Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quick Veggie Stir Fry & Sticky Rice

My very favorite stir-fry combination is a blend of Asian eggplants, good mushrooms, and red pepper; they're so incredibly delicious together. I know some of the ingredients feel fussy, but I promise, if you take the time to visit your local Asian market and pick up mushroom soy sauce and aji-mirin (sweet rice cooking sauce), you will not regret it.

I also want to mention that there is oyster sauce in this recipe. Ian and I do eat bivalves (oysters, clams, mussels, scallops) as they do not have nervous systems (although we do try to be careful about where they're grown/collected for environmental reasons). If you do not eat oyster sauce, I would recommend subbing that some vegan black bean and garlic sauce.

Get your rice started first, then the stir fry. Easy, fast, and good!

Quick Veggie Stir Fry

Originally posted on This, That, and the Other
For the hottie in a hurry. You could really throw any veggies in here, just adjust the cooking time as needed.

1 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1-2 long, Asian eggplants, sliced down the center lengthwise and cut 1-inch slices on the diagonal.
8 oz mushrooms, oyster or shiitake if you can, otherwise baby portabellas will work fine
1 red pepper, julienned
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. mushroom soy sauce
2 Tbsp. aji-mirin (sweet rice cooking sauce)
1/3 cup water
dash of pepper
Mix oyster sauce, mushroom soy sauce, aji-mirin, and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil is smoking, add the eggplant. Cook the eggplant for  a minutes or so before tossing, letting it brown. Cook for 1-2 more minutes more, tossing occasionally. Add the red pepper, also giving it a little time to brown. Cook for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Stir-fry vegetables for about 5 minutes more. Once vegetables are pleasantly browned, add sauce, stirring so that vegetables are coated evenly. Cook for a few more minutes until sauce has thickened and dash with pepper, adding water if you need to to avoid sticking. Serve immediately over rice. 
Serves 2, 175 calories per serving with 8 grams of protein. High in fiber, manganese, piacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

The Perfect Rice

Perfected after much trial and error! This rice is great for stir-fries as it is nice and sticky. Leftovers used within a day or so make great fried rice

2 cups rice, jasmine preferred although any white long-grain will do
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the rice, water, and salt into a pot. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until the water level is just at or below the rice and the water is bubbling through the rice. 

Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 14-16 more minutes. 
Serves 6, 215 calories per serving with 4 grams of protein per serving.

Recipe: Watermelon Strawberry Lemonade

I realize it's wildly inappropriate to post a recipe for lemonade using fresh strawberries and watermelon in the winter. I would go so far as to call it mean. So I'm sorry. Again, all part of the process of moving recipes from This, That, and the Other that are vegan or easily made vegan. So hate me a little bit, and try to remember this recipe for next July.

Watermelon Strawberry Lemonade
Originally posted on This, That, and the Other.

We found small, beautiful strawberries at our farmers market, I would recommend using this type of fruity instead of the traditional large strawberries found at the supermarket.

3/4  - 1 cup sugar
3 - 3 1/2 cups water, divided
1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 cup fresh lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
1 cup strawberries, hulled
fresh mint (optional)

Mix sugar with 1/2 cup water in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved, to make a simple syrup. Refrigerate to cool down quickly, if possible.

Blend watermelon and lemon juice in batches. Mix in a large pitcher with the simple syrup and strawberries. Top off with water and add mint leaves.

Chill until cold, or serve immediately over ice.

Recipe: Coconut Vegetable Curry

Occasionally the gods smile upon a home chef, and you have a wing-it moment that turns into something really special. I made this vegetable curry two and half years ago, and still remember it very well. In fact, I'll probably make it this week; we have a butternut squash and some potatoes and carrots that need to be eaten before we leave for Minnesota for Christmas for a couple of weeks.

Coconut Vegetable Curry

 Adapted from This, That, and the Other

You could probably put any vegetables you wanted in here, just adjust the cooking time as needed. Serve this curry over basamati rice, or in a bowl with Naan.

2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
4-5 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used a variety of small potatoes, including reds and purples)
1-2 cups butternut squash or sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cauliflower head, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes/slices
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1-2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp garlic paste (or 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (or ginger paste)
2-3 Tbsp garam masala (to taste)
1 tsp coriander
1-2 tsp cumin (to taste)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat (I would recommend using an enameled cast iron french oven, like a Le Creuset). Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil until melted. Add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and is softened.

Add the rest of the coconut oil. Add the potatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the squash, cauliflower, and carrots. Cook the vegetables, stirring them occasionally, for about 10 minutes, letting them brown a little bit. Add the coconut milk, 1 cup broth, and all of the spices. Stir everything until the vegetables are well coated and the spices are evenly incorporated. Depending on the amount of vegetables and size of pot, add more broth until the vegetables are almost covered. Stir and cover, allowing the heat to increase until it reaches a nice simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Depending on the amount of time, you can cook this until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes or so, or cook longer (recommended) so the flavors are better combined and the potatoes start to fall apart and thicken the sauce, anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 5-6, about 400 calories per serving with 8 grams of protein. This recipe is high in Vitamins A and C, and is a decent source of iron.

Recipe: Mollie Katzen's Spinach-Rice Casserole

Moosewood Cookbook is a staple in vegetarian cookbooks; I've been cooking out of my copy since I was a freshman in college, and the thing is starting to fall apart, partly from use, and partly because, despite my mother's best efforts, I'm terrible about not cooking immediately next to my cookbooks, which means they are constantly getting splattered and spilled on.

This Spinach-Rice Casserole  from Moosewood Cookbook is one of those recipes that can easily be veganized.

Spinach-Rice Casserole

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, originally posted on This, That, and the Other

We gave this recipe a solid 'A' in our cookbook notes. It's easy to make and a delicious, wintery, comfort-food. While you can use short, medium, or long-grain brown rice, you will save yourself calories by avoiding short grain brown rice. For your flax egg, either run your flax meal or flax seeds through a coffee grinder or food processor before mixing with the water, or put in the blender with the water. The broccoli slaw can be found by the salad mixes in the produce section. Our mix was a "rainbow mix," with a little bit of shredded carrots and cabbage in addition to the broccoli. Yum!

 2 Tbsp. finely ground flax
 4 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance (or olive oil)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded broccoli slaw mix / diced broccoli stems and florets
2 bunches fresh spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tsp. salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
dash of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, separated
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk, for soy-free)

Whisk the ground flax and water together and set aside for least 10 minutes.

Cook the rice per the manufacturer's instructions. When the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 350F. Heat the Earth Balance in a dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for 5-7 minutes until it start to brown and soften. Add the broccoli and a few teaspoons of water. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli turns bright green and starts to soften as well. Add the spinach, garlic, and salt. Continue to cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until the spinach wilts and cooks down. Remove from heat and mix in the cooked rice, nutmeg, cayenne, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (not full 1/2 cup!).

Beat the flax eggs and soy milk together until well combined. Pour the milk-mixture over the vegetables and rice and stir.

Spread into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Use a scraper to press the mixture down evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds on the top of the casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until the casserole is heated through and is beginning to brown on top. Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes, then serve!

Serves 8, at about 205 calories per serving, with 8 grams of protein per serving. This recipe is high in iron, manganese, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. 

Recipe: Blackberry Ginger Ale

I made my first Blackberry Ginger Ale when I was three weeks pregnant (but didn't know it yet), and was suddenly craving anything sweet and fizzy.

Blackberry Ginger Ale

Originally posted on This, That, and the Other.

This drink is good with your standard ginger ale, like Verners, but will much better with a local artisanal ginger ale. 

Place 3-4 frozen blackberries in a small glass.
Top with your favorite ginger ale, and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Variation: Add a shot of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, or gin if you want some alcohol.

Recipe: Green Breakfast Smoothie

This is a breakfast favorite that I really ought to make more often. Much healthier than the bagels and toffuti cream cheese we've been obsessed with lately.

Green Breakfast Smoothie

Originally posted on This, That, and the Other

Blend the following:
1 sliced banana (could be frozen)
1 apple, cored and in large chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
1/4 cup soymilk, coconut milk, or almond milk
3/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
Dash of salt (optional)
10-12 ice cubes

This is seriously delicious and an excellent way to start the day. Serves two!
About 200 calories per serving, 4 grams of protein and lots of vitamins and nutrients to get you going.

Variation: Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Add a 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter for some extra protein.  

Recipe: Winter Bean Soup

As I'm working through my old recipes, I'm surprised at how many of them are vegan, or easily made vegan. Here is an example of a good, winter soup that we really enjoyed when Felicity was only two months old, and still liked to sleep in her chair on the kitchen table while I cooked (such fond memories!). 

I will admit that I haven't found a good vegan bacon yet, and so that part of the directions may be a little strange. But, based on my memory of veggie bacon from years ago, I think it should all work and taste delicious.

Winter Bean Soup

Adapted from This, That, and the Other
Serves 6

If you don't have vegan bacon on hand or don't want to use it, cook the kale in some olive oil and add a few drops of liquid smoke with the vegetable stock. For the best use of time, de-stem and chop the kale while the onions reduce. Ian gave this a "Straight A" when he tasted it. Little did he know it only took about 40 minutes to make!

4-5 strips vegan 'bacon', chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried or fresh rosemary
bay leaf
6 cups vegetable stock
few drops liquid smoke (optional)
45 ounces canned cannelloni beans
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 bunch kale, steams removed and chopped coarsely (could use spinach here as well)
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 'bacon', if using. Saute until the fat begins to render, then add the onion, adding more olive oil if needed. Saute until the bacon is browning and the onion starts to soften. Add garlic, stirring about 30 seconds until garlic becomes fragrant. Add the rosemary and 2 cups stock.

Stirring occasionally, allow the vegetable stock to cook down until it's very thick and almost gone, almost syrupy. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pot.

Add the remaining vegetable stock, beans, basil, and chopped kale and reduce heat to medium. Add liquid smoke, if using. Stir occasionally and bring to a gentle simmer to warm everything through and cook the kale. Once the kale is cooked (10-15 minutes) the soup will be ready to eat, but you could reduce the heat and allow to cook longer to better infuse the flavors if you have more time.

Top with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Serves 6, approximately 350 calories per serving with 22 grams of protein

Recipe: Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

When I first made this soup last spring, we were eating dairy. Of course the soup had milk in it, but it also featured a Parmesan cheese rind cooked in the soup, which made it absolutely magical. As in, best soup I've ever had, magical.  I know the soup will be good without it, but I'm not sure what would give it the same depth of character. If you have any ideas, please do share. I think using cashew cream will be a start.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
Adapted from This, That, and the Other

Serves 4 main courses or 6 side courses

1 cup wild rice
1 large onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1/2 lb baby bella mushrooms, diced
1/2 lb portabella mushrooms, stems removed and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano (dried or fresh)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
2-3 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons rosemary (dried or fresh)
1 cup cashew cream
2 teaspoons salt, divided

Bring 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of water to a boil. Add the wild rice and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes until the rice is tender. Set aside rice, undrained.

While the rice cooks, prepare the rest of the soup. Warm a teaspoon of oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery with a half teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onions are very soft, and starting to brown, 6-8 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the mushrooms and another half teaspoon of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and turned dark brown, at least 20 minutes.

Add the garlic and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir until the vegetables become sticky and there is no more visible dry flour. Increase the heat again to medium-high and pour in the white wine. Stir and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering until the wine has reduced and thickened a bit.

Add the bay leaf, rosemary, wild rice, and cooking water from the rice. Add two cups of broth to start. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the cashew cream. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the soup has thickened to your liking. Add additional broth if needed.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Approximately 375 calories per serving, 12.5 grams of protein per serving, and the soup is high in phosphorus and niacin.

Recipe: The Relaxation that is Milk Tea

I will boldy admit that milk tea is not quite the same using a milk substitute. And, believe you me, you all coconut milk or almond milk is just gross. Soy is pretty good, and a mixture of soy with coconut milk is lovely.

Milk Tea (Two Varieties)

Originally posted on This, That, and the Other

Milk tea is delicious with all sorts of teas, but my favorites are a classic English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast, Chai, or Earl Grey. I want to try to make this with a black vanilla or marzipan tea, when I can get my hands on them again. 

Milk Possibilities
All soy milk, or blend of soy milk and water
2 cups soy milk, 1 cup water, and one cup coconut milk (recommended) 

#1 (The Best Way)
Put four cups of milk and 1 heaping tablespoon of loose leaf tea (or 2-3 tea bags) into a small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the milk starts to simmer. Stir/whisk often for 4-5 minutes as the milk simmers, then reduce the heat to low (or medium-low, depending how hot your stove gets). Continue to cook the tea for at least ten more minutes, but really, the longer it cooks, the better it will be, so I suggest letting it simmer for 45-60 minutes on low. Add a splash of real vanilla if desired, strain, and serve. You can also sweeten the tea many ways (succanat, sugar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup), but my very favorite is brown sugar.

#2 (For Milk Tea in a Hurry)
This milk tea won't have the complexity or rich texture, but it's ready in a few minutes. That's right, you nuke it! Just make sure that whatever the microwave-safe implement you use to cook the milk in, it has at least 2x the capacity for the milk you're using (for four cups of milk, use something that holds at least 8 cups), unless you fancy wiping down your microwave. Microwave on high for 4-6 minutes, letting the milk get to a nice rolling boil so it cooks down a little. Strain, sweeten, and serve as you would above.

Recipe: Roasted Beet Sald with Lemon Basil Balsamic Dressing

Roasted Beet Salad with Lemon Basil Balsamic Dressing

Originally posted at This, That, and the Other

Serves 4 (with leftover dressing)

I would strongly recommend using a nice aged balsamic vinegar is possible, it makes a big difference. I prefer to serve this salad with warm beets, but the beets could certainly be roasted in advance and served at room temperature, or even cold.

3-4 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb salad greens of your choice (I used a lovely spring mix from our farmers' market, mescalin greens would also be lovely), washed and dried
1/4 cup (generous handful) of basil leaves
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Lemon Basil Balsamic Dressing (see below) 

Heat the oven to 425F. Toss the beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread beets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (two if needed). Bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing beets halfway through. The beets should be tender, sizzling, and starting to brown.

Split the greens between four plates and top with basil leaves roasted beets, and almonds. Serve with dressing alongside.

Approximately 205 calories per serving (with dressing) 

Lemon Basil Balsamic Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp agave syrup, succanat, or brown sugar (or more to taste if you prefer a sweeter dressing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (basil flavored, if possible)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup water
2-3 Tbsp minced basil (optional, use if you don't have access to basil-scented olive oil)

Mix the dressing ingredients together, adjusting the sweetener as needed to taste.

Recipe: Baked Portabella Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers & Pesto

As I was updating my recipe list tonight, I realized that all of my recipes thus far are either soups, scones, or cupcakes. After almost six months of blogging (albeit it not consistently), this is sad and not representative of what we actually eat.

I decided to go through some recipes from my primary blog, This, That, and the Other and put those up that are vegan, are easily made vegan. Hurray! More recipes!

I'll start with a yummy favorite, Baked Portabella Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto

Baked Portabella Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto

adapted from, originally posted on This, That, and the Other
This is easily a fast and easy meal if you are using jarred roasted red peppers. Have more time and want them fresh? Do it up! Gluten-free if you've got the right buns.

2 red peppers (or 2 jarred roasted red peppers)
4 portabella caps, stems removed
olive oil
spring greens or arugula
2-4 Tbsp vegan pesto
or vegannaise
4 potato/hamburger buns

Using your broiler or gas stove, char the peppers (here's a useful tutorial, if you haven't done this before). Place in a medium bowl and cover with saran wrap (alternatively use a small saucepan and lid) and let sit for 30 minutes. Then peel off the skin, remove seeds, and cut peppers into four pieces.

While peppers are steaming, heat oven to 350F. Remove stems from portabella caps, and place on a slightly-greased  baking sheet, gills up. Drizzle with olive oil, and generously salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes.

If you have time, toast the hamburger buns. Spread the mayo and pesto on each bun, and stack with mushrooms, peppers, and greens.

Serves 4, About 130 calories before the bun with 1/2 Tbsp of pesto and 1/2 Tbsp of vegannaise.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup

It's almost winter. I have Christmas music playing almost non-stop, and will do anything to stay cozy, which may or may not include playing 3-hour fireplace videos on my laptop, which is placed strategically in our non-functional fireplace in the living room.

Before baking cookies tonight, I made some seriously yummy soup for dinner. It was a really good end to a really good day.

It's creamy without any dairy products, and packs some serious flavor for only a few ingredients and a fairly short cooking time. I took my time making this soup and it took about 40 minutes from start to finish. I'd bet anything that a savvy cook (such as yourself, yes you, darling reader) could knock this out in 30 minutes flat.

Creamy Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

6 Generous Portions

If you think about it ahead of time, get your cashews soaking for an easier and faster blending process. I would strongly recommend using an immersion blender for both the cashew cream and the soup - it will save time, not to mention space in your dish rack. I prefer a really nice, smooth soup, but you could blend for a shorter amount of time to leave a some chunks in it.


1/2 - 3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp dried basil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans of whole tomatoes
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and peppers roughly chopped

Garnish options: fresh, chopped basil, balsamic vinegar, or basil-infused olive oil


First things first, add the cashews and water together to get your cashews nice and soft.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add onions with a generous pinch of salt. Saute onions until they start to turn golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute one more minute, then add 1/3 cup water and the dried basil. Stirring often, continue to cook the onions down until very soft, another 5 minutes or so.

Add the cans of tomatoes, sauce and all, and the chopped roasted peppers, reducing heat to medium. Stir occasionally, bringing the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, blend the soaked cashews until completely smooth (1-2 minutes), then add to the soup. Remove the soup from heat, and blend.

Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh basil, or a dash of flavored balsamic vinegar or olive oil.

Serves 6.
Approximately 160 calories per serving, 5 grams protein, and high in Vitamins A, B6, C, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese.

Recipe: Cookie Butter Cookies!

Photo from Trader Joes
I win the love and affection of my neighbors by baking constantly and then shoving my baked goods at them. This does good things for me: our elderly next-door neighbor leaves us the NY Times crossword every morning in exchange for whatever chocolate goodies I bake up, and our neighbors across the hall rave about whatever I make send their way, which feeds my enlarged baking ego. It's a win all around.

Ian and I bundled the baby up this afternoon and took the train down to our local Trader Joe's to shop for the week. Someone had actually stacked jars of peanut butter in front of the TJ's cookie butter, but I was a dedicated (if not obsessive) hunter, and uncovered a precious jar so I could make some cookie butter cookies. (And, let's be honest, eat this stuff straight from the jar).

I know it sounds counter-intuitive. After all, isn't cookie butter made from... cookies? Yes, it is, so yes, these cookies are... cookie flavored. But I've been obsessed with making these cookies after uncovering a vegan cookies list on Food52 a few nights ago (which for the life of me, I cannot find to link to this evening, my apologies).

[Please note the gorgeous picture below isn't, mine. I did actually take pictures of my cookies, but of course cannot find my adapter to connect the camera to my computer]

Photo from

They are AMAZING, best served about 5 minutes out of the oven, when they're still soft and gooey.

Cookie Butter Cookies

Adapted from Have Cake, Will Travel

Makes approximately 24 cookies.
If you want a much crunchier cookie, reduce the soy/almond milk to 3-4 tablespoons.


2/3 cup Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp unsweetened soy/almond milk


Heat over to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the cookie butter, both sugars, the salt and cinnamon in a large bowl until well combined. You may need to use your hands to get it smooth.

Sift the flour and baking soda over the cookie butter mixture, and combine. Again, you may have to use your hands here.

Add half the soy milk (3 Tbsp) and combine, then add the rest. The cookie dough will be thick. If it is still crumbling a little bit, add another tablespoon of your milk substitute.

Roll cookies into balls, about 1-inch in diameter (roughly a rounded tablespoon). Drop them a good 2 inches apart from each other the baking sheet. I was able to fit around eight on a cookie sheet at a time.

Bake for 10-11 minutes until the cookies have spread, cracked on top, and are starting to lightly brown.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe: Potatoes and Eggplant (Aloo Baingan)

Ian and I made Potatoes and Eggplant (Aloo Baingan) from Color Me Vegan: Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by Eating Antioxidant-Rich, Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals That Taste Great by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and it was insanely yummy. Rich, flavorful, easy to make, and really healthy, you can't go wrong with this meal.

We served ours with some quick chapati (Indian flat bread), which I won't say that I've mastered making, by any means (mine were ugly, I'll be honest), but they were yummy. You could also serve over brown basamati rice, which realistically would be a little healthier and not make your kitchen look like it was attacked by squirrels playing in flour (which is how our kitchen looked after we got done making our chapati).

Potatoes and Eggplant (Aloo Baingan)

Adapted from Color Me Vegan

1 medium Italian globe purple eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 jalapeno peppers
2 large yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

In a steamer basket on the stove top, steam the eggplant cubes until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they are fragrant and start to pop, but make sure you stir them so they don't burn. Add jalapeno and continue to stir frequently, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the potatoes, water, ginger, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and salt. Cover and cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, and add extra water if needed.

Throw in the eggplant and tomato and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer so the flavors combine and everything heats thoroughly. Remove from heat, and garnish with cilantro or parsley if you choose.

4 Servings, about 190 calories per serving with 5 grams of protein.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me first admit that I have held on to my library copy of VCTOTW for far too long. In fact, the library doesn't even seem to think that I have it, despite not accruing any fines. I feel equal amounts of shame and glee, and do plan on returning it. Soon, I swear. As soon as I try every single recipe... (of my husband buys this for me for Christmas because he is ashamed of my dishonest ways, and wants the cupcakes to keep coming).

This is a goldmine for the vegan that bakes, even if that vegan has never baked before. The ingredients aren't strange and use things out of your vegan pantry (I spent $75 purchasing crazy ingredients at Whole Foods for one recipe in Babycakes that was mediocre at best), the instructions are easy to follow, and, best of all, these cook up into amazing cupcakes - and I am freaking FUSSY about my cupcakes (and other baked goods).

My two favorite recipes are for the chocolate cupcakes (Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake), with a little extra vanilla extract, and some coconut extract for good measure, with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (ditto with the vanilla and coconut here too), and the Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. So. Amazing.

I made both of these recipes in mini form for my daughter's first birthday party, and they were a hit with all of my non-vegan friends (I kept hearing, "And can you believe they're vegan?!" around the room).

The only thing I've made so far that I haven't cared for was the batch of Thick Chocolate Fudgey Frostin'. I suspect this has more to do with my lack of good-quality soy milk powder that the actual recipe.

View all my reviews