Cranberry-Cashew Biryani and 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Moskowitz is my bible.  I refer to it several times a week; everything is just so easy, flavourful and full of nutrition.  This pair is no exception and is worth the price of the cookbook alone.  I swear I’m not paid for these endorsements, I just really love all the titles that Isa puts out.

The korma is full of zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, peas, cilantro, garlic and ginger smothered in rich-tasting, succulent, spiced coconut sauce.  And the biryani!  Little sweet cranberries, carrots (mine are heirloom yellow ones which look oddly like pineapple in this picture), lots of spices, and the nuttiness of brown basmati rice.

You can find the cranberry-cashew biryani recipe in the google books preview over here.

– Crystal

Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry

Why don’t I make this recipe more often?  It’s so good – from Veganomicon.  It’s got caufliflower, red lentils, parsnip and a ton of spices in it, it’s so flavourful and really tastes even better the next day.  On top of it is a few pieces of Masala Baked Tofu from Appetite for Reduction.  Chewy, spicy, and a nice addition to the creaminess of the curry.

The salad is just simple but features a dressing that I heard some of my vegan friends talking about on Facebook – a mixture of vegenaise, soy sauce and nutritional yeast to taste.  I thinned it out with a bit of water, too.  WOAH MY GOD.  Best salad dressing ever.  Ever.  I could drink it straight up, probably.  But I won’t.  In the salad is some cherry tomatoes from my balcony and some peppers given to us from Trevor’s friend.
– Crystal

Chickpea Piccata

Every recipe I try from Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz just blows me away in how easy, healthy and amazingly tasty it is.  This recipe is just totally wow.  I love the fact that it comes together so easily and tastes amazing.  Isa recommends pairing it with the Caulipots (Cauliflower/Potato mash) recipe from the same cookbook, and you can see some of that peaking out from underneath the heap of piccata in the photo.  It is so good!  I totally didn’t feel like buying arugula to serve the piccata over as the recipe suggests (I had no plans to make anything else with arugula on my weekly shopping list), so I just served it over baby spinach.

The recipe can be found online here.

– Crystal

Cauliflower and Mushroom Pot Pie with Black Olive Crust

…I really have no idea.

This might be the dish I would choose as my last meal if I were on death row or something.  It’s creamy, delicately herbed, warming and really stick-to-your-ribs.  The black olive flecked biscuit topping creates a wonderful balance for the creamy filling.  It’s from Veganomicon, which, if you don’t own already, you really need to.

And it’s so good that I didn’t get a chance to photograph it before we ate it all.  Oops!  Next time.

I did find it posted online for those of you without the cookbook, find it here.

– Crystal

Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry and Masala Baked Tofu

There are so many recipes to work through from Veganomicon, which I have had for a few years now, so I never got around to making this recipe.  Well, I’m going to be making this more often because it was delicious and easy!  We had this with the Masala Baked Tofu from Appetite for Reduction on top for some added yum.

– Crystal

Creamy Risotto, Balsamic-Glazed Portabellos and Roasted Cauliflower

This risotto is out-of-this-world creamy.  It’s the best comfort food ever.  Paired with a simple balsamic glazed portabello and some roasted cauliflower, it’s comfort food with a bit of sophistication.  

Oven Baked Risotto
from Ste Martaen website
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
4 cups of water (with 1 heaping tablespoon of Better than Bouillon no chicken base) stirred in
1.5 teaspoon salt
couple turns of fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoon of vegan margarine
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
bunch of chopped fresh spinach or parsley or herb of your choice
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In a dutch oven or oven proof pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Add crushed garlic and rice, stirring to coat all the grains in oil.  Stir in your liquid, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover, transfer to oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, over low heat, stir in about a 1/2 cup of water, chopped spinach, vegan margarine.
If the consistency of the risotto is not as creamy as you would like, add a bit more water.
Serve hot & immediately.
– Crystal

Indian Feast

Lentil dahl with hot sauce, aloo matar

We tag-teamed dinner on Sunday night.  Trevor tackled the lentil dahl, and I worked on my bastardized version of aloo matar (Indian potatoes and peas).  I added cauliflower and made it kind of an aloo matar / aloo gobi hybrid.  Served with white basmati rice, this warmed our bellies – which we need because it’s still really freakin’ cold in Southwestern Ontario.

I really wish I could give you an idea of how I made the aloo matar, but it was really just a bunch of throwing stuff in the pot.  A good Indian curry (in my opinion) has lots of onion, fresh garlic and ginger, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and of course curry powder which contains all of the above spices and more.

Once you get your onions cooking in a bit of oil, throw in the garlic and ginger.  After that, get your spices in there and mixed up with your onion mixture – the essence of Indian cooking is all in this yummy pile of onions at the bottom of your pot!  Let your onions and spices cook for about a minute.  Get your tomatoes in there, and some water or broth, and your veggies.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until your vegetables are soft and the flavours have combined.  Maybe I’m not doing it right, but that’s how I do it and it’s always delicious.

Now the lentil dahl, we do have a proper recipe for that!  This is one of the most delicious dahls I’ve ever eaten.

Lentil Dahl

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds (or powder)
1 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 large onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp chile powder (reduce if you are using a very hot variety)
1 lb red lentils
4-6 cups vegetable stock
juice of 1-2 limes
Siracha hot sauce to taste
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat add the coconut oil, mustard seeds and spices. When the seeds pop add the ginger, onion, garlic and chilie along with a pinch of salt/pepper. Saute for several minutes or until the onions are transcluscent. Next, add the lentils and stock. Bring to a boil for several minutes, turn heat down to med-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat, stir in lime juice and sesame oil. Add some soy sauce, some salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve with hot basmati rice, a vegetable curry and maybe some naan bread!

– Crystal