Monday, August 18, 2008

Garden Chili

The following recipe is one we have made for several years, before my kids were vegetarian, and long before anyone in this household ate vegan. My mom got this recipe from a good friend and, of course, I got it from her. It is very easy to make; I might spend 30 min. in the kitchen total to make it. It goes very well with cornbread or irish soda bread!

Garden Chili

1 red pepper (I leave this out when I make it because we have made it with and without and we like it better without- you might like it with though:)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp cummin
1 tsp oregano
2 c butternut squash, chopped into bite size pieces
1 large can tomatoes (I like to use fresh and then pour in 1 can tomatoe sauce)
2 c. zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can black beans (again, you can use dried, soaked, and boiled)
1 can corn
1/4 c parsley (I usually don't have this on hand so I skip it)

In 3 qt. sauce pan saute onion, pepper, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in seasonings, butternut squash, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for another 10 min.

I usually double this recipe, as my kids scarf it down!! I might have two small bowls left-over and we are a family of five. This is what we had tonight and it is just about gone:) It was so fun to make tonight, more than usual, because I had a fresh zucchini and fresh tomatoes from my mother-in-law's garden. It was delicious!!

For the non-vegans in the household: It is great with a little dollop of sour cream or ranch dressing on top. Sometimes I will even add a little cheddar cheese if I don't feel like eating vegan, teehee.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spicy Potato Curry With Cauliflower

So this has been one of our favorites for the last month or so. The kids ask for it often. A couple weeks ago I served an appetizer, while I was cooking this, of baked tofu with homemade peanut sauce so I added the recipe for the peanut sauce also. To bake tofu you just put it on skewers over a cooling rack, in the oven, and bake it until it has a nice egg-like consistency.

Spicy Potato Curry with Cauliflower:

1 cup finely chopped onion
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp coursely ground pepper
1/2 tsp each, ground cumin and cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate, dissolved in 1 cup water ( I got this at an asian store. It comes in a small plastic container that looks a little like a soup can but it's plastic)
1/2 inch ginger root, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 cup coconut milk (lite or normal)
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups 1 inch cauliflower florets
1 tsp salt

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions in 2 tsp of the oil until edges are brown, about 6 min. Stir in coriander, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and fenugreek. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding tamarind liquid as needed for a thick puree. Set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric, cooking 1 minute until aromatic. Stir in paprika, puree and remaining tamarind liquid. Cook 4-5 min.. Stir in coconut milk and potato. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and salt. Cover and cook until sauce is thick and vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.

I usually triple this recipe for our family of five and it all gets eaten. I use a little more potatoes and cauliflower than it calls for also. This is really easy to make and actually very quick.

Grilled Sesame-Tofu Skewers with Ginger Peanut Sauce:

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
4 Tbs soy sauce, divided
1 Tbs. sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 12 oz pkg extra-firm tofu (you can do smoked tofu if you can find it), cut into 1 -inch cubes
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs light brown sugar

Combine orange juice, 2 Tbs soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 tsp garlic and red pepper flakes. Let stand 15 minutes at room temp. Fold in tofu and cover. Marinate 1 hour or overnight, stirring occasionally.

Soak wood skewers in cold water for 1/2 hour. Preheat grill or broiler. If using broiler, coat broiler pan with cooking spray. Drain tofu, and thread on skewers. Place on broiler pan, if using. Broil or grill 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides, turning occasionally.

Whisk together peanut butter, remaining 1 tsp garlic, ginger, brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, and 1/3 cup warm water to make a thick sauce. Serve skewers with dipping sauce.

Tofu with peanut sauce is also a great afternoon snack! Sometimes I fry the tofu in a little olive oil until it has a nice egg-like consistency. I like my tofu nice and chewy, not slimy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I keep thinking I'm going to abandon this blog, as it is quite obvious I don't blog much here, but for some reason I just can't let it go. My efforts to go vegan permanently have been all over the map, from being fairly strict, to saying "what the heck". I ate strict vegan (except for the honey) for 6+ months and then slowly slipped into the dairy again. I don't eat eggs, except in the occasional baked goods but have been eating tons of dairy this last few months. I have to admit, I just don't feel as good. I felt the best when I was eating vegan for sure. So now, to find that middle ground; eating just enough dairy to feel satisfied but not so much that I feel like crap.

I'm feeling the need to purge right now so Martin has agreed to eat vegan with me for one month. Today was supposed to be our start day and I forgot twice and ate dairy........oh well! The funny thing is that at dinner time we all eat vegan because I ALWAYS cook vegan for Kev's sake. He has been eating vegan since last August and has been very firm about his lifetime choice. I have supported him 100% and the family actually loves all the vegan dishes I cook.

When I went vegan last fall it forced me to get the cookbooks out and I felt it satisfyingly challenging. We have adopted some wonderful recipes in our repertoire of weekly meals and even the teens, that come hang out, love them. Again, I will make an effort to post some of our favorites, at least once a week or so, and see if I can keep up with this blog.