The Five Headed Dragon

Plant-strong & healthy living
Rip Esselstyn


Feeling sleepy or energised after eating?


Wonton Soup

After you have a meal are you inclined to feel like a nap or feel energised? Nine times out of ten I would have to say the former. I of course would rather feel the later.
I was talking to DH after have pizza for lunch yesterday. It was fast food pizza, nothing home made. Our once in a blue moon pizza. We were just finishing up and DH said to me, “I feel like a nap now.” I said to him, “so it doesn’t give you energy then. It makes you sleepy. Too many carbs.”
He did a double take and asked me twice about the sleepy versus energy making feeling after eating. He wasn’t sure if I was pulling his leg or not. I was not. Of course sometimes I do if I am in the mood.
Anyway to prove my point today for lunch I made soba noodles* with mountain potato and daikon radish.
I again asked him, “Do you feel sleepy or energised?”
This time he said energised. He had an ah ha moment.

What food makes you sleepy?
What food gives you energy?

*soba noodles are made of buckwheat

roti doti moti

Indian split pea dahl with roti

I made Indian bread for the first time. So easy and quick to make. Just a little practice needed for the rolling out. I wanted to make them into circles but they had other ideas. For a first attempt I am pleased.
I used a caste iron pan on an electric stove. For the puffing up part I put them directly onto the stove top element watching them carefully. The results were fine but I won’t be doing that again as the glass ceramic stove top needing extra cleaning afterwards. I think I will use the gas BBQ next time. Less clean up the better.

For the roti recipe visit Pratibha Jani at pratibhajanisvegetarianrecipes

Tofu and fish ball soup


I really wanted instant food last night and I wanted it junky.  I spent so long thinking how hungry I was that it became ridiculous. I had stocked up the fridge with tofu but I didn’t want tofu. I wanted something rich, high calories and fast. I then asked myself, are you really serious about changing your habits, “’cause it ain’t sounding like it babe.” I took the hint and got out the ingredients on the bench and just got on with it. I made a healthy dinner of tofu and fish ball soup. Fish balls I made myself and took them from the freezer. Very quick food to make. I did feel better for making the effort. I’m worth it!
Yeah, I know the chopsticks don’t match but I didn’t really care at the time.
I even boiled eggs and shelled them then left them on the bench and realised that they were not in the soup until the very end. Not to waste, they’ll be in another meal tomorrow.

Tofu and fish ball soup
Makes 2 bowls

2 bowlfuls of water
1 cube vegetable stock
10 fish balls
1 bok choi
1 large mushroom, sliced
shichimi (seven spice)
1/2 block of tofu
boiled egg, cut in half (optional)

Boil water in the jug. Pour water into the bowls you want to eat from. Pour that into a pot.
Crumble the stock cube into the water.
Break off the leaves of the bok choi and add to soup.
Place frozen fish balls into the soup.
Cut up the tofu into small cubes and add to soup.
Slice the mushroom and add to soup.
Boil for 4-5 minutes.
Divide the ingredients out into the bowls and then pour the soup.
Top with shichimi.

Pear Crumble Filo Pie

I made a bacon and egg pie using bought filo pastry. Filo pastry is wonderful pastry to work with but you always, always end up having some leftover. I decided to make something sweet for afterwards and there were pears, wine, and crumble.
The pears were bought to go with cheese to go with wine. That never happened. The pears were forgotten until today. I peeled them and thought of poaching them in leftover wine. Nice. So the pears did match the wine eventually.

The pears were poached in red wine for about 10 minutes. I added cinnamon, cardamon and raw sugar. I had crumble leftover from making apple crumble and this was retrieved from the freezer.

Filo Pear Crumble Pie
Filo pastry
2 pears, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 c red wine
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamon
1/4 c raw sugar, more or less
vegetable oil
pastry brush or paper towel
crumble mix (see recipe below)
water, if needed

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
Place the pears in a pot on the stove with the wine covering with raw sugar, cinnamon and cardamon. Add water if needed.
Poach for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pears to cool.
Return the liquid to the pot and reduce down for 5-10 minutes. (Continue boiling.)
Prepare brush, oil and filo pastry, baking paper and 20cm round tin.
(If you don’t have a pastry brush, don’t fret you can use a paper towel to dab the pastry instead. Prepare a bowl with a little vegetable oil for the dabbing/brushing.)
Don’t worry about the sheets overflowing. Let them.
Place one sheet of filo pastry in the lined tin. Brush/dab with vegetable oil. Repeat.
I used about 5-6 uncut sheets. Place the pears on the filo pastry. Cover with crumble mix. Add 4-6 T of reduced juice over the crumble.
Fold the filo pastry up into the centre. It does not have to be neat. It should resemble crumpled up paper.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the filo pastry goes a nice golden brown.
The screwed up paper becomes a pie!

I did have photographs of a cut piece of pie with a dollop of ice cream but the results were blurry. Must have been the rush of not wanting to ruin the moment. You will just have to believe me that it was wonderful. Or do one better and try it for yourself.
I still have some filo pastry leftover. I think it will become a spinach pie but anything could happen.

Crumble Mix Recipe
3/4 c coconut
3/4 c rolled oats
3/4 c wholemeal flour
3/4 c raw sugar, more or less
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t cardamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
3/4 c melted butter
1 t vanilla essence

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the vanilla essence to the butter.
Mix all together. The mixture should be crumbly.
Set aside.
This makes a lot of mixture so freeze what you don’t use and bring it out when you want to make a quick dessert. Just place on top of fruit in an oven 180C (350F) for 25-30 minutes. Do not defrost the mixture. Just sprinkle on top.

Crumble recipe was adapted from all recipes au

Blueberry Buckwheat Galettes

While Chasing Kids
made some amazing buckwheat galettes on March 19th this year and I have been thinking about them ever since. She made savory. I made sweet. Follow the above link for the recipe.

Galettes are the name given to flat pancakes made with buckwheat flour. They originate from the northern regions of France, Normandy and Brittany. They can be sweet or savory. Crepes are for those made with wheat flour.

Buckwheat can grow in poor soils and cooler regions with short summers.

I had eaten buckwheat noodles before and loved them, but I had never tried buckwheat as pancakes or in other forms so I set out to make these. First I had to go to a health food shop to buy the buckwheat flour.  The flour sat in the pantry for two weeks. I had planned to make them yesterday but I didn’t read through all the recipe.  The batter sits in the fridge for 12-24 hours.  So I made them yesterday for today.

I just added blueberries sprinkling them on one side. Easy peasy.

I love everything about the galettes, the making of the batter and the ingredients so simple, water, buckwheat flour, salt, egg and honey, the way it cooks and the taste. The batter behaves in the pan, it bubbles and browns nicely. I am a buckwheat convert. Thank you While Chasing Kids!

This galette was the last of the batter so it was the biggest.  Didn’t it turn out well! DH got this one.

Topping: Butter and maple syrup

I made enough to have two spare.  They are being cooled and are going into the freezer for an instant brunch for one. Can’t wait!

Guacamole Bacon On Vogel

This was a masterpiece of a sandwich.  Okay, the bacon was slightly overcooked.  That’s called character.

Guacamole Bacon on Vogel Recipe
1 avocado
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2T mayonnaise
1/2 lemon, juice
chili powder to taste or Shichimi (Japanese 7 spice)
salt and pepper
Bacon (optional)
Coriander leaves/cilantro (optional)
4 slices Vogel’s bread, toasted

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.


No coriander leaves.  Boo hoo. I used them all up with my ramen noodles and I didn’t get to the shop as planned.

Be as generous as you want with the guacamole, and make an open sandwich or not. Toasting is best.  As the lemon juice kept the colour of the avocado it lasted us until the next day for another meal.  Yay for leftovers.

Vogel’s is a brand of bread in New Zealand.

Serves 4