Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This pizza was great!  Something more yangy, like nutritional yeast, might be a nice balance to the tangy flavors of tomatoes and vinegar.  Make the veggies and tofu ahead of time, and this recipe would be really fast.  I used 1 eggplant, 1 package of mushrooms, and 1 block of tofu, and ended up with a ton of extra marinated goodies on my hands.  Either halve this recipe, or be ready for the extras--which I am excited to throw into pasta. 

Marinated Veggies and Tofu

1 eggplant
5-8 cloves garlic
1 block tofu, pressed (if desired) and cubed
1 1/4 c water
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c tamari
3 TB red wine vinegar
2 TB balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 garlic-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 425*F.  Peel the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise.  Oil a baking sheet and place eggplant on in, flat sides down.  Toss garlic cloves with oil and also place them on baking sheet.  Roast for fifteen minutes.
2. While eggplant and garlic are roasting, combine marinade ingredients.  Put cubed tofu in an oven-safe dish and pour about 1/3 of the marinade over it.
3. After the first fifteen minutes in the oven are up, take out the eggplant and garlic.  Remove garlic, which should be golden brown, but put eggplant back in.  Also put in the tofu at this point.
4. After fifteen more minutes are up, stir the tofu and put it back in the oven, but remove the eggplant.  It should be cooked but still firm enough to cut into pieces.  Cook the tofu for 30 more minutes, stirring at every 15-min interval (1 hour total--or until the marinade is all evaporated).
5. When the eggplant and garlic are cool enough to handle, chop the eggplant into large cubes (about 1-in).  Place the eggplant, garlic, and mushrooms in a large container, and pour the rest of the marinade over them--it should be enough to cover them.  Let sit over night.  When the tofu is done, you can either keep it separate, or throw it in with the marinating veggies, depending on the texture you want.  Makes more than enough for 2 pizzas!

Roasted Veggie and Tofu Pizza

1 item of pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough)
olive oil (I used an extra virgin olive oil infused with rosemary, chilies, and bay leaves)
a fuckload of fresh basil, chopped chiffonade-like
6 sundried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped
1/2 batch roasted marinated veggies and tofu (recipe above)

Preheat oven according to instructions.  Roll out pizza dough.  Top with olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, and veggies and tofu.  Bake according to instructions.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Dal / Tots / Beer

A totally inauthentic meal: Janet's broccoli dal--which contained not only soymilk and broccoli but in my iteration, sriracha-- went excellently with tater tots and curry ketchup (I just mixed some curry powder into my ketchup).

I'm not yet ready to admit I have a tater tot problem.

This dal was great.  Having both florets and lil chunks of broccoli trunk means that your soup has several kinds of mushy--lentils, onions, and stemchunks--and several kinds of crunchy--mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and florets.  The inclusion of soymilk as well as red lentils meant that it was really creamy as well.

Although the texture was awesome, the first batch I made was a little bland.  Partly this was because I'd forgotten the soy sauce, but I also found myself wanting more bitey flavors to balance the pungent and creamy ones.  The second time around, I added garlic and a dried chili.  I also added a squirt of sriracha at the end, as well as more lemon juice.  And cilantro.  And now I am indeed on team broccoli dal.

I also found that I needed to add some extra water during cooking to keep it from drying/burning.

This recipe is delicious, easy, nutritious, and cheap as hell.  It has definitely been added to my repertory.

Creamy Broccoli Dal
(adapted from taste space)

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 dried red chili, stem removed
1/2 c onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c red lentils, rinsed
2 c broccoli stalks and florets, finely chopped
2.5 c water
1 c unsweetened soy milk
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB fresh lemon juice (or more)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
salt to taste
sriracha to taste
cilantro as garnish

1. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add in the cumin and mustard seeds, and cook until fragrant, around a minute. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until softened and lightly browned, around 5 minutes. Add in rinsed lentils, broccoli, and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are soft.
2. Remove from heat and add in soy milk, soy sauce, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, and pepper flakes. Add salt, sriracha, and additional lemon juice to taste.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 2-3.


Beer porn.  I actually can barely stand Chimay, and it's probably not even vegan, but man, does it look nice in a chalice!

Curry Powder #2

Like the other curry powder I've made, this one tastes great, but it still doesn't have that distinctive curry powder taste of commercial mixes, the taste that many people think is itself a spice called "curry" (cf. rant).  Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are more dominant in these homemade mixes, while the more pungent flavors--turmeric, mustard, fennel, perhaps also fenugreek or asafoetida--are more understated than expected.

Madras Curry Powder
(scaled down from this recipe)

1 1/2 TB coriander seeds
1 1/4 TB cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seed
1 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 TB ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 TB ground cardamom
1/2 TB turmeric
1/2 TB ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne (or less if less heat is desired)

Toast everything that isn't already ground (coriander through cloves), one ingredient at a time.  Set them aside to cool, then grind.  Mix in remaining ingredients.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Brownies

I recently made Jes's balsamic roasted strawberry brownies, but I used the recipe for deluxe brownies in vegan cookies invade your cookie jar.  I also skipped the chipotle-- although chipotle and chocolate sound like a good combo, as do balsamic and strawberry, it seemed a bit confusing to have all four flavors in there together!

The strawberries were amazing; I wasn't crazy about the brownie recipe. Why is it so hard to find the perfect vegan brownie recipe?  I've tried a few, and have yet to be satisfied.

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Brownies
(adapted from eating appalachia)

1 pint strawberries
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB agave nectar
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
ingredients for your favorite brownie recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Rinse strawberries, hull, and slice in half (to equal sizes–large ones might need to be quartered). In a mixing bowl, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, olive oil, and salt. Toss to cover the strawberries completely.
3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer strawberries to tray and make a single layer of berries. Bake for 30-40 minutes until juices begin to thicken. Cool and transfer to a bowl for later.
4. After the strawberries have roasted, begin to make the brownies.  Press them into the top of the batter and then bake according to the brownie recipe.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mushroom "Mutton" Curry

This recipe comes from holy cow, where Vaishali adapted a mutton curry for mushrooms.  It is SO GOOD!  Just the right amount of spiciness, and the texture?--chewy mushrooms, tender but slightly firm potatoes, and a silky, creamy sauce--incredible.

I didn't change very much, but I did add back in the fat: I lightly sauteed the onions etc. in oil at the beginning, and I added coconut milk to the Kolpuri masala since--due to onions and garlic--it wasn't going to be shelf-stable anyway.  I skipped the green peppers, too; they never seem to sit well with me.

Due to the Kolhapuri masala, this recipe took a bit of time.  By the way, I halved the original masala recipe, and it still made 1.5, most of which I froze.

Mushroom "Mutton" Curry
(adapted from holy cow)

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1-inch finger of ginger, coarsely chopped
1 c tomato puree
2 green chillies, coarsely chopped
1/4 c coconut milk, divided
4 c crimini and/or shiitake mushrooms
2-3 c quartered new potatoes
1/4 c Kolhapuri Masala (recipe follows)

1. If it's not already on hand, make the Kolhapuri masala first (recipe below).
2. Heat oil in a large pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions. Saute, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic and ginger and saute another two minutes.
3. Remove the onions, garlic, and ginger to a blender. Add the tomato puree, green chillies, and half the coconut milk.  Add enough water and blend into a smooth paste.
4. Heat the same pan and add the kolhapuri masala to it along with the rest of the coconut milk. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms and potatoes and stir to coat everything.
5. Add the blended paste and add enough water so the veggies are almost but not quite submerged.  Bring everything to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Slap a lid on the pan and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
6. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Serves 4-6.


Kolhapuri Masala 

olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 large onion
1/4 c coconut milk
4 dry red chillies
1/2 c coriander seeds
1 TB cumin seeds
6 whole cloves
6 green cardamom pods
1/2 TB black peppercorns
2 TB sesame seeds
1 1-inch piece of cinnamon
2 large bay leaves
1 TB poppy seeds
1/2 TB fennel seeds
1/2 TB turmeric

1. Saute the garlic and onion and then set aside.
2. Roast all remaining ingredients one at a time (except the coconut milk and turmeric), until they are a couple of shades darker and aromatic. Grind the spices in a spice grinder.
3. In a blender or mini-food-processor, combine garlic and onion with ground spices and the 1/4 c coconut milk.  Blend until smooth.   Makes 1.5 c.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Split Pea Yam Curry

This curry was inspired by Vaishali's recipe for a sweet potato and vaal dal curry.  The combination of creamy legumes and creamy sweet potatoes seemed like a stick-to-yer-ribs variation on my favorite dal recipe.  Lime juice lightens it up a bit, but this is very filling, very spicy, and very delicious.

Split Pea Yam Curry

1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB minced ginger
1-2 serrano chilies, de-seeded and minced
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp curry powder
3 yams, peeled and largely diced
1 c yellow split peas, rinsed
3 c water
1/2 tsp turmeric
juice of 1 lime

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan.  Fry mustard and cumin until they start sputtering.  Add garlic, ginger, and chilies.  Saute several minutes, then add fennel, curry powder, and yams.  Give it a few stirs, and then add split peas, water, and turmeric.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 min or until legumes and yams are soft and creamy.
2. Just before serving, add salt and lime juice to taste.  Serve hot with rice or flatbread.  Serves 4-6.

Julia's Vegan Kitchen now on Facebook

Oh hey, you can now "like" my blog on facebook.  For those of you who don't use Google Reader or something like it, this might be a helpful way to keep up with new posts.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fattoush Salad

To go with Armenian potato salad, baba ganoush, and lavash, my mom and I went off of Joumana's recipe to make a fattoush salad.  We skipped the raw peppers and reduced the sumac, and we used lavash, garlic powder, and watercress rather (respectively) pita, fresh garlic, and purslane.  I find that garlic powder is mush milder and easier to mix when you're making dressings.

Fattoush Salad
(adapted from taste of beirut)

1 head of romaine lettuce (or any other lettuce), torn in pieces
a bunch of watercress
green onions, thinly sliced
a handful of chopped Italian parsley and a handful of fresh mint
a few Persian cucumbers, peeled and diced
some grape tomatoes, sliced
a few radishes, sliced
pieces of pita or lavash, tossed with olive oil and salt and toasted
2 small lemons, juiced
1/2 c of extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous TB of sumac
2 tsp garlic powder

Serves 4-6.