Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

The holidays are coming.  I'm sure many of us have already started our holiday menu planning.  This dish is great as a starter.  It actually came to mind because I got some lettuce that I was desperate to get rid of.  Plus I didn't want to eat a salad that is made with lettuce for the next three days.  And I certainly don't want to put any of my food to waste.  

So I remember this delicious Thai dish that I used to love -- minced spicy pork with lettuce wrap.  I recall all those lettuce greens served on the side.  So this is a veggie version of that.  :) And this dish is another perfect leftovers recipe.  I think most meat eaters would love it too because the taste is just phenomenal plus it looks presentable. ;)  I highly recommend you to try making it.  

Happy Holidays! 


Cindy x

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap


Servings: 2-4 persons

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


1 eggplant, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup corn

1 capsicum, diced

1 bunch string beans, chopped into small bits

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tbsp fish sauce* (optional) 

1 lime zest & 1/2 lime juice

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp thai basil pesto

1 bunch fresh lettuce leafs 

extra-virgin olive oil

Dipping Sauce Ingredients: 

1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce* (optional) 

2 tbsp sesame oil 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 fresh lime juice 

1/2 chopped chilli

2 tbsp chopped spring onion or coriander 

Thai Basil Pesto Ingredients: 

1 bunch thai basil

1/2 green chilli and 1/2 red chilli 

1 garlic clove

extra-virgin olive oil


1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium heat, cook eggplant for 3-5 minutes first.  Then add the chopped vegetables such as corn, beans, capsicums, and zucchini.  Cook for another 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Add a splash of fish sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.  

2) Add the chopped garlic, spring onion, ginger, and chilli.  Cook 3-5 minutes.  Add basil pesto and fresh lime juice and zest.  Season.  Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more to allow all the flavors to come out.  Heat off.  Set aside. 

3) Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and garnish with some coriander if you like. I didn't have any so I skipped that. 

4) Serve this fragrant spicy veggies with some fresh lettuce leafs and the sweet and spicy dipping on the side.  Enjoy!

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

southern style quinoa salad..

I've always had a thing for Mexican food.  I especially love that tangy and peppery taste lingering in my mouth, hmmmmm.  Plus adding that twist of fresh lime juice to the dish just brings out the freshness of each ingredient completely.  This dish is not wholly Mexican nor Asian but it is a bit of both combined.  I was inspired by this blog called Lush Loves.  Marco and my two green friends had the first try for this new experiment the other night.  They thought it was good (out of their politeness).  As for me, I thought it was a little complicated.  I couldn't figure if it was the miso that was too strong or the lime juice that made the quinoa seemed too light.  An acquired taste is certainly needed to fully understand and appreciate such dish.  And thank GOD, it was two vegetarians that I invited so I presume they would appreciate if it was not for the taste but at least for the nutritious facts.  

Don't get me wrong, it was good.  It's just that I think I'm starting to develop a peculiar taste for food especially my own food.  Not sure if it's got anything to do with the self-expectation subconsciousness to improve my cooking for the better or is this the natural progress of how every food blogger would eventually become?  Well, if you ever try this recipe, you can be the judge and tell me what you think.  :)

This salad is full of southern flavors.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

ooking Time: 20 minutes


1 large eggplant, quartered and crisscrossed on the flesh of each eggplant

1 cooked corn cob, kernels removed

1 large cup cooked quinoa

6-8 roasted almond, crushed

1-2 tbsp sesame seeds

1/2 lime juice

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 bunch spring onion, chopped

1/2 green chili, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

sesame oil

extra-virgin olive oil

Miso dressing: 

2 tbsp white miso

1-2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp sesame soil

1 tbsp olive oil


1) Preheat oven at 200ºC.  Brush the miso dressing on each eggplant's crisscrossed surface.  Bake 20 minutes.

2) Mix quinoa and the rest of the ingredients together.  Season and serve with the baked eggplants.  You may add a little more of the leftover miso dressing and mix evenly with your salad if you like.  Garnish with spring onion, cilantro, and a drizzle of sesame and olive oil.  

another quinoa dish for those with complicated palate.  

i got some fresh corns from a local farmer's market nearby..

I lost my appetite due to the strong medication that I am taking at the moment.  However, I need some nutrients for my body.  Having some easy and comfort food is my solution so I made a big pot of sweet corn soup.  Note that the ingredients that I am using here are very few because I am just using whatever I have in my fridge.  You may add other kinds of vegetables as you like to add more depth to your flavor.  I would suggest leek and celery if you have any.  :) Also, if you prefer a creamier taste, feel free to add some cream or milk to the soup.  

Ingredients: (for 4-6 servings)

3 corn cobs, cooked, cut out

1.5 onion, finely chopped

2 large carrots, diced

6 small new potatoes, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 vegetable stock tablet

2 bowls of water

extra-virgin olive oil


1) Preheat a pot with oil, add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes under medium low heat.  

2) Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and stir, cook for another 5 minutes.

3) Pour two bowls of water and add a vegetable stock to the soup.  Bring the pot to boil for 5 minutes then simmer in low fire for 15-20 minutes.  

4) Use a blender to puree the soup and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.