Tuesday, 29 April 2014

a shimmering golden spiced soymilk, and a vitasoy giveaway *closed*

This post is sponsored by Vitasoy.

A shimmering golden spiced soymilk.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a sucker for organic food. So when I was asked if I would be interested in writing about Vitasoy's organic range, it was hard to say no. There are quite a few things to like about these products: they are made from organic whole soybeans which have not been genetically modified, and they are locally grown - sourced from a selection of five Australian farmers.

As those of us who occasionally dabble in vegan and vegetarian recipes know, soymilk is a pretty versatile product. You can drink it straight, mix it, blend it, cook it, just as you would with regular dairy milk. It's also nutritious, protein-rich, and contains all the essential amino acids.

Inspired by the properties of soymilk, I decided to create a wholesome, soothing, nutritious beverage. A spiced, golden, hot soymilk beverage.

I've been big on turmeric lately, and I often pair it with black pepper, as they are known to have a synergistic effect - the piperine compound in black pepper boosts the absorption of the curcumin compound in turmeric. So that's pretty awesome. Those two things go into this spiced tea. I also threw a bunch of other spices in, because the more the merrier. You know you want it: the sweetness of cinnamon and nutmeg, the seductiveness of cardamom and ginger. Plus, I added a slick touch of coconut oil, as well. The result was kind of a shimmering golden spiced soymilk.

If you don't have all the spices listed, do feel free to come up with your own combination!

a shimmering golden spiced soymilk
(serves 1)

1 cup Vitasoy soymilk
1/2 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup, coconut nectar etc. for vegan substitutes)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ginger

Gently warm soymilk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring or swirling it every now and then.
Put the honey, coconut oil and spices in a mug. Stir well so that the spices are combined with the honey and coconut oil.
Pour the warmed soymilk into the mug, stirring as you go, until everything is blended.
Sprinkle with some extra nutmeg or cinnamon.

Hot tip: Mix this spiced soymilk with black tea (ratio/amounts according to personal preference) to create a delicious chai!

Note: Soymilk does form a film when it's heated, but you can just stir it away. You might also want to stir as you drink, as the spices do tend to sink to the bottom. They will still be infused into the milk, but the flavour will be stronger if you get bits of spices suspended in the liquid.

Spiced milk with Vitasoy.

For your chance to win a Vitasoy prize hamper, please leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite soymilk recipe.

The $150 prize pack includes:

3 x 1 litre Vitasoy milk cartons
4 x Vitasoy recipe cards
1 x ‘Healthy Every Day’ cookbook by Pete Evans
1 x T2 coffee mug
1 x KeepCup
1 x 250g Global Cafe Direct organic coffee
1 x $65 Coles gift card

Please observe these terms and conditions. Giveaway will end 5pm AEST Tuesday 13 May 2014.

Brought to you by Vitasoy and Nuffnang.

Results are IN! Congratulations Lily, you are the winner of the giveaway! Thank you, everyone, for participating. x

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Friday, 25 April 2014

rosewater mandarin lassi

Rosewater mandarin lassi.

So... I'm back from my trip to Nepal!

I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to sharing my pictures and stories, but for now I am overwhelmed as I go through all the photographs I have taken. I think I have nearly 1500 photographs from our 4-week trip, which is tough enough as it is, but spare a thought for Simon, who took about 9000, so he's really got his work cut out for him.

Hence, I will just leave you with a lassi recipe today - a yoghurt-based drink that is popular in many parts of South Asia (including Nepal). This rosewater mandarin version is one that I began making last autumn in Australia, taking advantage of the abundant and cheap mandarins in season, and I think it'll be part of my autumn repertoire for the years to come.

A soft, romantic mandarin and rose lassi to brighten and sooth the day.

rosewater mandarin lassi / smoothie (serves 1)

2 small mandarins (approx. 5cm / 2" diameter) or 1 larger mandarin
2/3 cup yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
4 ice cubes

Peel mandarins and remove any seeds.
Blend mandarin segments, yoghurt, rosewater and ice cubes together until smooth.
Serve and feel good.

Mandarin rosewater lassi.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

autumn in melbourne, and what i've been up to lately

Autumn in Melbourne.

It's autumn in Melbourne, and I've started walking to work when the weather is nice. I walk on the exact same route that I take on the tram. Going on foot gives me a different perspective. It takes a little longer, but public transport delays no longer bother me, I'm more in touch with my surroundings, and I feel rather fresh and invigorated when I arrive at the office.

I slow down for fluffy black cats.

It also means that, if I see a fluffy black cat on my way to work, I can easily stop and pat it if I want to.

Miso udon noodle soup.

I think I've mentioned that Simon and I are in kind of a long-distance Perth-Melbourne relationship at the moment. Well, he recently visited, and we've been eating out a lot, dumplings mostly, but I've also been cooking for us, making simple dishes such as this above bowl of udon noodles in miso broth.

Little Red Owl card by Melbourne artist Natalie Marshall.

We also went to my friend Joanne's wedding. I picked out this absolutely adorable card with little red owls by Natalie Marshall, a Melbourne artist, at Paperpoint, a stationery shop in South Melbourne. It came with a very appropriately cheerful red envelope, perfect for stuffing a few notes in and slipping into the wishing well.

I cooked Malaysian chicken curry one night for Simon and my housemates. It was very tasty, and I have to give most of the credit to the neighbour back in Malaysia who roasted and ground the spice mix from scratch, and my parents for bringing a jar of that gorgeous flaming golden curry powder over to Australia for me.

Astam village, one of my favourite places in Nepal.

Last but not least, I'm actually in Nepal right now! I'm traveling for a few weeks with Simon, and we're having a great time. I'm not sure if I'll be doing much else in the way of blogging or other internet activities while I'm on holiday, but rest assured when I get back there shall be a lot of catching up to do!

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