I bought some green beans to make a Thai salad when we had friends around for a Thai feast –mostly cooked by my dear husband –but on the last minute I changed my mind and didn’t make the salad as we already had a lot of food. So, I found the beans sulking in my fridge and decided to put an end to their misery. The result was quite satisfying.
Note: This’ll make 8 pasties. If you have any leftovers you can zap them in the microwave for 10 seconds the next day. They will still be fine.
1 small pack baby green beans (round variety)
1 large onion, chopped finely
A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 sheets puff pastry
Salt and pepper
• Top and tail the green beans and cut into very small pieces –about a centimetre.
• Heat the oil in a pot and add the beans first. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring continually. Add the onions and some salt, then carry on frying and stirring. Once the beans are tender, remove from the heat and set aside. They need to be cold before you use them.
• When the bean mixture is cooled down add the parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
• Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 4 equal squares.
• Brush the edges with plain water –this will make the edges stick better. Divide the filling equally –again –and bring together two sides –overlapping about ½ inch –and press the other ends with a fork.
• Brush your oven tray with some oil and arrange the pasties, leaving enough room around each one as they will expand. Brush with oil and sprinkle each one with sesame seeds.
• Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake the pasties at 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4 until they are golden brown on top as well as the bottom. This usually take about 20 minutes although it depends on the oven.
Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher
22-24 King Street
Newtown, Sydney 2042
Phone: 02 95579762
My old review of Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher has been one of the most read posts on VegFusion. To top it up, pretty much everyone linked their posts to my review because at the time, Suzy Spoon didn’t have her own website. Now that I have been to her new premise more than once, I thought it was about time I wrote a new review with new photos.
I found out about Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher after reading an article on the Daily Telegraph. The one that said in the title; Meeting High Demand but with No Meat? I remember the day we came home with a bag full of interesting products to try. We carried on buying Spoon’s products until it was shut down. A few months later the new place was open and this review is about the new place.
Suzy Spoon makes and sells a wide range of delicious vegan products. All products are vegan and hand made by them from the finest ingredients. The sell sausages –now even gluten free ones are available –Viennese-style schnitzels, seitan pieces, smokey rashers and patties. They also sell vegan cakes, breads, sauces, etc.
And this is what you do with the products: Traditional Sausages in action. Sausages lightly fried and served with Vegideli Gourmet Vegan Gravy, vegan mashed potatoes and ActiFried summer squash with spring onions and dill.
Suzy Spoon’s menu, including breakfast. Yes, it starts at 7am Peoples
Last week, I tidied up my kebab and clay pot recipes. I never knew you could use orzo in a casserole style kebab in Ottoman cooking. These dishes are usually cooked with meat, lamb etc. It’s so easy; you could chuck it all your ingredients in the oven and forget about it until it’s done because the fat content of these flesh foods will keep it moist whereas our meat analogues turn out as dry as cardboard. Here’s how I solved the problem:
Turkish Vegetable Güveç with Orzo
2 medium sized eggplant, peeled in stipes and roughly chopped (not too thin as they shrink once cooked)
2 potatoes, medium sized, peeled and cubed
1 banana chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
½ cup orzo
1xtin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
• Cook the potato cubes in ActiFry for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, add the banana chilli and cook for another 10 minutes.
• Deep fry the eggplant cubes and place them on paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
• Boil enough water. Add salt and oil and cook orzo until soft. Drain and set aside.
• In a small saucepan, heat the oil and add tinned tomatoes, crushed garlic, sweet paprika, salt, pepper and oregano. Simmer until it reaches to sauce-like consistency. Add the parsley just before you remove it from the heat.
• Carefully mix the tomato sauce with the other ingredients and cook them in the oven for 15 minutes until all heated through. I used individual pots for the job.
• Afiyet Olsun Peoples!
LingZhi Vegetarian Restaurant at Liat Towers
541 Orchard Road,
I remember discovering a fantastic buffet style Buddhist restaurant at one end of Orchard Road during my first visit to Singapore in 2000. When I went back to Singapore with my husband, we found the place and had a fantastic vegan fish which even flaked like the real thing. I said to John; “This is so much like the real fish. I think I feel uncomfortable.” But when we went back to Singapore for the third time, the place was gone. Actually the whole block was knocked down and something more colourful was standing in its place. It was time to consult our Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide –I blogged about it some years back –as we were still hungry and needed a place to eat. So that’s how we discovered LingZhi Vegetarian Restaurant at their new place –Liat Towers.
LingZhi was first opened in 1991 and moved to its new premises at Liat Towers in 2001. The style food is Chinese vegetarian which is basically Chinese vegan. The restaurant has a seating capacity of 150. The staff was friendly without being intrusive and they helped us with the menu items.
They do lunch at LingZhi but we were there for dinner so I’ll tell you about their a la carte menu which was interestingly big. Not everything we had that night is on their current menu today but since I still have the receipt, I can tell you what we had:
- LingZhi Imm Salad (don’t ask what type of salad it was as we can’t remember)
- Sautéed French Beans with Fried Enoki Mushrooms. Actually the enoki mushrooms were lightly battered and fried. It also came with fermented black beans. This is the dish I still remember because it was light, interesting and delicious too.
- Vegan’s Catch. As you can guess, it was a vegan fish dish.
- Pickle and plain rice.
- Tiger beer, of course
LingZhi has another branch which is located at Velocity @Novena Square. Next time we’re in Singapore, we will definitely try the other branch as well.
There is something about chilli peppers; once you start, you can’t stop. I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept but you may not be familiar with this; there is also something about Southeast Turkish cuisine; again, once you start, you can’t stop.
This is exactly what happened to us at lunch time. Although, we had other plans for lunch, I decided to try and make this mezze recipe I have recently discovered. So I made it. It turned out to be deliciously addictive; at some stage, we ran out of bread and moved on to crackers. Thank God, the recipe doesn’t yield a large amount otherwise we would be fat –I mean fatter –and the whole neighbourhood would be stinky-smelly because of all that garlic. Felt sorry for our friends who would be meeting us for dinner that night as we had the potential to stink up the whole restaurant.
If you’d like join us in this smelly business, here’s the recipe:
½ cup walnut kernels
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp hot chilli paste
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste (plain)
1 tsp dried spearmint
1 tsp Turkish kofta spice mixture (köfte baharı)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
• Place the walnuts and garlic in a mortar and pound until it forms a slightly rough paste.
• Mix together the hot chilli paste, tomato paste, mint, cinnamon, kofta spice mixture and salt in a bowl. Add the garlicky walnuts and stir well.
• Spread on crackers or bread and serve.
I have been buying and using Sanitarium Vegie Roast for ages but somehow roasting the whole thing never worked well for me. Also, the whole pack is too much for us as it is only me and my husband. However, we still like the taste as well the texture. So I thought I could try some other way to utilise this tasty product. Well, that’s how Cajun Slices came about…
½ pack Sanitarium Vegie Roast
2 teaspoon Herbie’s Cajun Spice Mix
1 tablespoon corn oil
• Mix Cajun spice mix with corn oil in a large flat plate.
• Halve Sanitarium Vegie Roast and remove metal clips and plastic casing from the piece you will use, leave the other half intact -you can store the other half in a container cut side down.
• Make ½ cm slices and cover them with spice and oil mixture all over.
• Heat oil in a pan which is large enough to do all roast slices and fry them until they are slightly brown and crisp.
• Serve hot.
I remember posting a similar recipe –Fasulye Piyazi –before. It was a different version with black olives. However, it’s been hot in Sydney for the last a few days and we seem to be having more salads for our lunches when it’s hot than anything else. So I thought I should come up with a more contemporary one this time.
A little bit of background on Fasulye Piyazi; it is a traditional side salad to Turkish koftas and considered as a mezze as well. Pretty much every kofta place in Turkey offers Fasulye Piyazi and each one is different depending on the area. The most traditional version includes hard-boiled eggs. And now for my version of this refreshing salad:
1x tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ Spanish onion, chopped
½ banana chilli, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 tiny pickled gherkins, rinsed, dried and chopped finely
1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp ground sweet paprika
1 tsp sumac
Salt and pepper
• Place the beans, onions, banana chilli, cherry tomatoes gherkins and parsley in a bowl.
• Sprinkle the paprika and sumac.
• Whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
• Toss with the salad and serve.
These stuffed zucchini boats are eaten cold and great for hot summer days. Normally cubed feta cheese is added to the mixture but I decided not to substitute. The stuffing mixture is just enough to fill the cavities anyway. Here’s the recipe for Stuffed Zucchini Boats:
2 large and thick zucchinis
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
2 twigs fresh dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1tsp dried spearmint
1 tbsp or maybe a little bit more vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
• Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut a thin piece lengthwise just to create a flat top. Using a small knife, draw a ½ cm edge all around and carve out the flesh with a teaspoon. By doing that, you are creating zucchini shells.
• Place the shells in a steamer and cook until they are soft –ish. Don’t let them go really soft as they break easily. Set aside and cool.
• Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the onions. Add a little bit of salt to prevent onions from burning. Fry the onions until they are soft. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook until they are all cooked. Just before you remove the stuffing mixture from the heat, season with salt, pepper and mint. Mix chopped dill with the rest of the ingredients. Set aside and let it cool.
• Once the stuffing mixture is cool enough, scoop it into zucchini shells and serve.
If you are fed up with a straight forward roast potatoes as a side dish and want something different then Potato, Asparagus and Avocado Salad is just the right thing for you. It is light, creamy -thanks to avocado for that- and filling too!
2 medium potatoes
1 bunch thin asparagus
1 avocado (slightly soft)
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ bunch parsley
¼ bunch dill
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
• Wash potatoes and asparagus. Peel potatoes and cube them evenly. Remove the woody ends of asparagus.
• Steam potatoes until they are just cooked. Remove potatoes from steamer and steam asparagus this time until they are just cooked as well.
• While potatoes and asparagus are being steamed, wash parsley and dill. Dry them with paper towel or process them in salad spinner and chop.
• In a salad bowl, combine potatoes and asparagus. Let them cool.
• In the meantime, prepare your salad dressing: Squeeze lemon. In a small bowl, mix mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk with a fork until the dressing is homogeneous.
• Once cooked vegetables are cool, halve the avocado, remove its pit and slice.
• Combine avocado and herbs with potatoes and asparagus. Whisk salad dressing one more time and pour the dressing over the salad and serve!
Two ingredients I have used in salad are quite new to us: smoked almonds and Toscana Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar Golden Orange. I buy them both from Scoop Wholefoods When we ran out of balsamic vinegar, my husband went out to get some –along with other ingredients of course –and came home with a new discovery. Scoop Wholefoods is a new place which is opened not far from where we live and offers a great variety of unpackaged grains, dried fruits, muesli, olive oil, etc. Once I have my own photos, I will write a review of this place because it is awesome!
The bowl in this photo is hand made by Turgut Tuna which was a lovely present from out Turkish friends. Here’s the recipe:
Herby Tomato Medley Salad with Smoked Almonds
1 pack tomato medley mix (400 grams), halved or quartered depending on the size
12 smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
1 twig fresh mint, chopped
1 twig flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 twig fresh dill, chopped
1 very thin spring onion (shallot), finely chopped
1 tbsp Toscana Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar Golden Orange
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
• Mix together the tomatoes, fresh herbs, spring onion (shallot) and smoked almonds in a salad bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
• Add salt and mix well.