For the love all things grilled and good for you: My Grandmother’s Aubergine

In the late 1960’s, counter-top microwave ovens began to appear in the kitchens of trendy, modern families. They became the new, revolutionary and very fashionable cooking appliance. Cookbooks published at the time will tell you how to cook a ‘roast’ dinner in the microwave, a souffle, and even ice-cream! Don’t believe me? Check it out. My mum’s microwave cookbook would have you believe that anything can be made in one (it also fails to mention the high risk of lumpy custards and gravies, and porridge volcanos). Basically, the world went a little batty over the invention of the microwave oven.

The sandwich press is my microwave oven. Continue reading

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The return of the food processor: Pesto Pasta Salad, Bean’n’Basil Besto, and breakfast in a wine glass

Ash’s version: traditional pasta

Hello again world! Yes, I’m alive. Apologies for the delay in posting.

Rather than attempt to post recipes twice each week, I am taking a quality-over-quantity approach. After all, these recipes must be worth repeating, and if I’m draining my creative juices and giving you less-than-amazing dishes, not only will you be disappointed, but I won’t be living up to my own standards. While blogging is important to me, if it is to reach a high standard, it has to be sustainable along with other big time-consuming priorities: working, studying and fitness. So please bear with me, and when you visit Cat’s Kitchen, expect to see a high quality weekly post. I will be only sharing the best of each week with you, which often will mean that each post will include multiple recipes.

Such as today’s. In celebration of the return of my food processor and blender, I succeeded in using each and every part of it – the blender, the big-bowl processor and the small-bowl processor. For breakfast, I made a apple, berry and coconut smoothie – satisfying and delicious. Lunch was a pesto pasta salad, two ways. Creamy, fresh and believe it or not, oil and nut free. The final recipe is a bit of a fusion between a bean dip or hummus, and basil pesto. Bean’n’basil pesto? Let’s call it a besto. Continue reading

Waste not want not: Little Lentil Pies

(again, Mr Camera is on holidays – he’ll be back this weekend – bear with me and my iPhone until then)

The other night Ash was part of a volunteer team cooking up a feast of quiches and pies (450~?) for the homeless people in Sydney. Oz Harvest is a charity that collects leftover food and ingredients from shops and restaurants, and feeds it to the people on the street. Such a wonderful way to a) improve the quality of life for people who are suffering disadvantage, and b) reducing the ‘waste’ food we so thoughtlessly discard. Continue reading

BBQ Chickpeas with Mushrooms and Onion

My camera is on holiday, so here’s a photo taken by a friend of mine while holidaying in France. It makes me happy just seeing all the colours.

Do you remember how I had been cooking to a ‘theme’ each week? I still sort of do, I just haven’t mentioned it in a while. This week’s theme is recipes from a book called ‘Tasty Chicken’. On a vegan blog you ask? Yes, I’m not exactly following the recipes. Continue reading

Cacciatore sans chicken – the best of both worlds

 

In my family, meat wasn’t often tender. Memories of lamb roasts that were so tough I couldn’t chew it probably have to do with my general distaste for meat that helped with deciding to become vegetarian (the vegan choice was made later for mostly ethical reasons). But one thing that was cooked well was chicken cacciatore.

It’s funny, I despised the tomato-ey sauce, while loving the slow cooked chicken. Only later in life when Ash’s Mum cooked it for me, did I discover that the sauce is the best part!

And only now did it cross my mind to veganise it. Better than ever, I swear. Mushrooms and potatoes simmered in an extremely tasty tangy tomato sauce, easily made fat free, and served with a mung bean salad. I served it to Ash and his Mum and we all really enjoyed it. Continue reading

Escaping to the Blue Mountains: two soups and a spicy curry

For the past few days we have been staying in an adorable cottage in the Blue Mountains. We’ll staying the entire week.

Reading a lot, writing a lot. And taking photos.

Today it’s about zero degrees (or so it feels to us, softies that we are), and drizzling rain.

We’ve been pottering around the house in flannelette shirts, red wine in hand, nibbling rum’n’raisin chocolate and playing rummy in front of the fireplace.

While confined to the house, I’ve had the luxury of simmering soup for hours, slow-cooking a curry, and generally appreciating all that is warm and comforting.

Today I’ll share with you the hot and sour soup I whipped up yesterday, a more traditional vegetable and bean soup that sat on the stove for a good two hours before making it’s way into our tummies at lunchtime, and a spicy, creamy, slow-cooked mushroom and eggplant vindaloo. Continue reading

Heat up that belly: an Indian dinner. And a giveaway!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me whether Sydney winter gets much colder than what it was at that time, and I confidently reassured her that it didn’t. Never was I so wrong. This past week has been icy! And today has been ever so slightly rainy, so I walked home through chilling winds and tiny darts of freezing rain. Yuck. Curry time I say.

I had a difficult time coming to terms with the idea of a ‘dry curry’ when I started cooking. Maybe it’s the Aussie in me that expects everything Indian to look and taste like butter chicken, but I just thought curry should be swimming in a rich sauce. Not so, as it turns out. Paired with a saucier side of greens, this dry curry of sweet potato, cauliflower and edamame is spot on. Continue reading

Cooking tom yummy soup from scratch

This post wouldn’t have been so overdue had WordPress not crashed and lost my post at 11pm last night. Here goes!

According to a meat-lover who isn’t too crazy about vegetables, this soup is really good. Ash and I loved it too, so I thought it would be worth sharing. Loaded with fresh vegetables, the broth is tasty with only just a touch of coconut milk, which gives it that moreish small-children-would-ask-for-seconds flavour.

Plus, it’s made without tom yum paste. Continue reading

Roasted red capsicum risotto

This risotto may seem sort of labour intensive. I’m not going to lie, there are two main steps here, and you’ll have to give each your full attention. But as with many things, more attention reaps a higher reward. Here your reward is a smoky, nutty, herbed risotto, which not only looks beautiful, but tastes incredible. An added bonus is the subtle crunch of pine nuts and walnuts. All in all, it’s not too time-consuming either. And if you buy your grilled capsicum, easy peasy. Continue reading

Dave’s Curry

Thank you all for your enthusiasm for the review of Black Velvet Gold Chocolat vegan range! I’m blown away by the response, which confirms that above all else, we just love chocolate! The entries are still open for a beautiful sample packet of the chocolates, so keep’em coming!

On the topic of things that we love, while I was busy photographing yesterday’s beautiful chocolate samples, Ash was diligently cooking up a delicious dinner for us.

In keeping with the theme of old favourites, this recipe was first introduced to us when Ash’s younger brother Dave cooked it for the family. Packed full of vegetables, absolutely moreish, spicy and touched with coconut goodness, no curry has been repeated as often. Continue reading