Tag Archives: cilantro

Easy Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Yesterday we ate a late lunch, so I scrapped my planned dinner menu and searched around for something lighter.  I looked around my pantry for what I already had and decided to make lentil something.  Using vegan lentil soup as my search term, I came across this recipe.  I didn’t have greens of any sort and made the soup without them.  The soup fragranced my house with exotic curry and in short order, we were enjoying little bowls of this soup.  The original recipe says it freezes well, so if you’re making soup for one, this is a winner!

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I had most everything on hand–subbing ground ginger for fresh.

ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced, or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP curry powder
  • ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups No Chicken broth
  • 1 (140z) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro for garnish
  • rice for serving

Add a splash of No Chicken broth to a large stock pot and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent–about 2-3 minutes.

saute onion garlic

Add ground ginger, tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and cook for another minute.

add spices tomato paste

Add broth, coconut milk, lentils and diced tomatoes.  Stir to combine.

add broth coconut milk tomatos

Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, until lentils are tender and soup is thick.

cover and simmer

Taste the soup and adjust seasonings (add salt and pepper) to your taste.

taste and adjust seasoning

Spoon prepared rice into bowls and add the lentil curry.  Garnish with cilantro.

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Quick and easy enough for a weeknight, yummy and comforting.  I think we’ll have the leftovers tonight rather than freezing them.  Mmmm-mmmm-mmm!

 

 

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, lunch, Potluck, recipe, vegan

Tofu Veggie Tikka Masala

I’m one of those people who can be convinced to try a new grocery item with a coupon for it.  Recently, I had a coupon for one item from a certain brand.  The shelf-safe Tikka Masala sauce caught my eye.  It sounded exotic and flavory.  A perfect compliment to my veggies and tofu.  So I bought it without checking the label–I was shopping my local health food store, what could be a problem?  Dairy.  Turns out this particular sauce has dairy.  In reading recipes for Tikka Masala sauce, yogurt seems to be key.  Sigh.  Oh well, I had it, why not go ahead and cook with it?  This yummy recipe is therefore vegetarian rather than my preferred vegan.  Have a look–you can make this in no time.

garnish with cilantro

I cruised the Google and found quite a few vegetarian and vegan versions of Tikka Masala, which is traditionally made with chicken chunks (tikka).  I combined ideas from these two: Tofu Masala and Vegetarian Tikka Masala, made all the easier for the premade sauce.  Here are the ingredients:

ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  (the pic shows little garlic ends leftover from roasting whole garlic heads)
  • 1 (14 oz) extra firm, organic tofu
  • 1 (14oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • premade Tikka Masala sauce
  • cilantro for garnish
  • prepared rice
  • naan or pita bread for serving

Drain and then press the tofu.  Wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and set something a bit weighty on top of it.

press tofu

Saute onion and pepper in a bit of veggie broth until onions are translucent–about 2-3 minutes.

saute onions and peppers

Add garlic and saute until fragrant–30 seconds to a minute.

add garlic

Remove the saute to a bowl.  Set aside.

remove saute

Cube the tofu by cutting through the center of the flat side, then cut into sticks and then cubes.

cube tofu

Spray your pan with a bit of spray oil and saute the tofu cubes until mostly browned.  I do this by stirring occasionally–I’m too lazy to turn each cube for perfect even brownness.

brown tofu

When tofu is sufficiently browned, add saute back to the pan, along with drained chickpeas. Stir to combine.

add saute and chickpeas

Add the sauce and stir to coat.

add sauce

stir to coat

Scoop rice into a bowl, add the tofu tikka masala, garnish with cilantro, and serve with naan or pita.

serve with rice

serve with naan or pita

So yummy!  I’m currently looking around for a truly vegan masala sauce recipe.  I’ve found a few so far, some using coconut yogurt–a flavor that sounds yummy with the rest of the ingredients here.  I’m also thinking about marinating the tofu ahead of time and grilling it to more closely recreate a traditional Tikka Masala.  Do your recipes evolve like this?

 

 

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Avocado Garbanzo Sammiches

Oh glorious garbanzo, how I love you.  You make fabulous dips and spreads, delicious soups and curries, and the most spectacular sammich salads.  When I saw you pairing up with avocado, oh my.  Swoon.  A huge thanks to Amuse Your Bouche for introducing the two of you.  ❤

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Run to your pantry and fridge!  Your mouth will be so happy.  🙂

ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste–I added this at the last minute–yum!
  • pita pockets and tomato for serving

Skin and pit your avocado and place it in a bowl with the drained chickpeas.  Mash them together with a fork or potato masher.  Leave a few “half” garbanzos for a nice texture.

mash chickpeas and avocado

Stir in green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

add cilantro onion lime

Spread inside a pita, add a few tomato slices (I like roma tomatoes) and lunch is served!  I enjoy this sammich even when it’s cold outside.

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The creaminess of the avocado pairs nicely with the meatiness of the garbanzos and is perfectly punctuated by the onion and cilantro.  Lime brings the freshness and prevents the avocado from browning.  Leftovers can be safely stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for a day or two.

If you’re like me and enjoy a chickpea salad, you might also want to try my Curried Chickpea Salad Sammiches.  Yum!

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Filed under Garden produce, lunch, recipe, salad, vegan, Vegetarian

Perfect Peach Salsa

Peach season.  Farm stands loaded with luscious glowing orbs of yumminess.  Perfect for eating fresh.   The juice running down your arm?  No worries!  All hail the glorious peach!  Enjoy them fresh now, and save some to brighten the dark days of winter.  So many options to save peaches: canning, freezing, pie filling, jams, jellies, and butters.  One of my favs is the spectacular combo of sweet and heat, peach salsa.  Yummy as a dip and as the perfect condiment to Mexican foods, especially in my humble opinion, fish or chicken tacos!

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Make it and store it in the fridge or can it to have all winter.  Peach salsa is an easy canning project–don’t fear the canner!  Recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 6 cups chopped, peeled and pitted peaches
  • 1 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (seeded as well if you want to tone down the heat)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a green pepper, because that’s what I had on hand–red would make a pretty salsa, though!)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro (Ok to leave this out if you hate cilantro)
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Prepare your canner, jars, lids and rings.  Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  (Placing vinegar into the pot first and chopping peaches into it as you go will stop peaches from browning.)

chop and combine

Reduce heat and and boil gently, stirring frequently until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Boil and simmer

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace with more salsa if needed.  Wipe rim, center lid and screw band down to finger-tight.

ladle into hot jars

Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes for 1/2 pints, 20 minutes for pints.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 more minutes and remove jars.

process for 15 min plus 5

Let cool for lids to seal–you’ll hear a “thunk,” and the lid will be concave.

remove and let cool to seal

Label your pretty jars with the date canned.

label lids

Peach Salsa makes a lovely gift, but be sure to save some for yourself to enjoy!  Yum!

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I’ve noticed people either love or hate the whole “sweet and heat” thang.  Which side are you on?

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Filed under Canning and preserving, dairy-free, Garden produce, snack, Vegetarian

Chili-Stuffed Peppers

This year has been a very good year for peppers in my garden.  This is the Big Bertha Bell pepper I picked this week that inspired a cruise around my fave vegan blogs for a stuffed pepper recipe.

big bertha

Success!  The Fat Free Vegan to the rescue!  I modified her recipe just a bit and loved the result; definitely a keeper.  I grew up eating peppers stuffed with a burger mixture, which I always loved, and these are just as yummy!

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I had everything I needed in my pantry and garden:

ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 package fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup prepared rice (I cooked 2 cups, and saved the remainder for other recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 bell peppers

For toppings:

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • fresh tomato, chopped
  • avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.

Saute onion in a bit of veggie broth or water until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

saute onions

Add mushrooms, jalapeno, and garlic.  Cook until mushrooms soften, adding broth as needed to prevent sticking.

add garlic mushrooms jalapeno

While onions and mushrooms cook, cut an opening down the side of each pepper, leaving the stem end on.  Carefully remove ribs and seeds.

cut opening in peppers

Chop the pepper parts you just cut off and add them to the pan.  Saute for a few more minutes to allow them to soften.

add diced pepper

Add beans, corn, fire roasted tomatoes, and spices.  Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two to blend the flavors.

add beans corn tomato spices

Add cooked rice.  1 cup was what looked right to me, but add more or less to your own taste.  Stir to combine.

add rice

Spray a pan with cooking spray and arrange peppers in it.  Stuff each with the filling.  Don’t they look yummy?!

stuff peppers

Bake 30-40 minutes, until peppers are tender.

bake til tender

Arrange toppings next to a pepper to serve, or place them on top.  Enjoy!

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I couldn’t stop making the yum sound.  I was a bit worried these wouldn’t be as hearty as a meat-stuffed pepper, but turns out they are just as satisfying if not even more so.  I had a fair amount of stuffing left over, which we’ve made into some mighty yummy burritos.  I think it would also be fabulous as a squash stuffing, and as a topper for a tofu scramble.  Yum, yum, yummy!

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Last week before a Rockies game, we stopped into Prost, a Denver brewery specializing in German-style beers, or rather, biers.  We had lunch from the food truck parked outside.  I selected black bean and sweet potato tacos from the menu; yum-yum-yummy!  I just had to come home and try to make them, even though Michael is no big fan of the sweet potato.  I think they came out pretty close, if not even more yummy, due to the home grown tomatoes, green onion and cilantro topping them.  🙂

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These are super fast, super easy-peasy, and perfect for company no matter how they prefer to get their protein.

ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, baked and diced (I baked mine in the microwave)
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • corn tortillas
  • lettuce, shredded
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • avocado, sliced
  • green onion, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Pierce the skin of the sweet potato and bake until done.  This took a bit over 4 minutes in my microwave; remember microwave power varies.  As soon as it becomes cool enough to work with it, peel and cut into 1/4 inch dice.

peel and dice sweet potato

In a pan, saute the garlic in a bit of veggie broth.  Cook until it starts to become golden and aromatic.

saute garlic

Add beans and green chiles to the pan, followed by sweet potato, cumin, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.

heat black beans and green chile

Warm tortillas in the microwave, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel or tortilla warmer.  Prepare your toppings.

assemble toppings

Assemble tacos with the black bean mixture, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce.  Squeeze fresh lime juice over the tops.

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Enjoy with a bit of salsa if you like (Michael loves hot sauce on these), and a margarita or two!

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So how did the “Not a Big Fan of Sweet Potatoes” like them?  Michael sez, “Yum!” They were yummy the next night as some of the best leftovers ever.  You’ll get about 12 regular-sized tacos from this recipe.  I’m thinking they would make luscious little appetizers made with tiny corn tortillas.  The filling would also be spectacular rolled into corn tortillas and baked as enchiladas.  Oh yummy!

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Filed under appetizer, dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

I’ve always loved cookbooks, something I get from my Mom.  Becoming vegan was not only a lifestyle change, it was the perfect reason to collect a few more cookbooks!  One of them, Veganomicon, was recommended by a vegan friend for both “the great recipes and the snarky commentary.”  An unbeatable combo, indeed.

veganomicon

The other day, my neighbor told me how she wanted to make a summery meal and decided on black bean burgers.  She made her beans from dried, cooked in a crock pot with veggies and mashed them all together with some flour and voila, yummy vegan burgers that held together and were, well, burger-y!  Being a last minute sort of person, and a person who occasionally shares recipes and therefore needs specific measurements, I went looking for a similar-sounding recipe that started with canned beans.  Veganomicon to the rescue!  I stayed fairly true to the recipe, just changing out gluten-y parts for gluten-free.

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ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked or 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup chick pea/garbanzo flour
  • 1 tsp chile powder (I used ground chipotle chile powder–smoky, hot, wonderful!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional, but if you love cilantro, definitely put it in!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 small onion, grated using the large holes of a box grater
  • cooking spray
  • buns (I used whole wheat, use gluten-free buns to keep the completed burger gluten-free)
  • toppings of your choice–black beans always remind me of Mexican food, so that’s the direction I went: whole green chiles, avocado, red onion, tomato, lettuce.  Think burrito on a bun.  🙂

Drain and mash the beans in a bowl with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooshed with a few half-beans left.

mash beans

Put all the other ingredients into the bowl, mixing with a fork, and then kneading with your hands until uniformly mixed.  Add a bit more chick pea flour if the mixture is unbearably sticky.  A little sticky is OK.

add everything

Divide into six equal pieces and roll each into a ball.  Place the balls onto parchment or wax paper and flatten with the palm of your hand.

divide into 6

flatten into patties

Spray a large fry pan with cooking spray and pre-heat over medium heat.  The patties will want to stick to the paper–rip the paper around each patty and use the paper to transfer them to the pan.  Cook 3 patties at a time, 5 minutes each side.  Patties should be very firm when cooked.

cook 3 at a time

Slather a warmed or toasted bun with the spread of your choice and dress your burger with however many fun condiments you wish.  OMG sooooo yummy!

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The recipe says these burgers freeze well once cooked:  pack them in a resealable plastic bag with waxed paper between each patty.  Reheat in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes.  (I’m gonna try microwaving them like pre-packaged frozen veggie burgers.)   Bring on the summer BBQ meals!  Let’s have another look at this uh-maze-ingly yummy burger…

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This recipe is soooo yummy, I marked up the page with 5 stars and the small changes I made.  Do you make notes in the margins of your recipe books?

notes

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Filed under dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, lunch, Potluck, recipe, Vegetarian