March 23, 2015
A while ago I made my own massaman curry from Connoisseurus Veg and it made a large amount. Not sure how long it would last, I froze the whole jar which has such a large fat content, it is still pliable. This makes it easy to save, and easy to use in a flash. You can just scoop and use right out of the freezer.
So I wanted a super quick dinner to make with the leftover curry paste. I wanted a recipe that used up staples I always have around carrots and lentils. Prep work is easy since everything is being blended together. And if possible, grab a loaf a bread to dunk in.
I know many people are starting to get sick of soup, since it is becoming spring, but I say this soup is perfect for the spring. Some days you are going to have hot days, and some days will be really cold. And that is when you make this soup. For those spur of the moment cold days.
As for the massaman curry, you can use homemade or store bought. I used the recipe from Connoisseurus Veg. There are many different brands on amazon that you can buy but maesri is the only brand I can verify as vegan. I would recommend checking out different brands in store so you can read the labels to make sure there aren’t fish sauce or shrimp paste in the curry.
March 16, 2015
I am not a huge Saint Patricks day fan. I think it is because I lived in Center City Philadelphia for four years. The entire week of Saint Patricks Day was a big party. It was quite annoying going to class and seeing people stumble out of bars at 10 in the morning. Some years it seemed like it was a two week party marathon, depending on which day of the week Saint Patricks Day landed on.
I know live in a walking distance of about 5 bars (I live between two dry towns, if that explains it) but it seems like we can be pretty secluded from the holiday. Because of that, I am finding myself starting to warm up to the holiday. Well, up until I got stuck in traffic on route 76 due to the Saint Patricks Day parade yesterday. Ugh!
Truthfully there is nothing special about this smoothie. I am not 100% being modest, this is just my typical morning shake. It is pretty much the same shake I have before running or starting me day. Sure I make modifications here and there like swapping out water for a milk or blending in an orange over a banana. I am so unfazed by this green drink that when asked by guest what I’m drinking, I just say it is a smoothie. But I love this shake. It gives me just the right amount of energy to run, but not be too filling that I feel like I’ll need to hurl.
Since I have “perfected” this shake I figured I would share it in honor of Saint Patricks Day. Okay I am a little late, but I’m a rebel like that. I tend to not to follow holiday standards for food. I am actually confused half the time what people serve for some holidays. Like what do people serve for Easter aside from ham? What is a classic Easter dessert? As a kid that answer would be jelly beans and chocolate.
What I love about this smoothie is how much nutrition is packed in here. It counts at around 250 calories per drink, and if you need more calories you can use a milk instead of water, or you can add some protein powder. The shake I made in the photograph actually has some hemp protein powder in it, making it even more green. I like to use whichever greens I have on hand, lettuce, chard, kale, collard green, spinach, whatever. It is particularly handy during the summer when it is a mystery what I will get from my CSA. Depending on your green you can get anywhere from 9-15% calcium and 17-25% iron!
March 9, 2015
One weekend reading I featuring a link to Superfood lattes. The one that really caught my eye was the Turmeric Vanilla latte. When I made it, I thought it was alright. I wasn’t jumping through hoops for it. I think I didn’t like the accompanying powder spices in the drink, as they didn’t dissolve all the way.
But I did think that sweet potato would add a nice complimentary flavor to the drink. The chestnut-like flavors from a Korean sweet potato would work wonders with turmeric. And I was correct. The flesh from the root help rounded out the powdered spice, and give a smooth texture to the latte.
So why bother with turmeric? I like naturally healing foods, but I don’t talk about them often. I worry that people will misinterpret the strength of food, and over estimate them. Ignoring medical problems isn’t cool.
That being said, turmeric has a buttload of medical cures. But most people praise it’s ability to decrease inflammation. In fact, I kept putting in a teaspoon of turmeric into my shakes when my legs were hurting me from standing too long at my old job. I just wish I made this latte back then because it tastes much better than my shakes.
This is the best time of the year for this latte. Most of us are coming to an end to the winter season, and all the snow is melting. This latte is bright and cheery just like the spring. I recommend using sweet potatoes with white flesh to keep the yellow glow. But orange fleshed sweet potatoes will taste just as amazing, and give an equally pretty and vibrant color.
March 2, 2015
Damn these short winter days, killing the food blogging realm. I never really put much thought to it before the blog, but nighttime really clobbers photographs. Since I am a working girl in a small apartment, I pretty much only have time to take photos of food the night I make it. Maybe one day I will have enough time to make these great dishes in the middle or the day, or have a special corner to set up lights to photograph at night.
My latest dish was inspired from our last trip for Chinese takeout. My husband has switched over from General Tso’s Chicken to General Tso’s Tofu. But I haven’t found a place in New Jersey that I liked their tofu, my favorites being in Philadelphia. I’ve been going nuts for some of the baked cauliflower dishes. I thought I might try making a tofu and cauliflower mix.
Of coarse to make this dish gluten free you have to make some alterations. First is that you need a gluten-free soy sauce or something similar. Coconut aminos, braggs, or tamari should work wonderfully in this dish. You also need to be careful about which hoisin sauce you buy. Most have wheat in it, but Joyce Chen has a gluten-free and kosher hoisin sauce. These are pretty much the only major problems to tackle with this recipe.
February 23, 2015
I am sure many of you have been reading blog posts about how cold it has been on the northern hemisphere. On the East Coast of the United States we’ve been stuck in the coldest weather for the past two weeks. I am loving it, but I am craving creamy and hot drinks non-stop.
Saturday there was the largest “snow storm” we’ve had all winter. Granted that isn’t saying much since, even though it has been cold, it hasn’t snowed much. During Saturday I just laid down on the couch with a blanket over me. I switched out from reading, watching the snow fall, and drinking this yummy latte.
I don’t want to seem like I should take credit for this drink. I actually saw that Fragrant Vanilla Cake made a Raw Maca Maple Hot Chocolate, and tried it out. I didn’t really like it. I mean it TASTED good, but I had an image already set in my mind. So I figured I would make it the way I wanted it.
I am slightly hesitant to share this recipe since there is a maca shortage. The price for maca is CRAZY! I managed to buy a bag of it before the prices really spiked, and you can sometimes find some cheaper priced packages on Amazon.
February 16, 2015
I’ve probably passed by hundreds of bibimbap recipes on blogs. And can you blame people? Bibimbap is super easy to make. It is also the father of the “vegan bowl.” Think about it- the grain (rice), the veggies, greens (spinach, kimchi), protein (traditionally egg or meat), and a sauce (gochujang). An authentic bibimbap uses up various “namul,” or veggie side dishes. Plop on some rice, dress with side dishes, give a protein, and plop on some gochujang. Your dinner is done.
But if you actually go to a Korean restaurant and order a bowl, you might not have the beautiful bowls you can find on google. You might get a bowl where all the veggies and protein are all sautéed together. This is an easier method when making the dish at home. Though the traditional style is a great way to use up leftovers from a big Korean style dinner.
But one of the secrets I will teach you is how to make bibimbap in a dolsot. Dolsot is the Korean word for a stone pot, and many styles are available online. I personally use my nabe, a Japanese styled hot pot, which is sized for one serving. The biggest difference between the two styles is that a dolsots come with a tray to carry it with so you don’t burn yourself. If you use a stone pot, you will get a yummy crispiness to bottom of the rice. It is easy to burn and takes practice, so be patient.
The beauty of bibimbap is that is simply translates into mixed rice. So it is flexible with ingredients. Don’t want seitan? No problem, use tofu or beans. Don’t like carrots? Just skip them. Don’t want gochujang? You can use miso or doenjang. The key is to use fresh and cheap ingredients.
February 9, 2015
This is a quick little post. See I made these seitan sausages to be used in another recipe. But I thought these guys were pretty versatile and could be used in many other recipes. The end result are 5-6 individual seitan sausages, and freeze really well. So you can make a batch, and shove in the freezer when you are ready to use it. I think I am starting to get addicted to adzuki beans. They add an interesting sweetness to a protein source.
Side note- does anyone know how to make seitan look great in photographs? I swear it is the most un-photogenic food. It is like your friend who is pretty but get them in front of a camera and a mysterious double chin appears. You’ve seen your friend a million times and they don’t have a double chin, and you think how does this happen? Not just once, but every time. That is seitan, you think dang this looks so yummy, and then you take a snap and you think why does this look like a turd?
Well, this is one of the yummiest seitan loafs I’ve ever made. I am super excited to cook it up tonight. Either Tuesday or Thursday I’ll post a second recipe using this seitan. You can use OTHER seitan, but I would recommend this one. Continue reading
February 2, 2015
Is there some unspoken party rule that dips should be named after other foods? I mean there is buffalo wing dip, hoagie dip, jalapeno popper dip, banana pudding dip, smores dip, it seriously gets out of control. But I have to admit I have a soft spot for pizza dip. It was sort of my family’s staple appetizer for parties.
The original version was pretty easy to make, just take cream cheese and sour cream and beat together. Then add tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni chunks. Now, clearly the original isn’t vegan. But I would make the argument that I prefer my newer vegan version, though I miss the pepperoni. So instead I topped it with other items you would find on a pizza, onions and peppers. But you are free to use whatever you want, like olives, faux pepperoni, faux sausage, tomato slices, etc.
This dip is really tasty. It made my omnivorous friends scratch their heads when they found out there wasn’t any dairy in it. And they ate it so fast I couldn’t take any photos showing the different layers.
My biggest tip with the dip? Finding the right container. You don’t need the dip to fill up all the way to the top. Keeping nice thin layers is ideal so you can get a little bit of everything in one scoop. I am merely poor and lack a huge collection of dishes to cook in (gotta work with what you got)
January 26, 2015
This shake was a pleasant accident. I was originally had ideas for a new dish stewing around for a few months, but I when I made this shake plans had to put on hold. See, I had leftover black sesame latte that I drank while I did errands around town. Instead of dumping the leftovers in the sink, I saved it to toss in a smoothie. So the next morning I made my shake, tossed in the leftover sesame latte and blended.
The end result was beyond delicious. The sesame flavor was present and seemed to work well with the chocolate. And even more to my surprise was that I could still distinguish the sesame and chocolate flavors even with my daily teaspoon of spirulina.
I tested the recipe again making modification so my recipe didn’t read “1. make on batch black sesame latte 2. drink one third of it 3 blend all ingredients” Plus I wanted to make sure it still tasted the same. The result was still tasty, and prettier since I omitted the spirulina for the photos. I still stand by that the sesame and chocolate cover the spirulina taste pretty well, which is good news for anyone who doesn’t like it. I personally like spirulina, but somedays I just don’t want to taste it.
I will point out that some people might not dig this flavor combo as much as I did. If you don’t like tahini or sesame seeds you probably won’t like this shake. The sesame plays a big role in the flavor, and it should distinguishable in the shake.
It should also be noted I used black sesame paste in the recipe. You could use whole black sesame seeds and leave the blender running a little longer. You can use tahini, but those sesame seeds are not roasted and therefore has a different flavor than “sesame pastes.” Sesame pastes are more often used in Asian cooking, and come in black and white sesame seeds. The flavor difference is minimal, but just something to keep in mind.
January 19, 2015
This dish semi-fails. It fails in the blogging sense that it photographs HORRIBLY! I had a recipe planned out and thought out and when I finally poured the sauce over the noodles it hit me that this would taste great but look fairly bad. So I beg you guys not to judge the appearance of this dish, it really tasty.
So what’s the second failure of the recipe? Well, this dish is inspired by a clip from the Korean show Let’s Eat. One episode had the characters eat a red bean and noodle soup. The dish originally is a sweet red bean soup that has little mochi dumplings in it. At some point in history, someone decided it would taste better with fat noodles in it. Overall it is more sweet than savory, so I wanted to make it more appropriate for dinner. If you want to see the original dish in action, you can watch the show clip here.
So to make it dinner appropriate I decided to add some broccoli florets and fresh noodles. That way you could boil both at the same time, and have them both cooked perfectly. I also started with un-sweetened adzuki/red beans so I could play with more savory flavors.
The end result is tasty but very ugly noodles. And I am fine with that. The dish was so quick to make, so it is ideal for rushed weeknights. I could improve on the recipe, and maybe I will be revisiting it on the blog in the future.