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Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

I made this to use up stuff in my fridge. Primarily four green tomatoes that I couldn’t figure out what else to do with. It turned out well, a bit too hot at first, but mellowed when I let it sit. Don’t tell anyone, but the green curry paste I used had been (and still is) sitting in my fridge since 2007, or so. Yeah, I know. But I didn’t die from botulism, so whatever.

Recipe after the jump.

Green tomato, sweet potato coconut curry

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I’ve been craving a hearty black bean stew lately. I don’t know what it is about black beans, they just seem more lush and filling than any other bean.
Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan is full of recipes I want to cook, but the Portobello Feijoada was calling my name extra loud. I just got a new CSA load and it was one of those things where everything aligned and I happened to have all the necessary ingredients to make exactly what I was craving (minus the Portobellos, which I bought at the store today).

You guys, this dish is fucking delicious!

Portobello feijoada & friends

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So… haven’t posted in a while, but I have been cooking. Mostly I have been working on just getting through some of the stuff that had piled up in my freezer, as pictured previously and making a dent in the immense amount of CSA veggies I had gotten.
One of my “empty out the freezer” meals was this:

Seared green beans, Mexican millet and raw butternut squash salad

I had a few more chickpea cutlets to eat, so I stuck that in here. I had some old millet in my pantry, I paired that with some of my fresh tomatoes for Veganomicon “Mexican Millet”, then there was an opened, half-full pack of frozen green beans far back in my freezer that I’d totally forgotten about. Must have come from my winter share last year. Ehh… yeah, I know.
I seared the green beans with garlic and olive oil, inspired by Terry Bryant’s Vegan Soul Kitchen recipe. To round it all out I grated a butternut squash and tossed it in salt, olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of red wine vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper.

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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!

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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

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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:
Kaleslaw with carrot pulp

Recipe below the jump.

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Much chickpeas are consumed chez foodmonkey. I’m on a temporary no-hummus regimen due to rehab-related issues. That doesn’t mean I can’t work chickpeas in here and there in other ways.

Today I tried something I’ve been meaning to make for a while: “Lablabi” a blended chickpea soup out of Olive Trees and Honey. I gather it’s a North African thing. I normally don’t post recipes straight out of cookbooks out of respect for the author, copy right and such. I thought I’d break that rule here, because I can’t imagine there aren’t a thousand versions of this already on the internets.

Lablabi

It’s sort of like hummus soup minus the tehina (hummus is the Arabic and Hebrew word for “chickpea,” so I guess it is in fact hummus soup). Very very tasty. Totally hit the spot for me. I suppose you could eat it with a few toasted wedges of pita if you were feeling ambitious, but I was lazy so I didn’t. I think the more “authentic” way is to leave more whole chickpeas in there, I think I will next time. Trust me, there will be a next time.

Here goes:

Lablabi — North African Chickpea Soup

2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas

olive oil

1 onion

3 carrots

1 small celeriac

3 big cloves of garlic

10 cups of water

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp harissa

1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin

freshly ground black pepper

salt

juice of 2 fresh lemons

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

Prep:

Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly and throw out any bad ones. Soak over night in a bowl of water. I’m a bit pedantic and like to change the water a few times, but that’s just me). Also, I like to add a tablespoon or so of baking soda to the soaking water, this helps the chickpeas get tender later on.

Now for the actual cooking:

Chop the onion. Fry in a large heavy bottomed pan in the oil over a low heat until transparent and soft. In the meanwhile, chop the carrots and the celeriac. Crush the garlic. Add to the onions and fry for a while longer until everything is soft and aromatic. Rinse the chickpeas, add. Pour in the water and add the bay leaves. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until some of the chickpeas begin to break and they are soft enough so that they make a non-grainy mush when you crush them with a spoon. Add the harissa, pepper and cumin. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Fish out the bay leaves.

Let cool a little. Blend quickly in a food processor or blender (I like to leave a little bit of chunkiness.) Add salt to taste and stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and eat.

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