Monday, December 14, 2009

Chop Suey

Vegetables for Chop Suey

Chop Suey
click photos to enlarge

Kari's Chop Suey

1/2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
4 fresh shitake mushrooms, destemmed and sliced thin
2 cups shredded cabbage
12 oz fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 9-ounce can fried gluten (vegetarian mock pork), drained and chopped
1 Tbsp soy sauce
water, as needed

1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp ShaoXing cooking wine
2 Tbsp vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp thick soy sauce (or more vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce)
1 tsp turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp chile garlic sauce
2 tsp cornstarch

Cooked noodles or rice

Place gluten in bowl and add 1Tbsp soy sauce; toss to coat. Set aside.

Whisk together sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Prepare all vegetables before you begin. Heat wok. Add oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic and ginger; Stir 10 seconds. Push aside and add onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrot. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Push to side and add mushroom and cabbage along with 2 Tbsp water. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Push aside and add gluten. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add sprouts and stir-fry all together for 2 minutes. Make hole in center of vegetables by pushing to sides. Pour sauce in center. Let it come to boil and thicken. Add water chestnuts and stir-fry all together until heated through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Serves 4 or more

Friday, December 11, 2009

Soyrizo Posole

click to enlarge photo

Posole is a Mexican soup, traditionally made with pork and hominy, that is served with various condiments such as shredded cabbage, cilantro, chopped onion, lime, and fried corn tortilla strips. You'll find that there are red, green, and white versions of posole (the colors of the Mexican flag). This recipe is for a meatless red posole made with Soyrizo.

Kari's Soyrizo Posole

water, as needed
1 onion, chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pkg Soyrizo (meatless soy chorizo sausage)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 Tbsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
5 cups vegetable broth (5 cup water + 2 veg bouillon cubes)
1 29-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

Garnishes: shredded cabbage, diced white or green onion, chopped cilantro, toasted or fried tortilla strips, chiles, sliced radishes, lime wedges

In pot, saute onion in 2-3 Tbsp water over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add serrano pepper and garlic. Stir. Add soyrizo; cook and stir several minutes. Add water as necessary, scraping bits from bottom of pan. Add red bell pepper; cook and stir a few minutes. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder, and Mexican oregano; cook and stir to toast spices. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to simmer. Add hominy. Simmer on med-low for 45 minutes. Add pinto beans and zucchini. You can also add more water, if thinner broth is desired. Simmer 15-20 minutes on low til zucchini is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Ladle in bowls and top with desired garnishes.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yellow Split Pea Sambar with Basmati Rice

click images to enlarge

I think in India Sambar is traditionally made with toor dal (hulled, split pigeon peas). If you can't find toor dal in your area, it's available in online stores like this one. You can also use red lentils or split mung beans or chana dal. There are many recipe variations for Sambar, thick or thin or somewhere in between. Some are just dal (split pea/lentil) puree with spices. Others have added vegetables. This recipe uses curry leaves. If you can't find curry leaves, you can substitute bay leaves or just omit. The flavor will be different, but still good.

Recipe below.

yellow split pea puree with tumeric

chiles, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, and onion


Kari's Yellow Split Pea Sambar

1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
1 Tbsp oil, divided
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp sambar masala*
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
4 red arbol chiles (small dried red chiles)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp minced ginger root
1 Roma tomato, diced small
1/2 small cauliflower, chopped bite-size pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 small Indian eggplants, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Precook sweet potato in microwave 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cook yellow split peas with 3 cups water, 1/2 Tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric in pressure cooker 8 minutes; quick release pressure and set aside. (If your pressure cooker doesn't have a jiggle top, you can probably omit the oil. My pressure cooker has a jiggle top, so it's included to prevent foaming and clogging the vents. You can also cook without oil in a regular pan on stovetop until very tender. Peas should be mostly puree.)

In nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Add black mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they pop, add chiles and curry leaves. Stir until leaves begin to crisp. Don't burn. Add onion; cook and stir a minute or two, then add garlic and ginger. Cook 1 minute, then add tomato. Cook 2 or 3 minutes until tomato begins to break down. Add cauliflower and eggplant. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes, then stir contents of skillet into cooked peas along with tamarind concentrate dissolved in warm water, reserved sweet potatoes, sambar masala powder, and salt. Simmer over medium-low, stirring often and adding water if necessary to prevent scorching, for 25 to 30 minutes til vegetables are very soft. For thinner sambar, add additional water. Add cilantro and serve. You can serve this with basmati rice or Indian bread and chutney.

Serves 4. Per 1/4 recipe 447g serving: 281 calories, 4.5 g fat, 17 g fiber, 15 g protein, 56 mg sodium

*You can buy sambar masala spice blend prepackaged. I used MDH brand. There are also numerous sambar masala recipes online.

Note: You can vary vegetables to taste or by what's available. Carrots, green beans, squash, green peas, potatoes, and okra, as well as various Indian vegetables, are often used. Many sambar recipes also include coconut.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Rice Salad

This rice salad appears on my plate in the previous post. I used half black and mahogany rice and half brown mix. Both Lundberg brand. You could use whatever whole-grain rice you prefer.

Kari's Black Rice Salad

1/2 cup japonica black rice (or other)
1/2 cup brown rice (or other)
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor

1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp rubbed sage

1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 cup dried cranberries (or other)
6 Tbsp Almond Accents original oven roasted sliced almonds

1/2 Tbsp Ponzu citrus seasoned soy sauce
2 Tbsp frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate
2 Tbsp white zinfandel wine
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar (or other)
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped (about 6)

Rinse rice. Cook rice as directed in water with bouillon paste (or you can use vegetable broth instead). Place cooked rice in colander and rinse under cool water. Drain well.

Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Saute onion on med-low 15-20 minutes until caramelized. Add water as necessary to prevent sticking/burning. Stir in sage.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add to onion-sage in skillet and bring to simmer. Add apricots; simmer a minute, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, celery, parsley, and cranberries. Add onion-apricot dressing mixture and toss together. Add almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled. I like it chilled.

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Click to enlarge photos
The picture above is my Thanksgiving dinner. Clockwise from top: roll, carrot & sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes & vegetarian gravy, Sweet Black Rice Salad, Tofurky, and cranberry-orange relish.
I find I prefer to eat tofurky cold the next day. I don't like the stuffing they put in it. Too pasty. I suppose I could have made some stuffing/dressing, but I made the rice salad instead. I like the sweet baste recipe that comes with the tofurky. I put sweet potato instead of white potato in with the carrots and onions around the tofurky roast. The baste gives them a nice flavor. The orange-cranberry relish is a crockpot recipe that I found online years ago. A few years after, I found it again in a cookbook by Natalie Haughton called The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever. This may be the original source, I don't know. I don't make the recipe exactly as written. The recipe calls for adding the raisins and apricots along with the nuts after the cranberries are cooked. I prefer to put the raisins and apricots in to cook with the cranberries. When that's done, I stir the walnuts in after it's cooled down. I've used dried peaches and nectarines in place of apricots several times. I always use regular raisins instead of golden raisins that the recipe calls for. This year I used orange-pineapple juice concentrate instead of plain orange juice concentrate. I think you could mix things up with different dried fruits. This relish is tangy-sweet and delicious. I make it every year.

Cranberry-Orange Relish -- adapted from recipe by NatalieHaughton

In a crockpot, mix together:

1 12-oz pkg fresh cranberries

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (or peaches, or nectarines, or other)

1/2 cup raisins

Cook on low heat 3 hours, or until cranberries pop. Turn off the heat. Let cool to warm and stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Cool completely and transfer to covered container and refrigerate. Can be made a week ahead. Makes about 3 cups.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Banana Snack Cake

click to enlarge picture
Moist and sweet, this banana cake is a tasty snack. Serve plain or with frosting. I chose to use peanut butter frosting, but I think many kinds would taste good.

Kari's Banana Snack Cake

1 cup oat flour (1 cup oats pulsed in blender)
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2 Tbsp flaxmeal
6 Tbsp water
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray nonstick 9x9 pan with cooking spray.

In small bowl, combine flaxmeal with water and set aside. Add vinegar to milk and set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine oat flour, unbleached flour, ww pastry flour, brown sugar, coconut flour, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In another bowl, combine mashed banana, flaxmeal mixture, milk/vinegar, and vanilla. You want this smooth.

Add banana mixture to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Frost if desired.

Serves 20
Per serving 104 calories, 1g fat, 3g fiber

Monday, November 16, 2009

Co-Co-Mo Bars

Kari's Co-Co-Mo Bars (24 bars)

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup oats
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 Tbsp water
1 cup chocolate soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz unsweetened applesauce (1 individual-size container)
1/2 cup brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

In small bowl combine flax meal with water; set aside.

In large mixing bowl combine whole wheat flour, rice flour, coconut flour, wheat germ, oats, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl combine flax mixture, applesauce, chocolate soymilk, vanilla, and coffee.

Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir well to combine until moistened. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Cool on wire rack and cut into bars.

These bars have a brownie-like texture and a mild chocolate flavor. For a stronger chocolate flavor, you can add more cocoa. You could also add chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts, or you can sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips over cake while hot from oven; then when they melt, spread over cake. Cool and cut.

Makes 24 bars
Per bar: 80 calories, 1 gram fat

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Southwest Bean and Hominy Salad

Kari's Southwest Bean and Hominy Salad

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained
15 Spanish olives w/pimiento, sliced or chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup salsa
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp ground cumin

In large mixing bowl combine pinto beans, kidney beans, hominy, olives, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro.

In small bowl, combine salsa, vinegar, pepper sauce, garlic, and cumin. If the salsa is very chunky, mash together with a fork to get smooth. Pour over bean mixture and toss to combine. Cover and chill to let flavors meld.

Serve cold or at room temperature, either plain as a side dish or on top of greens and tortilla chips for a taco salad. You could also add avocado, but do so just before serving to prevent browning. Chopped jalapeno or diced chiles could also be added to the salad for more kick.

Makes approximately 8 cups.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vegan Rice-Oats Sausage Patties

These vegan patties are quite sausage-like in texture and taste. The recipe can be found here at My Vegan Cookbook. The only changes I made to the recipe were to add 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke and substitute 1 Tbsp water for the oil in the mixture. I cooked these in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Banana and Spice Puda/Dosa/Pancake

click to enlarge photos

I wasn't sure what to call this. Probably more puda-like than dosa-like. I ate these with apple chutney.

Kari's Banana and Spice Puda/Dosa (Pancake) Makes 4

The banana in this dosa/puda/pancake adds a slight sweetness. The texture is much like a thick corn tortilla. You could add sweet or savory toppings/fillings.

1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup besan (garbanzo bean flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Kapha-balancing churan*, or other spice blend, optional
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
1 small ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbsp plain soy yogurt
3/4 cup water

Mix flax egg and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine wheat germ, rice flour, semolina, besan, baking soda, and spices. Combine mashed banana and soy yogurt with flax egg. Add banana mixture and water to flour mixture. Mix well.

Heat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Spoon batter onto hot griddle, swirling out with spoon to about 6 or 8 inches. You want the puda/dosa/pancake thin, but you don't want holes. Let cook until top dries. Flip and cook until bottom browns, pressing with spatula. Flip again and cook another minute or so. Remove to plate and do next puda/dosa/pancake. You should get 4. More if you make them small. Serve with chutney or roll around favorite fillings.

*Kapha-Balancing Churan:
2 tsp each: ground ginger, black pepper, and turmeric
1 tsp each: ground coriander, ground cumin, sweek paprika, salt, turbinado sugar, and dried mango powder
Other dosha spice mixes can be found here at Fran's House of Ayruveda

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harvest Muffins

click to enlarge photos

Kari's Harvest Muffins (18 muffins)

Egg Substitute for 2 eggs:
2 Tbsp flax meal
6 Tbsp water

Dry ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup barbados molasses
1 tsp vanilla

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.

In small bowl, combine flax meal and 6 Tbsp water; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: flours, wheat germ, oats, turbinado sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and cloves.

In small bowl, combine wet ingredients: flax mixture, pumpkin, water, yogurt, molasses, and vanilla.

Stir wet mixture into dry mixture, then stir in chopped apple, raisins, and walnuts.

Divide batter between 18 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Soup of the Day: Minestrone

click to enlarge photos

Kari's Minestrone

1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1/4 small cabbage, cut in thin shreds (about 2 cups)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz)can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp dried oregano
black pepper
7 cups veg broth (or water and bouillon cubes)
2 small zucchini, diced
1 can white beans, or other bean, rinsed and drained
1 cup mini Farfalle, or other small pasta
1/2 cup peas

In large soup pot, saute onion, celery, carrot, cabbage, bell pepper, and garlic in water. When vegetables soften, add tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and several grinds of black pepper. Add vegetable broth (or water and bouillon) and simmer for 20 minutes. Add zucchini, beans, and pasta. Simmer 7-10 minutes. Test pasta. When tender, stir in peas. Heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more broth or water if soup seems too thick and you want more broth. Serve with crusty bread.

You can add other vegetables, depending on what you have available. Toss in some green beans or corn or spinach or parsley or whatever you like.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hearty Spice Muffins

Not the best photo. These taste much better than they look. Brown foods aren't very photogenic.

Remember those spice cakes made with tomato soup from back in the day? Here's a muffin that also calls for a can of tomato soup. No, it doesn't taste like tomato. It's rich and spicy, and it will make you think harvest time. Add chopped nuts, if desired.

Kari's Hearty Spice Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Egg substitute for 2 eggs:
2 tbsp flax meal
6 tbsp water

Dry ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup oats
1 cup turbinado sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Wet ingredients:
1 can condensed tomato soup
4 ounce unsweetened applesauce (1 individual size container)
1/4 cup orange juice (or apple juice)
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup raisins, soaked to plump in hot water if desired (or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

In small bowl, combine flax meal and water; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, oats, turbinado sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In small bowl, combine wet ingredients: flax mixture, tomato soup, applesauce, orange juice, molasses, and vanilla.

Stir wet mixture into dry mixture, then stir in raisins.

Divide batter between 12 muffins cups. Bake for 30 minutes.

Note: These are fairly sweet. If you prefer less sweetness, you might try reducing the sugar by a few tablespoons. Maybe add a little more flax meal to replace it, so the batter isn't too runny. The raisins add sweetness, too, as does the fruit juice. The juice could be replaced with water or soy milk or nut milk or coffee or whatever liquid you like.

If you experiment with alternate ingredients or pans or whatever, feel free to post your results in the comments so others (is that an echo?) may benefit from your courage. ::grin::

Monday, September 21, 2009

Indian-Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower

Last night's dinner: Indian-Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower, gai lan sauteed with garlic, apple chutney, and paratha. The chutney recipe can be found here. It is delicious!

Kari's Indian-Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower

1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp Indian seed mixture*
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-size pieces
2 cups cauliflower florets, cut bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp Indian red chilli powder (or you could use cayenne)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned diced tomato (or you could use fresh)
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp garam masala
cilantro garnish, optional

Place potatoes and cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl; add about 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook 5 minutes.

In large heavy pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add Indian seed mixture. When seeds pop, add onion. Saute over medium heat 3-4 minutes, til onion begins to brown. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt. Cook and stir to toast spice, then stir in tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes, then stir in water. Bring to boil. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are very tender and sauce thickens. Add peas and cook a couple minutes until peas are hot. Before serving, stir in garam masala. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with your favorite flatbread, sauteed greens, and chutney.

*Indian seed mixture appears in Indian Vegetarian Cooking at Your House by Sunetra Humbad and Amy Schafer Boger, M.D.. It consists of one part each sesame and cumin seeds, and two parts black mustard seed.

Note: This is kid-friendly, not overly-spicy. For a hotter spice, add more chilli or cayenne, or use Sriracha chili sauce at the table.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What can you buy for $57 at Lam's in Phoenix?

bag gai lan
bag baby bok choy
3 bunches spinach
3 Japanese eggplant
large mango
2 cauliflower
bunch cilantro
bunch parsley
10# potatoes
2 bunches scallions
4 limes
3 pickling cukes
2 crowns broccoli
shitake mushrooms
oyster mushrooms
large pkg okra
Thai chiles
fresh thyme
curry leaves
snow peas
Thai basil
2 ears sweet corn
bag bean sprouts
bag green beans
bag shallots
4 heads garlic
12 oz pkg mung beans
3 small pkg fresh udon
fresh tofu
2 firm tofu
Japanese red pepper
1 can mock pork
1 can hot and sour soup
1 can bamboo shoots
1 can baby corn
3 cans coconut milk
jar chile-garlic sauce
pkg shrimp/veggie potstickers (for the husband)
pkg chocolate wafer cookies

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coconut Mung Beans with Sweet Potato

1 cup split peeled mung beans, rinsed*
1/2 T oil
2 pinches black mustard seeds
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
1 can coconut milk
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

Cook the mung beans in saucepan with 3 or 4 cups water until beans are very tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Mung beans cook quickly. Don't let them burn.

Microwave sweet potato in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of water about 4 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add mustard seeds. When they pop, add onion, and saute a few minutes until soft. Add bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Saute about 5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, tumeric, and curry powder. Cook and stir a minute to toast spices. Add tomatoes; cook and stir a couple minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add mung beans, stirring to combine. Add cooked sweet potato and salt. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. If needed, stir in water to thin.

Serve over rice. On the side, I served summer squash sauteed with garlic.

You could also eat this as soup. This is mild and has excellent flavor. For additional heat you could add Indian chili powder, red pepper flakes or cayenne with the spices, or add fresh hot chiles with the bell pepper. Or you could season with pepper sauce at the table.

*I've made a similar dish using red lentils instead of mung beans.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

I don't know who David Kramer is, but he's wrong about potatoes. In a footnote on one of his posts on government dietary advice, he writes:

"¹Potatoes are very fattening. How does this environmentally-"correct" food recommendation jibe with the Brits' former study claiming that obesity causes global warming?"

Potatoes are fattening? I think not. Perhaps he should do a little more research. He can start with Dr. McDougall's March 2009 newsletter where Dr. McDougall writes:

"Most people are completely backwards about the diet that results in health and an attractive appearance. They learn, "Don’t eat starches, because rice turns to sugar, which turns to fat, making you gain weight." If this mantra were true then there would be an epidemic of obesity among the 1.73 billion Asians living on rice-based diets. Confirming this truth, after moving west and replacing their starch with "high-protein" foods, then people from Japan and the Philippines would become trimmer and healthier looking. Is that what you see? "Potatoes are fattening." If true, then why during the 2000 McDougall Adventure trip to Peru, a country where common potatoes are the staple food, were the residents so trim and strong looking? We did see a few overweight people on this trip. The "chubby ones" were the waiters and chefs serving tourists their favorite meat and cheese dishes, and obviously sampling the menu.

"Let’s look together at a globe of the Earth and identify the populations of people who look the youngest, healthiest, and trimmest. Those living in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines stand out. Their diet is mostly rice with some vegetables. In rural Mexico we will find beautiful people eating corn, beans, and squash. No one is overweight or on a diet there. The men, women and children of central New Guinea are nourished almost entirely by sweet potatoes. These people have no need for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Worldwide, populations with the highest consumption of starch are the trimmest and fittest.1 Learn about the health of these trim people and you will discover that they also have extremely low rates of diabetes, arthritis, gallbladder disease, constipation, indigestion, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon."

Sure, many people don't want to hear unsolicited dietary advice, especially from government which rarely gets anything right, but that doesn't mean the dietary advice is necessarily wrong. Besides, lamb tastes like wet dog smells. Blech.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Peanut Patties

My camera is still dead, but I wanted to share these patties. Serve the patties drizzled with your favorite peanut sauce or other favorite sauce. I used Vegan Dad's peanut sauce recipe, slightly modified. (Less chile-garlic sauce and a tad less peanut butter. I used soy milk and added a bit of flaked coconut.) The patties have a bit of a bite from the jalapeno. I served these with rice and steamed broccoli.

Kari's Peanut Patties (about 9 patties)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp canola oil (or a bit of water)
1 small onion, diced small
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped small (2 portobellos)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp mirin
1 pkg (14-oz) firm tofu, frozen and thawed, pressed and crumbled
1 cup oat bran
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
3 Tbsp sweet potato powder (potato flour)
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian mushroom oil
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Grind the peanuts into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sauté vegetables in the canola oil (or water) until soft. Add mirin and cook off a minute or so. Cool slightly and add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much vegetable broth as needed to create a moist pattie that holds together but isn't runny. Add more potato powder if the mixture seems too wet.
Shape mixture into patties using 1/3-cup measure. Cook patties in lightly oiled nonstick skillet over medium-high for about 3 minutes per side until browned.

Serve with peanut sauce, along with rice and steamed vegetable.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cream of Potato and Broccoli Soup

My camera has fallen, and it can't get up!

Last night I made Vegan Dad's Cream of Potato and Broccoli Soup, altered a tad. It looked just like his picture, except my shallow bowls are white. I used half the amount of nutritional yeast (I'm a weenie.) and added a bit of Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor and an extra clove of garlic. I also used almond milk instead of soy milk, and russet potatoes instead of red. I served the soup with fresh French bread warm from the bakery in the corner grocery store. Very nice dinner on a cold, wet day.