Tag Archives: vegan

Jamaican-Style Curry Shepherd’s Pie

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The key to being a great cook is being able to read and follow directions. And occasionally improvise.

Just like all my best meals, this recipe came from the cookbook Veganomicon. Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally meat and veggies in some sort of sauce topped with mashed potatoes and baked. This one is veggies and beans in a curry/coconut milk sauce topped with mashed yucca. Yeah.

I’d never cooked yucca before, and had really only eaten it in the form of Terra Chips. But it was much easier than I expected. You just have to cut it down and peel the skin.

Then I boiled it while I prepared everything else. Once the other stuff was all done, the yucca was soft enough to be mashed. When I make this again, I’ll add more soy milk or coconut milk to the yucca while mashing it. It was a little too stiff to spread on top of the veggie mixture.

The preparing everything else part consisted of cooking several vegetables including sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, bell peppers, plantains, and more along with a couple types of beans and of course spices and coconut milk. Once all the veggies were cooked, I loaded them into a casserole dish and topped it with the mashed yucca. Then, I baked it for a short time, took it out, let it cool, and indulged.

 

Vegan comfort food at its finest.

 

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Gnocchi and Kale. So Easy.

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As much as I enjoy cooking meals with lots of ingredients and new techniques, it’s not something I can do super often. Mostly because I don’t have time. So here’s a meal I made in about 20 minutes and it was just as tasty as some that have taken hours.

I bought packaged whole-wheat gnocchi, cooked it up and added a can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes (they are way better than any other canned tomatoes, in my opinion).

Then I chopped some kale and cooked it down with salt, curry powder, and balsamic vinegar.

So easy, so tasty, so quick. I could eat kale every day. It’s my new favorite vegetable.

Pasta with Extra Hidden Vegetables

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I don’t remember what cookbook I read it in, but a long time ago I found a recipe for “Fettuccine Alfonso.” This was a vegan version of Alfredo in which the sauce was made from pulverized corn, garlic, and soy milk. Maybe even some nutritional yeast, I’m not sure. I’ve made it a few times, and it’s decent. But this time I wanted a little more substance.

First, I sauteed onions, artichokes, and garlic, then added spinach. Separately, I put a bag of frozen corn (wish I would have let it defrost) into the food processor with some soy milk, salt, and pepper. Then, I heated that up once it was nearly liquified.

Then, I cooked some spinach rotini and combined everything. I topped it with grated Parmesan because I love using the rotary grater, but this could be made vegan without the cheese.

If I was to make it again, I would make the sauce a little thinner and use an extra container of artichokes. And more garlic. I’d always add more garlic.

Israeli Couscous with Apricots and Pistachios

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It is impossible to make a bad dish out of Veganomican. This is a must-have cookbook whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, pescatarian, omnivore, whatever. If you eat, you need this cookbook.

So anyway, this recipe started with chopping up some garlic, pistachios, and apricots.

Then toast some Israeli couscous.

Add water and the nuts and fruits to the pan, let it boil, then simmer. Add some basil and lime, and enjoy!

Individual Figgy Apple Pies

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My mom bought me Vegan Pie in the Sky for Christmas. The first recipe I tried out was the Cosmos Apple Pie. I really think Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are mind readers, or at least, they know their audience. Their cookbook stated that this apple pie would be the first recipe tried. When I bought their cookbook the Veganomican, I first flipped to the dessert section, where I was surprised to read, “We figured you’d flip here first…”

So anyway, the second recipe I tried from the pie cookbook was the Figgy Apple Hand Pies, since I still had a couple of granny smiths leftover, not to mention a couple slices of apple pie still in the fridge.

I’m not going to reveal the recipe- you’ll have to get the cookbook yourself, but I will show you the outline.

First, you need to make the crust by combining flour with non-hydrogenated margarine and soy yogurt among a few other things.

When it’s all combined, you have to refrigerate it for a bit while you make the filling. The filling is basically apples, figs, maple syrup and cinnamon that gets cooked to perfection before being baked.

Then you roll out the dough, cut it into smaller rectangles, fill them up, fold them over, and bake.

Once that’s all done, let them cool, and enjoy!

As is everything developed by these cookbook authors, these hand pies are delicious. The crust is flaky and soft, but hold together perfectly. The filling is sweet, but not too sweet. They’re good enough to share, but you’ll probably end up keeping them.

Yerba Maté

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I love coffee. Nothing compares to it. As a mental exercise, I used to ask people if they had to only keep one vice in their lives (booze, cigarettes, coffee, etc) and could never use the others, what would they pick. I always said I could give up anything but coffee. Well, I quit drinking alcohol over 3 years ago. I don’t smoke. I don’t use any drugs. Coffee was my only vice. (Ok, we’re not counting sugar or knitting).

Unfortunately, I learned about 6 months ago that coffee was the primary cause of the migraines I was experiencing approximately every other day.

When I went to Haiti in July, I didn’t drink any coffee. At first, I was scared to use the stove by myself to heat up the water for the french press. You have to turn on the gas first, and I had an imagination that included me blowing up the house. This type of stove is probably much safer than American ones that have the gas on all the time with the pilot burning it off. Because if the pilot goes out, you have a gas leak, but here you actually turn it off. But since so many things felt so different for me in Haiti, I decided to skip using the stove for my first few days. I got over my fear by the end of the week.

Then I realized after about two days, I’ve never felt this healthy in my life. Part of it was the amazing climate and temperature, but my headaches and dizziness were gone! The only major change I had made was not drinking coffee. Instead of having headaches as withdrawal, I felt great. So I decided to not drink any coffee for the rest of the time in Haiti, and for at least a week when I got back to see how I felt.

And then I mourned my loss of coffee from my life for about two months. A friend told me it might help to drink a hot beverage in the morning. So I started having tea. Occasionally, especially on the weekends, I’ll have yerba maté.

Yerba maté contains caffeine as well as two other caffeine-like compounds. It does not affect me negatively the way that coffee did, but does give me the morning buzz I missed so much.

It tastes great served with a little soy milk and honey. If you suffer from migraines, I highly suggest finding which foods or drinks are triggers. As much as I love(d) coffee, it has been amazing to be relatively migraine-free for the past six months. And I thank my lucky stars and my husband for introducing me to it.

Mexican Inspired Skillet

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We had some rice to use up, and the only produce left was some onion, tomato, sweet baby peppers, and bits of lettuce. So I put it all together.

First, I cut up the onion and cooked them in a cast iron with oil. When the onions were glassy, I added turmeric and cayenne, and some cooked rice. Then a can of pinto beans. After a few minutes, I added salt and chopped tomatoes.

I served it with a sliced adorable sweet baby pepper and a bit of lettuce. Super easy, super good!