Tag Archives: Recipe

Quick and Easy Banana Pancakes

Here’s a quick and easy pancake recipe we’ve previously featured on the blog. We added chocolate chips to half the batter and fresh blueberries to the other half for variety.

This is probably the most fun we had pouring maple syrup on pancakes and joking about Instragram (so far) :).

– Ricelessasian

Homemade Matcha Ice Cream

We’re on YouTube now!

Here’s a test video of us making homemade matcha ice cream. We added about 2 tbsp. of matcha powder to this basic ice cream recipe base. Since we didn’t have whole milk, we used 2 ½ cups of cream with half a cup of skim milk instead of what the recipe called for (2 cups of cream + 1 cup whole milk). The result is a sweet and milky ice cream with a contrasting matcha green tea flavour. It was a matcha made in heaven.

– Ricelessasian

Easter Sunday Bunny Rolls

Happy Easter Sunday from the West Coast! I found a super cute recipe online and decided to make these lil bunnies for Easter this year. I’m in a rather great mood because the sun is shining bright today! Also, because I get to bake, bake, bake!

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The ingredients were very simple and I had everything at home already in my pantry and fridge. Note: Not shown in the photo above was the extra egg (for the egg wash) and the black sesame seeds (for the bunnies’ eyes).

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I followed the recipe here. I found it was quite straightforward, except when it came time to shape the bunnies’ faces and ears. I first rolled up the balls of dough (roughly 20) and shaped it into an ‘egg-like’ shape with my hands, trying to smooth the edges out. I then cut the top part of the dough with my scissors and made 2 incisions for the ears. The ears at first looked like sharp horns (more cat-like), so I flattened each ear to make it look rounder. For the eyes, I used a toothpick to make 2 small holes and inserted two black sesame seeds in them. Unfortunately, mine ended up looking like little mice haha… but they’re still pretty kawaii!

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The bunny buns were very soft and tasted similarly to some plain Asian-style buns, with a very nice contrast of salty and sweet. The recipe is completely milk-free (perfect for those who are lactose-intolerant) 🙂 I will definitely make these again one day!

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Have a hoppy Easter!

-Matchachoco

Multicoloured Fortune Cookies

I’ve been told that I make very lame puns…so I decided to make puns and put them inside fortune cookies, haha.

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Fun fact: Fortune cookies did not originate from Asia. I’ve always wondered about this since I grew up in Asia, but never had fortune cookies until I traveled to the US. I was a kid back then, and I remember I almost ate the paper because I didn’t know there was something inside the cookie!

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I got the fortune cookie recipe from Fifteen Spatulas, and made some modifications. Instead of making regular fortune cookies, I decided to give them a little bit of natural colour by adding some cocoa powder, matcha powder, and beetroot powder.

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This was my first take on making homemade fortune cookies, and they turned out pretty good! Well, some of them turned out chewy, while the others turned out crispy. It does take some trial and error before you get the hang of folding the cookies, and it’s very time-consuming. However, I think they’re well worth making for special occasions 😛

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Happy Chinese New Year!

– Ricelessasian

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Multicoloured Fortune Cookies
Adapted from Fifteen Spatulas

Ingredients

1 batch of fortune cookie recipe from Fifteen Spatulas
½ tsp matcha powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp beetroot powder* or any red food colouring of your choice
½ vanilla extract
Water (use if batter is too thick)

*I didn’t want to add too much beetroot powder because I didn’t want the cookies to start tasting like beets. I got a slightly pink colour with this amount. If you prefer an intense red colour, use food colouring instead.

Directions

  1. Make one batch of fortune cookie recipe batter, eliminating the vanilla and almond extract. Divide batter into four equal portions in separate bowls.
  2. Mix in the matcha powder, cocoa powder, beetroot powder, and vanilla extract with the separate bowls.
  3. Follow instructions from Fifteen Spatulas for folding the fortune cookies.

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Christmas Kale Minestrone Soup

It’s that time of the year again. I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts of the year is the weeks that lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot of excitement in anticipation for Christmas; the environment is beaming with white snow and Christmas lights. You also have an excuse to throw holiday parties!

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In spirit of the season,  I decided to get these Christmas-themed pasta I’ve been eyeing on for quite a while now. Initially, I was waiting to get it after Christmas when it goes on sale, and use it for next Christmas. But apparently, I don’t really have that much patience…

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Since I’ve recently been into soups because of the cold weather, here’s a minestrone soup post featuring one of my all-time favorite veggies, kale. It’s sweet, tangy, and hearty from the beans and vegetables used.

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Put your hands up like you just don’t kale.

– Ricelessasian

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Christmas Minestrone Kale Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your preference. You can add whatever vegetables you want; I just used what I had at home. Meatballs would also be a great addition to this soup.

Ingredients

2/3  cup diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups of chopped kale
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
~1 cup pasta
1-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Directions

  1. In a cooking pot, cook carrot, celery, and onion with some cooking oil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions have softened and become translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the kale. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add water if the soup reduces too much.
  3. Add the black beans and the pasta. Continue to heat the soup until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season soup with salt and pepper, and finish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with more parsley for garnish and parmesan cheese.

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Not Your Typical “Cheesecake”

Guess what’s the main ingredient we used for this “cheesecake” dessert?

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Nope, there’s no cream cheese or any type of cheese used for this recipe at all. This recipe is nuts…literally. It’s mainly made of cashews and walnuts! I’ve been seeing this vegan cheesecake recipe online for a while now, so I finally decided to do my own take on it. While UCL is not a vegan blog, we’re pretty open minded to trying a variety of different recipes. After all, it’s always exciting to try something new!

Technically, this isn’t even a real cheesecake. While this recipe does try to mimic the flavour of cheesecake,  I wouldn’t say that it tastes exactly like cheesecake. But to be honest, I personally like the taste of it 😛

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The “cheesecake” layer was made with cashews, lemon juice, honey, and vanilla bean paste, all blended together until a smooth consistency was achieved. Of course the honey can be substituted for maple syrup or agave nectar for a strictly vegan version. I added a bit of chopped fresh cherries to the “cheesecake” to fill more space. The crust was made with crushed walnuts, dates, and a little bit of salt.

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Most recipes call for coconut oil to help stabilize the “cheesecake”, but I find that the recipe still works even if you don’t use it; just don’t thaw the “cheesecake” for too long.  I think what really ‘makes’ this recipe is the vanilla bean paste (and nope, it’s just not the same taste as vanilla extract!) and the smooth consistency of the blended cashews. You have to blend the cashews really well. There’s also the lemon juice which provides a tangy component to this dessert, reminiscent of cheesecake. While this isn’t a low-fat recipe, the good part about this recipe is that you’re getting the ‘good fats’ from the nuts. I wouldn’t recommend eating it all in one sitting, though! Portion is key, or share with a friend 😛

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I finished the “cheesecake” with some pureed strawberries. Another option would be to blend the fresh strawberries with the cashews instead to make a strawberry version. You can also use a combination of different fruits or make a chocolate version. Go nuts with it!

– Ricelessasian

Update: I realized it’s a lot easier to blend the ingredients when I doubled the recipe, so I doubled the amount of ingredients in the updated recipe.

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Basic Vanilla Cashew Based “Cheesecake” *updated* (makes 4 servings)

Adapted from every other raw vegan “cheesecake” recipe I’ve seen on the Internet

Ingredients

“Cheesecake” layer:
1 cup raw cashews
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Juice of half to one whole lemon (depends on how sour you want it to be)
2-3 tbsp. honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup)
Water
8-10 fresh cherries, chopped (optional)

Crust:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
4 medjool dates
Pinch of salt

Sauce:
Pureed strawberries (can be sweetened with a little bit of honey or dates if you want it to be sweeter)

Directions

  1. Before blending the cashews, soak cashews in water for at least 1 hour. This step will help ease with the blending process. Drain the cashews from water before blending.
  2. Using a food processor, process walnuts, dates, and salt, just until you get a coarse crumb consistency. Press this mixture to the bottom of two dessert rings or four cupcake liners on a baking tray.
  3. Blend cashews, vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and honey using the Magic Bullet or a strong powered food blender. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. TIP: If you have difficulty with blending, add some water, but add as little as you can. Pour the mixture on top of the crust. Add chopped cherries while pouring the mixture.
  4. Freeze “cheesecake” overnight. To remove from dessert ring, wipe sides of dessert ring with a warm wet towel. You should be able to remove the “cheesecake” easily by slowly pushing it downwards along the ring. If you used cupcake liners, you can just peel the cupcake liners off. Let the “cheesecake” thaw for about 1-2 minutes before eating. Ideally, the “cheesecake” should still be frozen when you serve it, but not rock solid frozen. Finish with a drizzle of pureed strawberries.

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Cooking for One: Biciclette Tricolori Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

Recently, I attended one of Vancouver’s largest food festivals – Eat! Vancouver at BC Place. It’s a three-day event fit for all foodies, whether you’re a fan of sweet pastries, savouries or wine. While I was perusing the aisles and looking for delicious and free samples, I found these cute tricolour bicycle-shaped pasta at the Urban Fare Market booth.

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The colour of this Italian pasta is made from natural ingredients such as dried red beat, dried spinach and durum wheat semolina. I thought it would go perfectly for our blog because Ricelessasian loves colourful and uniquely-shaped pasta!

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I adapted the recipe below because I just used whatever I had in my kitchen. It’s simple and unfussy, but most of all, I like this recipe because it’s extremely versatile. Though I made a vegetarian version, this dish would go well with some grilled chicken or salmon for a more substantial meal.

After making this recipe, I’d have to agree with Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m a better person when I have less on my plate!

Happy cooking,

-Matchachoco

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Pesto and Goat Cheese Biciclette Tricolori Pasta (makes 1 serving)
Adapted from And They Cooked Happily Ever After 

Ingredients

125 g biciclette tricolori pasta (or any other type of pasta you prefer)
~ 2 tbsp of pesto* or more depending on your taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tomato, diced in quarters (I used tomatoes on the vine)
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 oz. fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:

*Homemade pesto (yields about 1/2 cup):
1 cup fresh basil
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, boil the biciclette pasta for 8-10 minutes until al dente in lightly salted water. Depending on the type of pasta you use, refer to the package instructions for cooking time. Drain and rinse in cold water with a coriander.
  2. In a food processor, mix all the pesto ingredients together until all combined well. Add salt pepper to taste and more olive oil to your preference (optional).
  3. In a medium-sized pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced red onion and the diced tomatoes and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Mix pasta with the sautéed onions and tomatoes, and about 2 tbsp. or more of the pesto. Incorporate the goat cheese just until the cheese melts a little bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or as a cold pasta salad instead.

Note: Make sure to not overcook or overstir the pasta in boiling water since the pieces tend to break easily.

Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana “Dibs”

These taste just like banana split!

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I saw this idea as I was browsing through Instagram and I thought that these would be a great snack to have around in the freezer (also because I wanted to make use of the bananas I have at home before they become overripe). They remind me of those bite-size Dibs frozen dessert but these are made with fruits instead :D.

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I thought of adding freeze dried strawberries to the idea. Although the freeze dried strawberries were intended to be used as a garnish, I was pleasantly surprised that its addition would result with something reminiscent of banana split. If you can’t find freeze dried strawberries, crushed nuts would also work. Better yet, top these treats with both freeze dried strawberries and crushed nuts for the ultimate banana split flavour! I know I would have if I only thought of that idea before taking the photos :P.

Just going bananas,

– Ricelessasian

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Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana “Dibs” 

Ingredients

1 banana
~ 100 g  chopped dark chocolate
Chopped freeze dried strawberries and/or chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Prepare baking tray with parchment paper. Chop banana crosswise into 20 pieces.
  2. Using a ramekin or a small deep bowl, microwave chocolate every 30 seconds, mixing the chocolate in between until it has fully melted.
  3. Using two forks, dip chopped banana pieces one at a time into the melted chocolate. Place chocolate covered banana pieces on top of the parchment paper. Top with a generous amount of freeze dried strawberries while the chocolate has not yet set.
  4. Freeze until the bananas become frozen.  Do not thaw; these taste better frozen!

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Mock-jito Mock Ice Cream (Dairy-free and Vegan)

I love avocados! Avocados have a wide range of culinary uses, ranging from sweet desserts to savoury dishes. One of my favorite recipes with avocados is an avocado milkshake made with condensed milk. Sometimes I would play around with the consistency, and I would get something similar to an avocado ice cream. Yes, I know it’s a very decadent treat, so this time I opted for something relatively lighter…enter vegan mojito avocado ice cream sans the alcohol!

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Now, I don’t have an ice cream maker and I don’t drink, so this was the result.  Though Matchachoco does not prefer the taste of alcohol, on certain occasions and festivities, Matchachoco thinks it’s good to enjoy a drink to celebrate with everyone (secretly, she just wishes she is Italian). For the record, that’s a virgin mojito drink on the photo, because I like my drinks just like my olive oil…extra virgin.

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Lame jokes aside, I think avocados make a good vegan ice cream base because of its creamy texture. Technically it’s not really ice cream because there’s no cream in it, hence the “mock ice cream” name. I find it interesting that I couldn’t taste the avocado in this recipe, so it’s worth a try if you don’t like the taste of avocados. What’s also nice about this recipe is that you don’t need an ice cream maker. The recipe is similar to making smoothies, but you get a very thick smoothie.

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The result is a refreshing mock mojito flavour using a mock ice cream base. Enjoy!

– Ricelessasian

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Mock-jito Mock Ice Cream (makes about 1 1/4 cup)

Ingredients

2 small avocados
¼ cup sweetened soy milk + ½ cup sweetened soy milk for blending (or milk, if not dairy-free or vegan)
10 mint leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp. lime juice (depends how sour you want it to be)
1 tsp. lime zest
2-3 tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend avocados, lime juice, lime zest, mint, sugar, and ¼ cup of soy milk.
  2. Pour mixture in an ice cube tray and freeze for a couple of hours.
  3. Once frozen, blend the frozen avocado cubes in the food processor, gradually adding the remaining ½ cup soy milk until you reached your desired consistency. Add more soy milk if needed. If the ice cream is too runny, place ice cream in the freezer for a few minutes then stir the ice cream with a spoon.

Some notes about the recipe:

  • This ‘ice cream’ hardens when you freeze it again.
  • You might have to add more sugar if you’re not using sweetened soy milk. Do note that the blended avocado mixture will become less sweet and less sour after it is frozen.
  • You can also use agave nectar to sweeten it instead of sugar. Agave nectar is sweeter than sugar, so don’t put the same amount of agave nectar as much as the amount of sugar used in the recipe.
  • I personally prefer using milk over soy milk for this recipe because it tastes creamier with milk.

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