Monday, February 27, 2012

Thai Curry Soup

I posted a picture of this soup on Facebook last week when I made it and immediately had 4 friends ask me for the recipe. It's been ages since I've updated my blog, and while I have indeed been cooking I haven't been writing down my recipes, and quite honestly, haven't been creating many new things. Here is the recipe for the Thai Curry Soup as best as I can from memory:

Thai Curry Soup

8 oz package Pad Thai Noodles (wide rice noodles)
Olive Oil
1 cup broccoli, cut into the tiniest florets you can manage
1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1/2 -1 inch cubes
1/4 large red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
Thai Green Curry Paste (I use World Foods Brand that I get at Whole Foods Market)
1 can Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
32 oz. Vegtable Broth
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves (optional, but recommended)
1 stalk of lemongrass (optional, but recommended)
Juice from one lime
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2-3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach

Cook rice noodles as directed, drain and set aside. In a frying pan heat 1 Tbs of olive oil. To the oil add the broccoli florets and saute until bright green and beginning to tender (you still want them crisp). Remove broccoli from pan, add tofu and more oil if necessary. Cook until tofu is nice and brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and shiitake mushrooms and saute until onion is translucent and mushroom is tender. Remove from heat. In a stock pot place 3 Tbs Thai curry paste (if you are using Thai Kitchen brand start with 1 Tbs and increase according to taste.....Thai Kitchen brand is MUCH hotter than World Foods Brand). Turn heat to high and let curry paste become fragrant. Whisk in one can of coconut milk and 32 oz of vegetable stock. Add kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add tofu and vegetables and simmer for 15-20 minutes to soften veggies and marry flavors. Remove from heat, add juice of one lime, cilantro leaves and baby spinach and stir in to wilt spinach leaves. Remove lime leaves and lemongrass.

To serve, place 1 cup cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup on top. Enjoy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Orange-Carrot Juice Pulp Muffins

I juice every morning and (I hate to admit this) throw away the pulp. I've saved it a time or two to make crackers, or to throw into a smoothie later in the day, but 99% of the time I throw it away. A few weeks ago as I was cleaning out the pulp catcher it dawned on me that the flavor combo of that morning's juice would make a fantastic muffin, so I set out to experiment with juice pulp muffins.

The particular flavor of juice I made that morning was orange-carrot-ginger; one of our favorites, but rarely served because we like to get our greens in our juice in the morning. To make enough juice for 2 adults and 2 kids I use 3 navel oranges (peeled) , 6 carrots (unpeeled but with ends chopped off), and about 1/2 inch of ginger root. To get the pulp for the muffins I juiced the carrots and oranges first, collected the pulp in a separate container, and then juiced the ginger. Raw ginger seemed to be a bit too strong and spicy for these muffins, so I wanted to keep it separate.

These muffins turned out wonderful. They are moist and delicious with a hint of cinnamon and no processed sugars. Because of the juice pulp they keep best in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Orange-Carrot Juice Pulp Muffins

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1 cup juice pulp
1/4 cup maple syrup

Start by sifting through the pulp with your hands to remove any large chunks of carrot or orange. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients through salt, stirring to combine well. In a medium sized bowl combine soy milk, juice pulp and syrup. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix (being careful not to over mix). Fill muffin tins 3/4 full (you should get about 10 muffins out of this). Place in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan until cool to touch then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grilled Asian Tofu

Guess what friends......I'm back! That's right, spring is in the air, the sun has been shining and I've again been blessed with some inspiration in the kitchen. Our evening schedule has been packed with teaching, kids activities and homework and there's been little time for cooking. Not to mention the cold, gray winter zapped my creativity and left me wanting soups, stews and chilis. But now the days are getting brighter and longer, the produce is looking fresher and CSA season is just around the corner. Our evening schedule probably won't slow down any time soon, and I'm still pressed for time in the kitchen, but indeed as winter fades to spring you will be seeing the frequency of posts increasing here.

Last week the weather the warm and the sun was shining bright and I decided that it was a good night for a salad so I threw together 4 big bowls of deconstructed sushi (edamame sushi salad from Appetite for Reduction). I knew that a salad wouldn't be enough to sustain us and that while the kids love sushi and would happily eat the salad, they'd not be too keen on the fact that there wasn't something else to the meal.

Enter a block of Twin Oaks Tofu I've had sitting in the fridge. Twin Oaks is by far my favorite brand of tofu. It's firm, it's not saturated with water, it holds together nicely on the grill, and it requires little to no pressing before use. I whipped up this quick marinade, let the tofu soak for a few hours, threw it on the grill and............mmmm mmmm good! Enjoy.

Grilled Asian Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu
1 Tbs Brown Rice Miso
1/4 cup Tamari
1 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic minced or grated
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Press tofu is necessary. Slice the block of tofu horizontally into thirds, the cut diagonally to make 6 triangles. In a large container with a tight fitting lid mix miso and tamari, whisking to break down miso. Stir in remaining ingredients. Place tofu slices in the container, seal the lid and shake several times to coat each piece of tofu. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for several hours to over night. Spray outdoor grill or grill pan with oil and heat at medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and place tofu slices on the grill, cook for about 5 minutes on one side (watching and being careful not to burn), flip and grill for 5 minutes on second side.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Lentil Salad

After a busy summer filled with gymnastics practice, cheerleading practice, vacationing, and LOTS of boating, I'm back! We had a HOT summer, with a LONG stretch of days with temperatures soaring above the 100 degree mark, so cooking was the last thing I felt like doing at the end of a sweltering day. All summer we had a lot of simple meals, salads, and home-made sausages cooked on the grill. We're still experiencing above average temperatures, with the day time temperatures rising to near 80. So, while the calendar says it's fall, Mother Nature hasn't quite agreed. Usually by now I've been bit by the fall cooking bug....casseroles, soups, stews and good, hardy warming meals. Needless to say, I've not been bit by that "warm meal" bug yet.
I did however have a burst of inspiration over the weekend, and created this fall lentil salad. It's best served warm or at room temperature, perfect for the cool, but not yet cold evenings we've been having. This salad will delight you with a combination of sweet and savory.
Fall Lentil Salad
1 1/4 cup dry green lentils
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 Tbs Earth Balance
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced shallor
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup diced winter squash, I used delicata
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 Tbs Cold pressed olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Toss diced winter squash in a Tbs of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet until tender. In the meantime, cook lentils in broth until broth is absorbed and lentil are tender (may need to add more broth or water). In a large skillet, melt Earth Balance and saute celery, carrot and shallots until tender. Add salt and thyme to sauted veggies. When all components are finished, in a large bowl, combine lentils, squash, sauted veggies, pumpkin seeds and cranberries and stir to combine well.
Prepare dressing by whisking balsamic, maple, dijon and olive oil. Drizzle over lentil saland and toss to coat evenly.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Avocado-Pesto Potato Salad

Ahhh summer-time. Kidlets home from school, endless hours spent in the sun and at the pool, vacation, trips to the park.........never a dull moment. Indeed, all of the summer-time activity has left me starving by the end of the day, and rather uninspired in the kitchen. Additionally, we have been receiving quite a bounty from our CSA, and when food is from farm to table fresh I really can't bear to do anything to alter it. Hence, we've been eating a lot of salads, and simple dishes highlighting the freshness of the summer's bounty. It just doesn't seem right to alter the flavor of incredibly fresh fruits, veggies, and berries!

In the past 3 weeks we've been inundated with potatoes and basil. I've grilled potatoes, baked potatoes, made fries and potato salad. I've made pesto, my vegan version of caprese salad, used basil in my salads, on my pastas, and on my sandwiches. While trying to come up with something new for last night's dinner, and faced with yet more potatoes and basil, the only things that came to mind were potato salad and pesto. Then it struck me, why not combine the two?!? It was a pure stroke of genius (although I'm sure someone has come up with this idea before, as it's really not that creative!!).

Avocado-Pesto Potato Salad

1 1/2 lbs potatoes (I used a mix of Yukon Gold and Red Norlunds)
1/2 cup avocado, diced
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 tsp liquid aminos
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 - 1 tsp water
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dice potatoes into bite sized pieces. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until tender (yet still firm, you don't want them to be mushy). Pour into a colander and set aside to drain while you prepare pesto.

In the bowl of a food processor combine avocado, basil leave, liquid aminos, garlic, red pepper and lemon juice. Process until well combined, adding small amounts of water if mixture seems too thick.

In a large serving bowl fold together potatoes and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature, or chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Meatless Monday: Pizza Sausage

We love pizza. Who doesn't right? Now that our local Whole Foods is finally selling Daiya Cheese (pronounced "day-a" according to the company) pizza has been making a rather frequent appearance on our weekly menu.

I start with a homemade, whole-wheat crust, Muir Glen organic pizza sauce, and various toppings depending on our mood. Sometimes we do a more "gourmet" style pizza with fancy veggies like artichoke hearts, arugula, and others. Other times we like to do a Hawaiian pizza, with home-made vegan pepperoni, pineapple, basil and red onion. Then there's the Cuban Black Bean Pizza I've blogged about before. Still other times we are in the mood for a good old sausage pizza. Typically I use Gimme Lean Sausage Style to top my pizzas, and we've always enjoyed it very much. Last week, however, I decided at the last minute to throw a pizza together, and had nothing to top it with except sauce, olives, and cheese. I was really in the mood for a sausage pizza, so I decided to have a look around the kitchen and see what I could come up with. What resulted was the most incredible pizza sausage I think I've ever had. I for one will never use Gimme Lean again!!

Pizza Sausage

1 cup TVP
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 3/4 cup water
2 Tbs Soy sauce

In a small saucepan combine all ingredients, stir together, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, and TVP is tender. Add more water by the Tbs if necessary to fully reconstitute TVP.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Memorial Day Round Up

Memorial Day is just around the corner, the official start of summer. Time to throw on your bathing suit, slather on the sunscreen, grab a good book and head for the sun. Of course, this wildly anticipated holiday to celebrate all things summer also means it's bar-b-que and picnic season.

Here you'll find a run-down of the Happy Vegan Yogini recipes that are sure to make your summer kick off bash a hit with both the vegans and omnivores alike. And don't forget, Memorial Day will also be Meatless Monday...... so start your summer off right with this delicious vegan menu!