Monthly Archives: July 2013

Far out Brussels sprout

Guys! I did it again! I made toasted muesli and this time it’s pink (replacing the banana with strawberry is definitely recommended if you’re feeling like a bit of a money-bags).

But that’s not even the most exciting news of my week. The reason I’m feeling like a bit of a money bags is because I’ve taken budget eating to a whole new level. The cost of each meal I make is down to about $3, and I’m no economist but I think that’s pretty good. The best part about it is that there has been no noticeable negative impact on the quality of the meals. I’m sure there’s an economics term for that.

It doesn’t get much cheaper than the good old Brussels sprout (I always thought it was ‘Brussel sprouts’! I like ‘Brussels sprout’ much more). I know for some reason there’s a rule that everyone must dislike Brussels sprout. I think it might be because the most common way of cooking them (boiling) doesn’t do them much justice. Try the below method, I challenge even the most die-hard sprout hater to hate on these.

Roasted Brussels sprout (recipe from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Brussels-Sprouts-240260)

1 kg Brussels sprouts (2 handfuls)
3 Tbsp cooking oil (I used Canola, don’t be stingy or they’ll dry out)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small fresh red Thai chili, finely chopped

Trim the sprouts and cut in half, toss in the oil and roast at 230 degrees celcius for 45 minutes, until dark brown. Add butter before serving
Make dressing by mixing all ingredients from the fish sauce down together until sugar dissolves
Serve the sprouts with the dressing

You’ll have heaps of dressing left over, you could do what I did and use this as an excuse to make the sprouts again, or it would go well on a noodle salad
The original recipe calls for some fancy puffed rice addition, I didn’t add this but I did sprinkle shichimi togarashi on the sprouts before roasting and it was a great addition!
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Second time around: Basil pesto

After Basil pesto take 1, I can see why anyone would be skeptical that Basil pesto take 2 would ever occur. I myself wasn’t expecting it to happen any time soon. But when you have a soup recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of basil and the supermarket will only sell you a gigantic bundle of basil, you gotta do what you gotta do.
 
One rainy Sunday afternoon, when I could no longer bear the thought of the herbs slowly biodegrading in my vegetable drawer, I decided it was time to get back on the horse. And you know what? I did it! Without cutting off a finger, or even breaking skin at all!

 
Basil pesto: Take 2
2 cups basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup grated hard cheese (I used Parmesan)
3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
pinch of salt
pinch dried lavender (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp raw pinenuts

Process basil, coriander, cheese, garlic, salt, olive oil and lavender in a food processor till they become a paste
Add pinenuts and process until mixed in, add more olive oil if it looks too dry
 
The addition of coriander and lavender was an invention of necessity as I had dodgy-looking coriander to use and the only salt I could find was lavender infused. These are optional, but delicious.

This took me 5 minutes. It is great. It saved me spending $5 on crappy supermarket pesto. But most importantly, this was a dish made without any blood, sweat or tears.

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