Thursday, April 12, 2007

In my mailbox

Originally uploaded by plainsight.
Look what came in the mail today!

This cute little tome is part of the new "hybrid" format herbivore magazine has taken. They're publishing this tiny book a few times a year, but publishing online monthly and they've added subscriber-only forums and lots of other cool stuff... Lookin' good guys!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peanut Coconut Curry

Peanut Coconut Curry
Originally uploaded by plainsight.
When we lived in Seattle, I would often cook with my friend Cynthia. Usually, we'd do it at her house, because she had a larger kitchen. The kids would run around and entertain each other, and we'd make dinner.

We usually did this on nights when James was away on his ship, or her husband was traveling for work, but sometimes the guys would show up in time to eat. This curry was a favorite of ours. We adapted the recipe from a cookbook of Cynthia's (I don't remember which), but we made it much, much richer by upping the coconut and peanut content, and we toned down the heat (i.e. cayenne) so the kids would maybe try it.

I haven't made it in a long time, but I did on Monday night. I called Cynthia to say "do we really use a whole can of coconut milk in this?" She reassured me, that my notes were accurate. And everyone but Jay devoured it (he is still a pretty picky two-year-old, but I don't complain because he likes most vegetables, he just likes his food straight up, no sauces). I served four adults and two kids, and there were enough leftovers for four people tonight, so it does make a big batch.

A side note--this recipe could easily be converted for the slow cooker. I would just sauté the onions with the oil and spices, then add everything but the greens to the cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours (until potatoes are soft), add the greens in the last 20 minutes of cooking.

The Recipe
(serve over brown rice -- I made 3 cups dry rice and that was plenty for this recipe, as I said it serves a crowd)

1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 T. cumin
1 T. yellow mustard seeds
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. turmeric
1 t. paprika
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
3 in. piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 med. sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can white beans (some times I use those heirloom speckled beans)
2 med-large yukon gold potatoes, diced (not peeled)
1 15 oz. can coconut milk (I use full fat, but low fat is also fine)
1/2 c. smooth (unsweetened) peanut butter
1 lb greens (I like collards or mustard greens--spinach works fine too), roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in oil over med. heat, add spices, and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic, ginger and sweet and white potatoes. Sauté for 10-15 minutes.

Add coconut milk, tomato, peanut butter and beans. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft (can take up to 40 minutes). This is a good time to make the rice.

Just before serving, add the greens and cook until wilted.

Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Creamy Lemon-Dill Noodles

Sunday's usually crockpot day for me, but the lid broke last weekend, so I was at a bit of a loss for what to make. Even thought we're in the middle of a cold snap, It's Easter, and I wanted something that seemed like spring.

I ended up making a simple white sauce for some whole wheat angel hair. The sauce had a nice light flavor and everyone, including the kids, loved it. Served with peas, spinach, and my mom's version of a Waldorf salad. We took it over to some neighbors to share, so unfortunately, I have no pics, but it was tastier than it was pretty, anyway.

Creamy Lemon-Dill Sauce
(Makes enough for 1 lb. of pasta)

3 T earth balance margarine
1/3 c. unbleached flour
1 1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk (or more, as needed)
1/2 t. garlic, minced
1 t. dried dill (or 2 t. fresh)
1/3 c. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste.
1/4 c. chopped parsley

Melt margarine in a skillet, add flour, and cook for at least 5 minutes over medium heat. Flour need not brown but should be fully cooked to avoid a flour-y taste to the sauce. Add soy milk and whisk until smooth. The sauce will not thicken fully until it simmers, and at this point you may find you need to thin it a bit. Add the seasonings (except parsley), and then turn off the heat, adding more milk to thin if necessary. Taste and add more lemon juice and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Pour over just cooked and drained noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.


Waldorf Salad

3 small apples, diced (not peeled)
1/2 c. diced celery
1/4 c. roasted/salted sunflower seeds
1/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. soy mayo
1/4 c. orange juice
salt and pepper

Combine chopped fruit, veggies, raisins and seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together soy mayo, orange juice, salt and pepper (you can use white pepper if you don't want black specks) Coat the fruit mixture with the dressing and serve. Chill salad if you're not going to serve it right away. This make s a great kids lunch salad because the juice and mayo keep the apples from browning.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Deconstructed Taco Salad

Deconstructed Taco Salad
Originally uploaded by plainsight.
Selma loves Vegan Lunch Box and when she saw her lunch today, the insisted it was photo-worthy. It's actually leftovers from our make your own taco night (tomatoes, refried beans, soy sour cream, mexican rice, oops! I should have added the avocado!), repurposed so she can make her own nachos at Spring Break Camp. Yea Leftovers!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Jamba Juice hides Dairy in their Smoothies

Boing Boing says:

I recently noticed that the Jamba Juice ingredient book doesn't say what's in the non-dairy goo they add to their smoothies, claiming that the specific composition is a trade secret. They say that if there's something you're allergic to, you can ask them and they'll tell you if it's in there, like a culinary game of Go Fish. I wasn't sure if this was legal, so I mentioned it to Ben Popken from Consumerist and he did an excellent job of running the story down. Turns out that Jamba's non-dairy blend contains...milk!

Via my brother, boing boing and ultimately, The Consumerist.