Mee Goring

3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped and fried in 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bok choy, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onions, halved and sliced thinly
1 red capsicum cut into strips
2 carrots sliced in half and then chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1kg fresh thick yellow egg (Hokkien) noodles or 4 cakes of instant noodles
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp curry powder
3 eggs
Cucumber and tomato slices, to serve
Lemon or lime wedges, to serve
Sliced bird’s-eye chillies in soy sauce, to serve

1. Heat a wok over very high heat and add the oil, garlic and onions. Toss until onions have started to soften.
2.  Add the capsicum and carrots and continue to stir until onions begin to brown.
3.  While this is cooking, cook your noodles according to the package.
4.  Add tomatoes and crack the eggs into the middle, whisking with a fork to keep them from sticking and also blend the yolks with the whites. (You can leave the egg out at this stage and just top the noodles with a fried egg.)
5. Add a little more oil if necessary and add the bok choy and noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis, tomato sauce and curry powder, tossing in the wok for about 3 minutes until the noodles are coated and the bok choy is softened.

Cold Noodle Salad

1 packet vermicelli rice noodles
one small red onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 capsicum
1 cucumber
handful of beans
½ cup peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
spring onions, chopped into 3cm pieces, to top
½ cup chopped fresh herbs like coriander, thai basil and basil
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cayenne chili chopped finely
Marinated tofu
Sauteed chicken

1. Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of warm water to soak for 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Chop all vegetables into small pieces.  You can use a matchstick cutter or a sharp knife.
3. Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
4. Drain the noodles - they should be softened by now.
5. Toss noodles, vegetables, herbs and sauce together.  You can reserve some sauce on the side.
6. Sprinkle with peanuts, sesame seeds and spring onions.
Recipe Credit - Kaycee Simuong Transition Farm Summer Intern 2016

Black Beans

Black beans, or turtle beans as they are also known, are a staple from Cuba to Mexico and down into South America. Black beans are full of iron and really easy to cook.  I have been able to find the raw ones in health food stores here on the peninsula.  I have also found organic tinned ones at the IGA. Black beans are very versatile - lovely in a burrito, as a dip with chips and salsa, as the bean in chili con carne and just with a side of saffron rice- and they freeze well, too!  Because I soak the raw beans with vegetables and spices, they have more flavour.  I also add a piece of seaweed adding nutrients to this already nutritious protein.  If you prefer to use tinned ones, skip to #5

2 cups uncooked black beans (or use 2 tins of precooked)
2 medium to large red onions
1-2 capsicums - green or coloured depending on your preference
8 large garlic cloves
1 chili pepper
6 bay leaves
Olive oil for frying the onions, peppers and garlic
1 large tablespoon tomato paste
3-5 medium size tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin seeds toasted and then ground
zest from one lime
coriander leaves and stems
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  SOAKING OF THE BEANS Clean and rinse the beans several times looking for any little pebbles. Place in a stock pot with 1 onion cut into quarters, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, large piece of Kombu seaweed.
2.  Fill the pot with water about 1 inch above the bean line, cover and soak overnight for at least 12 hours….
3. In the morning,  check the bean water line- water has been absorbed, add more, at least 1-inch above the bean line.  Bring to a high boil for about 5minutes, stir and reduce to low heat.
4.  Cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours.  Stir and keep checking water line and bean tenderness.  You want a bean that is tender, not mushy. You can take veggies out and puree them with the bean water and add it back in if you want a wetter bean.  For burritos, I like to drain the beans in a colander.
5. Meanwhile in a large fry pan, heat oil.  Add 3 bay leaves, 4 garlic cloves pressed, 1 large onion finely diced, 1 capsicum finely diced, chilies finely diced (optional).  Continually stir until onion is translucent.
6.  Toast cumin seeds until they start jumping and brown slightly.  Grind in a mortar and pestle.
7.  Add cumin and tomato paste to the frying pan.  Then cut your tomatoes in half vertically and grate them into the frying pan too.  After a few minutes, add the beans.
8. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt, pepper, lime juice, tomato paste.  The cumin should not be over powering.
9.  Just before serving top with minced coriander and the zest from one lime.

For Burritos
1. Take a tortilla.  layer black beans, avocado, salsa, rice, grated cheese and a bit of mixed lettuce and roll.
2. You can add a side of sour cream and/or make the avocado into guacamole!

Tomato Salsa

This is wonderfully fresh on corn chips or with black bean burritos. You can also make it when you have a glut of tomatoes and preserve for the winter.  This is a very quick recipe that involves no peeling of tomatoes. 
3 tomatoes
1/4 capsicum - coloured or green
1/2 red onion
2 fresh garlic cloves
1/4 bunch coriander - mince the leaves and stems
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Finely dice the onion,  capsicum, garlic cloves and optional chili pepper and put into a bowl. 
2. Roughly chop tomatoes. 
3. Add to bowl with olive oil and blend being careful to keep it a bit chunky.
4. Add lime juice and mix through.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Depending on your tomatoes, you may need a pinch of sugar too.
6.  Add coriander.

Classic Greek Salad

The classic Greek salad - The taste is carried on the freshness of the vegetables and the flavour of the olives, feta and olive oil.  I still remember traveling through Greece consuming this salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner - using fresh bread to mop up the left over juice.
I whole tomato cut into 1/8's
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, skin forked, quartered lengthwise, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small red capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
100g Greek feta cheese, cut into cubes
1 1/2 tblsps olive oil
1 1/2 tblsps lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or use basil

1. Place oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano in a screw-top jar. Season with salt and pepper. Secure lid. Shake to combine.
2. Combine tomato, cucumber, onion, capsicum and olives in a large bowl. Top with feta. Drizzle with oil mixture. Serve.

Vegetable Pakoras - from Paul Dempsey

Paul and Lisa Dempsey are the faces behind Big Blue Backyard, a local, secluded, award winning, ocean beach hideaway for couples. Designed to blend into the natural environment, this unique retreat sits perfectly between the dunes abutting the National Park at wild and often deserted St Andrews Beach. Paul is a wonderfully diverse chef who draws his inspiration from the ingredients presented to him each week.  The meals served to guests are unique, exquisite and seasonal with ingredients sourced locally. This recipe is a great example of that.  Use it as a starting point to create something from what you have in your box.

Paul makes his pakoras on the fly so there really isn’t a recipe just a list of ingredients and a methodology of sorts.

Here are the quantities he used yesterday but that made at least 180. Par cooked pakora’s freeze beautifully so you can always have them on hand for last minute dinner ideas or unexpected guests.

Ingredients 1kg chick pea flour All the vegetables you want to use— Root vegetables – grate Peas – just podded Cabbage – shredded Peppers – julienned 5 brown onions sliced The roots of the coriander bunch blended with 10 whole green chillies 12 eggs, beaten

Method 1. Mix all the vegetables, beaten eggs and blended herbs together. 2. Depending on how much liquid comes out of the vegetables, one may have to add more chick pea flour to the mix to make the batter more viscous. 3. Gently heat canola/sunflower oil in large sauce pan or wok – medium to deep – oil should get to around 165degrees Celsius.  Using a large serving spoon, spoon big dollop of mixture one by one into the oil – make sure the stay separate and then as they brown gently roll each pakora around in the oil to cook and brown on all sides. (if you want to freeze a few, just let them get to golden brown) With a slatted spoon remove each one from the oil letting excess oil drip back into the pot and then lay to rest on some kitchen paper. 4. Serve warm with a grated yogurt and cucumber mix. 5.  If freezing some, allow to cool and then pack in zip lock bags and put in freezer.



Chicken and Cashew Stir-Fry

Ingredientsoil, for cooking (vegetable oil works best in this recipe) 750 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips 2 egg whites, lightly beaten ½ cup cornflour 3 cloves garlic, chopped or put through a press 2 onions, thinly sliced 4 medium sized carrots and/or 1 red sweet capsicum, cut into match sticks 200 g broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp sherry 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1/3 cup roasted cashews 4 spring onions, diagonally sliced

Method 1. Heat the wok until very hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the side. Dip a quarter of the chicken strips into the egg white and then into the cornflour. Add to the wok and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining chicken, reheating the wok and adding a little more oil each time. 2. Reheat the wok, add 1 tbsp of the oil and stir-fry the onion, carrot and/or capsicum and garlic over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened slightly. Add broccoli, continuing to stir. Increase the heat to high and add the soy sauce, sherry and oyster sauce. Toss the vegetables well. 3. Return the chicken to the wok and toss over high heat for 1-2 minutes to heat the chicken and make sure it is entirely cooked through. Add salt if desired. Toss the cashews and spring onion through the chicken mixture, and serve immediately over rice or udon noodles.


Ingredients2*1/2 kilo eggplants, cut into cubes 1 ¾ teaspoons plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided 1 kilo tomatoes, diced 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil ¾ cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley 700 grams onions, thinly sliced 3 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped 1 kilo of zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices 1/3 cup dry white wine

Method 1. Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 ¾ teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes. 2. In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. 3. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture. 4. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. 5. Add the white wine and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Thai Vegetarian Red Curry

This Vegetarian Thai red curry recipe is easy to follow and combines shallots, lemongrass, red chillies, galangal, cumin, coriander seeds, kaffir lime leaves, wheat gluten or tofu, yams or sweet potatoes, Japanese or Chinese eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, and Thai holy basil.Ingredients Paste 3 shallots OR 1 small red onion, diced 1 stalk lemongrass (see instructions below) 1-3 red chillies (depending on desired spiciness) 3 cloves garlic 1 thumb-size piece galangal, peeled and sliced (may be substituted with ginger) 1/4 tsp. white pepper (may be substituted with black pepper) 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, roasted and ground with pestle & mortar (or a coffee-grinder) 3 Tbsp. regular (light) soy sauce or tamari 1 kaffir lime leaf 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce 1 tsp. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (or 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, sliced)

Other 10-15 cherry tomatoes, or 3-4 regular tomatoes, sliced 3-4 kaffir lime leaves 1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced into bite-size pieces (do not peel, as there are vitamins in the skin) 1 sweet red pepper, or 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

Optional 1 small sweet potato (or yam), peeled and cut into cubes 1/2 cup fresh Thai holy basil leaves OR sweet basil 1 package firm tofu cut into bite-size cubes 1 to 2 cans coconut milk (depending on how mild you like your curry, or how much sauce you prefer)

Method 1. To make the paste, place all paste ingredients in a food processor. 2. Add 1/2 can of the coconut milk and process into a paste. 3. Place paste, tofu, remaining 1/2 can coconut milk, and limes leaves in a casserole dish. 4. Stir well until paste is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients. 5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and add vegetables. Stir well. (Note: if you prefer more sauce, or if you find the curry tastes too spicy, add 1/2 can more coconut milk.) 6. After another 10 minutes, remove from oven. Check to make sure vegetables are cooked to your liking. 7. Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add up to 2 Tbsp. more soy sauce (or season with sea salt). If not spicy enough, add another red chilli, sliced finely, OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chilli sauce. If too salty, add up to 2 Tbsp. lime juice. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk (yogurt will work too if you are non-vegan) and stir well. 8. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves (these can be roughly chopped if too large), and serve with plenty of Thai fragrant rice (white or brown) for a nutritionally complete and satisfying meal.

Source:  Darlene Schmidt, Your Guide to Thai Food

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salsa

This is wonderful on corn chips or toasted mountain bread. It is also great mixed with black beans and avocado in a burrito. Ingredients 2 ears fresh corn 3 tomatoes 1/2 capsicum 1/4 tiny hot pepper 1/3 bud fresh garlic 1/3 large, red onion 1/4 bunch coriander Pinch ground cumin juice of one lime 1/2 tsp olive oil 1/4 tsp sea salt freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Finely chop garlic, hot pepper, and cilantro 2. Chop onion and pepper 1/4 inch dice 3. Cut tomato into bite sized chunks 4. Remove corn kernels from cob. With a sharp, French knife, cut the base of the cob flat so it won't tip or roll.  With the cob standing up, carefully cut the kernels off the cob, from top to bottom, being careful not to get pieces of the hard cob.  It doesn't matter if the kernels are connected, as they will separate while mixing. 5. Mix all, adding bits of seasonings to taste. 6. Let sit for 30 minutes so flavours "marry."

Source - Susan and Robin Koster

Eggplant in a Thai Green Curry

This fantastic Thai green curry recipe features eggplant and red pepper (carrots make a great substitute if these are not in season).  You can add cauliflower, zucchini, beans...really any other stir fry vegetables you have in the fridge.  The homemade green curry paste is what makes this dish such a lovely combination of distinct flavours, so don't be tempted to substitute the store-bought variety. Top the curry with fresh basil.
1 can good-quality coconut milk
3 Asian eggplant (the long thin ones), sliced diagonally into 1cm thick rounds
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil
1/2 cup stock (I use chicken)

Green Curry Paste 3 stalk fresh lemongrass, minced 250 grams green chilies, sliced (if you can't find Thai chilies, jalapeno will work) 1 shallot, sliced OR 1/4 cup diced red onion 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup of fresh galangal OR fresh ginger, sliced approx. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves & stems 1/8 cup coriander seeds, roasted and ground 1 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground 1/2 tsp whole white pepper, ground 2-3 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp shrimp paste 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar 1 tbsp lime juice

Method 1. Place all 'Green Curry Paste' ingredients together in a food processor, blender, chopper, or pestle & mortar. Add up to 1/4 can of the coconut milk, enough to help blend ingredients (reserve the rest for later). Process (or pound) well to create an aromatic Thai green curry paste. If you don't have a food processor or chopper: try using a blender, or finely mince all ingredients by hand and stir together well. 2. Heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (1 minute), then add the vegetables which take the longest to cook like carrots and cauliflower. Stir for 2 minutes coating with spices. 3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Simmer 6-10 minutes (until the carrots start to tender). 4. Set aside 1/4 cup coconut milk, reserving it for use later (the thick cream is best). Add the rest of the coconut milk to the curry, plus the eggplant and beans (if using). Stir everything together, cover, and simmer another 7-8 minutes, or until eggplant is tender enough to pierce with a fork. 5. Add the bell pepper. Cover and simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until everything is well cooked. 6. Remove from heat and gently stir in the 1/4 cup reserved coconut milk. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. Add more lime juice if too salty or sweet for your taste. Add more sugar if not sweet enough. More chili can also be added. 7. Serve with a generous amount of fresh basil and or more coriander.


Corn and Bourbon Chowder

a Cajun recipe timely for Mardi Gras  (February 21, 2012) Ingredients 6 cups prepared vegetable or chicken stock 4 ears corn (or more to taste) 1 large green, bell pepper [capsicum] 1/2 red pepper [capsicum] 3/4 large sweet onion 2 pc celery 1 carrot 3 pieces of bacon 1/2 small hot pepper (I use bird peppers) 1 lemon salt pepper 2 bay leaves 1/2 tsp oregano 2 tsp thyme 1 tsp chopped cilantro 2 tbs butter 2 tbs flour 2 tbs olive oil 1/2 c heavy cream 1/2 c bourbon

Method 1. Chop carrot, celery, sweet peppers, onion and bacon into 3/4cm dice. 2. "Sweat out" in heated olive oil in heavy bottomed soup kettle. Add bay leaves. 3. Add peppers, including finely chopped hot pepper. Stir until vegetable colors are bright. 4. Add stock and bring to boil, simmering until carrots are tender. 5. Add seasonings and corn that has been removed from cob (Once I used the naked cobs for flavor, but they left hard pieces in the soup, and I couldn't strain them out without losing the rest of the veggies) 6. Using a zester, add the zest of the lemon, and squeeze the juice into the soup (no seeds...they are bitter) 7. Add the bourbon Simmer for another 45 minutes or so. 8. Remove about 1c of the liquid and allow to cool a bit. In a small skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour, making a roux. Slowly heat until it "smells like hazelnuts." Whisk in the cooled broth from the soup. Slowly add to the soup until desired thickness is obtained 9. Slowly simmer until flour taste has gone. 10. Turn off heat and add cream. 11. Serve with freshly chopped cilantro.

Source - Susan Koster

Fresh Corn Salsa

This is wonderful on corn chips or toasted mountain bread. It also is a great accompaniment to marinated, grilled chicken or fish. Ingredients 2 ears fresh corn 3/4 of a large capsicum 1/4 tiny hot pepper (I use bird peppers) 1/3 bud fresh garlic 1/3 large, sweet onion 1/4 bunch coriander (cilantro) Pinch ground cumin juice of one lime 1/2 tsp olive oil 1/4 tsp sea salt freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Finely chop garlic, hot pepper, and cilantro 2. Chop onion and pepper 1/4 inch dice 3. Remove corn kernels from cob. With a sharp, French knife, cut the base of the cob flat so it won't tip or roll.  With the cob standing up, carefully cut the kernels off the cob, from top to bottom, being careful not to get pieces of the hard cob.  It doesn't matter if the kernels are connected, as they will separate while mixing. 4. Mix all, adding bits of seasonings to taste. 5. Let sit for 30 minutes so flavours "marry."

Source - Susan Koster