Globe Basil’s First Harvest: Spaghetti with Fresh Pesto

Globe Basil's First Harvest: Spaghetti with Fresh Pesto  by Loraloozi

It doesn’t look like a globe before or after the haircut..

Globe Basil's First Harvest: Spaghetti with Fresh Pesto  by Loraloozi

They look a lot but we used the leaves only.

It’s been a while I’m thinking about giving the globe basil a haircut. It’s been having bad hair day every single day for too long. I even found and printed out a recipe of pesto sause from my favorite food master Jamie Oliver. Today I finally got all the ingredients I need. While I found most Jamie Oliver’s recipes easy to follow, in this recipe he uses the unite “handful” which I found rather confusing: whose hand shall I measure with, his or mine? Eventually I used Giacomo’s – to get a better proximity.

Globe Basil's First Harvest: Spaghetti with Fresh Pesto  by Loraloozi

Spaghetti is my favorite pasta so far.

It’s the first time for both Giacomo and me to make pesto from fresh basil leaves, and home grown ones! 😀 Since we don’t have pestle and mortar, and we didn’t want to use the blender, we settled for a bowl and a wooden spoon – it might sound crazy but it worked. The result was great. The native Italian in our family simply loved it. I found it so delicious that I finished the spaghetti in no time, just as him did. To think that two years ago whenever we ate pasta I’d spend twice as much time as him and leave half of the pasta on the plate, I’m really making a lot of progress in my pasta-eating ability.

About the recipe I found the taste of garlic a bit too heavy. It could be that we did not grind the garlic properly – using the wooden spoon, and left small pieces of garlic here and there. I will do it again when we are better equiped.

Globe Basil's First Harvest: Spaghetti with Fresh Pesto by Loraloozi

I like it with plenty of parmesan cheese.

The globe basil is also called Greek basil, or French basil. They usually grow into a neat and pretty globe shape, which my plant did, but it lost the shape as it continued growing vigorously. The leaves are small and pointy. It’s supposed to have a more spicy flavor than the basil more commonly found in Italy, which I blogged about in another post. After tasting it I found globe basil’s taste more “full-bodied”, rather than spicy, than the big-leave basil. The smell is very similar, but taste better. It’s just my personal preference, and it depends a lot on the way we use it. I will experiment with other recipes.

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First Harvest of Dill: Salmon Salad with Tagliatelles Spirulina

dill, spring, herb, gardening

First Harvest of Dill

I have been enjoying so much taking care of my aromatic herbal plants and watching them grow that I forget about their originally intended usage. Actually I feel sad when I have to cut a few branches from the plant. However, to help them grow healthier, I collected the outer branches from the dill plants. I decided to make a salmon salad with the handful of dill I have.

dill, spring, herb, gardening

Salmon salad with tagliatelles spirulina

So here is the dish I cooked for dinner last night.

You probably have noticed that on the side I added some boiled pasta. They are tagliatelles spirulina, some couriosity I recently discovered in the local organic shop. Spirulina, from what I understood, is a nutritious dietary supplement made from some seaweed-like spieces originally grown in lakes in Mexico (just as special as the way they look..).

It was the first time I tried this wierd pasta. It tastes nothing special, and I’m not sure about the healthy effect yet. I’m always open to healthy alternatives in food, trying to eat as many different varieties of staple foods as possible – as long as my Chinese stomach doesn’t complain too much!

dill, spring, herb, gardening

The organic salmon I bought from a local grocery store turned out to be much more tasty than any smoked salmon I’ve had before. It was mildly smoky, with a stronger sweet salmon taste. The price is more than twice as much as the non-organic one, but it’s definitely worthy. This salmon salad is the best one I’ve even had, thanks to the home grown dill and the good salmon. In the salad I also added lettuce, radis, cucumber, surimi and avocado.

Now my dill plants look much more energetic, with the new hair cut I gave to them. 😀

Let’s Go Glutinous: A Simple and Healthy Chinese Dessert

sweet potato, glutinous rice powder, sesame seeds, deep fried, chinese dessertGrown up in the south of China I had very little experience of cooking with glutinous rice powder (or any other kind of rice powder or flour). But once I tried it the other day now I don’t want to stop! It’s so delicious, versatile, and easy to use. What makes it special is the signature tender and chewy feel given by the glutinous rice. If you have tried Japanese mochi you’d know what I am talking about.

The slightly burned little buns in the photo are the products of my first not-so-successful experiment. But they were delicious so I was happy anyway. Just imagine: the earthy sweet potato in a tender and glutinous texture! A satisfaction that is not only 100% vegan but also sugar-free. What more can you ask for…

This is a most simple way of using glutinous rice powder from where you could invent numerous combinations as you wish. Here’s how.

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Super Yummy and Healthy No-Bake Brownies

We have made these brownies twice now and every time we just couldn’t have enough of them! I have to share this because it’s so easy to make, and so healthy as a dessert or snack, since it contains mostly nuts, seeds and natural goodies.

raw no bake superfood brownies

Well I have to admit it’s Giacomo who made it. All I did was find out the recipe from a raw-eater/vegan friend. You can find the detailed recipe here.

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Baked Avocado with An Egg in It

IMG_5008While going through my old photos the other day, I came across this picture which made me giggle.

It all started from the whim of cooking the avocado and the eggs I had left in the fridge. I was lucky enough to have found this recipe of baked eggs in avocado from here. I followed all the steps except the bacon and toast thing. I thought I might substitute them with the mint and tomato I had. And I had this dish for dinner instead of breakfast as most people would do.

The image of a sun-bathing flower just appeared like that, without previous planning. The white cloud was fried egg white which was left from filling the avocado. The square blue plate contributed to the illusion.

The taste? I have to say it would’ve been better with some bacon or lardon. It was a little too bland for me as it was. This taught me for the right taste never substitute the ingredients in a recipe. But then again, you never know what fun you are missing. 😉

 

A Simple Lunch

IMG_4812A simple lunch for me alone.

Main dish: egg noodles + peas + chopped green beans + diced carrots.

The noodles and the vegets were boiled separately, then stir-fried together with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

Side dish: tofu with a French twist = tofu + comté (Bought it from an organic shop)

Usually I love tofu and comté is my favourite cheese. But together… they make a disaster, to say the least.. 😦

But I was very happy with the noodles. 🙂