Did someone say Pho?

Did someone say Pho?

When you make a water based vegan soup and your carnivore boyfriend ends up begging for more, you know you have done something right. This soup is a filling and warming and it definitely costs less than a trip to Ho Chi Minh.

Vegan Pho (For two)

Broth:
2 l water
1.5 cubes vegetable stock cubes
2 gloves of garlic
a piece of sliced fresh ginger
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stalk
1 onion
2 tbs tamari

4 portobello mushrooms (or smaller mushrooms, use more)
1 tsp coconut oil
a bunch of bok choy or Chinese cabbage
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
Mung bean sprouts
Brown rice noodles/Mung bean noodles

  1. Slice garlic and ginger. Chop onion into quarters.
  2. Use a pot to heat the water. Add vegetable cubes, tamari garlic, ginger, onion, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to boil and reduce the heat. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Chop mushrooms to thin slices. Stirfry in coconut oil until cooked through.
  4. Chop herbs.
  5. 3 minutes before serving, strain the broth. Add bok choy and let it simmer 3 more minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the noodles al dente and place in bowls.
  7. To serve. Pour the broth on top of noodles (with bok choy). Add mushrooms on top of the bowls, as well as the herbs and sprouts.

If there is leftover broth, heat it day after and enjoy all over again.

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Outdoors & Oats

Outdoors & Oats

Camping food. Always a bit of a challenge. No fridge, no oven, in our case not even proper BBQ, just a gas heater. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and there is no way you see me eating a dry toast with vegemite or a bowl of cereal on a slow weekend morning.

On our most recent camping trip, I prepared my favorite Finnish winter warmer, the pimped up porridge! There are as many versions as there are days in a year. This one was filling and just enough sweet and crunchy and warming as a hug. It works well on cool winter mornings as well as on Autumn days camping on the ocean side. And most importantly, it is foolproof to make on the campsite.

Porridge  (for two)

3/4 C oats
3 tbs of chia seeds
1 C of water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp of cardamom
pinch of salt
1/4 C almond mylk
1 banana
1 apple
(chopped dates/prunes)

Toppings:
Berries
Almond butter
Pumpkin seeds
Buckwheat

  1. Premake the dry mixture of oats, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and chia seeds. Store in a jar.
  2. In the campsite warm water in a pot. Add dry mix. Let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Chop banana and apple. Add the fruit to the pot (save few pieces to garnish) 
  4. Add a splash of almond mylk to the porridge. Let cook for another few minutes until plating it to bowls.
  5. Top the bowls with all the berries and fruit and a massive spoonful of almond butter (don’t opt it out!)
  6. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and buckwheat on top.
  7. Enjoy with steaming mug of stovetop coffee. 

So easy and yummy and affordable everyday brekky too! Oats are so good for you, they are gentle for tummy and as slow wholemeal carbs they give you just the right energy to start the day. They actually help with sleep too so this could be a light dinner too! Talking about cheap superfood.

I could write a few more camping recipes here, they are usually no-brainers, simple and wholesome. We often bring a selection of antipasto style food like dips, olives, nice bread and vegetables for lunch munchies and for nighttime I cook something warm. This time it was brown rice pasta with broccoli and homemade Spanish tomato sauce on the first night and Mushroom burgers on the second night. Everything just tastes so much better when it’s cooked outdoors!

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Skip the sushi train

Skip the sushi train

If you are like me and work in an office environment in the middle of the city, surrounded by endless food courts, with “oh so convenient have on your desk” options that end up costing you a fortune. I love eating out and discovering Melbourne food scene but for me, a rushed sushi roll or a salad in a plastic bowl on my computer is not it. I save my dollars for those moments when having a longer lunch with colleagues or a friend or having a dinner out after work in good company.

This week I mixed up my (boring – I admit) pumpkin-quinoa-broccoli salad tradition and ended up making nori rolls two days in a row, so easy and very exciting lunch to enjoy – hopefully in the sunshine in a park rather than on your desk.

Miso-Kimchi Sushi (for one)

1/2 C uncooked brown rice 
1 tbs miso paste
3 nori rolls

Fillings:
1/4 avocado
3 asparagus
Kimchi 
Spinach
Pickled ginger
Tamari
Wasabi

1. Follow the instructions to cook the rice. When rice is almost ready, add bit more water and the miso paste to make it sticky. Let cool.

2. Place nori rolls on a chopping board and place the rice in a row few centimeter away from the other end of the sheet. Add other ingredients next to rice. Remember that you need to roll this thing – so don’t over do it!

3. Spice up with tamari and wasabi.

4. Start rolling from the side next to rice. Use water to make the other end of the nori roll stick.

5. Cut. Keep refrigerated. Eat within few days.

Obviously feel free to use any fillings you wish. Cucumber, pea sprouts, roasted pumpkin or salmon would work well. I am loving kimchi at the moment. I made some last weekend (pictured) following the traditional Korean way and it is so good, way better than any previous attempts or the stuff you find from the health food shops. The recipe will be here later.

Enjoy rollin’!

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