Pumpkin & tofu nems

Chinese food, or even whole asian food : one of the best in my opinion ! I love it so much… Few months ago, i discovered Korean food, thanks to my perfect roommate, that is now gone back in her country. I miss her so much !

I had rice paper left, since few months (maybe 4, I’m ashamed), so I wanted a way to use it. In my wonderful new recipe book by Cléa, I found a recipe for ”nems” with tofu. I brought back from France some dried chanterelles, so I used it as a replacement of asian mushrooms.
It turned out delicious. Even if it was fried, I made it with coconut oil, so it stayed a little bit healthy, more than if I would have used vegetable oil.
Enjoy !

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Tofu & pumpkin nems

From ”Je sais cuisiner végétarien
1 tbsp dried chanterelles
115g extra firm tofu, pressed
½ cup grated pumpkin
1 flax egg
5 rice papers
Coconut oil

 

Rehydrate mushrooms in warm water, about 15 minutes. Drain and chop finely.
In a food processor, place crumbled tofu, pumpkin, chanterelles, flax egg and a pinch of salt. Mix until you get a coarse consistency.
Soak a rice paper in a deep plate full of warm water. Place on a wet tea towel. Garnish, down of the rice paper, with 1/5 of the garniture, make a band.

Fold sides towards the inside and roll it . Place in a plate. Do that again with four other nems. Reserve in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan. When heat enough, fry your nems until they become crispy.

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Savor by rolling up in lettuce and dipping in soy sauce, to good to be true!!

(you can see my sprouts, homemade, so proud of my babies, ahahah!)

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Winter Vegetable Couscous

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-77°F, god this is soooo cold!!I can not go outside, It’s impossible ! Furthermore, it is so windy and even snow !!! but, I have to admit that I’m really enjoying this weather. I prefer the cold weather than the hot one, yeah I’m a weird person, I know that !

When you are cold, it is so easy to reheat yourself, by drinking a warm tea, wearing cosy clothes. You can have great moments with your friends or family, because nobody wants to go out. BUT, when it’s hot, it’s just hot. I mean, you can not do anything to stop it, you just seat there, sweaty and you don’t know what to do. So yes, I love winter, and snow, and cold, and hot chocolate !

through this weather I want some cosy food, comfort food as you can read on the internet.

What about a vegetables couscous ? So let’s go !

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Winter Vegetable Couscous

From “Je sais cuisiner végétarien

3 carrots, sliced

1 parsnip, sliced

¼ onion, diced

1 cm ginger, cut very thinly

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp goji

4 dates

¼ vegetable broth

Coconut oil

Cook parsnips and carrots in boiling water for about 10 minutes, it must be still firm but cooked

In a sauce pan, heat oil. Add the onions and ginger. Sauté until onion turns brown. Add cinnamon, stir very well and let heat for 30 seconds, or until you can smell cinnamon.

Add the vegetables, goji and dates. Stir well and add broth. Cover and let simmering for about ten minutes.

It’s ready! Serve over rice, semolina or even pasta.

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Lentils Dhal

Dad, this is for you, cause I know how much you loved it. Easy and fast, my way.

I’m finally back ! During my holidays, you know, I went back to France. I had no time to take pictures of what I did, but yeah, I cooked ! Still vegetarian and most of my dishes were loved by my family!!!!

It’s so cold outside, brrr ! I bought à blender, FINALLY !!! It’s awesome, hell yeah ! My first soup was a basic carrot one, so good ! But I will start to make different ones and post them here. During chilly days, nothing’s better than homemade and a very warm bowl of soup, yum. Stay tuned 😉

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Red lentils Dhal ”Cassie’s way”

1/3 cup red lentils
¼ onion, chopped
1 cm ginger, cut very thin
1/3 vegetable broth, or coconut milk, or even better, homemade tomato sauce
2/3 broth (or 1,5/3 if you prefer when it’s ”al dente”)
1 tbsp coconut oil

Heat coconut oil in a saucepan. Add onion and ginger. Sauté until fragrant and onion begins turning brown.
Add lentils and mix well until everything is covered with oil.
Add broth (or coconut, or tomato sauce (my favorite!). Stir constantly until all liquid is absorbed.
Add half of the remaining broth. Stir constantly. Repeat until no more broth.
Season to taste and enjoy. Today, I served it with cauliflower rice, it was my first time, and not my last, too good!!!

My dear friend brought me back from Morocco spices. I’m so happy!!! I will try to put some in this dhal, to make it ever more spicy, oh yeees! 😉

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Butternut Squash Carbonara

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Well, when I’ll be back at home, my parents will have to face that their daughter is now vegetarian. It will not be easy for them to cook differently, with products like tofu they don’t know.
First, it has been difficult for them to let me become a vegetarian. But when I explained my reasons, they accepted it quickly.
In exactly two weeks, i’ll be home. So I try to find recipes that could be enjoyed by all the family, included my brother. He does not eat a lot of vegetables, he doesn’t really like it. I’m sure that he will not be ok to taste tofu… From this, I want to cook things I can eat and he can enjoy. He is a big fan of carbonara, really (he asks my mother twice or even three times a week for it).

These carbonara contain squash and spinach that I’m sure he won’t love, but if I don’t include it, I’m sure he won’t notice the difference. Sure, I will try these carbonara at home.

Butternut Squash Carbonara

From Eat Well with Others

1/6 butternut squash
3 nests of tagliatelle (pasta)
100g smoked tofu, cut into thin slices
1/6 onion
Few spinach
1 egg yolk
6tbsp of almond cream
2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Preheat oven at 420°F. When hot, roast squash until tender (40min)

After, cook pasta al dente.
In a pan, heat 1tbsp olive oil and sauté onion until tender. Add the tofu and sauté 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix egg yolk, cream and yeast.
Place spinach in the bottom of a colander. When pasta are cooked, reserve some water then drain over spinach, so the hot water will cook the spinach.
Add pasta and spinach to the pan and toss.
Remove from heat. Use pasta water to temper egg mixture. Pour 3 tbsp, one by one, and stir well each time. Pour this mixture to the pan and toss again until every ingredient is well coated.

Serve

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Cabbage fritters

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The end is near. Not the end of the world ahah, but of this session. So, you can deduce that I have got a loooot of exams these next weeks ! SO much work to do, too much revisions ! So, I start to be tired and lazy.

From this, I need food that are easy to make, and also that can reboot my mood. Because, even if I go back home in 2 weeks, it seems to be soooo far… I so much want to see my family ! Normally, I’m not that urge to be in the future, because time goes away too rapidly. But in this case, last time I’ve seen my parents in true (not on skype) was on the 23th august !

SO, I try to motivate myself, to live and cook, but not easy, ahah !

Cabbage fritters

¼ cabbage, diced

1cm ginger, cut into very small pieces

1/6 onion, diced

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

Water

Salt

Add water to flour, little by little, until you get a quite sticky dough. Not too much, but not too dry either. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pan. When oil is very hot, add small portion of the cabbage mixture in it. Fry for 4 minutes on one side, flip and fry again.

When it’s cooked, place in a plate, keep warm. Than, add same amount of oil and restart as the first fritters until dough is over.

Serve with a tomato sauce, or, Hoi Sin sauce is so good with it !

Winter is definitely here, and snow stick to the ground… I think it won’t disappear before a long time from now…

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Vegetarian Bolognese

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Being far away from my country means being far from my parents and family, from my habits AND obviously, my favorite food. I miss so much of my mom’s meals, even of her soo simple rice soup (coming soon 😛 ). Even my dad is a great cook, he is so talented to cook classic french food, as bourguignon, blanquette and other.

I mean, if I love cooking, that’s not for nothing: my parents always cooked for us, we always had dinner together, with no TV or music, to talk about the day. Dinner time was a moment in the day where we were sure to be together and to enjoy this moment. Sometimes, it was frozen pizza or canned meal, but most of the time, our dinner was homemade. Simple, but delicious, that was our credo!

Now I’m far, I stick to these habits and I refuse as much as possible to eat prepackaged food. Since I’m here, I might have eaten once or twice these type of meal, not more.

Someday, it’s hard to motivate myself to go in the kitchen and to cook, but I remember that, anyway, I don’t have the choice. Well, when I really don’t want to cook, I go to the restaurant on the campus, it’s quite good, but not so often.

SO, when my parents sent me my first package, my mom gave me a bottle of her homemade tomato sauce. It was in october. I opened it last week, and OH GOD, just with pasta, it was soooo delicious!

To finish it before it goes bad, I decided to try vegetarian bolognese, with textured soy protein. Served with quinoa, because i love quinoa 😛

It was one of the beeest bolognese I’ve eaten, really!!!

Homemade sauce

Homemade sauce

Vegetarian Bolognese

From La Table verte

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/6 onion

1tbsp oil

½ carrot, diced

2 tbsp textured soy protein

½ cup homemade tomato sauce (you can make a fast one by mixing 2 tomatoes with some onion, than add spice (italian is good))

Mix soy sauce, onion, carrot and oil. Add the textured soy protein and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Heat a pan on medium heat. Add the TSP and sauté for 2 minutes, unitl soy sauce begin to evaporate. Than add the tomato sauce, reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add water or milk if it is becoming to dry.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa or pasta or rice, as you want (1/3 cup for me).When the sauce is thicker and a little caramelized, you can stop heating. Put this over your pastas (or whatever you want), sprinkle with nutritional yeast and enjoy (I hope!)

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Snow is here! Christmas spirit is around, so good! And in 17 days, I go back home. I look forward, so happy!

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Sweet, Sticky & Spicy Tofu

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Most people I know tell me that tofu is disgusting, and has no taste. Well, I admit that first, I thought it too : plain, it’s not really tasty, and when you try to heat it but you don’t know how, you still have a sort of white cubes, fluffy and not really appetizing.

BUT, after a loooot of researches, I finally found a perfect guide to help me cooking the perfect tofu. Thanks to Healthy Happy Life, I’m now able to make a lot of dishes, which never taste the same. I can now say that I’m totally in love with tofu ! My favorite, it is this recipe. Sweet and savory at the same time, quite sticky and an explosion of savor that overwhelm my taste buds and make me ashamed to have, one day, criticized this lovely and kindly tofu.

So now, I’m a firmly defender of this ingredient, and I try to persuade all my friends, that, NO, tofu is not tasteless, and YES, you can have a delicious meal with it. This lunch, I ate it with some steamed potatoes and bok choy, topped with Earth balance.

Very easy, very tasty, very perfect lunch 😉

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Sweet, Sticky & Spicy Tofu

Adpated from Mango & Tomato

¼ extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed or shaped as french fries

1 tbsp Hoi Sin

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp hot sauce

1 tsp water

1/6 onion, finely chopped

1cm fresh ginger, finely chopped

Sesame oil

 

Combine Hoi Sin, soy and hot sauce, water and onion in a bowl. Put tofu in it and mix well to cover all the tofu. Let marinate for 1 hour.

In a sauce pan, heat sesame oil. Sauté ginger for 30 seconds and then add the tofu. Sauté on one side for 1 or 2 minutes, until caramelized. Then, fry the other side, for a couple minutes.

Add the remaining sauce, and let boiling, it will cover the tofu with a sticky coating. Stop heating when all of the marinade is evaporated.

Serve with your favorite side dish.

Mujadara

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Since I’m a vegetarian (not very a long time, that’s true) I cook a lot, more than before, and I also have a lot more fun to do it.

Organic products and healthy food have been included in my pantry, and that makes me really enthusiastic when I have to choose what I’ll do for lunch or dinner. Inspiration comes much more easily than before ! Especially with lentils and beans !

You can cook it in so many different ways, mushy or tender, stew or sauté, with coconut milk or dry. So inspiring !

Just one drawback: green lentils, and especially french one, are very long to cook, and it’s not very practical when you are a student and that you have to cook and eat in one hour… Yes, you can do your lunch before, but time is hard to find. But I do all I can to be in the kitchen at 11.30a.m, so that I can eat one hour after and be in class just in time.

I’ve already ate lentils and rice, but not mixed together. So I wanted to try this recipe, and since it included cumin, I was in!

 

Mujadara

From The Shiksa in the Kitchen

1/3 cup rinsed lentils

¼ cup rice, soaked in water during 2 hours

¼ onion, diced

2 teaspoon cumin

Olive oil

1 large onion

 

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Then, add lentils and let cook during approximately 15 or 20 minutes, until lentils are tender, but still firm. Drain.

Bring again 2 cups of water to a boil with one teaspoon of salt.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté ¼ onion for 1 minute. Add lentils and cumin. Sauté for 4 minutes. Add the drained rice and stir. When the water is boiling, add to the mixture, cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until everything is cooked and water evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and add the onion, cut into big chunks. Let caramelized until it gets a rich caramel colour and smell like candy (20 minutes)

Turn off the heat of the lentils and fluff with a fork. Cover, and let stand for ten minutes, and than, fluff again.

Put in a plate, add caramelized onions on the top, some cilantro if you want, and now you can eat.

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Lentil Stew with Bok choy, Beetroots, Mushrooms and Roasted Pumpkin

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This session, on Mondays, I have a class from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm. When it has begun, night was not entirely here when class was over. But now, when I go back to my room, it’s completely dark, and the cold is also present. I can use tunnels, but I don’t feel comfortable in these, they are too small and dark. So I go outside, trying to do my best to cross the campus as fast as I can and reach my room, where, then, I finally have dinner.
This class is Philosophy, and you can not imagine how I feel hungry after that. Maybe it is a coincidence or maybe philosophy gives me appetite.
Anyway, these nights I need something large enough to satisfy myself and hot enough to warm me up.

Lentil Stew with Bok choy, Beetroots, Mushrooms and Roasted Pumpkin

Adapted from Appetite for China

½ cup dry lentils
2 2/3 cup of vegetable broth
½ can of organic mushrooms
2 little beets, cut into chunk
1 little Bok choy sliced
1/6 pumpkin
¼ onion diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 380°F. Cut pumpkin into 3 large slices then coat with olive oil and salt/pepper. When the oven is ready, put pumpkin into it and let cook for 30 minutes, approximately.
Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil. Wash lentils and add them to the hot broth. After 15 minutes, add the beet (don’t be afraid, water is becoming very purple).
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the bok choy, onion and mushroom. Cook until bok choy become tender.
When lentils are cooked but still tender (took 40 minutes for me), add the vegetables.
Put this soup in a bowl and add the roasted pumkin. Coat with some nutritional yeast and almond cream. Savor!

I really like this deep purple, so beautiful! You can flavor your pumpkin with honey or maple syrup. And, to finish, if you want a soup instead of a stew, just add more vegetable broth.

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Quinoa Porridge

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Winter is here.
Few days ago, when I woke up, all the landscape was white, due to the snow fallen during the night. I was so excited. It reminded me that, in less than one month, I come back home, to see all my family, during three weeks.
I miss France so much, but Québec is a very beautiful city, and people here are too kind. Since a short time, I start to feel half French, half Canadian, or I should say ”Québécoise”. I love life here, even if my heart stay in my little town, in the forest, near both the sea and mountains.

Most of the time, it was approximately 5°F, so cold ! But, one thing I love during the winter, is smell the cold,and feeling the wind in your hair. With a very good coat and shoes, enjoying winter is possible. Moreover, Christmas is coming, and its spirit become to be very present in the street and shops, event in people mood : happiness is all around us !

In front of these chilly days, I dropped my cold cereals for a rather special oatmeal. I’ve seen it a lot of times, on pinterest or on different blogs, but I’ve never dare to try it. Now it’s done and I’m asking myself why I didn’t do it before !

This morning I’ve tried it with some leftover of coconut milk : it was so much creamier than just with almond milk, so good and comforting !

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Quinoa porridge

1/3 cup of quinoa, rinsed
1/3 cup of coconut milk or any nut milk (almond is my favourite)
1/2 cup of water
Berries or apple or banana (you choice)
Some toppings (almonds, sugar…)

Heat a saucepan on medium heat. When hot, add quinoa and toasted until all water is evaporated.
Add the milk, bring to a boil and stir constantly. When there is no milk anymore, add the water, bring to a boil again, still stirring constantly.
When your quinoa is fluffy, stop heating. Cover and wait three minutes. Then, stir with a fork to make it fluffier.
Put into a bowl, add your fruits and topping, and now, you can eat!

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