St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew & My New Youtube Channel!

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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.

MOST exciting new thing in my life?  My brand, spanking new YOUTUBE channel!   I set it up two days ago & there are already two videos.  One to make Vegan Firecracker Chicken and one for St. Patrick’s Day to make a Last Word Cocktail – pictured above.

As my editing skills & equipment improve – so will the videos but I was just so excited to get started – I just jumped right in.  Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel!

Ok – so – if you watched the Last Word video – you saw that I was also cooking up this creation – just in time for you to cook tomorrow!  Easy & vegan – it is flexible.  Use the veggies I suggest – or not.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips but Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles or even the Beast Burger would work!   The photo I used shows the green beans & Brussels sprouts I considered adding but then did not.

*NOTE – I used a combination or bouillon, soy sauce, Marmite & Kitchen Bouquet.  This made for a sodium-intense stew.  I recommend starting with just veggie stock and then adding one or a few of these other things until you get the intensity you want in both flavor & color (Kitchen Bouquet being best for the deep brown color) – but add them in increments so you avoid a salt-fest.

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew

Serves a lot – like – at least 6

INGREDIENTS

9+ oz vegan beef – you can pan-sear & brown it first, if you like.  I did not.

1/2 cup vegan butter (or olive oil)

1 onion – chopped

2 potatoes – cubed

5 carrots – chopped

8 mushrooms – sliced

4 celery stalks – chopped

2 cups cabbage – chopped

1-2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

9 oz peas

1 cup pearl barley or other grain (optional)

up to 1 cup flour or a few TBS cornstarch

10 cups veggie stock

1 TBS pepper

Optional – fresh chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley.  I used none.

*OPTIONAL – a few TBS soy sauce OR 1/2 tsp Marmite OR 2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet OR a combination *see note above

DIRECTIONS

Warm the butter or oil & then add onions, celery, mushrooms, and jalapenos (if using).  Saute until the onions & celery are soft.

Add potatoes & carrots & beef.  Combine.  Add stock & cabbage & pepper & chopped herbs (if using) & pearl barley.  Bring to a boil.  Whisk either 1/2 cup of flour or a few TBS cornstarch into some water & add it to the stew.  As it boils – it should thicken.  Repeat incrementally to thicken the stew more if necessary.   Conversely – add water to thin it.

Now taste it & see if you want to add Marmite, Kitchen Bouquet or soy sauce.  Adjust flavors to suit yourself.  I added two halved potatoes to mine to draw some sat out.

It is done when the veggies are all tender & it is thick as you like & the seasonings seem right.  Stir in the peas.  Serve!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Slainte!

10-Ingredient Vegan Spicy Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Broccoli & Sugar Snap Peas

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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.

This is as easy as a dish can be!  It took me less time to make the chicken & broccoli than it did to make the rice.  Easy, delicious & as spicy (or not) as you please.  Ok – I list 11 ingredients but I only used snap peas because I had them.  Use them, lose them, substitute them with something else.  Your call.

Vegan Spicy Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Broccoli & Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

9 (or more) ounces vegan chicken (I adore Beyond Meat brand) – cubed

Broccoli for two – cut into florets (amount is up to you & your love of broccoli)

Sugar snap peas (optional) – as many or as few as you please

1-2 jalapenos (red or green) – diced (optional & up to your tolerance for heat)

1 scallion – sliced (green & white parts)

1 TBS olive or coconut or other cooking oil

for the sauce (double this sauce recipe if you like a lot of sauce or want extra sauce for some rice)

1/4 cup vegan hoisin sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos or tamari)

1 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce)

1 tsp fresh minced ginger (I used bottled)

2 TBS dark berry jam (I used Marionberry jam but blueberry, blackberry or raspberry would work.  Orange might be nice, too!)

GARNISH: warm cooked rice, sesame seeds, sliced scallions

DIRECTIONS

Make rice or whatever grain you like.

Heat the oil & saute the jalapenos & scallion slices for a minute or two.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients & the chicken.  Heat for a few minutes until the chicken is warmed & the sauce thickens a bit.  Lower heat & set aside.

Boil water & blanch the broccoli & peas (if using) for 5 minutes then drain.   You can either add the broccoli to the chicken & sauce or simply serve it beside the chicken.

Plate with some rice & garnish with sesame seeds & scallion slices.

Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles and Silom Thai Market & Vegan Meat GALORE!

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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.

I have written about my favorite local Thai market, Bangluck, many times.  I have also mention Silom market.   Silom is where I found the vegan beef I used in my Vegan Spicy Szechuan Orange Beef & Wide Rice Noodles – seen just above.   But – while I was impressed with the vegan meat discoveries in the center freezers – somehow – I missed that they have an entire WALL of freezers – stocked to the brim with vegan meat options!  Look at this shit!

They have dozens & dozens of options.  Some are already prepared – like orange or sesame chicken – and some are not.  Huge bags, small bags.  Seafood, beef, pork & chicken.  Just a regular vegan wet dream!  INCREDIBLE find!  Not sure how I missed it all these years.

The store itself is very ghetto and the security guard out front suggests Silom is a front for some other more nefarious industry than peddling soy products.  But still – it is CHOCK full of cheap but exotic rices & sauces & veggies & BIZARRE-looking desserts & bug-based pastes.  Yes – bug.  That story is HERE.  Here are a few more views of the mecca that is Silom.

That is some fine looking jewelry!

Anyway – I love this place & they almost always have Keffir lime leaves which are like a Thai restaurant in a tiny bag.  They smell SO good!

Anyway – I digress – because I used my favorite faux chicken ever – Beyond Meat – in this Pad Thai.  I used the Pad Thai noodles you see above because they were handy at Silom.  You can use some like this or ramen noodles or even regular pasta.

I also used tamarind paste (also from Silom) but it is not critical.  Not critical but it does add authenticity.

If you cannot find the ingredients I used (tamarind paste or the homemade vegan fish sauce) – there are plenty of other options.  I will list a few in the ingredients list.

Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles

serves 2-4 (depending on appetites)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pad thai (or other) noodles – cooked according to the package

9 oz vegan chicken

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

1 red bell pepper – cut into slivers

2 cups shredded or matchstick carrots

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1-2 red (or green) jalapeno peppers – diced (optional)

1 small head broccoli – cut into florets

1 cup sprouts

GARNISH – cilantro, lime wedges, chopped peanuts (I used crushed almonds)

for the Pad Thai sauce

(double this recipe if you like a heavy sauce on your noodles)

3 TBS of brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter Pad Thai)

1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

2 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS lime juice

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS chili paste –  sambal oelek (or sriracha if you cannot find chili paste) – OPTIONAL

1 TBS tamarind paste (or tomato paste or peanut butter – each will be very different but still tasty)

2 TBS homemade vegan fish sauce (or just more soy sauce)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the noodles & set aside.

Either whisk the sauce ingredients together or warm them on a stove until the sugar dissolves.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Add the red bell, sprouts, broccoli & carrots & saute until tender but not soggy.  Add chicken & garlic & combine for one minute.  Add noodles & sauce (if you doubled the sauce recipe, add it incrementally until you have a ratio that suits you).  Combine & heat through.

Serve with peanuts, cilantro & lime wedges.

Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

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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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Lentils are cheap, versatile, comforting & good for you.   These can be made thick & served over a grain (like Basmati rice) or made a bit thinner & served as a soup.  They freeze well, too, so why not make a fuckton – like I did – and freeze a bunch for lazy days in the future?

I used sweet basil from Bangluck Thai market in Hollywood but hot basil or regular basil will do.  Were I to make this again – I would double the basil quantity.  I used a small amount of coconut milk in this so keep it lighter & less fattening but more coconut milk would make this creamier & yummier.  I also used a combination of lentils & dal & mung beans – seen below.  You can use all one kind or any combo you have handy.

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Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

Makes a large pot full

INGREDIENTS

Coconut oil

5 cups lentils (or dal or mung beans)

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

1-8 garlic cloves (to taste) – minced

1-2 TBS minced ginger

5 ounces (or more) coconut milk (a 15 oz can would not be too much – I just kept it light)

2 TBS rice vinegar

6 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

8 or more cups vegetable stock

1-2 cups fresh basil

GARNISH – cooked rice & more basil

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DIRECTIONS

Melt 1 or more TBS of coconut oil (or other cooking oil) in a large stock pot.  Add the onions & jalapenos & saute until soft.  Stir in the garlic & ginger for a minute & then add everything else – (except the fresh basil) – starting with only about 6 cups of the stock.  Bring to a boil & reduced heat to low.  Cover & simmer for 30-60 minutes or until your lentils are soft.  I used & immersion blender & mashed about 25% of the lentils.  Not necessary.  Add more stock for a thinner dish or a soup.  Heat it down if it is too thin.

Stir in the fresh basil & serve with additional basil as garnish.  Serve as it is or over cooked rice.

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Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

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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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So – my last post was a month ago.  It was my Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style post describing a 21-day detox/cleanse I was launching on.  I never posted about it again for a few reasons: the fact that the recipes from the Arbonne site made GINORMOUS quantities & I ate the same thing for days & because I just had no passion for cooking while on it.  I ended it two days earlier than my 21 day goal because – Superbowl party.  After nearly 3 weeks of deprivation – I lost 4 pounds.  4 miserable pounds.  I should not complain because one friend of mine lost nothing & another gained 4 pounds.  So – that cleanse is what you make of it but it was a great jump start to shock me out of deeply-entrenched habits.  Now – I am obsessed with TEA and pay way more attention to what I eat & where calories are coming from.  Which brings me to my day yesterday.

I was at the mall exchanging a birthday gift & realized it was lunch time & that I was hungry.  My choices were mainly a sushi spot & the Cheesecake Factory.  Since I no longer eat fish, I Googled the Cheesecake Factory’s menu to see if they had any HEALTHY (reading – low in calories) options.  The Cheesecake Factory is notorious for shockingly caloric options (see HERE) and I did not want to eat a 2000 calorie lunch – as I am still trying to keep my daily calorie intake to about 1200.  I was pleased to see a skinny cocktail menu and a super food menu.   So – I went in and I ordered a skinny margarita & the vegan Cobb salad.  I got the Cobb because I did not want to eat any of their 490 calorie “skinny” menu items.  I thought I would be really good & get a salad with proteins (garbanzos &  quinoa) and the healthy fat avocado.

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The drink was small but tasty & only clocked in at 150 calories.   Very happy with that.  The salad was not gargantuan, not over-dressed & was quite good.  Looks good, right?  Looks healthy.  Proud of myself, I considered ordering a second cocktail as I entered the stuff I had just consumed in My Fitness Pal.  It was then that my world came shattering down around me.  That fucker of a salad had 1210 calories!!!!!  1210!!!!  I could go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac, medium fries & a medium NON-DIET Coke for under 1100.  Don’t believe me?  Look HERE on McDonald’s own site.  How the FUCK is THAT possible???  A salad?  Without a creamy dressing or any cheese or meat or bacon or croutons or fried wontons or ANYTHING naughty?   Avocado is fatty but it is not cheese & bacon fatty!  It is not BIG MAC fatty!  And that photo shows the salad with dressing on it.  It really was NOT soaked in dressing.  I was SO freaked out!  I felt SO cheated!  For 1200 calories I could have gotten pizza & wine.  Or almost anything on the menu.  Seriously.  What the fuck?  So – almonds & sunflower seeds in addition to avocado & boom!  An ass like Kim Kardashian.  I felt like I had undone 3 weeks of deprivation with one Goddamn SALAD!  Ugh.  I complained about it all fucking day.  And I am complaining now.  I will never EVER enter the CottageCheesecake AssFactory again.  I swear it.

So – driven to compensate for that outrageous lunch – I made this VERY healthy stew today.  I used a bunch of sketchy veggies cresting their use-by dates & it came out delicious.  You can add or remove produce to suit your tastes.   I only used bit of olive oil to roast the veggies & that was it.  You could eliminate even that by NOT roasting them & just throwing them in the pot to boil.  Your call.

I served myself a hearty portion of this stew today over a very carefully measured 1/4 cup of mixed ancient grains.  Truth be told – this stew does not need a grain to make it satisfying so – serve it naked or over the grain of your choice.

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Turmeric is a very healthy spice.  Here are some of the benefits of turmeric.  Look at that list or THIS one.  It will make you want to use vibrant turmeric as often as possible.

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Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

Makes a LOT – enough to feed 6-8 (even without a grain)

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower – cut into bite-sized florets

10-15 carrots – chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 large onion – chopped

1 red bell pepper – cut into matchsticks

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

2 (15 oz) cans of garbanzo beans (drained)

2 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes

10 garlic cloves – chopped

10 oz broccoli (VERY optional – I only used the broccoli rabe I had because it was wilting)

1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you like)

1 BS ground cumin

1 TBS ground coriander

2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground cardamom (LOVELY but can be omitted if you cannot find it)

4 cups vegetable stock (or water)

Olive oil

S&P

Chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If roasting the vegetables:

Heat the oven to 475.

Toss the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, onion & jalapenos in a light coating of olive oil & some S&P.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Add them to a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.

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If not roasting them – just throw them in with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.  Add water to thin it if it gets too thick.  Cook it down if it is too watery.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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Vegan Spicy & Sweet Purple Cabbage Slaw

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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 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 super easy.  I used purple cabbage, carrots & radishes but just cabbage would be fine.

Vegan Spicy & Sweet Purple Cabbage Slaw

INGREDIENTS

1 cup purple (or other) cabbage – shredded

3 radishes – chopped

1/2 cup carrots – grated or cut into matchsticks

1-2 jaleno peppers – diced (seeded for less heat)

1/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS relish

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Mix everything up & season with S&P.  Add more relish for more sweetness or more mayo for a wetter slaw.

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Vegan Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Cashew Nut Cheese

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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.

images (1)download (1)

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 have really been trying to wean myself completely off cheese.  Very few of the vegan cheeses available are very good (in my opinion).  I am especially not fond of the Daiya products.  Daiya has a very distinct flavor that I find distasteful.  I prefer Parmela Creamery & Field Roast’s Chao cheeses.   I have experimented a bit making vegan cheese myself, the most successful being this mozzarella (seen below).

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I recently ordered some vegan cheeses from Soledad Goat Sanctuary.  They used to make real goat cheese but they went vegan in the past year or so.  I bought the ones you see below.

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While they are all pretty tasty – especially the Chevre-styles – they are textured more like a dip – like hummus.  The cheddar & American styles are a bit more firm – like a spreadable cheese & the chevres are almost runny – like a creamy dip.  I would use the chevre ones in cream sauces.  The other two might make good queso or cheese-based dip – but they will not work for baked things – like lasagna – or pizza.  They would all make a great spread on a sandwich.  The 4 little packages cost $45 with shipping.  So – I think I will wait to find them at the farmers market & taste before I buy & not have that shipping expense.

My cheese here is also quite soft – very like a hummus.  It has some kick and tastes pretty good but – like the Soledad cheeses – won’t work in any recipe where you need grated or sliced cheese.  Still – it is very easy to make.  Adding a bit of salsa to it might turn it into a decent vegan queso.  It was especially easy to make with my new $30 Magic Bullet blender – which I am in love with.  A well-spent $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Vegan Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Cashew Nut Cheese

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups cashews (soaked in water for 2-3 hours if you do not have a high speed blender. I did not soak mine.)

3 jalapeno peppers (mix of red & green – if you have access to both) – diced & seeded for less heat

handful of cilantro (& few leaves saved for garnish)

2 TBS lemon

2 TBS nutritional yeast

2 garlic cloves

S&P

1/2 cup (more or less) water

Course ground pepper – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Reserve a few bits of the diced jalapenos & a few cilantro leaves.

Puree the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender until very smooth  – only adding as much water as you need to accomplish this.

I used a large ramekin to shape the cheese.  Any small-ish bowl will do.

Line the bowl with plastic wrap & spray with cooking spray.

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Place the cilantro leaves on the bottom & add the reserved, diced jalapeno & a handful of coarse ground pepper.  Spoon the cheese in & fold the wrap over it.  Chill until ready to use.  Open the wrap, put a serving plate on top of your bowl & flip it.  Lift the bowl off & remove the plastic wrap.  Serve!

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