Sunday, March 27, 2016

Afro Vegan

Just a quick post here to mention how much I love Bryant Terry's cookbook Afro Vegan. The recipes are creative and fresh--for example, a harissa made with mustard greens. And the way Terry writes about foodways and food justice is thoughtful and smart. The recipes photographed below--Texas Caviar (with fried garlic), Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad, Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad, and the Spicy Mustard Greens "harissa"--were all fantastic. I loved the bright colors in all of these dishes, also!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Breakfast Permutations

Finally, another camping trip! Adge and I made these last year for a camping trip but didn't get any photos. I finally made some more and get to share this delightful food object with you.

Desert Breakfast Sandwiches

English muffins (pref. whole wheat and vegan)
sketchy aioli (there are a bunch of ways to do this, but honestly a mixture of Vegenaise and hot sauce is pretty delicious)
oats and rice sausage patties (recipe makes about 6 so you might want to double it)
tofu egg steaks (recipe below--spoiler alert: it's almost the same as my tofu scramble recipe)
ketchup and/or red pepper spread--for best results apply right before eating

Lightly toast English muffins and spread both sides with sketchy aioli.
Load one sausage patty and one or two tofu egg steaks onto sandwich. 
If bringing for camping, wrap firmly in aluminum foil and keep in cooler, then when ready to eat, place on grill or among fire coals until warm.
Serve with ketchup and/or red pepper spread.

Tofu Egg Steaks

ingredients (note: if bringing for a big group, double this recipe)
1 block firm tofu
canola oil
1 c warm water
1 TB miso
pinch turmeric
1 tsp black salt (kala namak)

Cut a block of tofu into thin steaks, about 1 cm thick, and the size you'd like for your breakfast sandwich.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and pan fry the tofu until lightly brown on each side.
From this point on: you can do this in the pan, too, but I chose to do it in the oven to cook more slowly and evenly.
Preheat oven to 375.
Place tofu on a baking sheet.
Mix remaining ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup. Pour over the tofu so that it is mostly submerged.
Roast/braise tofu in the oven until liquid has evaporated and tofu is chewy.


If you give Julia's Vegan Kitchen a batch of waffles...

One morning, I made these cornmeal-herb-jalapeno waffles for breakfast (use the recipe from Vegan Brunch, without all the sugar, and with minced herbs and chilies).

But later we realized our (slightly stale) leftovers went perfectly with Bryant Terry's recipe for hominy in tomato-garlic broth from the Afro-Vegan cookbook.

The next day, wondering what to do with the last of the waffles (and also some leftover tofu scramble, which is always really sad when cold), I whipped up this fancy (albeit poorly-photographed) stack of tempeh sausage, an "omelet" patty (leftover scramble with some flour and water), and the same ol' waffles we'd eaten for 4 meals straight at this point. It was really good.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lemongrass Coconut Curry Dal

I was seduced by the bright color and myriad uses of the Lemongrass-Turmeric Curry Paste that Heidi Swanson posted recently. Once I finally got my hands on some lemongrass, I threw the paste together and have enjoyed using it in stir fries, coconut milk-based curries, etc. But my favorite use so far has been this stupidly easy ad hoc dal I made using yellow split peas. If you already have the paste on hand (which you should!), the active prep time on this is nearly nil.

Lemongrass Coconut Curry Dal

olive oil
1/4 c lemongrass-turmeric curry paste from 101 cookbooks (prepare using virgin coconut oil)
1 c yellow split peas, rinsed

1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Sautee curry paste over medium heat until very fragrant.
2. Add split peas and a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat and simmer, adding water as needed and stirring occasionally, until split peas are very soft (40 min?). Add salt to taste. Serves 3-4.

Tiny Eggplants; Large Delight

For a large American supermarket, Jon's is unbelievably quirky. Sometimes you'll go looking for something relatively basic, like cauliflower, only to find that they don't have any. And then, when you least expect it, the most delightful things will pop up in the produce department, like Goji berries or chayote squash (also in other departments--I once spotted pants for sale in the cleaning aisle).

So while I often make Indian eggplant dishes with the large, more de facto eggplant that's always in the store, I was delighted to find the little round ones that many recipes actually call for. I thought about making this dish (kind of an eggplant-dal hybrid?) but ultimately settled on this one: Gingery Eggplants in Coconut Sauce. I followed the recipe to the letter, except I didn't add any salt because I used salted peanuts. WOW. This was absolutely fantastic. Add plenty of water to the sauce, and don't skimp on salt or sugar; they balance out the bitterness of some of the spices and the eggplant itself.

Gingery Eggplants in Coconut Sauce
(recipe at Holy Cow!)