recipe of the year is “Sweet Potato Nachos” inspired by one of Oh My Veggies‘ weekly meatless plans. I first made this last year, and I remember it was quite flavourful. Then I kind of forgot about it, until recently. This is a very easy dish to make, as a snack, or a simple meal. You can customize it with your preferred toppings, and you can also decide on how much topping you want to use.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • A can of black beans
  • Celery, chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Toss the thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place the sweet potatoes (in single layer preferably) in a baking pan and put it in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once the sweet potatoes turn brown and crispy, you can flip them so that the other side also cooks well.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add the celery, black beans and cheese on top.
  • Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Take the pan out and top with remaining shredded cheese, avocado, green onions and sour cream.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Quasi-Roasted TofuBergine

A dish inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine Caviar recipe…

I still remember the first time I tasted a roasted eggplant dip made by Tommy, it was like heaven! Yes heavenly delicious! 😀 A few friends and I were spending the weekend at a cottage up-north; the poor guy was spending more than 1 hour in the kitchen making this dish, as it takes 30-40 minutes for the eggplants to bake in the oven – while the rest of us were enjoying ourselves in the hot jacuzzi outside in the freezing cold winter. So I told myself that when I make the dish one day, I refuse to go through this kind of long process. In fact, I rarely use the oven to cook. I’m just not fan of the idea of waiting that long and using that much electricity. So I decided to adapt this Ramsay recipe to my own style! I don’t know if it tasted as good as his version, but it sure tasted yummy enough!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sized Aubergine/Eggplant, cut into small cubes
  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped thinly
  • Dry parsley leaves
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  • When the pan is hot, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and brown the tofu.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan after they turned slightly golden brown and set aside.
  • Add another 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and fry the garlic.
  • Add the aubergine cubes and cook them until they become a bit soft – for about 7 minutes.
  • Add a bit of water in between to keep it moist.
  • Throw in the browned tofu and stir.
  • Toss the basil leaves, dry parsley leaves in.
  • Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve with toasts, or rice.

Enjoy! 🙂

Vegetarian Gluten Free Pizza

We made two wonderful 12-inch vegetarian gluten-free pizzas that evening. The crust turned out to be really thin; and let me tell you something: you cannot go wrong with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese!! =)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Gluten Free Pizza crust Mix (Bob’s Red Mill) 453g
  • 1 pack of Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbps of Olive Oil
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 2 packs of Parmesan Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Peppers
  • Parsley

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • In a large bowl, combine water and yeast
  • Let stand a few minutes
  • Add eggs and oil to mixture and blend briefly
  • Add Gluten free Pizza Crust Mix and blend until combined
  • Leaving dough in a bowl, split in half, cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes
  • Place dough on greased pizza pans
  • Using wet hands, speed out dough to cover the full pizza pan
  • Bake without toppings for 7-9 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cover with favorite sauce and toppings
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes

Eggplant Gratin

Eggplants (Aubergines) are known for its deep purple color and unique taste and texture (bitter and spongy?). So it’s really important to know how to cook them! Well, with the help of an excellent cooking assistant, I was able to execute this great Eggplant Gratin! =)

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Eggplants, thickly sliced
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Dried thyme
  • Canned chopped tomatoes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Heat the oil in a casserole over medium heat
  • Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a plate
  • Cook the eggplant slices in batches in the same casserole until they are lightly browned
  • Transfer to another plate
  • Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom of the baking dish
  • Sprinkle with parsley, thyme and salt and pepper
  • Add a layer of onion, tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkling parsley, thyme and salt and pepper over each layer
  • Continue layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant slices
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the eggplant slices are tender. Serve hot.

Green Beans Omelette

Ingredients: Green beans, Egg, Garlic, Oil, Salt, Pepper

Instructions:

  • Mince the garlic
  • Cut off the two ends of the green beans and chop the beans into little pieces
  • Beat 2-3 eggs
  • Heat the pan and add a tablespoon of oil
  • Add the garlic and fry until golden brown
  • Toss the green beans in and stir fry for 3-5 minutes
  • Pour the egg in and cook until golden brown
  • Serve with rice or bread

Sushi – Maki Rolls

If there’s one type of food that I need to pick to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be sushi! 😛 Well I’ve never really tried to eat sushi everyday, but I like it so much that I feel I can eat it everyday. That’s lots of carbs though… Anyhow I’ve always wanted to make sushi at home, but getting the rice right was the part that scared me the most, so I’ve always been delaying it, until my birthday this year, I finally gathered all my courage, coupled with the encouragement and enthusiasm of my awesome friend Sarah. We finally got around to making them for my birthday evening.

We decided to keep it simple, since it was our first attempt. So there was no fresh fish, instead we used smoked salmon.

 

 

Ingredients: Japanese Rice, Rice Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Seaweed (nori), Avocado, Mango, Cuccumber, Crab sticks, Smoked salmon, Japanese Omelette, Lettuce leafs (Arugula), Sesame seeds, Wasabi, Soya sauce

Instructions:

  • Measure 2 cups of sushi rice (Enough for 4 rolls)
  • Rinse the rice well under running water until water is almost clear (not milky white anymore)
  • Drain the rice in a sieve and leave it for about 15-20 minutes
  • Add 2 1/4 cups of water and let the rice soak for a bit
  • Add the pot of rice to the stove and bring it to boil over medium heat
  • Lower the heat and let it cook for 10 more minutes
  • Apparently it is important to open the lid while the rice is cooking
  • Remove the pot from the stove and let it rest
  • Open the lid and let it cool down
  • When it is warm and not hot anymore, move the rice to a big bowl or plate
  • Add 1/4 cup of sushi vinegar, sugar and salt and mix well with a wooden spoon
  • Fan the rice while mixing

When the rice has cooled down to room temperature, it is now time to make the sushi makis.

  • Put a seaweed sheet (nori) on a rolling mat, with the rough side facing upwards
  • Dip your hands in water
  • Take a handful of rice and place it in the middle of the nori sheet and start spreading equally everywhere
  • Add any ingredient you want to use (could be slices of avocado, mango and salmon)
  • Roll the maki, press, and roll again to ensure it’s tight and smooth
  • Use a sharp wet knife to cut the roll into little pieces

You’re done!! Dip in soya sauce and wasabi mix and enjoy!

P.s My favorite roll was the Mango Avacodo Smoked salmon roll! It was very flavourful!
If you want to pack some rolls for lunch the next day, make sure to not cut the rolls yet, and make the rice a little softer, otherwise it will be dry and hard the next day.