so I am a social meat eater – Vegan Burgers

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“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

 

In recent years, I have revived my love for meat, and its been a struggle really to return to my once meatless days. But nothing good comes easy, and I am happy to announce that I have been vegetarian for a good 3 weeks now.

For those who know me personally, deep down this girl’s a burgers and beers kinda girl. But I just had to make my life difficult by taking the beef out of the picture now do I?

 

Well actually, no.

 

While I am well aware that there are people who are convinced that such messaging is a propaganda for vegetarianism/veganism (not sure why such -isms exist in the first place but anyhow), if environmental reasons such as reducing your carbon footprint (and thus greenhouse gas emissions which promote global warming), minimising water usage, and reducing fossil fuel dependence aren’t in themselves good enough reasons to go vegetarian at least ONCE per week. Please let those of us who wish to do so, do so in peace.

 

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Did you know?

To produce 1 pound of meat, it requires 12 times more land, 13 times more fossil fuel and 15 times more water than producing 1 pound of soy protein?*

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Going meatless doesn’t mean salads all day everyday by the way. As with every change – like deciding to get a gym membership or deciding to take part in a marathon – the initial phase is difficult. Quite frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if any meat eater thinks vegetarians don’t eat for that matter. Or worse yet, if you do go meatless you might end up feeling starved and deprived simply because you weren’t eating enough of the RIGHT kinds of food.

 

But thats ok – all of us learn by making mistakes. And I promise you, it is only the initial phase that is tough, just like learning to ride a bicycle. But once you understand where your balance is, its cruising from there on out.

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Back to the matter of burgers and beers, I was determined to have this fix without needing the otherwise star of the combination i.e. beef.

I did my research and wanted a recipe that would be easy for any Singaporean to do (because beets aren’t always available, quinoa and flax breathe “health food” in their mere mention, and I certainly did not want to involve eggs)

Inspired by the Food Lab’s recipe, the ingredients I ended up settling for are cheap and easily available from any supermarket.

Here’s what you’ll need (recipe yields 5 patties)

1 Can – Red Kidney Beans

1 Can – Black beans

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 white onion – you will only use about 10 grams

100 grams baked cashews

For seasoning the patties:

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tbsp Shoyu

1/2 tbsp Mirin

 

Others:

mushrooms, wasabi sprouts, mustard, burger bun.

 

Here’s the plan:

Rinse beans well, and fry them up on an un-oiled non stick pan to remove moisture.

Dice up the bell pepper.

Saute onions with the chilli flakes and dried basil. Once onions soften, add in the bell peppers and cook well.

Toast the cashews to bring out the aroma. Once cooled blitz them. This will add texture and fat to the patties, which will also help to hold them up a little.

To the beans – mash them up like you were to make mash potatoes. Once mashed, add the cooked bell peppers and cashews. Add the shoyu and mirin here.

Mix well.

Start moulding the patties. I found using glad wrap helpful in getting the patties nice and tightly packed.

Heat up a tsp of cooking oil to a non stick pan.

Cook on the first side for about 2 minutes (I use an induction stove by the way) or until golden, before flipping to cook on he other side.

 

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If I may, these burgers were delightful. I was really surprised at how it held up without needing any of the conventional binding agents. Apart from being highly satisfying, these were both light and filling. 20140726-210419-75859524.jpgIf you’re still not convinced how good these are, well there’s only 1 way to find out. Try it!

 

 

T.

 

 

*information from : http://www.chooseveg.com/environment

 

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Be your own hero.

“Because everyone else is trying to save themselves”

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While statement is on the rather harsh end of things, the point is this – you should not depend on anyone else but yourself to find yourself, and find your happiness. Feelings being feelings, they are subjective – here we dive into the realm of quality, and no matter how we try to quantify this (scales, ratings) a number 2 on your happiness scale may mean and feel entirely different from another’s 2 of their happiness scale.

So in a recent meet up, I had an eye opening experience taking the bus through Little India on my way to Jalan Besar. The crowd is madness, and people gather and rush up buses – the scene reminds me much of a zombie apocalypse. Think humans with wide hungry eyes, arms reaching forward and round after round of people trying to shove their way into an already filled bus.

And I don’t mean this as an offense in any way, just prepare yourself mentally, for the number of people who seem to congregate in that area.

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But I would say the walk from Little India to Jalan Besar was manageable, 3 parrallel streets down and I found myself along its quiet stretch.

The food centre next to Jalan Besar stadium, along Tyrwhitt road now houses my beloved Long House Duck Rice. The old adage, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, while the way to a women’s is nostalgia,” definitely has truth in that, I would travel (and bear through a rather uncomfortable commute,) just to have this. And nothing beats having a good old plate of duck rice.

Tyrwhitt road is also home to some well knowned cafes (if you’re into that). Google that street and you’ll find post after post on Chye Seng Huat. What follows is a blog post dedicated to all the cafes in Jalan Besar: more hip than Tiong Bahru?

Desserts found us at Tiramisu Hero, which is just across the road from the hawker centre.

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Mud Pie
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While I have arrived late in the field of hawker food appreciation, I have learnt to appreciate this aspect that sets this tiny city apart. More interestingly, is this city’s F&B profile – cafés that occupy shophouses right next to a hawker food centre, and Jalan Besar isn’t the only neighborhood that is like this.

Good food and good company definitely does make life feel a lot less overwhelming, at the end of the day, we all have a choice when it comes to matters of our own happiness. Though we too cannot force anyone to make decisions according to your life’s plan (they are exercising their rights to make their own decisions, whether misguided or rational), we should be vehemently dedicated to understanding what it is we need, and separating that from what it is that we want, and also, to decide if these things that we want, how beneficial are these things to our own well being.

So go on, and be the hero in your story. (And happy eating!)

T.

Supply & Demand – supplying all things hungry tummies demand

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“Be thankful for those who rekindle the inner spirit,” – Albert Schweitzer

 

To be honest, Orchard is my least favourite place to be over the weekends. Squeezing through malls isn’t exactly my idea of a restful weekend. No less some weekends ago I was in the area, after attending a very useful hip opening workshop by Yun at Hom Yoga Singapore. More about the workshop in a future post, my sister and I decided to lunch over at Supply and Demand at Orchard’s new mall, Orchard Gateway.

Orchard gateway is sandwiched right between Somerset 313 and Orchard Central, and has a link bridge to its second tower across the road (where Peranakan place is).

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(Sweet potato fries, avocado and strawberry salad)

Located on level 2 of the mall side sandwiched between 313 and Orchard central, Modern Italian Trattoria and Pizzeria, Supply and demand serves up a crowd even after lunch hours.

 

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(Tartine Semplice, brunch only)

If you are one like me who has moments of sudden brunch cravings that need satisfying at odd hours, Supply and demand would be a good spot to remember. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 5pm, where eggs, meat and toast are definite finds (won’t see waffles or pancakes here, which is a nice change)

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(Polenta Piccolo)

I would return for their Sweet potato fries any day. But for brunch, the Polenta Piccolo hits all the necessary spots one seeks for brunch – warm and fluffy polenta, a perfect poached egg, on a bed of fresh rocket and a good shaving of smokey savoury parma ham. No doubt one of the best things I’ve had.
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While service is a bit slow and the floor crew does get a bit confused with the table orders, the wait was definitely worth the while. Bear with you hungry tummy for a little while more, you’ve already lasted this long, and your patience will be rewarded.

Supply and Demand Orchard Gateway

#02-13/14

Directions can be found on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/supplydemandsin/info

 

 

T.

One for the weekend – bound to be set free

 

 

 

 

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“listen to your heart, it’s gonna tell you what you need,”

 

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(Kamquat Tart – Hatterstreet)

So it has been a busy start to the second half of 2014 which is why I haven’t had the time to sit down and write anything. Its easy, to get caught up in the buzz of everything, but how very important it is to reflect on all the things that have happened. Something I have learnt – analysing the lessons you can draw from any situation. The good stuff AND bad stuff, how you conducted yourself through it, and how you were able/unable to communicate. Place outcomes secondary for a moment, and reflect upon the situation.

You see, and I am sure I am stating the obvious here – we only get to be in our 20s once. It is only once that we get to be “new” and thus, almost permissible to make mistakes. This is also the time to grow – to make mistakes and analyse them, to push hard and beyond the comfort zone, because it is only once that you get this chance to do so. This will set the stage for the next 20 years ahead.

In one of Rumi’s writings, he says that “the art of knowing is knowing what to ignore,” While I believe this takes time and experience, I truly believe in this. The more you place it imperative upon yourself to look into the situation and beyond it, the more the extraneous and maybe insignificant elements seem to melt away.

What do I mean? I mean less drama.

Very much so, what we perceive to be an obstacle at times, is just a blanket (sometimes many layers of blankets) that which hides matters that we should in fact pay attention to. Be it real standing issues, or maybe just a situation that needs to be understood. In a way, we should take it upon ourselves to see that before 30, extraneous drama will be done with once and for all – there is just too much to handle (yes life should be that way cause the world isn’t just about oneself) and it is just too draining and time consuming. Do you really want to waste your time worrying and pouring resources over matters so unnecessary?

Happiness

ˈhapɪnəs/

noun
  1. the state of being happy.
    People often speak of happiness as an illusive aspect of life. I don’t think it is as illusive, I too am supportive of the notion that happiness is an active state of mind. Thus I would say, I am happy. After the heartbreaks and the disappointments, after going through all the crying and growing pains. I am happy – with all the things happening around me, happy to be where I am – because though I am not where I desire to be, where I want to achieve to be, I am where I have to be.
    Equally important to living vehemently for one’s cause, is to understand that setbacks or perceived stalls – these are just points in life to keep you (only temporarily) in the place you need to be. And be happy with that, for it is in this place where you have the opportunity for growth and understanding. And with growth and understanding comes less drama, and thus more time for the ones who matter, the ones you love, and time again to realise happiness and its presence.
    T.

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