brown rice

Eggplant Polpetta

Yesterday, I watched this ted talk by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay sharing his insightful views about today's climate change as well as the transformation of his nation.  And this recipe I have here was inspired by him and his people for braving the climate change that’s actually caused by many of us.  

This polpetta recipe is nothing wow but the wow side is that you could use up all your leftover rice, beans, and veggies.  In case you can’t finish these veggie meatballs at one go, you could use the leftover polpetta to make a vegetarian meatball pasta dish.  

Honestly, homecooking is not hard.  The only tricky part is to know how to minimize waste.  And that is what I’ve always been trying to do.  As a part of today's humanity, I think the least that we could do is to live with a little empathy.  I hope some of you might agree with me and join me on this mindful practice.  

Eggplant Polpetta

Eggplant Polpetta

Eggplant Polpetta

Eggplant polpetta ingredients

On a baking tray, drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil with eggplants and garlics.  Season.  

Roast for about 20-25 minutes.  

Blend the squeezed garlic pulps, eggplant, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs in a food processor until smooth.  

Transfer the eggplant mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Mix brown rice, lentils, eggs, chickpea flour, spring onion, chopped ginger, soy sauce, and mixed spices powder.  Season a tiny bit if you like.  

Use your hands to make each small eggplant ball(polpetta) and sprinkle more breadcrumbs around each polpetta.  Transfer these little polpetta to a baking tray with a baking sheet.  Roast them for around 25-30 minutes.  

Roast them for around 25-30 minutes.  

Serve the eggplant polpetta with whatever sauce you like.  I served them with sriracha yogurt and mayo sauce.  Enjoy!  

Servings: 8 -  10 eggplant balls

Preparation Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Cooking Time: about 1 hour

Ingredients: 

1 medium size eggplant, cut into small dices

2 eggs

1/2 can lentils

1 bowl cooked brown rice

3-4 tbsp chickpea flour

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce

1-1.5 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp mixed spices powder

2-3 tbsp olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  On a baking tray, drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil with eggplants and garlics.  Season.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  
  2. Blend the squeezed garlic pulps, eggplant, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs in a food processor until smooth.  
  3. Transfer the eggplant mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Mix brown rice, lentils, eggs, chickpea flour, spring onion, chopped ginger, soy sauce, and mixed spices powder.  Season a tiny bit if you like.  
  4. Use your hands to make each small eggplant ball(polpetta) and sprinkle more breadcrumbs around each polpetta.  Transfer these little polpetta to a baking tray with a baking sheet.  Roast them for around 25-30 minutes.  
  5. Serve the eggplant polpetta with whatever sauce you like.  I served them with sriracha yogurt and mayo sauce.  Enjoy!  

eggplant polpetta

Eggplant Polpetta

eggplant polpetta

And here is the vegetarian meatball pasta :) No wastage at all.  

a little inspiration from my ex-colleague..

My girlfriend aka ex-colleague, Ronda, showed me a photo the other day.  She told me that one of our ex-colleagues, Clare, has recently switched to a vegetarian diet.  And that photo got stuck in my head for days and this recipe is especially dedicated to Clare.  I hope this could help her find vegetarian home cooking more enjoyable.  I actually got inspired by her cooking.  She used dry bean curd with shredded carrots and fungus.  That sounded super delicious to me.  

I haven't got time to do grocery shopping these few days.  So I just used whatever I could gather in my kitchen and I also stole some chinese kale from my mom's fridge.  Heh.  I whipped up some healthy and tasty fried brown rice to go with my tofu and chinese kale this afternoon.  I think the highlight here was my sweet and spicy lime sauce.  The fresh lime juice gave a kick and elevated the taste of the entire combination.  I really wish I could change many people's misperception about vegetarian dishes being tasteless and boring because that is absolutely not true.  There are so many ways to cook vegetables and taste good at the same time.  And I've been using the same few ingredients over and over again.  All we need is an open mind with a tiny bit of creativity. :) 

This was Clare's dinner the other night.  That bean curd looks pretty good to me.  :) With a little courage and motivation, we can definitely change a boring dish to become a vibrant meal! 

This dish is packed with flavors because I combined many fresh ingredients such as lime, honey, and ginger.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

For fried rice:        

2 bowls cooked brown rice

1/2 bowl cooked corn

1/2 bowl edamame

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp minced ginger

1-2 tbsp chopped spring onion and coriander

extra-virgin olive oil

For Chinese Kale: 

100-150g Chinese Kale

1/2 vegetarian stock tablet

1 shallot

1-2 garlic cloves

extra-virgin olive oil

For crispy tofu: 

150g hard tofu, squared

1 egg* 

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 green chili, finely chopped

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

* some leftover egg can be used for making the fried rice

For the sweet and spicy lime sauce:

1/2 lime juice

1-2 tsp honey

1-2 tsp mirin

2 tbsp soy sauce

1-2 tbsp chopped spring onion

1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 red chili, finely chopped

1/2 green chili, finely chopped

Instructions for fried rice: 

1) To make the fried brown rice, heat up a frying pan on medium heat.  Add onion and ginger, cook for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat if the vegetables start to burn.  

2) Add corn and edamame, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add brown rice.  Season.  Add the remaining egg mixture that was used to make the crispy tofu to the rice*.  Cook 3-5 minutes.  Heat off .  Set aside. 

Instructions for crispy tofu: 

1) Mix breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, 1/2 chili, and sesame seeds in a medium size bowl. Season.  Mix well.  

2) Whisk an egg in another bowl, coat the tofu with egg first then follow by coating with breadcrumbs.  Set aside. 

3) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium heat, cook the tofu for 1-2 minutes then turn to the other side and cook for 1 minute.  (Make sure you don’t burn the tofu.  If your oil is too hot, then reduce your heat) 

Instructions for chinese kale:

1) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium heat, add garlic and shallot.  Cook 1-2 minutes. 

2) Add chinese kale and vegetable stock.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Put the lid on and let the vegetables steam for 5 minutes.  Stir a bit in mid way to make sure the vegetables are cooked evenly.  Reduce heat if necessary. 

Instructions for the sweet and spicy lime sauce:

1) Just mix everything in a small bowl.   

2) Serve it with fried rice, chinese kale, and crispy tofu.  Garnish your dish with spring onion and coriander. 

 

utilizing our leftovers is the new sexy!

The idea behind these two recipes is utilizing my ingredients.  I hate wasting food and I think living a sustainable lifestyle isn't just about buying local food or chewing greens.  How we utilize our resources can help reduce energy consumption on a bigger scale in the long run.   This also helps us save money, too.  :)  

I wish you a happy week ahead.  

Veggies skewer is a great way to use up our leftovers.  The highlight here is just the sauce and it is so simple to make.  I added a chopped garlic clove, 1 tsp minced ginger, 1/2 seeded chili, some chopped spring onion, 2-3 tbsp soy sauce, 1-2 tsp honey, 1 tbsp mirin.  Brush the sauce on the veggies skewer and after finishing grilling the skewers, simply brush more for an extra taste. 

Serve your skewers with your favorite salad, rice, or whatever.  It is fun and delicious.  :)  If you make them for kids, simply take out the chili. I'm sure kids would love them.  

These little patties are super easy to make.  You can freeze the extras in your freezer for later days.  You can serve them as starters or use them as a veggie burger.  :) 

These little patties are super easy to make.  You can freeze the extras in your freezer for later days.  You can serve them as starters or use them as a veggie burger.  :) 

Servings: 6 patties (depending how big you like to make your patties)

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 bowl leftover cooked brown rice

1/2 cob corn kernel, cooked and removed from cob

1/2 carrot, shredded and half cooked on a frying pan with a little olive oil 

2 shallots, finely chopped

1-2 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs/flour (I used flour because I ran out of breadcrumbs when I was making these patties)

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1-2 garlic, finely chopped

1/2 chili, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

For the saffron & garlic mayonnaise: 

1 small package saffron

1 small bowl mayonnaise

1/2 lemon juice and zest

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1) Get a large mixing bowl, add all the vegetables first.  Then add the eggs, cheese and flour.  Season.  

2) Make the patties with your hands and go here for instructions.  

3) Preheat a frying pan on medium-low heat, add a generous amount of oil and add the patties once the oil gets hot, cook each side for about 5-10 minutes before flipping to the other side.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning your patties.  

4) Place the patties on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil before serving.  

Remark: You can add more vegetables like leftover zucchini, peas or whatever you like.  :)