boiled daikon, first step

A week of ten minute recipes

I’m new to blogging. To get my bearings I’ve been read, read, reading blogs. A constant theme in the food-o-sphere is ‘quick and easy’. Myself, I prefer slow and complicated; but delicious, inexpensive, healthful food is easy to prepare at home and so I’ve decided to do a series of posts in which I make meals in no more than 10 minutes — preparation is required. I spent two hours preparing last Friday and no more than 10 minutes each day throughout the week. (Links to my recipes will follow in the coming days as I upload.)

It’s Friday 1:30. I open my refrigerator to see what I’m working with. I think of my goal and know I’m cutting calories. I also want to use up the odds and ends.

I have daikon. I love it boiled, so I peel then slice it into several large one inch rounds, cover with water and boil it over a low flame for 30 minutes.

I decide to make daikon salad with the rest, so I take the food processor and grate the daikon and three peeled carrots. In a large bowl I salt the mixture with a tablespoon of salt (to remove the excess water) and set it aside for 30 minutes and with the cutting board out I can work on the greens.

boiled daikon, first step

boiled daikon, first step

I have turnip greens from last week (note, I stem the leaves). I consult The Flavor Bilbe (add link) and see that it pairs well with garlic, bacon, thyme, tarragon. I know I want to cut calories, so I chose a non stick wok for quick low-fat cooking.

My bacon is not thawed but I have ham. Ham pairs well with garlic and thyme. I chop up the ham and put it in the wok and cook it to release the oil. I know after I add the greens the ham won’t cook anymore, so I have to decide: Crispy or soft? I decide against garlic, so I omit it (had I used it I would have added it now).

When the ham is crispy I put in the greens. I’m unsure how this will pair with thyme and tarragon, so I taste it after cooking about three minutes then, while holding a branch of thyme near my nose, I taste again. They match and I like the combo. I add. I taste. It’s good and I do the same procedure with the tarragon. It also matches. I add then turn off the heat to preserve the flavour — to much cooking will evaporate the flavourful oil in the herbs. I put the Sautéd Turnip Greens in a plastic container. Done.

Two leaves of spinach, the root cut off and stemmed. The lower leaf’s stem is pulled completely off the blade. The upper leaf’s stem is cut at the base of the blade.

Two leaves of spinach, the root cut off and stemmed. The lower leaf’s stem is pulled completely off the blade. The upper leaf’s stem is cut at the base of the blade.

“Herbs are aromatic stimulating the nose, you can get a sense if an herb will match a dish by holding the herb near your nose while tasting. Breath in. Taste. Can you imagine these flavours together?”

how to sauté turnip greens

I have a kilo of Brussels Sprouts and potatoes. I want low fat, easy to cook. I split them between two different roasting pans. I know both vegetables pair well with garlic, olive oil, thyme, ham, so I crush two cloves of garlic in a bowl, add olive oil, brush the sprouts and potato in one pan and set it aside.

To oil and season the second pan of vegetables I put diced ham, fresh thyme, and salt in a plastic and squish it together. I add the potatoes and sprouts and squeeze them through the bag with my hands to coat them with the oil. I empty the contents back into the second pan and place both pans in the oven. (210 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes, check after 40). (insert recipe link)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Keep your kitchen clean and ordered by washing as you proceed from step to step, dish to dish.

While my food processor bowl dries I take out mung beans. I have (home made) kim chi on the veranda. I want something low cal, high protein so I soak the mung beans for bindaetteok. (tutorial and recipe here)

I decide to make pastry (tutorial here). I know that I want low fat. I know this is just for me, so I can experiment. The ratio for pastry is 3:1 flour:fat. I know that butter is 81% fat. I use 600 grams flour, 200 grams butter to save a few calories. Into the food processor bowl — whiz, whiz, whiz — then into a bag and finally into the freezer to rest.

pastry dough

The daikon is done, drain, add fresh water and seasonings and put it back on the stove for 30 minutes.

I have time, so I rinse the daikon-carrot mixture. Taste. Is it too salty? Is it too strong? If so, I keep rinsing. Taste and rinse. When I’m satisfied I put it in a salad spinner then into a plastic bag and into the fridge.

The potatos are done. Out of the oven.

I need something filling and healthy for midweek. Idli and or dosa. (insert recipe) I take out my rava (rice) and dal. The ratio is between 3:1 and 5:1, rice:bean. I want a lower calorie dish, so I chose 3:1.

Clean the area, off the daikon, have a drink then roll my pie crust and put it in the fridge.

That’s an hour.

In the second hour I prepared my vegetables for sambar and prepared apples for pie and crusts for tarts. I made a new batch of Crème Fraîche and finally coconut chutney. Oh, and I hardboiled some eggs.

apple and quince pie

apple and quince pie, tart shells

sauted turnip greens

sauted turnip greens



Each day I will post the recipes I used to make the dishes which follow. Each dish took no more than ten minutes — except idli, which was a special day, any day with idli is a special day.

Once again, I’m new at blogging. I want to publish that’s useful and helps to inspire people. I’d very much appreciate feedback on my posts to help me improve. Please take a moment to give leave a message or support.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

See you,

14 Comments on “A week of ten minute recipes

  1. Hiya, great reading your blog. Very interesting. I’m still viewing your blog but thought I would drop a message now. Thanks for liking my dhal ghos post. I’m fairly new to blogging myself and it’s fab to see so many other food blogs out there. I love food and love to try new foods.


  2. This is great! Like you, I love to make simply delicious, budget-friendly, healthful meals. I whip up most of my lunches in 10 minutes or less on a daily basis, and hope to share some of my recipes too.

    P.S. I work at a bakery on Saturday mornings, and we make tarts all the time! For our lemon tart, we lightly brush on a thin layer of white chocolate to prevent the pastry from getting soggy. Your apple tart post made me think of this…


    • Awesome! It really works. When I make chocolate, or something which goes with chocolate, I brush melted Valrhona.

      What kind of bakery do you work at, for example French, German, Chinese, Arabic?

      I hope to read some of your meal plans and recipes. 🙂


  3. Pingback: #zerotohero Comment to Post: A Reflective Conversation | pause 2 play

  4. I love reading your posts and viewing your images; everything looks divine, and the design is pleasing. I especially love your header image — I could reach in and try one, but which? Ah. too difficult to decide. I will one day discover one of your dishes to make. Glad you decided to blog about your passion.


    • Thank you very much!

      Oh, you should go with the brownie. Or the Pi Cookie, it’s stuffed with ganache and mini M&M’s. 🙂


  5. You have a lot of self made comments to insert recipe or link. I don’t know if this was intentional or you actually made a note to yourself but it made me chuckle because I have done it on a few occasions and then had to edit the post after publishing it and praying nobody noticed. Otherwise, are you basically doing all the prep work before hand so that you only have 10 minutes of actual cooking? I’ve been wanting to try that, as well as freezer cooking but have to find a day to schedule that in.


    • Oh, it’s so worth taking the time to prepare. Once the heavy lifting is done the rest is assembly, so yes, it’s exactly as you thought with a couple of exceptions.

      About preparing ahead, with cuisines that use spices like Indian and Italian, waiting a few days to eat the end product actually improves it. Wait till you see my lasagne next week. 🙂

      And thanks for noticing the notes. They’re for me and the reader. I wanted people to know there will be recipes. I’ve already written everything. Instead up dumping everything at one time I have a reason to come back and post.

      Apple pies and various tarts are tomorrow. 🙂


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