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Archive for October, 2006

Nepalese Nightshades Stew

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Another for the vegan_cookoff, where this fortnight the challenge ingredients are eggplant and black beans.

This hearty, fiery, stew features the flavors of Nepal and the nightshades eggplant and tomatoes.

1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 small eggplant
1/4 medium red onion
several cloves garlic
1/2 celery stalk
2 Tb tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 habanero*
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coconut extract

(*) Warning: This makes for a very hot dish, the way I like it. Feel free to reduce or swap out for a milder hot pepper.

Roughly chop the onion, celery, garlic, and hot pepper. Place into an oil-spritzed skillet over medium heat. Dice the eggplant and add along with the garam masala to the pan. Continue cooking until onions are lightly caramelized and eggplant is softened. Meanwhile, pour 3/4 cup water into a blender and add 2 Tablespoons tomato paste. Once pan ingredients are ready, deglaze with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and dump into blender. On a medium setting, whir to a chunky consistency. In a small saucepan (or heck, the same skillet works), reheat the eggplant with the cup of cooked black beans. Just prior to serving, stir in 1 teaspoon coconut extract. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

coconut curry

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Thai done healthy!

Soup: crumbled nori sushi wrap from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, dried mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, 3-4 cups(?) water, boiled for 45 minutes with seitan chunks to create “shrimp”

Some of the seitan remained in the soup and some was used in the accompanying curry. To finish the soup, I added hand-tied shirataki noodles.

Coconut Curry: green string beans, roasted cauliflower, zucchini, shrimp seitan chunks prepared in soup, onions, garlic, Thai peppers, 1/2-3/4 cup soy milk, coconut extract, curry powders, lemon juice, black pepper, glucomannan to thicken

Hot and spicy, yet sweet, with the mock coconut cream. Garnished with fresh basil.

Wine: Lodi Syrah from Orleans Hill (all their wines are vegan)

pumpkin pie

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Some friends and I gathered today for an afternoon of UFC with two title fights. The show was great, as was, of course, the companionship, including one college buddy whom I haven’t seen in months!

I usually make the hummus and salsa, and often a dessert, for these gatherings. However, this time, inspired by my prior hummus creations, and having tested out some variations at home, my friend Scott took the reigns and made a couple for the group. One was your standard tahini hummus and the second was an experiment with charred onions and bell peppers sans tahini. Both were quite good. Thank you!

For my part, I made one of the best salsas I’ve yet created. I throw it all together the night before to let the flavors mingle, and they are different every time. The only constant is I have taken to adding a shot or two of Captain Morgan. I also mixed up a big batch of Green Goddess Dressing from Penzey’s Spices. It’s a little loose as a dip (at least with soy yogurt), but tasty and better than the crap that comes in the center of those veggie plates.

As for dessert, a seasonal favorite… pumpkin pie!

Although I made quite a few modifications, I am still opting not to give the recipe here out of respect for the author of The Big Book Of Vegetarian, from which mine was based.

However, the replacements might still interest those seeking fat-free, low-calorie treats. First, I used whole wheat and rye flours for the crust, and the canola oil was substituted with Oatrim. In the filling, I used 2-3 tsps of glucomannan to replace the 1/4 cup of cornstarch. This recipe has a subtle spiciness and no cloves. Here it is before baking:

I’ve made it twice now. The first time I brought some to my Mom and stepdad to try and they enjoyed it. That one fared well at work too. And, for its debut with the guys this weekend, all indications were it was much appreciated.

Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from testing out a piece the night before. :)

Pear-Pecan Brussels Bake

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

They’re throwing a twist into the works over at the vegan_cookoff this month as both competitions feature dual ingredients. First up: pears and nuts.

This dish would be perfect as a Thanksgiving side-dish. Just multiply all the ingredients by the size of your party. Or you could eat it as a single serving mid-afternoon treat, as I did today. Mmmm… :)

4 Brussels sprouts
1/2 red pear
10 grams pecan pieces
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here’s how to assemble. Place two large slices of pear on the bottom of a 1-quart glass baking dish. Quarter the Brussels sprouts and arrange evenly over the pear base. Dice the remaining pear and layer on top. Add lemon juice and sprinkle cinnamon liberally. You can also top with the pecans at this time or not. I added half (not shown here):

Bake in a preheated oven, uncovered, at 350 F for forty minutes. The Brussels sprouts are al dente with these cooking times, and the pear is just right too. If you prefer softer veggies, you may want to steam the sprouts first. Splash with brown rice vinegar and stir everything together with any reserved pecan pieces.


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