Thursday, April 28, 2011
I was pretty proud of myself last night. I got home around 9:30 pm and because I had finished up my yummy mushroom risotto at lunch that day I knew I needed to cook another dish so I would have something to eat for the rest of the week.
I had been eyeing Angela's (Oh She Glows) coconut red lentil soup (it's a curry)
and had all the ingredients so I decided to start cooking. I used my cast iron 5 quart pot - which is a lovely pot, but the thing about it is I have a gas stove and once that pot gets hot, it stays hot. I was supposed to simmer the split peas and red lentils (with the pot covered) but it turned into a rolling boil (on the lowest heat setting). When I lifted the lid to check on it, the lovely red lentils had disintegrated and looked like pale petals floating amongst the green split peas. Oh well, live and learn (it still tasted great).
I really enjoyed making this dish - I think it was the part where I toasted the curry powder that really made me like making the curry. Wow did it make the house smell yummy! It was an easy dish to make, but I always take a long time to cook things. I am just not fast or efficient at cutting things I think, plus I have so little counter space that my kitchen counter quickly reaches its capacity and I end up having to stack things and that kind of stresses me out. Lame, I know.
Anyway, the result was another really yummy dish. One in which I am already looking forward to having for my lunch tomorrow! I had planned on trying to make a dish that had more veggies, but that meal involved more prep work. I will make that one over the week-end I think.
Here are the ingredients for this dish:
* 1 cup yellow split peas (I used green split peas)
* 1 cup red split lentils
* 7 cups water
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
* 2 tablespoons curry powder
* 1 tablespoon EVOO (I used coconut oil)
* 8 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1/3 cup golden raisins -(I upped this to 1/2 cup)
* 1/3 cup tomato paste
* 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
* 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
* one small handful cilantro, chopped (I forgot to add this!)
Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft. *[be careful here - this is where I destroyed my lovely delicate red lentils]
In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.
Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. [I think I will add the coconut milk to the tomato paste mixture next time - my tomato paste liked to clump when I added to the peas and lentils - it stuck to the raisins. I think if I added the coconut milk it would have thinned out the paste easier] Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it.
As I said, Very tasty! Really rich and flavorful. Loved the raisins in the dish, glad I upped the amount.
The directions for how to make the curry is from this link:
Monday, April 25, 2011
Last night I FINALLY made the mushroom risotto I have been eyeing and drooling over on Oh She Glows. It was so worth the effort, it tastes amazing. I was so looking forward to lunch today because I knew I was going to eat some of the left-overs!
Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions
Adapted from: The Kitchn.
Yield: 2 (as main course), or 4 side servings
* 3-4 yellow onions, divided
* 1 tbsp + 3 tbsp coconut olive oil, divided
* 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
* 1 pound mushrooms (~455 grams), washed and sliced
* 1 large sprig fresh rosemary (I didn't have any)
* 1 cup uncooked pearled barley (or grain of choice, like rice)
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 3.5 cups vegetable broth (I used full-sodium), *see note
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to garnish
* 1 tbsp Earth balance or butter, to stir in (optional)[I didn't add this]
1. Chop 2 small yellow onions to make 2 cups worth. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook over medium-low for about 8 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning.
2. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add all the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and let them cook for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the rosemary sprig and seasonings to the skillet. Stir well. Cook for a couple minutes. Now add in the barley (or rice), balsamic vinegar, and vegetable broth gradually as it cooks. You may have to adjust the amount of liquid used depending on the type of grain used. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and stir every few minutes, reducing the heat when necessary to prevent it sticking to the bottom. Be careful because it will burn fast!
4. Meanwhile, make the caramelized onions. Heat 3 tbsp coconut oil in a cast iron skillet. Cut 1-2 yellow onions in half, and then slice them into thin half moons. Add them to the oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. [ I didn't salt the onions as there was enough salt in my veggie broth!] Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a dark brown, for about 30 minutes. Watch closely.
5. When the risotto has finished cooking remove rosemary sprig and stir in a spoonful of Earth balance or butter if desired. [ I didn't add this] Distribute into bowl and top each bowl with a spoonful of caramelized onions and freshly ground pepper. Serves 2-4.
This was so amazingly yummy. I wasn't going to bother with the carmelized onions - I thought, there are so many onions in the risotto why add more, but I am soooo soooo glad I made them. They really added a lot to the dish. I figured I might as well make the carmalized onions since I was standing there already stirring and watching over the risotto. I am a huge fan now!
I brought some in for lunch today and it was still pretty tasty warmed up in the microwave oven at work. There is a lot of prep work and actually watching over the dish so only make it if you know you will be able to focus on the dish - otherwise it would be so easy to burn or dry out the risotto.
So another winner from Angela at Oh She Glows!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Well today I made Angela's (from Oh She Glows) Chocolate Coconut Butter Banana Bites. Wow...Really delicious, very simple, too. Well, simple if you have a good food processor.
Ingredients needed are:
* 2 & 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (yield: 1 cup coconut butter)
* 1/4 tsp kosher salt
* 1-2 tsp pure extract (I used 2 tsp orange extract, Angela used peppermint extract)
* 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar (Angela tried maple syrup but said that powdered sugar yielded a better consistency)
* 1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/2 tsp oil (I used coconut and I upped it to 1 tsp), melted
* Bananas, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
The first step was to take the shredded coconut and turn it into coconut butter. Angels said it should take about 8 minutes, though she did say that you had to have a good food processor as she has received many emails from people who have said that even after 30 minutes the shredded coconut didn't turn into butter.
I probably processed ~ 30 minutes - plus I took it out of my processor and put it into my vitamixer to see if that helped, but the blender started to smoke and it didn't seem to be any better than the processor. The processor was a knock off a cusinart and had been given to me by a flatmate who moved out and was moving to the mainland (didn't want to move it to the mainland so I got it), whereas my vitamix blender cost a pretty penny so I thought if anything was going to burn out, I would prefer the food processor.
The coconut finally got to be closer to the consistency that Angela's did (she posted pictures).
After that I sifted the powdered sugar, added a little Hawaiian salt, and then selected orange extract (Angela said to chose whatever extract you like, she had selected peppermint). I thought orange would go nicely with the coconut and banana. And I was right.
After all of that got processed I melted 1/2 c of ghiraadelli dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa) and 1 tsp of coconut oil. Angela's recipe only called for 1/2 tsp but I wanted to add a little extract oil.
Once the chocolate melted I added it to the processor and mixed all of the ingredients together. I poured it into a bowl and then dipped my banana pieces into the chocolate coconut butter and placed onto wax paper. I then sprinkled with shredded coconut and popped it into the freezer (on the wax paper) for 15 minutes. I put them into an air tight container and put them into the fridge as I didn't make a lot ( I only used two small apple bananas, which are mini bananas - total of ~ 8 pieces)
Can I just say these are heavenly! One banana bite really satisfied me. And I have a bunch of chocolate coconut butter that I will add to my VOO, and probably make some more chocolate coconut butter bananas!
Here are my photos (again, I apologize for the poor photos)
For better photos and for source of this recipe check out:
Friday, April 22, 2011
Well, Angela (of Oh She GLows fame) rants and raves about VOO (Vegan Overnight Oats). I am a huge pumpkin lover, so my first VOO was her pumpkin one. Now the thing about VOO is you don't cook anything. The idea is to mix the following:
milk of some kind
and then mixins
You put those three main ingredients together, stir them up, pop'em in the fridge over night, mix-em up in the morning, add mix-ins and eat.
Pumpkin was not a good first VOO for me. In this recipe you add the canned pumpkin in and maple syrup and typical pumpkin spices (cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg). The next morning I was sooo excited to eat this, but was not impressed. In fact it sort of made me gag, cold, a little gelatinous, not what I was imagining.
However, I keep seeing all of these beautiful pictures of her various types of VOO and she always talks about how yummy they are. Angela's recipes rarely let me down. In fact, if they aren't great, it is usually because I didn't have the ingredients she had and had to substitute.
As my last blog mentioned, I have found Amazing Meals - chocolate infusion. She uses this in some of her VOO recipes. I thought, okay I am going to give VOO another try and use my giant killer, AM- chocolate infusion.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my smoothies, but it is always good to vary what I eat and I wanted something that was even quicker than a smoothie.
And to be honest, I was a bit bummed that I wasn't going to have my smoothie, although after eating my VOO I didn't miss the smoothie, it was that good.
Okay I'll stop yammering on. Here is the VOO that I ate this morning (adapted from Angela's Banana Cashew Cream Vegan Overnight Oats recipe)
Last night I mixed together:
1/3 c oats
3/4 c almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds (1st magic ingredient)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (my idea - I love it in my smoothie with the chocolate infusion so I figured why not add it to my VOO)
1/2 scoop Amazing Grass - Chocolate Infusion
1/4 vanilla extract
1/4 ground cinnamon (my idea - I am a big fan of cinnamon)
2-3 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
I added all of the ingredients in a bowl, stirred with a whisk for a bit to get it well mixed. Covered it and popped it in the fridge
Next I took a small banana (we have these divine apple bananas here - I put one of these into the blender) 1 tbsp of my yummy dark chocolate pecan butter (Angela used cashew butter here), 1 tbsp almond milk, and 1/2 tbsp maple syrup. (I put all of these ingredients into my vitamixer and blended.
I tasted it and thought, whoa, too sweet, did not need the maple syrup, but I knew I was going to mix it with my VOO so it would probably even out when all mixed together.
The next morning I took out a glass mug (so I could see the layers of the parfait) and spooned in some VOO, then some of the banana dark chocolate peacan cream, then more VOO, then cut up some bananas, and continued in this fashion to make my lovely VOO parfait.
I used my mug that was my award for placing 3rd in one of my triathlons because it was the only glass I had that had the proportions/specs I was looking for: clear, not too tall so I couldn't get my spoon down into it, not too wide so I couldn't have many layers, etc.
Angela said that this kept her satiated for ~ 4 hours, I'll let you know how many hours it keeps me going. I ate it this morning at 7:30 a.m., I'll post when I feel hungry again.
Well, I didn't feel hungry for 3-4 hours. Pretty good.
Here are my really bad photos I took of this VOO
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