Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Curry and stuff!

Lately I haven't felt like doing anything, cleaning my house, cooking dinner, cleaning the cat boxes... yeah, none of that. However, some of it needs doing regardless of how I feel... and some of it, well... I have ramen as back up.

Anyway, I've been inspired by Melomeals photos that she posts on her Facebook. All of her meals look hearty and filling - which so often, vegan meals (especially raw meals) lack.

A couple days ago I made banana bread, many vegan recipes found all over... however I based mine on this "low-fat" version. I did in fact, use sugar this time - and I REALLY regretted it... the bread tasted "fine" but after not eating sugar for so long, it tastes kinda... yucky. I prefer agave or maple syrup and won't make this mistake again. I also didn't use margarine, but instead used vegan shortening. Oh yeah, I always use a tiny bit more vanilla than called for, three bananas instead of two and almond milk instead of soy. Best of all, I topped the whole thing off with sweetened shredded coconut... AMAZING! OMG. I will never make plain banana bread ever... ever again.

I also made a Chocolate Coconut scone! I've never made a scone before so I found this recipe and based if off of that. I did a mix of half semi-sweet chocolate chips made by Ghirardelli. I also "splashed" some walnuts in there (whatever I had extra from the banana bread, probably a tablespoon or two max. Came out great! I was not sure what to expect as its "dry"(not a bad thing in this case) and crumbly - it so makes me question my decision to leave my coffee maker in storage. Pleasantly surprising, and I think I will make it again, but maybe with fruit next time.

I also made some baba ghanoush!! Michael & I found a great deal on eggplant at the grocery, $1 each! However, they were on the exit stage left side of freshness... so I decided to roast them. I found a recipe here, but I did adjust stuff... a lot... and added extra stuff... So I roasted two eggplants, I added only enough tahini for one, I also only added 2 cloves garlic (and think this may have been too strong!) and a splash of liquid smoke which gave it a wonderful smokey flavor that it didn't get while roasting. Michael loved it and I was quite surprised. I ate it with these AWESOME Wasa Sesame flavored flatbread type crackers, shredded napa cabbage and parsley. Nomnomnom.

Last night I felt desperate for something tasty and hearty but not HARD. So I pulled out this can of Chu Chee Thai curry paste that someone had given to me. I normally use a curry powder and make my own base, but I thought "Hey if I have it, why not?"...and my curry powder is getting low! *sad face* So I read the ingredients, all safe, the instructions were for using with fish however - and since that wasn't an option I googled it... all fish. Like, seriously people! Lets get creative here!

I found a few curry recipes and gathered a few veggie ideas and then put it together. So essentially I added half a can (2oz) of the paste to one can of coconut milk (including all that yummy fattening cream that sticks to the lid) and some almond milk to stretch it a little... Then to that I added a ton of veggies, zucchini, collard greens, browned sweet potato... other stuff? I can't remember... broccoli I think. Anyway, greens & sweet potato are my new favorite curried foods... I literally picked out all of the collards and sweet potatoes before sending off the remainder to work with Michael (Sorry baby! lol). I served it over rice.

Today I decided I had to put the other half of the can of curry to use and with some help with my Pakistani friend, I made what (he would be horrified by) I can only consider a curry stew. I fried up some onions, garlic & ginger, tossed them in a pot, once again browned a sweet potato and threw that in as well as zucchini, broccoli, Great Northern beans (? - they're white) and about 3 cups of radish greens. You read that correctly, radish greens.

Today, I helped a friend of the family build steps for her elderly sister out of concrete blocks and mortar and as payment I got the most bizarre overgrown radish plants ever. My friend made the comment that they looked like a monster... she might not be far from the truth. These giant stems that were pink and over 3 feet long! I had gathered them with the intention of giving them to my rabbit, but after a few quick searches I found they were edible and could not pass up on saving a "few" for myself... and 10 cups or so of greens later I felt pretty good about life. They're really awesome, a little... textured... but spicy like mustard greens. I think they'll be awesome in a salad and are really great cooked in curry (once cooked, they no longer have that texture issue... read as... spiny).

So those are mostly my adventures for the week... OH I was also SUPERLY (yes I made that up) by a "neighbor" (I live in a town of less than 1500 people - everyone is your neighbor) told me I can raid their garden for kale, mustard greens and until frost, fresh basil! YAY! I'm so excited!! I was also introduced to the Tennessee Passionflower fruit! It reminds me of a pomegranate except more... tart? Like, if you eat rhubarb raw except not nearly as tart as that... (Oxalic acid is all I can think of - if you've ever eaten wood sorrel you know what i'm talking about) I was given a few to take home, YUM! I can't possibly live a more blessed life, even if I am broke all the time.

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