Ethiopian party!

The first time we went for Ethiopian several years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  It’s a damn shame that Ethiopian food/culture/music doesn’t get more visibility because it’s all so awesome!  The food has quickly become one of my favourites and I’m super pleased that I was able to help my friend Kittee from Cake Maker to the Stars test recipes during the creation of her new book, Teff Love.  It’s been released now; mine just came in the mail on Friday and I’m already digging in.

We are fortunate that the closest restaurant to us—literally, like a 2 minute walk—is an Ethiopian place.  We go there for their DELICIOUS vegan platter (suuuper cheap too) often, and they sell injera (the spongy, sourdough flatbread that you scoop up your food with) by the bag.  So, it’s ridiculously easy for us to buy a bag and whip up a spontaneous Ethiopian feast.  Lucky, I know.  It’s a part of why I’m so attached to living in our neighbourhood!

Vegan Ethiopian Food

Clockwise, we’ve got ye’tikil gomen be’karot (ginger-garlic cabbage and carrots), ye’kaysir atakilt (beet salad), ye’dubba alicha (roasted butternut in a spicy sauce) and ye’misser wot be’timatim (red lentils).

Bonus: these recipes utilize super cheap ingredients (lentils, cabbage, beets, squash!) and make a tonne so we have meals for days.

– Crystal

Bowl Fever

I’m still obsessing over my food from Aux Vivres. My project over the last couple weeks has been trying to replicate some of their bowls! Oh boy, their bowls are awesome and make you feel like Popeye after you’ve eaten one.

Here’s my Dragon Bol dupe!

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Shredded carrots, beets, red cabbage, rice, greens, grilled tofu, and “dragon” sauce.  For the sauce, I used this recipe, which is tasty but didn’t quite hit the mark on authenticity.  Still, absolutely worth making.  Here’s the translation, as the recipe in the link is en Français:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp tablespoons maple syrup
2 tbsp tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, crushed

And here’s Trevor’s dupe of the Bouddha Bol…

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Steamed broccoli, lots o’ greens, rice, shredded carrots, grilled tofu, sesame seeds, and absent pumpkin seeds and sauce.  For the sauce, we used the ninja carrot ginger dressing from Vegan Eats World, which the author has kindly posted on her blog.

We ate these for DAYS.  The good thing about bowls is you basically just do prep for them and then assemble as needed.  So yum.  And an easy way to pack a ton of veg into your life!

We’ve been enjoying barbecuing tofu lately, too, and Trevor did some up in the ginger beer tofu marinade from the new cookbook Salad Samurai.  Man, Terry Hope Romero is killin’ it with this one.  It’s so full of deliciousness, and everything we’ve made so far has come together really quickly, which is great for week nights.  Served with some Caribbean-inspired red beans and rice, this was mighty filling and protein-rich.

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Also, cake happened this week!

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I had an itch for cake soooo badly.  Work has been crazy stressful and I just wanted some damn cake so badly at 8:30 at night on a Tuesday.  But no dang flour in the house!  Then I remember I read about this flourless chocolate cake recipe and it sounded pretty good.  I’m usually pretty skeptical of gluten-free stuff, but this was so good and fudgy.  A tiny piece is all you need.

I got the recipe from here, and topped it with a simple chocolate glaze (icing sugar, a bit of cocoa powder, soy milk) and of course sprinkles because I just love them.

Ethiopian Cabbage & Carrots

This weekend we found ourselves at the end of a grocery cycle, with plenty of carrots and cabbage, and very little of anything else. We thought “What better way to use up a surplus of farmer’s market cabbage and carrots than to make a spicy Ethiopian dish!?”

I sent Crystal off downtown to find us some injera (Ethiopian fermented flat bread with a sort of spongy texture…it’s so good) while I prepared this. Its a simple recipe which takes about 40 minutes to prepare, and most of that time you’ll just be reading or hovering by the stove while the cabbage and potatoes cook.

It turned out amazing and we ended up with enough leftovers for a full meal the next day. 

3 tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon berbere
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
+ A few pieces of Injera (we buy ours at a local Ethio restaurant, but you could make your own)

All you need to do is heat your oil in a pot over medium heat, and then toss in the onion and carrot. Once that has cooked for a few minutes you can add the cabbage, garlic, ginger, and spices. Stir it up well and let the cabbage cook down for about 10 minutes. If you want you can add a bit of water to keep the spices from burning at the bottom while the cabbage cooks. Next you’ll want to add in the potatoes and sweet potatoes, cover the pot and let it cook on low heat until the potatoes are done.

Next, lay a piece of injera flat on a bit plate, and scoop a shareable sized portion on top.  Have a stack of more injera handy, as it will be your “utensils” – you’ll scoop up the stew with pieces of it.  Once you’re all done, eat your plate injera, it’s good.

Have fun and stay in school.

-Trevor

Tempeh Asado Tacos, Braised Kale and Lime Cilantro Rice

A light summery evening called for dinner on the balcony.  What’s more summery than tacos?  Okay, probably a lot of things.  But really, who needs an excuse for tacos?  Tempeh tacos!  Tempeh asado tacos!

We made the tempeh asado from Viva Vegan (you can find the recipe online in Google Books here!) which is one of our absolute favourite ways to eat tempeh and it’s dead easy.

To assemble, lay 2-3 pieces of tempeh onto your tortilla and kind of smoosh with a fork to break them up.  Then, top with shredded cabbage (ours was marinated in a vinegary jalapeno dressing like the Curdito salad, also from Viva Vegan), thinly sliced radishes and tomatillo salsa.  Perfection, thy name is tempeh taco.

Paired with the lime cilantro rice (also from Viva Vegan) and a simple side of garlicky braised kale, it made for perfect balcony dinner food.

– Crystal

Braised Cabbage and Seitan with Roasted Vegetables

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope everyone had a great holiday.  Ours was…busy.  It always is, and I’ve come to accept that, but it still wears me out!

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to update the blog more.  I love sharing vegan grub with people.  It seems more and more people are looking to cut out some, if not all, animal products from their diets and plant-based recipes are where it’s at.  I’m continually passionate about vegan food and I hope to reflect that on the blog.

Seitan!  And cabbage!  So freaking good.  This recipe comes from Appetite for Reduction and comes together in a snap, assuming you’ve got your seitan already made.  I am kind of afraid of making any type of simmered seitan — I’ve been burned so many times by it not turning out — so I always make the Seitan o’ Greatness recipe that has been floating around the PPK for years and years.  I’ll post it below since it’s pretty much public domain at this point.

Everything is better with a side of roasted vegetables that have been drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper.  Here I’ve got zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and sweet onion.

Seitan o’ Greatness
Originally created by PPK member Lachesis

1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp allspice (I never have all-spice so I leave this out)
3/4 cup cold water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (I can never find this so I always just use soy sauce)
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed (I just sprinkle in about 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes.
Form into a log (6-8″ long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

– Crystal

Káposzta Galuska (Hungarian Cabbage Noodles)

Growing up I ate a ton of cabbage noodles.  All the time.  My nagymama would make huge batches of it, enough to feed a small Hungarian army, and it would be food for us for days.  Still to this day, it is one of my favourite things to eat.
The following recipe, in its simplicity, is still way more bells and whistles than the cabbage noodles I ate.  I’ll be posting the more pared down version later this month.

Serve this with a big green salad.  Alternatively, try a Hungarian-style cucumber slaw, there’s a million recipes for it online.

Hungarian Cabbage Noodles


2 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large sweet onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
1 1/2 cup soy milk
12 oz pasta (ribbon, fettuccine, etc)

Heat oil in a large saute pan set to medium high. Add the mustard seed and cook just until they begin to pop. Add the sweet onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and sautée another minute before adding the  cabbage.  Reduce heat to low-medium, cover it and let it cook down until it reduces in volume and becomes nicely browned, 20-30 minutes.  Then add the salt, pepper, sour cream, soy milk and paprika. Stir together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked pasta.

I generally begin cooking the pasta to al dente around the time the cabbage starts getting to the colour I want it.

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A lovely chum from the PPK sent me a bunch of these awesome accidentally-vegan candies from the US.  Candy corn flavoured gumdrop things!  Blood orange ones!  Yum.

– Crystal

Leftovers Dinner

What a plate of leftovers!  We have been cooking out of Appetite for Reduction a lot, so plated here is leftovers of Mushroom and Cannelini Beans Paprikas (we used navy beans) overtop of Scarlet Barley, and Braised Cabbage and Seitan, with my favourite thing ever – kale.  I love kale so much, I don’t care if it’s “rabbit food”.  I like it sautéed with some garlic and salt.

– Crystal
Trevor’s note: The paprikas and scarlet barley combo was not only incredible, but one of the most colourful dishes I’ve ever made. It makes for great leftovers, which actually tasted better having chilled in the fridge for a day.