Chickpea Tofu Salad

I recently discovered this soy-free and easy-to-make tofu on the internet (here and here). Burmese or Shan tofu it is. My grandma and aunties used to make tofu at home, which takes so much time and effort and in fact is daunting for me to do on my own. On the other hand, this chickpea tofu requires only three ingredients and is dead simple similar to making polenta. Compared to soy tofu, it is has a nice nutty flavour. Perfect for making chips, salads, fillings for sandwiches or wraps, topping up your soup or adding in stir-fries. I think adding other flavours into the tofu mixture would be nice such as oregano, chilli flakes or sesame seeds. Have fun making x
chickpea tofuIngredients (2-4 serves)

150g chickpea flour
a pinch of salt
450g boiled water or stock

Place chickpea flour and salt in a large bowl. Bring water or stock to a boil in a pot. Pour it into a bowl slowly as you whisk rapidly so that it gets thick with no lumps. Pour the mixture into a tin lined with a cling film and spread the surface evenly with a spatula. Let it cool and refrigerate more than an hour or until it firms up. Loosen the edges with a knife or spatula and slice portions as needed.

I cut it into little squares and lightly pan-fried a couple of minutes each side in coconut oil. Then served with watermelon, goat cheese, greens and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Broccoli Couscous Salad

broccoli couscous saladSummer is slowly setting in in Melbourne. Yes! summer salads are always welcome. I used wholemeal couscous in this salad but you can use millet or quinoa for gluten free option. Try to include whole grains in your salads because they help to stabilise your blood sugar level and contain more fibre and protein. Crunchy broccoli, buttery green peas, nutty toasted almonds, sweet and sour cranberries. What not to love? You can definitely make a big batch for a crowd or work lunch next day. Enjoy x

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 cup wholemeal couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 head of broccoli
1/2 cup of green peas
1/2 tsp of paprika
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried cranberries and roasted almonds

Add 1 cup of hot water into couscous in a bowl, add olive oil, cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes. In the mean time, roughly chop and steam broccoli and peas. Fluff the couscous from the top using a fork, add paprika, lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked broccoli, peas, roughly chopped cranberries and almonds into a bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add another drizzle of olive oil to serve.

Jewelled Quinoa Salad

berries and nutsHow do you spend your weekend? For me, one of the weekend errands is firstly making a meal plan, going to the markets and doing some food preparation for the following week. Ah, making a big bowl of salad for work lunch, too. It sounds like a huge time-consuming task, but it is actually not and totally worth it. Money as well as time-saving, too because you eat healthy at home and don’t tend to get take-away or eat out. When you know exactly what you have in your fridge, fresh good ingredients don’t get wasted. So invest a little bit of time in your schedule on the weekend for your health and well-being!
jewelled quinoa saladI almost always include some kind of grains and beans when making salads so that I get enough protein and don’t feel hungry afterwards. One of my favorite ingredients is quinoa. Quinoa is gluten-free and low GI of 53+. It is also a good source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids including lysine that your body needs for tissue growth and repair. Want to know more about quinoa and how to spout them? Read this previous post. For this recipe, bright colour of quinoa from saffron and turmeric is gorgeous! I wanted sweetness and saltiness in salads, so used dried fruits and tamari roasted nuts for topping. You can make a big batch and pack up for your work lunch just like what I did. You can also add tofu, chicken, fish or any kind of protein on the side. Enjoy x
jewelled quinoaIngredients (serves 2)

100g white and red quinoa
200g water
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of turmeric
50g dried blueberries and goji berries
50g tamari roasted nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp raw honey
salt and pepper to taste

Place washed quinoa in a pot and cover with cold water. Add saffron and turmeric. Bring it up to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the water is all absorbed into quinoa. Take it off the heat and set aside with a lid on for about 5 minutes. Place cooked quinoa on a plate and sprinkle dried fruits and nuts on top. For dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle on top of the quinoa salad before serving.

Green Detox Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Detox Green Salad1I’m so excited about this green salad. It is raw (except quinoa. Oh you can add sprouted quinoa instead of cooked ones if you like), fresh, healthy, light and yummy. Green foods such as kale and spinach  help to increase alkalinity and detoxification in your body that can promote healing. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and K and folic acid, as well as calcium, potassium, copper and iron. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bones, skin and eyes.

I think my diet is pretty well balanced and healthy, but sometimes I feel very sluggish, heavy, tired, restless at night and fuzzy in my head. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Maybe stress? hormones? Then it is a time I craved for sweets and carbs, which makes me crave more and feel worse after all. Instead, try to go outside, take a walk, get some fresh air, think about three things that you are grateful right now and make this salad 🙂 It is perfect for those weeks when you’re feeling you need a little extra boost or a kick start on your way back to health. Crunchy greens, nutty quinoa, creamy avocado, fragrant herbs, simple, yet delicious dressing. Have it as much as you want without worrying about calories or fat. Hopefully it recharges your batteries and boost your happy hormones after eating this!
Detox Green SaladIngredients

1 cup of massaged kale leaves
1/2 of avocado
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of coriander
1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 spring onion
1/3 zucchini

For dressing
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
1 tsp of maple syrup
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of Himalayan salt
a squeeze of lemon
1 tbsp of e.v.o.o

Simply chop all vegetables and mix with cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl. Gently toss the salad and dressing together. If your avocado is quite soft and ripe, add diced avocados at the end.

Za’atar Spiced Borlotti Bean Salad

Za'atar bean saladZa’atar is a middle eastern spice and herb blend and amazingly aromatic. It is great on flat bread, which helps digest the heaviness of the bread and can prevent many digestive and allergic reactions related to bread. Delicious when sprinkled on hummus or yogurt. You can even make a tea out of it which soothes stomach upset and helps with menstrual cramps. Ingredients of za’atar are thyme (full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties), sesame seeds (contains calcium, copper, phystoterol that can reduce cholesterol levels and boost your immune system) and sumac (full of antioxidants). You can make your own like this or find in local health shops.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 cup dried borlotti bean
1/2 cup diced pumpkin
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp za’atar spice mix
1 large tomato
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cover beans with water in a pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until cooked. Drain and set aside. Place pumpkin and zucchini in a mixing bowl. Coat with coconut oil and za’atar spice. Spread on a baking tray and place in the preheated oven (180) for 15 minutes until cooked. Dice tomato and roughly chop parsley leaves. To make salad, put cooked beans and veggies in a mixing bowl, drizzle olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle more za’atar spice on top if you wish.