Monday, December 5, 2011

Roasted Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato is nutritious with Vitamin A, C, B6 and minerals such as manganese and potassium.

Basically, these are the spices I have in my pantry. I wanted it spicy, added a lil' red chili powder (Note: Paprika or Cayenne Pepper should work too). Too bad I have no ground cinnamon at home if not it would have been perfect!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Black Pepper Buttered King Trumpet/Oyster Mushrooms

This recipe is super duper easy using the "pan-grill" method. You need butter, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. That's it.

Butter and Black Pepper King Trumpet/Oyster Mushrooms
Ingredients: 1 pack of king trumpet mushroom, remove the bottom white portion (about 1/4 length from the bottom of the mushrooms but retain the "stems"), thinly slice the mushrooms caps and stems as whole; 1 tbsp unsalted butter; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Add butter in a heated flat wide-area pan and when butter melts, lay the mushrooms across the pan, do not overcrowd (Note: cook in batches). Lightly salt each batch and add freshly ground black pepper. When mushrooms turn tender, dish out and set aside.

Note1: This method (pan-grill, almost like grilling a steak) works really well for meaty mushrooms like the King Trumpet/Oyster.

Cooking Tip: for a 2nd dish!... ....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

I have been re-visiting some of my older recipes and giving them a fresh new spin. So today, I am making Oven-Roasted Cauliflower, which goes as the topping for my Indian Naan-bread pizza base. Decided to do away with pita bread as the pizza base this time and try another kind of bread-base.

Roasted Cauliflower Indian-Style Naan Pizza! It works!

Oh boy, am I stagnating right now? I seem to be toying with my comfort-zone ingredients. I need new ingredients! More! More! To excite me, to inspire me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Okra and Eggplant Stew

Bittermelon with tomatoes is delicious, eggplants with tomatoes should not go wrong too.

To create more substance and add more vegetables in this dish, I use another old recipe of mine - okra with tomatoes and include some eggplant mash into an already stew-like dish. Okra is very good in stews since the "slimy" factor perfects the stew consistency. Remember the last time you had Gumbo? Traditionally, one of the key ingredients is okra.

Can't even see the is that obvious.

Okra and Eggplant Mash Stew , first posted in An Escape to Food
(partially inspired by Real Simple - Eggplant Caviar, then adapted from the same recipe)

Ingredients: Similar to Recipe: Okra with Tomatoes; one eggplant

Directions: Roast the eggplant in the oven and scrap the flesh when eggplant is cooked (Refer to pictures below). Similar to Recipe: Okra with Tomatoes. When okra is almost cooked, add in the flesh of the eggplant

Monday, October 17, 2011

Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Fall is also brussel sprouts season and I am going to eat them wholeheartedly.

They are usually expensive (due to being typically imported from nearby countries such as Australia) in Singapore. But now, I have the luxury to buy them reasonably, seasonably and relatively cheap in the US. Brussel sprouts are high in Vitamin K, C, A; folate, maganese, potassium, should look at the long nutrients list.

Contrary to the popular and common method of pan-frying with bacon or butter, I did the "Chinese" thing and steam them. Cooking Tip: To get them uniformly cooked yet not overcooked remains the same regardless of cuisine if you want to cook them whole. Cut a cross at the base/bottom of each brussel sprout so that "heat" can get in there easily.

Steamed Brussel Sprouts
Ingredients and Directions: 10-12 brussel sprouts, rinsed then cut a cross at the base of the vegetable, set aside on a plate. Sprinkle some salt, ground white pepper and freshly ground black pepper on the vegetables. Set the steamer for steaming. When the water in the steamer is boiling, add the whole plate of brussel sprouts into the steamer and steam for about 8 minutes. More freshly ground pepper on the cooked vegetables, if you prefer, before serving.



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Monday, October 10, 2011

Sesame Oil White Pepper Steamed Potatoes

"Amazing colors!" first thoughts on getting the samples from Tasteful Selections some time ago.

Growing up in Asia, potato is really not my kind of staple or ingredient (Rice is!). But I was excited to try these potatoes especially when they are petite, cute, fast to prep and easy to cook. 

Have you tried Steamed Potatoes? Yes, you heard me right. S-T-E-A-M-E-D Potatoes!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkins and squash are coloring the scene yellow, orange, and gold. Butternut squash soup is one of the best dishes to represent Fall season.

And if you do not have a food processor or blender to puree the butternut squash, do not worry. This is a trick you can use. Steam the butternut squash (skin already removed and flesh cut into cubes) for 10 to 15 minutes till soften. Then place the softened butternut squash into a deep bowl and mash the squash with a fork, till a slightly chunky puree forms.

Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients: Butter; 1/2 butternut squash, pureed; 1-2 cups whole milk; pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper; pinch of ground cumin

Directions: In a heated pan/pot, add butter. When butter melts slightly, add butternut squash puree and add milk (bit by bit, "eyeballing"), then stir till soup texture forms (Note: It depends on the texture you prefer. If you want more chunky and thick soup, add less milk). Add pinch of ground cumin, then pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix well. Garnish with baked butternut squash fries.


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Parchment Steamed Broccoli and Bell Peppers

Stir-fry vegetables is enjoyable but there is always a pan/wok to wash - no matter how "clean" the cooking can be.

And not all vegetables can be possibly blanched? Well, broccoli or cauliflower...yes, ok, blanching. But what about zucchini and red bell peppers?

Parchment-steamed veggies to the rescue! Parchment so that moisture can be retained as much as possible; and parchment so that there are less dishes wash.

Parchment Steamed Broccoli and Bell Peppers
Julienned organic red bell peppers, thinly sliced organic zucchini, broccoli florets and thinly sliced broccoli stems, whole garlic crushed, dash of pepper, pinch of oregano, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap in parchment and steam for about 8-10minutes. Before serving, pinch of sea salt, toss to combine well.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Farm-Fresh Aglio e Olio

10 minutes, or no more than 15 minutes - that's all you need, and...P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G.

Do the veg. prep. on a Sunday evening night, wrap them up properly, store in the fridge; come Monday, 10 minutes and you get this.

10 minutes to steam (and cook) the envelope of vegetables and simultaneously cook the pasta in another pot.

Parchment steamed vegetables - Way to go! No doubt, this has been my regular go-to cooking method for vegetables since early this year. Why haven't I done (or discover this) earlier? Beats me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Steamed Fava Beans and Mushrooms 蒸扁豆

Rejuvenated freshness in the pocket!

There are certainly many simple ways to cook fresh fava beans and I have found my own simple way of enjoying them.

This has been my favorite method to cook recently. Parchment-steaming! Yay! Fuss-free, simple, delicious creations always till I find something that do NOT work on parchment-steaming, and sure I will let you know.

Other parchment cooking recipes:
Steamed Arugula
Steamed Fava Beans
Steamed Veggies

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Asian Salad Bok Choy and Tomatoes in Ginger Dressing 白菜拌蕃茄

Have you seen these vegetable names such as Bok Choy, Baby Bok Choy, Bok Choy Sum, Zen Choy, Tagu Choy, etc., This brings me to the different varieties of Bok Choy seen in my nearby Asian supermarket in California. Today, these three different varieties placed side by side for the benefit of you. Look (stare) - what differences or similarities do you see? Well, one has a greener leaf than the other; the other has a shorter stem than the next other - physically.

Personally, I prefer the Baby Bok Choy Sum (Bok Choy Sum seen here), how about you ? I find them "sweeter" than Bok Choy and the green leaves are more "attractive" to me. Nutrition wise, I believe they should be quite similar to one another.

With the abundance of heirloom tomatoes right now, make an Asian-style salad of Bok Choy Sum and Tomatoes in Scallion/Ginger Dressing. Easy.

Ingredients you need and what to do with them:
1. Baby Bok Choy Sum - quick-blanched in water, then drained away excess water; when most water is drained, chopped the bok choy sum into smaller than bite-sizes
2.Tomatoes - cut into smaller cubes
3. Dressing: Spring onion and minced ginger in extra virgin olive oil . Basically, this is just mincing, and blending.
4. Mix items 1. to 3. and happy tossing!

TADA....this easy refreshing salad for you, if you wish to have a change from using romaine or green-leaves lettuce in your salad.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Portobello Mushrooms Open Omelette

Going vegetarian, mushrooms is definitely one good ingredient to include in your diet.

This can be a good protein all vegetarian side dish with noodles, rice or even sandwich.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Garlic Spinach Stir Fry 蒜炒菠菜

A little squeeze of Vitamin-C lemon into a dish of spinach, help us absorb the iron in spinach better. That is because spinach also contains oxalate/oxalic acid that bind with iron and inhibit iron absorption in our body. So by sneaking iron absorption enhancers such as lemon and orange into spinach at the same time, we extract iron from spinach more effectively.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meatless Monday

It's Monday and today is the very day I take the pledge to go Meatless on Monday.

Since this site is dedicated to vegetarian cooking (meatless all days, anyway) why Monday?

Because most Americans begin the week on Monday, and what is better than a fresh new start to the week. We should all beat the Monday blues by eating good - meatless, that is.

Because from today, this site will be updated every Monday (at my best) with a "meatless" post regarding cooking ideas, recipes and information sharing.

Come join me in this movement.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kale-Berry-Melon Popsicles

Replace "no. of servings" of vegetables and fruits with "popsicles" of vegetables and fruits. How many "popsicles" of vegetables and fruits did you have today?

For me, personally, these kale ice pops (popsicles) are better than kale chips. I usually make smoothie out of kale and other fruits but decided to make some yogurt-based kale ice popsicles one day.

Cook's Note: Learn to read your yogurt label. Make sure the major components in your yogurt are Milk and Live Cultures. I do not like aspartame (and/or other sweeteners) in my yogurt. Honey is ok but other sweeteners, preferably not. Also, I do not like low-fat dairies (low-fat milk taste like water! don't you think so?). I enjoy my whole milk and plain whole milk yogurt. :) oops!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Steamed Eggplant Miso Dressing 味增茄子

I usually make a light easy dressing of soy sauce, white pepper and sesame oil for these steamed babies. Add some fried shallots - that will be almost heaven!

Today's version is done with red miso (in replacement of soy sauce). Miso (fermented soy) gives an added complexity to the otherwise "flatter" savory soy sauce.

Note: A simple technique to making a non-grainy bowl of miso soup is to slowly strain the miso over warm water. Hot boiling water might "kill" the good bacteria in miso. Adding miso-paste directly to boiling water will also be disastrously "grainy", sometimes "lumpy".

Friday, June 17, 2011

Potato Stir-Fry 清炒土豆丝

Other than roast or bake, tossed in salad, added to soup or mashed - potatoes can be stir-fried too! 

For this dish, low-temperature cooking was used so that the steam from the heat partially cook the vegetable mixture in the covered pan. Thee vegetables turned out tender-crisp. Not soggy. The flavors are fresh and refreshing esp. with that added touch of not-so-ripe mango.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Soy Milk Savory Steamed Tofu 咸豆浆蒸豆腐

It is never difficult to whip up vegetarian dishes that taste good. Shed the image that vegetarian food is bland boring and half the battle is won.

It has gotta do with practice. The more vegetarian cooking I do, the more comfortable I am when it comes to creating flavorful fresh dishes.

Steamed Savory Tofu in Soy Milk

Ingredients: Soft silken tofu, unsweetened soy milk, bunashimeiji mushrooms, tomatoes, toasted nori seaweed, sesame oil, coriander leaves, pinch of salt and ground white pepper to taste

Directions: Scoop tofu from package and lay them in the bowl. Add soy milk till tofu is partially submerged. Lay the mushrooms, tomatoes and seaweed on top. With the steamer ready, place the tofu mixture to steam for 5-8 minutes. Drizzle sesame oil, garnish with coriander leaves, salt and pepper to taste

Related post: Savory Tofu Pudding

Welcome to The Vegetarian Table

The Vegetarian Table is dedicated to those who enjoy and embrace fresh produce and vegetables. I am not a strict vegetarian with part of my diet dedicated to seafood. However, with my gradual love for vegetables, The Vegetarian Table will be a comfort zone for delicious vegetarian cooking and hopes to embrace and share the veggie-love around.

You will find easy vegetarian* (*vegetarian including dairy such as milk, eggs; also garlic, onions etc.) cooking and ideas here, with efforts to cover various cuisines - mainly Chinese, sometimes Indian and Western. Or simply call it, home-cooked vegetarian dishes.


Hui Leng Tay
Author, An Escape to Food
Author, The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook