08 February 2011

Meatless Monday

I found the urge to cook on Sunday and Monday. I wanted tasty, healthy food from fresh produce. A visit to my local grocer inspired me to cook a three course meatless Monday meal.

I picked up some discounted fruit and vegies. Although produce is expensive due to the natural disasters, if you hunt around, you can get some great food. And you can create some amazing dishes. I estimate all dishes I cooked were $8 - $10 and contained 3 serves - some of the ingredients I didn't even buy!

Mushroom soup. If only smellovision existed. This soup smells like the most comforting, nourishing, yummiest soup I've ever made. I cooked this on Sunday and reheated on Monday.
I picked up two punnets of discounted mushrooms - shitake and oyster, and had some black funghi in the freezer. Black funghi is spongy and very strong tasting. I used some of it in a stirfry a few weeks back and froze the rest.

I first cooked a leek, and zucchini, both finely diced, and some chopped garlic in a teaspoon of butter and olive oil.

I let these sweat for about 20 minutes. Then I added these beautiful mushrooms
And these...
And add three cups of water, a tablespoon of vegeta stock and placed the lid on and let simmer. The smell was amazing!! And the taste! So rich and flavoursome.
I started work early yesterday and so arrived home at work earlier than usual so I had time to cook something elaborate. Stuffed capsicum. I had three to use up. I made a stuffing from a duck egg (from parents' ducks), an apricot, a few dried mushrooms, half a lemon, grated carrot and zucchini and onion and garlic. I also used the super food quinoa.
Grated zucchini...
Grated vegies in the pan...
I soaked the mushrooms and added the water to the mushroom soup. Nothing should be wasted.
And chopped them roughly and put them in the pan with chopped apricot...
This is quinoa.
I never know what it looks like when it's cooked because I am lazy and just cover it with water and put it in the microwave for 10 minutes. I added this to the vegies on the stove and let sit off the heat. I seasoned the stuffing with a spoon of Mum's home made kasundi (cost me nothing) and salt and pepper. When the stuffing cooled, I mixed in a beaten duck egg.
I had a disaster in the kitchen. Initially I added some psyllium husks to the quinoa and microwaved it. It ended up overflowing and when I retrieved it, there was this mess that looked like a giant eggwhite or a big bit of mucous. It was disgusting. And took a while to clean. No photos. Moving on.
I then cut the capsicums open, removed the insides, added whatever capsicum flesh I could to the stuffing, and then put a piece of cheese in each capsicum.
I filled the capsicum with stuffing and baked them.
They turned out lovely! Really tasty but may have needed more fat?
I served one with a side of salmon - raw (as a ceviche with soy and lemon), just how I like it. Does this negate the meatless Monday rule?
Dessert was rhubarb, apricot and plum crumble. I prepared the fruit on Sunday and the crumble last night.

I normally make stewed rhubarb, apple or pear and berries. Berries are expensive, and I picked up some really cheap stewing apricots (maybe 50 cents for a huge bag), so I improvised. I also added a passionfruit and two plums.
These plums were free from someone at work. Look how crimson they are!
I wanted my fruit to taste interesting. So I gave it an Asian flavour, using vanilla, brown sugar, cardamom, ginger (is ginger usually $40 per kilo???) and a finger lime.

I ground these ingredients up in my mortar and pestle. Finger limes are amazing. Really tangy, and they look like citrus caviar. I added these to the pot of fruit with a quarter of a cup of water, and cooked it on low heat until soft.
 Look at this amazing coral colour! It's a favourite colour of mine. Like a sunset!
The crumble is flour, brown sugar, oats and melted butter.
 Here is the baked crumble - in the oven for around 40 minutes.
 The end product served with cream - so yummy! Tangy and quite a unique, fresh taste.
I love cooking! These three dishes are fresh and healthy and I have leftovers for more meals through the week!


  1. Yummmmo mushroom soup! I am learning to cook (a bit late in life ha) and will definitely give this a go! x

  2. Delicious!

    I salute your use of quinoa. Always been curious but never quite got around to it.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  3. delicious! I love the spices in the crumble, and a great combination of fruits!
    Heidi xo

  4. I want to cook with quinoa, I'm going to give it a go!! H doesn't want to cook w/ it at home because he uses it at work and "it's very funky and very now and not that great" but I think he's just having a chef-tantrum hahahaahaaa

  5. Delicious and healthy! Sounds like upscale spa food. Mmmm.

    Finger limes sound wonderful especially in the cold weather I'm experiencing.

  6. Where do you buy brown quinoa from? I've only been able to find white. Jo

  7. this looks amazing ! I love the inventive crumble recipe.
    I could be wrong but I think it is best to use sashimi grade fish for raw dishes (even ceviche). Sashimi grade fish is teated specially to minimise bacteria/parasites that could be present. The 'cooking' done by the lemon juice is not quite the same as cooking it under heat and cannot kill bacteria/parasites in the same way heat can.


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