Posts

Crispy Sheet Pan Tofu

Image
Purple Carrot's  Crispy Sheet Pan Tofu  was the final meal in the trial, and was among my favorites. It was relatively easy, and not unlike meals I already make, with a couple nice twists, including the lentil grain mix, dressing, and layering of sauce on the bottom with grains, tofu, and veggies on top. The lentil grain mix also reminded me of the mujadara we like so much at Zadna; I should throw lentils into rice/quinoa more often for the interesting flavor and added protein! I don't expect to order more from Purple Carrot, partly because each delivery (a) felt like 3 new tasks I had to do before the ingredients went bad, and (2) it felt wasteful with the shipping (from Las Vegas!),  packaging (many teeny plastic bottles and bags with ingredients), and lots to tear down and recycle. We're trying Thistle prepared meals at the same time, and I like a lot about it: It's very tasty (especially the salads), it appears at our doorstep, and we just put the bag with freezer p

Cashew Cream Sauces

Image
The best things I've learned so far from a 2-week  Purple Carrot trial are (1) the surprising fun and beauty of layering items on beds of other items, (2) using a peeler to make zucchini ribbons (delicious tossed in a little lime and salt and used as a raw topping, like for soba), and (3) easy, flavorful cashew cream sauces that pull the dish together. Two (of the six) meals in the trial -- Smoky Portabello Tacos and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Cashew Sauce   -- both had really good cashew cream sauces. These two were my favorite meals (partly because of the tasty sauce!) and they were the easiest to make, too. Photos and recipes below! Ingredients Jalapeno Cashew Sauce: 1/3 C cashews 2 garlic cloves 1 lime, juiced 1 jalapeno, deseeded and roughly chopped Serve on: Corn tortillas topped with Spanish rice, sliced portabellos sautéed in a little soy sauce and liquid smoke, diced scallion, sliced radish, and shredded purple cabbage Spicy Cashew Sauce: 1/3 C cashews 2 garlic cl

Kira's Soba Noodles with Tahini Sauce

Image
We had a super fun, impromptu potluck today at Judi and Nick's, featuring soba noodles with Kira's special sauce. So delicious! The amounts below are guesses based on watching Kira mix; no measurements were made. Kira says measure with your heart. Aaaw! p.s.  A week after posting Kira's recipe, I got the ingredients for this tahini-sauce based soba: Panko-Crusted Tempeh with Lemon Zucchini Soba & Avocado  from Purple Carrot. The best part was the zucchini ribbons! Just take off slices with a peeler, toss with a little lemon, and toss on the plate. Easy and yummy. But Kira's overall recipe is better and easier. I'll just toss zucchini ribbons on it next time. Ingredients Sauce: 2 T tahini 1 T white miso 2 tsp sriracha 2 tsp soy sauce 2 tsp rice vinegar 1/2 tsp powdered ginger 1/2 tsp powdered garlic 2 t rice vinegar Toppings: 2-4 Just Egg folded patties 2 Sweet Earth Applewood Smoked Plant-based Ham deli slices 2 diced scallions (optional) 1 zucchini, sliced into

Fried Rice

Image
Another recipe from Munira! After making us a wonderful dinner, she described how to make fried rice from the leftover rice in her Instant Pot, and sent me home with spiced rice that I could fry up with an onion and veggies. So simple, tasty, and pretty. Here's the (rough) recipe (guessing at measurements). Ingredients 6 C cooked rice (in Instant Pot) 2 tsp chili powder 2 tsp turmeric 1-2 tsp salt 3 T canola oil 1 red onion, diced 1 hot pepper, diced (optional) 2 T mustard seed 1 tsp hing 2 C mixed veggies (peas, corn) 1/2 C cashews (optional) Instructions Cook the rice in an Instant Pot and let it cool. Sprinkle chili powder, turmeric, and salt on the rice in the Instant Pot, and mix it up with your hands. You can store it at this point, and continue the rest later, if desired. In oil, saute mustard seed, hing, onion (and hot pepper, if using), cooking until onion is transparent. Add veggies and stir a few minutes. Add spiced rice. Optionally add cashews. Stir often and cook on lo

Fried Tofu

Image
Over the holidays, I tried an air fryer to try to get more crispy tofu. The result was pretty good, but the fryer seemed like more of a hassle than benefit (wasn't easy to clean, took up a lot of space), so we returned it. Later, with the help of Munira, I discovered that pressing the tofu to get the water out, then frying it, resulted in really delicious tofu that is firm and absorbs the spicing more readily. And no extra appliances! After a few tries, here's a recipe that made some really delicious tofu. Once you get a tofu press, you won't go back! Ingredients 1 firm tofu, pressed about 20 minutes 1-2 T canola oil 1 tsp black pepper flakes (or to taste) 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste) 1 tsp minced garlic 1-2 T soy sauce 1/4 tsp salt garlic salt to grind on top after (optional) Instructions Press the tofu! I really like this extra firm tofu press for that; super fast and easy. A half a cup of water comes out in about 20 minutes. Slice the tofu into 8 rectangles or sma

Spice Cake

Image
For our acappella rehearsal, Harold's wife Chris served this delicious, easy spice cake. The recipe came from her kids elementary class, made vegan so more kids could eat it. Super easy and good! Ingredients Dry: 3 C flour 2 C brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt spices: 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp allspice 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp cloves Wet: 1/2 C oil 2 T vinegar 2 tsp vanilla 2 C warm water Chocolate version: Use white sugar instead of brown and 1/2 C cocoa in place of spices; everything else the same! Instructions Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together wet ingredients, then pour over dry. Mix until all dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.  Bake in a greased 9x13" pan for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Chana Masala

Image
I've been meaning to try to make a chana masala for awhile, and today I found a nice recipe in Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen that I adapted slightly, using wisdom from Munira, some canned tomatoes since I didn't have enough fresh, and adding cilantro and mushrooms, which I love in masala. It was super good! Ingredients 4 C chickpeas (2 cans, or 2 cups dried, cooked in instant pot) 2 fresh tomatoes 2" knob of ginger 6 garlic cloves 1 hot chili pepper 1 tsp lemon juice 2 T canola oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/4 tsp hing 1 red onion, chopped 1 tsp salt 8 oz mushrooms, chopped (optional) 1 can diced tomatoes 1/2 C cilantro, chopped 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp chili 2 tsp masala powder or garam masala (or both! I used both, including some of Munira's homemade garam masala mix plus part of a masala packet from an Indian store) 2 1/2 C water Instructions In a blender or grinder (I use the smaller cup that comes with my Ninja blender), combine 1/2 C chickpeas, fresh tomatoes, ginger

Roasted Cauliflower, Tofu, and Black Lentil Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Image
After a lovely, spur-of-the-moment hike with Judy and Robert on New Year's Day, Judy made us a fabulous dinner of pasta and lettuce salad (with olive oil, rice vinegar, and cumin dressing), along with leftovers of a vegan version of this  NYT lentil salad  with back beluga lentils. Very tasty, and these lentils hold together so well! A great high protein component of a veggie meal.  Ingredients 1 C lentils, black beluga or french green, or a mix 1 small head cauliflower 1 block tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 T canola oil 4 scallions, thinly sliced Dressing: 3/4 C olive oil 1 C fresh cilantro leaves, tightly packed 1 small serrano chili (or half a medium chili) Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 C) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper Instructions Rinse lentils and put in instant pot to cook for 6 minutes. Drain. Cut cauliflower and tofu into bite-size pieces, mix with salt and pepper and oil, and put on roasting sheet. Roast at 350 degrees, stirring occasional

Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry)

Image
Another of Munira's yummy recipes. Black chickpeas have such a nice flavor. Of course all the measures are approximate guesses; no actual measurement tools were used in the making :) Ingredients 2 C dry black chickpeas 2 T canola oil 1 hot pepper, diced 1" ginger, diced 2 tsp mustard seed 2 tsp cumin seed 1/2 tsp hing 1 small onion, diced 1/2 tsp salt 5 large garlic cloves, sliced 1/2 C cilantro, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped (optional) 2 tsp coriander 1 tsp red chili powder 1 tsp turmeric 2 T dry coconut (optional) 1 tsp garam masala Instructions Cook chickpeas in instant pot: 15 minutes with 3 C water if soaked; 30 min w/5 C water if not. Saute pepper, ginger, mustard seed, cumin seed, hing, onion, and salt a few minutes in oil. Add garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes if using, and stir. Add remaining spices and cooked chana, including water (may need to add more water, depending). Simmer 30 minutes and serve!

Munira's Secret Gobi

Image
Shhhhhh.... Munira shared her marvelous gobi recipe with me! I'm not sure what got into her, but she made us a delicious dinner (as usual!) and this time, showed me a lot of her secrets. If you know Munira, you know that's a big deal :) She also bought me some frozen methi (fenugreek) to use in recipes, and gave me some fresh-ground ginger & peppers and a container of nigella seed. What a sweetie. (Note: Of course no actual measuring was involved; amounts below are approximate.) Ingredients 2 T canola oil 1" ginger, ground or diced 1 hot pepper, ground or diced 1 T cumin seed 2 tsp mustard seed 1/2 tsp hing 1 T nigella seed  1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces 1/2 C methi (fenugreek leaves) 1 C peas (not sweet) 2 tsp turmeric 2 tsp coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp chili pepper 1 tsp salt Instructions Optional: Steam the cauliflower in the microwave if you want the dish to be done faster. Saute ginger, pepper, cumin seed, mustard seed, hing, and nigella in oil,

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups

Image
Our pantry still has lots of oatmeal and almond butter from pandemic stockups. Looking for recipes to use up some of these ingredients, I came across these healthy almond butter baked oatmeal cups . Low in sugar, high in oatmeal, and super tasty! I didn't change the recipe, am adding it to my blog to remember and share (and not have to do the endless scroll with ads--the huge downside of most recipe sites. I'll put up with ads the first time, but not a second time, if it's blog worthy - and this is!) Ingredients 1 ripe banana 1/4 C almond butter 1/4 C agave or maple syrup 1 1/4 C almond milk 3 C rolled oats 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 C chocolate chips Instructions Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, use a fork to mash the banana. Add the almond butter, syrup and milk, and mix to combine. Add oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix.  Coat muffin tin with vegan butter. Distribute the mixture evenly. Add chocolate chips and banana slices

Apple Crisp Turnovers

Image
I had some phyllo dough to use up, and adapted  this recipe for apple turnovers. I ended up having a fair bit of the fruit mixture left, so I also made a small apple crisp. Both were great! Ingredients 4 medium apples, diced 2 tsp lemon zest 1/4 C sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 T arrowroot 1 tsp cinnamon For turnovers: 9-12 phyllo sheets 1/2 stick miyoko (vegan) butter OR for crumble: 1 C flour 1 C oats 1/2 C brown sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/3 C canola oil 1/4 C water Instructions Dice apples. In a medium saucepan, add apples, sugar, vanilla, orange/lemon peel, cinnamon and arrowroot. Heat on med-low stirring every so often. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the apple mixture thickens. Remove from heat.  For crisp:  Put mixture in a pan; mix up the topping and spread it over the fruit. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. For turnovers:  Melt butter. Remove phyllo dough from package and lay out with the longer side facing you.  Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet. Fold in half

Oh la la Lasagna

Image
The Impossible Lasagna that I blogged earlier this year is tasty, but Impossible beef has a heavy taste like real beef does. We wanted to try a lighter, no-fake-meat lasagna, and I found the perfect recipe in my Chloe's Kitchen cookbook. Looks like Happy Healthy did the same -- and used whole wheat (Dellalo) lasagna noodles at Whole Foods, which I want to track down for next time. Here's my slightly-adapted version of Chloe's great recipe. It's super easy and delish! Ingredients Garden Ricotta: 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 14-ounce firm tofu 2 T of lemon juice 1/2 tsp of salt 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 3 C of fresh basil  1 T white miso (optional; I don't always have it) Sauce: 10 oz mushrooms, sliced 40 oz marinara 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 C non-dairy milk 1 T of brown sugar or maple syrup 5 oz spinach 9 oz box no-boil lasagna noodles (prefer whole wheat, but Trader Joes semolina are convenient) Instructions Preheat oven to 375

Apricot Sheet Cake

Image
We harvested some of Judi's apricots while her family was out of town. Her tree has the best apricots I've ever tasted! Sherry came to visit and shared her vegan apricot cake recipe , which we made together this morning. The secrets: Lots of fruit, and use sparkling water or soda to make it light and fluffy. I made this with white flour, but will try whole wheat next time. The original recipe says this is a twist on an Austrian sheet cake - a flat sponge cake baked on a sheet. Variations: Can make with plums or cherries, or bake in regular cake pans. Ingredients Wet: 1 C apricot puree (about 6-8 apricots) 2/3 C sugar 1/2 C sparkling water or sparkling fruit water 7 T canola oil Dry: 2 1/3 C flour 4 tsp baking soda Topping: 20-24 small apricots, halved (or 12 large, quartered) 2 tsp powdered sugar toasted almond slices Instructions Use a food processor to blend de-stoned apricots into a puree. Whisk together puree, sugar, and oil. Add sparkling water (can use sparkling apple or