mushroom

Vegan Omelette with Mushroom

Milan is really starting to grow on me.  I guess it’s due to the obvious fact that I start to know my ways around.  This city certainly offers more diversity than Treviso but in terms of fresh produce, I still prefer those little humble veggie shops in Teolo and Castelfranco.  Plus the neighborhood where we stay is a little “too hip” (and ghetto) for us.  Most of our neighbors are either in designs or photography.  And this means they are mostly very young.  

Although we are surrounded by youthfulness, it is a fairly quiet neighborhood.  No one really interacts with each other and I think most cities are like this anyway.  People tends to be more reserved and cold with their heavy thoughts but I have no problem with that.  Since I got my little kitchen all suit up, I spend most of my days stirring up random new recipes.  And chickpea flour, as you know, is my new late love.  I can’t believe I’ve missed out on this awesome ingredient for so long. 

So let me introduce you to this fusion vegan omelette that I made today.  It was pretty good.  Oh and I also had an uninvited guest stopping by to inspect my food shots.  He swings by almost everyday around the same time.  But I never mind his showing because he is awfully cute and fluffy.   :)

My food inspector :) 

fresh ingredients

Ingredients: 

50-80g shimeji mushrooms or any other mushrooms 

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 cup chickpea flour 

1 cup water

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp mixed spice powder (you can substitute for other spice as you like)

2-3 tbsp sake or cooking wine

1-2 tbsp chopped spring onion and leave some for garnishing

1 handful shredded cabbage and radicchio

1-2 tsp grinded sesame seeds

2-3 tbsp teriyaki sauce for dressing*

extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat, cook onion for 3-4 minutes until they turn translucent.  Add mushrooms and a splash of sake.  Season.  After the alcohol has evaporated, put a lid on and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  

Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the omelette batter.  

Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the omelette batter.

Preheat the skillet with a drizzle of oil on medium heat, spoon in the batter and spread it evenly.  Cook for 2-3 minutes with the lid on before flipping to the other side.  After flipping to the other side, cook for another minute or two with the lid on.  Heat off.  

Transfer the omelette to a plate and start garnishing with shredded cabbage, radicchio, grinded sesame seeds, and chopped spring onion.  

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

50-80g shimeji mushrooms or any other mushrooms 

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 cup chickpea flour 

1 cup water

2 tbsp nutritious yeast

1/2 tsp mixed spice powder (you can substitute for other spice as you like)

2-3 tbsp sake or cooking wine

1-2 tbsp chopped spring onion and leave some for garnishing

1 handful shredded cabbage and radicchio

1-2 tsp grinded sesame seeds

2-3 tbsp teriyaki sauce for dressing*

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. To make the vegan omelette batter, whisk together chickpea flour, mixed spice powder, and nutritional yeast.  Season and whisk in a little water at a time until there are no lumps in the batter.  Batter should look thinner than the pancake mixture.  
  2. Set aside and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Preheat a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat, cook onion for 3-4 minutes until they turn translucent.
  4. Add mushrooms and a splash of sake.  Season.  After the alcohol has evaporated, put a lid on and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Heat off. 
  5. Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the omelette batter.  
  6. Preheat the skillet with a drizzle of oil on medium heat, spoon in the batter and spread it evenly.  Cook for 2-3 minutes with the lid on before flipping to the other side.  After flipping to the other side, cook for another minute or two with the lid on.  Heat off.  
  7. Transfer the omelette to a plate and start garnishing with shredded cabbage, radicchio, grinded sesame seeds, and chopped spring onion.  
  8. I added 2-3 tbsp teriyaki sauce to go with my omelette

* you can substitute or add together with other sauces such as vegan mayonnaise or sriracha. 

Vegan Omelette with Mushroom

Vegan Omelette with Mushroom

Vegan Omelette with Mushroom

Feeling giggly about GIGLI :P

Time flies.  It’s already been two months since I moved to Italy.  From Yuen Long to the hills of Teolo and now I can finally call the small town Castelfranco my home.  I don’t know for how long but I’m definitely embracing every moment here.  Many friends asked if I like living in Italy and I couldn’t think of a better way to express my enthusiasm but to praise about its amazing fresh produce.  I’m not kidding.  Italian fresh produce is really one of the many reasons why one should take pride for living here without any doubt.  And of course there is more to love about Italy whether it'd be food, people, fashion, design, or tradition.  The list is endless.  

My everyday living seems like a fun journey and I seldom get bored.  I met a lot of cool people and got heaps of inspiration everywhere.  I sometime wonder why I appreciate living abroad so much more than before.  I did spend my entire teens and early 20’s in NY but I can't retrace the same amount of joy I have now.  My only explanation is the inevitable truth with age comes wisdom and I learn to appreciate smaller things.  And I might’ve finally found my true passion in life — food.  

I can’t remember when exactly I came across this pasta name — gigli.  All I recall is that I naturally pronounced it as “geegly.”  And the two Italians (Marco and Carlo) who heard me at that time immediately burst out laughing.  Honestly, I’m still having a hard time trying to pronounce this comical term.  It’s supposed to sound something like “GEEEEeeg’Yeee.”  Well, that’s what I’ve gathered so far.  

So gigli the pasta was introduced by my food guru aka Duccio from The Geometry of Pasta.  Gigli is Italian for lilies.  This also explains why the pasta shape is like a flower. I’ve made two different sauces to go with this pretty pasta.  Simple and delicious!  Oh and let me share some other photos I took when I was at Padova before.  

Creamy mushroom and ricotta gigli

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

100-150g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

50g ricotta

1 cup milk/cream

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 lemon juice and zest

1/2 glass white wine

1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp dried oregano (optional)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

200g gigli 

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to its package label.  *Drain the cooked pasta 1-2 minute earlier and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water for later.  

2) Preheat a saucepan with olive oil on medium heat, cook onion for 3-5 minutes until translucent, add mushrooms, garlic, and dried oregano.  Stir and add white wine. 

3) Let the alcohol evaporates, add milk and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 5 minutes with a lid on.  Add ricotta.  Stir and season. 

4) Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water to the saucepan.  Mix well.  Heat off.  Add parmesan (leave a couple tablespoon for garnishing).  

5) Garnish with some chopped parsley, a twist of lemon juice+zest, grated parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Gigli with tomato sauce

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped into chunks

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 can tomato sauce

1 handful fresh basil

1/2 glass red wine

1/4 cup grated parmesan

200g gigli

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to its package label.  *Drain the cooked pasta 1-2 minute earlier and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water for later.  

2) Preheat a saucepan with oil on medium heat, cook onion for 3-5 minutes until translucent, add the chopped basil and tomato with red wine.  Reduce heat to low after the alcohol evaporates.  Season.  

3) Cook the sauce for 3 - 5 minutes with a lid on low heat.  

4) Add pasta water, grated parmesan and cooked pasta to the saucepan.  Mix well.  Heat off.  

5) Garnish with some fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.  

Il Salone e la Piazza is known as one of the ten best markets in Italy

Vendors set up shop every morning but Sunday.  So if you want to get some ultra-fresh produce, better get there before noon.  :) 

Yes, strawberry is in season.  They taste as good as they look.  

Needless to say, my girlfriend and I had our little shopping frenzy LOL

Yeah, falling in love with Padova is easy.  

Vegan Cuts Snack Box January 2015 Review

This is my first time being appointed as an ambassador for Vegan Cuts and here I am writing a review for their amazing January's snack box.  To tell you the truth, I was pretty nervous before because I wasn't sure what I was expecting.  I was worried about writing a review that I didn't like.  A few questions immediately came to my mind like what if I don't like those snacks?  What am I gonna say about that?  I certainly don't want to lie about it... 

I went berserk for no reasons.  The snack box was really good.  I'm not gonna hard sell it.  I'm just gonna tell you the ones that I liked the most and how I developed some easy peasy recipes to go with them.  My favorite snacks amongst all are 1) rosemary baked lentil chips and 2) organic black rice ramen (wheat & gluten free).  The lentil chips could be eaten just as it is or you could create some dippings to go with that.  I happened to have an avocado at home so I whipped up some fresh guacamole.  

As for the black rice ramen, I had it elaborated into 3 easy recipes.  This ramen is a healthier choice for those who love instant noodles.  I highly recommend it to the college students who don't have time to cook a full-blown meal during the finals.  Geesh, I wish I had that when I was a student back in the old days.  

I'm so grateful to have been chosen to write this review.  It was so much fun for me.  Thank you, Vegan Cuts.  

Vegan Cuts in brief:

  • ●  7­10 vegan snacks

  • ●  Sweet and savory: Chips, cookies, bars, chocolate, crackers, tea, and more!

  • ●  Mostly gluten­free snacks

  • ●  Mix of full and sample size products

  • ●  $19.95 a month

  • ●  Cancel anytime, though we doubt you'll ever want to

  • ●  Free shipping to the U.S.

  • ●  The Vegan Cuts Snack Box ships worldwide 

These were the goodies inside of the snack box from Vegan Cuts.

First thing I opened was the two bags of chips.  :) I also whipped up a fresh guacamole to go with them.  ProTings doesn't need dipping at all because the chips itself was pretty tasty already.  

Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients: 

1 avocado 

2-3 small cherry tomatoes, chopped into small chunks

1/2 lime juice and zest

1-2 tbsp chopped red onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper

1 bunch coriander, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Scoop out the flesh of an avocado.  Add red onion and garlic.  Add lime juice and season.  Mix well.  

2) Add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some cayenne pepper or paprika and garnish with chopped coriander before serving.  

My first attempt with the organic black rice ramen; gluten and wheat free is called "the budget ramen dish."  

Recipe for "the budget ramen dish" 

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Cooking Time: 3-4 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 black rice ramen cake, cooked according to the packaging label (3 minutes)

1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 egg, sunny side up

hot sauce

Instructions: 

1) To make the sauce to go with the cooked ramen, simply add sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger.  Mix well.  

2) Coat the ramen with sauce and add an egg.  Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onion.  Add a dash of hot sauce to give an extra kick of this simple dish before serving.  

The second ramen recipe is with miso soup.  

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 3-5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 black rice ramen cake, cooked according to its packaging label (3 minutes) 

80-100g extra firm bean curd

1 small ball of cooked spinach

1 boiled egg, halved

2 buttoned mushroom, halved

80g daikon, sliced

1 handful dried seaweed

2-3 sugar snap peas

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp white miso paste

1 tbsp soy sauce

800ml vegetable stock 

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a small pot, bring the pot of vegetable stock to boil.  Add mushroom, daikon, and tofu.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Let the pot simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Add soy sauce and miso paste.  Heat off.  

2) Pour the soup into the cooked ramen.  Top with a ball of cooked spinach and a boiled egg; drizzle a little bit of sesame oil.  Garnish with sesame seeds, dried seaweed, and spring onions before serving.  

Last but not least, black rice ramen with a korean twist! 

I made my all-time favorite Momofuku's red dragon sauce to go with this ramen.  

Organic Black Rice Ramen (Wheat & Gluten Free) with shredded dried seaweed, cucumber and carrot in Momofuku's Red Dragon Sauce.  

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 black rice ramen cake, cooked according to its packaging label (3 minutes) 

1 handful shredded cucumber

1 handful shredded carrot

1 handful shredded dried seaweed

1 tsp sesame seed

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

extra-virgin olive oil

For the Momofuku's red dragon sauce:

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ssamjang

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sherry/apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, cook onion for 4-5 minutes under medium-low heat.  Add the cooked ramen to the pan.  Mix well with the caramelized onion.

2) To make the red dragon sauce, simply add all ingredients together and mix well.  Add a tablespoon of red dragon sauce to the ramen.  Mix well.  

3) Transfer the ramen to a dish.  Garnish with fresh cucumber, carrot, sesame seeds, spring onions, and seaweed.  Add a few extra tablespoon of red dragon sauce to complete the dish before serving.