Creamy Spinach on Sweet Potato Latkes

>> November 29, 2011

I tried to reinvent the sweet potato latkes I made previously to give it a better appeal. It turned out that it works great with creamed spinach, and of course, my never dying love for poached eggs :).

To make the sweet potato latkes, please refer to this blog post.

And now, for the creamed spinach:

- a bunch of fresh spinach, plucked and washed thoroughly
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all purpose cream
- salt and pepper to taste

1. steam or parboil the spinach until withered. Shock it with cold water when done and squeeze the excess water from it.
2. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan before you put the butter. This way, the butter won't get burned.
3. Add the spinach and saute.
4. Add the all purpose cream. You can add more cream if you feel like it's still a bit dry, although you don't want it to runny/creamy. Saute for about 2 minutes.
5. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Top your sweet potato latkes with it, plus a nicely poached egg.


Instant Semi Healthy Refreshment

I don't think any food shoot will happen today. I woke up with a super dirty house and just finished cleaning the living room, and still have to do the bathroom and bedroom. I'm exhausted now to even think about what we'll have for dinner.

So while I was relaxing an hour ago, I remembered a simple drink I browsed from Mylene's tumblr blog. It's a strawberry drink with just water, lemon, honey and sliced strawberries. I thought it was a perfect refreshment after a tiring session of sweepings and moppings. But I had a better idea. Yesterday we dropped by at my favorite store, the Japan Home Center, where everything is bargained. I bought a couple of flavored sparkling water and thought it would be nice to use it rather than just water for this lovely strawberry drink :).

- sparkling flavored water (or just regular water)
- a slice of lemon
- 2 Tbsp of honey (or more, depends on how sweet you want it)
- Slices of strawberries
- ice cubes

1. Wash and slice the strawberries and put it in a glass.
2. Add the sparkling flavored water (or water).
3. Squeeze the slice of lemon.
4. Add the honey and mix well.
5. Serve with ice cubes!

I called it semi-healthy refreshment because I used sparkling flavored water :P.


Scrambled Tofu

>> November 21, 2011

I first got the idea of making a scrambled tofu from The Kitchenist, while searching for tofu recipe. Tofu is one of  my many favourites, but I'm seriously tired of deep frying them all the time, since it's the only way I know how to prepare it. So I got excited to try the scrambled tofu, and curious how it would turn out.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and made it more personal - I added more ingredients and other spices. I used silken (soft) japanese tofu with these, although in my opinion, it would have had a better texture if I used the firm one, which is usually used for deep frying. But over all, it's very yummy. It's like a substitute for egg scrambled, if you are vegan :).

- 1 silken tofu (or firm), drained and crumbled
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, leaves separated and chopped
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- spanish paprika
- ground coriander
- salt and pepper

(note: do not over crumble the tofu as you would want to preserve some chunky texture).

1. Heat oil in a pan and saute onions until soft.
2. Toss in the red and green bell pepper.
3. When the pepper is a bit soft, toss in the green peas.
4. When the green peas is soft and cooked, add the tofu and mix well.
4. When the tofu is almost dry, add the celery stalks.
5. Start seasoning it with salt and pepper according to your liking. Add a dash of ground coriander and spanish paprika.
6. Toss in the chopped celery leaves and mix well.

Serve with toasted bread. Serves 3.


Zucchini and Carrot Mini Pancakes with Poached Egg

>> November 17, 2011

This food presentation from Seven Spoons totally inspired me to make a nice similar breakfast today. Yese, I'm not over with poached eggs fever :).

- 100g chopped zucchini
- 4 pieces zucchini sliced thinly (optional)
- 4 slices carrots, thinly sliced (optional)
- 100g chopped carrots
- 2/4 cups bread crumbs
- 1 large beaten egg
- 1 egg for poaching
- 1/8 cup melted butter
- some spanish paprika
- salt and pepper
- alfalfa sprouts for garnishing

1. Combine the zucchini, carrots, bread crumbs, melted butter and beaten egg. Mix well.
2. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Give it a dash or two of spanish paprika.
3. Put the mixture in a food processor. Do not puree, just give it about 5-10 seconds chopping/blending. It's still nice to have a little bit of chunks.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan.
5. Use an egg mold to hold the batter. Pour a little bit of the mixture inside the mold, and then top it with the thinly sliced zucchini. Then top it again with the mixture.
(note: I usually set the oven heat medium to low, so I can evenly cook even the inner portion without burning the outter part.)6. Flip to the other side when firm enough and cooked. Do this to the rest of the mixture.
When everything is cooked, you can then poach your egg.
To serve:
1. Get one pancake and spread some garlic mayo.
2. Sprinkle some alfalfa sprouts. Arugula also works with this.
3. Top it again with another pancake. Sprinkle some alfalfa sprouts (or arugula) and then top it with the poached eggs.

Sunshine on a plate :).


Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

>> November 2, 2011

You might say, poaching an egg is very simple and nothing to get excited about. But for some reason, since I just learned it recently, I'm almost always thinking of any recipe that would let me poach an egg. Weird, but I just love 'em.

This recipe is adapted from Sprouted Kitchen, another wonderful vegetarian recipe avenue that I found by browsing numerous food blogs that has become my habit every time I feel like cooking.

So aside from the poached egg as the main ingredient that caught my attention, the asparagus caught my eyes. Not only that it's one of my many favourites, but it always reminds me of my good friend Dave, who told me that asparagus makes your pee stink. Thanks to Dave, every time I eat asparagus, I have this idea in my subconscious and I suddenly become observant when I have to do #1 after eating. Well, I'm not going to tell you if it's true or not - see for yourself :P.

About 4 months ago, Dave sent me a nice food styling techniques hand book and I remember promising that I'll dedicate one food photograph for him as a token of my appreciation. It's been 4 months, but it's better late than never, eh? So here, a very good timing - I'm dedicating this photograph to him, for sending the hand book + for the asparagus trivia :).


- 2 English Muffins
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup spinach leaves, washed and drained
- 8 spears of asparagus, cut in half (in this recipe, I used the short thin asparagus)
- lemon zest from 1 small size lemon
- salt and ground pepper

Bell Pepper Sauce
- 1 medium sized bell pepper, roasted and skinned (red, green or yellow)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 oz goat's cheese
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Siracha hot sauce (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste

Sauce preparation:

1. Cut the bell pepper in half and roast it in a toaster. You'll know it's ready when the skin begin to blister. Let it cool down.
2. Remove the blistered skin. Chop in to small pieces.
3. Put the bell pepper in a blender or food processor. Add the milk, cheese, mustard, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Blend well until smooth.
4. Put the sauce in a small bowl and add salt and pepper according to your taste. Set aside.

Eggs Benedict Proper:

1. Heat oil in a pan (olive oil preferred).
2. Fry the asparagus until the color become vibrant. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper. Careful not to over cook as you would like to preserve the crunchiness. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, saute the spinach and lemon zest until the spinach is wilted, but not overcooked. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Then poach your eggs.

To serve:

(from bottom layer to top)
English Muffin -> Bell pepper sauce -> Spinach -> Asparagus -> Poached Eggs -> Bell pepper sauce again.

Serves 2. Hubby approves!

Now that I'm very satisfied with my vegetarian eggs benedict, I feel more confident and deserving to post the Heart Locket Blog Award that Tika sent me :).

A few pointers if you get this award:

1. Pass it on to 7 other blogs.
2. Put in the award picture in your post.
3. Don't pass the award back to the award giver.
4. Answer the questions below and post them in your blog.

1. What makes you feel great about yourself?
2. Who inspires you most? Also be more specific, which qualities inspire you, in each person? You can list as many people you like.

My answers:
1. Healthy food, nice pedicure, groomed eyebrows, coco butter all over, and appreciation from the people I care for :).
2. I'm usually inspired by most people who doesn't even know they inspire me, or doesn't know me at all. I take inspiration from their works, experiences and accomplishments. I'm influenced heavily by people who aim for the highest quality in whatever they do.
I only know a handful of people in the blogging community (2 in cooking/food subject, to be specific :P), but I'd like to give it to the 7 top blogs I visit - not just for good food, but also for great food photographs!

1. Cook, Eat, Live Vegetarian
2. Sprouted Kitchen
3. PhotoKitchen Food Photography
4. Green Kitchen Stories
5. Ellen Silverman Photography
6. Two Tarts
7. 101 Cookbooks


Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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