Tag Archives: eggplant

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You might not be able to guess this- but I really like metal genre. Alexa and I have talked about music before (making best of lists for 2014, talking about our fav artists, or the concerts we’ve been to) and you would think we were all about mello music and pop-electronica. And you would be right. But I am still a sucker for some metal. In high school you would more likely be listening to Visual Kei bands and nerdy metal bands. If you are sitting here thinking what is nerd metal? And visual what?! Well come along friends and let me give you a small history.

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First off Visual Kei is a Japanese genre, that has less to do what the music sounds like and more about what the bands look like. The genre kind-of popped up in the 80s and was heavily influenced by 80s hair metal. The early music was influenced by glam rock, heavy metal, and punk music. I always thought the music was more pleasant than some of the “goth” bands in the states, leading to some of my favorites like Due Le Quartz, Vidoll, Dir en grey, MUCC, cali≠gari, and deadman. Hell, I have even been lucky enough to see some visual kei groups when they’ve toured the USA. I’ve seen +DéspairsRay+, MUCC, and L’arc~en~ciel (who were one of the early Visual Kei bands, who became more mainstream pop.) But like most genres they evolve and it became harder and harder to find groups that sounded different from one another. Then the genre branched off to Oshare Kei which sounded too much like the pop-punk movement in the states. I think I largely loved how feminine the genre was. I find lots of Americans/Westerns have the hardest time accepting the feminine aspects of the genre as men wear lots of make up, have tiny figures, and sometimes even wear dresses.

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Now what am I talking about with nerdy metal? Ever heard of the genre math rock? According to wikipedia it’s “Math rock is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting), counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonant, chords.” (If you want to check out Math Rock try listening to toe, Maps and Atlases, Zazen Boys, Q and Not U, and Acidman) Well, to me nerdy metal isn’t a real genre, just one that I use. But it is similar to math rock- it is characterized by the complexity of the music. Mostly it is for all the prog-alternative metal groups that were less goth and more about 20 minute guitar solos. I mean, just look at all these subgenres of metal on wikipedia. I can’t even begin! I mean give me Sonata Arctica, DragonForce, and Dream Theater any day.

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So what am I getting at? Well, when I saw the prompt of make the most Goth meal ever, it just made me think of my days in college and going to see Gwar. They have been listed at the third nerdiest metal groups, and you probably know them from the Beavis and Butthead video game where you go around town trying to get to the Gwar concert. I just remember freshman year, sitting around and news came out that Gwar was playing that night. My friend Kelli was super pumped but it was all sold out. So the next year we went, and it was awesome.

Truthfully, I am not a huge fan of Gwar’s music. I could take it or leave it, except some random songs here and there. But given the chance to see full grown men paint abs on their beer bellies, chop the head off of political figures and other crude jokes. What you should expect from a Gwar concert is a lot of multicolor liquids flying at you and mosh pits. I think people are usually surprised that I love going to Gwar concerts since I like dressing girly, but there is such stage performance that I can never say no. I’ve been to three concerts, every year in college since that missed Freshman year concert.

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One of the most notable concerts was when they paired Gwar with Cradle of Filth. I’ve dabbled with Cradle of Filth, and most people probably know them from the IT Crowd. I think “It sounds horrible but it’s actually quite beautiful” is a great way to describe them. It was an interesting mix of crowds. Gwar is a little more gritty and older crowd, while Cradle of Filth had younger goth kids wearing pleather. It was pretty easy to tell who came for which bands. Gwar goers wore white t-shirts, Cradle of Filthers wore black.

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Perhaps I am extra nostagic of my Gwar concert going days since I always went with my rad friends- Kelli and John. The two are now happily married and are expecting a cute little dude. Do you think they make Gwar onesies?

Okay so let’s talk about my most metal dark dish. Well, I love chinese fermented black beans. Douchi is pretty much the first fermented soy beans, and you’ve probably eaten it before with Chinese take out with any of their “black bean” dishes. I’ve written in detail about douchi, which can be called many different things depending on the country. I’ve made a recipe for Jajangmyeon, which is a Korean dish. I mean it is pretty dark, but I wanted to do something a little different for vegan mofo.

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So I’ve tried to make a stir-fry with these black bean paste, with some yummy results. I sautéed some vegan abalone, eggplant, and broccoli. Don’t worry guys, you can hardly see the broccoli in all that dark sauce. And I paired it all off with some black rice, which is so black it makes the rest of the dish look brown.

Funny thing is that after writing this post, I kind-of remembered why I’ve moved away from heavier music. One is that they can be misogynist, or super dude heavy (mean, there are lots of not so subtle phallic displays at a Gwar concert) but mostly it is because my husband HATES hard music. I was listening to Due Le Quartz while making dinner, and midway through he just asks “what the fuck are you listening to?!” Well, I left some videos below with some viewer warning when needed if you want to listen to some music of some the bands listed above.

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I love a good bowl. I don’t eat them often, as I tend to be the type of person who just makes one big dish. Curries, chilis, soups, stir-fries, and casseroles are more up my alley. But truthfully a well balanced vegan bowl is easy to do, especially if some prep work is done before hand. For example, I use already prepared hummus, some frozen protein balls I’ve made earlier, and the eggplant was pickled a few days earlier. All I had to do was pop everything in the oven and cook the couscous!

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Funny thing is that making a dish with as many colors in the rainbow can be hard. But I tried my best here using all produce from my CSA. I love being able to eat a dinner that is almost all from the same place. So what is what in the rainbow?

  • Red & Orange: bell pepper, last of the season
  • Yellow: pickled turmeric eggplant (again last of the season)
  • Green: green leaf, arugula, and radish greens
  • Blue: the bowl- duh!
  • Purple: roasted beets
  • Brown: hummus & chickpea beanballs
  • White: Pearl Couscous tossed in soy yogurt

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Overall, it took about an hour for dinner to cook, but there was a lot of down time. The beets that took the longest to roast. It might take longer than an hour if you choose to make your own hummus and beanballs/falafels. But I strongly suggest making doubles of a falafel/beanball recipe and freezing the extras for bowls like this.

For anyone who is wondering- you will need to prepare the eggplant two days ahead of time. I am a big fan of this refrigerator pickle recipe, and it is a great way to preserve some extra eggplant from the summer. If you aren’t a huge eggplant fan, this really alters the taste and the traditional mushy texture. I personally used Wegman’s brand hummus, just the good old classic hummus, though you could go for any flavored hummus if you like. And finally the balls were the Chickpea Eggplant Hemp Veggieballs from Protein Ninja. But there are lots of falafels now that you can find in the freezer section, like Trader Joe’s.

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Happy Election Day! At least for the Americans. I have an exit strategy if Trump wins. I’ll dig a hole and living in the country on the other side. Sadly, New Jersey ends up in an ocean with no islands nearby. Plan busted. The closest one is Australia, and I thought that there are plenty of Vegan MOFOers from Australia. They probably all posted about local dishes yesterday. So I thought I would pick another country nearby- Indonesia (technically that would be opposite of Brazil… SOOOO not close to New Jersey XD)

I haven’t cooked much of their cuisine, but I have three cookbooks that have food from the area (or at least inspired food from the area.) One is Ani Phyo’s Raw Asian cookbook, okay so the authenticity is a stretch! The other is a cookbook that goes through the culture of Southeast Asian food in detail. It isn’t vegan, at all, so finding recipes were hard. But it is really interesting as they give information about the local produce and customs, so it was interesting to flip through it again.

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So I took most of the recipe’s inspiration from The Asian Vegan Kitchen. Overall, I find the recipes too oily and bland. In fact the Indonesian recipe I reviewed was way too oily from two cans of coconut milk. Yuck. I kind-of took the hint with this recipe, and balanced the recipe out. So you might be thinking what makes an Indonesian curry different from other curries?

Well, it is similar to any of the Thai Red Curry recipes you’ve might of made. But this is super easy and fast to make. For starters the veggies, tempeh, and tofu are chopped in very large pieces. This makes prep time very minimal. Also the curry paste (or lodeh paste) uses candlenuts. I remember seeing them once at an Asian Food Market, but I wasn’t going to make another stop for the recipe. You can use macadamia, brazil, or cashew nuts. I used cashews.

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The recipe also uses salam leaves and galangal. I have never seen any of these ingredients in a store before. I omitted it from the recipe, but if you find powdered galangal, try sprinkling into the recipe. As for salam leaves, I subbed it with some curry leaves. It isn’t authentic, but I am sure many Indonesian immigrants are making similar substitutes.

Nutrition? Yeah, I’ve been really into counting the nutritional information about food lately. Sorry. A quarter of a recipe is roughly 41 grams of carbs (9 grams of fiber), 31 grams of fat (hello coconuts and cashews!), and 28 grams of protein. I have a feeling the fat counts are a little high, and will depend on what type of fried tofu you buy. You can sub it with baked tofu as well.

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As a quick reminder, these percentages are based off of my current pregnant state. You maybe getting a larger amount. If you are actually tracking your nutrition, I suggest looking at the mg units. The obvious thing that will fill more of your nutritional needs is the iron. I am pregnant so I need a minimum of 27 mg while most menstruating women need 18 mg, men more like 8mg.

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This recipe has been lurking for over a year now. I made a vegan eggplant and tomato soup over a year ago. It was amazing. So amazing I thought it would be something really nice to make my friends when they came down for my wedding. But I couldn’t find the recipe again. The soup was okay, but not quite the same as the first time. Alexa might remember this soup when I put alphabet noodles in it. Maybe not.

After a few trials I found the perfect amount to get the right consistency. This gives all the same vibes as the out of can tomato soup we all grew up with, but with a more adult twist. White wine, eggplant, and carrots give the soup a complex flavor that doesn’t take away from the tomatoes. I like to pair it was something rich and fatty. Like a vegan grilled cheese sandwich or bread with avocado spread on top.

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The only reason why it took me so long to post this recipe was the photos. I like to keep skins on when roasting and eating veggies. Needless to say red plus purple doesn’t make a pretty color. I eventually found time to peel the eggplant, giving a vibrant red soup. You don’t need to peel the eggplant, but if you like your food to be souper pretty, go for it (did you see what I did there?)

I wasn’t sure if I was going to even post this recipe on here since it was so simple. The flavor isn’t drastically different from normal tomato soup. The ingredients list is short. What does my soup have to offer?

Well, I am being a little selfish here. I am always loosing this recipe. So I am mainly getting it written down for my own records. So I don’t care what any of you guys think of this recipe. I am doing this for me. Side note, don’t forget the salt guys! The soup in the picture kind-of sucked since I forgot to add the salt and pepper. Ugh. Continue reading