Tag Archives: lime

Tofu Rogan Josh

So… Indian food… awesome… yeah. I’ve got a few Indian colleagues and one of them gave me her recipe for lamb rogan josh and I did my best to veganize it.You’ll need the following:

1 package water packed tofu, pressed and chopped into bite-sized chunks.
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 tbsp corn oil or other oil suitable for frying
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, minced
1 pinkie sized piece of turmeric, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
15-20 curry leaves
2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 14oz tin of peeled plum tomatoes
1 lime, juice and zest, cut in half
curry leaves, to taste
salt and pepper to taste (garam masala works instead of pepper)

Getting the ingredients together was the hardest part. Finding fresh curry leaves was a mission but we did… did you know they grow on trees? I didn’t know that before our quest for curry leaves. They’re pretty important for this dish so I recommend seeking them out.
To start, add the onion to a large pot with the corn oil and fry it on high temperature until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, turmeric, curry leaves and ginger and keep frying. Add the dry spices and zest and keep frying.This should look and be very dry. When the spices become fragrant and everything in the kitchen smells awesome

Add the tomato, 1/2 lime juice and cream cheese and mix. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, before the tomato gets too hot, put it all in your blender and mix until smooth.

Add the tofu and mushrooms and allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes so the tofu takes on the flavors of the dish. Stir in the green bell pepper and coriander 10 minutes before serving.

So we served this with quinoa and red wine and it was not too far off from what I’ve had in restaurants: tart, creamy, herbal and rich. Did I mention I love Indian food?

It was loaded with veggies, protein and exciting herbs. Even if it wasn’t authentic, it’s still delicious and good for you. We hope you get to try it.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Salsa Verde!

I know a lot of us have probably seen these in a local grocery store or farmer’s market and didn’t know what to do with them. This is a refreshing traditional preparation that’s quick and easy for company or just to enjoy yourself.

Friends, meet tomatillo! I love making salsa verde with these babies so here we go. You’ll need the following:

juice from 1 lime

1 generous pinch of vegan sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 jalapeño

1/4 cup cilantro, stems and/or leaves

5-6 lemon or lime sized tomatillo, husks removed

I hate wasting things so I usually save the stems from my cilantro when I use the leaves for a garnish. This dip gets blended up anyways so nobody will know but you that you. Fun fact: cilantro stems keep their unique flavor and aroma when frozen.

I spray a baking sheet with olive oil and bake them at 355F/180C on the top rack next to the broiler burner so that they blacken, usually for between 5 and 10 minutes. I’ve definitely taken a few tomatillos out of the oven to discover one was on fire. Don’t worry (put the fire out first, okay?) just blend them as usual after picking off any parts that are papery from being burned.

Then I throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until everything is uniformly chunky or smooth, depending on your preference. This salsa is awesome on corn chips, tacos, burritos, whatever you want that needs a tart, spicy kick

This is a quick easy recipe that’s sure to please. We hope you get to try it!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Noodles & Company: Brrring It!!!

While going vegan has resulted in my cooking more than I ever thought I would, I still eat at restaurants. A lot. I have to avoid some of my old favorites –buh bye, Portillo’s– but I’m also super jazzed when my old favorites offer vegan options without me having to sound like a crazy vegan (“uhhh, I will have a quesadilla without the cheese”).

Noodles & Company is a place that I immediately loved because the food is good, portions are the perfect size, there are a variety of options, and the people who work there are always super nice. Always. I appreciate it even more now because they are very informative about their food and have a handful of options for vegans. In addition, you can choose tofu as a protein to add to any of their dishes. I went there for dinner tonight and got the Indonesian Peanut Saute:

This yummy dish consists of a spicy peanut sauce, rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, Asian sprouts, cilantro, crushed peanuts and lime. Beware: it’s uber-spicy. UBER-SPICY. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Looks good, right? I’ve never been let down by Noodles & Company in terms of the freshness and quality of their food. Furthermore, they are very forthcoming with their nutrition and allergen information. Click here for their nutrition information. Scroll further down the page for a list of their vegan items. One more thing to say about this place: it’s very kid-friendly, both in terms of kid-friendly food options and atmosphere.

If you’re feeling lazy and adventurous, check out Noodles &  Company! –Melissa

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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.
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Tofu Makeover

Tonight is a leftover night! I have some fried tofu chunks leftover that were meant to be served in a sweet and sour sauce with crushed peanuts. I couldn’t save the sauce yesterday, but I didn’t mind because I knew I would want to re-work the tofu.

Before

Tofu Makeover (this will work with fresh tofu as well, and will probably bake well)

About 2 blocks fried tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
olive oil

I minced the garlic and cut the tofu into smaller chunks and put it into a bowl. Then, I added the soy sauce and lime, and mixed it all in a bowl. I fired up a pan, heated up some olive oil, and then heated the tofu for about 3-5 minutes until the tofu was heated through.

I also had leftover spicy vegetables, so I served the tofu with that and white rice. Easy and yummy recipe!

Mmmmm…. veggies!!! –Melissa

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Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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Veggie Hash with Spicy Lime Peanut Sauce!

This was another experiment. I’m capricious and easily influenced by how pretty things look. Fortunately, vegetables are also delicious so it has been working in my favor more often than not. To make the hash, assemble the following:
1 generous pinch of chili powder
Earth Balance butter as needed
chipotle pepper as needed
1 1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
2-3 tomatillos, diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
garlic salt to taste
chipotle pepper to taste
14 ounce can blackeyed peas OR 1 cup of blackeyed peas, soaked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat a large skillet on medium-high with 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance until it melts. Swirl to coat the pan. Add the corn, sweet potato, scallion, paprika, garlic salt. Stir occasionally until the sweet potato is soft.
Add blackeyed peas and stir to mix well; cook 1 more minute or until sweet potato are soft and blackeyed peas are warm through. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
 
To make the spicy lime peanut sauce, combine the following:
 1/2 cup almond milk
juice from 1 lime (use a fork to get more of the juice out as shown)
zest from the lime
2 tsp peanut butter

Mix well and adjust the seasonings to taste.

 
I served mine with spinach that I prepared with garlic and jalapeño. I plated the spinach and add the roasted corn, yam, and blackeyed peas mixture to the center of the spinach. Add the spicy peanut lime sauce as desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We hope you enjoy it!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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Mango Margarita POPSICLES!

What is this madness, you say? MANGO MADNESS! Mango is in season and it’s making its way into everything I cook… or don’t cook.

This particular variety is called Irwin and is one of the more common varieties. It is very sweet and soft when ripe and is great for drinks and sauces.

Today I’m making mango margarita popsicles. I sliced up a skinned, pitted mango and added 3-4 slices to each popsicle mold along with a few cilantro leaves, a squeeze of lime, and (for the more daring) a splash of tequila. We use Lunazul tequila because it’s vegan. Lime is really important because these mango are VERY sweet. I also like to use a fork (as above) when I squeeze lemon or lime juice into something, wiggling it back and forth to help break the membranes in the fruit. I find it makes it easier to get more juice out of the fruit and reduces the incidence of citrus-to-eye events. I filled the molds the rest of the way with coconut water.

Here are the popsicles right before they went into the freezer. When they come out, give them a light dusting of salt and put them back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to let the salt set. Licking up the side will give you all the flavors of the cilantro, salt, mango and lime, or sample each flavor nibble by nibble for the deconstructed version of a mango margarita.

This is my daring food model, trying out my mango margarita pop. Doesn’t he just make it look delectable? Maybe I’m alone but suddenly I want a mango margarita.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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French Onion Soup Au Gratin, VEGAN style.

French onion soup is caramelized onions in beef broth along with bread (read: eggs, butter and milk) and cheese. Comfort food… are you surprised? This was a favorite of mine as a kid so Brent and I decided to make it ourselves. The only thing you might have to search for is “beef” bouillon and some good vegan cheese. I’m a big fan of Massel bouillon but most any wort will do.

We assembled the following:

4 onions, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp herbes de provence

juice from 1 lime

“beef” bouillon (I used Massel)

1/4 cup of red wine (optional)

salt to taste

You’ll also need bread and some sort of vegan cheese. We used some gluten-free bread we bought at a local market and Follow Your Heart Gourmet mozzarella. We just baked it in the oven on a tinfoil lined sheet for 10 minutes at 350F/175C until the cheese was melty and bubbly and the bread was toasty. The soup is only slightly more complicated.

In a medium put I sauteed the onion in lime juice and olive oil until the onions were lightly caramelized. Don’t stir them too much while waiting for them to caramelize or you’ll end up with a sticky mess.

When you find the amount of caramelization suits your taste, add about 1 liter of water, herbes, the bouillon and the red wine. Simmer 15 minutes, up to 45 if your guests are late… or you want to watch fireworks on your balcony. Salt to taste.

We put the melty cheesy bread into the onion soup and devoured it. This would make a great appetizer for a dinner party, especially if you put the bread into the bowl and bake it in ramekins so the cheese bubbles down the sides like it does in restaurants. For easier clean-up… do what we did. Happy comfort food that’s surprisingly good for you!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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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!

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