Thursday, September 22, 2011

eat; sauteed vegies with quinoa and a honey/tahini dressing

I'm sorry to say that I am now without Natalie's great camera and having to take photos with my shitty point and shoot :0( Well, thats at least until I can get some funds together to get myself a kick arse Canon, which I have thrown out there to the universe! Until then, my photos may look a little sad, but the food will never taste sad at all!!!

At the mo, it's Spring here in Melbourne, Australia and some days are a little chilly for my liking. The warm foods have come out and I'm loving Quinoa right now (check out this fabulously strange video David Lynch created on cooking his favourite food!). My last supper in L.A was Cafe Gratitude's 'Gratitude Bowl', which is basically sauteed vegies with either quinoa or brown rice and a choice of dressing. I decided to try and replicate this dish the other day and I must say, I think I did a pretty great job! It is super easy to make and will last a few days in the fridge.

The basic rule here is use whatever vegies you have lying around and start with the harder vegies such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot etc, then once they are half cooked, add your softer vegies; zucchini, eggplant, fresh corn kernals, capsicum, etc until cooked. Once cooked, turn off the heat and toss through your leafy green. Simple. I've written 'hard' vegies and 'soft' vegies in the recipe below so you have the freedom to add whatever is in the refrigerator.

When cooking Quinoa, you can do so in a rice cooker if you have one or simply use a pot and the absorption method. I like to add a vegie stock cube to the water to give the quinoa extra flavour.

What you need;
2 cups 'hard' vegies cut into small cubes
2 cups 'soft' vegies cut into small cubes
2 cups shredded leafy greens (spinach, kale, silverbeat, collards)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 birdseye chilli if you like it hot
3 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 vegie stock cube
Honey/Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey or agave
pinch of salt
water to dilute

Start by cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under running water to 'remove' the bitterness that is associated with the grain. Pour in a pot, add the three cups of water and the stock cube. Place the lid onto the pot and bring to the boil, turning down the heat to simmer once at boiling point for ten minutes. Keep an eye on it making sure the water does not all disappear before the grain is cooked.

In a large saucepan, add the oil, onion, garlic and chilli. Saute until cooked. Add the 'hard' vegies, stir through and place the lid on top, keeping the flame at a medium heat. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn't burn. Add a splash of water if need be. 

Once the 'hard' vegies are half cooked (about 5 minutes) add the 'soft' vegies, stirring them through. Again, lid goes on and if need be, add another splash of water. If using kale or collards, add them too as they need more cooking time than silverbeet or spinach. Cook for a further five minutes on medium heat adding a pinch of salt to the vegies.

Once cooked, turn off the heat and if using spinach or silverbeet, toss them in whilst still hot, placing  the lid back on so it 'cooks' through with the heat. 

To make the dressing, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add as much water as you need to create a dressing consistency, little by little. You can never go back if you add too much water, so start with a little at a time until its just right.

Once the quinoa is cooked, 'fluff' it up with a fork just as you would couscous. Place about 3/4 cup in each individual bowl and scoop the vegies on top. Drizzle as much dressing as you would like on top and serve. YUM! A wonderful winter warmer that will warm the cockles of your heart!

Buon Appetito!

pink; my kylie collection

I was trying to find a pink work by Daniel Von Sturmer  for todays post as he is having his first show in Los Angeles and is a fellow Australian, but I can't seem to find one (get onto it Daniel!!!). So, to celebrate his first showing in Los Angeles, I've decided to go with Kathy Temin, another fellow Australian and of Daniel's generation of artists. She has created sooooo many pink works, it's great! 

It all began with her installation called My Kylie Collection created in 2001.Temin was an avid fan of Kylie Monogue whilst growing up in the '80's and with this installation, she pulled together her teenage collection of Kylie memorabilia to comment on celebrity culture and it's influence on teen culture. Here is a great article on the history of the process of the work and ideas surrounding the installation.

What's interesting about this instalaltion is how we relate to it. Almost every teenager has a celebrity obsession at some point and to some degree. We recognise the ludicrously of our obsessions when confronted with this installation, reminding us of the amount of money and time we spent thinking about our celebrity crushes during our teen years. What did it mean? How did it shape who we are today? What if we were to meet our teenage celebrity crushes as adults today and how does it reflect on who we are if we are adults still carrying these obsessions? Hmmm. Lots to think about with this work.

Since this installation, Temin has enjoyed huge success on the Australian art scene, her most memorable work being created as artist-in-residence in New York titled Auditions for a pair of Koalas (2002) where she did a call out for Americans to come and audition as Koalas for a video performance. They were asked to 'act' like Koalas, even though the actors had never seen how koalas behave in the wild. Very funny indeed!

Feel free to write who your celebrity obsession was as a teenager and if you still have it today as an adult in the comments box below. I'd love to hear what you had in your collection and if you still own them today.

love; ten things i love

Seeing I haven't posted since I was in New York a few weeks ago, I thought I would back track and list the top ten things of my last week in New York.

1. This image of a nanny with little twin girls in pink. Check them out with their little shopping bags looking like grown ups! LOVE!

2. Going to a Tiki bar with my friend Bonnie. Seriously, why did I wait to be on the East coast to go to one?!?!?! These Pina Colada's were AMAZING!!! Must try the Volcano next time I'm at a Tiki Bar!

3. Eating Indian at probably the most fire hazardous place on earth! This restaurant in the East Village, New York is a MUST experience. If you suffer from claustrophobia, probably not a great idea!!!

4. Seeing this random guy who strung up a hammock on traffic light poles at a busy intersection in New York. Well, why not?!?!? Gotta love that!!!

5. Coming across this MASSIVE sculpture of the world along my travels to the carousel in Queens. Absolutely stunning!

6. Having cold Borscht at Veselka in the East Village. This is one of those iconic places that's open 24 hours! Great Ukranian food and this soup was definitely a fantastic cool-me-down whilst in the midst of a New York summer. LOVE!

7. Buying up BIG at Baltazzar! Cakes go on half price special daily at 7.30pm. I probably shouldn't be giving away this secret, but I always go when I'm in New York, spending the evening having cakes for dinner, and think this experience should be shared!...YUM!!! Not vegan, but this is when I say I am vagan (vaguely vegan), not vegan. I mean seriously, how can anyone resist a french dessert?!?!?

8. Project Parlor in Bed Stuy. This is where I frequented as it was stumbling distance home! Gotta love that about New York! And this is where we took our cakes from Baltazzar and ate cakes with a few Bees Knees! LOVE!!!

9.  These 'Don't Honk' signes all over downtown Brooklyn. Seriously?!?! LOVE how ridic it all is!

10. Enjoying a last meal with my friends Katya and Bonnie of pasta and garlic bread :0) We haven't been together in about three years so this was a fitting meal, seeing I would ALWAYS cook pasta for my friends when we were hung over. LOVE!