Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chickpea Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Smoky Tomato Sauce

This recipe from Vegan Richa is really, really good. It's not that hard, but it's pretty and delicious. And sort of Latin-South Asian fusion--so creative. I thought it would be redundant to have some of the chickpeas in the sauce, and some of the sauce in the chickpea stuffing, but it actually give great coherence to the overall dish. I also used some lemony cashew cream, but something avocado-based would be awesome, too.

Chickpea Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Smoky Tomato Sauce
(from vegan richa)

Tomato Sauce:
2 medium tomatoes (I used 1.5 cups diced/canned)
1/2 roasted red bell pepper (I used jarred)
1/4 cup water
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch of knob of ginger
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala or chana masala spice blend or spice blend of choice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne powder or to taste
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp cashews (optional)
1 tsp oil

1 15 oz can chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked , divided. Use 1/4 cup in the sauce above.
2 - 3 Tbsp tomato sauce from above
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/4 tsp garam masala
cumin powder as needed
oil as needed

2 Poblano peppers
cilantro, paprika and lemon juice for garnish
cashew cream, guacamole, etc.

1. In a blender, add all the ingredients under tomato sauce and blend to a smooth puree.
2. Take about 2 Tbsp of the tomato mixture and mix in the 1.25 cups of chickpeas. Add salt, cayenne, garam masala, cilantro and mash and mix. Taste and adjust salt and spice.
3. Slice the poblanos or other peppers. Remove seeds.
4. Fill the peppers with the chickpeas. Sprinkle a little cumin powder on top.
for a crunchier filling. Add in a little breadcrumbs to the chickpea mixture.
5. Spray or brush the peppers with oil.
6. Bake at pre-heated 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the peppers start browning on the the edges. Bake time depends on the peppers used.
7. Meanwhile, In a pan, add a tsp of oil and heat on medium.
8. Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. 3-4 minutes.
9. Lower the heat to low-medium and cook for another 6-7 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust salt and spice.
10. Serve the peppers with a generous drizzle of the tomato sauce and a sprinkle of sweet paprika, cilantro and lemon juice. And maybe cashew cream, too. Serves 3-4.


Bonus! I had some sauce left over, so I blended it into a new batch of hummus:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More Caribbean Vegan

Split Pea Soup w/Tempeh Ham, Coconut Rice, and Curry Kale (from Sauteed Spinach recipe)

You would be amazed that there isn't actually meat in this rich, smoky split pea soup, and the coconut rice is one of my favorite rice dishes of all time, creamy and spicy. The author isn't paying me to say this, but you should probably just get the cookbook.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mushroom-Stuffed Crepes with Lemon-Thyme Cashew Cream

I'm just going to admit that this dish made me feel pretty awesome at life. Created spontaneously out of ingredients that were already in the fridge, this dish came together in 30 or 40 minutes for breakfast this morning.

Now, as I have before, I used the vegan brunch recipe for crepes. Such an easy recipe because all the ingredients just go into the blender and then onto the griddle. The cashew cream is so easy; I've been making versions of it and putting it on just about everything--enchiladas, stuffed peppers, etc.

Mushroom-Stuffed Crepes with Lemon-Thyme Cashew Cream
makes about 4 crepes

for the crepes:
1/2 recipe crepes from vegan brunch cookbook

for the cashew cream: 
1/2 c cashews
4 cloves roasted garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp zest
pinch thyme
1/2 tsp better than boullion
water as needed
Cover the cashews with lots of water and then soak. Or just boil the crap out of them and they'll be ready in 20 minutes. Blend cashews with 3/4 c water and remaining ingredients, adding water as needed. Adjust seasonings to taste.

for the mushroom filling:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp splash tamari
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add garlic and scallion and sautee until soft. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, adding the splash of tamari near the end. Finish by adding black pepper, rosemary, and vinegar; stir and allow to sit for a few minutes before putting into crepes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


When it's hot, sometimes I struggle with what to eat. Most of the foods I really like are foods that are good for warming you up: spicy things, heavy things, fried things, yang things, beer, caffeine... I haven't consulted any experts, but I'm willing to hazard a guess that my pitta dosha is chronically out of wack (official term). I'm always too hot, and summers are just getting more and more brutal, so I've decided that I can only take jobs in Alaska. Actually, Alaska is probably still too hot.

So anyway, pickles! Pickles are intensely flavorful yet light, good for eating with meals in hot weather. Here are three batches I've recently made:

This last one was a bit closer to the 'salad' end of the spectrum (is there a 'pickle'-'salad' spectrum?): thinly sliced cucumbers with a lot of lime juice and basil, plus a pinch each of salt and turbinado sugar. Mint would be good here, too.

Quick Pickle with Lime and Basil

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beer-Battered Chicken and Cornmeal-Herb Waffles

I'd never before had chicken and waffles, vegan or otherwise. But I'd been dreaming of savory waffles for ages, so when I visited my mom (who, unlike me, has a waffle iron), this seemed like a very good idea.

I adapted two recipes from the venerable vegan brunch cookbook: Using trader joe's "chickenless strips" instead of tofu, I made the beer-battered tofu recipe, and I also made the cornmeal waffles, reducing the sugar and adding some herbs.

This was delicious--the beer batter was fantastic--but it also felt really unhealthy. I'd definitely want to serve it with some greens next time. I also wasn't sure what to do about sauce: maple syrup was out, since I don't really like sweet things; maybe gravy? Spicy gravy? Something other than the abortive spurt of sriracha with which these chicken and waffles are pictured below.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creamy Mushroom Kale Soup with Wild Rice

I loved this soup. I started with this very not-vegan recipe, but it ended up wonderful. I halved the recipe, then changed some things, but I added so much more veggies that it ended up still serving four.  You can adjust the ratio of stock to coconut milk depending on how rich you want it.

Creamy Mushroom Kale Soup with Wild Rice
(adapted from the 36th avenue)

1/3 cup dry wild rice
2 TB olive oil
2 c sliced button mushrooms, chopped
1 c sliced shiitake mushrooms (I used rehydrated ones), chopped
(any combo of 3 c mushrooms will do)
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 c leeks, sliced (white part only)
1/4 c fennel, chopped
2 c kale, chopped (ribs removed)
1/2 TB garlic, minced or pressed
2 TB all-purpose flour
2.5 c vegetable stock (use less stock and more coconut milk for a richer broth)
1/2 c coconut milk
fresh thyme and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB scallions, minced

1. In a medium saucepan, cook wild rice according to package directions.
2. In a large stock pot on medium heat, warm olive oil. Add mushrooms, celery, leeks, fennel, and kale. Cook until liquid from mushrooms evaporates (about 5 mins); stirring frequently. Add in garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute more.
3. Whisk in flour and stir constantly for a couple of minutes. Slowly whisk in broth and half-and-half until no flour lumps remain. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until thickened. Add herbs a few minutes before finishing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Divide in four separate bowls and add a scoop of rice to each serving.  Garnish with scallions. Serves 4.