Roast Veggies with Couscous & Yoghurt Dressing

Just something really simple with leftovers from Christmas (can you tell I started writing this a while back?). Apologies for the serious lack of posting as of late! Still in holiday mode.

I haven’t had couscous in ages, and I love Moroccan food. If you have never used couscous before, do it. It is the easiest thing in the world. Even easier than Easy Mac. Promise!

Roasted veggies

I had potato, pumpkin, beetroot, onion and squash left over. Whatever you have will work. Eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, carrot, parsnip. (If you don’t have anything left over, choose your favourite veggies, chop them up, drizzle them with olive oil and a bit of salt, give it a good mix and put in a hot oven. Roast till brown and cooked through.)

Couscous

Follow packet instructions – but essentially, cover with boiling water and let it stand for five minutes then fluff with a fork. I added lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt to mine. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some sultanas and chopped up dried apricots. Dried fruit + Moroccan = match made in heaven. I never understood those people who can’t have fruit in savoury food! Give it a try.

Yoghurt dressing

Mix:

1/4 cup greek yoghurt,

1/2 tsp minced garlic,

juice of 1/2 lemon,

salt & pepper to taste

1 TBS fresh parsley.

 

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If you are still in a post-Christmas/post-New Years/post-life in general haze and even this recipe seems like too much effort, go to Moroccan Soup Bar in Fitzroy and get someone else to cook for you ;).

Rice Paper Rollin’

I heard that the weather was BEAUTIFUL today. I only caught a few minutes of the sunshine walking from work to car (about 500 metres), and yes, the sunshine was perfect.

I was hungry as usual. Sunshine + hungry = rice paper rolls. What else?

I’ve probably mentioned before that Vietnamese is my favourite cuisine, so rice paper rolls always go down well. Only problem is I find them really time consuming, mainly because my knife skills leave a lot to be desired, so I usually only make them when other people are around to eat too. Lucky I have willing house mates.

There is a bit of an art to rollin’. Like sushi. First time you do it they will probably be a mess, don’t worry! I have been making these for ages and mine still look shocking. Who cares what they look like though, right?

So I went to get all my ingredients and find brown rice vermicelli noodles! Woo! I may be a little over-excited but this is totally new for me, so looking forward to trying them. Not a huge difference nutrition wise, which I was surprised about, though they are higher in dietary fibre (only slightly!). Protein, fat and carbohydrate are all pretty much equal in comparison to the regular white vermicelli. For all my gluten intolerant friends though, rice noodles are gluten free, happy days ūüôā ¬†If you are following this recipe and very sensitive to gluten, just watch out for the soy sauce!

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Two hours later –> they were ok. Just ok. I found them a little chewy and tough. You can’t notice it in the rice paper rolls because there is a lot of other stuff going on, but I think I would avoid using them in a soup or stir fry. I think I will stick to the regular white kind..I have only just converted to whole wheat pasta¬†after all, baby steps..

Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls

1 x block firm tofu

1 x tsp oil

1 x TBS soy

1 x love garlic, minced

1 x inch piece of ginger, minced

1/4 x cup dried shitake or other dried asian fungus (soaked in hot water for 20 mins)

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1 x carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1 x cucumber, thinly slice into matchsticks

1 x capsicum, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1/2 x packet vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in hot water

rice paper roll sheets

ice burg lettuce, shredded

mint leaves

Dipping Sauce

1 x TBS hoisin

1 x tsp soy

1 x tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp chilli sauce

Heat oil in a fry pan and fry the ginger and garlic for one minute, then crumble in the tofu.

Cook until the tofu looks golden, about five minutes, then stir through the soy and soaked mushrooms and put to one side.

Cut up all your veggies. Make it as organised as possible to make rolling a little less annoying.

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Get a bowl of warm water and dip in your first sheet of rice paper, lay it flat on a bench and wait for it to soften so it’s easier to work with.

Layer your ingredients at one end of the circle, veggie sticks, lettuce, noodles, mint and tofu mixture. Be careful not to fill it up too much!

Start rolling the side with the mixture, then wrap the top and bottom sides and tuck it all in.

(I apologise sincerely for this method, I never realised how hard it would be to describe how to roll a rice paper roll! )

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I’m not going to lie, they probably won’t look neat and tidy, but they will taste amazing!

To make the sauce, just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Dip away.

Monk Bodhi Dharma

In honour of World Vegan Day today, MSB is venturing out to Monk . . .

 

If I was forced to choose one cafe in Melbourne where I was restricted to for the rest of my life, it would be this one.

To be honest, we weren’t hungry in the slightest, but you can’t go to Monk and not eat, so we had no other choice but to have a second breakfast, naturally. We ordered the umami mushrooms with polenta.

Slow roasted king oyster, shitake, oyster & swiss brown mushrooms on a house made pumpkin, spinach & sun dried tomato polenta bread. Served w/ goats cheese, thyme & red chile oil…

Super rich and delicious.. I am glad we shared!

My photo phobia was rampant again so no food porn, sorry guys. Just believe me when I say it was pretty.

Can’t fault the coffee, can’t fault the service, and the menu is like nothing else.

Monk Bodhi Dharma¬†is a speciality coffee house and pride themselves on beautifully made raw vegan and vegetarian food. There is always something different popping up on the menu and their creativity really does amaze me. Don’t let the vegetarian niche put you off all you carnivores out there, i promise you, you won’t be let down.

(PS –> If you take my advice and venture out there, the place is a bit hard to find if you’re a newcomer…you need to go BEHIND the main shops away from the street..and it’s tucked away all inconspicuously. )

 

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So happy World Vegan Day friends! Go eat some lentils. x

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