Category Archives: Vegan

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

A tasty variation on red lentil soup.  The zesty flavours made me feel like a grown-up while solo-parenting over the holiday weekend.  Wish the 5-year-old would have tried it though!

1 Tbsp butter [or margarine/oil to make a vegan version]
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion sliced
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 garlic cloves minced
1 large tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (approx. 4-5 carrots)
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 bay leaf
sea salt and pepper
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, or more to taste
lime juice, to serve
chopped cilantro, to serve
crushed red peppercorns, to serve

In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, leek, cumin, and thyme and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring until fragrant and the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the tomato has softened.  Add the carrots, lentils, cold water, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.

Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and transfer the soup to the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth.  [We just used our immersion blender right in the pot once the soup had cooled down a bit.]  Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk.  Reheat and check the seasoning for coconut milk and sea salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro, and crushed red peppercorns. The lime juice is key — really elevates the dish!

Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande.

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Filed under Vegan, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Saag

Remember that time I began a recipe blog and then completely abandoned it? Luckily all of you have been picking up the slack in the meantime (thank you for all of the delicious recipes!). I have a number of things I’ve been meaning to post here, but I made this last night and it was easy and delicious, so I’m going to begin with it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs pumpkin or butternut squash (other kinds of squash would probably work as well)
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup water (or broth, for extra deliciousness)
  • 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 10 oz fresh spinach (about 2 bunches) washed and coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime

First, bake the pumpkin (or squash, or whatever). (Protip: this recipe is made remarkably easy if you do this step a day (or a few days) in advance and refrigerate the pumpkin until you want to use it.) Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the flesh.

Let the pumpkin cool completely. Peel away the skin and chop the pumpkin up into 1-inch chunks. It’s going to completely disintegrate anyway so you don’t need to get overly precious about technique at this stage.

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the diced onion in the peanut oil until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 2 or 3 more minutes.

Add the pumpkin and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the spices and salt, and grate the ginger directly into the pot (use a microplane grater or the finest gauge on your grater (LOL gauge, look at me making up grater terminology. JUST GET THE GINGER INTO TINY PIECES IN SOME WAY OK)). Add the water (or broth!) and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing often.

Add the spinach in three or four batches, mixing well after each addition.

Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring often. Add the lime; taste and adjust the salt. Apparently this is best if you let it sit for a while before you eat it, but let’s be real, that’s not going to happen.

I served this with some basmati rice, a simple yogurt sauce (see below), and some chopped mango, and it was god damn delicious.

Spiced Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

Combine and serve!

Both of these recipes were adapted from Veganomicon.

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Filed under Entrees, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chermoula (Moroccan green sauce)

This sauce is simple but has so much flavour. I originally made it to accompany roasted vegetables and quinoa, which was great, and I just covered a fried egg on toast with it, which was maybe even greater.

Ingredients:

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt
  • 2/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 1½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one large lemon (or more to taste)

Directions:

Mash the garlic, with 1 tsp salt, into a paste: either in a mortar and pestle or with your knife. Transfer to food processor, add the cilantro and parsley, and process until finely chopped (if using a mortar and pestle, chop the herbs finely beforehand and bruise them in the mortar to release their flavour). Add spices, olive oil, and lemon juice to taste, and process until mixed.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.


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Filed under Sauces and condiments, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cranberry Square

Hi everyone, and thank you for inviting me. This sounds like a great way to gain new recipes that I can try.

So here is a family favorite, which I recently found still works quite well if you want to make it vegan, and substitute the butter for vegan butter. Margarine on the other hand, while it tastes fine, for some reason does not bind well and your cranberry square will be very difficult to cut and serve because the bottom will not hold together well.

The cranberry filling recipe can be used to make cranberry sauce, which, you can make for a dinner, or preserve by putting it into sterile canning jars.
The crumble topping can also be used for a variety of crumbles and squares, from date squares, to apple or peach crunbles. So this recipe has a lot of potential for variation.

Cranberry Squares Ingredients

Dry Ingredients for crumble layers:
1 ½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Cup of Oatmeal
1 ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Softened Butter
½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Wet Ingredients:  (This on its own is a great recipe for homemade cranberry sauce for turkey/chicken dinners)
3 cups of fresh,or frozen whole cranberries (not dried ones) (you can find frozen ones in the frozen fruits isle of many grocery stores)   1 Cup of White Sugar
1 Cup of water

One well greased 9 Inch square baking pan or pyrex dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.

Procedure for crumble layers:
Sift together flour and baking soda, then add oatmeal and brown sugar and mix well. Combine with the butter till it forms a pressable crumble mixture. A pastry cutter works well for this, if you don’t have one, using your hands is just as good. Separate the mixture into two halves and press one half firmly and evenly into the bottom of the greased pan. Set the other aside for the topping.

Procedure for cranberry filling:
Dissolve the white sugar in water in a small pot and boil for 3-4 minutes until it appears to have thickened into a thin syrup. Stir periodically so that the sugar does not burn to the bottom of your pot. Once it has reached this stage, add the cranberries to this mixture and boil while stirring for approximately 4-5 minutes. The skins should split on the cranberries and the mixture should become syrupy and thick. Allow it to cool slightly, till the filling thickens, and then pour over the oatmeal mixture in the pan. Spread evenly and cover this with the remaining crumble topping.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, this will be slightly less in a pyrex dish. The crumble should be golden brown on top when it is done. Allow to cool before cutting. Keeping the cranberry square chilled until you plan to serve it will help make it easier to cut.

*Note, if you are substituting vegan butter in, I found it cooked a bit faster, so watch it carefully.

Mmm delicious.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian