Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tom-Yum (Thai Hot & Sour Soup)

I have to say, that a good "Tom-Yum" has to be just the best soup in world!

Especially when you are under the weather in any way of saying...
This is the view outside my window as I am typing this.

This is my version which I have been playing with and perfecting for quite some time, but have been too lazy to post ;)
It's very simple to prepare... if you have ginger garlic onions and a few veggies in your fridge, you have everything you need!

2-3 Quarts Good vegetable stock (you can just use water if you don't have stock on hand)
14 cloves or more garlic minced (For me it's not possible to have too much ginger & garlic in this soup)
2- 2 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced
1 medium onion or more sliced
5-6 big mushrooms sliced
3-4 slicks of celery sliced
4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms broken up into smaller pieces (optional)
a few slices or fresh or dried galangal- Thai Ginger (absolutely optional)
Sambal Oelek Chili paste/fresh green chilies/dried red chili pods/cayenne powder
Lemon juice
2-3 carrots Sliced
Any other vegetables that you have on hand
Cilantro as a garnish (optional)


In a large pot bring the stock to a boil and add ginger, garlic, onions, mushrooms, celery, chili paste, salt. Let this come to a boil again and cover it and simmer for at least half an hour.

Taste for salt and chili. Add juice of one lemon (more or less) according to your taste).

Have all your veggies prepared like carrots, broccoli, etc.

Bring the soup to a boil, Add all the veggies, take the heat off the pot right away and put the lid on for at least 5 minutes.
These veggies will get slightly cooked int he hot broth and still remain slightly crunchy.

Enjoy it hot and steamy after the veggies have steeped in the hot soup for 5 minutes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cooking with Kids...

Esther, my dear sister-in-law gave this really great cookbook Honest Pretzels to the kids for Christmas this last year. It is really really good! With very neat illustrated kids recipes. We finally decided to "use" it for real!

Himanshu washed and cut a bunch of salad...
And Kiki made stickey buns!!! ::D Yummy!

What a fun day!!!!! :D

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Green Soup with Ginger

A very nice soup for cool days! I loved it so much that I have made it twice already this week, given the cold rainy days that we are having!

1 large onion chopped
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
10cups approx good vegetable stock
3tbs of grated ginger or more to taste
1 large leek
3-4 carrots (or sweet potatoes)
4-5 stalk of collard
3-4 stalks of red chard
1/2 a bunch of spinach
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste.

You can use any combination of greens in this soup.

In a shallow pan add the onions and olive oil with a light sprinkle of salt and cook on low heat for about 1/2 an hour or until the onion are light brown, stirring occasionally. Don't let them burn.

In a large pot add the broth, leeks, collards, chard and bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper.
Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables are done.

When the onions are done, add them to the pot with the soup. Add lemon juice according to your taste and adjust the salt.

Throw some fresh spinach in each bowl of soup right before serving and serve piping hot with warm crusty whole grain - preferably sourdough- bread!

This recipe is adapted from Love Soup by Anna Thomas.
Serves 5-6.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Homemade mustard is so good and sooooo easy that once you make it, you'll never want to buy it again. The best part is that you can make endless variations and flavours of mustard.

There are two kinds of mustard seeds that can be found at a health food store/online. I bought mine at
These are:
The Yellow seeds (milder)
brown or black seeds (spicier than the yellow ones)

The "Chemistry" behind:
Mustard seeds aren't hot, and neither is mustard powder. But when the crushed seeds or powder is mixed with cold water, a chemical reaction occurs as the seeds' cells release enzymes and other compounds that create the pungency. Within ten to fifteen minutes it will reach its peak pungency, from where it will start to decline. At this point an acidic ingredient, such as grape juice, lemon or lime juice, vinegar, beer, cider or wine is added to stabilise the pungency and stop it in its tracks. If you were to add a hot liquid to the paste, the enzymes creating the hot taste will be destroyed. Once the essential oils have formed, other ingredients can be added to enhance the taste, such as salt, honey, sugar, pepper corns, tarragon, turmeric (for colour), garlic, pepper, dill, paprika, chillies, thyme, etc.

A basic rule in mustard making is to avoid contact between the mustard paste and aluminium. Vinegar, wine or other acidic materials can leach metal molecules from aluminium pans, so use only plastic, glass, enamelled or stainless steel utensils for making your mustards. For storage and ageing of mustards, use only sterilised glass jars with tight fitting plastic or enamelled-lined lids.

Spicy Mustard

2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp water
Grind the mustard seeds into a powder with a spice grinder.
Mix hte above 3 ingredients into a thick paste and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Now to this add the following spices:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
2 Tsp apple cider vinegar (or any of your favorite vinegar: white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar)

Add some more vinegar if you want a thinner mustard.
Fill this up in a glass jar and let sit out of the fridge for at least a week before eating.

Sweet mustard
2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp water
Grind the mustard seeds into a powder with a spice grinder.
Mix the above 2 ingredients into a thick paste and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Add about
1/4 tsp salt
1Tbsp or more honey
Enough apple cider vinegar to make the desired consistence vinegar.
Add some more vinegar if you want a thinner mustard.
Fill this up in a glass jar and let sit out of the fridge for at least a week before eating.

Play around with various herbs and spices, fruit juice concentrates etc. and be creative.
And have fun!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vietnamese Crepes

These are awesome....

Ingredients for crepe batter:

1 3/4 cups short grain brown rice ground into flour
1/4 cup spelt ground into flour
2 cans of coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 T honey
2 scallions thinly sliced into rings
1/2 cup of finely chopper cilantro
2 T olive oil (or any oil of your choice)
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste, freshly ground
enough water to make a crepe like batter

Mix the batter up and let it sit on the counter for an hour.

Heat a skillet on medium heat.
Add a few drops of oil and spread it evenly.

Now pour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the batter on the skillet and spread it around by either tilting the skillet around or spread it with the bottom of the measuring cup.

Let it cook until it's getting golden brown on the bottom. Then flip it and cook it on the other side for about 10 seconds.

And now it's time to be creative with the fillings...
You can make a simple stir fry...
Add ginger and garlic to a wok and stir fry any or all of these:
green beans (already steamed)
summer squashes
dried shiitake mushrooms

or anything else that you prefer...

Now have a huge selection of salad greens and herbs...
Here I have






To arrange the Crepes, Get a "fresh-off-the-skillet" Crepe.

Add some stir fry on one side.
Add the herbs on top.

Fold it in half and serve with lots of Lettuce etc.

To eat, break a piece of the crepe with the herbs and veggies. Wrap this piece in a piece of lettuce and dip it in a dipping sauce. Savor the flavor with every incredible bite of it...!

For a dipping sauce, in a food processor, I combined a clove of  fresh garlic, just a little bit of apple cider vinegar, honey, and just a pinch (or more) of cayenne. Process it until and add some more vinegar to get the consistency and taste you like.
(Next time I make this, I'll try to be more scientific about this recipe and measure things out! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Asparagus & Leek Soup - with an Indian Flair

I just had to tweak this recipe and the result was surprisingly delicious!

3 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 leeks halved lengthwise, washed thoroughly and chopped (use both white and green parts)
3 big garlic cloves chopped
2 lbs of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
About 32 oz of vegetable broth
a pinch of cayenne pepper (mine is the super duper hot kind, so a pinch is all I needed, but you might want to add more.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat.
As the butter starts melting, add the cumin seeds.
Continue stirring and don't let the seeds burn.
When the seeds are getting nice golden brown, add the leeks and the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the asparagus and cook for another 1 minute.

Add the cayenne, black pepper and salt and stir again for 5-10 seconds.

Now add the broth to the pot, then bring to a boil.

Lower heat, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.

Blend soup in batches in a blender/food processor until smooth. (Be careful if your blender is plastic, let the soup cool down first before adding to the plastic jar.) I used my Stainless steel Vitamix.

I had the plan to add some yogurt and garnish with cilantro after this stage, but it was so delicious that I stopped here!

Maybe next time :)


Vegetable Broth

We do a lot of fruit and vegetable juicing.

And we HATE throwing food away.

When we heavily got into juicing, we always were hating to throw away all the left-over pulp.

I tried all kinds of things to do with the pulp.... from baking to making burgers!

But nothing turned out good... :(

Then we started making broth out of it! Instead of spending $3-4 for 32oz of broth... what we do is put all the pulp in a big pot with lots of water, bring it to a boil, and simmer it for an hour. It make delicious fresh broth!

Filter it through a strainer.

Either use it right away or fill up in jars and stich it in the fridge. Use it within a week. If you wanted to, you could even can it!

Do not add any fruit pulp. Only vaeggie pulp, otherwise it's too sweet.

Carrots, celery, turnips, even some beet.... whatever you can think of!