rise up and bake


c-c-c-cold! May 11, 2009

Filed under: brunch,home cooked — katrinacake @ 4:41 pm
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who hates this icy cold weather? me, that’s who!

these wintery mornings are contributing to an extra sluggishness at the start of my days. the remedy? cooked breakfasts of course! i’m not afraid of hectic savory flavours in the morning – most notably garlic and shallots. delish i say!

cold morning cook-up up


  • splash of olive oil (or melted nuttlex)
  • two shallots, sliced (spring onions are good too, or you can use regular brown onions)
  • as much garlic as you can handle, diced
  • handful of mushrooms, sliced (the more the better!)
  • sliced firm tofu (aka stir fry tofu), approx 1cm thick – i like two slices
  • corn bread (that’s a recipe for another day!)*
  • sprinkling of sweet red paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado¬† (enough to spread – be generous)
  • lemon / lime wedge (to serve)

tofu marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • one teaspoon powdered ginger

how to:

  1. the night before, mix marinade ingredients in a bowl until combined. with a fork, stab the tofu slices a few times (this helps the marinade absorb into the middle of the tofu). place the tofu slices in the marinade and toss until marinade evenly distributed. cover the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. in the morning, heat oil (or nuttlex) in a reasonable sized fry pan, and saute shallots for a few minutes.DSCF2259
  3. add the diced garlic and mushrooms. toss and saute for another couple of minutes.
  4. stir through the paprika, and a dash of salt and pepper.
  5. move this mixture to one side of the pan. place the pre-marinated tofu slices in the other pan. fry for 3 minutes, turning as required.DSCF2262
  6. pour the remaining marinade mixture over the tofu. if some of this mixes with the mushroom mix, that’s ok! extra flavour!
  7. take off the heat once most of the sauce has evaporated.
  8. cut two slices of cornbread and heat (in the toaster or under the grill).DSCF2266
  9. to serve: spread warm bread with a generous amount of avocado. plce tofu slices on the bead, and top with the mushroom and spring onion mix. serve with a slice of lemon or lime.DSCF2267

* you could use any sort of bread here really!

a note on avocados:


these things really are delicious! i read somewhere (sorry, no reference here at all!) that if you could only eat ONE thing to keep you alive, you could survive longest on either bananas or avocados. that’s fairly awesome. i would hazard a guess and suggest that this is due to the high fat content of avocados, and the potassium in bananas.

regardless, avocados are joyously creamy and a tasty addition to almost any meal!


breathless brunch beans! May 4, 2009

there is something so great about digging into a tasty bowl of beans at brunch. not those pathetic “baked beans” they sell in over priced chat cafes, but really tasty, flavour-full, melt-in-your-mouth beans.

this is also a great way to use up some slightly tired looking veggies in the fridge. for me: corn, rocket, chilies and tomatoes.


i have a ridiculous collection of jars filled with dried beans, and i only cook with them once a week. in an endeavour to clear these jars out i soaked some tasty black eyed peas overnight. soaking overnight really does help bring down cooking time! i put the beans in a plastic container, cover with boiling water and leave to sit overnight. you can’t really put too much water in there as these babies soak it up. an equal height of water above the height of the beans is good (ie if there is 2cm of beans in the container, fill with water so there is at least 2cm of water above the beans). make sense?


you could always just use canned beans, but i have a feeling that this is more energy intensive and carbon emitting. does drastically reduce cooking time though.

a note on onions:

please cook your onions thoroughly! be patient and wait until the bits are transparent! these are NOT translucent onions:


brunch beans


  • 1 cup black eyed peas (soaked overnight and then rinsed); also great are butter beans and fava beans.
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • two green chilies (more or less depending on taste)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • some chopped rocket
  • a cob of corn, shucked
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste
  • juice of one lemon (lime is good too!)
  • vegetable oil (a spoonful?)

how to:

  1. dice the onion and saute in oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. finely chop the chilies and garlic. add to the onion and saute the whole lot until the onions are see through. be patient!
  3. stir the spices into the onion mix (approx 1 teaspoon of each, except cayenne paper. just a little of that.). don’t be afraid of spices*!
  4. stir in the beans, veggie stock and can of tomatoes. bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. continue to simmer and add the remaining veggies – corn, cherry tomatoes and rocket. allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  6. when most of the liquid has evaporated off, taste a bean. is it crunchy? add more water and simmer for longer. does it melt in your mouth? proceed to step 7.
  7. take off the heat and stir in lemon juice.
  8. serve in an over-sized soup mug. these are handy devices, as you don’t burnt your little hands on the sides of a hot bowl. genius!


variations / additions:

  • you can add any sort of veggies that take your fancy – small bits of potato or kumera would be ace, as would capsicum, and mushrooms.
  • a mix of beans can add variety, and variety is the spice of life!
  • soy cheese crumbled on top is delectible!
  • a side serving of warm bread, particularly corn bread.
  • tasty guacamole on top!

* do be wary of adding the correct spices. do these two look the same to you?


they did to me! as a result i got a bit excited with the cayenne pepper (thinking it was paprika) and made the whole thing rather spicy! yeow! hence the breathless-ness…