My Lent meat ban is over! The seafood vegetarian diet was actually quiet enjoyable; it’s taught me a lot of things I took for-granted.
We were excited when we found a 6 piece of frozen Rouladen from Old Country Sausage in Bruderheim, Alberta. Old Country Sausage is the most charming German deli I have ever been to! They make great soups that eat like a meal! We had both made a blunder, assuming that the Rouladen were pre-made, which would make for an easy romantic, delicious German supper night!
I unwrapped the frozen package. Wrong! “M!! We won’t be having rouladen tonight.” (Stuffed Beef Rolls, mind you, is a full day’s project. I started cooking at 5 pm and it was barely done at 11 pm.)
If you can’t find thinly sliced beef at the butcher’s (Rouladen cut), buying a pound of flank steak works as well! Just freeze it half an hour prior to cutting. Oh, and regardless, you will need a meat tenderizer. I call it the meat hammer.
I have made Rouladen at least twice before; the first time I cooked rouladen was probably 5 years ago, I used this All-Recipes.com recipe. Mr. M liked the All-Recipes version, but suggested asking his mother how she makes it. Her secret? Shredded carrots IN the rouladen. If there’s anything I’ve learnt from previous cooking experiences, do not be tempted to over-stuff the beef rolls. 1 to 2 carrots (shredded) for four pieces is enough.
Here was my dilemma: I had FIVE traditional German rouladen recipes to choose from. These recipes were compiled by St. Bonniface Parish, Edmonton AB. So, I ended up picking this one:
Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to work I go:
I omitted Parsley Root and Celery Root — the only place I can think of that sells both is the K & K Deli and Italian Centre. It didn’t make any sense to halt whatever I was doing to find these two ingredients. Plus, we had other vegetables to serve with Rouladen. (If I didn’t show you the recipe, you wouldn’t know I was supposed to put parsley root AND celery root!) As well, I omitted sour cream. Using 3 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp cool water mixture, I was able to thicken the gravy when the sauce was simmering on low. Instead of butter, I used olive oil/olive oil margarine.
So, after preparing the beef slices, it was time to prepare for the bacon. Add chopped onions, dried parsley (or fresh) and bacon. This step is almost optional; I have seen recipes where you place the raw bacon on top of each beef slice, but I dislike soggy bacon.
When this step is completed, it is time to add stuffing!
Then it is time to roll it like a spring roll! Into this:
Then, follow the rest of the recipe, brown each roulade separately, to avoid steaming. I find that using cast-iron or stainless steel surfaces is great when you need to brown meat. (Easier to clean-up afterwards) Add boiling water gradually after finishing the browning process. Two hours of simmering on low. (Alternatively, you could also let it cook on low in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours OR use an oven) It is gravy-making time! Use a bowl and sieve to catch the sauce. Return the sauce to pot on low heat and thicken to make gravy. We served ours with sweet mashed yam.
Ah, I am green with envy for those of you having green beer this St. Patrick’s Day/weekend!
Why not beer down with a green velvet cupcake? Or perhaps, green coffee? Or green tea?
If you use liquid food colour, use lots! (Roughly half a bottle) Learn from my mistake!
The Green Velvet Recipe was adapted from Divas Can Cook‘s website, referred to me by a girlfriend who is the queen of baking. I used my own cream cheese frosting recipe from a previous post (search Apple Cupcake), given that it was 1.15 am by the time cupcakes were birthed from a small Black & Decker toaster oven, half a dozen at a time, every 8 to 10 minutes at 300F. I made a total of 36 cupcakes. Because the convection is higher in a smaller oven, I filled about 1/2 to 3/4 full of an ice cream scoop prior to dropping it on each cupcake liner.
Also, I made some substitutions to cater coworkers who have dairy allergies; that is without the cream-cheese frosting. Buttercream icing would’ve tasted better (less sweet) but I will share my BC recipe once we get a new range. For coffee, I used instant Folger’s coffee — just because it’s quick. Any adaptations to the original recipe is marked in italics.
My co-workers loved the green velvet cupcakes. They loved how moist and chocolatey they were.
RedGreen Velvet Cake Recipe. Easy. Moist. HomemadeAuthor: Divas Can Cook – MoniqueRecipe type: DessertPrep time: 15 minsCook time: 35 minsTotal time: 50 minsServes: 12This is the best redgreenvelvet cake I’ve ever had! Super moist with the perfect, classic red velvet taste. Everybody that I make this for loves it!! Hopefully you will too!Ingredients
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoon of unsweetened, cocoa powder (I should have used less for the green to show!)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup
buttermilkAlmond Milk (coconut flavoured) + 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1-2 oz.
redgreen food coloring
- 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)Instructions
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil. (I used a mixer)
- Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and
redgreen food coloring until combined.
- Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined. (I used a spatula/paddle to avoid over-mixing!)
Generously grease and flour two round cake pans with crisco and flour.(I skipped this step because I was making cupcakes; use cupcake liners!)
- Pour the batter evenly into each pan. (One ice-cream scoop if popping it in the oven; lesser in a toaster oven. I added Oreo cookie chunks in each cupcake before they go into the oven! It’s like, “Oh, cookie? Surprise!”)
- Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools. (Bake 18 to 20 minutes for cupcakes — aim for 16 minutes to check for first batch. If you’re using a toaster oven like me, try 8 to 10 minutes.)
- Let cool on a cooling rack until the pan are warm to the touch.
- Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan. (Skip this step if making cupcakes!)
- Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
- Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.
This recipe came from Divas Can Cook which is
Old School Cooking For The Modern Woman.
Make sure you go check out the website for more great recipes.
Read More http://divascancook.com/2009/11/the-best-red-velvet-cake-recipe-easy-homemade-moist-with-southern-flair.html
This clearly isn’t my best frosting techniques. It was 2 am and I didn’t want to add extra icing sugar to toughen it up (and make it sweeter in the process).
You can find my cream cheese frosting recipe here.
Happy St. Patty’s!
A spontaneous one pot meal turned into an easy Southeast Asian night. Infusing techniques I have learnt from various cookbooks and shows such as Joy of Cooking (flavoured butter), Jamie Oliver (using olio)…. Oh boy, if I went on, my own recipe which is inspired by mostly dining at a Thai restaurant — we would never get to it!
Basically, fennel and star of anise gives a licorice taste. Coconut milk with a bit of sugar (palm sugar preferred) and simmered sweet potato, makes the curry golden. Fresh turmeric would kick it up a notch!
Please do not be overwhelmed by the ingredient list! You can customise it with your favourite lentils and veggies.
I have formed a bad habit of eating out and taking pleasure with each bite. Then, I have got to try recreate it myself! There is a new Lucky Supermarket by Edmonton Skyview. It has got almost everything I need. Scallop was from Acme Meat Market. Veg Mutton was from Vegetarian Wholesale Foods.
Equipment required: mortar and pestle (if without one, use food processor)
1 pot (cast iron or stainless steel)
INGREDIENTS for Yellow Scallop and Vegetarian Mutton Curry (Serves 4-6; start to finish: 90 minutes)
3 tbsp turmeric powder
1 – 1.5 tbsp butter; add a small drizzle of olive oil first before melting butter if pot is too hot
Paste (grind in Mortar & Pestle):
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bulb ends cut/disposed
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp coriander seed (add more if more heat level is desired)
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 an inch of sliced ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper (whole twig of fresh black pepper was what the restaurant used)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
Sweet potato, sliced and cut into huge sections: par-boil in boiling water for 5 minutes. (reduces simmering time)
Okra (my mom calls them Ladies’ Fingers)
Veg Mutton or other mock veg meat
Coconut milk mixture:
1 mushroom stock cube
1 can coconut milk; use the same can to add water if there isn’t enough liquid to simmer the veggies. Use another can of coconut milk if desired.
1 tbsp sweet dark soy sauce (taste; if not sweet enough, add 1 tbsp sugar)
2 star of anise, whole
1 small twig of curry leaves
(I really wanted to add eggplant but my man doesn’t like it and the pot was full. I really wanted to buy galangal but I had fresh ginger at home)
2. Fry mock meat. Cut par-boiled potatoes into cubes. Add all vegetables. Add scallop last as it cooks very fast.
3. Add coconut milk mixture. At medium high heat, bring to a boil. Turn to low heat to simmer for at least 45 minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare rice and/or roti. (I used frozen Roti Pratha).
Curry will taste better the next day. Plate and Enjoy!
No time to cook for just one person? (Yourself)
No problem. Food prep doesn’t have to be time-consuming! I was able to prepare lunch while getting dressed, ready for work.
You can alter or adapt the salad, but the trick is 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.
Spinach leaves, washed and drained
1 egg, boiled
1 quarter of a bell pepper, diced; add more if you like
1/8 cup of pasta noodles
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
(optional: sesame seeds for garnish)
1. Set water to boil at medium heat.
2. Layer spinach, dice bell peppers. Set egg in the water. It takes about 5-8 minutes for the egg to be boiled to perfection.
3. (Do what you need to do in the mean time, such as chores; etc)
4. Use a tablespoon to scoop the egg out. Set aside to cool and add noodles.
5. (Divert attention to what needs to be done; you have up to maximum of 12 minutes until the noodles are al-dente)
6. Season with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Voila! Quick lunch.
If you want to change it up, add fresh strawberries, walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese and pesto as a combination. Really, anything goes. With so many different types of vinegars to choose from, salads would never be boring. Bon appetit!
Mirrors of Love
Wisps of pink and peacock blue
Majestic sunrise in view
Dropped my jaw
I Love You
You Love Me
I Have Faith
- Cynnie, Feb 13, 2013
Today is Day 2 of Pesco-vegetarian challenge. Yesterday, I spent about $44 on groceries for the rest of the week: spinach, 2 snapper fillets, 2 salmon steaks, yam and some lunch supplies for my sweeter-half. Earlier today, I tried going through The Joy of Cooking for inspiration, but could find nothing. Feeling kitchen confident, I whipped up two dishes while washing dishes (during idling time): vegetable casserole and snapper fillets with buttered lemon herb sauce.
Ironically enough, I find that cooking for two is easier than cooking for one. We rarely have leftovers. The trick is to ration enough ingredients to cook and not really follow recipes unless you are entertaining. The theme for Valentine’s was red, so I added some finely diced red bell peppers onto the casserole and paprika to the seasoned flour.
Since potatoes take a longer time to cook (than fish), I melted olive oil margarine in a saucepan, added some chopped garlic to the melted butter/margarine. Added a quick sprinkle of dill-weed into the melted butter, fry it up. Then, added chopped up potatoes to the melted butter mixture. It could have spent more time in the saucepan, but I transferred it into the toaster oven. I sliced cauliflower to look like little trees, added them onto the potatoes, sprinkled about a tablespoonful of Parmesan cheese on top of the cauliflower and potatoes; then, added a finely diced-up tiny slice of red bell pepper and popped it into the toaster oven at 200 F for about 30 to 45 minutes. At the half hour mark, I added small amounts of shredded cheddar cheese.
Buttered Herb Fish Fillet
** Olive Oil Margarine was substituted/used instead of butter**
Seasoned Flour Mixture:
1/4 cup flour
1 and a half tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp lemon pepper (or a mixture of grated fresh lemon zest and pepper)
Set aside some Parsley or Provencal herbs for garnish when fish is done.
1. Melt about 1 to 2 tbsp of butter/margarine. Dredge fish in the seasoned flour. The seasoned flour will give the fish a nice lightly coated texture.
2. Add about less than 1 tbsp (a very small drizzle) of white wine vinegar to the melted butter. Stir the melted butter mixture. Optional: you can add lemon & herbs to the melted butter for extra flavour.
3. Lower the dredged fish into the pan; depending on the size of the fish fillet, it would take about less than 3 minutes per side of the fish fillet. Once the meat becomes flaky, it is cooked. Do not overcook as fish can become rubbery. It took me 5 minutes to cook each fish fillet in total.
4. Serve and enjoy!
Easy, peasey, lemonless-squeezy!
P.S. The poem is my own original work. If you want to use it, please ask for permission or at least reference my blog. Thanks!
There are a few reasons:
- I gained 14 pounds since I last weighed myself (Blame stress, lack of sleep, and lack of physical exercise), but weight gain factor by itself wouldn’t persuade me to give up Albertan beef
- About 5 years ago, a doctor advised me to reduce my red meat intake for health reasons
- I have never touched any of my vegetarian cookbooks that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf
- Time constraints (Working up to 40 hours a week then devoting up to 25 hours/week on a professional designation)
- Could be expensive??
- Any (unknown) long term impacts such as not being able to eat beef after 40 days?
Hm, meal planning for Valentine’s Day should be interesting during Lent. My boyfriend thinks I should add packaged foods to the “abstain from” list, such as potato chips (my vice for eating on auto-pilot while working on assignments). This is not going to be easy.
Few weeks ago, we had a MASSIVE snow dump. So, here is our Snow Queen: the crab-apple tree which bears delicious apples in the summer for pies and cakes.
So much for taking naps by the apple tree, eh?
This winter, we are escaping to my homeland. There will be more cooking and baking there, on top of devouring Seria’s famous noodle stalls. I am very much looking forward to it as spices will be fresh; bananas are yummier and cheaper ($.75 CAD for a huge bunch of bananas, the best kinds to make banana fritters). I shall be cooking with my mother and hopefully learn how to cook a duck! The only downside is alcohol is not available for sale anywhere.
With the 20kg baggage limit, I would have to try save as many draft recipes here as possible. I am DYING for a working oven. So, if there are any food projects you want me to attempt, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish me luck working in my mother’s kitchen! I know I will be driving her absolutely crazy as we have different cooking approaches.