I could drink this marinade. I’m going to give you a great cooking method for the tofu, carrots and mushrooms (broiling them all – don’t be scared), but really the star here is this marinade. Put it on anything, it’ll be great.
A word about this broiling business: broiling your veggies and tofu will give them lovely crispy bits and a nice, deep color, but it also means you have to watch them closely for 30 or 40 minutes, which may not be fun, or even possible, for you. If that’s the case, just roast everything instead (at 425 degrees F) and it’ll still be great.
When I was growing up, my favorite part of Easter was the four Cadbury Creme Eggs tucked into my pretty pink basket on Easter morning. Sure, there were other treats. My mom was great about combining candy and gifts in a beautiful way, but all I cared about were those sickly sweet, soft-in-the-center, milk chocolate tooth aches. I waited for them all year. I actually still have fond memories when I see them on grocery store shelves each April (even though I am quite sure if I ate one now it would make me queasy).
Though I have long since given up those sugary eggs, I still love chocolate, and I still love finding a surprise inside of my dessert. These salted dark chocolate mousse cups have a thin layer of crisp, almond crust at the bottom. If you don’t tell your lucky recipients, it’s a lovely little surprise waiting for them as they dig in to this indulgence.
**In a few days I’ll post the full curry-tastic feast that you can make once you’ve got some of this paste in the fridge**
If you browse around here at The Yummy Kind, it’ll quickly become obvious I am a child of the world…or, at least, my mouth is. I love all types of ethnic cuisines, and am elated each time I taste (and/or cook) something new.
Considering how much I have loved Indian food for years, it surprised me to realize I’d never made my own curry paste. Upon realizing this, I delved into reading about various types of curries (North Indian, South Indian, etc.) and how widely the components may vary.
A few side notes before we get into this paste-making business:
Curry, as a noun, is simply a spiced meat or vegetable dish. It’s components vary widely the world over.
Curry powders are spice blends that, while they do contain curry leaves, are a mix of all types of spices. And, again, what’s included varies widely depending on where you are in the world.
For the curry paste in my recipe, I focused on making my own Garam Masala (which simply means warm or hot spices) and then mixing that with wet ingredients (tomato, onion, ginger, garlic) to make a paste.
Ethiopian might be my very favorite cuisine to consume. I can still remember the first time I had Ethiopian, sitting on the floor in the middle of packed hole-in-the-wall in Washington D.C., slightly drunk on honey wine, looking at my friends quizzically as they tore injera and dug in, and dumbfoundedly asking where my fork was. It was love at first bite. Many, many years later I am lucky to live in a city that has a few proper (and amazing) Ethiopian restaurants.
It’s a cuisine with a very unique and intriguing flavor profile. And, in truth, in ten years of trying to make Ethiopian at home, it just is never the same as it is when made by Ethiopians. Though, I’m told by a few of them, it has to do with some spices they import to use in the restaurant from their homeland that you cannot buy in the states (or, rather, can’t buy unless you live in a large urban area with an Ethiopian market, which I do not). I’m pretty sure they may just be trying to make me feel better. But, the stuff I make at home is lick the bowl good, so I’m not terribly upset about the situation (but, as a spice junkie, I do wonder about the gesho and if it’s worth ordering and paying to have it shipped, amongst other things).
My favorite pregnant ladies came to dinner last night (they are also three of my favorite people) and I made them a Greek spread complete with chickpea-zucchini fritters, tzatziki, tahini sauce, and a Mediterranean farro salad. But, the highlight in my mind (and maybe in theirs) was dessert. Dark chocolate mousse, fresh strawberries, vanilla cookies, coconut whipped cream, and toasted coconut, all layered into one delicious parfait.
These treats are just the right amount of sweet and, if you buy your favorite vegan cookies like I did, come together in just a few minutes. You won’t be sorry, but you will need a spatula to get at the last bits of pudding stuck to the sides of the glass (to steal Sara’s sentiment)!
To assemble: take the chilled chocolate mousse from the recipe below, a quart of sliced, fresh strawberries, your favorite vegan cookies (vanilla or almond flavored), and the coconut whipped cream from the recipe below and layered the ingredients in any way you wish in four glasses. I also topped mine with leftover toasted coconut from these delicious things, but chocolate shavings or more fresh strawberries would work great!
I am pretty sure I’ve seen this on the internet for at least five years, it was someone’s genius idea, and so whomever that is, we should all say thank you!
1 can of full-fat (important!) coconut milk chilled in the refrigerator at least over night
4 T sifted (also important!) powdered sugar
½ t extract (almond or vanilla, or another flavor, depending on what you’re making)
Chill a mixing bowl and a whisk in the freezer overnight, and chill your can of coconut milk in the fridge over night.
Once your coconut milk has been in the fridge overnight the cream and liquid have separated, and for this you are only using the cream, so flip the can upside down, open it, and pour out the few inches of liquid that have collected on the bottom (drink it up or use it in a smoothie).
Put the remaining thick coconut cream into your cold mixing bowl and whisk (I have read that you can do this by hand but I used my stand mixer because I’m lazy and it doesn’t get enough use anyway) for a few (2-3) minutes on medium-high speed until the coconut cream starts to look fluffy.
Add the sifted powdered sugar and the extract (if you like) and keep whipping until the cream is stiff and makes peaks (and generally is the consistency of whipped cream).
Enjoy! (I pipped it out of a bag very successfully).
We have a lovely, semi-hidden gem in the Tampa Bay area, the Wat Mongkolratanaram Temple. Any given Sunday you can find a few hundred folks lounging at picnic tables under their sprawling tree canopy on the Hillsborough River. The setting is idyllic, and I’d go just for that, but me (nor the other 200 folks) are there for nature’s beauty, we’re there for the food. From about 10am until the food runs out (sometimes not longer after noon) you can sample myriad Thai delights: noodle bowls, curries, fresh spring rolls, coconut milk custards, fried plantains and taro, a whole host of brightly-colored, bizarre-looking desserts, and, finally, my very favorite thing, papaya salad. A traditional thai delight, papaya salad is typically made with shredded green papaya and a sweet-hot dressing deeply routed in fish sauce. Lucky for me the temple makes a vegetarian version, but, it’s really not the same without the fish sauce.
A quick google search landed me on Craftsy (which, if you haven’t taken a class there yet, I can’t recommend highly enough, I would have paid twice what I did for the knife skills course if I’d known how excellent it was before I took it), where their blog provides a vegetarian version of pad thai, complete with a nice-sounding vegetarian fish sauce. I decided to give it a try. It was delicious. And that is how we ended up here.
Kormas are creamy, well-spiced wonders. I’ve only eaten them a few times in my life, but I decided to veganize one over at Vegan Housewives for my monthly contribution. I love playing with Indian spices, so developing this dish was a lot of fun.
To go with this kale korma, I like to make a very aromatic, Indian-spiced basmati that tastes great, goes really well with any Indian dish, and makes your house smell edible.
I asked a friend what cuisine he wanted for his belated birthday feast and he quickly replied South African. I’d been imagining Mexican, Thai, even Indian menus in my head. I thought maybe he’d even get crazy and ask for Vietnamese or Malaysian…but South African?? I was befuddled but totally up for the challenge. After a little research and a lot of excitement I ended up with the dishes in this post. They are all delicious alone, but exceptional and really special together. South African cuisine is influenced by many other regions, and you can certainly taste India in this dish. But elements of the curry make it uniquely South African, and when served with quick pickled vegetables and a sweet apricot chutney, this is a meal that will give you dreams of Cape Town. Invite some friends over, make the pickled veggies and chutney the day before, and have yourself an amazing and interesting dinner party.
In a large, heavy-bottomed, lidded pot over medium-low heat, cook the dried apricots and cherries until very soft (about 30 minutes).
Reduce the heat to low and add all of the other ingredients and continue to cook and stir until a delicious, thick, gooey chutney has formed (at least an hour, two is better).
Once cooled, pulse six or eight times in a food processor to bring everything together and give it a spread-able consistency.
This makes way more than you’d need for one meal (probably 5 cups worth), but you can easily jar and save the rest (eat it on toast, over ice cream, on rice).
I know it doesn’t sound quick! You’re thinking, “Two hours? Quick my butt!” But, for a chutney, you generally start by soaking the dried fruit overnight. Lightly boiling them for 30 minutes first cuts this step out and makes it come together pretty quickly. And the result is still sticky, sweet goodness.
3 T curry powder (To make this a true Cape Malay curry you need Cape Malay curry powder, however I used a blend of my two favorite curry powders, one spicy and one sweeter, that combined contained most of the ingredients in the distinct Cape Malay mix)
2 t roasted cumin (or Geera)
1 t tumeric
1 t coriander
½ t freshly ground black pepper
½ t cinnamon
3 T oil (seems like a lot, but you’re using mostly veggies and broth here so this fat helps the final flavor)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large sweet onions, sliced thin
1 large eggplant, cut into cubes
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large zucchini, cut into cubes or rounds
6 oz can of tomato paste (I like the double concentration kind)
2 cups very rich dark veggie broth (my very favorite product for broth-making is this)
1 T of fresh ginger, minced
1 cup (or a 6 oz container) of plain coconut milk yogurt (can sub with soy yogurt or coconut milk or buttermilk made with almond milk and vinegar)
3 small hot fresh peppers (optional, and amount can vary based on heat level you like)
Heat all of the oil in a very large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid and fry onions for at least 15 minutes over medium to medium-high heath until very soft and starting to brown.
Add garlic and ginger to onions and fry 2-3 minutes more.
Add spice blend to onions and fry 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
Add everything else EXCEPT for the coconut milk yogurt and stir to combine.
Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least an hour, the longer you leave it, the better the flavor, I cooked it for two hours and it was perfect.
Just before you serve it add the yogurt and stir it in well until incorporated.
Just based on their name, I dare you to not want one of these. Vegan, gluten-free, no-bake – check, check, check. And, healthy enough to eat for breakfast, too. You’re welcome.
Last night we celebrated a good friend’s 30th birthday (oh to be 30 again) with a South African feast (a curry and a chutney recipe are quick to come!) I didn’t have time to research and veganize a South African dessert, so instead I made these bars that had been percolating in my mind ever since I made strawberry chia seed jam last week. I considered making a peanut butter and jelly bar of sorts, and, now that I’m typing that, it’s certainly still on the list, but I really wanted to incorporate coconut and chocolate, too. So, we ended up with these beauties.
¾ cup coconut flakes (the natural kind, without sugar added)
for the chocolate layer
½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks, melted in the microwave for 45 seconds
Lightly grease an 8×8 pan
In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond meal, flax seed, baking powder, and salt well.
Add the almond butter, agave, warm water, and extract and mix with a fork until very well combined (it will be the consistency of cookie dough).
Press with oiled or wet hands into your greased 8×8 pan.
Top with 1 cup of jam (spread evenly with a rubber spatula).
Top with toasted coconut (to toast it: place in a dry sauté pan over medium heat, stirring it around for about eight minutes until golden brown, or put it in a 350 degree oven on a large cookie sheet for about six minutes, with either method: watch closely so it does not burn as it will happen very quickly!)
Top with drizzles of melted dark chocolate.
Refrigerate overnight for best results, this helps the bars gel together and makes them easy to cut.
For a decadent dessert I served these in a bowl with coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of warm, melted dark chocolate on top. Then, this morning I had one (sans ice cream, sadly) for breakfast. You can easily reduce even the small amount of sugar in these bars by leaving off the chocolate (or just using a bit) and not adding any sweetener to the jam you make (or choosing a store-bought one with no sugar added).
I was having lunch with a friend this weekend and she mentioned that she never really knows what to do with cauliflower. Now, I can make quick work of an entire head of cauliflower this way, but it got me thinking about turning cauliflower into an elegant main dish.
I’m not sure if I hit “elegant” on the head, but this is creamy, insanely good, and will literally have you licking the plate. The marriage of cashew cream, dijon mustard, tarragon, and white wine is a vegan take on a classic French pan sauce. You’ll feel pretty sophisticated eating this, that is until the bowl-licking starts.
Start with your leeks, wash them well (those dirty little things!) and thinly slice just the white parts (up until they start to turn pale green, see photos below). Then heat your oil or Earth Balance in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the leeks until they are caramelized (about 10 or 12 minutes), adding the garlic after a few minutes, and stirring very often as to not burn the leeks or the garlic.
While the leeks are cooking boil your cauliflower florets in the water, wine, and dried tarragon for 6 to 7 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender (but not too soft!). I like the use the leftover broth here to thin out my finished dish and also to cook my grains (I like to server this over brown basmati cooked in this broth).
Make the dijon cashew cream by blending (in a high-speed blender) the cashews, water, mustard, and lemon juice until very creamy. See notes on methods for making cashew cream without a high-speed blender in this post.
Add the drained cauliflower florets and the dijon cream to your sauté pan and cook over low heat for 10 more minutes, tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.