I was helping out at Salvation Army’s community kitchen earlier this week. The kitchen uses OZ Harvest, a food rescue service that collects excess food products and provides the food to charities for free. The lady who runs the kitchen, Monica, a wonderful and cheerful woman, explained that she was not able to buy any other ingredients other than what was donated.
On the lunch menu it was Vietnamese San Choy Bao. I volunteered to cook the meal as I was comfortable with cooking large amount of food. After all I had ran an Asian food stall at our school fetes over the past three years. The good news was that, we had pork mince and lots of vegetables. The bad news was that, there was no fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon or lime. I found two small bottles of BBQ sauce. I cooked the meal with the BBQ sauce, a little sugar, salt and some turmeric. Although not really Vietnamese, the dish tasted pretty good. The meal was sold at $2 per serve. After that, there was no fresh meat left. So I prepared 2 trays of zucchini slices for next day’s free community lunch. For the vegetarian option, I stir fried some diced potato, carrot, leek, capsicum, scallion and coriander with curry powder, turmeric and veggie spices. Thank goodness for all the other volunteers who chopped, diced, graded, washed and helped.
When I got home that day, I decided to learn a little more about cooking with simple ingredients. I started with the humble carrots and some left over pure maple syrup.
I diced 2 carrots, tossed the pieces with some rice flour, maple syrup, a little oil and a pinch of salt. Then I pan fried the carrots with a little oil, tossed in some sesame seeds, turmeric and coriander.
It was the best carrot I have ever had.
Recipe is a follow:
(Serves 3 as a low FODMAP recipe)
- 2 carrots, approximately 180g, skin peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tbsp oil for coating, plus a little more for pan frying
- a few pinches of salt
- 1 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 10g coriander, roughly chopped
- In a mixing bowl, mix diced carrot, rice flour, 1 tbsp oil, salt and maple syrup; lightly toss.
- Bring some cooking oil to medium heat in a frying pan, add carrot pieces, toss frequently until the carrot is just cooked (approximately 5 minutes depending on the size of the carrot cubes); add sesame seeds, turmeric and coriander, toss; remove from heat.
- Serve on a bed of salad (optional)