Tag Archives: low fat

Parsley & sumac egg white omlette

18 Jul

This recipe was born out of the detrius of a crema catalana (to be published soon). When faced with half a dozen egg whites and not particularly keen on making anything sweet, one might easily fall into despair. But this little lunch or brekkie item is quite a good’un. I know the mention of an egg white omlette might initially seem like worthy diet food, but packed full of fresh herbs this is rather tasty and totally filling as a lunch.

Parsley and sumac egg white omlette

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 C finely chopped parsley
  • 2 TBSP sumac
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 3 TBSP finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 C milk

Whisk eggs until white, but not necessarily too foamy and definitely not stiff. Add parsley, herbs, spices, onion and milk.

Heat a small fry pan (about 20cm diameter) and coat in olive oil. Pour egg mix into the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the base appears to be cooked through.

Remove pan from stove top and put under grill, until cooked through. Let cool before removing from pan.

Estimated cost: Given that this was leftovers, I want to say zero. But in more true terms, £1.40

Musical accompaniment: Lyla Ices

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Sesame rice balls (ongiri)

13 Jun

Ongiri for dinner

Ongiri for lunch

Leftover sushi bits are hard things to deal with, freshness being kinda the critical element of sushi and all Japanese wonders. After a sushi dinner party, Man Woman had an abundance of cooked rice and would-be nori roll fillings still hanging about and decided, when all other options fall flat, make balls.

This is inspired by the rice balls from the macrobiotic restaurant in Sydney Iku, which nourished Woman during many long and impoverishing journeys through Glebe markets. As a leftover recipe we used what we had leftover – a bit of carrot, some errant aspargus spears, etcetera. Use whatever you have to hand, but I’d try to keep the rice:non-rice ratio faily similar to this, because too much non-mushable veg (sweet potato and the like would be an exception) would stop this from binding.

I also have on good authority that kneading of this mix is crucial to ensure it holds.

Rice balls (ongiri). Makes 8 – 10 – serves 2 to 4 people

  • 1 C sushi rice uncooked
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/3 C tofu (ideally a flavoured one – smoked or some such)
  • 1/4 C asparagus
  • 1/3 C carrot
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • thumb-size piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin (sweet cooking wine – optional)
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1.25 C water – for cooking the rice
  • Sesame seeds – for rolling

Chop vegetables up quite small (see below pic as a guide) and mix with cooked rice. Add ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil and mirin – if using. If you, perchance, have any left over picked ginger knocking about in the fridge, chuck that in promptly.

With wet hands, mix the rice and veg, pressing down as though kneading dough.

Keep a bowl of water next to you and pour out about half a cup of sesame seeds onto a plate.

Make balls by scooping a palmful of rice mix into your wet hands (the repetition of wet hands is a purposeful emphasis – without repeatedly dipping your hands into water or the like, the sushi rice will stick to you, not itself and you will never, ever create rice balls). Firmly shape into a ball for about a minute, if not a bit longer. Roll in sesame seeds, coating entirely, and set aside.

I put my rice balls in the fridge for a couple of hours before cooking, but it’s not necessary.

Ongiri in process

Fry or bake?

You can shallow fry these in about 1cm of vegetable oil, turning as the seeds in the oil golden. This creates a nice chewy crust which contrasts nicely with the soft rice inside – it is, however, frying and thus bad for you and doesn’t have that  clean feeling of not frying.

For baking, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Brush the balls lightly in sesame or veggie oil. Bake for about half an hour or until the crust gets coloured – these won’t get as dark as the fried balls, but the crust does get that chewy texture. You don’t have the oil weighing you down after the meal as the fried ones do and the chance of burning yourself with an errant, angry sesame seed flying out of a hot pan of oil are markedly lessened. Bake, I reckon.

Either way serve with salad. I also made a quick lemon, black bean and ginger sauce to go with it (just mix these ingredients and adjust to taste).

Estimated cost: £2.50

Musical accompaniment: Lia Ices

Mango Mint Rum Granita

17 May

Man Woman believes that this summer is going to be a Good Summer. Just like the summer four years ago which the Brits keep referring to – and which we missed. In anticipation of this Good Summer, Man Woman have been road-testing some quick wins in the refreshing goodness department. This taste of summer iteration one is a libation to the sun gods which we expect they will appreciate.

Plus, dead easy.

Mango Mint Rum Granita

  • 3 C mango puree
  • 1 TBSP mint leaves finely sliced
  • 30ml white rum
  • 30ml lime juice
  • 15ml lemon juice

Mix all of the above. Adjust rum and citrus juices to taste. We feel this doesn’t need any sweetening.

Put into as large a dish/plastic container as you can fit in your freezer. After 30 minutes, run a fork through the mix – the mix should be partly frozen at this point. Do again a couple more times until the mix is an icy granita awaiting consumption.

If you leave it too long and it freezes hard, just leave it out for as long as it returns to the appropriate level of slushiness.

Estimated cost: £2

Musical accompaniment: Paul Kelly, Roll on Summer, Roll On

Pesto cannelli beans stuffed in baked beef tomato

1 Apr

I’ve got to be honest. Just having the word ‘beef’ in a recipe on this blog feels a little bit uncomfortable. It brings up all strange feelings. And really, look at the word – it is strange.

God, you can be too vegetarian, can’t you?

This meal was inspired after Man’s stroke of home-made pesto genius and the shock that pesto really doesn’t miss parmesan at all. Man Woman felt so betrayed by the entire Italian community – the needless cheese! Why?

Pesto canneli beans stuffed in baked beef tomato

  • 2 large beef tomatoes (or the largest, firmest tomatoes you can get)
  • 1 can cannelli beans (or other soft white bean)
  • 2 – 3 TBSP home-made pesto (you can cheat with store-bought if you like. We’re not looking)
  • 1 spring onion

Pre-heat oven to about 200C.

Now this is a little tricky. Cut out the centre of the tomatoes, leaving the outside in tact and ideally with around 1/2 inch of flesh all around. (Save the tomatoes for pasta sauce or something later). Try in particular to remove the more watery, seedy parts.

Bake for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes at this point will have released a bit of water. It’s best to transfer them into individual serving dishes that you can bake them a bit further – otherwise drain the train from it’s water and perhaps sit the tomatoes on a small bed of rice, to absorb the excess liquid that will inevitably be released.

While the tomatoes are baking, mix the cannelli beans with the pesto and chopped spring onion.

After the tomatoes have cooked for their 30 minutes, remove and fill with the bean mixture (putting them in their own serving trays or on rice). Return to the oven and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the beans are warmed through.

This is enough on its own, but you could always serve with some rice or salad on the side.

Estimated cost: £4.60

Musical accompaniment: Nina Simone

Fried eggplant with tomato onions

25 Mar

As a child Woman was scarred by eggplant. Her father would fry up what seemed like mountains of eggplant on the barbeque. I don’t know why this scarred her, but it just seemed there was always a lot.

But Woman has been rehabilitated to fried eggplant. Fried eggplant, in moderation, is very, very good. (It’s hiding in this picture behind the vineleaves and lentils.. oh mezze, how I love you)

Fried eggplant with tomato onions (serves 2 as part of a mezze)

  • 1/2 eggplant (medium size) cut into slices
  • 1/4 C chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 small white onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp thyme

Heat olive oil in pan and cook onion until soft and browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the pan, add a bit more olive oil and cook eggplants on each side for about three minutes or until very soft. Remove from pan. Set on plate.

Throw cooked onion back into the pan with tomatoes and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have become less watery. Serve on top of fried eggplant.

Estimated cost: £1

Musical accompaniment: John Grant

Heart-warming miso and noodle soup

16 Mar

This is a great soup for those early March nights when you, by rights, had expected the weather to be getting warmer, but when it is totally incorrectly freezing. Compounded with that, it’s an exceptionally healthy soup which is perfect for when, on those freezing early March nights, you decide to run straight home after work and skip the gym because it’s too cold. In the gym. Umm.

Miso and noodle soup

  • 2.5 TBSP shiro (or light) miso paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 shallot sliced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 8 shitake or dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 C cauliflower
  • 1/4 C wakame seaweed
  • 750ml (3 C) water
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 packet thick udon noodles

In a bowl, cover dried mushrooms with 250ml of hot water.

In a hot pot, heat a bit of vegetable oil and cook shallot and garlic until they have a bit of colour.

Add water, cauliflower (or other vegetable), miso paste and mushrooms with the water they were soaking in, keeping the water at a simmer.

Once mushrooms are softened and cooked enough to eat – say 15 – 20 minutes after they first started soaking – add the noodles.

Cook for another few minutes until noodles are cooked through.

Serve with spring onion and some Japanese chili flakes.

Estimated cost:£1.80

Musical accompaniment: Classical somesuch

Puy lentils & asparagus with mustard, buffalo cheese and beetroot

22 Feb

Lately Man Woman have just been copying meals we’ve had out at home. This one is a homage to an entree we had at Cornercopia in Brixton on Saturday night (an excellent experience all ’round). This was eaten as a main for us on Sunday night, but could easily become a rather classy-looking entree for parties.

Also, just a point, how good are puy lentils? I think we can all agree that red lentils are a bit crappy, but Man Woman could eat puy lentils by the handful.

Puy lentils & asparagus with mustard, buffalo cheese and beetroot

  • 1/2C dry puy lentils
  • 8 – 10 asparagus stalks
  • 3 small beetroot
  • 100g buffalo cheese (or whatever cheese you fancy, white and blue cheeses are probably best)
  • Your best whole-grain mustard
  • 1 shallot
  • handful of nicoise olives
  • 3 bay leaves

Soak the puy lentils (not very necessary). Put in a pan with 1 C of water and bay leaves and bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until testing tells you it’s done. Season.

Meanwhile, just as lentils are nearly ready, fry your finely sliced shallot in olive oil in a pan. After 2 minutes, add the asparagus, cook until asparagus are cooked through, remove asparagus but continue cooking shallots until caramelised.

Serve asparagus on a bed of puy lentils. Crumble over cheese, throw on a dollop of wholegrain mustard, drape some slippery onion rings and scatter wedges of beetroot and olives about the place.

Fin.

Estimated cost: £3.10

Musical accompaniment: Paul Kelly

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