Curried carrot (and other roots!) slaw

I’ve been eating this curried carrot slaw all summer and autumn and sharing it with friends too. It’s hugely popular – mix of creamy, sweet, crunchy, spicy, and tangy and it’s good for you. It’ll last for days in the fridge (though it’ll be gobbled up before then) and as the weather turns colder, I’m experimenting with adding in other root veggies – white turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga etc. Give this one a try. It’s quick and easy and a brilliant side with everything!

In this photo, I’ve used a mix of different coloured carrots – yellow, orange and purple.CurriedCarrotSlaw1st.jpg

Ingredients

2 ½ cups grated carrots (or mix it up with up to one cup of other grated root veggies)

4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise

2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/3 of a lemon)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 shallot minced

1-2 Tbsp raisins

1 – 2 Tbsp shelled pistachios (optional)

CurriedCarrotSlaw2.jpg

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, maple syrup, curry powder and minced shallot. Add the raisins and carrot and toss to combine. Serve topped with a few pistachios.

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Say “Cheese”! A cheese ball for grown up parties

Cheeseball.jpg

As I considered becoming a vegan, the thought of giving up cheese forever was off putting, to say the least. I tried many commercially produced vegan cheese products. I didn’t like them. So I explored making my own nut-based cheese. And now? Now I’ve punched my ticket to the vegan side of town!

This cheese ball is not a lot of work, but it does take a bit of planning. The cashews have to soak and the cheese needs to sit and firm up before being rolled into a ball. If you know company is coming, start this cheese ball the day before.

CheeseballSliced

Ingredients

1 ½ cups raw cashew pieces – soaked in water in the refrigerator for 8 hours

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (NOT in oil), cut into small pieces. Soak these with the cashews in the water. The brighter and redder the sun-dried tomatoes are, the brighter and orangier the final cheese. You can see that my sun-dried tomatoes were quite brown.

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp sherry (optional but yes… you’re keeping sherry in the kitchen at all times, right?)

1 ½ Tbsp miso – I used a deep brown-rice miso and got a browner cheese. You can go with a milder miso.

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp mustard powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

¼ cup unrefined coconut oil warmed to a liquid.

Walnut or pecan pieces or slivered almonds for rolling your cheese ball in. You’ll need about 2/3 of a cup. You could add thyme or sage to the mixed nuts too for colour.

Directions

Drain the cashew/sun-dried tomatoes. Place them and all the other ingredients EXCEPT the nuts for rolling the cheese ball in into a high speed blender or food processor. For this recipe, I find the blender is better.

Blend on high until you have a smooth, paste-like mixture. You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if you think the mixture is too thick (i.e. the motor on your blender is smoking), but be patient. The longer you blend, the smoother the mixture will be. You will need to spoon down the sides a couple times too to make sure everything’s well incorporated.

Place the paste into a container with a cover and let it sit refrigerated for 4-6 hours. You will be convinced that you will never be able to roll the pastey glop you’ve created into ball have faith. You will!

After 4-6 hours, remove the mixture from the fridge and roll it into a ball. You can serve as is, or roll in crushed/slivered nuts or herbs. Keep this cheese chilled until you’re ready to serve it since the coconut oil will go liquid at warmer room temperatures.

Slice this baby up and enjoy with crackers and olives, wine and friends. Enjoy!

 

With few exceptions, this recipe is based on the recipe in the excellent Vedged Out blog. Here’s the link.

Lentil sloppy joes

SloppyJoe

 

When I was a kid, sloppy joes were a really big deal for lunch or dinner. Making them involved nothing more than ground beef and a can of Manwich sauce. I shudder to think of it now. These sloppy joys, on the other hand, are something to get excited about. They’re tangy with a hint of sweetness. The lentils are chewy and satisfying and the whole dish – never mind that long list of ingredients, almost all of which you probably have in your pantry already – comes together easily. And…. these joes are great for your body. They’re loaded with iron, fibre, protein and vitamin C.

Ingredients

1 cup of dried Du Puy lentils (or black lentils a/k/a beluga lentils). You want a smaller lentil that needs no presoaking and cooks quickly

1 medium carrot finely minced

1 stalk celery finely minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 red or green pepper diced

1 onion diced

1 clove garlic minced

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp dry mustard

15 oz can (541 ml) diced tomatoes

3 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar

½ to 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce (optional)

1 Tbsp prepared mustard

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp A-1 sauce (a/k/a brown sauce)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt (adjust according to how much salt is in your tomato paste and diced tomatoes)

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable broth

Toasted bread or buns for serving. This recipe makes 4 generous servings.

Directions

Put the lentils, diced celery and carrot and 2 cups of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes. The lentils will be chewy but still firm and most of the water will be absorbed. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onion and red or green pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and dry spices and stir together, letting the spices heat through. Add all the remaining ingredients, including the saucepan of lentils (do not drain!) to the large sauce pan. Stir everything together to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncover for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how saucy you want your sloppy joes to be. I cooked mine for 20 minutes.

Serve over toasted bread, buns or fat pitas (as I did). This dish is even better the next day and freezes well for up to 2 months.