Creamy coconut rice with lentils and greens

Coconut Rice Closer.jpg

This is one of those oh-so-easy and fast, inexpensive, satisfying dishes that also has the “Wow!” factor to it. By “Wow!”  I mean a) you’re never going to find this pre-packaged in a bag on a store shelf, b) there’s a touch of the exotic and different, and c) your taste buds will be happy.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice

1 (13 oz) can coconut milk

1 ½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

¾ cup cooked brown lentils (about ½ can)

½ cup fresh or frozen and thawed green peas

1 – 1 ½  cup chopped leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard etc.)

¼ cup toasted cashews and/or unsweetened coconut (Optional but delicious and why deny yourself deliciousness when life is so short?) *

Coconut Rice Close

Directions

Put the rice in a small pot. Add 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk (save the rest of the milk for later in the recipe), the chili powder, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.  Don’t lift the lid on the pot. Just let the rice simmer. When the rice is cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk and stir together.

Mix the cooked and now creamy rice in a large bowl with the lentils, green peas and greens.

Serve immediately sprinkled with the toasted cashews and coconut.

Enjoy!

*To toast cashews and coconut, heat your oven (I use my toaster oven) to 425. Spread the cashews and coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet or even piece of foil and toast for 4 minutes. Watch that the mix doesn’t burn, which can happen in a flash! Know they oven and do NOT leave the kitchen while the nuts and coconut are toasting.

Simply the best Indian-style curry ever

Curry bowl close.jpg

Here it is, folks. The easiest, tastiest Indian-style curry I’ve ever tasted. It’s tasty, spicy, comforting, filling and super affordable with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. You’ll have curry in 30 minutes from start to finish. Let’s go!!

Ingredients

Curry ingredients.jpg

4 potatoes – cubed and boiled until tender

2 Tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 onion diced

3 – 4 cloves garlic minced

2 tsps cumin

1 ½ tsps cayenne pepper (or less – this amount makes quite a hot dish)

4 tsps curry powder

4 tsps garam masala

1 inch piece of ginger root peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)

1 ½ tsp salt

1 (14 oz or 397 ml) can diced tomatoes

1 (145 oz or 397ml) can chickpeas drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups if you’re cooking from scratch)

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

1(14oz or 397 ml) can coconut milk

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté on medium heat until the onion is translucent.

While the onion, garlic and ginger cook, measure all the dry spices out into a small bowl or cup. You really want these ready to go so don’t skip this step.

Add all the spices and stir with the onion, garlic and ginger to heat through for about 1 minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring everything to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and simmer together for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or with naan or chapatti or roti.

See? Easy. Enjoy!!

Fudgy Thugsicles

fudgsicle

Whatcha gonna do with leftover tofu? I made Fudgy Thugsicles – named because the recipe comes from the first Thug Kitchen cookbook. These delicious beauties need just three ingredients and a popsicle mold, which you can buy at any dollar store.

I ended up with four Thugsicles, but I imagine I could have gotten five if I wasn’t licking this spoon so much.

And hear this – for all you people who feel the need to count protein grams, (Why?? I promise you’re getting enough protein if you live in the Western world) each Thugsicle has 9 grams of protein!  I give you permission to eat these for breakfast or after a workout.

You will need a blender for this recipe.

Ingredients

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they are vegan – look for things like whey or butter, though cocoa butter is okay!)

6 ounces firm tofu (that’s 1/2 of a block typically)

Directions

In a mug, warm the milk in the microwave just so it’s warm but not hot.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave — be VERY careful with this. Chocolate can go from looking not melted to scorched in a flash. I prefer melting chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, bring water to a boil water in a small pot. Switch the heat off. Put the chocolate in a metal bowl on top of the hot water. Stir the chocolate constantly – it’ll melt almost immediately.

Break the tofu into chunks and put it in the blender. Add the milk and chocolate and blend the hell out of everything until you have a smooth pancake batter type consistency. Pour the mix into the popsicle molds and put the molds in the freezer until the Thugsicles are completely frozen.

Enjoy!

At last – a Greek salad for vegans

Greek Salad2

Last week I shared a vegan feta cheese recipe. My favourite way to use that cheese is in a Greek salad. I LOVE the mix of flavours, textures and colours in this classic dish and eaten with some pita bread (for sopping up all that delicious dressing and feta cheese) you have a complete meal.

Ingredients

For the salad

Salad ingredients

Vegan feta cheese – use as much as you want but half of the recipe should be more than enough

1 head of romaine lettuce – washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

½ of an English cucumber cut into half-moon slices

1 bell pepper (whatever colour you prefer) diced

2 tomatoes diced

½ of a red onion cut into half-moon slices

¼ cup sliced olives – green or black as you prefer

TIP: If you like an ingredient add more of it. If you don’t like something, leave it out. The beauty of cooking from scratch is you make it how you like it.

Salad Chopped

For the salad dressing

Salad Dressing ingredients

3 Tbsp good quality olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano (or about 2 Tbsp fresh)

1 ½ tsp dried basil (or about 3 Tbsp fresh)

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 cloves garlic – minced or pressed

The juice from ½ lemon

1-2 Tbsp brine from a jar of lives – optional but it will make your dressing go further and make it salty if you’re a salt lover

Salad Dressing

Directions

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake the jar well to mix the ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss everything to combine. The feta cheese will become creamier and almost dressing like. If you want the cheese more whole, add the dressing to the salad but leave out the feta. Mix the salad and dressing, then add the feta afterwards.

Enjoy!

 

Fast feta that’s salty, creamy and VEGAN!

IMG_20170603_115756

I used to eat Greek salad all the time until I went vegan, but I just couldn’t find anything to replace feta cheese. ‘Til now that is.

This recipe is the bastard child of a far more superior recipe developed by friends of mine – Katie and Christine. Their feta cheese actually gets firm and will crumble. BUT it also takes more time to make and needs lactic acid (that’s what creatBowl of fetaes the great, firm texture).

My version, lazy vegan that I am, provides immediate gratification with very straightforward ingredients.

Having said all that, I bow to Katie and Christine and their incredible culinary skill!

You will need a food processor to make this recipe.

 

Ingredients

IMG_20170703_171521_hdr.jpg

½ block (7 ounces) of extra firm tofu.

¼ cup olive oil

4 tsp fresh lemon juice (about ¼ of a lemon)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried marjoram

½ tsp dried oregano

Feta Semi Close

Directions

Slice the tofu lengthwise and press slices in a lint-free towel to remove much of the moisture.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until thoroughly blended. You can store the feta in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The feta cheese will firm up a bit in the fridge but it will remain creamy and spreadable. If you didn’t press the tofu well, a small amount of white liquid may separate out, which you can just drain off.

I use this cheese in wraps, as a spread, tossed with tomatoes, pasta and basil, and of course, in Greek Salad!

 

 

 

Sweet and easy lemon cookies

Lemon Cookies close.jpg

My lemon-loving friend, Michela, came for a visit this weekend so I tried a new recipe out for lemon cookies. These cookies are fast and easy to make, lightly lemony and incredibly addictive.

Ingredients.jpg

Ingredients

2 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar (or 1 ½ cups sugar if you’re not using agave syrup)

¼ cup agave syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 lemons – from these you will get:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest (you will use all 3 lemons)*
  • ½ cup lemon juice (from 1 ½ lemons)

¾ cup canola or peanut oil

1 tsp vanilla

Lemon Cookies 2

Directions

Heat your oven to 360F.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and baking powder. Sift in the baking powder so you don’t have tiny lumps of it.

In a smaller bowl or even a mug, combine the wet ingredients – the lemon juice, oil, agave if using, and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix with a spoon until combined. You’ll have an almost fluffy dough (that tastes really great even raw).

Drop the dough out by the teaspoon spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. This is important because the cookies really flatten and spread. You should end up with 2 dozen cookies.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Let cool completely. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

These cookies would be delicious as part of a cookie sandwich with lemon sorbet!

*So this recipe will leave you with 1 ½ lemons that are sorely lacking most of their protective rind. Wrap the lemons in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. You can use the lemons for juice for dishes such as linguini in lemon-garlic sauce, lemon tahini sauce, or chili sauce for spicy crispy tofu.

Vegan Singapore noodles with seitanic chicken

SingaporeNoodles Side Bowl.jpg

I have always loved Singapore noodles but it just never occurred to me to try making them at home. I wish I had done this so much sooner because they’re easy to make with some pretty basic ingredients (once you get your head wrapped around the idea you can to make your own chicken in your own kitchen with nary a drop of blood spilled).

Most Singapore noodle recipes include shrimp, chicken and/or barbeque pork. I created my own seitan meat (a/k/a the vital wheat beast) for this dish that combines the savoury flavoury best of all these creatures without any of the pain or death. Yeah!

Let’s get going. The wheat beast takes an hour to make. Check out my next recipe for how to make the seitanic chicken. The rest comes together in about 20 minutes. Easy peasy.

Ingredients

Ingredients.jpg

227g (8 ounces) of rice vermicelli (it usually comes in 454g packages so just use half a package)

1 red pepper julienned

1 small onion cut in half and then in thin slices

2 carrots julienned

1 rib celery cut into thin slices

1 cup of frozen or fresh peas (thaw the peas if you use frozen)

Optional but nice – 1 cup of shredded savoy cabbage or napa cabbage

1 batch of Seitanic chicken a/k/a the vital wheat beast sliced then cut into small strips

1-3 chili peppers sliced very thin (or leave out or use more but the 3 I used made for a very hot dish)

1 Tbsp cooking sherry

2 Tbsp curry powder

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp cinnamon

2 -3 Tbsp soy sauce (depending on how salty you like your food)

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil

SingaporeNoodles Far.jpg

Directions

Cook the rice vermicelli according to package directions. They will take about 1 minute in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut or tear into shorter pieces so they’re easier to stir fry and eat.

Heat the peanut or coconut oil in large skillet or wok. Add the onion, red pepper, chilis, carrot and celery and stir for one minute. Add the peas, cabbage if using, the seitan, the curry powder, sesame oil, sherry and soy sauce and combine and heat through. Turn off the heat and add the noodles. Stir and toss until the noodles are completely coated in the sauce and are a golden colour. I found it was easiest to toss the noodles using tongs.

Serve up and enjoy!