DDD #47 – Vegan Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry

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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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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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Click the image below to watch a video for this recipe.


OK – this dish is really easy to make & wildly delicious!  And – you get to smoke it yourself in just five minutes!  This is a really cool new trick I learned & I cannot wait to find new ways to use it.

All you need is a piece of natural charcoal (without lighter fluid or chemicals) – like this:

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You heat it up on the stove – like this:

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There is one more step but I will get back to that later.  There are a few steps involved in the overall recipe but all are very easy!  And the only “exotic” ingredient is the garam masala.  If you cannot find it or don’t feel like looking for it – you can make it from stuff you likely already have.  Look for recipes HERE.

This recipe really makes quite a lot of this stuff – enough for four – more if you serve it with rice or naan or roti.   If you don’t have lots of folks to feed & don’t want yummy leftovers – cut the recipe in half – at least.  I like my Indian food very flavorful & I tend to double or triple the amount of spices that traditional recipes typically suggest.  I will post this recipe with a suggested amount of each thing & then tell you what I used.  This dish is spicy but not crazy spicy – but I do like heat.  If you have a more tender palate – be conservative.

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Oh – and check out this tip on how to cut an onion without crying!

Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry

Feeds 4 generously – served with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 small onions – diced

1 red bell pepper – seeded & diced

6 medium tomatoes

30 raw almonds (or raw cashews)

3+ TBS vegan butter

2 lb eggplant (any variety) – cubed

1-2 TBS ginger – minced (I used 2 but mine was jarred.  Maybe go lighter if you are using freshly grated ginger)

4-10 garlic cloves – minced (I used 10)

1-2 TBS garam masala (I used 1)

1-3 tsp chili powder (I used 1)

Cilantro – as garnish

(serve with steamed rice or naan or roti or tortillas)

for smoking the eggplant curry

1 lump of coal about the size of a lemon or larger

2 TBS olive or vegetable oil

1 small METAL bowl to safely hold the hot charcoal

You also need a large saute pan & some sort of cover.  I used my wok cover.

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the nuts in some water for 5 minutes.  I used this metal dog food dish & used it again later in the smoking process.

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(In the video version – I did not peel the tomatoes so feel free to skip this step.)  Meanwhile – poke some holes in your tomatoes with the tip of a knife & drop them into boiling water.  After a few minutes – you will see the skins curling off.  Drain & run under cool water until you can handle them without burning yourself.  Then core them.

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Drain the nuts & then puree them in a blender with the tomatoes.  Set aside.

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Heat 3 TBS of vegan butter or olive oil in a large saute pan – large enough to hold ALL the ingredients.   Over high heat – saute the onions & red bell pepper & eggplant.  Saute until the eggplant begins to brown.  Add more vegan butter or olive oil if needed.  This should take about 10 minutes.

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Add the garam masala & chili powder & the ginger – stir to incorporate.  Add the garlic & stir for one minute – then add the tomato puree.  Boil this for about 5-7 minutes until it thickens.  If it gets too thick – add a bit of water.

When it looks about like this:

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TURN OFF THE HEAT & put your metal bowl in the center of the pan.

Now – heat up the charcoal – like this:

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When it is red hot or graying on the outside – USE METAL TONGS & put it in the bowl in the center of your curry.  Then pour some olive or vegetable oil on it  It will immediately begin smoking so – if you have a hood with vents – turn them on.   Quickly – cover it up with a pot cover of some sort.  I used my old & very beaten up wok cover.

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Let this sit for 5-10 minutes & let the smoke work its magic.  I went 6 minutes because I was afraid it would be too smoky.  It wasn’t.  In the future – I will go for ten minutes.  CAREFULLY remove the metal bowl – with two pairs of tongs.  DO NOT BURN YOURSELF!

DEFINITELY season this with salt.  Do not be shy – but add it in increments.  Salt is under-rated as a spice.

Then – just serve this over some rice or with naan or a tortilla or roti – garnished with some cilantro.

Awesome?  Right?

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DDD #35 – Vegan Butter Chicken & Chickpeas

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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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This blog is 5 years old today!   And my Youtube channel just hit 1000 subscribers!  I am very happy about both milestones.

I have a video on my Youtube channelwww.VideoVegan.com for this.  Click the photo below to watch & please subscribe!

I have really become obsessed with my slow cooker.  Slow cookers – as I have many.  The one that I can set to cook for 5 hours & then just keep the food warm is the best because I can set it & go to work & come back 10 hours later to a house that smells delicious & a warm meal waiting for me.  If you don’t have a low cooker – I really encourage you to get one.  Easy doesn’t get easier than a recipe like this one.  Just throw everything in & set the timer for 5 hours & that is it.

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is, hands down, the best fake chicken on the market.  But you could use real chicken or just use chickpeas.  Your call.

I used two kinds of saffron:

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That Golchin liquid stuff is affordable (under $10) and is GENIUS.  If your store doesn’t carry it – buy it on Amazon or something.

The saffron threads are delicate & lovely but very costly.  They were part of a gourmet gift box I was given for my birthday – and not usually on my shopping list.  Either or both of these work – but I suggest trying to use one – because saffron is such a specific & lovely flavor & adds gorgeous color – but it isn’t really critical for this dish to be a success.  So – if you don’t have it, don’t like it, can’t find it – blow it off.

I used dry chickpeas because I am delighted by how cheap they are & I like that they have been processed less & have no added sodium.  But – if you want to use canned ones – go ahead!  This could be made stove-top easily with canned beans – just don’t add the 4 cups of water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a LOTTA folks – maybe 8-10 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry chickpeas (or 4 cans – but if you use canned chickpeas – eliminate the water here)

3 cups water (4 cups if you are gonna leave it for 10 hours – like I did)

9 ox vegan chicken

2 jalapenos (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS ginger – minced

8 oz tomato sauce (I used a homemade arrabbiata)

6 oz tomato paste

14 oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads (optional)

3 TBS saffron liquid (optional)

1 TBS garam masala

1 TBS curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

garnish – cilantro, scallions, yogurt (vegan or otherwise), cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & set on high for 5 hours.

If you are using canned chickpeas – do not add water.  As you see above – this recipe has lots of gravy (the upper picture is before it cooked & the other is how it looked 10 hours later).  If you want  it thicker – whisk some cornstarch (2-3 TBS) into a little water & stir it in.  It should thicken up.  If it is too thick – add water.

Serve over rice & garnish at will.

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DDD Ep. #21 – Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

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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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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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Reposting this now here because there is a video to accompany it.   Please consider following me on my channel there.

I have posted several variations of cauliflower rice over the years – most of which can be found HERE.  This one is likely the richest of the lot due to the added lite coconut milk.  Still – if you consider that it isn’t really rice but, rather just grated cauliflower, that added decadence of the coconut milk & curry paste are not that bad.

Cauliflower rice is easiest if you have a food processor with a grating blade.  If not – you can grate the cauliflower with a box grater or other grater – but raw cauliflower tends to pop all over the place & can get rather messy.

I’m not sure if some of my earlier cauliflower rice recipes had the added step of steaming the cauliflower & squeezing out the water – but – that is a step not necessary for cauliflower rice.  I think that step only matters if you are going to make cauliflower pizza dough or cauliflower tortillas – as seen below.

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This dish is quick & easy & very tasty.  And good for you!

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Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4 or more as a side

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – grated in with a food processor or a manual grater

Coconut or other cooking oil

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 onion diced

1-3 jalapenos – minced (use more or less according to your taste for heat)

1-6 cloves of garlic – chopped (use more or less according to your taste for garlic)

1 cup lite coconut milk

1 TBS red curry paste

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Garnish – cilantro, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

In a very large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS oil & add the cauliflower.  Saute on high for 5-7 minutes or until it just begins to brown.  Transfer to a bowl  & set aside.

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In the same pan, add about another TBS of oil & saute the red bell pepper, onion & jalapeno until they get soft – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & stir for a minute & then add the curry paste & coconut milk & amino acid (or soy sauce) & agave.  Incorporate & then add the cauliflower rice.  Stir in some cilantro & combine.  Garnish with additional cilantro & lime wedges & serve.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

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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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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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The other day, I made a boatload of Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils – seen just above.  By boatload – I mean I started with 5 cups of dry lentils.  That makes nearly twice as much of the finished product – so – I decided to try to reinvent them.    I used two cups of them in this recipe and I still have a ton left.  You can either make this lentil recipe (cut in half) or your own favorite lentil recipe.  I recommend these because the flavor profiles match but I am pretty sure most lentil recipes will do.

I baked mine for an hour but this loaf was only about an inch deep.  I recommend going shallow rather than deep because the deeper the loaf is – the trickier it will be to get it cooked through without drying it out.

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I also used this crazy glaze I spotted at Ralph’s.  If you cannot find this – either let the loaf be naked or mix up a glaze of your choice – or just top it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Glazes are nice because they add moisture & another flavor component.    Here is a CURRY KETCHUP recipe (use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan) and here is a SRIRACHA KETCHUP recipe (again – use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan).    I posted Korean & traditional BBQ sauce recipes HERE.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry & Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

Makes one meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared lentils (your favorite recipe or less than half of this recipe Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

11 oz vegan beef crumbles (I always use Beyond Meat)

2 TBS red curry paste (or more – to taste)

5.6 oz coconut milk

1/4 cup oats (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry) – breadcrumbs work, too

1/4 cup flax meal (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry)

GARNISH – your favorite meatloaf glaze or BBQ sauce & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all your ingredients together.  Get it to about the consistency of a wet burger.

I lined my pan with foil but parchment paper is better.  I sprayed it with cooking spray & poured the lentil mixture in & pressed it flat.

Top with the glaze of your choice.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked through.  A testing stick should come out clean.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring or cutting into it.

Top with more glaze, if you desire, & serve with fresh cilantro.

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Vegan Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Vegetables & Split Lentils 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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Slow cooker recipes.  Is anything better than just dumping a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker, going away for hours and then coming home to dinner – warm & waiting?  I think not!

I used yellow split lentils or urad dal – but any variety of lentils will work just fine.  I added a ton of random vegetables – because I had them.  You can add or omit any veggies you like.

I had a big bag of English peas & some fresh spinach that were going to spoil before I could cook them – so – I froze them.

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It was about 2 cups of peas & make 4 cups of spinach but the spinach wilted in the freezer – down to about 4 cups.  If you use frozen veggies in yours – add them at the very end or they will just disintegrate.

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Vegan Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Vegetables & Split Lentils for the Slow Cooker

Makes a lot – likely enough to feed 6 well if served with rice

INGREDIENTS (very flexible)

2 cups lentils

2 potatoes – cubed

1 small onion – diced

1-4 cloves garlic – minced

1 small head cauliflower – cut into small florets

1-5 jalapenos – seeded & diced (use less or omit – if you do not like heat)

3-5 carrots – sliced

3 TBS ginger – minced

1 (5.5 oz) can coconut milk (use more for a richer curry)

3 TBS green curry paste

1 TBS garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp turmeric

6 cups vegetable stock

4 cups fresh spinach or 2 cups frozen

2 cups peas

S&P

GARNISH – hot sauce (like sriracha), cilantro & cooked rice (I used basmati)

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 DIRECTIONS

Put everything except peas, spinach & any frozen vegetables you might be using into the slow cooker.  If using anything frozen – all them to thaw.  Ignore my photos showing the spinach & peas being added with the other ingredients at the start.  They disintegrated & I had to add more of each at the end.  I also added the cauliflower after the curry had been cooking for hours – hence the different-looking imagery below.

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Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.  If it is too thick, add stock or water.  If it is too thin – cook a bit longer with the lid off – or mash some of the curry with a masher or immersion blender to create a thicker gravy.

15 minutes before serving – add peas, spinach & any frozen vegetables you selected.  Season with S&P.

Serve with rice & garnish with cilantro & hot sauce.

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Indian Curry with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 4

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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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Ever have a bad day?  Cat peed on your favorite shoes?  Splashed at the street corner by a passing car driving through a puddle?  Dropped your phone in the toilet?  Smiled your toothiest & flirtiest smile at that cute guy at Starbucks only to later discover you have poppy seeds between several teeth? Someone cut you off in the parking lot & then gave YOU the finger?  Just found out your new boss is 25 years younger than you?  Asked for a cute bob but walked out looking more like Tom Petty than Taylor Swift?   Get spaghetti sauce on that white blouse you just splurged on?  Bought a 12x magnifying mirror – looked in it – and you are now convinced you can never leave the house again?  Trapped behind zombie walkers at Costco?  Sharted?  It happens.

Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well…

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Indian Curry here today.  The Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass & Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili were reviewed separately.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes…and a low calorie count with only 300 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a TBS or so of spicy chutney to this & it was delightful!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was filling for 300 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  I prefer my Indian food with more gravy – the wetter dishes – but despite the lack of a heavy sauce – this really was delicious.

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count but with the added benefit of exotic flavors and – I feel – a denser & more filling product.  Win-win-win-win-win!

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Vegan Chicken Satay with Peanut & Coconut Sauce and Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut 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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This is another super-duper easy one.  The recipe for the Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice (seen just above) is HERE.

I used a 12oz package of Beyond Meat chicken strips – because they are the best on the market.  If you cannot find them – use the brand available to you – preferably not breaded.

This recipe is really just for a marinade (not totally necessary) & for the peanut & coconut sauce.  You can whisk each together in bowls & heat the chicken in any pan on the stove.  So easy & REALLY delicious!

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Vegan Chicken Satay with Peanut & Coconut Sauce

Depends on the amount of “chicken” you use & appetites – but 1 or 2

INGREDIENTS

for the chicken satay

Beyond Meat chicken strips (or other vegan chicken) – in the quantity you require

Cooking oil or cooking spray

for the marinade (an optional step – you can skip the marinade if you want to but it does ratchet up the flavors)

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 shallots – minced

1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers – minced (seed them for less heat)

2 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

juice of one lime

for the peanut-coconut sauce

1 cup lite coconut milk

1/4 cup peanut butter (more – if you want a thicker sauce)

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1-3 serrano or jalapeno peppers – diced (seed them for less heat)

2 shallots – minced

2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

2 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

juice of one lime

GARNISH – lime wedges & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

for the marinade

Whisk ingredients together & put the chicken in it.  Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes – or overnight.  I did this in a Ziplock bag.

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for the peanut-coconut sauce

Whisk everything together.  Adjust the peanut butter to coconut ratio to suit your tastes.  I put mine in an old pickle jar so I could give it a good shake before using it.

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for the chicken satay

Heat some oil or cooking spray & dump the chicken & marinade into a pan.  Heat through.

Plate the chicken & drizzle with a light bit of the peanut-coconut sauce (reserve some because there is a lot of sauce).

Serve with rice & garnish with extra sauce, cilantro & lime wedges.

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