Thursday, July 31, 2008

Beans, beans. Not really magical. Not really a fruit. But tasty, nonetheless.

I confess. I have a slight obsession with sweetened beans.

Mung beans are closely related to adzuki beans, I think. If not, they taste like it. They also resemble each other, so yea, I think they're probably related.

Here, I used mung beans to make a cold mung bean soup. It sounds incredibly odd, but it is a traditional dessert typically made and eaten during the summer months due to its refreshing qualities. It is also said to heal acne and bring down fevers and such.

Here are the beans before cooking.

After cooking and such, here is your final product! Simple and divine.
So go try it! Now!

3 cups mung beans
3 cups water

1 3/4-2 cups water
1 cup sugar (brown is preferred)

Cover the mung beans with water (at least one inch above) and soak overnight. Pour off the soaking water and add 3 cups of new water. Cook over med-high heat until the beans are tender.

In a separate pot, combine the water and sugar over med-low heat, stirring until dissolved. Once it has dissolved, set it aside.

Combine the sugar water and the beans and stir until homogeneous. Refrigerate and serve when icy cold. yum!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mini vacation- and first farmer's market!

We went to Columbus (OH) this past weekend to send my brother off to an international leadership camp sort of thing in D.C., spend some time with my dad who was taking seminary classes there, and celebrate my parents' 24th anniversary. While we were there, my dad suggested that we go to a Japanese restaurant. Apparently, it's the oldest Japanese restaurant in Columbus. It's located in an old building and honestly doesn't look like much. The food is better than it's environment, I believe. Here is the vegetarian delight from Otani.
While looking up veg-friendly places on, I came across the North Market. It seemed intriguing enough, so I decided that, if we had enough time, I would try to convince my mom to make a stop. Fortunately, we did, and with our handy dandy GPS, we made it!

This was the first time that I had ever seen a lavender eggplant, so for novelty's sake, I had to buy some. Ironically, I never really liked eggplant until yesterday. Perhaps it's because the last time I had it, I was an ignorant 6 year old omni saying "yuck" to every vegetable alive. Oh, how I've spent these past 8 years in depravity! Not really, but you get my point. I like eggplant.

Awesome looking okra, no? Having never really liked the way okra looks in my grocery store(brown and shriveled-ish), I was rather excited when my mom picked up these fellas at a stand. Unfortunately, when we cooked them, we found that the outside was much too hard, almost woodsy, to eat. boohoo. So anyways, we all had a great time on our mini vacation, and I had a fabulous weekend of mom-daughter time.

P.S. On a vacation related note, does anyone know of any good vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants in Hawaii? We will be leaving soon, and I am super excited! I have found a couple already; the Blossoming Lotus for one, but other than that, I haven't. Any suggestions? We will be going to all islands sans Maui .

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Method to the Madness: How to make Taiwanese Bread, part one

*I must say something about the filling of this bread. Though it may sound slightly repulsive, it really is quite sumptuous. If you can find a high quality brand at your local asian grocery, it will be well worth it. The taste? Sweet, smooth, and delectable; and if you're making it yourself (using brown sugar), there are caramel-y undertones. yum! Anyways, onto the directions.

While I haven't quite perfected the dough recipe to my liking, I thought that I would post pictures of several of the steps. Sorry about some missing pictures; my friend was helping me with the shots and several were too blurry to be used. Now, without further ado (please excuse the name; it really is much better than it sounds).....

Taiwanese Red Bean Bread
What you need:
vegan sweet yeast dough
preferred filling of choice (sweetened adzuki bean paste)
sesame seeds

Roll out a slightly-smaller-than-a-tennis-ball size of dough into a circle. Dollop on about 1-2 tablespoons of your preferred filling. (Traditionally, this is filled with sweet red bean[adzuki] paste which can be found at an asian grocery. If you either don't like it or can't find it, you could also try some not-ella or something like that.)
Enclose the filling in the dough and then form it into a ball.

Roll each dough "ball" into an oval shape.

Run a pizza cutter or sharp knife through the dough, making 3 slashes. Don't cut through the ends; the dough should still be connected.

Twist with your fingers and sort of tuck it in a coil shape. Sprinkle with sesame and let rise. After letting it rise for an hour, bake in a 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes.

..... and voila! Here is your finished product!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lions-Head Cabbage Rolls. Really. They. Are. Good. RAWR! haha

Tonight, I felt like splurging. I typically try to avoid processed, prepared foods, but today was a binge day. woohoo! so yea. I decided to go with Gimme Lean! ground round (beef style). At first, my dad was like, "Hmm.... will you make me my own with real meat?" Fortunately, I couldn't have anyways, seeing as how we were short on cabbage.

So where did I get this wacky idea? Mi Abuelo. Wo de Ah Gong. My Grandpa. You see, this used to be one of those foods that he would always make when we visited him. They are typically superhuge meat balls, hence the name "lions head" or "se tze to." So I did my own take on this traditional family classic and voila! here we are.....

Here we have our ingredients: napa cabbage, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, green onions, water chestnuts and Gimme Lean! beef style ground round. Not pictured: soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper. Those little "meat" balls were made out of leftover roll filling.

Add the lion's heads and lion head rolls into the veggie stock/soy sauce/mirin/sesame oil mixture and cover.

Here we are, simmering for about 20 ish minutes.

TaDa! the final product. (i know, i said better pictures, but i was hungry!)

So on an unrelated note, I am still testing the recipe for the Taiwanese bread in case you were wondering about that. I'll get around to posting sometime in the near future. So stay tuned!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Resolutions....

Okay. I have some new half-year resolutions. (i know, the second half of this year has already started, but oh well. better late than never!)

1. i resolve to take better pictures!
2. i resolve not to blog so infrequently!
3. yea, that's about it.....

so here we go! onto the food......

.......not bad ehh?

1. almond raspberry tarts
2. raspberry pecan rugelach
3. taiwanese bread (hong do mien bao)
4. chocolate cheEZcakes hehe

so what do YOU think?