Monday, 29 November 2010

Fried penne with smoked tofu

This is a pretty typical lunch dish for me. Typical in so far as it's built around some left-over pasta. Add some fresh veggies, a handful of spices, and whatever else takes your fancy, and you have a whole new dish, making use of scraps, saving money and time.

Fried penne with smoked tofu
All measures in this recipe are approximates - it's more to give you the idea than a step-by-step instruction.

1 1/2 cups of pre-cooked penne (Rigatoni, in my case, but pretty much every other pasta will work, too)
1/3 red pepper
1 spring onion
1/2 cup cubed smoked tofu
1 egg
Chili-garlic sauce
Madras curry (I used hot, but mild will work just fine, too)

Heat 1 Tblspoon of veg. oil in a frying pan. Add the cooked pasta, and the veggies. Red pepper and spring onion was what happened to be in my fridge - you can pretty much use whatever you have. Brown onions, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage ... Keep the green end of the spring onion, cut into rings, to sprinkle over finished dish.
Fry for a couple of minues, until the pasta begins to take some colour. Add the curry, and the chili-garlic sauce. If you're in a more industrious mind than I was, you can of course use fresh chili and garlic. Or fresh garlic and dried chilies ... you get the idea.
When the pasta begins to crisp, and the veggies are done (but still have some "bite"), add the tofu and fry for a few more minutes.
Then add the lightly beaten egg, and keep stirring. A wooden spatula works great - oh, and this can of course be done in a wok, if you're so inclined.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve. I like to put a bottle of ketchup on the table with it, as it goes exceptionally well with this kind of dish. But I do understand if you think that's barbarian, and won't.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Quinoa Salad with lentils

From Kokori's Kitchen

After my visit in Germany, I'm equipped with a MOUNTAIN of marzipan and chocolates. Now, generally speaking, that's A Great Thing(tm), however, if you're fighting your weight like I always do, it means a few less-carb-more-veg meals need to be considered.

And because I had half an avocado left from last night's salad (which accompanied a teensy-tiny portion of mac'n cheese), I decided to make a Quinoa salad for lunch.

Quinoa Salad for 2

1/2 cup quinoa (cook like rice, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water - I use my microwave rice cooker, but any other method you're comfortable with is fine)
1/2 cup green lentils, cooked (take care not to overcook them, or they'll turn to mush ... 10 - 15 minutes do the trick for me. I also add a pinch of salt, half a tsp of white wine vinegar, a small clove of garlic and one thai chili to the cooking water to give them a bit more taste)

1/4 cucumber, diced
5-8 cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 avocado, diced


1 tblspoon chopped parsley
1 tblspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 tblspoon (brown) sugar
1 tblspoon water
2 tblsoons good olive oil (I have the BEST EVAR. Yes, it's that good - a friend gets it from her parents, who make it from the olive trees in their southern french backyard. That's how good it is.)
small clove of garlic (optional)
a pinch of salt
1 tblspoon fish sauce (substitute light soy sauce if you don't want to use it or don't have any)
a few drops of lemon juice

Start by cooking the quinoa and the lentils, so they can cool a bit.
While they're cooking, mix the vinegar, sugar, water, finely chopped garlic, and olive oil.
Dice the cucumber, add to the dressing and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for min. 30 minutes, so the cucumber can "bleed" some of it's water into the dressing. Add diced onion and parsley.
By now, the quinoa and lentils should be cooked and cooled, and the other ingredients nicely chopped up.
Mix all well together, add fish sauce, lemon juice and freshly ground pepper, stir again, and enjoy.