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Meatless Monday #7 – Indian lemon rice

#meatlessmonday #lemonrice #vegetarianrecipe #meatfreemonday

So it looks like Sydney can be covered in a white blanket. Not snow mind you, but hail as seen from various news site. If you’re trying to make a Planet of the Apes spoof, better run to Bondi while you can. If the skate board park photos are anything to go by, it’s a perfect set up for the scene at the end of the movie.

In times of howling wind, I retreat to comfort food. In my case my addiction to rice in all its variety. Of late, I’ve been addicted to lemon rice. This savoury south Indian dish from Tamil Naidu goes well with any curry dish and can be eaten as a main dish. The yellow colour from the turmeric reminds me of the Indonesian Nasi Kuning, but they taste completely different. Maybe I’ll share that dish another time… Read More…

Meatless Monday #6 – Ottolenghi’s Sprouting Broccolini with Sweet Tahini


I have a confession of sort. If I can kidnap one person and somehow inhale their talent by means both fair and foul that person will be Yotam Ottolenghi. I only start cracking open his Plenty More book and it’s amazing to be pleasantly surprised by the originality of the recipe that made them an instant hit to be added to the mental go-to recipe.

Yes it’s raining at the moment and some type of hearty stew is likely to be in order. However if you are looking for a refreshing easy spring salad this one is a must try. The secret of this salad is making sure your vegetables are not boiled to death. I love the sauce, the sweet tahini dressing gives this dish a lovely nutty flavour.

Vegetable Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 300g purple sprouting broccoli (or broccolini)
  • 120g french beans trimmed
  • 180g snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 50g tablespoons paste
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy tamarind sauce
  • 1/2  honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt for taste


1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You want the consistency to be smooth and thick but pourable, a bit like honey; add a tiny bit of extra water or tahini paste if needed to adjust thickness.

2. Trim off the broccoli leaves.  If the stems are thick, cut them lengthwise in half or in quarters so you are left with long, thinner stems, similar in proportion to the french beans

3. Bring a pot filled with plenty of unsalted water to a boil.  Blanche the french beans for about 4 minutes, until just cooked but still retaining a bite.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl and run under cold running water.  Remove, and then dry well with a tea towel.

4. In the same boiling water, blanch the snow peas for 2 minutes.  Using the slotted spoon to remove them from the water, then refresh and dry as before.  Repeat the same process with the broccoli, blanching it for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Once all the vegetables are cooked and dry, mix them together in a bowl with the oil.  You can now serve the salad in two ways.

Option 1 Serving: Mix most of the coriander and seeds with the vegetables and pile up on a serving dish.  Pour the sauce on top and finish with the remaining coriander and seeds.

Option 2 Serving: Mix most of the coriander and seeds with the vegetables and pile up on a serving dish. Dot them with cilantro leaves and sprinkle with seeds, and serve with sauce in a bowl on the side.


Meatless Monday #5 Cheese, Leek, and Herb Souffle Casserole

DSC_0404 There are very few things in life that are as satisfying as the annual Easter long weekend, and nothing so sad as the last few hours of the said long weekend. I did a fair bit of cooking and other domestic duties during the last couple of days and stocking my fridge until it fits to bursting. One of the dishes being this cheese, leek and herb souffle casserole from Martha StewartRead More…

Meatless Monday #4 Potato and Leek Soup and Spain’s Semana Santa

Potato and Leek Soup

There are some sights that are so unexpected that it stays with you for life. Last year, I was in the midst of Seville’s Semana Santa and saw hundreds of years of traditions re-enacted in the 21st century.

Santa Semana

Semana Santa or Holy Week is a week long celebration leading to lent. This year Semana Santa starts from 19th March to 6th of April. Although Semana Santa occurs all over Spain, Seville’s Semana Santa is arguably the most famous. There are over 55 brotherhood all over the cities with fraternities dating back to the 13th century. Throughout the week multiple processions takes place starting from various churches all around the cities carrying pasos a float depicting a scene from the Passion of Christ. Read More…

Meatless Monday #3 – Lentil burger and happy Australia Day


Happy Austraya Day! Depending on where you live in this continent, you are either basking in the sun or hiding indoor enjoying the cool sojourn from the relentless heat this week. Today also marks the end of the annual Sydney Festival. Sadly I didn’t venture to eat Gelato Messina’s mind bending creations, but I did manage to see Zhang Huan’s Sydney Buddha during a quiet rainy Sunday. Read More…

Meatless Monday – #2 Coconut Quinoa Bowl

Coconut Quinoa Bowl

There is that awkward time in January once the dates acquire double digit that it’s no longer New Year. Double digit January dates are the well meaning toddlers bumping into corners and crying loudly whenever they bump into a New Year resolution and accidentally breaks it or sat. In the normal course of a year these awkward, but promising toddlers will turn into the tired, annoyed and overweight adult wondering where the year had gone. Read More…

Meatless Monday – 2015 #1 Indian Ratatouille

New Year 2015, Palm Cove, Cairns

Happy New Year! I watched the last day of the year go by in Cairns, and really enjoyed the chilled atmosphere and surprisingly lack of smart phones being pulled out as people watch the firework over the jetty. Makes a nice change and hopefully is a good omen for the year and the remaining 360 days left, but who’s counting?

With that let’s kick off this year’s first Meatless Monday. Thanks to my mother I received Ottolenghi’s Plenty More and I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes from the book. One that caught my eyes was this Indian Ratatouille recipe, for those who followes Ottolenghi he published a very similar recipe in the Guardian a couple of years ago. If you would like to have a look at that version instead click here.

Meatless Monday - Indian Ratatouille

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Meatless Monday – Spinach and corn soup with a dollop of nostalgia

#meatlessmonday #meatfreemonday Javanese spinach and corn soup

Some days you wake up in the morning with the taste of a meal in your dreams and wonder whatever happened to that dish or that meal. For me, it was the sweetness of the corn and the satisfying spinach crunch that I remembered in this very simple soup. Unlike other Indonesian dishes, it’s unlikely you find this listed in a restaurant menu next to satay or Gado Gaddo. This is the type of dish that people cook as their weekday staple over rice with a side dish of tempe and house made sambal. Call it the dish that you have to grow up with and know about.  Read More…

Meatless Monday – Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup

Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup

There are some dishes that brings you back to a time and place instantly. For me this recipe always brings me back to memories of my first apartment and fending for myself for the first time. Living on a budget, I was after a recipe that can use any cheap ingredients I can get my hands on without being too challenging. Luckily this recipe has two key cheap ingredients: the first being a bag of ripe tomatoes going cheap at the local grocer and the second a stale loaf of bread.  Read More…

Meatless Monday – Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

There are a few things that’s hold sacred by the Sydney siders. One of them is the belief that rain is a a passing fad and one that will disappear sooner than later. When this is proven to be untrue and we experience three days of rain or more, we sulk and turn into temporary hermits to spite the world into submission.

Read More…