Archive for October, 2010

Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry

Red lentil cauliflower curry, frozen and thawed from my extensive archive of left-overs, has the starring role on today’s lunch plate. To green it up a bit there’s the last of the CSA mixed greens, along with a bit of spinach sauteed with shallots and nutmeg and some Vegan Soul Kitchen pickled watermelon rinds, all served over brown basmati rice cooked with cardamom.

Eons ago I worked for a couple of years as a waitress in a Pakistani restaurant, where I learned a few tricks. One was throwing a few cardamom pods in basmati rice before cooking. It gives a very subtle cardamom aroma that goes really well with spicy foods such as the cauliflower curry.

Cardamom Pods

And Bryant Terry had me pickling watermelon rinds this summer, with his Vegan Soul Kitchen, which was fun and nifty, but I find it tastes quite like chutney, so I figured I’d crack one of my jars open for this.

Pickled Watermelon rinds

Now, back to work!

Read Full Post »

So, as mentioned I’m a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) by foods at the moment. I recently bought Viva Vegan a great Latin vegan cookbook, and really want to cook from it,but also don’t want to stock my fridge any extra ingredients beyond what I already have.

So I was leafing through that, and Veganomicon, and contemplating what I needed to “get rid of” including a large stack of chickpea cutlets, that’d frankly take me years to get through were I to eat them all as is. Then it came to me:


Read Full Post »

So, this morning I picked up my bi-weekly CSA share. I was expecting mostly winter squash and tubers at this point in the season, but was happily surprised by green peppers, tomatoes, spinach and some other “summery” stuff, as well as squash, sweet potatoes etc. (Those red things in the lower left corner are the sweet potatoes. The biggest sweet potatoes I have ever seen. More on that at some other point.)

Anyway, this is the haul (pre-sorting and washing):
CSA Haul

And because I live alone and am in the habit of freezing the fresh veggies I don’t have the time to eat when I get them from the CSA and cooking large batches and freezing what I don’t eat, this is what my freezer looks like:

Full Freezer

Which means I need to work onĀ  putting a dent in what I have and get creative with what I’ve got in the next few weeks. Not that I think that should be very difficult.

Also, some cooking for friends is an order to consume all this. Starting with brunch tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

But still a fairly “meat and potatoes” kinda lunch. At least I think so. I rarely eat this sort of very m.o.r. American/ British food, but I wanted to use up odds and ends before I get my new batch of CSA veggies tomorrow.

The chickpea cutlets are famously from Veganomicon. The green pea and leek puree is from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. I made both exactly according to recipe. It was all very tasty, though my tastes required some lime and Tabasco all over this to kick it up a notch. Terry calls these a mashed potato alternative in his book, and I’d say that’s about right. He also says the recipe gives about 4-6 servings, I’d say 3 servings are more like it, but then I’m a total hungry beast so…

And yeah, please excuse the reappearance of yesterday’s kaleslaw, as I said, I wanted to finish off whatever odds and ends were hanging around my fridge.

I’m trying to get in to the habit of proper “mise en place” before cooking a.k.a. lining all your ingredients up first, to eliminate frantic digs through your cabinet to find the cumin while the onions are burning on the stove.
Mise en Place

Chickpea Cutlet with  Green Pea and Leek Puree

Read Full Post »

This slaw is like crack and will enable you to eat not just your daily recommended intake of kale, but also about 2 gallons of nuts and oils in one sitting.

I can’t claim any ownership to the original concept.
Two years ago I got a somewhat similar kaleslaw recipe from my CSA, that had got it from some other CSA.

But I’ve tweaked it to the point where I feel ok about claiming that the dressing is pretty much my own, based of course on what I’ve learned from others. “Standing on the shoulders of giants,” as they say.

The most revolutionary thing about this, is that I used this particular salad to use up almond pulp from my almond milk-making and also carrot pulp, from this morning’s carrot-apple-celery juice.

Kale and carrot pulp, ready to go:
Kale and carrot pulp

Kaleslaw with carrot pulp

Recipe below the jump.


Read Full Post »

Even though I haven’t quite achieved my goal of cooking every recipe in Veganomicon (or any of my many other cookbooks) I broke down and bought two new ones. Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan and Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. Both of them are chock-full of amazing-looking recipes that I can’t wait to cook. I’ve only done a few from each so far, but they’ve all been great.

I wish my first blog post from Viva Vegan was something more photogenic than this soup, as I’ve cooked several pretty things from it. But, as they say on the Internet: pictures or it didn’t happen.

Anyway. Here’s the soup:

Tropical Pumpkin Soup

I won’t post the recipe, as it’s in the book. But I will say that I used Delicata squash and red-skin potatoes instead of the Calabaza and waxy white potatoes that she suggests. Only because that’s what I got from my CSA share and part of the reason I made this soup was that it was a perfect way to use up a bunch of CSA veggies in one go. The only real seasoning was black pepper, but it still came out very flavorful and spicy (not in a hot way). So try it according to recipe before messing with the spices, is my advice.

Also, she says to blend the soup until completely smooth. I left a few chunks in there, because I like my soup like I like my women… chunky!

Read Full Post »

I only recently realized it is super easy to make your own almond milk (and much cheaper than buying). The reason I found out about this was that I bought myself a masticating juicer (the kind that grinds rather than shreds veggies) and one of the selling points was nut milk-making.

That said, it is really easy to do this in a blender too, the main difference is then you need to do the squeezing of the pulp by hand.

Here’s what the almonds look like post-soaking. (Mine are a mix of sliced and whole here, ’cause that’s what I had at the time.)

Soaked Almonds

Putting it through my (magnificent) Omega 8006 juicer:

Making Almond Milk in the Juicer

The finished product in all its glory: (The recipe makes more than 4 cups, but I used 1 cup for a matcha smoothie because I couldn’t resist.)

Almond Milk

Here’s what to do:

1 1/2 cup raw almonds (whole, slivered, sliced, peeled, unpeeled, whatever)
3-4 cups of filtered tap water
fine sea salt, to taste
2 dried medjool dates
Dash of vanilla extract
More filtered tap water, to taste

A note: The flavoring won’t make it sweet, it just enhances the natural flavors. You can drink it totally plain too, or make it sweeter, whatever floats you boat. Play around with it.


Put the almonds and the water in a container with an air tight lid. Put in fridge to soak for 8 hours, or over night.

Some recipes say to blanch and peel them first. I’ve tried both and find that leaving the peel on gives more flavor. You may feel differently. Experiment. Also, I like to sweeten with dried dates, but you could of course use agave, or whatever other sweetener you like.

After soaking, blender version:

Put the almonds and liquid in the blender. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth, into a bowl. Squeeze out all the liquid until the pulp is as dry as you can get it.

Put the strained liquid back in the blender. If you want to jazz it up a bit, add the vanilla extract, salt and dates. Add some water if that suits your taste, blend. Done!

After soaking, masticating juicer version:

Spoon the soaked almonds (and some of the soaking water) down the chute until they’re all ground. Pour the pulp down the chute again with more soaking water, for a second grinding, you’ll get a lot more flavor and creaminess this way. You can either stop at two grindings, for a creamy and fairly un-pulpy almond milk. I like to put the pulp through a third time. You get way more out of the almonds doing this, but there will be a bit more pulp. Your call.
DON’T feed it through a fourth time. It will only clog up the juicer. Trust me on this.

Pour the almond milk in a blender with dates, salt, vanilla extract. Blend. Done!

Store in air tight container (if you can stop yourself from guzzling it all down on the spot).

You can use the almond pulp for all sorts of things, including, but not limited to pesto and salad dressings. More on that in a later post. If you want to save the pulp I recommend you either put it in a zip-loc bag and throw it in the freezer (it will spoil quickly as is). Or, you can dry it in the oven (be careful not to burn it) and store in a sealed container at room temperature.

A note:
It won’t be homogenized like store-bought milk, it separates over time. Not to worry. Just shake the jar (make sure the lid is screwed on tight) or blend in blender to make get it back to that store-bought consistency.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »