Soup & Dumplings

March Recipe Redux Theme:

Two for One

We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favourite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal.

Short and sweet today because the weekend has completely gotten away from me and it’s bed time.


Miso Ramen Soup … turned into … Steamed Vegetable Dumplings


For the broth:

1 TBS oil

1 piece kombu seaweed

1 inch ginger

2 stalks spring onions, roughly chopped

2 cups water

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS miso paste

  • Fry the ginger and spring onions in the oil for five minutes.
  • Add the water, kombu and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for one hour.
  • Take off the heat and strain the liquid.
  • Add the miso paste and mix well.


The remaining toppings:

1/4 head of green cabbage

2 corn cobs, roasted

1 bulb garlic, roasted

2 eggs, soft boiled and sliced in half

2 stalks spring onions, finely sliced

100g smoked tofu, finely sliced

100g dried ramen noodles


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Cut the end off the garlic bulb and wrap in foil.
  • Wrap the corn in foil.
  • Roast in oven for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, slice kernels off corn and place in bowl.
  • Squeeze garlic from pods and place in bowl.
  • Slice cabbage thinly and place in bowl.
  • Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.


When all the elements are done…

  • Pour the hot broth over the vegetables and noodles.
  • Top with boiled egg, tofu and spring onions.


What did I do with my leftovers? Make dumplings of course.

  • Take out the ingredients from the soup, that is: the cabbage, corn, tofu, spring onions and garlic.
  • Place them all in a food processor.
  • Add in a 1 inch piece of ginger.
  • Blitz it all up until finely chopped.


  • Fill dumpling wrappers.
  • Place in steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Serve them alone or with the broth you had for dinner last night!


The end.


Choc Mint Slice: A Match Made in Heaven

Does your chocolate need a friend? This month’s posting will be after Valentine’s Day, so you may have a bit of extra chocolate around. What’s your favorite chocolate match? Be it traditional peanut butter or something more exotic like cayenne + chocolate.

I can’t say that I had a lot, or any, chocolate lying around after Valentine’s day – but that’s never stopped me baking before.

I have many a favourite chocolate match: chocolate and orange, chocolate and salt (chocolate covered pretzels anyone?!), chocolate and cherry, chocolate and bacon  (it exists!) aaannndd good old choc mint. Reminisce to my high schools days when a trip to the bakery for a peppermint slice every morning was the norm (I know, I’m screaming on the inside) – but thank god I’ve found a healthy version!

Discovered over at Food Daily it looked too good to ignore. Low in saturated fat and added sugar, and a good hit of calcium and protein from the filling = bliss!  Antioxidants and minerals from those emerald green pistachios? Tick! The peppermint slice of a nutritionist’s dreams, what more could you want?

Alas, there was one problem: it contained gelatine. Oh, why do you taunt me so? Gelatine is out in my books, so I was forced to find another alternative (a more expensive, more pain-in-the-ass alternative) but it happened. Cue: agar agar.

Agar agar is a type of seaweed. It’s actually quite amazing but very tricky to work with because you need to be super precise with your measurements otherwise you end up with a rock. I found this magical seaweed and attempted to make the recipe only for it to be a complete, albeit delicious disaster. It was a gooey mess.

Round two, much better.

After a momentary panic due to a chocolate seizure – I learnt what this is the hard way – I brought it all together in the end. Let me just say, if you are melting chocolate and yoghurt together, do it AT THE SAME TIME, not one after the other. Who knew?! I’m a nutritionist not a chef!

If using gelatine, this recipe will be a breeze.

If using agar agar, just read the packet instructions about 17 times and you should be ok.

If it’s a massive fail, it can’t be too bad. Chocolate, pistachio and mint in any form is heavenly.


Choc Mint Slice

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • 3/4 cup dates, soaked in hot water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs gelatine  2 level tsp agar agar
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 500g cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 200g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 2 tbs Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbs unsalted pistachios, shelled & roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of a rectangular pan with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine oats, cocoa and pistachio until fine. Add the soaked dates, a few at a time, to form a dough. Then add oil to bring together.
  3. Press into prepared pan with your hands and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup cold water to a simmer, and add in agar agar. Stir really well to dissolve. It will thicken instantly, but as long as you keep it hot it won’t set.
  5. Dissolve sugar with another 1/2 cup hot water to make a syrup. Add the sugar syrup, peppermint extract and cottage cheese to the food processor and blend until smooth.
  6. Now, working really quickly, combine the agar agar with the cottage cheese mixture in a bowl and stir frantically. The agar sets when it starts to cool so you need to be quick!
  7. Pour mixture over chilled base and refrigerate until set firm.
  8. Place chocolate and yoghurt in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, TOGETHER, stirring until melted. (This is where the seizure happened..)
  9. Spread chocolate evenly over the peppermint layer then sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
  10. Chill and cut into even slices.



Vegetarian [kind of] meets BBQ

I guess you could say I was a little out of my element? The BBQ and I aren’t exactly the best of friends…

A few months ago the Recipe Redux theme was ‘Start Smoking in the New Year’ – (yeah, I’m getting in a little late) hence the BBQ idea popping up:

The New Year is heating up with smoke and spiciness. From boldly flavored smoked salts to actual smoking techniques, subtly smoked food is on-trend. The same can be said for spice as we savor heat from harissa, sriracha and smoked paprika. Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with smoke and/or spiciness.

My first thought was my Vegetarian Chilli but then I thought I should try something new. I follow a few American nutrition and food blogs and quite often see a recipe call for ‘Liquid Smoke’, but I have never been able to find it anywhere in Oz. So the cheat’s way was out…then I wondered how I would go about doing it the proper way. But how to smoke food without a barbecue? This just opened up a can of worms..and a trip to the hardware store… and a house smelling like ribs. Got there in the end.

Smoked Tofu, Almonds & Green Beans.

Once upon a time I found a block of smoked tofu in a health food shop. It was delicious, and expensive, and I never bought it again. So here is an attempt to recreate it! And an impressive option for all you vegetarians and vegans going to summer barbecues, only to face a sad bowl of ice berg lettuce and bread rolls with tomato sauce. I feel ya. Take this and everyone will want to be your friend. I mean, it’s not going to pass as sticky ribs anytime soon, but who wants to have to eat with their fingers and get sauce all over their face anyway? 


Get your smoke on.. 

1 x block of tofu, cut into slices

1 x cup wood chips (I used hickory)

1 x aluminium baking tray

a lot of foil

Soak the wood chips in water over night. Layer the bottom of the tray with the wood chips and a little bit of water, then sit an elevated tray inside the aluminium tray for the tofu slices to sit on. Wrap well in foil. Place in the oven and leave it in there for 3 hours.

SIX HOURS later and I took my tofu out of the oven.

To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed that it wasn’t ‘smokier’. Seeing as how I had committed half my life to this recipe, the tofu was a bit of an anti-climax. Ahh well, you live and you learn. The end result was delish – read on for the saviour – the tahini dressing and green beans are a win for sure.


And the rest…

2 cups green beans

1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped

100g fresh rocket leaves

2 TBS tahini

1 TBS lemon juice

salt & pepper

Top & tail the beans and saute them in a bit of olive oil. Add them to a big bowl with roasted almonds, rocket and tofu.

Combine the tahini, lemon juice and s & p in a small bowl and then pour it on over. I added a little warm water to the dressing to thin it out a bit, but whatever goes.

(I will certainly not hold it against you for saving six hours and not trying this one at home).

The end x