Monday, December 30, 2013


Or, Korean mixed rice with assorted vegetables and meat. New recipe tried on the guinea pigs family today for lunch - or in my case breakfast, since I've gone back to intermittent fasting until 12pm - and was a great hit with the four out of five of us who tried it. (For those keeping score at home, we have lost a housemate since the beginning of the year, but temporarily scored a teenager home for the holidays). This is one of those handy recipes served buffet-style, which in a house with kids is known as “Look, just eat the stuff you like and don't whinge about the stuff you don't, okay?”. At this time of year, it also usefully fits under “add extra protein to things by breaking a few eggs in somewhere”. Although I currently have two mums off the lay and a broody hen sitting on most of the output of the rest of the flock, so I'm having to *gasp* buy eggs occasionally. And it was handy because I had leftover rice from last night so didn't have to cook any.

I originally heard about this on a blog somewhere and noted down the name, then forgot where I'd seen the original. So this morning I googled for recipes and read about half a dozen to get the general idea, then put something together to fit what I had in the fridge and what I know my family eats. I gather this is one of those highly-customisable recipes where this is the general procedure in any case.

coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced
250g mince
grated zucchini (yes, I have a lot of zucchini to use up)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
slosh in a bit of fish sauce and soy sauce near the end, to taste

½ carrot, grated
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
raw cabbage, shredded
cucumber, thinly sliced
more shredded cabbage, sauteed in coconut oil and a bit more fish sauce 

Or whatever you happen to have in the fridge. My kids like raw veg more than cooked so that's what I put out, but feel free to steam or saute anything if you prefer.

leftover rice, reheated
4 runny fried eggs
chopped peanuts (this didn't occur in any of the recipes I read but appears to be an indispensable accompaniment to any Eastern-inspired mince-and-salad combo as far as my family is concerned)
sweet chilli sauce (ditto)

The cooking of the mince I imagine is fairly obvious. Prepare the veges while the meat is doing its thing, then the assemblage is basically thus: put everything on table, serve yourself whatever you like into a bowl, put a fried egg on top, and gleefully mix it all up into a moosh. Except nobody had done the washing up this morning so there were no bowls, but it worked almost as well with plates. Which were almost licked clean. Will definitely make again.

Egg Curry

Oh dear, I have been ignoring you, haven't I?

Tonight's curry was so sublime I had to write down the recipe before I forget it. It was cribbed from this recipe although I'm too lazy to do it properly and didn't have some of the ingredients so had to make some substitutions. And I added cream and ground almonds because cream, and also because younger daughter does not eat hard boiled egg curry and this way at least the sauce would be proteinaceous (as it happens she didn't eat the sauce either, but still, four out of five in favour is pretty good).

knob of butter3 small onions, finely diced
1/2 medium zucchini, grated (stealth veges FTW!)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
heaped tsp ginger
slightly less heaped tsp chilli (or to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup ground almonds
8 hard-boiled eggs, halved length-ways

Saute the onions in the butter until golden, add spices and zucchini. Continue to gently saute until everything smells divine and the veges are well and truly soft because this is more or less all the cooking they'll get. Add the tomatoes and then attack everything with the stick blender til it's less chunky (if you are less lazy than me and can be arsed washing up the food processor afterwards do it in that, but then you might as well follow the original recipe, no?). Stir through the cream and ground almonds, bring to a very gentle simmer, plop in the eggs and warm through. Serve over rice for them wot eats it, or in my case, over stir-fried silverbeet and mustard greens from the garden. Nom.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I Aten't Dead

And I do still cook pretty much every day. I just haven't been inspired to find or create new recipes for a while so have not had much to blog about. But I discovered a recipe for Spinach and Lemon Quinoa Bake today which was extremely nommy, and since I tweaked it a bit I wanted to write down the modifications before I forgot.

We've acquired a vegan housemate in the last few months, and since I am possessed by a compulsion to feed people, we generally cook and eat vegan meals together 3-4 nights a week then do our own thing the rest of the time. I cook a lot of vegan food anyway, but I rarely modify very non-vegan recipes to make them vegan, since that generally involves substituting with fake dairy products and frankly, since none of the rest of us have a problem with dairy, I'd rather just not bother. But this one sounded yummy, plus it would be a variation on my popular silverbeet rice pie which our housemate (who is intolerant to rice as well) can eat. Since I'm still sticking with a lower-carb diet and have largely eliminated rice, quinoa is slightly lower in carbs and higher in protein than rice so is a better option for me too.

I don't have a lemon zester, so I did thinly slice some zest off and chuck it in, but mostly relied on lemon juice instead. The zest would definitely be better, so go with that if you have a better option for parting it from its lemon than picking it out of a cheese grater with a toothpick.

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked in 3 cups water
  • olive oil, coconut oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 bunch silverbeet, shredded
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp flaxseed meal + 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 300mL medium tofu, drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • almond meal
Slowly saute the onion and garlic in a mix of olive and coconut oil until caramelised. Add the zest and shredded silverbeet and cook down, adding more olive oil if necessary. Meanwhile, combine the flaxseed meal and water and leave to sit til it coagulates a bit. Then combine tofu, flaxseed mixture, tahini, lemon juice and seasonings in the blender until smooth. Combine the tofu mixture with the silverbeet and the quinoa, and pour into a baking tray. Top with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkling of ground almonds. Bake at 180 for an hour, let sit for a few minutes, then serve.