Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Roasted Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk

A while ago, Native Foods's soup of the day was a lovely coconut corn chowder. Creamy, with only a hint of coconut and other south Asian flavors, this soup stayed at the back of my mind until

we were staying with friends in Chicago and my friend Clare and I were trying to plan a menu around what they'd gotten in their CSA box. (I've stopped getting CSAs because it is way too much food for one person, but I love how they force you to be creative). They had corn and "frying peppers," and we were eager to grill out in the nice weather, and so this soup came back to me! We made it that night, and it was great.

I flew back to LA and promptly recreated the soup again, with a few changes (did you know you can grill corn in a frying pan?). This recipe is an amalgam of both of these two soup iterations.

PS Has anyone ever tried huitlacoche (or 'corn smut')? It looks appalling but sounds fascinating.

Roasted Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk

5 ears of corn, shucked
1 poblano pepper
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch salt
1 or 2 cans coconut milk
4-6 c vegetable broth (depending on how much coconut milk you use)
1-4 TB chili-garlic paste, to taste
3-4 TB lime juice
3 TB chopped cilantro
1/4 c chopped basil

1. Grill the corn in a large oiled cast-iron frying pan (like so). Roast the pepper over another gas burner (like so). When they are done, remove from stove and set aside to cool.
2. When cool, use a knife to cut all the kernels of corn off the cob. Discard cobs or save to make stock.
3. When cool, peel the most burned parts off of the poblano pepper. Remove seeds and stalk and coarsely chop the rest.
4. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic with a pinch of salt until fragrant. Then add corn and chopped poblano and cook for another two minutes.
5. Add chili-garlic paste, coconut milk, and broth--use more coconut if you want a richer soup, and more broth if not. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 min.
6. Blend with an immersion blender (or let cool and use a regular blender). Leave it slightly chunky still.
7. Return to pot, bring back up to temperature. Add lime juice to taste. Taste also for chili-garlic sauce and salt. Stir in chopped cilantro and basil and serve. Serves about 6.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ful Mudammas

i want to lay you down on a bed of parsley
for tonight, i sleep on a bed of kale

Uh, hello. Parsley makes everything prettier. I made this ful because I found a bag of dried favas at the back of my cupboard. And maybe also because I miss my brother, who lives in Egypt and eats a lot of ful. Other than "it was pretty good," I have two important things to report:
1) Peeling fava beans is SO much work. Why would anyone do this so long as there were chickpeas, or lentils, or black-eyed peas available? Yes, it is easier if you soak overnight, then peel, then finish cooking. But not as easy as chickpeas... 
2) The taste and texture of this ful really reminded me of tuna salad. Now, maybe I'm at the point of vegandementia where it's been a good 10 years since I actually had tuna salad and maybe I just don't remember. But I think this would be really good with a little bit of nori and a little bit of finely chopped celery.

Ful Mudammas
(from tori avey)

2 cups (16 oz.) cooked or canned fava beans
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 raw or 4 roasted garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup water
Salt and black pepper to taste
Juice from 2 fresh lemons (or more to taste)


Friday, October 31, 2014


Delicious and easy bibimbap recipe from the asian vegan kitchen cookbook.

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

Vegenaise never fails to help reproduce the tastes of childhood in middle America. This is basically tuna salad but with mashed chickpeas instead of tuna. You could try harder to make it taste fishy (as I did with this tempeh "tuna"), but really the effect is about all the other ingredients. I used minced scallions, celery, carrots, and pickles, along with the chickpeas and the vegenaise, plus mustard, salt, and black pepper. I was amazed by how easy and delicious it was.

I'm also thinking that if you want to avoid vegenaise you try using this cashew "yogurt" that worked so great in another savory dish.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cucumber Onion Raita with Cashew "Yogurt"

I seriously have no idea where October went. Does anyone know? Can you send it around my way so we can catch up? Eep.

A post on findingvegan (which I now can't find!) about using a thick cashew milk instead of yogurt in a cucumber salad left me wondering why I'd never thought to do this before! I first tasted Indian cuisine only 3.5 years before going vegan, so for most of my Indian-food-loving life, raitas have been that one thing on the vegetarian thali plate ya don't eat. And only rarely do I think, I'm missing out because the mellow creaminess of the yogurt really complements some of the other dishes on the table. Most nondairy yogurt weirds me out a bit, but cashews? That is brilliant.

This was stupidly easy and also delicious. Also you could easily tweak the seasonings used for a more western-style set of flavors (dill and parsley instead of turmeric and mustard seeds?).

Cucumber Onion Raita with Cashew "Yogurt"

6 persian cukes, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
pinch turmeric
pinch salt
1/2 c cashews, soaked and rinsed
3/4 c water plus more as needed
1-2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch turmeric
cayenne and salt to taste
8 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

1. Pour hot water over the cashews to cover and let them soak for at least five hours. If you're in a hurry, you can simmer the heck out of them on the stove to speed things up.
2. Combine the cucumbers, onion, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
3. Drain the cashews, then put them in the blender with about 3/4 c water. Adding more water as needed, blend until you have a thick and smooth mixture with a consistency somewhere between pudding and yogurt. Remove from blender and put in a pyrex measuring cup. Add lemon juice and salt until it tastes kind of like yogurt.
4. Over high heat, heat the oil in a small frying pan with the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, cook only a few seconds more and then remove from the heat.
5. Add oil and mustard seeds to the cashew mixture, then pour the cashew mixture over the vegetables and stir it in. Add pinch turmeric and cayenne and salt to taste. I mixed in some cherry tomatoes at the end as well. Serves about 4.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kale Salad Wow

Kale Saladwow


blanched kale

1/2 c edamame

1/4 apple, diced

1-2 stalks (raw) bok choy, diced small

tahini dressing:
     white wine vinegar
     olive oil
     garlic powder

6 oz tofu, browned with:
     liquid smoke

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 c toasted walnuts

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Butternut Squash with Coconut Milk and Harissa

I've put off writing this post for a while because I'm still feeling a bit traumatized. Let me be clear: this recipe from ecurry is a brilliant one, blending cuisines in a way that is innovative and delicious. But let me also be clear: I should have exercised some common sense on this one. 1/4 c of this harissa is nearly lethal.

multitasking, mise-ing en place for kale edamame salad and janet's pea curry

This recipe became like strega nona's pasta pot (or stone soup?) as we kept adding things to try to dilute the heat enough to where this would be edible. Even this blended soup, with stock and more coconut milk added, was still super spicy.

I was just so excited to use harissa! It brings marvellous flavors to so many different dishes. But you know what? You can always taste and add more later.

Butternut Squash with Harissa and Coconut Milk
(from ecurry)

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 4-5 cups cubed approximately) **
1 c coconut milk (of all light coconut milk, if you want a lighter version)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon oil
3/4 inch fresh ginger, peeled and julienned – divided
salt to taste
1-2 TB harissa (add more to taste)
few tablespoons of fresh mint leaves, julienned

1. Peel and cube butternut squash. Wash and pat dry.
2. Combine coconut milk with sugar and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add half the julienned ginger and stir fry for about half a minute and then add the cubed squash. Add salt and cook them at high heat until the outside of the cubes are coated with the oil and they just start to turn brown at the corners. Add the harissa and toss and cook again at medium heat until all the harissa has coated the cubes. About 2 -3 minutes.
4. Now add the coconut milk/cream and fresh mint leaves, stir and bring it to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the butternut squash softens and there is still some liquid left in the pan. Now add the rest of the julienned ginger and stir them in. Finish off with fresh mint leaves. Serve with rice or flat bread. Serves 4-6 as a side.


On the subject of spicy things with coconut milk, this massaman curry recipe from vegan richa was awesome! I seem to have forgotten to take a picture, though...