Kidney Bean Mushroom Curry

So, you probably get by now that we eat a lot of curries.  Here’s another one of our favourites.  I’ve learned how awesome it is to take leftover curry, drain as much liquid out as you can, add some flour, bread crumbs and a bit of vital wheat gluten until you can form a patty, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.  Instant yum, especially tucked into a pocket pita.  That’s the plan for the leftovers.

Kidney Bean Mushroom Curry
Originally found on The Vegan Mouse (with a few of my own variations)

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup water
1 container fresh mushrooms sliced
1 14oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high and sautée onion for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add ginger and garlic and sautée for another 2 minutes.  Add margarine and let it melt, then add cumin, cayenne, garam masala and salt and fry for a minute. Add tomato paste, chopped tomato, mushrooms and stir around some more before adding soymilk and water. Let it come to a boil. Add beans and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add cilantro at the end. Serve hot with rice.

Mega MoFo Quiz

MoFo DISASTER!  Our oven broke and much of what we had planned was baked or roasted or otherwise needing the oven!  Our landlords aren’t the most prompt folks ever, so I guess we just stay tuned until it gets fixed/replaced/whatever.  For now, it’s quiz time!  These always float around every MoFo and I find them interesting.  I hope you do, too.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Natur-a organic soy.  It’s so creamy and delicious.  I like the strawberry and chocolate varieties for a quick “milkshake”, too.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook
I assume this was meant to be answered at the beginning of MoFo, but I’ll answer now with what we’ve got planned for the rest.  We are going to be making Hungarian crepes called palacsinta, smoky maple sausages, and talking about the art of Big Salads.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
I’m not terribly in love with popcorn, but when I do eat it, I like nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I was making the Spanakopita from Vegan with a Vengeance which is this really labour-intensive recipe.  I had made all the filling and the last step was putting in the nutmeg.  The lid opened up on my nutmeg and probably 1/2 cup fell into the bowl with the filling.  I tried scooping as much of it out as I could (it was only supposed to have a pinch!) but it was still super nutmeggy.  To this day, I can’t stand the smell or taste of nutmeg.

5. Favorite pickled item?
I love pickled things!  Regular ol’ cucumber pickles are great, but I also like pickled peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots.  I also like Indian pickle as well, which is usually pickled lime.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Ha!  “Organize”.  I have some in a special folder in my email; that was my system before I discovered Evernote which easily clips recipes for me without me having to email them to myself.  I also have a ton bookmarked in my browser.  AND I have some organized on my desktop.  AND some printed out.  AND in recipe books, of course.  I know where to find each recipe, but I still don’t think my system really counts as organized.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Recycle and garbage.  We live in an apartment and tried balcony vermicomposting one summer; it was a smelly and liquidy adventure.  The city we live in unfortunately doesn’t have a composting program yet.  Sometimes scraps go out to the squirrels, though.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Marmite with toast, peanut butter, mac and cheese.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Even though our MoFo has been centered around the Hungarian influence of my maternal grandmother on my cooking, I have to say that my most fond memory of food when I was young was in my paternal grandmother’s kitchen.  She was a very 50’s housewife-style cook, lots of jello molds and such.  But she made me feel very special, I had my own apron I was able to wear and she would let me help and I’d feel like a “big girl”.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Purely Decadent peanut butter zigzag.  That stuff is like crack.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
My “borrowed” Cuisinart food processor from my mother-in-law.  It’s so awesome!

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
“How It All Vegan” by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Raspberry or my fresh strawberry freezer jam.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Some sort of fancy chocolate cake with a couple different buttercreams.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tofu. ❤

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
I like to cook in the evenings.  I love baking in my pajamas at night.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
A juicer, crockpot, roll of paper towels and Trevor’s coffee bodum.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Seitan loaf, lulo pulp, orange juice cans

20. What’s on your grocery list?
We just went shopping yesterday, so nothing, really.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Whole Foods in Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
Ice cream.  Yeah, you can buy vegan ice cream easily, but I’d like to be able to make my own flavour combos.  I need an ice cream maker but I don’t have the room for it in our closet-sized kitchen.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Refer to the right side for the blogs I read on the regular!  I can’t limit it to just 3.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Go Max Go’s Twilight bar.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
2 packs of Dandie’s marshmallow, to just eat and to have in hot cocoa.

26. Favorite pumpkin thing to eat?
Pumpkin pie!

– Crystal

Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies

Hey there, do you like cookies? I like cookies.
If I could, I would eat them every day. These ones here are something special. I think everyone’s mom or grandmom used to make something like these Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies from the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookiejar. They make me feel nostalgic.

We gave a few of these to some non-vegans and they came back for second helpings, so I think they passed the omnivore test. Hurry up and make them before the cost of peanut butter rises 40%!
Have them with a glass of non-dairy milk of your choice!

– Trevor

Pumpkin Curry and Lentil Dhal

I’m still fighting a head cold, so I got to thinking that a spicy, Indian dinner might be just what I needed to clear my sinuses.  I grabbed the lovely pie pumpkin I had sitting on my counter and got to work.  While I worked on whipping up a pumpkin curry, Trevor worked on our favourite lentil dhal recipe, and our rice cooker made our rice.

Both were lovely, and even better accompanied by the lime pickle we purchased at our favourite Indian market stall on the weekend.  Spicy, tangy!

The thing is, and I’m sure you know, Indian food photographs horribly.  Even worse is Indian food being photographed during the time of the year where natural light is sparse and our lighting inside is terrible.  So, no photos.  Or rather, the photos that were taken, you don’t want to see.

So, I made this gorgeous thing for you.  Can you tell I’m a graphic designer?

Pumpkin Curry

1 small-to-medium pie pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1″ chunks

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 tbsp ginger purée
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 small red chili
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sautée pan and add onion.  Once onion is sufficiently translucent, add your other aromatics; ginger and garlic.  Cook a minute longer.  Add your chili, salt and spices, stir to incorporate, and fry your spice mixture for another minute.  Add the pumpkin chunks and stir to cover in the spice mixture.  Slowly add the water.  Lower heat to low-medium and cover.  Cook, stirring periodically, for 25 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.  Once pumpkin is fully cooked, remove from heat and use a potato masher to to mash your pumpkin until it’s creamy.  Add the sweetener and lime juice.  Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Lentil Dhal

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds (or 1 tsp cumin 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. 

– Crystal

Arroz con Seitan

We’ve got a trip to Mexico planned for the beginning of November (what a way to wrap up MoFo, huh?) and it would be a dream come true if every place we went had food like this dreamboat of a dish here.  Wishful thinking; our plan is to gorge on local fruit while we’re there.
To build up excitement for our trip, we’ve been digging into the cookbook Viva Vegan a bit more lately.  We’ve never made this recipe before as it is pretty involved; what with the making the seitan and all.  Okay, it’s not really that bad if you make your seitan ahead of time, but we’re not so smart.  
This rice dish is laced with succulent olives and capers, juicy “chicken” seitan, cilantro, peas, green pepper, garlic, onion, and spiced with pretty staple Latin spices like oregano and cumin.
I found the recipe posted online here, but I strongly recommend you just buy the book.  There’s a recipe for churros!
Last night, we had some visitors a bit late into the evening and we didn’t even realize we hadn’t eaten dinner until 9:00pm.  What’s a couple of really hungry vegans to do?  Make epic nachos, that’s what.

Salsa, green olives, sliced jalapenos, beefy crumbles and daiya cheese on tortilla chips.  Bake and eat.

– Crystal

Black Eyed Beans with Collard Greens

This week we made the Hottie Black Eyed Beans with Collard Greens from the book Appetite For Reduction. This is a very quick, easy and nutritious dinner with a spicy Southern kick. You can whip them up when you’re feeling lazy, like we were after coming home from the gym. Its full of protein, carbs, and iron, but also low in fat and calories. We paired it with mashed potatoes and butternut squash which were leftover from Thanksgiving.

For the recipe you’ll have to buy the book!

Crystal’s note:  I love how the butternut mash has a highlight of potato.  It’s like a stylish hairdo in side dish form.

Pumpkin Pie

I was hesitant to post this because I was afraid of letting the secret out.  You see, I’ve fed this to so many people over the past few years, even the type of folks that would never willingly try tofu, and everyone loves it.  Even my dad, who normally doesn’t like pumpkin pie.  Ahem.  But it totally contains tofu and you’d never know, like, at all.  It is truly a winner and without a doubt, the best pumpkin pie, in taste and texture, of any I’ve ever had.  Pinky swear.

Pumpkin Pie

16 oz pureed pumpkin (not canned pie filling, but just plain pumpkin)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 10 oz package silken tofu (regular silken, not low fat)
1 unbaked pie shell, store bought or homemade

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the pumpkin and sugar.  Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, blend thoroughly.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 60 minutes.  Let it cool a bit (on a window sill if you’re feeling old fashioned!) before serving.

– Crystal