Simple Curry (for busy nights)

This is the recipe I fall back on when I’m feeling like having some comfort food. It is very quick to make, looks impressive and is really delicious! It also makes for a great lunch!

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Here is what you need:

Part 1: The protein:

  • 1 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein; I used big pieces. You can find this in Asian grocery stores or in health food stores.)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp miso

Part 2: The sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbp corn starch
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce

Part 3: The vegetables:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil (you can replace this with some water)
  • 1 minced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 zucchini squashes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbs garram massala

Here is what you do:

  1. Dilute the miso paste in the warm water and place the TVP in so that it can soak up all the water. Put aside.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients and put aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan, heat up the coconut oil, and stir the garlic and onion until golden and fragrant. Add the spices and give a good stir.
  4. Cut the zucchinis into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add the TVP and the remaining water and stir everything until well coated in spices.
  6. When everything is cooked and ready to serve, add the sauce ingredients and stir until the sauce becomes thick and glossy. Serve with warm rice or noodles.

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I really like this dish because I can pretty much make it with anything on hand: eggplant, chickpeas, mushrooms, tofu or even tempeh! It is also very easy to prepare and quite quick to make. It is supper flavourful and so comforting!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Chai Coconut Mascarpone Cups

This week-end I was craving desserts, in particular yogurt parfaits where you place fruit over yogurt and add nuts, granola or other toppings. I have been experimenting with vegan yogurt, but so far the results have not been to my liking. Yet, I yearned for this rich cream consistency. So, I gathered a few things that I thought would work out and created this!

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Amazingly smooth, rich and thick, this cream is reminiscent of a simple yogurt or mascarpone cheese. I had to add a little bit of excitement to it (even though I was so happy to have cream, I was pretty much already dancing in my kitchen), and so I decided to add some Chai spices: cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and cloves. This really makes this cream unique and quite spectacular and it reminds me of mascarpone cheese.

Here is what you need for the cream:

  • 250mL of coconut milk
  • 4 tbs of almond powder
  • 4 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Topping ideas: Fresh berries, coconut flakes, crushed almonds, shopped dates, chocolate chips, granola, grilled nuts: use your imagination!

Here is what you do for the cream:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, oil and sweetener on medium heat.
  2. Crush the cardamon pods in your mortar (or use the back of a spoon). Set aside.
  3. Add the almond powder in the pan and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken up (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the spices and vanilla extract and let them infuse for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick to your liking.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the spices.
  6. Let the cream set and firm up in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving with your favourite toppings.
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I used some fresh raspberries, coconut flakes and sweet samosas.

I used some of the fruit leather to make sweet samosas (how-to tomorrow). It’s fun and easy! And that cream! So much flavours and the consistency is just smooth and thick and wonderful. Of course, you could avoid using the spices for a mellower flavour. This is a great substitution for yogurt and makes for an easy dessert. Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

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Spicy Bean Purée, a nice sub for hummus!

I love hummus! It goes great with everything:  bread, veggie sticks, salads, soups, by the spoonful… I really like adding hummus everywhere as it adds great flavour to any dish: it makes a nice substitution to salad dressing, adds protein to vegetable soups and is (of course) great in sandwiches. However, sometimes it gets old, despite all the different things you can add and all the flavours that are popping up in stores.

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of mixed cooked  legumes (I used a mix of green lentils, black beans, and red kidney beans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs ground curry powder
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to  taste

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Add all of the ingredients in your food process and process until smooth.

I love this! The Indian spices are a nice addition to any dish for us, so this really hits a sweet spot. It brings out any dish and makes it more special. It goes great in salads and can be used everywhere hummus can. I usually make a big batch of this and keep it in the fridge. Like this I can add it everywhere for a week or so.

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Here we ate this with lettuce, shredded carrots, preserved beet roots, sweet fried tofu and a little bit of pistachio oil for a delicious salad! Seriously, try it out!

Indian Dinner: Okra and Onions

Last summer, we tried planting some okras in our vegetable patch. It was not a very successful endeavor as they were completely overcrowded by and in the shadow of  our tomato plants. Nonetheless, we were able to harvest two fat okra. Excitedly, my boyfriend tried raw okra for the first time and solemnly declared: “It is like eating a slug.”

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Not very appetizing, but quite honest. Okras do have a slimy texture which makes them, in my opinion, difficult to cook as we are not used to it. Being a staple vegetable of Indian and other Asian cuisine, I really wanted to make them work.

So, it was with some anxiety that I tried stir-frying them with onions. The result: scrumptious!

Here is what you need:

  • around 20 fresh okras (I would say this amounts to 10 oz, or 280g)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash each okra and gently scrub them to remove any dirt. Slice off the head, and then cut each okra diagonally in two or three pieces. Set aside.
  2. Remove the outer onion skin and cut lengthwise. Slice in thin strips.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir a little before adding the garlic. Mix until the garlic is lightly brown.
  4. Add the okra and onion and stir for a few minutes. Add the garam masala and mix well. Let cook until the okras and onions are tender.

The result is very tender okras, without too much slime. What I loved most about this dish was that the okra and mustard seeds pop with every bite which adds a nice texture.

This dish really made peace between okras and us, and I have to say, they are a lot less scary once cooked and well seasoned.

Let me know what’s your favourite okra recipe!

Indian Dinner: Mixed Bean Curry

When my amazing sister-in-law learned about the Indian dinner, she wanted to participate as well. She made a super mixed bean curry, that was just perfectly seasoned.

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We had pre-cooked some mixed beans: adzuki beans, pinto beans, yellow peas, green lentils and chickpeas. This made making this dish easier, but you can also use any canned beans if this is more available.

Here is what you need:

Onion Garnish:

  • 1 chopped red onion
  • the juice of two limes

Main dish:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 ginger piece (about 1 inch)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha or chilli powder
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 400g beans of your choice

Here is what you do:

  1. Prepare the onion garnish: mix the chopped onion and lime juice, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and stir until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Add the spices and stir well.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and beans and mix well.
  4. Once everything is cooked, take off the heat and add the onion garnish. Serve immediately.

As you can see, once all the ingredients are prepared, this dish is very simple to prepare. However, the flavours are really amazing! The onion garnish really give a fresh flavour and a nice crunch. The beans are creamy and soft, and oh-so comforting.

Let me know if you give this a try, and I’ll let my sister-in-law know what you think!