Tuesday, June 29, 2010

QUORN Product review - Meat free Soy Free Mince

My 2nd post on QUORN products, stars a frozen packet of Mince. And my special vegetarian pasta recipe, that I've made time and time again, without fail, with whatever vegies i have on hand :)

I usually make a huge pot of this, and have it for lunch at work for a week. It's very healthy, full of vegetables, lots of garlic (i love my garlic!) and is definitely a satisfying meal for a vegetarian. So with the mince in the freezer i thought i'd add this in.

The product itself, does not look very appetizing (i wish i had taken a photo of it but its a bit hard when you're doing all the cooking!), its a dark grey brown colour and frozen into a big ball, i placed it in after the sauce was made, and crushed it up so that it could thaw and cook in the sauce.

The result? My yummy pasta sauce, with mince, that i would say... would be an 80% pass for a meat style pasta sauce. I think if i had added in two packets, it would've been nicer.

Chop up:
1-2 carrots
1-2 bulbs of garlic
2 white onions
small jar of sundried tomatoes
2 green capsicums
800g mushrooms
4 tomatoes

these can all vary, depending on what you have at home, or what vegetables you like more. I like to add in a small jar of olives as well if i have any :)

one packet of QUORN mince

adjust this to two packets if you can.

1 large jar dolmio sauce 'extra garlic'
1 large can whole peeled/crushed tomatoes

one packet of pasta

I'd never noticed this curly fettacine so decided to try it out, i think it gives the pasta a bit of a funky twist with all the curls :O)


1. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a pot, when heated up stir through the garlic and onion, with half a tablespoon of salt (so that the onions dont brown).

2. Add mushrooms and stir through till they have softened slightly, and have released some juices into the pan.

3. Stir through the canned tomatoes, and jar of sauce, crushing the whole tomatoes, while the sauce heats up.

4. Add the carrots, capsicum, chopped tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and stir through.

5. Over medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes, let the sauce simmer until the vegies are cooked.

*tip: microwave the carrot in a dish with half a cup of water, so that they don't take too long to cook in the pot.*

Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quorn Product Review - Meat free Soy Free Pieces

Fiona from Markcomms had sent me some products from the new Quorn range being released in Australia, and ofcourse i accepted - as these are vegetarian friendly products suited to non-meat eaters but also for people who want to eat healthy as well.

One of the products i received was meat-free & soy-free pieces which are frozen but can be cooked in the oven, microwave, or in a pan with some oil.

double product review

I had bought this stir fry sauce a couple of weeks ago, was going to do a vegetable stir fry but never got around to it, so the timing was great when i received my QUORN products.

Real simple, two onions roughly chopped, stir fried with a table spoon of oil and then QUORN's Meat free and soy free pieces are added.

Stir until pieces are heated through, add stir-fry sauce, and stir until sauce is completely heated through. This didn't take long, i was done in less then 15 minutes!

The result? An imitation meat stir fry, the texture of the soy pieces didnt exactly replicate real chicken, but i'd say it was about 70% there :)

I told my sister it was a chicken stir fry, and she said it was really nice. She still doesnt know that it was 'fake' meat, should i tell her? hehe :P

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Basic Green tea cupcake recipe

A few weeks ago i came across this recipe, shortly after i had purchased my first ever bag of green tea powder a.k.a matcha powder. I had been invited to a birthday so thought two dozen pretty cupcakes would be a nice gift :)

The lovely Stella helped out, and it was her idea to dust these babies with cocoa powder & icing sugar to give them a little bit of prettiness. Personally, i think the icing sugar dusted ones looked a lot cuter!

Earlier this week, my workmate's Daughter was turning 4, so another excuse to bake :) Still having alot of matcha powder left (this recipe only uses two teaspoons), i decided to make some larger sized cupcakes, and to use my newly bought wilton paste colours, and also to use up some dessicated coconut i had in the pantry.

I highly recommend using wiltons colour pastes, i only needed a tiny dab of paste to get this lovely pastel looking purple, and because it is a paste, unlike the bottles of food colouring (that can thin out your icing), a small jar will surely last you quite a while. I bought a whole lot off ebay, but you can get them individually at certain stores like.. essential ingredient @ Rozelle?

Recipe for green tea cupcakes
(makes 24 babycakes, or 12 standard cupcakes)

90g butter at room temp
75g sugar
2 eggs
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
50ml milk
2 tsp matcha powder

Preheat oven to 180'C.

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add the eggs and continue to beat. Gradually add the flour and baking powder, then the almonds.

Heat the milk in a saucepan, remove from the stove and add the matcha tea powder. Leave to soak for 3 minutes, then beat it all to remove any remaining clots. Add the matcha milk to the dough and incorporate well (do not over mix or your cupcake will be tough)

Distribute the mix between a 12 muffin tray or a 24 babycake tray.

Bake 13 minutes (for babycakes) or 18 minutes (for cupcakes).

- For raspberry topped cakes just pop one (or a couple raspberries on top before placing the trays in the oven. After baking, and once completely cooled, dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder (or even with vanilla bean dust if you have that!)

Recipe for pastel purple rosewater flavored frosting

135g butter
1.5 cups icing sugar
3 tsp milk
2 tsp rosewater essence

Beat the butter until fluffy and light in colour. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until sugar has dissolved and mixture is frosting-like texture. Add more milk if too dry, or more icing sugar if too wet.

I dusted the tops with desiccated coconut and shook off any excess, but you can decorate with anything that you have (or leave plain). Because of the strong coconut flavor, you couldn't really tell the rosewater flavoring, so you can use vanilla essence instead.