Archive for January, 2009

Ants on Trees

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

ants-on-trees

When I was growing up in Malawi, we used to go to a Chinese restaurant and this was one of the items we used to always have. I don’t know why it has this name but I guess that is part of the novelty of having this fun snack / starter / side dish. After many years, I made it last summer when my older sister and nieces came for the summer from Hong Kong. We just went by memory and recreated it but later I found a recipe from an old recipe file, which had cabbage and carrots in it also. It is a messy but fun dish to eat, kind of like Mexican tacos. All the same it is a good recipe to share with friends and family. Perhaps you can serve this dish as a self service meal, that way the lettuce leaves will not become soggy and people can have the amount of filling and garnish they want.
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Vegetarian stir fry

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

stir-fry

When we first used to make stir fry or Chinese sweet & sour stir fry in Malawi, we would use specific vegetables (cabbage, french beans, carrots etc.) and make the sauce at home. We would have it either with plain rice or fried rice. Then when we came here we saw the supermarkets with pre made sauces like hoi sin, teriyaki, black bean etc. As always we had to be cautious as these tended to contain some form of fish oil or sauce. The other thing with all the ready made sauces is that they have added preservatives to give them the long shelf life. So after trying a few brands which where vegetarian, we created our own version by using shop bought sauces and our own home made mix. However I do try and make the sauces at home to taste, this way I know what I am putting into it and each time the taste is different. The list of ingredients started to change also. After marriage I started adding tofu, mushrooms, and savoy cabbage to my stir fries. By making my own sauce at home I sometimes get the correct balance of vegetables and sauces and sometimes I get it wrong, however that is all part of the fun of cooking.

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Vegetable & Multi grain Soup

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

multigrain-soup

I had a version of this soup at a friends house, when I was pregnant, it was so tasty and different to what I normally make, i.e. plain tomato or with pasta & vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash etc.) In the past I have tried cauliflower soup and found it to be very bland, however the way that this has other vegetables and multi grains gives it a good depth of textures and added flavours. So you guessed it, as always I recreated it at home. My friend used the shop bought multi grain mix, however I made my own mix at home from the individual grains. You can put what ever vegetables you have – it does not have to be what I have used.
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Courgette (Zucchini) Bread

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

courgette-bread

In the past I have made many different kinds of bread. A few years back I found a wonderful recipe book from the library on breads, cakes and biscuits. I tried out quite a few recipes from it. This is one of the recipes from the book but I added the mixed seeds and lemon to make it my own. I also had a recipe from my aunt for courgette bread for some time but never actually got around to trying it. That was until I came across this similar recipe in the book from the library which reminded me to try it again. I liked this recipe as it did not have any eggs whereas the recipes that I have seen before did contain eggs. This bread goes well with all kinds of soups, especially tomato soup, or to eat on it’s own with some butter while still warm :p .

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