Friday, March 29, 2013

Meatless Chickpea Curry with Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes

Here it is!  One of the most voted for recipes from my Meatless giveaway.  I made one modification to this recipe and that was to use no salt vegetable broth in place of the EVOO when cooking the onions.  Enjoy!!

Toasting the curry powder with other aromatic ingredients before adding the liquid intensifies the flavor of this quick take on chana masala. You can roast the cauliflower and the tomatoes a couple days ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.  Serves 4

1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into florets
2 tbsp plus 2 tsps extravirgin olive oil
1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp curry powder
3 cups cooked chickpeas (canned or soaked and cooked)
2 1/2 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Toss cauliflower with 1 tsp olive oil and arrange in a single layer on one side of a rimmed baking sheet. Toss tomatoes with 1 tsp olive oil and arrange on other side of sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until florets are browned in spots and tomatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.

2. In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 8 minutes.

4. Add cauliflower and cook until warmed through and chickpeas are tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in spinach and cilantro and season with salt. To serve, divide among 4 bowls (over rice, if desired).

Recipe reprinted from the book Meatless with permission from the publisher. Copyright © 2013 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Winners of "Meatless" and April Book Giveaway

The winners of the drawing for a free copy of "Meatless" are....Chris Robinson and Michelle Moore Summers!  Please get in touch with me to get your copy of the book.  I can mail them out today :)

I was at the library over the weekend and picked out my next book giveaway for April!  I am super excited to be reviewing and cooking out of Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno

I love this book and I promise you will too!  It's beautifully organized and full of gorgeous photos of high nutrient/high raw food.  There are recipes for raw juices, smoothies using raw nut milks, creative raw salads, soups and stews, "sexy sides", and desserts.

I can't wait to jump in and start cooking...and uncooking!

Here's the video trailer for the book and you can also get some sneak peak recipes on Kris Carr's website.  And bonus! You get free cooking classes with the book as well :-)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Review of the book "Meatless" and BOOK GIVEAWAY

I have been provided complimentary copies of the book "Meatless" by the publisher of Martha Stewart Living.  I only review books and products that I think my followers will have an interest in and I will always give an honest review.  

For the past three weeks I've been cooking from the book "Meatless" by the publisher of Martha Stewart Living, with a promise to the publisher to give my honest review.  I was somewhat hesitant to take on this project because the book is primarily filled with Lacto-Ovo vegetarian recipes, and well, this is a vegan blog.  But I wanted to give the book a chance because I think it's huge that Martha Stewart has her name on a cookbook that has no meat in it!  Can we all just stand up and give her a round of applause?!  Seriously people, this is HUGE.

Upon opening the book, I was excited to see that there was a beautiful color photo for every single recipe.  There's a wide variety of dishes catagorized as "Small Plates to Mix and Match", "Stovetop Suppers", "Soups, Stews, and Chili", "Casseroles and other Baked Dishes", "Substantial Salads", "Sandwiches, Burgers and Pizzas", "Pasta and other Noodles", and "Simple Side Dishes". 

I appreciated the many gluten free recipes, though I did need to modify a bit on the oil and dairy. The ingredients were easy to find and the recipes simple to follow.  The serving size and macronutrient information are all there, but I would have liked to have had a notation about the total time from start to finish.

If your family has been "eating clean" or tossing around the idea of giving up meat at least one day a week, this would be a great guide.  If you are a seasoned vegan or vegetarian cook the book may or may not give you some fresh new ideas but it's worth a look.  I didn't find that the recipes pushed vegetarian cooking to the edge like Isa's Moskowitz's recipes do, but it definitely has it's place in the mainstream world of new vegetarians or new plant based eaters. Again, I give Martha and her staff a big high five for recognizing that palates are changing, and for the better :-)

Below is the Versitile Vegetarian Chili on p. 146.   The basic chili has 10 ingredients, but there are suggestions for toppings (I chose raw corn and avocado), varying the beans, changing up the vegetables, using tomatillos in place of the canned tomatoes, and broiling the veggies to maximize the flavor.  

This is the Roasted Beet-Garlic Soup on p. 142.  I love me some Borsht soup, so this was not hard to make and eat.  The only thing I did wrong was to not roast the garlic in the oven, I simply pan sauteed it because I failed to read ahead in the directions and had a time constraint for getting this one done.  I think roasting it is necessary to give it the depth of flavor.  It was still very good!  My kids enjoyed it too, but they aren't picky eaters so that's not saying much.

I was at Whole Foods to buy the veggies for the ratatouille and mentioned to one of the employees what I was making.  I got a nice story about how he worked on a farm one summer and there was always lots of fresh tomatoes, so he made ratatouille several nights a week and never got sick of it. And since then it has become his "favorite meal".  I almost felt as if I needed to extend him an invitation to dinner!

I had not made Ratatouille in years, so I had forgotten how wonderfully simple it is to make.  I think the Roasted-Vegetable Ratatouille on p.141 one will become a regular in my meal plan rotation.

It's not a big surprise that we are big ethnic food eaters at our house since my husband was born and raised in India. So, of course I had to make the Curried Red Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro on p. 126.   Vineet insisted on serving his over Basmati rice and adding mango pickle.   He ate two bowls of it- a sign that his Indian palate enjoyed it.   I have made similar soups but never thought to add the cherries (well I used cranberries) but it does add a nice dimension to the soup!  And I like the idea to drizzle the coconut milk for garnish.  Not my best photo, but you get the idea...

This is the Chickpea Curry with Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes on p. 133.  I have made many a curry with cauliflower but never had I thought to use roasted cauliflower.  Roasting cauliflower gives it an almost buttery/cheesy taste.  We had purple califlower growing in the garden, so that's what I used here.  This one is also a definite keeper!

Lastly, the Zucchini-Ribbon Lasagna on p. 155 was made with both zucchini ribbons and gluten free noodles.  I ran out of zuchini, so I had to improvise.  I thought this one lacked a bit in flavor when I compare it to Isa Moskowitz's lasagna recipes.  I think making the tofu into a ricotta with cashews and spices would have helped make the dish more flavorful.  Still, we did enjoy this one.

I'm not done cooking with this book!  I still want to try the Quinoa Veggie Burger, Green Vegetable Curry, Marrakesh Stew, Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Coconut and Lime, Lentil and Cashew Hummus, Baked Polenta Fries and more. 

Also, I am giving away a copy of Meatless!  All you have to do is comment below on which recipe you'd like me to get permission from publisher to print here on my blog! You can follow me on FaceBook and also enter the contest there. I will randomly select a winner using  Good Luck :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Leprechaun Pudding

I'm so sorry I didn't get this recipe up before St. Patty's Day!  I made these for my husband and kids the day before I had to drive to Sarasota to run in the Sarasota Half Marathon, so there was no time to blog!

Leprechaun Pudding
Makes 4,  1 cup servings

4 large Haas Avocados
8-10 large Medjool dates soaked and drained (soaked for 2+ hours)
3/4 cup soaked and rinsed cashews (soaked for 2+ hours)
1 tsp Vanilla extract or Vanilla Bean paste
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used raw cocoa)
2 tbsp raw cocoa nibs (optional for garnish)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional for garnish)

Put everything except the cocoa powder in a high powered blender and blend on high until smooth.  Add water as needed to keep from overworking your blender.  This is really thick pudding! 

Scoop out half of the pudding and put into glass canning jars (or whatever containers you want to use).  Now add the cocoa powder into the blender with the remaining avocado pudding.  Blend until combined and scoop over the top of the "green pudding".  Garnish with raw cocoa and pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy!  I hope everyone had a fab St. Patty's day :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Simple Raw: Banana and Nut Butter "Milkshake"

Sometimes when I'm taking photos, my kids will run over and pop their heads right into my photo :)  This is one of her favorite raw milkshakes, and it really hits the spot when you are craving a thick and creamy shake.  I don't always make it 100% raw, sometimes I use Almond Breeze for the nut milk but using the raw nut milk definitely delivers more of a "wow factor" to the tastebuds.

This shake comes from my Uncooking 101 Jump Start, with some adaptations. I use less nut butter than the original recipe and I use cocao nibs to make it like a chocolate chip shake. You can find raw cocao nibs at your local health food store.  Check the bulk section for the best prices.  If you live in the Orlando area, you can get them at Hoover's Market in Apopka.

Banana and Nut-Butter "Milkshake"
Makes 1 large Nut Milkshake

2 Frozen organic bananas (use frozen for an extra thick shake)
2 tbsp of raw nut butter (I use Woodstock brand Raw Unsalted Almond Butter)
1 cup nut milk (DIY Cashew Milk, Almond Milk or store bought Almond Breeze)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp Cocao nibs

Blend until smooth, then top with cinnamon.

A tip on storing raw nut butters and nuts- they will last a lot longer if you keep them all in the refrigerator!  If you find they are getting too hard to scoop out, you are keeping your refrigerator set a too cold of a setting.  I also like to drain the oil off the top of my nut butters.  There's plenty of fat in the butter, no need to keep the extra oil :)