Tag Archives: vegetarian

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.

Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)

Today, I decided to venture into the world of “pretend fine dining” and to recreate the ratatouille dish from the Disney movie Ratatouille ūüôā

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ratatouille

A photo of ratatouille from the Disney movie

From what I’ve researched, the ratatouille recipe they used in the Disney movie is based on Confit¬†Byladi,¬†a¬†modified¬†ratatouille recipe¬†by¬†Thomas Keller¬†who served as the chef consultant for the movie. The dish consists of¬†a piperade sauce topped with thin slices of¬†Japanese eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes.¬†The¬†dish is¬†slowly baked covered for two hours, and then it is allowed to roast for another half hour.¬†The final¬†dish is¬†served with a balsamic vinaigrette¬†circled around it.

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I followed the recipe from this video, and I have to say that this has got to be the most intricate vegetarian recipe I’ve done so far. My efforts were rewarded with a very¬†flavourful dish and not to mention, the most good-looking ratatouille I’ve made. What’s also interesting about this recipe is that it is not only vegetarian, but it’s also vegan. Although the dish was delicious, I thought that it wasn’t filling enough to be a main dish. I see this more as a side dish or as an appetizer served with bread.

Until my next food adventure,

-Ricelessasian

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Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)
 I used this video as a reference for the recipe.

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant, cut into very thin slices
1 zucchini, cut into very thin slices
1 yellow summer squash, cut into very thin slices
4 small Roma tomatoes, cut into very thin slices
2 tsp. of olive oil
1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme
Chives for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

For the piperade:
Half of one red bell pepper, deseeded
Half of one yellow bell pepper, deseeded
Half of one orange bell pepper, deseeded
3 tomatoes, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated parsley*
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme*
2 leaves of dehydrated bay leaf*
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*Use fresh herbs if possible.

For the balsamic vinaigrette:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Make the piperade

  1. Place the bell peppers in one layer over a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Try to flatten the bell peppers to allow even roasting. Broil the bell peppers in the oven on high for 15 minutes or until the skin of the bell peppers have darkened. After broiling, transfer the bell peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl. This will allow you to peel the skin of the bell peppers easily. Peel the skin of the bell peppers when they are no longer very hot to the touch.  Finely chop the roasted bell peppers and set aside.
  2. Sauté diced yellow onion and grated garlic with olive oil until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the diced tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has been reduced. Remove the bay leaves.

Bake the ratatouille

  1. Spread the piperade on a casserole dish.
  2. Top the thinly sliced eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and tomatoes over the piperade.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic and 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil mixture on top of the ratatouille.
  4. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake the dish for another 30 minutes. Slightly cover the casserole dish midway with aluminum foil if the ratatouille gets too browned.

You can serve the ratatouille immediately after baking or you can refrigerate the baked ratatouille to serve the next day. Allowing the baked ratatouille to marinate in the refrigerator overnight will give you a more flavourful ratatouille.  Heat the marinated ratatouille in the oven again before serving.

Assemble the ratatouille

  1. In a small bowl, combine together 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme, salt and pepper to make the balsamic vinaigrette.
  2. Using an offset spatula with the help of a spoon, try to scoop the ratatouille as it forms a roll. Place the ratatouille on the centre of the plate.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. of the piperade from the ratatouille to the balsamic vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette around the ratatouille.
  4. Garnish the ratatouille with chives.

Thanks for reading or scrolling down to the end of this very long post. To end this post, here’s a photo of Remy with his ratatouille ūüôā

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He got a little huge from eating too much after the movie ended.

Simple Vegetarian Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice)

I simply love bibimbap! Whenever I go to a Korean restaurant, I would usually get their bibimbap. I love how the meat and vegetables are arranged accordingly over hot Japanese rice, and it tastes just as appetizing as it looks.  Just remember to mix all the ingredients with the gochujang sauce (red pepper sauce)! The first time I had bibimbap I did not know I was supposed to mix all the ingredients together with the gochujang sauce. Silly me.

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There are many¬†¬†recipe variations¬†for making bibimbap.¬†Usually, bibimbap would consist of one type of meat, an egg, and various vegetable toppings. The vegetable toppings are varied from place to place, but I find that zucchini,¬†carrots, bean sprouts, spinach and mushrooms are very common toppings.¬† Sometimes it’s topped with a sunny side up egg or a raw egg yolk.¬†Bibimbap can be served over a plain bowl or stone bowl (dolsot). I prefer the stone bowl¬†version because the rice gets crispy at the bottom and it’s¬†usually¬†topped with a raw egg yolk that gets cooked as you mix the bibimbap (I think it’s creamier¬†with the raw egg yolk).¬†Here’s a simplified vegetarian ¬†version of how I usually make bibimbap at home. I don’t have a stone bowl, but this one is good enough to recreate one of my favourite Korean dishes¬†at home.

– Ricelessasian

(oh, the irony of my name!)

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Bibimbap (serves 2)
Adapted from Maangchi

Ingredients

2 Р2 1/2 cups of cooked Japanese rice
Half a bunch of spinach
1/2 cup julienne-cut carrots
1/2 cup julienne-cut zucchini
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
4-6 button mushrooms
4-6  shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup nori strips
2 eggs (one egg for each bowl)
Cooking oil
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook spinach over boiling hot water for about 1-2 minutes. Rinse cooked spinach with cold water and squeeze the excess water with paper towel. Add a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil to the spinach. Add some salt if desired. Set spinach aside.
  2. Cook bean sprouts over boiling hot water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain cooked bean sprouts. Add a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil to the spinach. Add some salt if desired. Set bean sprouts aside.
  3. Stir-fry carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms independently. Season with salt and pepper. Set the stir-fried vegetables aside.
  4. Cook sunny side up egg.
  5. In a large bowl, place about a cup of cooked Japanese rice. Arrange vegetable ingredients and nori strips accordingly. Top with the sunny side up egg. Garnish with sesame seeds.

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Gochujang sauce

For the gochujang sauce, I halved the amount of ingredients from this recipe. Instead of using honey, I added about 1/2 Р1 tsp of finely grated garlic.

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To eat bibimbap, mix everything together with the gochujang sauce. Adjust the amount of gochujang sauce to your liking. Serve with a side of kimchi if desired.

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The universe favours an increase in entropy and so does your bibimbap!

Alternatively, you can serve bibimbap already mixed in. I used my heart and star shaped rice molders for a fancy presentation.

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta

We’re still blogging!

Matchachoco and I are currently taking a break from baking (calm before the storm?). In the meantime, do enjoy this roasted vegetable pesto pasta :).

-Ricelessasian

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic bulb
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

~300 g spaghetti
6 tbsp. basil pesto
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

Roast vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and onion into even pieces. Peel garlic cloves but do not chop.
  3. In a bowl, combine zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, 1-2 tbsp. cooking oil, and salt and pepper. Mix together until the vegetables are coated with the cooking oil. Repeat step in separate bowl with onion and grape tomatoes.
  4. Lay out zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in one even layer over two baking trays. Laying out the vegetables in one even layer will allow the vegetables to roast properly. Repeat step in a separate baking tray with onion and grape tomatoes.
  5. Roast zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in the oven for about 30 minutes. Roast onion and grape tomatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Rotate baking tray and toss vegetables mid-way for even roasting.

Prepare pasta

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is still hot, mix in basil pesto, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Top pasta with roasted vegetables. If the pesto sauce is a little bit dry, add a little bit of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

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IMG_2832Before roasting:IMG_2841
After roasting:
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There’s something so special about the taste of roasted vegetables.¬†The taste is not the same if you stir fry or boil veggies. By roasting vegetables, the flavours intensify and the veggies taste sweet because of caramelization.¬†Not to mention,¬†caramelization is my favourite non-enzymatic browning :).

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