What have you been up to this weekend!? We ambled around town on Saturday, including curry and coffee pit stops (not at the same time as that would not have been wise 😛 ) and yesterday, we did some gardening and I worked on my pizza tossing skills, which I am slowly getting the hang of. So, all in all, we had a good, relaxed weekend.
I used to hate gardening. Digging out weeds from in between pavement slabs in front of our house used to be my childhood chore and my dad was very militant and particular about it. I used to hate it and him for it (he knows) with passion. And it’s funny as Duncan’s experience of helping out with gardening as a kid isn’t too dissimilar. Despite growing up 14,000 km apart (Poland and Australia), we appear to have had similar childhood gripes.
I was a bit down yesterday morning and, given my hate for gardening, I was not looking forward to having to do it at all. But the weather was nice and Tina was keen on keeping me company, so I reluctantly fished out a pair of hedge shears and other implements from the shed and lost myself in two hours of pruning, cutting and raking. By the time I finished my bad mood had lifted as if by magic! I was amazed and so glad I did not spend those two hours moping around or scrolling instead. And now I’m beginning to understand why some people love looking after their gardens so much. It is certainly much better than getting sucked in by the social media vortex, which I sometimes end up doing when I am feeling uninspired and low.
This realisation has made me promise myself to try and implement a no social media Sunday policy. I am sure I will lapse occasionally, but that’s the intention and if I succeed at not flicking through my phone on Sunday, I might attempt to have switch off Saturdays too. It is so hard to unplug these days, isn’t it? I am sure a lot of you can relate. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed the positive effects that a lack of social media exposure has on my mood and, as someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety, I am really keen to restructure my relationship with my phone. Watch this space, I shall report back!
Today, I’ve decided to revisit and improve on one of my oldest recipes, for an Indonesian gado-gado salad. It’s simple, delicious and filling and for us, it captures the memories of a really memorable holiday to Bali for Duncan’s best friend’s wedding, which is why I really enjoyed revisiting this recipe and reminded myself to make this simple dish more often.
The concept is simple. A bowl brimming with a selection of raw and gently cooked veggies and satisfying chunks of gut-healthy tempeh unified by lashings of an addictive peanut sauce. This recipe makes a generous amount of sauce for two portions as it’s so moreish that I preferred to err on the side of caution. Enjoy!
- 100 g / ½ cup peanut butter (I used this brand)
- 4 tsp tamari (if GF) or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
- juice of ½ lime (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 heaped tsp tamarind paste (strength varies)
- 2-3 tsp sambal oelek (or other chilli paste), adjust to taste
- 200 g / 7 oz tempeh (or firm cotton tofu, pressed)
- 3 tbsp tamari (if GF) or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 15-30 ml / 1-2 tbsp hot smoke oil (I use rice bran oil), optional
GADO-GADO SALAD BOWLS
- 50 g / 3.5 oz tenderstem broccoli
- 50 g / 3.5 oz long green beans
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp hot smoke oil (I use rice bran oil)
- approx. 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 corn on the cob, kernels shaved off
- ¼ English (long) cucumber, finely sliced
- 6 cos lettuce leaves, chopped
- 6 radishes, finely sliced
- 1 carrot, ribboned or julienned
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed
- a handful of fresh coriander, chopped small
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add enough cold water to achieve a thick sauce. Set aside.
- Plunge the tempeh into a pot of boiling water and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain and allow it to cool down (this step minimises the bitterness).
- Create the marinade by mixing tamari (soy sauce), lime juice and maple syrup together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Cut the tempeh into 0.5 cm / 0.2″ slices and place it in a bowl with the marinade. Allow the slices to marinate for as long as you can (but 30 minutes at least), spooning the marinade over the unsubmerged surfaces now and again.
- Heat up 1-2 tbsp of neutral tasting oil in a small frying pan.
- Once the oil comes to temperature, pan fry the tempeh until browned on both sides or bake it in a 200° C / 390° F oven for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Cut the broccoli and long green beans into same sized pieces.
- Heat up a wok with a small amount of oil.
- Add the broccoli. Stir-fry for 1 minute, add the green beans and sprouts for 2 minutes. Finally add the shaved corn kernels for another minute.
- Divide all the raw and stir-fried veggies between two bowls. Drizzle with the peanut sauce, sprinkle with crushed peanuts and fresh coriander.