Stirfry Spring Rolls

Fresh Vegetable Stir Fry Spring Rolls

**Most of the time, I like to cook quick meals that I know are healthy and require little preparation. One staple go-to meal for me when I’m feeling peckish but not famished is a simple fresh spring roll with stir-fried vegetables. By fresh, I mean not deep-fried. Since I bought my first packet of rice paper in Chicago, I’ve never looked back. It is now one of the main ingredients I will buy in bulk to bring back to India whenever I’m travelling.**

Stirfry Spring RollIngredients:

1 tsp Oil
1 Onion
1 Carrot
1/2 Bell Pepper
1/4 Cabbage
1-2 Tbsp your choice of Sauce
[Option: tasty with a handful of bean sprouts and/or rice noodles]

Recommended Sauces:
Soy Sauce
Barbecue Sauce
Peri Peri Sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and add onions. After 2 minutes, add carrots and green peppers. In the end, mix in cabbage and noodles/sprouts (optional) then put in a few drops of your favorite sauce to the mixture. Make sure it tastes a tiny bit stronger than you’d like, because it will get wrapped in rice paper.
  2. Take a rice paper round and dip in water for 10-20 seconds. place wet rice paper sheet on a mat or cutting board, load stir-fried mixture, and wrap into a parcel to make spring roll. Repeat until your rice sheets and stir-fried vegetables are over.

Note: Through trial and error, I’ve learnt that this form of spring roll tastes better when the sauce flavoring is put inside the roll, as opposed to a dipping sauce accompaniment. Also, even if the filling for the spring roll is runny, the rice paper tends to hold liquid well. Alternatively, adding just a few strands of rice noodles will have the effect of soaking up any extra liquid. Just have fun and experiment!

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Yields: 4-6 rolls 

Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake

**I adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com according to what local Indian ingredients are available and take into account my family’s food preferences. This delicious recipe is super simple to make and very moist to eat. It doesn’t require frosting and can be gobbled up in a matter of minute!**

This is a Vegan, Vegetarian, Egg-Less Recipe!

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake

carrot cake ingredients

5 carrots finely grated
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
3/4 Tbsp cinnamon powder
3/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius). Prepare a greased baking pan (I used 3 small bread loaf pans).

How To Make Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake

dry and wet mixtures

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, soak flax seed meal in the hot water until it absorbs the water, then add sugar and vanilla essence.

Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake Batter

ready to bake!

When sugar has melted, add grated carrots and almonds. Now add dry mixture to this wet carrot mixture and pour into baking pan.

Baking Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake

bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the cake is cooked properly in the center.

Sliced Vegan Carrot Cinnamon Cake

sliced and ready to gobble up!

Let it cool before slicing, and it’s ready to eat!

Note: I halved the original recipe, which also suggests eating this with frosting but I found it sweet enough on its own. It was gobbled up in a matter of minutes!

Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Serving Size: 10-12 people

Recipe: Spanish Gazpacho

November 1, 2015

Spanish Gazpacho

**A smooth classic cold soup recipe made with local Indian ingredients… perfect for those hot Indian summers!**

This is a Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw, and No Chew Recipe!

Ingredients:

fresh produce sourced in India!

13 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 small green pepper
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 green chilli
2 tbsp fresh coriander
2 1/2 cups water
4-5 tbsp vinegar
1 cup olive oil
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Blanch tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and peel the tomato skin and chop roughly.
  2. Into a big blender, add tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion, garlic, and green chilli, Blend. Add water, vinegar, salt and black pepper and blend again.
  3. While blender is on, pour in olive oil slowly. Keep blending for another 2-3 minutes. Color and consistency of soup should change.
  4. Add finely chopped fresh coriander in and pulse to incorporate thoroughly.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 5-7 hours before serving cold.

Note: Make sure you use the reddest ripest tomatoes (mine weren’t) in combo with olive oil for best color and taste. This recipe tastes great on the next day. 

Serving Size: 5-7 people

Gazpacho I had last night!

Non-Eatable Foods

June 7, 2012

I found this post really interesting while still being informative. It’s a take on everyday life that not many people care to discuss (or divulge) but is perfectly natural to do.

Moment Matters

We are adults now, so we can eat balloons whenever we want.

I swallowed a coin. It is not accidental but I really put it into my mouth and sipped every irony taste of it. It is delicious; sometimes it could be a substitute to candies if you ran out of it.

The coin traveled down to my insides but got tucked within my esophagus, and that wasn’t a good feeling. I fought against my involuntary muscles to free it, but to no avail. Quickly, my brother handed me a banana, ate a slab of it but before taking it in, my brother slammed my back and I vomited it all, including the coin. Aaah, I’m amazed it worked!

My friend used to eat dog food, but he thought it was biscuits for humans. Nonetheless, he wouldn’t know the difference and it tastes alright. Another friend of mine loved…

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“During the last few months of the camp’s existence the shortage of food was so acute that the prisoners (the camp staff were still well fed) resorted to cannibalism, and one former British internee gave evidence at the trial of the Commandant and some of his staff that when engaged in clearing away dead bodies as many as one in ten had a piece cut from the thigh or other part of the body which had been taken and eaten, and that he had seen people in the act of doing it. To such lengths had they been brought by the pangs of hunger.

  This witness said:

I noticed on many occasions a very strange wound at the back of the thigh of many of the dead. First of all I dismissed it as a gunshot wound at close quarters, but after seeing a few more I asked a friend and he told me that many of the prisoners were cutting chunks out of the bodies to eat. On my very next visit to the mortuary I actually saw a prisoner whip out a knife, cut a portion out of the leg of a dead body and put it quickly into his mouth, naturally frightened of being seen in the act of doing so. I leave it to your imagination to realize to what state the prisoners were reduced, for men to risk eating bits of flesh cut from black corpses.”

— Lord Russell of Liverpool 2008, p. 178

The “camp” that Lord Russell of Liverpool, also known as Edward Frederick Langley Russell, was referring to in this quote was Bergen-Belsen. I originally came across this account by Lord Russell in Garry Hogg‘s 1958 book Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice (p. 188-189) while doing research for an essay on survival cannibalism in the 20th century. Because The Scourge of the Swastika was originally published in 1954 by London: Cassell, with this 2008 version just harboring a new introduction by Alistair Horne, I was able to track this second-hand reference to its source.

Two of my quotes posted on this blog have made mentioned of cannibalism. To read them please click here and here. I have already evaluated that the practice of humans eating flesh from other humans is neither a strange nor rare practice around the world.  This practice is thought to be most justified as a method of survival. Thus, the act of cannibalism taking place in the mortuary of Bergen-Belsen due to acute starvation and hunger is understandable. For prisoners to have to resort to such ‘inhuman’ measures, however, can often lead to much embarrassment and a devaluing of self-worth. Still, it would be erroneous to assume that the prisoner mentioned in the witness testimony speedily ate the chunk of human flesh because he was “naturally frightened of being seen in the act.” If this act referred to the prisoner being caught by Nazi officers for not following orders, that would be true. However, to assume that anyone would be appalled or would retaliate to see a prisoner commit “the act” of cannibalism is unlikely and unknown. At least that is what I believe.

Surprisingly, this is the only (direct) evidence I could find of cannibalism taking place during the Holocaust. You can read this section here on Google Books. While many sources express that cannibalism was rife during this episode in history, I have been unable to find details in the literature. This may be because of the embarrassment felt by camp survivors who partook in this activity post-WWII. As their dire circumstances have been replaced by comfort and reintegration into societal life, this may in fact be a memory many have repressed or hidden from historians, archivists, and loved ones.

Reference: Lord Russell of Liverpool 2008. The Scourge of the Swastika: A History of Nazi War Crimes during World War II. New York: Skyhorse Publishing

Stack of Dirty Dishes

Question: Is it really deemed inappropriate behaviour to sit in a restaurant to eat, and stack up the dishes to make it more convenient for the waiter or waitress to remove when finished? I know it’s not ‘proper’ in formal company (i.e. high society) or according to etiquette, but what about a normal light, fast food jointish place? Comparisons of the top of my head would include somewhere like Olive Garden in the United States or any pub that serves hot food in the United Kingdom.

Reason: I was told off by my family to not stack the dishes when we were eating a light meal of pasta and salad in the airport when in Malaysia a while ago. Not once, twice, but thrice reproached! And I was shocked and surprised, since my (student) life experiences tell me that these waiters and waitress would probably not mind my help but rather breathe a sigh of relief if they saw 20% of their work was done for them. It’s not like they are earning in the thousands! For more on this topic, read this interesting post on what waiters hate customers (un)knowingly do and its comments.

Concluding Remark: So why exactly was it wrong of me to stack the 3-4 plates we had and pick up the forks and knives on each dish to put on top? I’m still not convinced…that too in an airport which is as international a workplace as I can imagine…I’m sure other travellers or the staff would understand, whether it were an approved gesture or not.

So I’m currently on a detox diet of fruits and soup for a few days and needless to say, this delicious post heightened my cravings for chocolate to feverish heights! Don’t forget to try out the chocolately Mug Cake recipe and share a bite with me…it’s only polite!

While We're Paused!

Every writer has dealt with that massive, invisible beast that plants itself squarely on our desks, preferably in front of our computer screens, and leers at us in a mocking sort of way, just daring us to get anything accomplished.  Sometimes this beast teams up with Facebook or another soul-sucking website and we lose hours without knowing where they’ve gone.

And our story sits tragically abandoned.

There are lots of ways to get around writer’s block.  We all have our tried and true methods, so I  thought I’d contribute a couple of mine.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes (quite frequently, actually) I just need to get away from my work.  And I don’t mean Facebook away or even read-a-good-book away.  Those have their places (especially the latter).  But little treats that allow me the sense of escape can make all the difference when it’s…

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