Tag Archives: carrot

Lighter Thai Yellow Curry

Brent and I are still trying to find lighter versions of our favorites and yellow curry is on that list. We recently became acquainted with PB2 thanks to co-author Melissa and have found it to be everything it’s advertised to be: a low-fat full-flavor version of the comfort food I know and love. This made this dish possible along with 2 bags of generic frozen vegetables. As a biochemist I’ve learned that the best ways to preserve labile (that’s how biochemists say ‘unstable’) compounds is by storing them frozen or dried and preferably both. Dried and frozen veggies, nuts and fruits are something I often choose over canned or ‘fresh’ (i.e. not from our farmers’ market). While tinned and fresh produce is often useful and tasty, you never know how long it’s been sitting on a shelf or in the back of a refrigerated truck while the nutrients have been breaking down due to natural processes that can be slowed or stopped by freezing or drying. There is still a lot we don’t know about how our bodies work and scientists discover new compounds that are important to health and nutrition more often than you might think. Variety and well preserved or fresh foods are the best ways to make the most of compounds we don’t know about just yet, as far as I’m concerned.  I digress… lets talk curry. We used the following

1 lb. bag of generic frozen seasoning mix (pepper, onion, celery)

1 lb. bag of generic frozen mixed vegetables (zucchini. carrot, lima beans, cauliflower)

1 13.5 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained OR 1 cup of dried garbanzos, soaked overnight and parboiled

2 generous pinches of cumin seeds

2 tbsp minced ginger

3 Thai chilis, sliced

1 pinch of cayenne (optional)

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp PB2 dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar (more if you like sweeter curry)

salt to taste

We combined the cumin seeds with minced ginger in a deep skillet with the olive oil. We stirred it over medium high heat until it was fragrant. We started the rice at this point because we used brown rice with took about 45 minutes. The curry was ready about 15 minutes before the rice.

To this we added the seasoning mix of vegetables, peppers, cinnamon, PB2 in water and chickpeas. I stirred it until the vegetables were thawed and heated thoroughly.

Then we added the rest of the veggies and sugar and stirred until the vegetables were hot and tender.

This was a lighter curry and tasted divine. Thanks to PB2 we had something light and nutritious and good enough to share though I’ll probably make some tweaks in the future. Let me know if you get to try this and what you’d do to improve on it.

This is Christie, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hearty Blackeyed Pea Stew!

Step over Fergie, turnips are here!

This was an incredibly simple stew. I add a lot of extras because lately I’m obsessed with having as much variety in my diet as possible. I used dried black eyed peas because I find their texture is similar to canned beans and not unpalatable to people who prefer the texture of canned.

1 lb. dry black-eyed peas
1 large turnip, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 large celery root, skinned and cubed
1 finger sized piece of turmeric, grated
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp olive oil
salt and chili paste to taste
 
Soak the peas in filtered water for 4 hours, overnight if possible but it’s not necessary. Rinse them thoroughly. In a pot add 1 tsp olive oil, garlic and turmeric and heat until the garlic and turmeric become fragrant. I also added some cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds but they’re not necessary. Add the peas and 1 liter of filtered water. Bring to a boil. Let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or till the peas are halfway done. Add more water if required. Add the coriander, turnip, sweet potato, and celeriac (celery root) and cook for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat, add lime juice. Garnish with cilantro if you like.
If you want, you can substitute 4-5 stalks of chopped celery for the celery root, 4-5 chopped carrots instead of sweet potato and potato for turnip. Celeriac or celery root can be hard to find so regular stalk celery is fine. I am digging the unusual veggies lately. It’s also been raining sideways thanks to our first notable tropical storm of the season so we’re having our equivalent of a snowy winter day… at 80 degrees F. This was a hearty stew that kept both of us fed for a day and I kept sneaking spoonfuls between meals. Don’t tell Brent.
This is Christie, signing off.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tropical Spring Rolls!

It’s raw night again in the Alldestroyers’ household and tonight we’ll be preparing vegan spring rolls. You’ll need the following:

2 medium zucchini, shredded
5 average sized carrots, shredded
1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut (sweetened is fine)
1 tbsp ponzu sauce
1/2 tsp lime juice (optional)
1/2 tsp flaked red pepper
a pinch of salt
8-10 rice paper sheets (mine are bahn-trang)
greens or spinach, washed and dried

Start by combining all the vegetables (except for the greens), liquids and seasonings in a bowl. Substitute shredded parsnips if you have a coconut allergy. Mix well and set aside.

Add 1 to 2 cups warm water in a deep plate or shallow bowl. Place a rice paper sheet into the water making sure to dampen both sides thoroughly and remove before it loses it’s stiffness.

Take it out and place it on a clean plate. Don’t worry if it’s still stiff; it’ll soften as it absorbs the water.

Place a handful of greens on one end of the paper closest to you. Add 3-4 heaping spoonfulls of filling onto the greens (if it’s particularly wet, let it drain, squeezing it out between your hands – your kids might like this job).

Dry your hands and start rolling the filled end of the sheet away from you using the greens to control the filling, folding in the sides. Rest it on that edge after closing it until you’re ready to eat it.Try not to place them so close that they’re touching because they’ll stick together and might tear when handled.

This takes some practice but it doesn’t really matter what they look like, right? You should end up with some lovely light, nutritions, filling and delicious spring rolls.

We made a dipping sauce out of basically the same ingredients as in our pakora with some minor changes which complemented the coconut in the spring rolls brilliantly. The proportions were about like this:
1/4 cup of tamarind (we used frozen)
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
chili paste to taste

When mango comes into season, we’ll probably make this sauce with pureed mango. I’m monitoring the little baby mango growing on the trees between my train stop and apartment closely. Soon, my friends… very soon.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tofu Burgers with portobello mushrooms!

I’ll make just about anything into burgers. I just like the format. In this particular case we tried using a beloved burger recipe as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms. Whether you want patties or stuffed ‘shrooms, all you need to do is gather the following:
12 oz silken tofu
2/3 cup quinoa flakes (rolled oats work too)
1 tbsp flax meal
2 small carrots, grated
2 small stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
tamari or soy sauce to taste

I shredded my carrots and celery in my food processor. I put everything into a bowl with the tofu and then Brent went to work mooshing. Watch him showing this future burger mix who’s the boss. You can also use a food processor but Brent is an expert moosher. Add more quinoa flakes if you find they’re not firm enough.

Shape into patties. Heat a skillet or grill and grill the burgers until each side is crispy and golden brown.

We decided to use it as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms and that’s just another option. We baked some portobellos drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar at 350C/180F for 10 minutes.

We then stuffed each mushroom cap with the burger mix and baked an additional 20 minutes.

We topped with cheese and baked another 10 minutes. This is Heidi Ho organics, chipotle cheddar. We liked that it was low calorie (about half that of dairy cheese) and it had a nice chipotle flavor but it wasn’t particularly cheesy and didn’t melt like some other vegan cheeses. This didn’t stop us from eating the entire block. It was tasty, just not cheesy.

These burgers were definitely a hit. We ate all three and then fried up the rest of the burger mix and dipped it in buffalo sauce. They came out crispy and tender. Double win! If you try it, let us know what you think. Until then, stay tasty!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pakora: chickpea fritters… basically.

Brent and I decided to try and recreate another of our favorite take-out dishes last night. This one was not quite as successful as our <a href=”http://turningveganese.com/2012/03/20/tofu-mahkani-quick-and-easy/”>previous endeavors</a> but we learned a lot so it’s okay. We were interested in making pakora so with some inspiration from <a href=”http://ellesite.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/guilt-free-pakora-vegan-indian-food-made-healthy/>Elle’s Diary</a> we decided to craft our own and bake them instead of traditional frying.

First I shredded 5 medium carrots and a large zucchini in my food processor. I added the folloring:
2 cups chickpea flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp gram masala blended spices
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
soy milk

We mixed it together with the shredded veggies and added soy milk until the texture was like a thick batter. I spooned them onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. We baked them at 350C/180F until they began to brown at the edges and were firm to the touch, about 35 minutes.

While we were waiting, my handsome partner in criminally fun cooking prepared two sauces for dipping: mint chutney and tamarind. For the tamarind he combined:
maple syrup
thawed frozen tamarind
chili paste

For the mint chutney, he put the following in the food processor:

1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 jalapeño pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water, or as needed
 
The dipping sauces were an enormous success. The pakora on the other hand, needed some work. I think the next time we make this dish we’ll add a shredded onion and maybe a potato or eggplant to the veggie mix. We’ll also add a little baking soda and use a cast iron skillet to bake them since sticking to the wax paper lined baking sheet was a problem. The flavors, however, were good and this high protein addition to a traditional Indian meal will be welcome even before we work out the kinks. We’ll be revisiting this particular awesome dish again and we’ll keep you posted.
This is Brent and Christie, signing off!
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Has everybody gone crackers?

I like to make juice. Like… serious health conscious vegetable juice. If that’s your bag, this post is for you.

Tonight I made some juice from 6 carrots, 1 apple, 1 peeled lemon, one beet and a generous chunk of fresh ginger. In the early days of enjoying my frosty beverages I was thinking of things to do with the leftover pulp.

What’s leftover after you juice the veggies and fruits is a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber and nutrients that didn’t get mooshed out in the juicing. I hate wasting things. It’s partly my inner hippie, my years of farm living, and some personal issues I can’t get into on the internet. Anyways, this is what I use to make my home-made crackers. As far as I know, pretty much any fruits and veggies will do except for cucumber, sorry. Just think about the combo and how it will taste when paired with hummus or whatever. This recipe is for carrot sesame crackers.

Take the pulp and pick out any large chunks. To the pulp, add the following (amounts don’t need to be exact)

1 heaping tbsp tahini (this is where the sesame comes from)

2 heaping tbsp flax meal

a few dashes of tamari or soy sauce (or just regular salt if you’re soy-free)

Moosh it with your hands until you can mold it into a ball that’s at least somewhat doughy. Spread it out into your food dehydrator on one of the plastic sheets intended for fruit leather and such and dry overnight. My dehydrator doesn’t have heat settings or a timer so I can’t be more specific than that. It works, that’s all I know. You can also spread it out on a wax paper lined baking sheet and covered in tin foil. Bake them at 200F/90C for 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough. Check it frequently to be sure it doesn’t burn.

The rich color and sweetness comes from the carrots and beets, slightly savory from the soy and nutty from the tahini and flax. You might also get some bite from the ginger! They’re great with home-made hummus, soy or nut cheese, salsa, cheesy bean dip, spinach artichoke dip, guacamole or whatever it is that blows your skirt up.

Here are my finished crackers: low calorie, preservative free, low glycemic index due to no added sugar or processed flour, high flavor and incredibly filling (remember… lots of soluble and insoluble fiber.) You can also customize them adding whatever your heart desires. Pulp from spinach mango juice makes great spinach sun dried tomato crackers: it’s a favorite when mango comes into season here in Florida in the spring. I’ve also been known to make spinach pizza crust. They will keep in a plastic baggie in your fridge for 3-4 days.

This is Christie, signing off… to finish off last night’s hummus with my fresh crackers.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Salad rolls… kinda like a sandwich without the bread, meat and cheese.

Now that Melissa is talking about how much she loves to cook, I’m going to post about more things I make when I don’t want to cook. This is a little snack that’s low calorie, high fiber, and full of nutrients. Here’s what you need to start: a sheet of nori (like for sushi rolls), mixed salad greens, and your favorite dressing.  Additional fillings can include sprouts, avocado, shredded carrots, tomato, hummus, baba ghanouj or some other spread. Get creative! If you’re using a soft spread like hummus, sprouts or shredded carrots will keep things from getting too messy. Put the nori on your sushi roller (you can get one for $5 on eBay or at your local specialty market. I covered mine with cling wrap for easier clean up.), add a generous fistful of greens, and put your toppings onto that along with a few tablespoons of hummus or whatever spread you like.

Afterward roll it gently. This part gets easier with practice. Moisten the far edge of the nori with a wedge of lemon or slice of tomato to seal the roll.

I like to slice it for presentation and dip into my favorite salad dressing. Lately it’s been a tough call between “herb tahini” and “spicy tomato basil”. There are so many possible combinations: mango and pesto hummus, garlic hummus and avocado, whatever!

Some day soon, I’ll share my recipe for home-made hummus. So many flavors: black olive, roasted red pepper, cucumber&dill, roasted artichoke heart, pesto, chipotle, extra garlic, sun-dried tomato, whatever. Let me know what combination you dream up! I want to nom them!!!

 

This is Christie, signing off.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Miso Soup

This is one of the more simple soups I make for work.

The ingredients can be found in the ‘ethnic’ section of your supermarket, online, or in your local specialty market. Miso paste, tofu, and seaweed are my requisites. I add scallions, chives, garlic, and/or carrots when I have them but they’re not really necessary. I combine 1 liter of water and 1.5 tablespoon of miso paste. I heat it until the paste is dissolved. I add one and a half handfuls of dried seaweed and half a block of Chinese-style water packed tofu, diced into 1/3 inch cubes. If you can’t find dried seaweed, spinach works well too.

I’ll add a tablespoon of minced garlic, 1-2 shredded carrots, 1/4 cup of diced scallions or chives if I want. I’ll add up to another 5oo mL of water and salt to taste. I also like to mince some dried red peppers for spice. I like spicy food.

This is Christie, signing off.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Raw sushi… wait, isn’t sushi raw anyways?

A dude at my farmer’s market sold me some parsnips and told me they make great raw sushi. I had to think about it. I don’t make a lot of raw food except for salads, guacamole and salsa. This is one of the reasons I’m fascinated by Melissa’s raw cheesecake.

I’m a little lazy so I skipped Stan’s advice (my farmer’s market friend). He told me to chop these roots coarsely. I put two of them into my food processor with the shredding blade. They’re pretty big, I’m not even sure they’re really parsnips since the ones I grew up with were small, pointy and a little sweet and these weren’t so much. Who knows. I’m not a rocket scientist. They worked fine for what I was using them for. I suspect cauliflower would work well too. I showed the picture to my cousin who is a real farmer and he suggested that they might be a kind of Japanese radish called “Daikon”. Wow, he’s smart. The flavor of the plain root was crisp and clean with a very mild spice. This recipe is loaded with fiber, vitamin A, C, E, omega fatty acids, and essential amino acids to name a few. It’s low in fat, has no cholesterol, no hormones, and no synthetic antibiotics.

I dumped this into a large bowl, added a tablespoon of tahini, half a teaspoon of maple syrup (if you use parsnip, you probably won’t have to add a sweetener), a dash of ponzu sauce and a few dashes of rice wine vinegar. I mixed it with my hands… if you’ve got little kids I bet they’d like that part. I tasted it until it was slightly sweet and slightly salty and with just a hint of tartness, like regular sushi rice. After that, I spread out about 3/4 cup onto a sheet of nori and added the fillings. In this case – carrot, mustard greens (stems removed) and avocado.

I used moisture from the bottom of the “rice” bowl to seal the edges. The first roll of these fell apart while I was trying to cut it. I started wrapping them up in 2 sheets of nori. I realize my rice was too wet. By the third try, they were pretty enough to get a picture. They took very little time to prepare: no waiting for things to heat or cook. They were also exquisitely tasty with soy sauce.

This is Christie, signing off… to attack that last “parsnip”.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 694 other followers

%d bloggers like this: