Monday, April 27, 2009

Gang Ped Red Curry with Seitan

I had a can of hot Satay brand Gang Ped Red Curry, and warmed it over medium-high heat. I took about ten small Australian Crescent fingerling potatoes and cut them into 1/4" thick discs. I added the potatoes to the curry, simmering, uncovered, for about 10 minutes till the potato was barely cooked. I then added about a dozen small baby carrots (I was surprised to learn recently from my wife that the baby carrot, while it can be a tender immature carrot, at least in the U.S. is typically a full-grown carrot cut into small pieces!), cut into halves, as well as ten or so baby Brussels sprouts (these are small, young vegetables), also cut into halves, a package of seitan cut into thick 1/2" cubes, and a medium shallot cut into thick 3/8" half-moons.

I let it cook another 5 minutes or so, then served atop some brown and wild rice. I wish I had some cucumbers; instead, I served avocado. I found the curry to be hot, so added a dollop of coconut milk plain vegan yogurt. The main course was hot enough that after the meal, I also had some lemon soy yogurt.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grilled Vegan Sausage - Eggplant Sandwich with Tahini, Potatoes O'Brien

We had another late day; I had a photo shoot in Chapel Hill and didn't get home till well past 9p. Luckily, I came up with an idea that proved fast, tasty, and interesting. I remember back in my graduate school days that I came up with a tasty late night snack idea of toasting slices of sesame semolina bread, then spreading tahini, a little fresh onion, and a few drops of hot sauce. Tahini goes well with eggplant, as in baba ganouj, and I had purchased yesterday some graffiti eggplant.

So, what I did tonight is sliced the small eggplant into four slices maybe 3/8" thick. My wife and I don't like foods that resemble meat, but a notable exception is products from the Field Roast Grain Meat Company. We love their apple-sage artisanal vegan sausage - and it is non-soy, which is great since my wife and sometimes I can't easily digest tofu. I took one of the sausage links and cut it into half, then thirds. I sauteed the eggplant and sausage over medium-high heat.

Incidentally, for the past week or so, I've opened a new bottle of olive oil from Chile. I've never used Chilean olive oil, but it makes sense that it would be good, as, along with parts of California, Australia, southwestern South Africa, and, of course, the Mediterranean itself, Chile has a Mediterranean climate. I like this oil very much, but my favorite (so far!) is a Greek brand that Whole Foods Market sells, each bottle hand-numbered.

Sauteeing eggplant isn't the best way to prepare it, as it soaks up oil, so I had to add more oil several times. Once the sausage was brown and the eggplant light brown (maybe 5 minutes), I added a bit of widely cut onion and several 1/4" sliced bell pepper slices. I served on toast with tahini on the bottom and a dollop of ketchup on top. I also cooked some prepared frozen potatoes O'Brien. It was a good dinner!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Onion Rings are Back!" Dinner with Roasted Corn Soup

The weather was great today - actually a bit hot, even hitting 90°F! - and we spent much of it outdoors. I took our baby to Duke Gardens mid-day for a big plant sale (I purchased a new variety of Spanish Lavender that blooms pale yellow, 'Lemon Leigh') , came home just a few hours, then we returned with my wife in the late afternoon to hangout with folks at a vegetarian families gathering. It was about 9p by the time we returned, including a stop at Whole Foods Market, so I wanted to prepare something quickly.

I was excited, after perhaps a year's absence, to find at Whole Foods the one type of prepared onion ring that appears vegan to me, Ian's brand Onion Rings and Strings. I wish I could have found them during the recent visit of my father-in-law - he requested onion rings. So how could I not include them in tonight's dinner!? We also picked up the weekly soup that we purchase from a woman named Melissa; this week, she had Roasted Corn Soup with Fresh Chives and Pasta e Fagioli, both, as usual, vegan. I simply heated onion rings and the corn soup, prepared a few raw vegetables, and served a slice of toast with Earth Balance flaxseed-enriched peanut butter.

Sauteed Vegetables and Tempeh with Brown Rice

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seitan-vegetable-rice noodles

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Foglie di Ulivo Pasta with Bell Peppers and Pesto, Vegan Sausage

Friday, April 10, 2009

White Grits Burrito, Pesto Quinoa

My wife says she doesn't enjoy Mexican food, but I happily found that all enjoyed tonight's dinner. I made a creative twist on typical burritos, by starting with a tube of white corn grits, which I hand-crumbled into a saute, along with onion and bell pepper. I also made some quinoa but thought that my father-in-law would want a sauce with it, so came up with the idea of pesto - which worked so well with this dish!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thai Fingerling Potatoes, Sauteed Plantain

We have enjoyed having my wife's father visiting from India, and for his last dinner with us this trip, I thought I would prepare a Thai dish. I cut a medium onion into medium-thin (maybe 3/8") half moons, and started sauteeing the onion over medium-high heat. A minute or so later, I added about four fingerling potatoes, cut into 3/4" thick slices. Then ... I, unfortunately left this in draft form till May 26th, so don't remember the rest of the details, alas! I do know that I served some sauteed plantains on the side.

I also made a Thai cucumber salad. I mixed a little ume plum vinegar and fresh lime juice with a little bit of diced jalapeno, salt, pepper, and a bit of red chile powder, and let it marinate for an hour or so while I prepared the main course.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Purple Sweet Potato, Acorn Squash with Tempeh, and Cornmeal Onion Rings

We've been eating out for the last several nights due to the Full Frame Film Festival. It's the country's largest documentary film festival, and I cover it for a magazine that serves the South Asian population; you can see my review for the current issue and listen to an interview online. I saw many excellent films, including ones on the exiled Queen of Iran, civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, the First Amendment, two men who masquerade as corporate executives and make charitable statements (not really) on the behalf of the organizations, an amazing film about those with physical challenges taking up photography, and many more.

Alas, my father-in-law leaves us to return to India this Thursday. He's been with us since February 10 and has been a great help with the baby, and is just a delight to have around with his positive attitude. He has been enjoying our meals and early on asked for onion rings. Back three years ago at the last night of the same Festival, I made a beer-battered asparagus dish, and wanted to do something similar, but didn't have some cheap beer handy.

I simply made a dry mix of mainly cornmeal, along with plenty of sesame seeds, dried hot red pepper, vegan Parma! "Parmesan cheese", a little oregano, and salt, then I mixed in enough hemp milk to get a barely runny consistency. I dredged organic Texas sweet onions through this and sauteed them over medium heat till each side was suitably browned. I wish I had had beer; the onion rings came out well, but would have been better I think with beer.

I recently found purple sweet potatoes! I baked them at 350°F for about a half hour, along with cut and de-seeded acorn squash. I also made a simple tempeh dish with tempeh chopped fairly small, a bit of onion, and red bell pepper, all sauteed, and filled the squash with it. It was a nice, colorful dinner! I'll have to do a photographic study sometime of this lovely purple potato.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Radicchio with Asparagus