Friday, May 25, 2012

Red Lentil Curry

I love Indian food so much and this Red Lentil Curry was amazing! My mom was in town yesterday and we had a very fun day at the zoo. Before we left to head to the zoo however, I wanted to put something in the crockpot for our dinner so I didn't have to whip something up when we got home. I am so glad I did - we came home to delightful aromas!! This dish was fantastically delicious. I served it atop jasmine rice with naan, cabbage and fresh fruit to the side. I tweeked the recipe as usual :-)I forgot to take a picture until I had put the food away so this is a picture of leftovers of it! Not as pretty as the original dinner plate but gives the general idea!
Red Lentil Curry (adapted from Allrecipes)
1 cup red lentils
1 T canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons curry paste ( I used about 1 T and it was spicy but not too spicy.
 2 T will likely give you a VERY spicy dish so add according to your taste)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
 1 teaspoon minced garlic
 1/2 t dried ground ginger
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilis (like Red Gold or Rotel)
1 cup water
 In crockpot, combine all ingredients except lentils and water. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Cook lentils according to package instructions (usually they take about 15-20 min to cook). Add lentils and water to crockpot during the final 15 minutes of cooking to heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First Harvest!

This year I purchased the coolest thing ever - a Tower Garden. This vertical garden is seriously an awesome contraption that makes gardening a breeze - and I harvested my first batch of lettuce this week. Delicious and fresh! If you have never seen a tower garden, they really are awesome...I have included a couple pictures. I love to make meals out of things I have grown. Yay for easy gardening!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Easy Tempeh Salad

I have discovered that I absolutely love tempeh! Not only have I found out how easy it is to make my own tempeh bacon (and how delicious it tastes!), but I have also realized several other ways of enjoying it. The flavor is so nutty and yummy. I recently made a fabulous salad with some some leftover tempeh cubes. I used the cubes in another dish - I simply rolled tempeh cubes in some flour and then browned them in some oil in a skillet. For the salad, I heated the tempeh cubes and then tossed them with some Louisiana hot sauce. I made a salad of baby cucumbers, tomatoes, petite peas and peppers (any veg combo will do!) and then tossed the salad ingredients with the tempeh and a bit of vinaigrette dressing. Sounds a bit strange but it was fabulously simple and absolutely delicious!!

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.