Sunday Cook-Off

Today, a few people from work who had expressed interest in eating more plant-based foods came around my house to cook. The focus was to cook food that could be cooked in bulk and used over a period of a few days (good for after work),was extremely high in nutrients but also low in calories. It also needed to be food that was readily available in Jakarta (no vegan mayonaise for example) and inexpensive and without needing fancy equipment.

With all that in mind I decided on the following dishes, ones that I have tried and tested many times and I knew were fabulous.

Carrot and ginger soup
Scrambled tofu with wilted arugula
Thai style coleslaw
Banana ice cream.

I decided to do the cooking lesson a little bit differently because it was the first time doing it in this space and also it was a bigger group. We just broke off in to pairs, I gave them the recipes and I just sort of drifted giving some advice, but these ladies were awesome! They already had loads of cooking skills. We spent lots of time just chatting especially over a long and lovely lunch and chopping onions! It was so wonderful to share nourishing healthy foods and also introduce a few gadgets and new ingredients to such a wonderfully open-minded group. Marion has kindly posted a lovely entry on her blog about our time together and so did Sam.

This was really the run up to an idea that I have had on my mind over the last few weeks. The idea is to get those people from SWA and JWA who are interested (and anyone else from my network for that matter) to see if they would like to complete a ‘get healthy and  / or lose weight 30 day challenge’ in the new year. It could also be a really good intro for those people who would like to give a vegan diet a try.

I know there are lots of people like me out there who look at the start of the year as a time for making great plans and getting excited about awesome possibilities, and for many, a healthier lifestyle is part of that. My idea is to publicize this through my blog and to see if we can get a group of people who might be interested in sharing their journey through perhaps a FB group and a couple of face 2 face meetups over the course of the month; like a cooking class, shopping trip or a dinner out (with healthy options of course). There would be some pre-requsites reading and watching to do before the ‘course’ would start, which would hopefully serve to inspire them further. Having a group of people doing it together is much easier than doing it by themselves. By sharing my idea with my friends that came by today and listening to what they said about the food made me just think that I should DO IT!

Anyway, I am hoping to put this together in the next week or so. There will be a blog post about it soon!

So, here are some pictures of our little cooking session! Pictures courtesy of Marion and Sam!

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Spring Vegetable Corn Chowder

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From Appetite for Reduction, this soup is amazing. Coconut milk, curry powder with spring veggies make a delicious, nutrient dense meal. The recipe is low in calories, but it called for low fat coconut milk, which I have not seen in Asia so the calorie intake was a bit higher than the book. Still, I am guessing that my 2 enormous bowls were less than 500 calories. This was shared by one of my colleagues who stated that it was delicious. Isa‘s genius strikes again!

Southwest Quinoa Soup

I got this recipe from my good friend Heather. She has been trialing veganism for the past month of so and has been blogging to show her progress. She has been totally rocking it and creating loads of delicious looking meals for her boyfriend and her adorbs 1 year old daughter Stella. She posted a link to Southwest Quinoa Soup a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been dying to try it. I did today, and it made a HUGE saucepan full that’ll keep us going for ages. I had to make some changes as I didn’t have a cup and a half of quinoa so I made up the rest with some pasta for soups and some red lentils. It was ridiculously easy. Just throw everything in the pan and 15 minutes later you are good to go. On top, there’s some cashew sour cream, spring onions and coriander.

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Pumpkin Spicy Coconut Soup

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Cookbook: Clean Food.

Dish: Pumpkin Spicy Coconut Soup.

Ease of preparation: 4/5. It would be 5/5, but I deducted a point for having to peel the butternut pumpkin (always a serious drag to do this).

Accessibility of ingredients: 5/5 if you have acess to some Asian ingredients. This dish contained kaffir lime leaves, galangal and loads of lemongrass.

Taste: 4/5 Wonderful Thai flavours in a creamy pumpkin soup. Yeah!!!!!!

Some Pictures from our Lovely Picnic Last Week

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Tofu Quiche

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Gazpacho Soup

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Some of our picnic crew!

Here’s Christy’s account of our lovely day.