Monday, January 25, 2016

Maple Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes are my jam. Ask anyone who knows me. 

Here's what you need:
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T maple syrup
1 T olive oil
garlic, minced
salt, pepper, thyme

Roast at 400 degrees on a foil lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes.

Serve on pizza, pasta, or rice. Spoon over salad, scrambled tofu (or eggs), or veggies.
They would be a perfect garnish for soup. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SpicyCoconut Curried Eggplant

Here's what my life is like some days. Write the weekly menu and head to the local grocery for as much as I can purchase there. Remember, I live in small-town USA, so my local guy doesn't really carry stuff like cardamom pods. He doesn't even have tofu on the shelf, and believe me, I've asked for it! Like more than a few times. I sincerely think that if he'd carry it, folks would buy it. Anyway, I try to support my local businesses, so that's where I begin my shopping, even if the eggplants are dented and a tiny bit withered.

Travel across town to the huge superstore for fresh ginger, tofu, coconut milk, and the elusive spice. But happy fortune, while scouring the spice rack for cardamom pods, I find harissa! Here in my little city! What??  Happy day!!  I'm all over harissa! (Well, I'm not really sure how to use it, but I will learn, believe me.)  

Back in the car (did I mention this all takes place in a slushy snow storm? I'm dressed like a snow-woman, hat, boots, puffy coat, etc The car's a filthy mess.) to the up-scale grocery for that last ingredient - cardamom pods. Success.

Drive home, unload bags from the car to the kitchen, pour a huge glass of wine, look over the recipe, and start chopping veg. What? Where's that can of coconut milk? Back to the car, searching every nook and cranny only to find that it had rolled out of its bag.

Same kinds of shopping days for you?

If you like SPICY, then you'll love this curry.

Here's what you need:
2 eggplants
1 T oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 t ground cardamom
2 T ground coriander
1 T red pepper flakes
4 whole cardamom pods
1/2 t black peppercorns
1/2 T turmeric
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans coconut milk

Here's what you do:
Dice the eggplant into 1-2  inch pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and bake on a lined baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes.

In a medium pot, sauté onions, garlic, ginger, ground cardamom, coriander, and red pepper flakes until the onions begin to soften. Don't brown anything.

Crush the black peppercorns and the cardamom pods in a mortar and add them, along with the remaining spices, to the onions.

Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and the eggplant to the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve over white rice. Goes well with a toasted Naan bread and roasted carrots. Consider serving something cool along side this dish: sliced cucumbers maybe?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Crispy Cauliflower Cakes

Amazing! Super easy and perfect for a weeknight meal. These came together pretty quickly and were so delicious, especially with a spicy mayo for dipping. Seriously, these would be good even for company. If you have cauliflower on the menu for this week, I suggest you up your game and give these a try.

You notice in the photo above that I served my crispy cauliflower cakes with oven fries, roasted onions, and lettuce. You can bet that I ate way more than two cakes also. I mention this because today I told someone that I don't eat meat or dairy, and she asked, "What's left to eat?" I think my plate is a good example of what I eat on a regular basis. Massive amounts of veggies! (I squeeze in lots of beans, too!)

If, for example, you want to try the Crispy Cauliflower Cakes, you could serve them on a big bed of fresh greens and drizzle the spicy mayo over all of it. Lemony green beans would be great with this, or any other green veg. Rice, of course. A tomato salad. (tomatoes would have certainly given my plate a bit more color.....)

Crispy Cauliflower Cakes (from

1 head of cauliflower, separated into florets and steamed until fork tender. Whirl them in a food processor when cooked - not too small
2 T ground flax seed and 6 T water - whisk and allow to sit in fridge for 15 minutes to thicken.
1/3 C flour
1/4 C cornmeal
2 T Parmesan or Nutritional Yeast
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t paprika
2 T chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Mix well in a large bowl. Form into 12 patties. Saute gently until brown.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry (from One Green Planet)

I found this recipe floating around the internet a few weeks ago. I always love the recipes from One Green Planet, plus they post the absolute best animal photos. We all really liked this meal, but I jazzed it up a tiny bit by adding some heat in the form of 1 T red curry paste. Of course, you can add heat or leave it out - I always forget how spicy we like our food and how 'non-spicy' other people like their food. Just yesterday, a co-worker dipped her spoon into my vegan cheezy sauce and couldn't believe how spicy it was. To me, it was perfect!

Below is the original recipe and my variations.

Roasted Red Pepper, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

3 large red bell peppers
3 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper
1 1/3 C coconut milk ( I used a can of full fat coconut milk)
4 T nutritional yeast
2 1/2 T cornstarch (next time I'll leave this out so the liquid is thinner)
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 1/4 C chickpeas
1 C spinach (needs lots more - add it at the end to keep it nice and green)
3/4 C cherry tomatoes (I used a can of diced tomatoes, drained. Next time, I'll keep all the liquid)
(I also added 1 heaping T of red curry paste. Sriracha would be good too)
1. Bake the red peppers at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes until charred. Place peppers under some plastic wrap and allow them to cool. Remove the skin, seeds, and stems and set aside.
2. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
3. In a blender, mix the peppers, onion and garlic mixture, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch and smoked paprika.
4. Transfer the sauce to a skillet, add chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.