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Broccoli and soba noodle salad

Super quick and super easy recipe for an Asian-style lunch. Few ingredients, little work and a very satisfying meal. Tenderstem broccoli go great with soba noodles and spicy dressing with soy sauce, tamarind paste and lime juice. You have to try it!

Recipe: Broccoli and soba noodle salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 200 g soba noodles
  • 250 g tenderstem broccoli
  • a handful coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped red chilli pepper
  • one tsp black sesame seeds
Method
  • Cook the noodles according to the package's instructions.
  • Blanch the broccoli in a boiling water for 3 minutes. Submerge in a bowl of ice water for one minute.
  • Place noodles and broccoli in a targe bowl.
  • Combine with coriander leaves, chopped chilli and soy-tamarind dressing.
  • Divide between two plates and top with black sesame before serving.

Recipe: Soy-tamarind dressing

Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • one tsp grated ginger
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • one red chilli pepper, sliced
Method
  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Set aside for at least 15 minutes, to let the flavours combine.

Vegan taco buffet

Perfect tacos: crispy, aromatic, colourful and vegan. Great for small or larger gatherings. All you have to do is prepare the toppings and ask your guests to compose their ideal snacks. I chose roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and corn, creamy cashew paste, pomegranate seeds, fresh chillies, aromatic coriander and lime juice. You can add your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Recipe: Vegan tacos

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • a bunch coriander
  • one corn on a cob
  • one cup cooked black beans
  • rosted sweet potatoes (recipe below)
  • cashew paste (recipe below)
  • 2 green chilli peppers
  • 1 small pomegranate
  • 1 lime
Method
  • Roast the corn at 180C for about 30 minutes, until tender.
  • Kut off the kernels and combine with cooked beans.
  • Deseed the pomegranate, slice the chillies and cut the lime into quarters.
  • Heat the tortillas in the oven or on a pan and cover to keep them warm.
  • Serve all the ingredients together and let everyone compose their own tacos: roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate and fresh coriander or corn and beans with cashew paste and fresh chillies. Or everything altogether :)

Recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes

Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • one tbsp olive oil
  • one tsp smoked paprika powder
  • one tsp sweet paprika powder
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • Peel and dice the potatoes.
  • Cut the onion into eitghts.
  • Mix diced potatoes with onion, olive and spices.
  • Transfer into a baking dish and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.

Recipe: Cashew paste

Ingredients
  • 100 g cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 lime (peel and juice)
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • Blend soaked chashews with milk, to make a smooth paste.
  • Add lime juice and peel, combine. Season with salt
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Chicken satay skewers

Chicken satay is a Malay-Indonesian dish of skewered and grilled meat, served with a dipping sauce. It's a simple idea for a dinner or a party snack. You can use shrimp, beef, lamb or fish instead of chicken.

Recipe: Chicken satay skewers

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • one tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 red chili pepper, chopped
  • one tbsp. of grated ginger
  • one tsp. of soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
Method
  • Wash, clean and slice the chicken fillets.
  • Place chicken and marinade in a bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add garlic, chili and ginger, cook for about a minute.
  • Add peanut sauce, soy sauce and lime, cook for another minute.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
  • Thread the chicken onto the skewers.
  • Heat a grill or a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and cook or grill the skewers for 3-4 minutes each side, until cooked through
  • Before serving, drizzle satays with lime juice. Serve with peanut sauce.

Recipe: Marinade

Ingredients
  • one stalk of lemongrass, chopped
  • one red chili pepper, sliced
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • one tbsp. of grated ginger
  • juice and peel of one lime
  • one tsp. of soy sauce
  • one tsp. of brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. of coconut milk
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients

Recipe: Peanut sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts
  • one tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • In a food processor, combine peanuts with salt and oil. Puree to combine.
  • The sauce doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, you can leave larger chunks of peanuts for a crunchy texture.

Cucamelon Salsa

Cucamelons, also known as mouse melons, Mexican miniature watermelons or Mexican sour cucumbers, look like tiny watermalons (and you know that I love all things tiny, see: baby eggplants) and taste like cucumbers with a hint of lime. In spite of appearances, they have not been created by a crazy gardener - cucamelons are native to Mexico and Central America. Oh, and they are also delicious!

Recipe: Cucamelon Salsa

Ingredients
  • 300 g of cucamelons, cut in halves
  • 50 g of feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. of chopped Thai basil
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili flakes
  • juice of 1/2 lime
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Set aside for at least half an hour.
  • Serve with toasted bread.

Roasted Baby Eggplants

I have deep respect for eggplants. Can you think of any other edible item in such a deep shade of purple?

If there's anything better than eggplant, it's baby eggplant. But I'm a fan of miniature versions of pretty much everything. Baby eggplants make a perfect starter - all you have to do is roast them, maybe adding a bit of spicy green paste.

Recipe: Roasted Baby Eggplants

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5 baby eggplants
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
Method
  • Score the bottoms of each eggplant with an “X”, about 2/3 through.
  • Stuff eggplants with green paste and place them on an oiled baking sheet.
  • Roast at 180C until the eggplants have softened (about 25 minutes).

Recipe: Green paste

Ingredients
  • one garlic clove
  • one tsp. of grated ginger
  • 1/2 green chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp. of chpped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. of soy sauce
Method
  • Blend all the paste ingredients together.
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