Category Archives: Vegan

Coconut Curry Popcorn

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Ingredients:

1/2 Cup popcorn kernels

1/4 cup or more Coconut Oil

Fine ground salt

Spices, in order of greatest-to-least proportion used:

Curry
Paprika, smoked (go easy if using scant oil)
Cumin
Cilantro flakes
Black Pepper
Coriander (just a dash)

Directions:

For popping in pot:
Turn on the exhaust fan and open all the windows. This recipe makes smoke.

Heat a tablespoon of oil on med-high heat with 3 kernels. When kernels pop, add the rest. Keep the lid on, and using mitts pick up the pot and shake it vigorously to move the kernels around, every 6 seconds or so. Continue until all the kernels are popped. If the oil smokes a little that’s okay, but if it smokes a LOT then turn the heat down because you don’t want it to catch fire. When popcorn is done, transfer to a bowl and add the remaining oil and spices.

Popping in a popcorn machine:
Pop the popcorn according to the directions on the machine, then transfer to a large bowl and add the oil. If the popcorn is hot, the oil may melt by itself – else, heat it in a saucepan and drizzle over.

Season: salt liberally. If the salt doesn’t stick to the popcorn, add more oil. Add the seasonings one at a time, sprinkling and mixing thoroughly. Exact amounts aren’t important, so much as the overall flavor, so add and adjust to your liking.

Eat and enjoy!

::BK::

 

 

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Ginger Stir-fry #1

Quick recipe jot-down for reference!

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, slice
  • Carrots, slice
  • Celery, slice
  • Red cabbage, in strips
  • red peppers, sliced small — I used canned peppers.
  • sesame seeds
  • tofu, extra-firm (≈4 oz)
  • cilantro leaves, small handful
  • tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • garlic powder
  • honey and/or stevia powder
  • olive oil
  • dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper

In a cast-iron pan, add some sesame seeds. Heat dry, until start to brown. (if using pre-toasted seeds, just add them with the veggies.) Add oil and onions. Saute, adding the rest of the veggies. Chop and add tofu and spices. If using soy sauce instead of tamari, may need more salt. Add the sweetener for a teriyaki taste, and a dab of mustard for some zing. Add cilantro at the end.

It came out quite good, and I will be trying this again.
The tofu disappears into the flavors of the mix. Chicken would also go. I prefer tofu over chicken, so I was happy. 🙂

Tastes great as a leftover, when the flavors have had time to marry.

::BK::

Squash/Brussels/Cranberry Salad

I love cranberries, and their tart-yet-satisfying flavor! I must admit, my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce.  ^_^ Happy to see them in season again, I’ve been looking for ways to use them. Found this ‘salad’ recipe and knew I had to try it.

This recipe turned out to be not quite as savory as I expected, but still super delicious!

I had more like 1.5 lbs of squash and brussels sprouts, so here’s what I did with my edits:

Dish:

1 butternut squash, cubed
1.5 bags of frozen/fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
0.5 cups frozen (or fresh) cranberries, cut in half
1 TB parsley, chop fine

Dressing:

olive oil
dijon mustard

Put the sprouts and squash in baking pans, dress with salt and olive oil, and roast in oven: 400º for 15 minutes or more, until cooked but not mushy.

Put cranberries in baking pan, and pop in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until soft and juicy. (If using fresh, skip this step.)

Mix a teaspoon of Dijon mustard with a little oil.

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. Eat!

Time: about 30 minutes total.
Cost: low, considering the affordable prices of squash, brussels, and cranberries in season.

This tastes great warm, but can also be eaten cold. The original has a bit of sugar from the craisins and vinaigrette, but my version is totally yeast-free, except maybe the tiny bit of vinegar in the mustard (which I decided to let slide).
A satisfying dish which makes a great main dish or beside a lettuce salad, and I found it easy to pack to school for lunch! Will be making this one again.

::BK::

Best Green Smoothie

This is my absolute favorite ‘green smoothie’ yet! Try it, you really might like it. 😀

Best Green Smoothie: Avocado/Kale
Makes 1-2 servings (almost 16oz)

Stuff:

2 large leaves frozen kale = a generous 1 cup packed
1/2 frozen avocado [see note below]
stevia (I use 1 tiny scoop of pure stevia powder, but other kinds would work)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water or milk (unsweetened sunflower seed milk is the best!)
Optional: 1 TB wheatgrass powder for an added kick.

Blend kale first with just a little bit of water. It should shatter and grind up well. Then add avocado and blend till thick. Add water/milk and flavorings.

green smoothie in a glass.

Enjoy plain or add your favorite ‘kick’! (berries, wheatgrass, flax…)

That’s it! Super quick, and AMAZINGLY delicious.
If it tastes too ‘avocado-y’, add salt a 1/4 tsp at a time ’till it mellows out.

Frozen kale: wash fresh kales leaves, put in freezer bags, and freeze. Then pry off a frozen leaf when you need a smoothie. Frozen kale is great because it breaks apart easily (rather than being all stringy in the blender), and seems to be less bitter than the fresh kind.
Frozen avocado: I preserve hass avocados by blending 1 avocado with a few tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt, and freezing the puree in an airtight container. I then break off chunks for smoothies. You could do this, or use fresh avocado.
If using fresh avocado:
-Only use perfectly ride ones.
-Add some ice cubes if you prefer a cold/slushy smoothie
-Add lemon juice and salt

This smoothie keeps surprisingly well: I’ll often save some in the fridge till the next day, with no problems. Avocado is a great replacement for banana in smoothies — I actually like it better!
I love this drink: the greens are energizing, and the natural fat of the avocado makes this a satisfying breakfast. Fresh fruit and a tall glass of green goodness is my favorite way to start the day. 🙂

Did you know? Wheatgrass is an amazing superfood! Whenever I have it for breakfast, my brain is  clearer and more focused for hours afterwards. I always have wheatgrass on exam days, to prevent brain-foggyness on the test. (seriously!)

Enjoy.

::BK::

Pizza! +cauliflower, -cheese

I saw this awesome Cauliflower Pizza Crust and suddenly knew I had to have pizza. So I made two types of crusts, went shopping for toppings, googled ‘vegan pizza toppings’ for ideas (because I can’t have cheese), and got to work! Here’s what I came up with:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - thin

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – thin

 

First, I made a crust with cauliflower and a mix of GF flours (millet, amaranth, quinoa). The recipe (link above) made two whole baking sheets! Also, best GF-baked-good yet! The cauliflower makes the difference – I’m going to try using it in other baking projects, too.

 

 

 

 

square pizza crust

Fast cooking, good texture

 

I also made a quinoa crust according to this recipe. Deliciously Ella is a new addition to my food-blog faves – her food selection is close to mine, and I’ve learned a few things from her recipes. Definitely worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

Two combos!

Two combos!

 

Toppings!

Left side: squash (quick roasted, cubed), onions (fried/carmelized), and bell peppers.

Right side: squash, onions, spinach, and portobello mushroom. I ate one of these; it was quite good.

Added spices: basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil.

 

 

I also did a classic tomato-sauce-and-olives, And one with summer squash. I didn’t take pics before I froze them, but I might add some here later.

It was interesting to try out the portobellos: portobello are really the only kind of mushroom I don’t mind (I really dislike the texture and flavor of the smaller ones), so I thought I’d get one and experiment.

After adding the toppings, I stuck ’em back in the oven for 5min or so to make everything stick together as much as possible (a challenge w/o cheese or thick sauces), then cut and froze the slices. Now I have a whole bunch of fast-food meals in my freezer: grab a slice, stick it in a oven, toaster oven, or microwave, and it’s ready in 10min!

Serve with a nice green salad. Did I mention I’ve been craving green salad lately? I’m bringing lettuce back into my dinners.

Notes for next time: The flavor of the ones shown above is really good, but I did still want the texture of sauce. Tomato sauce would drown out the fine squash flavor, so I think perhaps a sauce of bell peppers would work (since they’re in there anyway). Or, alternately, make a creamy squash paste and then put the peppers and onions on top. If said sauce had the right spices, it could totally hold its own to cheese. Most cheeseless pizzas rely on pesto, but that’s out-of-season/expensive, so I’m trying to find alternatives. And of course I could just stick to tomatoes and spinach… but I want to put all kinds of fancy vegetables on my pizza! Like asparagus — I’m going to make one with asparagus sometime.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m pleased with my pizzas, and shall enjoy their eating greatly. 🙂

::BK::

Tumeric Sautée

A great late-summer dish with fresh veggies!

veggies in frying pan.

Cooking up some color.

Stuff:
1 large bell pepper [slice]
1 small or ½ large onion [slice]
2 small or 1 medium zucchini squash [slice]
Cilantro, about ⅔ cup worth [chop]
oil for pan

Spice:
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric

It’s like a sauté but not quite. Cook up everything in a frying pan with olive oil, on medium-low heat. Add the onions first, then zucchini, peppers, and cilantro in succession. Time it so that each item is about ⅓ done cooking when you add the next one. (Bell peppers will end up being mostly raw; add them earlier if you want them soft.) When everything is done to your liking, season with turmeric and salt.
Eat!
Makes 2 servings.
Time: 15 minutes (on gas stove)

====
Notes:
Be careful with the turmeric. It stains all types of surfaces.
Goes with: limeade, fajita meat, guacamole, rice or millet
scalable: somewhat: can feed more if you have more vegetables.
Most spendy item: bell peppers. The organic ones are 5.99/lb (!), commercial ones around $1/each.
Cost of this recipe as I made it: ≈$4.00. Deliciousness-for-money rating: 3 of 5.

::BK::