Category Archives: curry

Red Lentil Squash Curry

I don’t know about you, but my menu planning tends to suffer as the workweek goes on. I usually start off well with part of Sunday devoted to earmarking recipes, food prep and ingredient shopping for the week ahead. And this bit of planning ahead is really helpful as it allows me to arrive home from a long work day knowing that supper is planned and partially prepped. By Thursday, however, my ideas have petered out, my creativity is low and I drive home from work thinking about whether I’ll order out or have avocado toast for supper! It’s not so much the making the meal that wipes me out, but the thinking of what to make. If I have a plan for supper, I don’t really mind making it even when arriving home after a 9 or 10 hour work day. This is when the slow cooker has often come to the rescue! If I can throw something together in the slow cooker in the morning before leaving for work, then it’s doing double duty – the meal is planned and the meal is cooked! Here’s what the slow cooker produced recently. (I apologize for the pictures! I tried to make the curry look appetizing in my pics, but it’s really difficult to make cooked red lentils look like anything but tan-coloured mush!)

Red Lentil Squash Curry

(adapted from Kitchen Treaty, Slow Cooker Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Curry)

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1 small to medium sized onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 delicata squash (or equivalent squash), cut into bite sized pieces

3 small potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1 large carrot, but into bite sized pieces

1 cup dry red lentils

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 tbsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin

scant 1/4 tsp cayenne

2 cups veg broth

1 tomato, skinned and chopped

1 can light coconut milk

1 tsp salt

juice from 1 lime

cilantro, chopped

1 cup brown basmati rice

1 cup peas

Put everything from onion to veg broth into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Also, before you leave for work, wash the rice and leave it to soak in two cups of water. When you get home, drain the rice, put it in the rice cooker with just under 2 cups of water. Next, turn the slow cooker to high, stir in the tomato, coconut milk and salt, cover and cook while the rice is cooking. When the rice is done, fluff it up, stir in the peas, and keep warm. Stir the lime juice into the curry. Serve the curry over the rice with a side of something green and steamed like kale or broccoli. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro over the curry.

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Soup and Salad From Thug Kitchen

This week, I checked out Thug Kitchen 101 from the library. This is a vegan cookbook written in an interesting style. F-bombs throughout, I had to read it in small doses as the “thug” language was rather jarring! Once I got over the liberal use of swear words, I was able to read the recipes and found several good ones that I must try over the 3 week loan period. I started with these two – Southwestern Salad and Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup.

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Southwestern Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado

1/4 cup chopped green onions, white part

1/2 cup corn kernels

3 tbsps. fresh lime juice

2 tbsps. rice vinegar (original recipe calls for 3 tbsps.)

2 tbsps. olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

Salad:

2+ cups short pasta, cooked

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1 cup corn kernels

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tomato, chopped (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups mixed into salad)

(original recipe calls for 1-2 jalapenos)

Place all the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend for 5 minutes until very smooth. Combine cooked pasta, black beans, corn, carrot, onion in a large bowl. Pour in about 2/3’s of the dressing and toss. Fold in cilantro. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. At serving time, add the chopped tomatoes to the salad.

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Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup

(See notes below the recipe for the adaptations I made).

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1 small onion, diced

1 yam, diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

2 tsps. ground turmeric

1 1/2 tsps. dried basil

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. tamari or Braggs

5 cups vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup small pasta

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups kale

2 tbsps. lemon juice

Water saute onion for about 4 minutes over medium high. Add yam, pepper and jalapeno (if using) and cook for another 4 minutes, adding a tbsp. of water at a time to prevent sticking. Add turmeric, basil, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and tamari and stir for about 1 minute, allowing the vegetables to be coated in the spices. Add the broth and tomatoes and simmer for 8 minutes until yam is tender. Add the pasta, chickpeas and kale and simmer until pasta is cooked and kale is soft and wilted. Stir in lemon juice just before serving and warm through.

Notes:

  • I had a little bit of leftover chickpea and kale curry so I stirred this into the soup

  • I omitted the chickpeas (because there were chickpeas in the leftover curry I added)

  • I used 2 fresh, whole tomatoes, skinned, instead of the canned tomatoes

  • I omitted the pasta and used 1/3 cup red lentils instead which helped to thicken the soup nicely and provided some good nutrition

  • I used 1/2 of a yam plus 4 small, new potatoes, diced, instead of a whole yam

  • I omitted the red bell pepper

  • I omitted the basil and paprika because I didn’t want to change the flavour profile provided by the leftover chickpea curry

  • I reduced the broth to 4 cups

  • I subbed 3 large handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped, for the kale, because I didn’t have any kale, but had lots of lovely, fresh spinach!

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Savoury Brunch Dishes

This is a quick post to help me get back into blogging. I haven’t been able to find the time to write a post for this blog, but now that summer’s here, I may have more success. While waiting for a more substantial post, here’s one with a few of my favourite quick weekend brunch creations …

This one is my usual weekend breakfast bowl (https://mostlyveganfun.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/yummy-breakfast-bowl/), but I substituted some leftover roast vegetables and some steamed broccoli for the usual steamed spinach.

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And this one, I whipped up this morning … I heated some leftover Gujarati Potatoes from yesterday’s breakfast (http://www.veganricha.com/2017/06/gujarati-potatoes-bateta-nu-shaak.html), with some leftover Pumpkin and Mushroom Curry from last night’s dinner out at Kaya Malay Bistro (http://www.kayamalay.com/), then I added a peeled, chopped up fresh tomato and 4 leaves of fresh spinach from my CSA box.

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And this I made recently – a BLT sandwich. I made vegan bacon from tofu. I also like to use marinated baked tofu in this sandwich with a homemade spicy cashew mayonnaise, long, thin slices of cucumber, and crunchy leaves of Romaine lettuce.

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That’s it for now! Talk to you soon!

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Vegan Raita and Kachumber Salad

Over the weekend, I made a new curry … well, new to me … or rather, a new take on a familiar curry. I found a great recipe for Chana Saag (Curried Chickpeas and Spinach) in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbook, Isa Does It.

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The recipe, as I said, was for Chana Saag … Coconut Chana Saag as a matter of fact:

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Now, I’ve made Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) before and I’ve made different types of Saag (spinach curry) and I’ve made curry with a coconut milk sauce, but this recipe kind of combines all of this – chickpeas, spinach and coconut milk – and turns out a really delicious curry. Try it out why don’t you? It’s pretty easy and quick to make and it’s very tasty.

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So, yep, I decided to make the curry, but I wanted some interesting sides to go along with it. Of course, I cooked some rice – white basmati with peas (“Tom’s” favourite) – but I really wanted a salad. I did a little research on Pinterest and on the internet and discovered that curries are often accompanied by a salad called Kachumber Salad. The name alone is enough reason to make it! This salad is usually made up of chopped cucumber, tomato and onion with a bit of acid and salt as a dressing. I changed this up a bit by adding cabbage and using green onion. As for the raita (yogurt and cucumber or other chopped/grated vegetables), it’s a standard condiment for curries, so I decided to invent a vegan version of raita using cashews to replace the yogurt. “Tom” and I were very pleased with not only the curry, but the salad and the raita, so I thought I would share the love and post the recipes. I really hope you try one or more of these recipes next time you’re cooking Indian. And please use the comment section to tell me what you think.

Kachumber Salad

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1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

about 1 quarter of a small head of savoy or green cabbage, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped

4 or 5 leaves mint, coarsely chopped

juice of a lime (2 tbsps.)

1/2 tsp salt

Combine the vegetables, cilantro and mint in a bowl and gently toss. Pour in the lime juice and sprinkle in the salt and gently toss again. Leave the salad to marinate for a bit, maybe 20 minutes. If you leave it too long, the juice from the cucumber and tomato will dilute the salad. This salad is best eaten all at once. This recipe makes 3 servings.

Cashew Cucumber Raita

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1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight or soaked for an hour in boiling hot water

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps. water

juice of 1 lime (2 tbsps.)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

1/8 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 English cucumber, peeled and grated

1 green onion, chopped

handful of cilantro, finely chopped

4-5 leaves mint, finely chopped

Put the cashews, 1/4 cup water, lime juice, cumin, ginger, cayenne and salt in a blender and blend for 1 t0 2 minutes until everything starts to blend together. Stop, scrape down the sides and add 1 tbsp. water. Blend again for a couple of minutes. Add another tbsp. water if needed to make everything blend smoothly, but not too runny. Blend for a total of 5 minutes for the smoothest results.

Mix the cucumber, green onion, cilantro and mint together in a bowl. Pour in the cashew mixture and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes then taste and adjust for seasoning. (If your curry is quite hot and spicy, you might want to add more cilantro and mint to the raita; if it’s a milder curry, you might want to add some more cayenne and/or cumin).

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