Saturday, October 8, 2011

Taste-of-Thai Saute from Vegan on $4 a Day

So I'm finally getting around to putting up this recipe from last month's Meal Plan.  This is the Taste-of-Thai Saute from Ellen Jaffe Jones' book, "Vegan on $4 a Day".  My husband and kids both gave this one a 9 out of 10, and I thought it was super easy and tasty besides being budget friendly :)
Of course, I love anything made with coconut milk and basil!

Taste-of-Thai Saute


1 tbsp vegetable oil (I substituted veg broth here)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups cauliflower pieces (I omitted this since we didn't have it)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup carrot slices
1 cup cut green beans (I omitted these and just added more carrots)
1 can (15oz) light coconut milk (I use full fat coconut milk cut in half with water...that's what "light coconut milk is)
1/2 cup chopped fresh thai basil or sweet basil
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I used Organic Full Sodium Tamari cut in half with water)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup (I used Organic Raw Blue Agave)
3 cups brown rice or millet (I used brown rice)

Heat the oil (or veg broth) in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and ginger and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook and stir for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the eggplant, cauliflower, bell pepper, carrot, and green beans and stir well to coat the vegetables with the seasonings. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients from sticking to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Add the basil, soy sauce, lime juice, and agave nectar and cook and stir for 1 minute. Serve over rice or millet.

-Shake the can of coconut milk before opening. To get the best flavor, open the coconut milk just before using.
-For a slightly different taste, add 1/2 tsp of curry powder to the vegetables while they are cooking.

Enjoy!  If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments section!

Monday, October 3, 2011

You can eat Vegan Anywhere!

I hear people tell me all the time about how hard they think it is to eat vegan at restaurants that are not vegan friendly.  Well it is not hard.  The number one thing you have to do is call ahead or if you forget to do that, let the waiter know that you cannot eat any animal products and be clear that this means eggs, dairy, cheese, meat, fish or poultry, because sometimes they think dairy, cheese and eggs are not animal products.

Here are two examples of places that I ate at recently that don't really have a vegan menu, but have some vegetarian items.  For my 39th Birthday I went to Ceviche restaurant in downtown Orlando.  They have a traditional spanish fare, with lots of meat and cheese on the menu.  I was able to get this tasty asparagus plate and a hummus and veggie platter.  The asparagus came with aoli sauce, which is made with eggs.  I just asked that to be left off my food and it was no problem.  All you have to do is ask!

Below is a photo of my custom made vegan platter from Hannibal's on the Square in Winter Park. It was not on the menu (keep in mind this is a classic French restaurant!).  It was made by Chef Vincent who also owns Chez Vincent and he was happy to put it together for me.   He even came outside and asked me how it was :)  I had doubts on the mashed potatoes being vegan, so I gave those to my husband. Other than that, everything was really tasty.

Vegan on $4 a Day

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Jaffe Jones here in Orlando.  She is becoming a rising celebrity in the Vegan movement.  We had a low turnout here in Orlando but in the veggie city of Vancouver she spoke in front of 300 people and she has had several radio and TV interviews, so I am happy that her book has been getting the attention it deserves. 

I have made several recipes from the book and so far so good.  The directions are all very clear and simple to follow, so whoever did the editing did a great job.  The recipes are mostly low fat and low sodium and she breaks down the cost per serving for each meal based on buying things like beans and brown rice in bulk.  I'm not sure if the fruits and veggies she quoted prices for were all Organic, but if you buy through a CSA or a Food Buying Co-op, you are probably doing okay.

My favorites from the book have been the Easy Miso Dressing, Creamy Tahini Dressing, Beans and Greens Stir Fry, and the Taste of Thai Saute.  You can get your copy of Vegan on $4 a day on