Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year Steak!

Belated Happy New Year 2015!

Heh, let's keep the memories of 2014 to heart, embrace and grow with positivity, let the negativity exit our souls as we enter the new year, and forgive our friends and fiends. After all, this is society with its ups and downs, and suns and storms. Unless if your fingers are all the same length, this world will NEVER be perfect, so live the best of your life or just be a freaking recluse!


Let me tell you a piece of breaking news:


Yes, I ate a juicy, bloody steak after a year and nine months being a vegetarian. And BEEF steak too. Because I crave steak! And because beef is rich in iron and protein! Now I am through with my old and nagging mother who keeps telling me on all the old grandmother stories on Buddhism and I am eating BEEF in front of her face for her to feel sorry! Sorry for being so controlling on her twenty-year old!

Now before you militant vegans fire me with ridiculous comments for me to go to hell, brand me as an animal torturer, traitor, flesh eating zombie etc., here is my steak...

Now Buddhists, vegetarians, vegans and whoever that matter, be rest assured that I do not stray from being a Buddhist and a vegetarian. Who needs meat when there are TONS of plant-based protein which come with dietary fiber, minerals and a relatively cheap price (compared to meat and costs of producing item) as a complete package?

Because this steak is made of PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS! Here is a comparison of grilled portobello mushroom versus the leanest cut of beef (95% lean, 5% fat). However, mine's pan-fried so I'm sorry that I can't actually compare my steak with beef steak...

By the way, I got this information from Google. Most websites feature almost the same info, but if you want detailed information, ask Mr Google.

Sure, the vegan steak has less protein, but unless if you starve, you probably have enough protein in your diet, or even more than enough. In fact, high animal protein intake is linked to increased cancer risk. Read here and here for more! P/S: They are not even pro-vegetarian sites.

On average, adult men need around 56 grams of protein a day; while adult women need about 46 grams of protein a day, and 71 grams if pregnant or breastfeeding. (Source)

After reading through all those, I questioned myself: Isn't it easy to gain protein from our diet? Greens have protein. Grains have protein. Beans and nuts have protein. Most food have protein in fact! So, why do we need to even boost our already-high protein intake through cruelty and processed stuff, like, for God's sake, protein powder? Protein muffins, protein ice cream with whey protein... really? Just eat more real and unprocessed plant-based food for goodness sake.

After all the rant (Sorry readers), let me divulge the secret of the steak... (makes 1 serving)

STEAK: 2 pcs Portobello mushrooms

MARINADE: Black Pepper Sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee brand), soy sauce, sugar, salt. Apologies for the lack of measurements because my mum just used approximate amounts-she does not really believe in measuring ingredients for seasoning)

MASHED POTATO: 1 potato, 1/2 medium sized carrot, salt, dash of black pepper, dried herbs

SIDE VEGGIES: Some broccoli florets, carrot slices (from the remaining carrot), 1/2 tomato, diced

Now onto the method!

STEAK: Marinade the mushrooms for 3 hours. Pan fry the mushrooms in a shallow pan. Cover for around 5-10 minutes. This is important to release the juices from the mushroom. Pan fry for a little while. Dish up.

MASHED POTATO: Dice the potato and carrot. (about 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm). Cook in salted water in a pan, covered, over high heat then medium heat for 15 minutes. Drain and mash the carrot and potatoes with black pepper and herbs to taste. Form into balls and arrange on a serving plate.

SIDE VEGGIES: Lightly cook the broccoli florets and carrot slices (I boiled them, of course you can steam them but I'm too lazy for that), then blanch the tomatoes. Dish up.

Arrange the steak, potato and veggies in whatever design you like. Mum helped me and mine went like this:

To be honest, this is my first steak ever as a vegetarian. This is my first time having to force myself to use a fork and steak knife after almost two years, except that I need not deal with meat that does not tear apart or meat splutters this time.

Credit to mum for her plating! It's beautiful and looked almost like those at restaurants except that the veggie serving is generous (The restaurant ones are usually just a sad slice of tomato, carrot and some cabbage shreds drowned in mayonnaise) and the potatoes are very low-fat (mashed instead of fried). Now that's steak! I swear that this mushroom steak is just as delicious, if not better than the original black pepper chicken steak because it is just as meaty, less cruelty and, best of all, you do not have to debone it or being worried of bloody meat bits, undercooked meat etc. 

Now I must count my lucky stars for this for being able to get portobello mushrooms at a discounted price (usually MYR 14 for four mushrooms; now around MYR 9.50 for six mushrooms) and learn to prepare them. Well, mum prepared it actually and all I did were the sides. I still have a lot to learn in cooking. However, I cannot wait to try these again, especially when they can be directly used as meat substitutes in steaks and burgers! 

(All we did for the steaks was using mushrooms instead of chicken and the rest is history)

Try this, and you WILL love it.

Happy 2015 and Happy Goat Year! May the goats, lambs, etc. be free from our plates this time...

Thursday, December 25, 2014







I stumbled a recipe across the internet for cinnamon baked pumpkins. The recipe looked awesome but it serves 10 people. Alas I am the only adventurous freak in my family who is willing to try out things like baked pumpkins, stuffed  peppers and such stuff. 

Imagine scaling a recipe down to 1/15 of the original recipe since I cannot take a lot of pumpkin. The original recipe called for 3 pounds of pumpkin and I used only 100 grams. There is absolutely no way that I could measure such tiny amounts of seasonings, so I just went by feel. I loved cinnamon, so I put a lot of cinnamon onto my pumpkins.

I baked them for 40 minutes, covered. The original recipe called for another 15 minutes of baking, uncovered, but I ignored that because my baked pumpkins turned out like baby food!

Anyway I love my almost burnt cinnamon-caramel pumpkins because they are sweet, earthy and kind-of-healthy post-meal dessert if I cut back on the sugar. Ha ha.

When push comes to shove, you have to follow your instincts and think out of the box. Just like cooking, baking and painting, you have to follow your heart to unleash yourself and live the best as you can. And if your instincts do not bring you to the right track, you can always turn back as long as you do not lose hope.