Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 December: Hot and Sour Curry Rice Noodles

hot and sour vegan curry rice noodles
I
NGREDIENTS:

1/2 package of rice noodles, or about 4 cups cooked
1/2 a lemon’s juice, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups snow peas a.k.a. mangetouts
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup green onion, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup cashews
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons sriacha or tabasco
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala

DIRECTIONS:

Cook rice noodles by bringing a pot of water to boiling and immediately turning off heat.  Add the rice noodles and let them sit five minutes.  You wouldn’t think they’d be soft and edible in such a short time but they will.  Drain them and set them aside.

Steam the carrots, peas, snowpeas, and green beans by cooking in about a cup of water in the stove until the peas are unfrozen, about five minutes.  You can also use the microwave, which only takes 2 minutes.  Drain the water and set the vegetables aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine chili/hot sauce, lemon juice, and cashews.  Pulse until cashews are chopped, less than 10 seconds usually.

Fry the garlic in a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the strained vegetables, noodles, and cashew-lemon juice mixture from the food processor.  Stir to combine.  Heat through for up to two minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 December, 2013: Curried Squash Soup

vegan squash soupvegan squash soup1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, which we will roast
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the squash.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Poke holes in squash with a fork (you can also use an acorn squash or even a pumpkin or kabocha if you are so inclined, whatever!) lay the squash on a cookie sheet or foil, and let it bake for one hour.  Take the squash out, cut it in half, and allow it to cool for at least a half hour.  Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting: there’s nothing nicer than squash seeds roasted in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes in a scant tablespoon of oil with a sprinkle of salt.  Or I suppose you could plant them for more squashes.  Anyway… the squash skin will now come off easily and you can chop the skinless squash in cubes.  Set it aside and throw away the skins.

In a large stock pot, cook the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until onion is translucent.  Add the optional sugar, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Add the cooked squash cubes and broth.  Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) and blend until extremely smooth.  Add salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 July, 2013: Baked Pakoras (Chickpea Flour Vegetable Fritters)

baked vegan pakoras

baked vegan pakoras

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups besan (chickpea or “gram” flour, found at Indian & Pakistani grocery stores)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 cup onion, sliced
3 cups spinach leaves
2 cups cooked chopped potatoes (I used red potatoes)
2 teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the chickpea flour and water into a stiff dough and leave alone for 30 minutes. Add the vegetables, salt, and spices and stir until the spinach settles into the dough. At this point, you can either fry or bake the dough. I chose to bake. If you fry them, bring 2 cups of oil to smoking in a deep pan. Drop dollops of the flour/veggie mixture into the oil and retrieve them with a spatula once they turn golden brown.

If you’re baking them, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment and oil the parchment (for flavor). Drop dollops of the flour/veggie mixture on the parchment and bake at 500 degrees for 9 minutes. Flip the pakoras with a spatula and bake for another 9 minutes.

I ate them with spicy ketchup: 1 tablespoon ketchup plus 1 tablespoon chilli sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 30 May, 2013: Beyond Meat Mango Curry

This would also be great with seitan or firm tofu standing in for Beyond Meat veggie chicken.

vegan mango curry with vegan chicken

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups mango
1 cup onion
3/4 cup coconut milk from a can
1/2 cup plant milk, I used soy milk
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Sriacha (optional)

SPICES:

1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons amchur powder or juice of one lime

DIRECTIONS:

Pre chop mango and stir coconut milk, it usually separates. Fry onion in a large pan in oil until translucent, add spices and garlic. Add mango, coconut milk, and plant milk and Sriacha or hot sauce if you like things spicy. Heat through and stir. Add amchur powder or lime juice, stir well. Transfer mango mixture to blender, blend until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Cut Beyond Meat, seitan, or tofu into small bite sized pieces. Fry in a pan until heated through. Add the mango mixture to the faux chicken, heat through. Serve over rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 May, 2013: Tofu Palak Paneer

IMG_2904

INGREDIENTS:

8 cups fresh spinach or greens (I used an organic baby kale mix)
1.5 cups onion, chopped
1.5 cups firm or extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup soy yogurt

1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon additional oil

Rice, to serve

Sauté onion in oil in a large pan on medium heat until translucent. Add spices and garlic, sauté briefly, about 30 seconds. Add greens and water and cover, periodically stirring until greens wilt, about 2 minutes. Transfer greens to a blender. Add soy yogurt and blend until fairly smooth. Meanwhile, sprinkle tofu with garlic powder. Fry tofu in oil on medium heat until heated through, add spinach mixture. Add the pureed greens to pan. Salt to taste. Serve with rice and toasted pita breads or naan.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 5 May, 2013: Curry Fried Rice With Tofu

vegan curry fried rice

I missed my opportunity to make something cool & fancy for Cinco de Mayo, like tamales. 😦 VegNews to the rescue!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons oil
2 cups cooked rice
1 block firm silken tofu
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup green onion, minced
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed in microwave 1 minute

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

2 cloves garlic

DIRECTIONS

Fry onion in a large pan on medium heat until translucent. Add spices, stir until fragrant. Turn heat to high and add rice, tofu, and peas. Stir until spices are evenly distributed. Add garlic in the last 30 seconds of cooking, stir well, salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 March, 2013: Samosa Chaat

samosa chaat with 2 chutneys

Samosa is a spicy deep-fried potato and pea dumpling. Chaat means “snack”. You can often buy samosas in the freezer section of the grocery store. Some Indian grocery stores, like the fabulous one by me, actually sell freshly made samosas from a deli counter in the store.  One  problem pre-made or store bought samosas is they’re usually deep fried.  I love deep fried foods but I seldom eat them because as much as I don’t gain weight as fast as before I was vegan, deep-fried foods are still calorie bombs and they are very acid-producing and bad for my health.  You also may not like the samosas from the Indian restaurant or deli because they are almost invariably hot-spicy if you live in the US.

These samosas are baked, which wipes out a lot of unnecessary calories.  Baking doesn’t take away any of the flavor from what I’ve noticed.  I also left out the hot peppers because sometimes I’m into hot spice and at others I’m not.  Today I wasn’t into it.  The secret?  Sweet brown chutney and the sour parsley-cilantro chutney put this over the top in deliciousness.

SAMOSA DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, add little by little

SAMOSA FILLING INGREDIENTS:

4 small potatoes, unpeeled, or 2 medium large potatoes, unpeeled (about 4 cups chopped)
Water for boiling
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup frozen or canned peas, defrosted in microwave
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder or fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder or cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon amchur powder (dried pulverized mango powder sold in Indian grocery stores) or the juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
Salt to taste

SAMOSA CHAAT INGREDIENTS:

1 or 2 samosas, split in half
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Brown sweet chutney and green sour chutney

SAMOSA DIRECTIONS:

Make the dough by combining flour, salt, oil and a little water at a time in a bowl or on a large flat surface.  Scoop it and mess with it until the dough forms a solid ball and knead the crap out of it to develop the gluten in the dough, about 2 minutes.  Once the dough ball is very Play-Dohish in texture, cover it and set it aside for 20 minutes while you make the potato-pea filling.  The dough needs to rest for 20 minutes before you roll it.

Chop the potatoes after washing them.  I don’t bother to skin them.  Boil the chopped potatoes in water on the stove for about 10 minutes until they’re just fork tender.  Strain them and set them aside.  Microwave or boil peas until just defrosted for frozen, for canned peas strain and rinse them.  Fry garam masala, cumin, fennel, and coriander in 1 tablespoon of oil and add peas.  Add drained potatoes and smash them with the peas.  Add amchur powder or lemon or lime juice.  Taste and add salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.  Flatten a ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is the thinness of a thin pie crust.  Cut the dough circle in half and make it into a fat ice cream cone shape by pasting the two edges together using water.  Stuff the little cone with a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture and seal the top of the cone up so that all of the potato filling is enclosed in a packet.  Put a tablespoon or two of oil on a cookie sheet or casserole dish and lay the samosa down in the oil.  Flip the samosa a couple of times to coat it.  Alternately, you don’t have to use oil anywhere in this recipe.  I’m not all that concerned with being fat free, so I went ahead and used oil. Make the rest of the samosas and lay them down in the casserole dish or cookie sheet.  They can touch each other, they won’t stick.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip them and bake 10 minutes more for a total of 25 minutes baking time.

SWEET BROWN CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup raisins
4-6 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

SOUR GREEN CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups washed parsley, densely packed
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup cilantro (this is a good way to use excess cilantro, but replace with parsley, kale, or chard if you don’t like cilantro)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt

CHUTNEY DIRECTIONS:

Whirl sweet chutney ingredients in a blender or food processor until they are a chunky paste. Scoop out into a bowl. Clean out blender or food processor, use it again to do the same to sour chutney’s ingredients.

ASSEMBLE THE SAMOSA CHAAT:

Serve samosa by reheating them for about 30 seconds in the microwave if necessary and splitting one or two of them in half. Put some chickpeas around the split samosas and dollop generous spoonfuls of the sweet and sour chutneys on them.