Allow me to introduce you to the fastest (20 minutes, no joke), easiest, most forgiving, fancy-looking weeknight meal. Ever. In the last 45 minutes I:
-Said hi to Nugget (most time-intensive item on this list) and Isaiah
-Changed out of my work clothes, washed my hands
-Made this meal
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Made tea and ate one (okay fine, two) pieces of chocolate
-Sat down to write this post
I got the inspiration for this fish from a recipe a friend posted on Facebook a long time ago. Now, the awkward thing is I don’t remember who that friend was or which chef the original recipe belongs to, so I can’t credit either my friend or the original recipe. I tried googling “tomato lemon garlic fish” but I couldn’t find what I remember of the original recipe. All this to say, disclaimer: this may or may not be an accidentally stolen recipe.
Does anyone remember that episode of The Magic School bus when Arnold turned orange and no one could figure out why until they realised that he had eaten too many Sea Weedies with beta carotene? Eating this soup always reminds me of that, because it’s 99% carrots and not much else. When I was a kid, turning orange seemed pretty cool. Now, I associate orange with someone extremely unpleasant and would like to avoid that as much as possible.
All that to say, this soup is light, fresh, gingery and nothing at all like Mr Trump, but beware of eating too much of it.
Every January, my church fasts for 21 days. It’s a physically intense experience and, coupled with jet-lag – as we always return from overseas the same day the fast starts – you’ve got a complete meltdown just waiting to happen.
Despite the meltdowns, fasting is a spiritually rewarding experience and it can also be physically rewarding, if done correctly. The most common way to fast at my church is to do a full liquid diet. No solids for 21 days. Last year, I failed big time not because I ate any solids but because my diet consisted of a lot of really, really unhealthy liquids – ie, melted ice cream, melted chocolate, gross amounts of Milo.
This year I vow to do better. I am going dairy, added-sugar, grain and legume free.
Over the next few weeks I will share some of my favorite vegan soup recipes with you. The amazing thing about soups is they are intensely flavorful without needing much additional anything. The vegetables will give you all the flavor you need.
Let’s make some soup!
Hummus is fully responsible for keeping any meat on my bones when I was a poor and half-starved college student. Back then, a ‘normal’ meal for me was pita chips liberally dipped in hummus with a stack of baby spinach leaves piled on top. I probably ate my weight in hummus, plus some. (Although, if I’m honest, the substance that was actually responsible for keeping me at a healthy weight in college was wine. Cheap boxed wine, to be exact. I met and started dating my husband during my boxed wine phase. You should have seen his face when he realised he was dating a boxed wine drinker. It’s a miracle we survived that first date and are still together today.)
Those were the early days of my culinary adventures and I honestly did not know that you could make hummus at home until one night I was at a sorority hummus party (yes, you read that right. They do exist) and one of my sorority sisters made 6 batches of homemade hummus. That really opened a new world for me, and I haven’t bought a tub of homemade hummus since.
You’ll be shocked by how easy and fast (and cheap!) it is to make hummus at home. Say goodbye to preservatives and unnecessary additives. Never buy store bought hummus ever again!
For all you potato lovers out there, let me introduce you to the easiest, most delicious and idiot-proof way of making potatoes, ever.
You literally take a bag of potatoes.
Boil them until they’re tender.
Drain, then lay them out in rows on a baking sheet.
In that order.
Growing up in Seattle, I was spoiled with an abundance of gorgeous, high-quality, sustainable Alaskan salmon. Sockeye is my favorite. I never tasted farmed or Atlantic salmon until college, and to this day the creamy, fatty flesh of farmed salmon still puts me off. Not to mention the environmental and health hazards of farmed salmon (I’ll get into that another day). Unfortunately, finding wild salmon at a reasonable price in Singapore is no easy feat. I’ve tried to devise many ways of importing salmon myself – purchasing sockeye fillets in Seattle, freezing them in vacuum-packed bags packed with dry ice, and checking them in on our flights back to Singapore – but it all just seemed like too much work and too risky given there are no direct flights between Singapore and Seattle.
Last June when we were at my favorite place on earth (aka Costco), I saw a package of canned wild salmon and threw it into my shopping cart on a whim (this happens a lot at Costco). The cans flew 8,000 miles back with us and sat in my pantry in Singapore for months until I had a moment of genius and made these burgers.
Not to toot my own horn, but these burgers are amazing. I guarantee they are better than any salmon burger you’ve had at a restaurant (which is actually a pretty low bar – why are restaurant salmon burgers universally awful?). And they are the perfect lazy weeknight meal as the patties only take about 10 minutes to come together and under 10 to cook. That’s my kind of meal! In celebration, I’ve started a new tag called “30 minute meals” which, as the name suggests, are meals that take 30 or fewer minutes to come together.
Shall we get started?
My friend Anna came over two Saturdays ago to teach me how to make Korean seafood pancakes – my favorite Korean dish. The idea was for her to teach me how to make them, since she’s Korean, so when she arrived I let her take the lead. But I’m incapable of fully trusting others in the kitchen so inside I was thinking this as I watched her-
Doesn’t the batter look too thick?
Why are you cutting the spring onions so small?
Shouldn’t we add more peppers?
But possibly for the first time in my life, I managed to hold my tongue.
The result was perfect, yet for some absurd reason (re: trust issues) I still felt like I should try it with my amendments. So later that week I made Korean pancakes again, the way I thought they should be made based on zero evidence or experience, and…
They were terrible!!!
The moral of the story is: when making Korean food, listen to your Korean friend.
These muffins are sweet and tart, banana-y and blueberry-y. You would’ve never guessed that from the title, huh?
The ingredients are whole (besides the 1/4 cup of white sugar… if you’re extra hardcore you could even substitute raw sugar), which basically makes these muffins healthy.
We call this breakfast. Because if you have dessert before 9am it’s called breakfast, not dessert.
Before I stopped eating meat, spaghetti bolognese was a weekly staple in our house. Once I stopped eating meat, I stopped making bolognese. Sorry if that last sentence was obvious.
I never intended to make a vegetarian copy-cat of bolognese because I don’t believe in being vegetarian if all you want to do is eat non-meat things that taste just like meat.
So why this vegetarian bolognese? It was entirely the result of Isaiah, who was leafing through one of my vegetarian cookbooks out of some vague curiosity and stopped at a photo of vegetarian bolognese, declaring, “GOOD!” That was his not-so-subtle way of saying, ‘this vegetarian deal is nice and all for you but why am I being punished and deprived of bolognese after being nothing but a kind, patient, and supportive husband?’. Isaiah is all of those things and more, so I came up with this recipe out of the goodness of my heart. It is an adaption of this recipe with many amendments because following instructions is not my forte.
This vegetarian bolognese is savoury, deep, and complex. No, it does not taste like beef. It tastes better. You willl shovel it into your mouth. If you have kids in the house who refuse to touch vegetables even with a ten foot pole, make this. They won’t even know there are vegetables in it.
I could eat pizza everyday. Sometimes I eat so much pizza that I make myself sick. Something about that ooey-gooey-melty-cheesy topping over a soft-chewy-crispy crust just makes my life.
In this post I will show you how to:
1) Make pizza dough from scratch – it’s easy
2) Make pizza sauce from scratch – a child could do it
3) Bake a crispy-crust pizza without a gajillion pound baking stone in my small, uneven Singaporean fail oven/microwave