Vegan Coconut Curry

Here’s a recipe I encountered that was such a big hit that it was asked by my family to be in the regular meal rotation. This recipe is an adoption from America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Cookbook. And by the way, it’s not a vegan cookbook, but it has some great vegan recipes in it and recipes that can easily be adopted. I strongly recommend it.

I served mine over rice. The recipe below is for the curry only. When prepping dishes like this, and they are served with rice, I usually begin the rice first and monitor it as I’m preparing the main dish, which is this case is the curry. Step one is always prepare the rice.

Ingredients

 

Ingredients Quantity
Tomatoes 2
Olive oil 2-4 tablespoons
Curry Powder 2 teaspoons
Garam masala 1 1/2 teaspoons
Onions 2 (diced)
Red potatoes (small) 4 (diced)
Garlic cloves 4 (crushed)
Fresh Ginger Small knob, 1/2 inch (diced)
Tomato paste 1 tablespoon
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Water 1 1/2 cups
Frozen peas 1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk 1/2 can, or full can if you really like coconut
Salt 1/4 teaspoons

Instructions

  1. Put tomatoes in blender or food processor until chunky, with some pieces still visible. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add curry, garam masala and cook for about 10 seconds. Stir on onions, potatoes, salt. Cook and stir for about ten minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Add cauliflower and stir well until florets are covered in spices.
  4. Gradually stir in water and scrape the bottom. Stir in chickpeas and processed tomatoes. Cover and bring to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  5. Uncover and stir in peas and milk. Cook for two minutes until peas thaw.

When I cooked it I added a can of coconut milk. It was really strong – but delicious. I would stick with the 1/2 can.

Enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

I’m preparing Thanksgiving meal for a lot of people this year. Normally I’ll do acorn squash dishes, which are cute, but for a lot of people it might be difficult, and might not make a good main for people accustomed to a grand centerpiece. So instead, I’m focusing on fall colors, and thinking of a collection of dishes a little closer to a traditional thanksgiving meal. For the centerpiece I might go with oven roasted cauliflower covered in a ginger tomato sauce surrounded by umami infused chickpeas. This will make a beautiful and delicious plant-based center. Oh, and yeah, can’t forget the chili. That will steal the show.

But the center is only one portion of the entire feast. There will be a variety of tastes and I’ll be cooking for non-vegans, so I need to think of comfort foods. Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving comfort food. I’ve begun combing the interwebs for some recipes and here are two I found I’ll be experimenting with:

Regarding the second recipe, I’m interested in the pumpkin based goopy cheese. I think that has other applications.

I’ll let you know how they work.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Blueberry Bundt Cake

Vegan baking can sometimes be a mystery. This is a recipe from an awesome cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking, that kind of demystifies the mysterious mystery. I brought this to a party recently and the hosts could not believe it was vegan. It’s a little cliche in that it uses tofu, but don’t let that fool you. This cake will absolutely satisfy and is well worth the effort. Give it a try, and if you’re non-vegan, this will make you wonder what’s really over the rainbow.

And I strongly recommend you check out this book. I’ve tried several recipes and every single one has been a winner. Tonight I made the German Apple Cake – really, really good!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup tofu (soft or firm)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Orange zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a bundt pan
  2. blend tofu, water, orange juice and extract until smooth
  3. in a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and zest. Make a well in the center of this mixture and pour the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert and let sit for about ten more minutes

Bon Appétit

Vegan Chili Recipe

It’s that time of year. After a hard day of delivering presents to children around the world, Santa likes to come home, sit in front of his fireplace, put on a pair of cozy slippers, and have one of his little minion elves bring him a nice, heaping bowl of chili. It’s true. Little known fact, Santa is a vegan. That is why he is able to do so many amazing things that night. Through several connections I have, I’ve been able to source the recipe for Santa’s chili. Here it is. I probably won’t be receiving anything this year for posting it, but I’ll take that risk because the post was well intended.

The Biggest Threat to National Security might not be Climate Change

I’ve been doing some thinking about the concept of evil recently. Much of this stems from our president’s response to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, as well as his desire to make healthcare unattainable to those that need it most.

There was a question during the 2016 debates that was posed to Bernie Sanders regarding the biggest threat to national security, and Bernie cleverly responded climate change. I believe our president said illegal immigration when posed the same question–don’t quote me on that, though it sounds like something he’d say. But isn’t a lack of empathy towards the poor and less fortunate from those in power just as big of a threat to national security as climate change, immigration, or some rogue nation? Could lax gun laws also pose a similar security threat? They are supposed to keep us secure, but somehow the math in that equation isn’t really adding up.

What I’m dancing around is that the president doesn’t have any real interest in helping Puerto Rico recover. Puerto Ricans do not vote. Texans do. Environmental regulation isn’t really in the best interest of large corporations profiting on abusing the earth’s resources. Ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable healthcare isn’t in the interest of insurance providers or those that govern. And ensuring that strict gun laws exist to help prevent more senseless killings is not in the interest of the gun lobby or the NRA. War though is big business and the big boys like that. See the thread here? I’m proposing that maybe the biggest threat to our national security might not be as easy as a canned answer that tested well in a focus group, works great on a debate stage, and generates media soundbites. Shoot, Donald Trump might not even be the biggest risk to national security, he is just a man–an evil man, but just a man nonetheless. America will continue to survive after him. But what drives him and those like him will remain, and that is self-interest, which is at the root of climate-change crisis and all of the other crisis we face. It might be that we have created a system that has enabled it’s own undoing.

Is it possible for people and leaders within a democratic capitalist system to shed their self-interest for the sake of national security?

More Food for Thought

Here’s one to help get started with as it relates to national security and our wants (self-interest) – The US population is increasing exponentially. The need for a better food management system is imperative. American’s eat meat because they want to, not because they need to. If we shifted to a plant-based diet and used arable land more efficiently, we’d be able to feed more people here and around the world. There are a lot of studies proving this – I’m not going to cite one, simply turn to your Netflix account and watch a food documentary. But if you are still insistent on some proof – here’s something from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition you could read. The study concludes that the lactoovegetarian diet is better and more sustainable, but not sustainable in the long-run considering it’s fossil-fuel requirements. If as a society we acted on what was best for what we need now and for the future, we’d reconsider our diets entirely and use technology to help us develop sustainable farming methods. But the thing is, I’m not a baby calf nor do I intend on growing up to be a 400 lb bovine–keep your milk and cheese, Dr. Lactoovegetarian.

Go vegan.

VegFest 2017, Phoenixville, PA

This weekend had the opportunity to swing by the VegFest in Phoenixville, PA, which is a street fest celebrating local vegan cooking cooking, brands, and other animal and environmental activist organizations. It was a great thing to see the vegan community so alive, and it was even better to see how long the lines were at each food station. I didn’t get any food but did pick up some pins and met people promoting some forward ideas. One brand in particular, Supernatural Foods/Ghost Vegan, was promoting a delicious coconut jerky and merchandise. The jerky was excellent and its smoky and peppery flavor notes hit all the right places. Some other vendors that were there that caught my attention were:

As mentioned, there were also plenty of food vendors. The lines were way too long for each, so I can’t really comment on them. But if the lines are any indication of what was happening on the plate, I’m sure they were awesome. For a full list of vendors, click here.

Here is a picture of Pee-Wee doing a trick

Pee-Wee of the Pig Placement Network
Pee-Wee the Pig performing a trick at the VegFest in Phoenixville, PA

Why I was There

I was there for Green Party activities, primarily promoting Jules Mermelstein for Superior Court for PA. I met up with a few other folks from the Delaware County Green Party, and the chair of the Chester County Green Party.  Together we canvassed and promoted the Jules, and a Green that is running for mayor of Phoenixville, PA, Nate Craig. The folks I spoke to were very receptive and excited that a we could have a Green judge elected in PA.

And on Sunday, there was a food vest in Media, PA–no real vegan options except the Indian restaurant, Shere Punjab, and they only had one dish for vegan consumption. In comparison, the VegFest was extremely vibrant with a great crowd, whereas the food fest in Media was just kind of just slow-moving and there. Simply put–vegans just have better and healthier parties.  Something like this has to be done in Media.