Thursday, May 2, 2019

Vegetarian Pho

This is an onion, garlic, and ginger free version of vegetarian pho. The major changes I made were to replace the onion and garlic with my faux onion and replace the ginger with cardamom. I also tend to make my dishes less salty than they are out in the wild.


Faux Onion
  •  2 Tbsp canola oil 
  • 4 c celery sliced in small pieces 
  • 1 tsp asafetida 

Vegetable Broth
  • 2 c. of the faux onion
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped 
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms trimmed and chopped 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 8-10 parsley sprigs 
  • 1 c. celery leaves 
  • 2 bay leaves 

Pho Broth
  • 2 c. of the faux onion 
  • 2 tsp cardamom 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 3-4 star anise pods 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns 
  • 6 c. of the vegetable stock 
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce 
  • 1 c. celery leaves, chopped 
  • 8-10 parsley sprigs, chopped 
  • 1/2-1 lb. cremini mushrooms, diced 

Soy Curls
  • 2 c. soy curls 
  • 2 c. hot water 
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom seasoning

  • 1.5 oz thin rice vermicelli per serving (6 oz for four people)*
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt 
  • 4-6 c boiling water 

  • Parsley 
  • Thai basil
  • Lime, cut in wedges 


Faux Onion
  • Heat 1-2 Tbsp canola oil in a pan.
  • Thinly slice 4 cups of celery.
  • Once the oil is hot add the celery and asafetida and sauté until the celery is translucent.
  • Divide into two portions and set aside.

Vegetable Stock
  • In a pot that can hold 4 qts of liquid, reheat 1 portion of the faux onion until the pan starts to sizzle. 
  • Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, mushroom, salt and pepper. 
  •  Cook until the vegetables are browning and releasing their juices. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Cook for anywhere between 15-45 minutes depending on how much time you have and how deep you want the flavor to be. 
  • Add 10 cups of water, the parsley and the bay leaves Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down until the broth is simmering. 
  •  Simmer for an additional 15 minutes to an hour, again depending on how much time you have and how deep you want the flavor to be. 
  • Strain the broth through a mesh strainer. Set the broth aside for the Pho. The vegetables can be saved to be eaten if desired or discarded. 

Pho Broth
  • In a pot that can hold 4 qts of liquid, reheat 1 portion of the faux onion until the pan starts to sizzle. 
  • Add the cardamom and stir until combined with the faux onion mix. 
  • Add the salt and sugar, continuing to stir 3-5 minutes 
  • Add the star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and peppercorns and stir for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. 
  • Add 10 cups of the vegetable stock, the soy sauce, the parsley, celery leaves, mushrooms, and one cup of water. 
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Simmer for 30-60 minutes or until you are happy with the flavor. 
  • Strain the broth through a mesh strainer and return the broth to the pot. 
  • Adjust seasoning as needed and turn the heat down low to keep the broth warm, or let cool and store in the fridge for future use.

Soy Curls
  • Soak the soy curls and mushroom seasoning in the hot water for 2-3 minutes.  
  • Drain the water from the soy curls.
  • Heat up a pan. If needed add a bit of oil, or use the pan dry. Add the soy curls and sauté until browned.
  • Chop the finished soy curls into roughly 1 inch lengths.

  • Put the rice vermicelli in a sieve inside a bowl large enough to immerse the noodles in water.
  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. 
  • Pour the water over the noodles and soak. Start checking at 3 minutes and leave in the water until just tender. 
  • Drain and rinse the noodles in cool water. 

To Serve
  • Divide the noodles and soy curls between four bowls, and add broth over the noodles and soy curls. 
  • Garnish with parsley, Thai basil, and a lime wedge. 
*Note: I used fine rice vermicelli as that is what we had in the house when I made this.

Inspried by Vegetarian Pho

Saturday, April 20, 2019



  • 115 g unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 300g sugar
  • 250 g sifted flour
  • 120 g pecan pieces (optional)


  • Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with baking parchment or use butter and flour to keep the brownies from sticking.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler.
  • Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted and well combined. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the 4 eggs until they are light and foamy.
  • Add the salt and vanilla to the eggs.
  • Whisk the sugar into the eggs, adding bit of the sugar at a time.
  • By hand, gently fold the chocolate and butter mixture into the egg and sugar mixture until they are starting to come together.
  • By hand, gently fold the flour in to the chocolate and egg mixture until nearly fully combined. 
  • If using, gently fold in the pecan pieces.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Set aside, wait until they cool to cut them.

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Friday, January 11, 2019

Savory Pumpkin Carrot and Orange Spice Cake

This is a savory variation of Carrot, Orange, and Spice Cake that I came up with when I had some leftover pumpkin puree. This recipe makes enough batter for two - 9 inch round cake pans.
  • 1 - 15 oz/425g can of pumpkin puree
  • 100 g walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 100 g  grated carrots
  • 1 orange, zest and juice only (about 75ml juice)
  • 20 g molasses 
  • 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 340 g all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 20 g brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/360F/Gas 4. Line the base of two round 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.

Grate the carrots, zest and juice one orange and add the juice and zest of one orange. 

Combine the can of pumpkin puree, nuts, grated carrots, zest and juice of the orange, molasses, Grand Marnier, orange extract, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg and mix thoroughly. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then whisk in the sugar, and eggs until smooth and well combined.

Add the butter mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.

Add the flour mixture in and stir until the flour is well mixed in.

Pour the combined mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 - 70 minutes, or until a skewer or knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle (check after 40 minutes and cover the top of the cake if the cake is browning too fast).

Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. This is a pretty moist cake so it is important to cool it completely as it on a wire rack to let it finish cooking as it cools.

Savory Pumpkin, Carrot, Orange, Spice Cake

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Vegetable and Mashed Potato Pie

Makes 2 - 9 inch pies


  • 2 - 9 inch pie shells
  • 5-6 large potatoes (russet or yukon gold)
  • 3T butter 
  • milk
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 2 c dry soy curl
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 c frozen peas
  • 3 c water
  • 1 tsp dill
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp thai basi
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seed, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 T Soy sauce
  • ¼ c warm water

Pre-heat oven to 200F and pre-bake the pie shells for 8-12 minutes or until the dough starts to dry out a bit. Set aside to cool.

Make the mashed potatoes: Peel and cube the potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the potatoes, add a pinch of salt and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Mash the potatoes using a mixer and add the butter and enough milk until they are the consistency you like. Set aside.

Soak the soy curls in hot water for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

Cut the mushrooms up into ½ inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan.

Fry the soy curls until they start to brown, then add the mushrooms. Use medium to medium-high head and stir occasionally until all of the mushrooms are well cooked.

Put three cups of water into a saucepan and add the spices. Bring to a boil and add the carrots. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the carrots cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the peas to the saucepan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then take the saucepan off of the heat.

Mix the Soy Sauce, cornstarch, and ¼ c warm water. Stir until well combined.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Add the soy curls and mushroom mix to the peas and carrots mix and stir until well mixed. Bring the mixture back up to temperature on the stove.

Add the soy sauce/cornstarch mixture to the combined vegetables, cook for 3-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Divide the vegetable filling between the two pie crusts. This should make just enough to fill both to the brim.

Top with mashed potatoes and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pie crust has browned and the potatoes are starting to color.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving as the filling will be very hot.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Scandinavian Rye Bread

This is my go-to bread recipe and I have found it is very adaptable. I've used it to make Dill, Walnut and Chocolate chip, and white loaves. 

Ingredients for Rye Bread
  • 175ml full-fat milk
  • 175ml water
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 250g rye flour
  • 200g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • sunflower (or other neutral) oil oil, for greasing
Alternate breads: 

Chocolate Chip Walnut
  • Substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt
  • when kneading for the 2nd prove/rise add in: 
    • 50g chopped walnuts 
    • 50g chocolate chips.
  • The 2nd prove/rise may take longer
  • substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • use 1T Dill in place of Caraway seeds
  • omit the water
  • omit the rye flour
  • use 450 g of white bread flour
  • add 150 g pumpkin puree
  • add 50 g shredded carrot
  • add 1 tsp Grand Mariner
  • add 1 tsp of orange extract or the zest of one orange
  • add 1 tsp cinnamon
  • add ½ tsp cardamom
  • add ¼ tsp cloves
  • add ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • substitute wheat flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt
  • substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt

  • Put the milk, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat very gently, stirring constantly, for just a few seconds until the liquid is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. 
  • (Note you can also microwave the milk and water and then add the sugar, or you can add warm water to cold milk to bring it up to temperature. The goal is to get the mixture to just about body temp (96-98F).
  • Stir in the yeast and leave for 5-10 minutes until there is a light froth floating on the surface.
  • Put all the flour, rye and white, in a large bowl, stir in the salt and caraway seeds, then make a well in the center. 
  • Pour the warm yeast mixture on to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands to form a soft, spongy dough.
  • Turn the dough out on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic; or, if you have a stand-mixer, use a dough hook to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film/plastic wrap.
  • Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
  • Put the dough on a floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles, then knead for another minute.
  • Shape the dough into a fat oval, round loaf, or putting it into a loaf tin; pulling the dough from the top and sides and tucking it underneath to make a neat shape.
  • For shaped loaves: place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover it loosely with the oiled cling film/plastic wrap. For bread in a loaf tin: cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap. Leave either type to prove/rise for a further 40–50 minutes until it has doubled in size once more. 
  • Once the loaf is done proving/rising a second time, score the top of the loaf 2-4 times. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes or until it is well risen and the base sounds hollow when tapped sharply. 
  • Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. (This is very important! The bread is still baking during this time. Cutting into it too early can result in an undercooked loaf).

Originally found at: Scandinavian Rye Bread (Hairy Bikers)

Dill Loaf, round with 2 cuts in the form of an X
Dill Loaf

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (makes 2 9-inch pies)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. cardamom
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 cans (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk (use 1 3/4 cans)
  • 2 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shells

Blind bake the pie shells at 475° F for 6-8 minutes until dough goes from translucent to opaque but before it browns. Protect the rim of the crust during the blind bake. Set aside to cool while mixing the filling.

Mix the dry ingredients: sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl together until well combined. 

Mix the pumpkin and molasses, beat the eggs and add to the pumpkin mixture. Using a whisk can make this process easier.

Slowly add 1 ¾ cans of the evaporated milk until well combined.

Fill the crusts to the brim. Bake at 475° F for 15 minutes then reduce the  temperature to 350° F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until a tester inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for 2 hours, then serve immediately or refrigerate.

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Hummus

My no garlic, very lemony hummus. 


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans 
  • 1/4 cup celery
  •  1/4 - 1/2 tsp Corriander 
  • 1 lemon, zest and juic
  • enough bottled lemon juice to make up 1/4 cup between it and the juice from the lemn 
  • 1/4 cup tahini 
  •  1/8 cup fresh lemon verbena 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp paprika 


  • Drain and thoroughly rinse the garbanzo beans. 
  • Prepare the garbanzo beans. Use a blender, mixer, or vegetable strainer to puree the garbanzo beans. I found that my stick blender was the fastest and most effective method. The goal is to crush them into a paste.
  • Cut the celery in thin slices and fry the celery and Corriander in a little oil until the celery is just translucent.
  • Zest and juice the lemon. 
  • Add bottled lemon juice to zest and juice from lemon to make up 1/4 cup of juice.
  • Chop the lemon verbena fine.
  • Mix together all of the ingredients and blend until well combined.  If you can, use a mixer or whisk to whip it together and smooth out the texture a bit.