DDD #77 – Vegan Smoked Dal Makhani – Punjabi-Style – Instant Pot or Not!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I love Indian food.  I always have.  I also love cooking with dry beans & lentils because they are so inexpensive & yield many servings for pennies per serving.  The only issue with Indian recipes is acquiring the exotic spices – which can be expensive if you do not buy them from an Indian market.  Ethnic markets are always the best place to buy spices because each will typically carry all you need for recipes from that area of the world and at greatly reduced prices.  If you do not live in an area with much diversity – Amazon is wonderful.  You can typically omit a few spices from most recipes with little loss of flavor but it is really satisfying to be as authentically true to a regional recipe as possible.   With Thai food, for example, getting fresh kaffir lime leaves & Thai basil makes an enormous difference.  You just open the packages of these things and are transported to your favorite Thai restaurant.  Indian food has a few staples that are hrd to get around – garam masala, for example.  But it is stuff like cardamom & fenugreek (methi) that add authenticity.  Fenugreek is an herb – pictured below – both fresh & dried.  It also comes in seed form & as a powder and it is ubiquitous in Indian recipes in one form or another.  It might be a good idea to research a few Indian recipes & stock up on the critical spices sif you want to experiment with this wonderful cuisine.  HERE is a list of the most used spices – garam masala being the most commonly used and that list omitted the kasoori (or kasuri) methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and I would add that to your list as well as amchoor (mango powder).

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I made a version of mahkani in July – seen above – my Spicy Vegan Dal Makhani (Beluga or Black Lentils) for the Slow Cooker.   That dish used beluga lentils & is not as authentic as today’s recipe. In today’s recipe I used whole black lentils (also called urad dal or black gram) and red kidney beans (rajma).    I not only soaked these beans overnight but I also cooked them in my slow cooker for 5 hours on high AND left them overnight to let the flavors meld.  I recommend this (though it is not necessary) to let the beans really soften & the flavors blend – so – if you are making this dish it takes two days before you are eating it.  Again, you definitely could eat it after the 5 hours but like many stew-type dishes – it gets better over time.  The good news is – there is no prep cooking for this dish so, except for cutting up an onion & 2 peppers – the slow cooker does all the work (except the smoking process – explained below).  The lentils & beans I used are below – dry – and as they looked after soaking them – separately – overnight.  As you can see – they changed color considerably.   This dish is traditionally very rich using varied amounts of butter & heavy cream.  I used only 2 TBS of vegan butter & 1/2 cup vegan sour cream – so this dish is not quite so heavy.

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As to smoking your dal makhani – it is VERY easy & I recommend it very highly.  It just requires a chunk of a natural charcoal & a small metal bowl.  You simply heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!  (The photo of the smoking charcoal is from my Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry (Vegan – Vegetarian) – seen below.)

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Vegan Smoked Dal Makhani Punjabi-Style (Black Gram/Urad Dal & Rajma) – 

Serves 6+ with rice

INGREDIENTS

 1 cup dry black urad dal – soaked overnight

1/2 cup dry red kidney beans – soaked overnight

1 onion – diced

2 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – seeded & diced

2 TBS vegan butter (or coconut or olive oil)

4 cups water (or vegetable stock)

1 cup tomato puree

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBS garam masala

1/2 tsp amchoor

2 TBS dry methi leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

3 green cardamom pods

1 TBS fresh or jarred ginger (I used jarred)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

Steamed rice

GARNISH – more sour cream, cilantro or fresh fenugreek leaves

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the beans overnight.   Drain & rinse.

INSTANT POT

Heat the oil or butter using the saute setting – saute the onion & peppers until soft.  Put everything else in & cook, sealed, on manual for 35 minutes.

SLOWCOOKER

Put everything except the sour cream into a slow cooker & cook on high for at least 5 hours – maybe more.  If you are going for the overnight uber-cooking (as I did) – leave it covered overnight.  I left my cooker off as there was nothing in there that would spoil but – if you are not comfortable with that – add some water & leave it on warm overnight.

STOVE TOP

Heat the oil or butter and saute the onion & peppers in a large stock pot until soft.  Put everything else in & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & simmer until the beans are tender – 30 minutes or so.

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Either way – the next step is the smoking (which you can skip but I recommend trying it because it is amazing.  Heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker or Instant Pot or pan.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!

Now – stir in the sour cream.   If it is too thin – add water or vegan milk to thin it.  If it is too thin – cook it on high with the lid off until it thickens.  Mashing some of the dal with a wooden spoon or pureeing with an immersion blender gives an even creamier result.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream & serve with rice.

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DDD #75 – Vegan Spicy Citrus Black Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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These are as easy as putting everything into a slow cooker & walking away.  I did not even pre-soak the beans.  You could speed this process up either by using canned beans or soaking dry beans overnight or quick soaking them or cooking them on a higher setting – or by doing it stove top.  These are mildly spicy & mildly citrusy.  You could ratchet either of those flavors up or down – according to your preferences.

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Vegan Spicy Citrus Black Beans (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Stove Top)

Feeds 6 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry black beans

5 cups water or stock (1 cup only if using drained, canned beans)

Juice of 2 limes

juice of 1 large lemon

juice of 1 large orange

6 garlic cloves – minced

2 (or more or less) chipotle chilies in adobo – minced

1 onions – diced

3 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – minced (or to taste)

1 TBS  ground cumin

2 TBS dry oregano (or fresh – chopped)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp of salt

Squirt sriracha

Garnish – cilantro & cooked rice & maybe citrus wedges to squeeze

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DIRECTIONS

SLOWCOOKER

Put it all in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Cook uncovered longer if they are too wet – add water if they are too dry.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

STOVE TOP

Put everything in a very large stock pot & bring to a boil & simmer until the beans are tender (90 minutes or more or until the beans are tender).  Boil longer if they are too watery.  Add water if they get too thick.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

INSTANT POT

Put it all into the Instant Pot & cook on manual for 25 minutes.  Drain in a colander if they are too wet.  Add water if they get too dry.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

All of these methods will go much faster with beans soaked overnight and, in the case of canned beans, the only times required is maybe an hour to let the flavors meld.

Garnish with cilantro & serve with rice.  Maybe squeeze a bit of lemon, lime or orange juice onto the beans.

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DDD #29 – Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Black bean brownies?  Am I to believe my eyes?  Yes & yes!  These babies are amazing & nobody would ever guess that they are flourless & made of canned beans.  Rich & delicious & packed with protein – even the fussiest kids will chow these babies down.

Click the image below for the video & please subscribe to my channel.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

INGREDIENTS

1 (15 oz) can black beans – drained & rinsed

2 vegan eggs (use your favorite egg replacer)

3 TBS coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips plus extra for topping

1/8 – 1/4 cup peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the chocolate chips & peanut butter.

Mix in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Grease an 8×8 baking pan.  Spread the mix in there.  Drop some peanut butter on top and – with a skewer or the tip of a knife – swirl the peanut butter.  Top with some extra chips & then bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is dry & the edges are separated from the pan.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting them.  Refrigerating them will facilitate cutting them up.

Serve & wow the villagers!

 

Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I am several days into eating only food I already have in the house.  I have WAY too many frozen leftovers & dry pastas & beans etc taking up space & yet I keep going to the store to buy more food. It is ridiculous & wasteful.  Today’s recipe was inspired by a huge butternut squash I had & some other veggies rapidly reaching the end of their shelf life.  I used jarred salsa because I had one open but made the enchilada sauce because I did not already have some in a jar or can.  You can choose to go all jarred or all homemade – your call.

I also roasted a whole butternut squash.  You might want to buy some already cubed & roast those – or just boil them.  This can be as labor-intensive or as simple as you care to make it.

The real star of this dish is this newer vegan cheese I found.  It tastes great & does a fair job at melting – so – I recommend trying it if you see it or can find it online.  It is from Parmela Creamery and you can definitely buy it – and loads of other vegan cheeses – from them.

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Oh – as an aside – TJ Maxx is a great source for kitchen items.  They always have loads of olive oil marked way down.  I stock up every time I go there.

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Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Serves 6 well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups red enchilada sauce (my recipe HERE) or your favorite brand or recipe

16 oz salsa – homemade or your favorite brand

olive oil

1 small butternut squash

1/2 medium red (or any other kind) onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos (optional) – seeded & diced

3 tomatoes – diced

2 carrots – diced

1 cup corn

1 12 oz can black beans – drained

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

15-20 taco-sized corn tortillas

Up to 1 lb grated vegan cheeses of your choice ( I used both cheddar & mozzarella)

S&P to taste

GARNISH: cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado slices, additional salsa or hot sauce

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

I roasted my butternut squash unpeeled & halved.  It was a sorta messy business doing it this way.  In the future, I will peel & cube it first.  Whatever you decide – roast it naked for 20-40 minutes, turning at least once, until it is soft.  If you cooked it like I did – let it cool in the sink & peel & cube it once it is cool enough to handle.  OR – you could peel, cube & boil it until the cubes are soft.  I had a large squash – so I put some extra mashed up into my dogs’ dinner.  They loved it!

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & add the chopped carrots & onions.  When they start to soften, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, corn & black beans.  Add the spices & cilantro.  Heat through.  Add the garlic & saute 1 minute.  Stir in the cubed squash.  Season with S&P & set aside.

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Now – assemble the casserole.  Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray).  Put the salsa on the bottom.  The rest can be pretty random – as long as you end with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce & 1/3 of the cheese.

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Layer some corn tortillas & top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cheese & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Layer with  1/3 of the cheese, more tortillas, the final 1/3 of the veggie & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another layer of tortillas & the rest of the enchilada sauce & cheese.

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I used the casserole glass lid to cover it.  You can do this or use foil.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, remove cover & bake another 10 minutes or so.  Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions & maybe salsa, hot sauce or a few slices of fresh avocado.  Enjoy!

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Squid Ink Risotto with Seared Scallops

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Nothing was more important to me than my dearest Memphis – above.  Nothing.  He was a little rescued gift from the universe after my 4-year-old pug, Grisbi, died suddenly & mysteriously.  Then – on June 20th – Memphis left me the same way – suddenly & mysteriously – at 4.  I am bereft.

It has been difficult to get into cooking & blogging.  Everything reminds me of Memphis & then everything seems so pointless and so trivial.

Anyway, I have had this cuttlefish ink in my fridge forever – but I never tried it because I gave up seafood three years ago.  Today – I decided to break my no seafood thing (for the second time in a week) and make this risotto.  Early this week – I made Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta – seen below.

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People are often intimidated by risotto but I do not understand why.   It is simple to prepare & only takes about 20 minutes.  This black risotto here is no exception.  It is simple & delicious.  What people should be intimidated by is scallops.  They are often fishy & too often overcooked into rubber.  I managed to pull the scallops here off perfectly & I will share how.  It was not difficult.

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Squid Ink Risotto with Seared Scallops

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

Fresh jumbo scallops – maybe 3 or 4 per person

1 cup Arborio rice

4 cups vegetable stock

3 TBS butter

3 TBS olive oil

1 large shallot (or small onion) – diced

1-6 garlic cloves (I used 6) – chopped

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

Squid ink (or cuttlefish ink) – about 3 or 4 teaspoons

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – or to taste (optional)

10 cherry tomatoes – halved (maybe extra to quarter & use as garnish)

2 red chilies (optional) – diced – some reserved as garnish

S&P

Parsley – chopped – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Wash the scallops in cold water & pat VERY dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle with S&P.  Set aside.

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil & reduce to a simmer.

Heat TWO TBS of olive oil & TWO TBS of butter in a stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the shallots or onion & saute until soft & just beginning to brown.  Add the rice & tomatoes & stir for a minute or two.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine & then the ink & red chilies & crushed red pepper(if using).  I added the ink in increments until it got the nice rich black.  You may or may not use all the ink suggested – your call.  Add the stock 1/4 cup at a time – letting it get absorbed before adding the next cup.  Stir the rice the entire time.  Reserve about 1/2 cup stock.   Season with S&P.  Test that the rice is cooked & then cover it & remove it from the heat.

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In a frying pan, heat 1 TBS olive oil & 1 TBS butter (more if you have more than 4 scallops) and heat on high until very hot.  Add the dry scallops.  They should sizzle upon contact with the oil.  Do not fumble with them.  Let them sear 1-2 minutes each side – depending on their thickness.  Ideally – they should only be moved once – when you flip them.  They should be crusty on two sides by a bit translucent in the center ( bit rare) – unless you like them cooked well done.  Leave them on longer for a well done scallop.  Know they will keep cooking a bit even after removed from the heat.

Stir the remaining stock into the risotto & stir.  It should be what the Italians cal “all’onda.”  That means “wavy” or “with waves.”  The risotto should be creamy enough that tapping the bottom of the plates makes it spread out.

Plate the risotto, top with scallops & chopped parsley (and chopped red chilies or tomatoes) as garnish.

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Spicy Vegan Southwestern Pasta Salad

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pasta salads are so easy & vegan ones can sit out at a BBQ with no worry of anything going bad (like mayo).  I made this for a Memorial Day party but I added WAY too much chili powder.  I am going to reduce the quantity I suggest here.  The fact is – you could just toss the ingredients with your favorite BBQ sauce & call it a day – but the lime juice & chili powder add some depth.  I used these noodles below – but I broke the long noodles into thirds.  I love this pasta because it looks cool & photographs really well but any pasta at all will do.  The quantities of the ingredients are loose & you can go with more or less of lots of them with no negative impact on the salad.

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Spicy Vegan Southwestern Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked & drained under cold water

1/4 olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tsp chili powder (I used 2 TBS & it was NOT a good thing)

1/4 cup (or more) BBQ sauce (I used Hak’s Thai Chili Tamarind – because that is what I had – but a more traditional BBQ sauce might suit this salad better)

2 tsp cumin

1-3 garlic cloves – minced

12 oz frozen corn

1 (15 oz) can black beans – drained & rinsed

1 bell pepper – chopped (I used an orange one)

1-2 jalapenos – chopped (I used red ones)

4 tomatoes – diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

S&P

Extra cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder & cumin together.  Set aside.

Toss all the remaining ingredients well.  Add the olive oil mixture incrementally – tasting as you go.  You might not use all of it.  Season with S&P & maybe stir in more BBQ sauce.

Serve with additional cilantro.

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Vegan Black Jasmine Pork Fried Rice with Egg (Thai Rice Berry)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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VeganEgg-packaging

Follow Your Heart came out with a vegan egg (photo above stolen from Google).  The first time I tried it – I was put off by the fact that it is a powder you add water to & that it takes FOREVER to set & become eggy.  It seemed like a chemical rubber to me & I talked shit about it a bit.  When I decided to make a fried rice – it crossed my mind that this egg might work better as part of a larger dish – without the pressure of having to stand on its own.    So – I made it again.  I noticed that the powder even has a very faint eggy-sulfur smell – that I did not notice the first time.  And – this time – I let the pan get very hot before I added the mix.

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And – this time – it came together a bit more quickly.  I added some salt to it before it set & scrambled it until it was no longer wet.  And tasted it.  And, this time, I kinda liked the result.  The visual isn’t perfect but the taste & texture were actually pretty good.  I wonder how a quiche or chilaquiles might turn out with this stuff.  I will experiment & report back.  But – if you crave breakfast eggs – I am changing my thumbs down on these to a pretty enthusiastic thumbs up.   Omelettes might be the ideal way to use this stuff – because added flavors & textures can only help.

One thing – once set – these eggs don’t break up like real egg & so – cut up – they look sorta plastic (visually – see below) and were lost & overwhelmed in this rice.  Just FYI.

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As to this rice dish – it was just an excuse to make my awesome Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs – above.  Those fuckers are so convincing & delicious – I just had to make them again the very next day!  I also had a myriad of random vegetables to use up & I really wanted to experiment with the vegan egg again – so – this dish was born.  It is a pretty straight-forward stir-fry & you can add anything you want to it or lose anything from it that you don’t like or have around already.    Two notes – the egg gets sorta lost in this so it might be a waste to use them for this dish and – I stirred the chopped “pork” into the stir-fry where the heat sorta steamed their crispy, stickiness away.  In the future – I would top each plate with a portion of the ribs — on top or on the side.

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Also – I made this with my newest rice discover – Thai Rice Berry (black jasmine) rice.  ANY rice will work – but I had this left over so that is what I used.

I saw this new rice at my favorite Thai grocery store – Bangluck.   $10 for 5 pounds – so I could not resist.  I looked it up online & found THIS:

Riceberry  Rice is the new variety of rice that has been bred in Thailand. The rice is deep purple in colour; this rich dark colour is typical of plants that yield high nutrition. Rice berry rice is cross pollination of three hardy and loved rice strains; they are:

  • Thai Hom Mali Race – also known as fragrant jasmine rice, the highest quality and most sort after rice in the world, after cooking it retains its structure but takes on a soft fluffy consistency.
  • Hom Nin Rice – has well known and documented antioxidant properties, but this grain can become a little chewy if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Khao Dawk Mali 105 – a hardy seed which will grow in a broad range of agricultural environments.

The cross-pollination of these three rice plants has resulted in Riceberry Rice, a new and exciting rice variety. Riceberry takes on the best attributes of each of the grains that were used in its inception. The light fluffy texture and flavour from Thai jasmine rice, high in minerals and antioxidants from Hom Nin rice and hardy and high yield characteristics of Khao Dawk Mali 105.

Riceberry Rice Nutrition Profile

Riceberry rice is rich in many antioxidant that help our immune system stay healthy. It contains significant levels of:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Gama Oryzanol
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Tannin
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Bran Oil

These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals give riceberry rice a nutrition profile that is relatively unique. The dark purple colour it matures signifies it high nutrition content and gives it a unique appearance when served.

The rice is also extremely high in fiber and bran oil, this natural aids digestion and helps keep the stomach free from disease.

Thai Rice Glycemic Index

Riceberry rice has been graded as low-medium in the glycemic index. The abundant fiber and bran oil which it contains helps to reduce the risks of diabetes by hindering the absorption of sugars into the blood through the stomach. It also helps the pancreas function better.

– See more at: http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/riceberry-organic#sthash.388tjdGM.dpuf

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Vegan Black Jasmine Pork Fried Rice with Egg (Thai Rice Berry)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

3-4 cups cooked rice

2-3 TBS olive or coconut oil

1 small onion – diced

1 large carrot – diced

1 red (or other) bell pepper – diced

1-6 chili peppers (I used 2 serrano & 4 jalapeno – but I love heat)

2 cups purple cabbage (or green or both) – chopped

1 head Swiss chard – ribs removed & chopped

4 radishes – sliced

1 cup peas

4 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS minced garlic

2 Follow Your Heart vegan eggs (optional)

GARNISH – more radish slices and/or lime wedges, sliced scallions or sliced green garlic

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DIRECTIONS

Make the pork ribs & set aside.  When cool enough to handle – chop them up.

If using the eggs – make them, chop them up & set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok.

Basically – just dump everything (except the rice, egg & ribs) in there & cook until the veggies are soft.  You might want to wait until it is close to done before adding the peas so that they don’t get all smooshed.  Add the rice & combine.  My photos show adding the egg & ribs to the pan but I think they would work better added to each serving when you plate the rice.

Plate the portions & top with chopped egg & pork and any garnish you prefer.

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Fiery Spicy Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken with Thai Rice Berry (Riceberry – Black Jasmine Rice)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Beyond-Meat1

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So – I saw this new rice at my favorite Thai grocery store – Bangluck.   $10 for 5 pounds – so I could not resist.  I looked it up online & found THIS:

Riceberry  Rice is the new variety of rice that has been bred in Thailand. The rice is deep purple in colour; this rich dark colour is typical of plants that yield high nutrition. Rice berry rice is cross pollination of three hardy and loved rice strains; they are:

  • Thai Hom Mali Race – also known as fragrant jasmine rice, the highest quality and most sort after rice in the world, after cooking it retains its structure but takes on a soft fluffy consistency.
  • Hom Nin Rice – has well known and documented antioxidant properties, but this grain can become a little chewy if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Khao Dawk Mali 105 – a hardy seed which will grow in a broad range of agricultural environments.

The cross-pollination of these three rice plants has resulted in Riceberry Rice, a new and exciting rice variety. Riceberry takes on the best attributes of each of the grains that were used in its inception. The light fluffy texture and flavour from Thai jasmine rice, high in minerals and antioxidants from Hom Nin rice and hardy and high yield characteristics of Khao Dawk Mali 105.

Riceberry Rice Nutrition Profile

Riceberry rice is rich in many antioxidant that help our immune system stay healthy. It contains significant levels of:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Gama Oryzanol
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Tannin
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Bran Oil

These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals give riceberry rice a nutrition profile that is relatively unique. The dark purple colour it matures signifies it high nutrition content and gives it a unique appearance when served.

The rice is also extremely high in fiber and bran oil, this natural aids digestion and helps keep the stomach free from disease.

Thai Rice Glycemic Index

Riceberry rice has been graded as low-medium in the glycemic index. The abundant fiber and bran oil which it contains helps to reduce the risks of diabetes by hindering the absorption of sugars into the blood through the stomach. It also helps the pancreas function better.

– See more at: http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/riceberry-organic#sthash.388tjdGM.dpuf

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As to the Fiery Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken – this recipe is genuinely VERY spicy!  VERY.  If you do not like spice – maybe lose the serranos & the chili oil.    Once you have all the ingredients ready – it only takes about ten minutes to make.  Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean food & is sort of like a thick, spicy ketchup.   If your local or Asian markets do not carry it – look to Amazon.

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Fiery Spicy Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken with Thai Rice Berry

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (I always use Beyond Meat – if it available) – cubed

1 TBS olive oil (or other oil)

1 small onion – diced

2 serrano chilies (optional – lose if you don’t like a LOT of spice) – diced & seeded (the seeds are hot – and I used them)

1/2 cup gochujang

5 garlic cloves (or 2-3 TBS garlic paste) – I used jarred, minced garlic

3 TBS ginger (I used jarred)

2 tsp chili oil (optional – lose it if you don’t like heat)

1/2 cup liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS sesame oil

3 TBS agave nectar (or brown sugar)

GARNISH – cooked rice for two & sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice according to directions (typically a 1 cup rice – two cups water ratio).

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Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  dd the onions & serranos.  Cook until the onions soften & jut begin to brown.  Add everything else except the chicken & combine.  It should thicken very fast.  Add the chicken & heat through.

Serve over rice & sprinkle with sesame seeds.  See?  Easy!

Eat that awesome shit & breathe fire over the villagers!

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Vegan Mixed Vegetable Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower “Rice”

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Burrito bowls – easy & endlessly customizable.  I used leftover Coconut, Ginger & Jalapeno Cauliflower “Rice” – seen just above – and that made this bowl virtually guiltless – because cauliflower rice is just grated cauliflower.  The only ingredients left in the bowl that were not vegetable were the vegan cheese & the black beans.

So – there is no real recipe here – but rather a list of ingredients I used & a few suggested alternate or additional ingredients.

I used a teensy bit of bottled vinaigrette on my bowl.  You can toss yours with dressing or a squeeze of lime & some olive oil – or just lime – or whip up a:

Lime & Cumin Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil

3 TBS lime juice

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

Whisked together.

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Vegan Mixed Vegetable Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower “Rice”

MY ingredients were:

Cauliflower rice (you can use regular cooked rice or try one of my cauliflower rices)

Sliced avocado

Black beans – drained & rinsed

Cherry tomatoes – halved

Arugula (you can use any lettuce or leafy greens you prefer)

Purple cabbage – sliced

Red onion – diced

Jalapeno slices

Vegan cheesed – chopped

Cilantro

Lime juice & wedges

Dressing of choice

OTHER POTENTIAL INGREDIENTS – corn, pico de gallo, sliced radishes, vegan chicken or beef crumbles, vegan sour cream or a vegan Mexican-style cheese, bell pepper, shredded carrots, guacamole, salsa, scallions, corn tortilla strips, quinoa or lentils or other grain – rather than rice.

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DIRECTIONS

Assemble the bowls as you like or let individuals assemble their own.  Add whatever dressing you like & mix it all up.  Easy peasy!

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Vegan Creamy Dal Makhani Punjabi-Style (Black Gram/Urad Dal & Rajma) – for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I love Indian food.  I always have.  I also love cooking with dry beans & lentils because they are so inexpensive & yield many servings for pennies per serving.  The only issue with Indian recipes is acquiring the exotic spices – which can be expensive if you do not buy them from an Indian market.  Ethnic markets are always the best place to buy spices because each will typically carry all you need for recipes from that area of the world and at greatly reduced prices.  If you do not live in an area with much diversity – Amazon is wonderful.  You can typically omit a few spices from most recipes with little loss of flavor but it is really satisfying to be as authentically true to a regional recipe as possible.   With Thai food, for example, getting fresh kaffir lime leaves & Thai basil makes an enormous difference.  You just open the packages of these things and are transported to your favorite Thai restaurant.  Indian food has a few staples that are hrd to get around – garam masala, for example.  But it is stuff like cardamom & fenugreek (methi) that add authenticity.  Fenugreek is an herb – pictured below – both fresh & dried.  It also comes in seed form & as a powder and it is ubiquitous in Indian recipes in one form or another.  It might be a good idea to research a few Indian recipes & stock up on the critical spices sif you want to experiment with this wonderful cuisine.  HERE is a list of the most used spices – garam masala being the most commonly used and that list omitted the kasoori (or kasuri) methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and I would add that to your list as well as amchoor (mango powder).

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I made a version of mahkani in July – seen above – my Spicy Vegan Dal Makhani (Beluga or Black Lentils) for the Slow Cooker.   That dish used beluga lentils & is not as authentic as today’s recipe. In today’s recipe I used whole black lentils (also called urad dal or black gram) and red kidney beans (rajma).    I not only soaked these beans overnight but I also cooked them in my slow cooker for 5 hours on high AND left them overnight to let the flavors meld.  I recommend this (though it is not necessary) to let the beans really soften & the flavors blend – so – if you are making this dish it takes two days before you are eating it.  Again, you definitely could eat it after the 5 hours but like many stew-type dishes – it gets better over time.  The good news is – there is no prep cooking for this dish so, except for cutting up an onion & 2 peppers – the slow cooker does all the work (except the smoking process – explained below).  The lentils & beans I used are below – dry – and as they looked after soaking them – separately – overnight.  As you can see – they changed color considerably.   This dish is traditionally very rich using varied amounts of butter & heavy cream.  I used only 2 TBS of vegan butter & 1/2 cup vegan sour cream – so this dish is not quite so heavy.

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As to smoking your dal makhani – it is VERY easy & I recommend it very highly.  It just requires a chunk of a natural charcoal & a small metal bowl.  You simply heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!  (The photo of the smoking charcoal is from my Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry (Vegan – Vegetarian) – seen below.)

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Vegan Creamy Dal Makhani Punjabi-Style (Black Gram/Urad Dal & Rajma) – for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6+ with rice

INGREDIENTS

 1 cup dry black urad dal – soaked overnight

1/2 cup dry red kidney beans – soaked overnight

1 onion – diced

2 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – seeded & diced

2 TBS vegan butter

4 cups water (or vegetable stock)

1 cup tomato puree

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBS garam masala

1/2 tsp amchoor

2 TBS dry methi leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

2 green cardamom pods

1 TBS fresh or jarred ginger (I used jarred)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

Steamed rice

GARNISH – more sour cream, cilantro or fresh fenugreek leaves

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the beans overnight.

Put everything except the sour cream into a slow cooker & cook on high for at least 5 hours – maybe more.  If you are going for the overnight uber-cooking (as I did) – leave it covered overnight.  I left my cooker off as there was nothing in there that would spoil but – if you are not comfortable with that – add some water & leave it on warm overnight.

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Either way – the next step is the smoking (which you can skip but I recommend trying it because it is amazing.  Heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!

Now – stir in the sour cream.   If it is too thin – add water or vegan milk to thin it.  If it is too thin – cook it on high with the lid off until it thickens.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream & serve with rice.

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Chef’d & Beyond Meat Smash-Up – Part 2 – Beyond Beef Vegan Feisty Tacos with Black Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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There has been a huge rise in food services that send either already-prepared meals to your home for you to heat up and, more interestingly, ones that send pre-measured fresh ingredients & recipes & you make the food at home. I tried Blue Apron – which is the latter service – and was not totally impressed. One issue was the lack of selection for vegetarians (and nothing for vegans) & the fact that there was no option for a single person. Their subscription plan meant I would get 3 meals for two each week – which meant six of my seven dinners were decide for me each week – with me eating the same thing twice – three times in a row. Also – if you happened to LOVE a dish – you could not order it again soon – but had to wait – indefinitely – hoping it would eventually reappear in the cycle.

Chef’d has solved those problems. No subscription – meaning order what you want & when you want it. Get the same thing every day for two weeks – or just get one thing – different things – a few times a month. Here is how they work:

Choose from Famous Recipes

Browse through hundreds of recipes from your favorite chefs, and cook them in the comfort of your own home!

From Our Kitchen to Yours

Fresh pre-portioned Ingredients delivered to your door. Reorder what you like, when you like. No subscriptions!

Cook, Love, Live

Enrich your life by creating memorable delicious experiences of love through our hand-cultivated recipes.

And look at the various tastes & lifestyles they accommodate

Shop Meals

LIFESTYLES:

FAMILY FRIENDLY
GOURMET
VEGETARIAN
GLUTEN FREE

PROTEINS:

BEEF
CHICKEN
SEAFOOD
LAMB
PORK
TURKEY
VEGAN
HERE is the list of the famous chefs contributing recipes. And HERE are the vegan & vegetarian meals currently offered (impressive – no?). I was given the opportunity to try the service & jumped at the chance. I am a long-time fan of Beyond Meat & the pairing of these two companies is exciting to me. I got the Beast Burger & Tacos & will post about the tacos here – the burgers are in THIS post.
Here is what showed up (for the tacos – enough to feed 4):
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As with the Beast Burgers – I am very familiar with Beyond Meat‘s Feisty crumbles & I am already a fan.  And again – as with the Chef’d Beat Burger meal – this meal came together quickly & easily & everything tasted fresh & delicious.  In this case – there was a lot of extra vegan cheese (I am not complaining!) and more than enough chipotle Vegenaise (again – not complaining – especially as it came in the tiny condiment jars I am so fond of).
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The recipe called for guacamole with crushed red pepper in it.  I am a guacamole purist (just avocado, lime & salt, please) – so – I opted just to slice the avocado & use it naked and I added all the crushed red pepper supplied (enough for 4 tacos) into the beefy crumbles meant for two (I like spice).
The black beans come together in 5 minutes & the lime & cilantro make them taste light & fresh & clean – not lard-heavy or mushy.
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And the feisty beef crumbles also only took about 5 minutes.  Because I added lots of crushed red pepper – they were also very spicy.  I forgot to add the chipotle Vegenaise until after I had taken most of the pictures but it was a nice flavor layered in with the tortillas, crumbles, lettuce & avocado.
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And again – like with the Beast Burgers – this meal was flavorful, robust, filling and SO EASY to make!  What a great pair of options for any vegan or vegetarian – especially a newby not sure where to start – and for anyone looking to cut back on meat but not on flavor or protein.
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taco

Spicy Vegan Dal Makhani (Beluga or Black Lentils) for the Slow Cooker

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To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Inspired by these gorgeous photos & the recipe HERE from Petit World Citizen – I created this adaptation of that recipe.

My understanding is that Dal Makhani translates to “buttery lentils” – but this dish used no butter.  You can opt to use vegan butter (or real butter – if you are not vegan) in place of the olive oil – and you will be making this in the more traditional way.  I also understand that it typicaally includes red beans but this version does not.  I used Beluga or black lentils that I bought HERE on Amazon.  The original recipe called for 5-6 cups of water to one cup of lentils and I doubled the recipe.  After a full day of cooking in the slow cooker, it was still a very thin soup – so – I added the rest of the black lentils – the full 2lbs.  As a result – I have a fuckton of Dal Makhani – enough to fill THIS 6 QT Crock-Pot to the brim.  But – it is healthy & light & freezes well & I’m OK eating the same thing for lunch every day for a week – so I will deal.  You might want to consider cutting the recipe at least in half.

Also – I radically increased the spices of the original recipe & it came out fiery hot.  I added sugar & some potato slices to modify that & it worked wonders.

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Spicy Vegan Dal Makhani (Beluga or Black Lentils) for the Slow Cooker

Make 3-6 quarts (your call) – enough to feed 8-20 – especially if served with rice.

You can cut this recipe in half – by simply reducing the lentils & water by half but keep the other ingredients complete as listed here.  I made it as listed below but with half the lentils but it was too watery.  I then doubled the lentil portion without adding anything else.  So – you have two options below.

INGREDIENTS

for 3 quarts use:

1 lb (2 cups) black beluga lentils, sorted and rinsed
6 cups water – plus more if necessary

OR

for 6 quarts use:

2 lbs (4 cups) black beluga lentils, sorted and rinsed
12 cups water – plus more if necessary

Either way – the rest of the ingredients remain the SAME:

26 oz tomato purée/sauce
4 teaspoons salt
1 TBS sweet paprika or chili powder (I used chili powder)
2 TBS ground garam masala
1 TBS ground turmeric
1 tsp (or more, to taste) cayenne pepper or 2 finely chopped green jalapeño pepper (I used BOTH)
dash of ground cinnamon
1-4 TBS olive oil, vegetable oil or butter (I used 1 TBS olive oil)
4 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds (toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes until brown & fragrant – and ground up with a mortar & pestle – the grinding part being optional)
2 TBS ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-6 green onions, sliced thinly, plus more for garnish
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk for a vegan version (I used lite)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)

Up to 1 TBS sugar – optional addition for if your dal comes out too spicy

1 large potato – peeled & diced – optional addition for if your dal comes out too spicy

Avocado slices or lime wedges – for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Place rinsed lentils into a 6-quart Crock-Pot with water.  Add tomato sauce, salt, paprika or chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan a few minutes until just beginning to brown & they become fragrant.  Be careful not to burn them.  Grind them in a mortar & pestle (grinding not strictly necessary).  Then, in small saucepan, heat oil on medium high heat, add toasted cumin seeds and ginger.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes and then add garlic & green onions and sauté for a few more minutes. Add the sautéed mixture to the crockpot and give everything a good mixing up to incorporate things.

Set the timer for 6 hours on HIGH.   If you are home while it cooks – stir it once in a while for a creamier texture.

After the cooking time is done, the dal should be very soft. Add the coconut milk & stir it in.   Taste, adjust seasoning.  If it is too spicy – add the sugar & potato.  Continue cooking for 15 or so minutes or until the potato is soft.  If the dal is too thick, add some hot water until preferred consistency is achieved.  If it’s too thin, uncover and cook longer until it thickens.

When done, mix in chopped cilantro. Top with avocados, if using, and garnish with cilantro and green onions or lime wedges. Serve hot with rice, roti or naan.

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Homemade Black Pepper Fettuccine Pasta with Summer Truffles, Parmesan and Butter

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I made this dish with THESE noodles & simply added a tablespoon of ground pepper to the eggs before kneading them into the dough.   Any dry pasta would work, too, but fresh noodles are just that much more delicate and the flavors here benefit from that.  If you cannot (or don’t care to) make homemade pasta – maybe buy the fresh pasta available at most supermarkets in the refrigerated section.

I found these truffles at my local Gelson’s for $14 and could not resist trying them – for that low price.

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Ultimately, they were very, very lightly flavored – so I added a drizzle of the truffle oil above.  Still, the flavors were almost imperceptible but that was OK because I discovered that noodles with butter & Parmesan (and maybe some fresh parsley) are pretty awesome, too, and had that as my second meal with the homemade fettuccine.

If you ever come across actual fresh truffles, come back to this recipe & try them this way.   Or – if you have a truffle oil you love, drizzle that on the pasta & skip the actual truffles, altogether.

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Homemade Black Pepper Fettuccine Pasta with Summer Truffles, Parmesan and Butter

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb fresh pasta (or dry pasta of your choice)

2 Summer Truffles (optional) – sliced at thin as you can muster

Truffle oil

2 -3 TBS of the highest quality butter you can find (preferably grass fed)

1/2 cup or more of Parmesan cheese (highest quality you can find) – grated or shaved

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Fresh parsley – chopped (if you are not using truffles)

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta – reserving about 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan (large enough to hold all the pasta).   I drizzled a bit of the liquid from the truffle jar in the butter & a few little bits of the truffles.

When the butter is melted, add the pasta & the Parmesan.  I used about 1/2 cup but the amount of cheese is really up to you.

Stir to blend & warm through.

Plate the pasta & garnish with sliced truffles, truffle oil, salt & lots of freshly cracked pepper.  Add more cheese, if you like.

If you are not using truffles, freshly chopped parsley is nice.

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Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato and Chicken Chili for a Slow Cooker (Vegan or Not!)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your Valentine’s Day gift giving this season!

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There is nothing easier than a slow cooker recipe that doesn’t require anything but putting raw ingredients into the slow cooker & going away for five hours.

In my case – I had to leave for ten hours so I added far more water than would typically required and, ten hours later, I found it still too wet so I added more beans & cooked it overnight.  This resulted in a few things:

1) a FUCKTON of chili

2) the sweet potato was underrepresented in comparison to the beans & they completely disintegrated in the 24 hours they cooked.

You won’t have these issues if you just go for the traditional 5 hours on high.  This recipe filled a 7 quart slow cooker to the brim – so – divide it in half for a more reasonable quantity of chili – or go for the whole megillah  if you are having a party or have a large family or even if you want to freeze some.

You can add real chicken or omit the chicken (vegan or otherwise) completely.  I used dried beans but canned beans could be used & this would cook up in an hour – or the time it takes for the sweet potato to soften.

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili for a Slow Cooker (Vegan or Not!)

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs dry black beans (QUICK SOAK them if you want but I did not.  Or, the night before making the chili, rinse and cover the black beans with water in a bowl. Soak overnight at room temperature.  I did not but doing one of those things makes the beans less gassy.)

9 (or more) oz vegan chicken (or real cooked chicken) – optional (I recommend BEYOND MEAT brand vegan meats because they are THE BEST!)

7 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

16 oz salsa

3 large sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

10 carrots – sliced

1 onion – diced

1 red bell pepper – chopped

3 chipotle chili peppers in their adobo sauce – minced

6-10 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS salt

1 TBS pepper

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS ground cumin

Garnish possibilities: cooked rice, chopped onion, sour cream, sliced scallions, cilantro, diced tomatoes, jalapenos or grated cheese.

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DIRECTIONS

Put all that shit into the slow cooker & heat on high for 5 hours.  If it gets too dry – add water.  If it stays too wet – maybe take a cup or two of the chili out & puree it in the blender & put it back in or let it sit on high longer with the lid off.

Serve with your selected accoutrements & enjoy!

To reheat – boil a small amount of water (maybe 1/8 inch deep) in a pan & add the chili & mix it up & heat it through.

See?  EASY!

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa & Avocado Cream

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so – I bought these cactus paddle things because I see them everywhere & I decided I needed to get to the bottom of it.  If you do not live in a part of the country with a large Hispanic population and you cannot find fresh cactus, you can used jarred cactus – or nopales/nopalitos. The ones I bought were already prepared – meaning – the thorns had been trimmed as had the rim.  If you find fresh ones & need to prepare them – there are lots of tutorials HERE.  It is not difficult so do not be intimidated.

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I wasn’t sure what the heck to do with these guys so I both grilled AND breaded & baked them.  You might want to use them having only been grilled or only breaded and baked.  Your call.  There is so much going on in these tacos – I don’t think it matters much. I used crushed corn flakes & taco seasoning to bread them simply because that was what I had around.  Panko or other bread crumbs would work, too, and if you don’t have a packet of taco seasoning (I have NO IDEA where the one in my pantry came from) – spice up your crumb mix with a little onion & garlic powders & maybe some chipotle or other chili powder. I made a little avocado cream sauce for these, primarily because my avocados were not as ripe as is ideal.  You can just cut up fresh avocado on yours or make a traditional guacamole.

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa & Avocado Cream

This makes a lotta tacos.  🙂

The Spicy Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa is HERE.

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For the Avocado Cream

1 avocado

4 TBS Mexican crema (or sour cream)

1 TBS mayonnaise

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp fresh dill (optional) – or cilantro

1/4 tsp each: onion & garlic powders

S&P to taste

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For the Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos

Several cactus paddles or some jarred cactus strips

2 (or more) eggs

1/8 – 1/4 cup hot sauce

2 TBS taco seasoning (or a blend of onion powder, garlic powder & chili powder)

1 cup (or more) bread crumbs or panko (I used crushed corn flakes)

Cooking spray

Queso fresco

Corn tortillas

Extra cilantro & limes for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the avocado cream

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor.

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos

Prepare the cactus paddles if they are not already cleaned.  There are lots of tutorials HERE.

Spray them with cooking spray & grill on both sides until they begin to char a bit & soften up.  Cut into strips. Image

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs & hot sauce together in a bowl.  Blend the taco seasoning & the bread crumbs you are using in another bowl. Image

Drag the cactus through the eggs & then the breadcrumb mix & place on a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray. Cook at 375 for about ten minutes, flip them & bake another ten minutes.  It might take a little more or a little less time for you to get them crispy – depending on the size of the strips & how densely they are breaded.  Watch them carefully. Image

Now you just assemble your tacos.  Warm your tortillas (I do this directly on the stove burners – being careful not to burn them).  Top them with cactus, salsa, avocado cream, queso & cilantro.  Squeeze a little lime on there & shove’m down your gullet washed down with a cold cerveza.

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Spicy Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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I made this salsa to accompany by grilled & crispy baked cactus tacos – a recipe I will post shortly.  The hardest part about this salsa is the chopping.  The ingredients list is long but you can leave things out if you do not like them or don’t have them.  I grilled the corn but you do not have to.  Canned corn or corn just cut directly from the cob will work fine, too.  This makes a LOT of salsa – like – 4 cups of it so be prepared to be using it for a while.

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Spicy Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1 15 oz can of black beans – drained & rinsed

2 ears of corn – grilled (or not)

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes – chopped

6 mini sweet peppers (or 1 large bell pepper) – seeded & chopped

1-2 jalapenos – seeded and diced

1/2 red onion – diced

1/2 cucumber – diced

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp pepper

salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Mix it all up in a big bowl.

Call this guy & set up a cozy fire on your laptop & crack open that box of sangria & enjoy this salsa with chips or on seafood or tacos or chili or whateverthefuck you want.

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