Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Avocado Kiwi Cranberry Salsa 酪梨奇異果蔓越莓salsa

嗯~ 這道菜非常清爽 酸酸甜甜的奇異果和一點點檸檬汁 搭配濃郁的酪梨 最後加上一點蔓越莓乾 :D
Avocado Kiwi Cranberry Salsa

1ripe kiwifruit, peeled, carefully chopped
1/4 cup craisins

1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped
thinly sliced green onion
chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño (adjust to taste)
chili peppers (no seeds)
chopped fresh cilantro
lime juice and grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the kiwifruit, craisins, avocado, green onion and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Starting with a small amount chopped jalapeño, gently fold in and add more to your desired level of heat. Add cilantro and lime juice with grated orange zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Taiwanese Cold Noodles with Sesame Paste 台式涼麵


記得今年回台北時特地跑到216巷買了好幾次東區特製涼麵 雖然小小的店面沒有醒目的招牌 也只佔據了路邊不起眼的一角 但是它的涼麵卻是我每次回台灣無論如何一定要嘗到的美食之一
選擇單純的涼麵 有麻醬 肉醬 榨菜肉絲(三鮮) 三種 其中我最喜歡的還是傳統麻醬涼麵 配上味增貢丸湯 然後吃完了再跨越馬路買個東區粉圓

而今天不知道為什麼 突然好懷念台式涼麵 沒有油麵 那就用日式烏龍麵代替吧

一盤涼麵上有雞絲 紅蘿蔔絲 小黃瓜絲 以及豆芽 (我沒有煎蛋皮) 淋上細膩濃郁的自製芝麻醬吃起來很順口 很清爽 配上熱騰騰的花椰菜味增湯 有家的味道
雖然外頭天氣很冷 但是吃著涼麵的時候真的覺得好幸福 好溫暖

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kimchi Jigae (Stew) and Banchan (Side dishes)

今天UBC下了今年冬天第一場雪 雪和雨濕濕冷冷的 回家後特別想煮些熱騰騰的湯 或類似火鍋的晚餐: 辛辣韓式豆腐雞肉泡菜鍋 當然要配上一碟碟小菜: 燉馬鈴薯佐蒟蒻 蓮藕 以及豆芽芝麻沙拉

I went out for dinner with the girls at Jang Mo Jib (a Korean restaurant on Robson) last night; however, the overall meal was not as good as I remembered. Slightly disappointed, I decided that I would make some simple Korean dishes for dinner the next night. I am of the opinion that some dishes simply make themselves, thus I turn to kimchi stew, which is arguably one of the "national dishes" of Korea, and some of my favourite Korean side dishes.
I served it with "banchan," or the popular Korean side dishes, including braised baby potatoes and konnyaku, bean sprout salad with sesame oil, and simmered lotus roots.

Kimchi jjigae (Kimchi stew with mushrooms and tofu)
1/2 cup kimchi, chicken, both cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 white onion, chopped
3 mushrooms (enoki or any other kind)
2 green onions, slice in a bias
1/2 pack tofu, 2 go choo (hot green chili), chopped
1 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1 tbsp gochugaroo (Korean chili powder)
1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp soy sauce
2 cups water (or soup stock), salt, pepper

Put a pot on the stove, turn the heat on. Add garlic and oinion, saute until golden brown. Add chicken, saute for a minute or so. Add gochujang and cook until meat becomes white. Pour the water, add kimchi. Add soy sauce, chili powder, andBring to a boil, then add mushrooms and tofu. Reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add chilies, green oinons, and pepper. Cook for another minute.

Avocado Bread 椰絲酪梨蛋糕麵包

上星期買菜的時候順便拿了一顆酪梨 等了一段時間後它已經不知不覺地變成光滑的深綠色 不過這次想做些不同於往常的酪梨料理 絞盡腦汁終於決定嘗試蛋糕麵包
酪梨在台灣彷彿比較不普遍 其實它嚐起來不像水果 本身沒有甜味 質地柔細的果肉卻帶著濃郁的雞蛋香和淡淡的核果味 有些人認為酪梨含很多脂肪 所以不愛或不敢吃酪梨 沒錯! 酪梨的確富含脂肪 但全是有益的單元不飽和脂肪沒有膽固醇的顧慮!除此之外 它還富含各類維生素 礦物質 及植物化學物質 而且相當有飽足感

我做的點心 每一道都是又簡單又方便 而且過程相當隨興的 喜歡吃Nuts(堅果)就多加點 不愛甜就少放糖 只要開心就好

烘焙的時候盡量避免使用奶油 沙拉油製品 以及砂糖等等 也盡量使用whole wheat 全麥麵粉
前幾天朋友問我 "那麼要用什麼代替油 糖跟蛋呢?" 之前蒐集到的一些資料以及自己做糕點的嘗試 有幾個小秘方:

  • 在蛋糕 瑪芬 餅乾或甜點類中可加入無糖蘋果醬(unsweetened apple sauce) 或著 我都自己打蘋果泥帶替油 不過做出的成品會比較柔軟濕潤

  • 打碎的嫩豆腐 最適用於口味較重的甜點 或鹹的點心 麵包類

  • prune puree and flax seeds


  • 2個蛋白

  • 半根熟透的香蕉(也可以替代糖 一舉兩得)

  • 1/4 cup 豆腐 打碎後與其他材料混合拌勻

  • 1/4 cup apple sauce, canned pumpkin or squash, puree prunes

  • 2tbsp 玉米粉加2tbsp水

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tamagoyaki/Dashi Maki Tamago (Japanese Egg Roll) 厚蛋燒

  • Dashi maki tamago 日式柴魚厚蛋燒
  • Shoyu Ramen 綜合蔬菜豆腐拉麵
Tamagoyaki is without a doubt one of the most popular and classic Japanese dishes; it can be found in essentially every Japanese restaurant and sushi joint. I have always wondered how it is made, so when I saw this tutorial from Lunch in a Box I instantly knew I had to try it.

There is a slight difference between tamagoyaki and dashi maki tamago; personally I prefer the dashi maki tamago because of the flavour dashi soup stock brings to the dish. Dashi soup stock is also used in tamagoyaki, but in smaller portions. As a result dashi maki tamago is more "liquid-y" thus more delicate, which means it can be a bit more tricky to prepare than tamagoyaki. Now although tamagoyaki pan is called for in the recipe, it is not necessary. Before I got my tamagoyaki pan I used a small ordinary pan, which also worked fairly well (maybe just a bit more difficult to cook).

Note: I cut down the ingredients by half (sine I'm cooking for one), decreased the amount of sugar, and did not cook the first layer of eggs as "scrambled eggs"; I rolled them up because I think the end result is slightly prettier. There is a really good video tutorial that gives a step-by-step method.

Dashi maki tamago is really flexible: you can add different stuffing like spinach, tomato, zucchini, enoki mushrooms, and so on, to make your own variations. It can be served as a side dish as I did with shoyu ramen, or packed into lunch boxes. And it is so simple and delicious!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Vegan Mini Crustless Tofu Quiche 迷你蔬菜豆腐派

I managed to get a few packs of tofu on sale at the Asian supermarket last week, and since I am cooking only for one, I get to try a variety of tofu recipes in small portions. I love tofu so much not only because it is healthy, but also because it is so versatile. Basically I can cook it with anything, and it will usually end up tasting alright. But I wasn't expecting this recipe from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen to turn out so well; the crustless tofu quiches are light yet packed with flavour, and resemble more of vegetable fritters than the ordinary quiches. And the small size makes them a great side dish and an extra something something for the lunchbox. I served them for dinner along with wasabe broccoli, multi-grain rice, and pan-seared tuna steaks. So here is my version of the quiches: (I basically omitted the cashew butter/tahini in the original recipe)

Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches
olive oil spray

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup bell pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (or one green onion) or spinach, thawed
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed)
1 12.3-ounce package light firm tofu, drained of water

black pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain non-fat soymilk
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch (may sub another thickener such as arrowroot or potato starch)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray 12 regular-sized muffin cups well with non-stick spray.
Lightly spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil and sauté the garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms over medium heat until the mushrooms just begin to exude their juices. Stir in the spinach, rosemary, and freshly ground black pepper, and remove from the heat.
Place the remaining ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth and silky. Add the tofu mixture to the vegetables and stir to combine. Spoon equally into the 12 muffin cups: it will fill regular muffin cups about halfway.
Put the muffin pan into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350 F. Bake until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the middle of a quiche comes out clean--about 20-25min. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes. 4 mini-quiches contain: 96 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (23% calories from fat); 11 g Protein; 8 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 459 mg Sodium; 2 g Fiber

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nikujaga and Korean Hot Cucumber Salad

Nothing is better than a bowl of steamy stew of some sort on a cold day. Seeing that I still have a few organic potatoes sitting on the counter top, I decided to make a dish my Japanese friend described as "the taste of mother": Nikujaga. Then it reminded me of numerous Chinese dishes, such as stewed beef noodles, wonton soup, and so on, that invoke sentiments of nostalgia.
I came across this video tutorial on YouTube, and adopted the recipe from Just Hungry with a few modifications.Usually the liquid part is reduced slowly to almost nothing, contrary to western style stews where the liquid or soupy part is abundant. You can increase the amount of beef in this dish if you want it to be more filling, or serve it as a one-pot meal. And since I tend to fall for the lighter flavours, I reduce the amount of soy sauce and sugar in the stewing liquid.
Nikujaga, Japanese stewed meat and potatoes
900 g / 2 lbs of potatoes. Use boiling potatoes for a firmer texture, and baking potatoes if you want it rather crumbly and mushy. (Either way it's good, though the former makes for a prettier dish.)

Note: I used boiling potatoes: bring a pot of water to a boil, put in the potatoes (chunks) and boil for about 10 minutes. You still want the potatoes to maintain their shapes as they will be stewed later, so it is ok if they are not cooked through)
200g / 6 oz thinly slice beef or pork. "Minute steak" is fine, or just cut up a thin cutlet.
1 medium onion
A small piece of fresh ginger
about 4-5 cups of dashi soup stock I used 3 1/2 cups

6 Tbs sugar I used 2 Tbs
3 Tbs sake, or sweet sherry
3 Tbs soy sauce I used 2 Tbs
1 Tbs mirin (or just add another Tbs. of sake and a bit more sugar)
1 tsp dark sesame oil

4 Mushrooms
1/2 package Konnyaku
1/2 carrot
Some chopped green onions for garnish

Peel and cut up the potatoes. Roughly chop up the meat. Slice the onion. Chop the ginger finely.
Sauté the onion and ginger in some oil. Add the meat and sauté till browned.
Add the potatoes and sauté briefly. Add enough dashi stock to cover. Add the sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Add the sesame oil. Bring to a boil, then put a pot lid that's smaller than the pot you're using directly on top of the potatoes, Simmer over medium-low heat, until the liquid is much reduced and the potatoes are tender, and infused with a sort of golden color, about 20-30 min.
Sprinkle with the green onions and toss around in the pan. Serve immediately.

The final product was amazing, a truly savory dish that would bring you to tears if you miss the home-cooked meals, or that particular dish mom always made when we were little. That was the feeling I got from this dish: a sweet, slowly-cooked stew that brought me back in time.

Korean Hot Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber (I cut them into bite-size pieces for the texture)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup red onions (sliced)

1 clove garlic (chopped)

1 teaspoon gochugaru (or other chili powder)

1 teaspoon gochuchang

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (toasted)

Mix the cucumbers and salt and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Mix the water and vinegar and let the onion sit in the mixture for 10-20 minutes. Rinse the cucumber and dry. Drain the onions.
Mix the remaining ingredients and toss with the cucumber and onions. Top with some more toasted sesame seeds. Serve cold (I like to refrigerate it for a bit)
The dressing has a really nice combination of spiciness, sweetness and sourness that is a perfect complement to the juicy and crunchy cucumbers. The thinly sliced onions, which are almost translucent in appearance, are great additions in terms of presentation and taste (the best part is that it is not overpowering.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Simple Japanese dinner: chicken teriyaki, plum-pickled yellow zucchini, mushroom gohan

I've been craving takikomi gohan (Japanese-style pilaf) for a while now, and have collected a couple of recipes. For me cooking rice other than plain rice is sometimes tricky because each recipe is so different, and depending on the pot/rice cooker and also the ingredients and seasoning it often requires a few "experiments" or trials before I master a type of rice. So I decided to make takikomi gohan with enoki mushrooms and dried scallops ( to replace fresh mushrooms). I cooked the rice in not only water, but also dashi stock with some sake, mirin, and soy sauce for colour, and I had to say that the finished product was very satisfying. The rice retained its moisture yet was not too mushy, and the addition of scallops gave the dish a nice aroma. Next time I am going to try kabocha gohan and maybe edamame gohan. (yum)

I served it with chicken teriyaki , wakame seaweed soup, as well as a side dish of plummed-flavoured yellow zucchini.
  • 日式照燒雞腿排佐萵苣

  • 梅子醬義大利黃瓜

  • 柴魚海帶湯
  • 干貝香菇炊飯

The following is a recipe for chicken teriyaki from Just Hungry. You can adapt this method to other meats, and fish such as salmon, cod, sea bream, swordfish, etc
4 small or 2 large chicken thighs, boned
4 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. mirin
1 Tbs. sugar
Cut the chicken into about 2" / 5cm pieces if necessary. (you can leave small thighs whole.) You can leave on the skin or take it off.
Heat up a frying pan with oil. Salt the chicken pieces very lightly and sear them on both sides in the oil.
As soon as the surface is golden brown, add the soy sauce and ginger, mirin and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook the chicken, turning several times, until the sauce is reduced and syrupy.

Monday, November 19, 2007


那天突然想吃些辛辣的食物 一想起冰箱裡還有紅通通的韓式辣醬(Gochujang) 就做了牛肉拌飯 辣的很滿足~

Persimmon Bread 柿子蛋糕

I came across permissons at the local Asian market T&T last weekend, and started wondering what I could do with the circular little fruits sitting on the counter. Thankfully Susan from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen posted her version of the Persimmon bread, so I decided to give that a try.

I made a few modifications since I did not pick up that many persimmons from the market, and used apple puree in the place of unsweetened apple sauce. The finished bread was amazingly moist and cake-like; walnuts and craisins not only added some texture, but they also gave it a mild and lightly sweet taste. The colours reminded me of pumpkin spice bread. This recipe is definitey worth a try!

大家都怎麼吃柿子呢? 印象中最深刻的非爺爺喜愛的日式柿子乾莫屬了. 前幾天恰巧遇上大統華柿子大拍賣 於是一時興起買了幾顆 昨天晚上生物報告寫完了之後 看到廚房籃子裡的柿子 決定試試柿子蛋糕! 用whole wheat全麥麵粉 無添加糖 油與奶油的蛋糕麵包 效果出乎意料的令人滿意 加了蘋果泥(代替油)做出來橘色的蛋糕鬆鬆軟軟的 蔓越莓乾以及胡桃增添了層次感和濃濃秋天的氣息

3/4 cups persimmon, mashed pulp (about 2-3 fresh persimmons)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tbsp canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/4cup agave nectar (or substitute 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. water)
1cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raisins (may use up to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional--may use up to 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350. Oil or spray a loaf pan or bundt pan.In a small bowl, mix the persimmon, lemon juice, oil or apple sauce, and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for raisins and walnuts.

Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until all flour is moistened (do not over-mix). Fold in the raisins and walnuts, if desired. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. (My bundt pan took closer to 40 minutes.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool completely before serving.

Note: Low-fat quickbreads like this really benefit from being allowed to cool completely, which is why they often taste better the next day. The crust, which is chewier than breads with oil, will gather moisture and softness over time.Makes about 6 servings.

Made with all optional ingredients, including canola oil and 1/4 cup walnuts, each serving contains: 180 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (19% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 184mg Sodium; 3g Fiber.
Without canola oil or walnuts: Per serving: 145 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 184mg Sodium; 3g Fiber.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Miso Shiru (1):Yellow Zucchini, Tofu and Mushroom

I already confessed the love for Japanese food; however, I rarely made any Japanese dishes due to the fact that it is quite convenient to grab take-out sushi, handmade ramen ( my favourite place is Kintaro on Denman), and even great side dishes at izakaya's in Vancouver. That has changed since my trip to Konbiniya, a Japanese grocery store located on Robson St. at the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Since they were having a huge anniversary sale, I took the opportunity to stock up on Japanese ingredients, including bottles of mirin, rice vinegar, dashi powder, concentrated soup stock, nori sheets, organic white and blended miso, some seasoning, konnyaku/shirataki noodles, and last but no least, a few containers of natto (left). Of course the aisles filled with Japanese junk food, ranging from cantaloupe-flavoured Kitkats, Pocky Sticks of assorted flavours, Meiji chocolate bars, to Matcha cookies and hard candies, only accentuated my craving ( but I resisted the temptation).

Ever since then I have been trying a few Japanese recipes, starting from the basics: miso shiru. Miso is probably one of the most popular and well-loved ingredients when it comes to Japanese cuisine. A bowl of miso shiru, with its rich flavour and brothy texture, is without a doubt one of the best complements to a meal. Generally the miso shiru served at most Japanese restaurants consist of the "standard" ingredients: tofu, wakame seaweed sprinkled with green onions. But really there is a lot more room for creativity, which is why I decided to make yellow zucchini and mushroom miso shiru.

The soup base is simply dashi stock made from konbu and bonito flakes. After the base is brought to a boil, I added sliced yellow zucchini and simmered for approximately 5 minutes before putting in chopped mushrooms and tofu. At the same time, I scooped out some white miso and mixed it with the hot soup base (in a separate bowl) until the miso dissolved and became a thick mixture. The tip here is that when cooking miso shiru, the miso is always added last (right before serving) since miso is quite heat-sensitive, and boiling it will make the flavour quite starchy (therefore not as good). Ta-da!

For the main dish I decided to try the recipe from Blue Lotus. I made some modifications, which are written in red.

Tori no Isobe-ni (Chicken Rolls) Serves 2 to 4
1/4 of a small carrot (about 20 grams or 3/4 oz)
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms
200g (7 1/2 oz) ground chicken (ground beef, lean)
1 egg
1 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp katakuriko (1.5 tbsp cornstarch)
2 sheets nori seaweed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (omitted)
100 ml (3 1/2 oz) sake
2 Tbsp soy sauce (1.5 tbsp)
2 Tbsp mirin (1tbsp)
1 package of kaiware-na (daikon sprouts) or shredded cabbage, optional

Peel carrot and chop finely. Remove stems from shiitake and finely chop the caps. Add carrot and shiitake to a large bowl with the chicken, egg, 1 Tbsp sake and cornstarch, and mix until smooth and spreadable. If mixture is too thin, add a little more katakuriko until it is spreadable.
Lay the nori on a cutting board and spread each sheet with an even layer of the chicken mixture, leaving about 1 cm of nori uncovered on three sides and spreading up to the edge on one side. Starting with the edge spread with the chicken mixture, roll the nori up gently.
Heat the oil in a pan over hight heat and gently add the chicken rolls, with the edge side down to seal. Saute for a few minutes, turning to cook all sides. Add sake, mirin and soy sauce, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, turning over the rolls occasionally, until liquid is reduced.
Remove rolls to cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Wash the kaiware-na and cut off roots, then arrange on serving plates. When chicken rolls have cooled slightly, slice into bite-sized rounds. Arrange chicken rolls on the kaiware-na and drizzle the reduced cooking liquid over top.

I thoroughly enjoyed the beef rolls; the combination of ground beef and nori were amazing! The somewhat sweet sauce and the softness of the beef are in conrast with the texture of the nori sheets. The shredded greens provide another layer of textures to the dish. I served it with multigrain rice as well as the miso group, making a healthy and filling dinner, which was very satisfying at the end of a busy day.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Steamed Ground Beef Balls 蒸牛肉丸子

不知道是不是因為天氣漸漸轉涼的關係 現在吃生菜沙拉的次數越來越少了

後來發現並不然 .....最近一直很想念台灣小吃 從剉冰 牛肉麵 牛肉餅 烤玉米 香腸 滷味到臭豆腐 林林總總的一大堆 暑假回去的時候最喜歡去小阿姨家 跟表姊表弟妹們在人聲鼎沸的夜市穿梭 一攤一攤品嚐那難以忘懷的溫暖

其實煮一人份的食物還蠻具有挑戰性的 尤其是像我這種喜歡吃少量多樣的人

前些天晚上蒸了一盤牛肉丸子 如果在外圍裹上一層糯米就成了珍珠丸

配上滑溜溜的蕃茄炒蛋和水煮青江菜 雖然似乎缺少了媽媽的味道但吃到中式料理突然覺得自己好幸福~~~ (慶幸不再繼續吃宿舍的伙食了!)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Veggie Delight: Sandwiches and VeggiMuffins

在每天早晨匆匆忙忙的同時 我們很容易忽略了早餐 其實一大早 除了周末以外也沒有什麼多餘的時間準備豐盛的早餐 簡單快速便成了我最大的需求 所以我想了很久 "有哪一樣食物是既簡單又健康呢?" 答案就是三明治
以前總覺得三明治裡一定要夾肉或魚 後來發現單單蔬菜就可以很美味了 既簡單又方便 所以每天早上我都固定 通常用一些胡蘿蔔片 萵苣 紅椒 目蓿芽 和洋蔥 稍為調味一下(可以用義大利橄欖油醋 或日式味噌醬 芝麻醬 等等) 全部扔進烤箱
在我盥洗的同時順便準備早餐 帶著在車上吃也可以:D

彩色甜椒 洋蔥焗烤panini

日式芝麻菠菜胡蘿蔔open-faced sandwich

味噌烤黃椒茄子 萵苣English Muffin

Sweet tooth: Unbelievable Fat-free Balsamic Fudge Cookies

I was watching the episode of Sex and the City in which the girls had an elaborate discussion about their "SSB"- secret single behaviour. Then I thought to myself, "what is my SSB?" For instance, I love walking around downtown aimlessly, looking at display windows, spending hours in ZARA and certain other clothing stores, making sweet treats and standing by the countertop, reading VOGUE/TEEN VOGUE while divulging them, and looking for recipes on-line......

As soon as I saw this recipe on Fatfree Vegan Kitchen I instantly knew I had to try it-- mainly out of curiosity and disbelief of the existence of such things as "fat-free" cookies simply because cookies are traditionally considered as one of the most dangerously addictive yet extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with butter, fat and, well MORE FAT! Although I have an idea that low-fat recipes, no matter how amazing they are, will never quite taste the same as the original version, I am intrigued by the use of several ingredients in this recipe, particularly the addition of balsamic vinegar. I was not surprised, however, since I have seen balsamic vinegar-infused brownies served at Juliette et Chocolat ( one of our favourite little dessert heavens in Montreal).

Thankfully, these fudge chocolate drops, with balsamic vinegar as the "secret" ingredient, are already lower in fat than most cookies because the balsamic vinegar retains the chocolate flavour and enhances its richness while the fruit (i used apples) gives the moisture to the cookies. The result was the decadent treat that is absolutely free of guilt! I modified the original recipe because I didn't have any prunes around the house; however, the use of apples turned out amazing! Since apple purees already have sweetness on its own, I was able to cut down on the sugar and completely eliminate the use of margarine and butter. Instead I incorporated some honey into the recipe; not only did honey add aroma, but it also played the role of margarine in "sticking" the batter together.

The cookies came out much softer and lighter than regular cookies, almost like thin brownies actually. (which is what I like: SOFT cookies) So here it is:

零脂肪巧克力餅乾! Fat-free Balsamic Fudge Chocolate Cookies

1 cup unbleached white flour (or use gluten-free baking flour)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch cinnamon (optional)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

11/2 to 2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 apple (I used Red Delicious, and puree it using a food processor and some water)

1/3 cup soy yogurt or soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Mix the flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside.In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the apple puree with the sugar, honey(softened) and cocoa and combine. Add the soy yogurt, vanilla extract, and balsamic and stir until mixed. Finally, add the flour mixture and stir just until it's combined—don't over-mix.

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. Using the back of a spoon, flatten each cookie slightly and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Place them in the oven. Bake for about 9 to 10 minutes—be careful not to burn the bottoms!

Remove from the oven and lift the parchment paper or silicone mats onto cooling racks. Allow to cool completely. These taste best cold and somehow even better the next day. Makes about 30 cookies.

Per cookie: 50Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 1 g Protein; 14 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 52 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Montréal, je t'adore [2.1]: 美食篇(2) 世界第一的貝果Bagel

Visite du quartier Mile End

全世界最好吃的貝果bagel在哪裡? 相信大部分的蒙特婁人會驕傲回答"在這裡!" 印象中世界上bagel這場"王位" 爭霸戰從古道今一直是New York式和Montreal式無止盡的較量 不分軒輊 今年2月去NYC玩時也特地品嚐了當地著名的bagel 如今Montreal-style bagels (在眾人擔保"一定比NYC的好吃")之下 慕名造訪了Montreal Mile-end 相隔差不多只有一條街的2大 個別擁有眾多死忠擁戴者的老字號 Fairmont BagelsSt-Viateur Bagels

首先造訪的Fairmont Bagels有著一句廣告詞 "come taste a piece of history." 從1919年就開始營業的老店 在歷史的波折與歲月的歷鍊下依然屹立不搖 現由開店始祖的孫子們 以呵護家族精神的態度經營著 至今依然堅持傳統手工製作的品質

還沒有走進店裡就聞到一陣陣撲鼻而來的香味 加雜著芝麻味在空中飄蕩

幸好我們一群人可以分享不同口味 否則面對眼前成山成海的bagel真會不知從何下手 最"原始original"的招牌口味是白芝麻sesame以及(黑色)罌粟籽pavot/poppy seed
店家笑笑地跟我們說 很難下決定的話拿sesame 或poppy seed 保證是"安全"的選擇 此外還有洋蔥onion, 蒜頭garlic, caraway seed, flax seed, all dressed(綜合= garlic+onion+seeds+coarse salt), mueslix(甜的 裡面有加多種穀類 蜂蜜跟葡萄乾), 全麥, 五穀雜糧, 藍莓, 巧克力, 葡萄乾肉桂, 乾蕃茄(sun-dried tomato), pesto and black olive(青醬橄欖),迷你size 等等 看的我們是眼花撩亂

走過了一條街來到了St-Viateur bagel 這家店雖然沒有如同Fairmont那樣悠久的歷史(其實也有50年了) 但是人氣很旺 聽animateur說St-Viateur可能比較會做廣告行銷 拉抬聲勢吧 如今有較為領先的氣勢 St-Viateur的招牌娃娃是一個笑臉Bagel 店內還有賣周邊商品 例如明信片 T-shirt 布製購物袋等等 而且還可以網路訂購可幫你送達北美洲任何地方(簡直是太棒了) 此外店家堅持只做基本口味的bagel (sesame, poppy seed, whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, plain大概就這幾種) 選擇以低調樸實的口味打動人心

我覺得啊這兩家店除了Fairmont bagel口味選擇比St-viateur多之外 大同小異極為相似 例如
  1. 兩家店烘焙製做的過程都是手工現製 而且透明化 讓我們大開眼界
  2. 兩家店都是24-7 全年無休(真是太幸福了 隨時想吃都可以)


這個問題見仁見智 若是比較基本口味 芝麻跟罌粟籽 我個人認為St-Viateur比較香酥 Fairmont則是咀嚼後帶有較甜的麵粉香 難分軒輊

不過我比較喜歡St-Viateur肉桂葡萄乾的口味 它的甜味比較淡 不會重所以能讓肉桂的味道變的較為明顯 Fairmont的也很好吃不過層次較不分明

這兩家店有不同口味對我們消費者而言是一大福音 Fairmont的洋蔥根大蒜口味 細細嚼 好吃到我朋友一口氣吃了3個 還傻笑地說意猶未盡


我馬上跟你說MONTREAL!! 不是蒙特婁人自誇 Montreal的bagel的確比較紮實有較嚼勁 麵糰散發著淡淡自然香氣 灑上sesame 和poppy seed 在嘴裡真的好香 媽媽說有點像在吃我們中式燒餅的感覺(喔 如果你在猜想我媽為什麼會吃的到bagel 因為我再要回程的當天一早和Allison殺去買了半打當"伴手禮"扛回家 說穿了我家冰庫裡還剩最後一個捨不得吃)
要吃熱騰騰的新鮮bagel 親自走一趟 絕對不虛此行 (我們2個月就不知道去了幾次)

我們最喜歡的另一個地方就是.....裝bagel的紙袋和店面的氣氛 很懷舊: 師傅捏好bagel之後將它們一個個穩穩地放置在木板上 再入柴燒窯烤好之後倒在旁邊的大木櫃裡 我們要買的時候 店家就直接把剛出爐的bagel夾出 放入一只類似牛皮紙的紙袋中 交到我們手裡 回到家時紙袋都因為水蒸氣而溼溼的 那種樸實的感覺遠遠勝過於糕餅店買的精緻麵包

我們人手一點bagel 心滿意足的前進下一站 期待著另一個故事 另一個驚喜 另一種感動 J'ai mangé les meilleurs bagels que j’ai jamais eus !