The supermarket was offering fresh cucumbers by the case load for an amazing price that I’d be silly to pass up.
The first dishes that came to mind were an Indian raita and a cold cucumber soup.
First up is the soup.
You could drink this as a savoury smoothie (after my first taste I instantly thought of gin. I reckon this soup would work as an amazing mixer for Hendricks) in a glass, topped up with ice, or enjoyed simply in a bowl as a soup.
What better way to celebrate summer than with a cold soup and salad.
Here’s what I came up with:
4 large cucumbers (peeled and de-seeded) or 5 Japanese cucumbers (peeled)
1 small/half clove of garlic (minced) (optional)
1 1/2 cups Low fat plain/Greek yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon of Konbu dashi (or vegetable bullion powder)
2 green onions (chopped)
1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
The Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Simply add all ingredients to a blender
Blend until smooth
Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve
serve in a glass filled with Ice or in a bowl as desired.
Benri is back! At last a dish I feel is more than worthy of a post.
As I mentioned in a previous reply to a comment, Andy gave me a cookbook (one by the Weightwatchers team) as part of a birthday gift. I don’t think it was because he thinks I need to lose weight (I hope not) or I need more practice (which I do) or thinks my style of cooking doesn’t meet his expectations (his mmms & ahhhs confirms he’s satisfied). We have always enjoyed the recipes from the weightwatchers books as they are usually full of variety, so perhaps he is worrying I run out of ideas and stop cooking for him, so this gesture may be a gentle nudge to keep on doing what I’m doing.
I have been dying to get back into the kitchen for weeks. I was beginning to feel like I was going to burst if I didn’t get a post out there soon. Is that sad? Do I yearn for the life of blogging more than I do the outside world? I’m pretty new to this world of blogging, which I have found can be quite addictive. I’m quite happy to make it become a part of my life. However, not my life. What I love about blogging is the thought of other people loving and talking about the same interests I have. I just want to share what I love. One thing I do need to do is post more often. I’m thinking perhaps twice a week will be more doable.
Being so far away from close friends really does influence more activity on the net. If I can’t feed them, I feel the next best thing is to share what I feed myself in this blog and talk about it.
I love this hobby and it’s here to stay.
Anyway, before I run off the point, which is my last nights dinner; a creamy Thai mushroom soup served with basil and olive yeast free buns and a tomato side salad.
This one wasn’t taken from the book. It was only inspired by a recipe title in the book. I suppose you can say the ingredients share a similarity, but the taste is on a different level. A lot more to my liking. I also just wanted to use up what I had in the fridge. I’m terrible at following recipes actually. I always seem to be missing then substituting ingredients.
Due to the coconut milk this version isn’t as low in calories as the weight watchers recipe, but it still oozed fresh delicious nutritiousness (is that even a word? Well it works for me).
This one is a keeper. I hope you like it. If you’d like to check out the original recipe which caught my attention, I’ll post it in a comment below this recipe.
Creamy Thai Mushroom Soup
1/2 a tin of coconut milk topped up with water making one pint
1 cup soy beans (or any white bean)
200g mushrooms (a mixture of your choice)
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
The juice of one lemon/lime/1tbsp rice vinegar/1tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 plump cloves of garlic
1 red onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 sachet of konbu dashi/ 1 1/2 tsp
In a medium sized sauce pan, saute the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is translucent
add a little water to avoid sticking
add the beans
add the chopped mushrooms stir the contents together.
mix the Thai paste, coconut milk, water & Konbu together
pour into the sauce pan
bring to the boil then turn to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
In the mean time prepare your side salad
I used 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 cup of chopped spinach and salad leaves, 3 chopped umeboshi (pickled plums) and 2 green onions, chopped.
The bread recipe is below
When the soup is ready stir through the lemon juice
blend the soup in batches then return to the sauce pan and heat through before serving in warm bowls.
Yeast Free Bread Buns
Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 cups of all purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 chopped green olives
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1tbsp olive oil
1/2 -3/4 cup water
sieve the flour, baking powder,soda,salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
add the basil
make a well in the center of the flour and mix in the water little by little until it forms a dough and the texture is a little gluey.
transfer the dough onto a floured surface then separate into 4 equal parts and form into small bun shapes.
grease the rice cooker pan with some of the olive oil
insert the buns
brush the buns with the rest of the olive oil
close the rice cooker lid and set on cake for 45mins.
When they are done, crisp them up a little under the grill before serving. (best served hot)
This soup is an adaption from Jamie Oliver’s 20 min recipes iPod application. Quite a funky little application actually, with vids and pics and tips. Some nice recipes and this is the first one I tried out.
The problem with western cooking when living in Japan is the severe lack of ingredients, so for this wee dish I had to make a few adjustments.
Here are the results.
250 g frozen peas
1 large sweet potato
1 small onion
0.5L vegetable stock (Miso paste and 2 sachets of Konbu Dashi)
1 stick celery
150 g pureed silken tofu
6 tsp cottage cheese (or feta cheese preferably)
drizzle olive oil
1. Set and start your rice cooker to quick cook.
2. Add a splash of olive oil and leave to heat up.
3. Meanwhile peel and chop the onion. Trim and chop the celery stick.
4. Add to the rice cooker with a splash of water and allow to cook until the onion and celery become soft.
When a little soft add the stock and grated potato. Bring to a simmer.
5. Add the peas, stir ingredients together close the rice cooker lid and set to porridge setting and leave to cook until the timer sounds.
6. When cooked stir in the pureed tofu.
7. Serve in warm bowls and garnish with the cheese and sprinkle with cracked pepper and salt.