Sinking into the depths of a meatless existence. My old life seems further and further away.
Sometimes I dream about a summer’s day. Everyone is in the backyard, I can hear the laughter of friends and family, the barbeque is smoking away and we jokingly do “I hate rabbits”* as the smoke blows in our face. The smell of ribs, chicken and snags roasting over the coals fills the air and then everything goes dark and I realise I am indeed trapped inside a black hole which ends up being a big sausage and then I eat myself… generally that is about the point that I wake up in a cold sweat. I tell Jennee it was a wet dream so I don’t draw attention to myself…
Seriously. It’s not that bad.
It could even be said that I am enjoying these meat free meals a lot. But I am weak, so very, very weak.
Actually I may have told you a lie with my previous to statements (two lies would probably be more correct), I am craving meat. There is nothing I would like more right now then a bacon sandwich with chicken skin butter, washed down with a nice roast lamb shoulder, chased with a big fat piece of pork belly, accompanied with some chicken and chorizo kebabs, salami and some really good prosciutto. But anyway, a solemn man cannot rest upon these laurels of his meat-free weekday existence. No, I will soldier on because, as our fore fathers once said, he who shall not partaketh in the flesh of holy swine shall flourish upon a field of broken dreams… hmmm, certainly could’ve thought that one through a little more.
Anyway, the time I have been eating no meat on weekdays has directly correlated with me losing those extra kgs. I am no longer being sought after to support Matt Preston in an up-coming production titled “The Walrus and Jabba The Hutt”. If I watched a little more TV I would also add a “Biggest Losers” reference here.
So what have the weekday cook ups held for me? Stuffed potato glory, vegetable noodle stir fry magic, fried rice brilliance, eggplant and chickpea burger awesome-ness, salads galore and, the one feast that qualified as mind numbingly actually great, a thai cook-up of tofu pad thai, chilli mushrooms and bok choi, green papaya salad, pickled cucumber and condiments. Mmmm, condiments. This was the highlight of my meat free week, and it went a little something like this…
Tofu pad thai (for 6 or so as part of a banquette)
1 pack flat rice noodles, soaked in warm water until just soft but still a little firm in the middle (al dente)
2 tablespoons each salted raddish (chopped) and dried shrimp. Yeah I know shrimp is meat but get the hell off my case, alright
1 small pack tofu, crumbled
bean shoots, coriander, crisp eshallots, roasted peanuts and lime
pad thai sauce
- Get your wok hot. I mean hot. Like the super model in the midday sun sans Evian hot. Add a splash of oil and then crack the eggs in and scramble them really fast. Once they are cooked put them on a plate and set aside
- Add a little more oil and let the wok heat up again. Add the tofu, garlic chives/shoots, salted radish and shrimp and fry for 1 minute. Then add the noodles and egg. Stir fry for another minute
- Now add most of the pad thai sauce (keep a quarter to adjust seasoning later if needed), a handful of coriander and bean shoots, and a few crisp eshallots and peanuts
- It is now one minute later and your pad thai is ready
- Check seasoning
- Serve garnished with extra bean shoots, coriander, eshallots, peanuts and lime
- Good work
Pad thai sauce
1 cup fish sauce
½ cup grated light palm sugar
½ cup tamarind puree
- Warm gently until sugar is dissolved
Chilli mushrooms and bok choi
- I would suggest getting some mushrooms and bok choi, maybe a bit of choi sum, and stir frying them with your favourite Asian condiments. Two of my favourite Asian condiments are chilli in soy bean oil and yellow bean paste… and they were definitely both in my chilli stir fry. A little oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce, and Bobby is your favourite Thai uncle
Green papaya salad can be found here
The rest is up to you
*I don’t actually hate rabbits (this is especially for you bunnyeatsdesign). An old Australian wives tale states that if smoke blows in your direction all you need to do is hold up two fingers and say I hate rabbits and it will change directions. DOES NOT WORK!