Monday, 23 January 2012

SJ's Pad Thai

Hubby and I went out for dinner a few nights ago to a local Thai restaurant, the chef was more than obliging to make my Pad Thai vegan. I was pretty good, I did enjoy it and I was very grateful for the efforts she went to.

Tonight  Hubby wanted a stir-fry for dinner, he usually does. He feels that as I am now vegan I should be an honourary  Asian and eat stir-fires every night basically. 
(Please note that these comments are not intended for offence, he, well we, just think that Asians do the best food, but especially vego food!)

So, anyway, we have been eating a lot of Asian and Indian (inspired) foods lately which means we have been eating a lot of rice lately, white rice at that, not the healthier brown rice! I decided that I could not deal with rice again tonight so I would make noodles instead. Even though I had only had a Pad Thai style dish a few nights ago, I decided I would finally try to make my own. It turned out pretty good too, Hubby even went bakck for seconds (remember Hubby is omni, and not at all vego), though the dish was a little dry as I didn't have any peanut oil and only used a little bit of olive oil. Clearly restaurants use a hell of a lot more oil than I do (no shit!). I have adjusted this in my ingredients, but if you have the same problem just add more oil.

SJ's Pad Thai

Serves 3-4

  • 2 Tbs peanut oil (you may need more), coconut oil would probably go alright in this as well, though I would use the refined
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small-medium brown onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 Tbs vegetarian Tom Yum Paste, I used Vessimix by Lamyong and yes, it is vegan
  • 1 tsp tamarind puree 
  • the juice of one lime, including pulp, plus an extra lime (or lemon) to serve
  • 2 Tbs kecap manis, soy sauce or tamari to keep it GF
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar, muscovado or coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (or one good pinch) dried kelp/seaweed, Sea Power Dulse Flakes or Wakame Leaves 
  • Coriander to taste, I am not a fan so I only used a few, maybe 5 or 6, leaves chopped up for the whole dish, plus extra for garnish, some recipes say a whole bunch, ew!
  • 200g firm tofu, pressed and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 100g of vegetarian chicken seitan (NOT GF!) or 1/4 cup unprepared soybean chicken (optional) ~ I tend to just use tofu more often than not
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts, washed, drained
  • 1 1/2-2 cups mixed veggies, be as traditional or not as you like! I used yellow capsicum, beans, snow peas, carrots and broccoli simply because these are what I had in my fridge and they need to get used!
  • 200-400g rice stick noodles
  • Crushed peanuts, these should be natural, raw peanuts
  1. Prepare your veggies and put them aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan or wok.
  3. Add sliced onion and cook gently for about 1 minute. Add garlic, do not allow to colour.
  4. Add the Tom Yum Paste and tamarind puree allowing the pastes to cook off.
  5. Now add the lime juice and pulp, kecap manis/soy sauce/tamari, kelp/seaweed and brown sugar. You may need to add a little more oil or a little bit of water if it seems to be drying out.
  6. Once well combined and sugar has dissolved transfer to a small bowl, mug or measuring jug, makes about 100ml, and put aside.
  7. In the same pan/wok that was used to make the sauce, which should now be empty, throw in the tofu and "chicken" if using.
  8. Start preparing the noodle according to packet directions.
  9. Add veggies to pan, once tofu is starting to get golden. Stir-fry nice and hot for a few minutes. Drizzle on 1/4-1/2 of the sauce that was put aside and allow the flavours to start to infuse the veggies and tofu.
  10. Drain noodles once ready and add to pan along with bean sprouts. Add remaining sauce and stir everything through thoroughly, let cook for about a minute.
  11. Serve with crushed peanuts on top (if desired) and garnish with leaves of coriander and wedges of lime, my fave, or lemon.
Enjoy (:

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Fostering Is Fun!

I have been sooo busy lately camping, house painting, learning how to sew and fostering kittens, this all means that my guitar lessons, cooking and blogging have taken a very big back seat!
In case you didn't know I work at my local RSPCA as an animal care attendant. Most of my  work is in the cattery with the occasional kennel shift thrown in the mix.

One of the perks of working (or volunteering) in the shelter is that you get the opportunity to foster some little babes that otherwise might no have a chance. I just wanted to share with you a few pics of my latest foster babies (partly so you don't start to think that I don't like blogging!).

I had 5 kittens for about 8 weeks until they got nice and "fat" and healthy. their names were: Eenie, Menie, Minie, Moe and Cherub. Originally there was only 4 and then Cherub got pushed into the mix as well :)

This little cutie is "Eenie" a very sweet tabby and white male.
This is his sister "Menie" also tabby and white and very sweet, but more independent.
 And this is "Cherub" trying very hard to suckle off my gorgeous Pomeranian, Meg.

When I first got the babies home they all had a slight touch of flu and through Meg's constant cleaning of their faces and all the TLC she gave them they fought it off! I truly believe that if Meg didn't help me care for them the way she did we would have gone through a lot of antibiotics. If she had of ever had the chance to bredd I think she would of made an amazing mother!

Back to the kittens. Moe got adopted after only being back in the shelter for 2 hours!! Menie and Minie went within a day or 2 and last I heard Cherub and Moe were still at the shelter, hopefully by the time I go back to work they will have found their forever homes as well.

It really is a very rewarding experience being a foster carer, although there is some chores involved it is also very fun just playing and spending time with the babies. At the moment the RSPCA is calling out for foster carers, so if it's something you thing you could do give your local shelter a call, I'm sure they would be glad to get you on board.