June 15, 2014

Thai Spiced Carrot Soup {Vegan}

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My Sunday food prep sessions have really upped my game in the kitchen throughout the week. Chopping and roasting vegetables and cooking grains seems like a simple enough practice, but the difference is major. It makes everything just a little bit easier and gives my brain a break in the post-work scramble to make something healthy for dinner.

If I’m smart enough to make a soup during my Sunday prep session, it usually makes a dinner for Fabian and I, plus a couple of lunches for me or portions to freeze in case of laziness. It’s the pureed (or chunky – depending on the week) dish that keeps giving.

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December 18, 2013

Ginger Molasses Cookies + Ice Cream Sandwiches

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These are representative of my annual negotiation with a warm weather Australian Christmas. Most days in December are too hot to bake – but without baking, Love Actually, and Buble’s Christmas crooning – what else is there to get me in the mood?

Malls are stressful, the post office tries one’s patience, and every women’s magazine is telling you to avoid canapés, load up on crudités and choose low-fat turkey breast (no skin!) over ham to avoid that holiday bloat!

My response is simple: butter, molasses and brown sugar. I seek solace and holiday cheer in the kitchen and bake like there’s a freaking blizzard outside.

Boldly spiced and chewy, these are my ultimate festive cookies. They taste like Christmas, even if it doesn’t totally feel like Christmas.

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December 11, 2013

Homemade Labneh and Quesadillas

labneh

I feel fairly at ease attempting the basics in the kitchen – sautéing, roasting, chopping, boiling, broiling. I’ve got those on lock.

And then there are other kitchen endeavors that I’ve learned to avoid. Pastry, for example, is not something I’m down with on a regular basis. Nor is deep-frying or preserving.

Normally something like making one’s own cheese seems like dicey territory, but yogurt cheese – or labneh – is where it’s at for us novices. All that’s involved is a little stirring and a bit of patience.

Labneh is almost like a Middle Eastern cream cheese, spreadable, creamy and a little tart. And super easy to make.

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November 12, 2013

Eggplant Po’Boys

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This recipe was inspired by Killer Poboys in New Orleans. I was reading their most recent menu (because that’s something I do in my spare time) and was instantly excited by their vegan option. Each individual ingredient was original and all together it sounded like a sandwich I could totally get on board with.

I think that’s what I love about vegan and vegetarian cooking so much – it encourages a different level of creativity, inevitably making vegetables taste more interesting and satisfying.

Now, a po’boy is really just a sandwich. But in New Orleans it’s a sandwich on a fresh pillowy baguette. It’s almost certainly one of those things that people claim cannot be replicated outside of the city due to the water – like bagels in New York or sourdough in San Francisco, I tend to believe these dough-related myths.

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October 30, 2013

Sesame Chili Soba Noodles with Kale

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I’ve been a dedicated – and admittedly uncool – brown-bagger for as many years as I’ve been working a full time job. More than just the limited food options nearby, I bring my lunch to eat healthy and stretch my paycheck.

This is the sort of dish that makes it easy to bring your lunch to work. Quick to make, packed with toasty sesame and warm chili flavors, and effortlessly vegan. It’s all about making meals play double duty – you know, cook once, eat twice.

I made this soba noodle dish after a Sunday shopping excursion when I returned home ravenous. I whacked it together in a few hasty minutes and gobbled it up even quicker.

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October 23, 2013

Warm Fennel White Bean Dip with Kale and Parmesan

Food 2013 013 I’m not going to tell you that I’ve been too lazy to keep up the blog lately. Or that my daily routine leaves me tired and uninspired sometimes. I’m not going to tell you that I feel just a teensy bit overwhelmed with planning a wedding or that I like to give my brain a rest with an episode of Scandal most weekdays. Because you don’t wanna hear that complain-y crap!

What I am going to tell you is that I’m back to share recipes with you.

While I’ve been away from voracious for a bit, I’ve still been in the kitchen most days cooking nourishing food to keep us going. I’ve even cooked some especially good things. But I’ve mostly been falling back on dishes that are easy for me to make and aren’t deemed “blog-worthy”.

I’m making a promise to work harder to share the dishes that are coming out of my kitchen with you – because I know that we all need a little inspiration for simple healthy food that tastes good. Or at least I do.

And I’m starting out easy with a dip.

This is a new spin on the old can of white beans. Or bulb of fennel, depending on how you look at it. It’s creamy, dip-able, spreadable and great for sharing. I love the fresh rosemary in this but you could use thyme, parsley, basil or any other herb, really. I’d probably use a bit more when using leafy herbs though.

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July 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Bites

peanut butter pretzel cup

These are a few of my favorite things.

Peanut butter and chocolate.  Pretzels and sea salt.

Put em all together and you have some rich and addictive tricked-out peanut butter cups.

I used all-natural creamy peanut butter, dark chocolate and salted mini pretzels. Then topped it all off with crunchy flakes of Maldon sea salt.

There’s something about melting chocolate in a double boiler that’s oddly soothing. I loved layering the ingredients and impatiently waiting for the chocolate to harden. It was a nice little way to spend a chilly winter Sunday.

The motivation behind these simple two-bite treats was the Sweet Swap to raise money for ChildFund Australia.

The idea was to share sweets and recipes with fellow Australian food bloggers.  I loved wrapping the peanut butter cups and sending them out in the post like some kind of chocolate fairy – crossing my fingers that they arrived still looking at least a little cute.

I hope my sweet swapping pen pals enjoyed them!

ready to go pb and choc pretzels pb and choc   packagingFood 2013 029

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Bites

From With Style and Grace

Makes about about 24

  • 2 cups dark [or milk chocolate] chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup peanut butter – or nut butter of choice
  • 1 tablespoon powdered/confectioner ‘s sugar
  • mini pretzels
  • sea salt

Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, saucepan or microwave. Once it’s melted down, add coconut oil to thin out. Add more, if needed.

Add about one teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of each paper cup. Tilt the liners so the chocolate evenly coats the bottom and slightly up the sides.

Place the cupcake pan in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to let set.

Meanwhile, mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Place peanut butter mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Once both timers have gone off, scoop 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture and place in the center of each chocolate cup. Place pan back in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove pan from the freezer and add a mini pretzel on top of the peanut butter.

With the remaining chocolate, cover each cup until covered. Top with sea salt (optional.)

Place baking tin back into the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Store in the fridge.

June 19, 2013

Mushy Peas: The Best Way to Use Frozen Peas?

mushy peas

My affection for all things British runs deep.

As a kid with an excessive imagination, I found British history to be far superior to that of any other country – it was somehow more exciting and romantic to my small brain. And for most of my life, I considered British best. From classic rock bands, to history, to comedy.

London was my one and only choice of city to study abroad in, and I soaked up every bit of it I could. I walked everywhere and anywhere, became a regular at museums and pubs, and fell intensely in love with the city. Even its food.

What all of this nostalgic babbling is getting at is a little side dish called mushy peas.

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