Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Extraordinary Vegan. Cookbook Giveaway, Chocolate Raspberry Tart Recipe and Review. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0016Chocolate Raspberry Tart, pg. 138 (with cherries instead of raspberries)

So, this is one of the cookbooks where I love the back story behind it as much as I do the cookbook. Private Chef, Alan Roettinger had done a previous book for Book Publishing Company. At the time, he wasn’t vegan, or even a vegetarian for that matter. But he wrote this vegetarian cookbook called “Omega 3 Cuisine.” It had good success, so Book Publishing Company asked him to write a second book, a vegan one this time. “Speed Vegan

DSC_0003-001High-Powered Green Juice, pg. 45 and Tarahumara Running Food, pg. 22

Somewhere along the line Alan mentioned in his writing of this book that the recipes were kind of “accidentally vegan” but were still good. [I'm paraphrasing here]. Book Publishing Company, a company that only publishes vegan and vegetarian cookbooks took issue with this and explained to Mr. Roettinger that their readers would too. They wanted him to understand that vegans and vegetarians think food without cruelty is delicious in its own right, and not that it’s some sort of mediocre substitute for an animal product based meal.

DSC_0006-001Three Sisters Soup, pg. 66

Around that period in time Alan went to the Dr. for his yearly physical. He had high blood pressure. His cholesterol was through the roof and he was tired all the time and overweight. His Dr. suggested that Alan should go on statin medications. Alan replied with something to this effect [paraphrasing again] “Naw, I’m going to go vegan.” I’ll check back with you in a few months and we can look at my results.”

DSC_0008-001Ratatouille, pg. 116

As you can probably guess, Alan never did need those statin medications. He dropped his extra weight, as well as his cholesterol and the blood pressure. He’s 100% vegan now and he’s never looked back. Today he’s creating Extraordinary Vegan meals where plants are the star of the show and loving it.

He served this beautiful tart at his birthday dinner the first year he was vegan. His guests were wondering how he could make a delicious birthday cake without eggs, cream or butter. I’m pretty sure this showed them that those things are completely unneccessary.

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Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Almond Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground or chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

Chocolate Filling:

  • 4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons framboise eau de vie or raspberry liqueur

Topping and Glaze:

  • 2 pints fresh raspberries (I used cherries)
  • 3/4 cup fruit-juice-sweetened raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, combine the almonds, sugar and oil in a medium bowl and work with your fingers to form a thick, crumbly paste. Press into and 8-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a one-cup measuring cup or similar small container to press and form an even inside edge. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The crust will be puffy and slightly misshapen. Press the crust gently back into shape with the measuring cup. Return to the oven and bake for 7 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the chocolate filling, put the chocolate into a blender. Put the coconut milk into a small sauce pan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble around the edge, remove from the heat. Count 10 seconds and then pour over the chocolate in the blender. Add the liqueur and process until very smooth.

Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the cooled crust. It should come about halfway up the inner side of the shell. Spread it out evenly, taking care not to get any on the rim.

Starting from the rim of the tart, arrange half of the raspberries in tight concentric circles over the filling. pushing the berries down slightly so they touch the bottom. End with one raspberry in the center. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over them, filling in spaces between the raspberry tops and covering them completely. Take car not to drip any filling on the rim. Layer the remaining raspberries on top of the chocolate. again in concentric circles, but don’t press them down. Refrigerate the tart until the filling is firm, 2-4 hours.

To make the glaze, put the jam in a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it melts. It should be fairly thick, but runny enough to apply with a pastry brush. Pour through a strainer to remove any raspberry seeds, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Using a pastry brush, very gently brush the melted jam over the raspberries, allowing a little of the excess to drip down between them and cover the filling underneath. When the entire surface of the raspberries is coated, set the tart aside for at least 10 minutes to let the glaze congeal.

To serve, hold the tart pan rim with one hand and push up gently on the bottom with the other hand to release the tart. Set the rim portion aside. Slip a knife very carefully between the tart shell and the bottom of the mold. work the knife gently around until the tart comes away from the mold. Set the tart down on a cutting board and cut it with a hot, dry knife. bracing the rim with one finger on either side of the knife to keep the tart shell intact. Slide the knife under the cut portion and gently lift it out. Put the slice on a dessert plate. Repeat as needed. Serve at once.

Extraordinary-Vegan-Front-Cover-258x300

Buy the paperback copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition for just $9.99 here!

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Reviews, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Vegan Cheesy Potato Soup

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I haven’t found a store-bought commercial vegan cheese that I like yet. So, I make a lot of homemade vegan cheeses since my family is pretty much still addicted to cheese, but we don’t want to go to the dark side.

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This soup tastes just like traditional cheesy potato soup and comes together quick enough for hurried weeknights without having to make or buy any vegan cheeses. It’s made with simple ingredients that should be in most well-stocked vegan pantries.

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Cheesiest Potato Soup

  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 stalk diced celery
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large red potatoes scrubbed and diced (you can peel them if you prefer)
  • 4 cups good vegetable stock
  • 1 T. dried or fresh parsley
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. ground mustard powder
  • 1/4 t. turmeric
  • 1 T. mellow white miso
  • 1/4 C. nutritional yeast
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (soaked for several hours if you don’t have a power blender)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: In a large soup pot, saute the onion, carrot and celery over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a couple minutes more. Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. While the soup is simmering, blend the water, cashews, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, miso, lemon juice and remaining spices until very smooth and creamy. Pour into the pot of soup and let cook for a few minutes more, the cashew cream will thicken the soup a bit. For a thicker, creamier soup (like the one pictured), put half the soup through the blender or pulse several times with a stick blender.

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Filed under Gluten Free, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You. Review, Recipe and Giveaway!

Blueberry Lemon Cake 1

Kathy Hester is at it again! This time she’s saving the day with a Vegan Slow Cooker book that’s for small families, or perhaps one like mine, where all of us can’t agree on one single dinner so the kids get PB&J or vegan ramen if I know they aren’t going to want what’s on the menu (shhh). Almost all of the recipes are low-fat or oil free, are simple to prepare and use ingredients that most of us all ready stock in our fridge or pantry. You will need however, one very important item, a 1.5 quart or 1.5 liter slow cooker to make these recipes. I bought mine for $10 ages ago. You can find one online or at a big box or kitchen store. Believe me, it’s worth the investment (says the girl with 6 slow cookers of various sizes).

I also own her book, The Vegan Slow Cooker, which is absolutely amazing and perfect for larger families or for making enough to have leftovers to freeze for busy days.  I reviewed her awesome The Great Vegan Bean Book a few months ago and her Lentil Quinoa Bolognese recipe I shared from that book is still getting loads of traffic on my site (yes, it’s so delicious!). Today I’ll be sharing (with her permission) the recipe for a gorgeous and perfectly portioned Lemon Blueberry Cake later in this post, but first feast your eyes on some of the other creations I made from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You. Bananas FosterOoey Gooey Bananas Foster. This little ditty can cook overnight and welcome you to the breakfast table with glee. If you add her Butterscotch Rum Sauce to this dish, like I did, be prepared to start putting that stuff on and in everything… You won’t be able to stop!

Basic BrownieI made this bad boy gluten-free using this GF blend. No one was the wiser… Oh and it got a dosing of the Butterscotch Rum sauce as well.

Hearty LasagnaHearty Lasagna Layered with Nut Ricotta. My family pretty much has a lasagna fetish, this one definitely met our high-standard approval rating.

Chocolate Chip CookieGimme That! Need I say more?

Every Season MinestroneEvery Season Minestrone. This recipe is excellent for using up whatever veggies you may have around. It’s both light and comforting, which is perfect for the cool weather that’s arrived.

Blueberry Lemon Cake 2

Blueberry Lemon Cake

*Soy-Free *Gluten-Free Option *Oil Free Option

When you bake a cake like this one in your slow cooker, it becomes moist and sumptuous. But you don’t want the condensation making it wet and preventing it from baking, so use a clean dish towel under the lid to soak up the moisture. Just make sure to fold the towel in quarters so it doesn’t touch the hot sides of your slow cooker.

For the Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) whole-wheat pastry flour (for gluten free, use GF baking mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia plus 1 teaspoon agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/4 cup (36 g) blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds mixed with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (for oil free, substitute applesauce or pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Spray the crock with oil or line with parchment paper to make the recipe oil-free. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Then add the wet to the dry and mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and spread evenly on the bottom. Put a clean dish towel or paper towel between the lid and slow cooker to absorb the condensation.

Cook on high for 60 to 80 minutes or until the middle is solid and doesn’t indent when you touch it.

Vegan Slow Cooking

Buy “Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You” in paperback format on Amazon here or get the Kindle version here.

Visit Kathy Hester at her site Healthy Slow Cooking here.

Visit the Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You” Blog Tour page here to get some other great recipes from this book!

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 4th of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 7th of October. GO!!

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Main Dishes, Reviews, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Books, Bread, Breakfast, Cheez, Desserts, Essential Oils, Films, Forks Over Knives, Friendship, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Green Smoothie Challenge, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Juice Feast, Main Dishes, Movies, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Organic, Raw, Reviews, Running, Salad Dressings, Salads, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snackage, Soups and Stews, Stock Powder, Sunwarrior, Ulcerative Colitis, Vegan, Vegan Dog, Vegan Household, Virtual Vegan Potluck

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

I’ve been holding out on you and making this soup OFTEN for months and months. It requires almost no effort and is incredibly delicious. If you whisk 1/4 C. of flour into the veggie stock before adding it to the pot, you’ve got the best gravy on earth (just ask my Thanksgiving guests).

I thought this would be perfect to do for my guest post today for Vegan Richa. Imagine my horror last night when we were messaging back and forth about the post and I realized that Richa. Doesn’t. Really. Like. Mushrooms. EPIC FAIL. So Sorry girl!

If you love mushrooms, you’re going to have to head on over to Richa’s place to nab the recipe:

here.

I hope you’ll read her poignant “about” page and get to know her a little better. Love to you Richa, I promise if you ask me to guest post again, I’ll make a dessert. xx -Somer

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Featuring Frugal

Cake Side ViewHave you ever seen a cake that made your knickers get all in a bunch?

This post started out a long time ago, with this cake, however it was a dare last week that made me pull it out of the draft archives. Nick at Frugal Feeding made a fantastic Mushroom Orzotto, and in his post, taunted me thus: “If you are food revellers of vegan ilk, it may prove a little tricky to create a genuinely satisfying orzotto – without the presence of starch or dairy fat thickening without altering the flavour entirely could prove tricky.

Mushroom OrzottoMushroom Orzotto

Tricky? Um, I simply subbed 1/2 C. cashews blended with 1 C. water and 1 T. nutritional yeast (cashew cream) and used a “knob” of homemade vegan butter instead of the dairy variety. Oh and I used whole wheat Orzo. Pretty sure I wasn’t missing anything flavor-wise. In fact, these are the sort of dishes that makes my husband ask if we’ve gone off the vegan diet. Fantastic recipe Nick! Next time I’ll be doubling it.

Hasselback PotatoesNick’s Hasselback Potatoes.

The first time I ever saw Hasselback potatoes was on Frugal Feeding. Lets just say, I was more than impressed with the sexy rendition of my favorite root vegetable and have made these several times since.

Sweet Potato & Parsnip SoupRoasted Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

Then there was the time that I arm wrestled Frugal into participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I don’t think he or his readers ended up disappointed, especially since Nick ended up taking home the prize for best soup with the lovely Roasted Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup. I knew you had it in you my friend :) Besides, how can you not win everyone over with all those lovely roasted veg? Even the PPK thought the Virtual Vegan Potluck was cool enough to put it at #28 on their top 100 list for 2012! I hope you’ll join us again in May.

Roasted VeggiesLovely Roasted Veg!

Now back to that cake. As I said before, this is exactly the type of cake that makes me swoon.

Cake Side & Top ViewFrugal’s Apple and Walnut Cake with Black Treacle (Molasses) Icing

I made a double layer 9 inch cake instead of using the 20cm cake tins. I didn’t have any batter leftover for cupcakes like Nick did in his recipe.

Demystifying Metric Measures & Vegan Substitutions: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I’ve weighed the ingredients on my kitchen scale and then measured them to take the guesswork out of it for you. Normally I wouldn’t include a blogger’s full recipe, but the online measure substitution tools weren’t entirely accurate and caused me to make a mess out of my first cake. I don’t want the same to happen to you. (Don’t worry, I asked Nick for permission). Go to his recipe for the method, but do preheat your oven to 150° celcius (302° farenheit) before starting and give your 9 inch tins an extra five minutes in the oven.

Apple and Walnut Cake with Black Treacle (Molasses) Icing

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 300 grams organic all purpose flour = 2 cups + scant 1/2 cup (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 140 grams dark brown sugar = scant 2/3 cup
  • 50 grams golden caster sugar (I used organic unrefined sugar) = scant 1/4 cup
  • 250 ml sunflower oil = 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (I used half the amount and subbed 1/2 C. applesauce for the rest, because, as my daughter said when I was measuring it out “mom, you don’t use that much oil in a whole year’s worth of cooking”)
  • To substitute for the 4 eggs in the recipe: use 1 cup silken tofu, 2 t. apple cider vinegar and 1 t. baking powder blended all together in a blender, (vinegar and baking powder mimics the rise that eggs give in baking)
  • 3 grated apples (leave skins on)
  • 100 grams chopped walnuts = 1 cup
  • 2 t. Mexican vanilla (addition) because I simply have to put it in everything I bake at the moment

Cake top view

Ingredients for the Icing:

  • 100 grams homemade vegan butter or earth balance = about 1/2 cup
  • 50 grams dark brown soft sugar = about 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon black treacle (molasses)
  • 1 t. Mexican vanilla
  • 200 grams vegan cream cheese = about one 8 ounce container of vegan cream cheese OR or 2/3 block extra firm tofu, pressed overnight to remove extra liquid. If you are using the pressed tofu (like I did) instead of store bought vegan cream cheese, add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to the recipe.

Combine all in food processor until silky smooth. To the tofu haters: if you make the icing in advance and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge before icing the cake, the tofu flavor in the icing becomes completely indistinguishable as it absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients. I swear it tastes just like I used real cream cheese.

Cake Slice

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Filed under Desserts, Friendship, Side Dishes, Soups and Stews, Vegan, Virtual Vegan Potluck

Creamy White Bean, Potato and Kale Soup with Vegan Sausage

DSC_0059Let’s face it, there wasn’t much I could do to make this pretty. Although it looks humble, I swear it’s divine.

Creamy White Bean, Potato and Kale Soup with Vegan Sausage

  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 stalks diced celery
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 C. vegetable stock
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, skins left on, cut into large chunks
  • 1 can white beans (I used cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 vegan sausages.  I used these incredible Vegan Italian Sausages from Field Roast, you could use 8 oz. of diced use mushrooms instead, add 1 t. Italian seasonings and double the fennel seeds to get a similar flavor profile if you can’t find Field Roast near you or if you have a gluten intolerance.
  • 4 C. baby kale
  • 2 C. cashew cream (1 c. cashews, 1 1/2 C. water and 2 T. nutritional yeast blended til creamy in a power blender, if you don’t have a power blender, soak the cashews overnight and do this in a normal blender).
  • 1/2 C. dry sherry
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in your soup pot, break the Field Roast Italian Vegan Sausages into crumbles and add to the pot. Saute til the crumbles get a bit crispy looking. Add the onion and sauté til translucent, about 2-5 minutes. Add celery and carrot and sauté for a few minutes more.  Add potatoes and garlic and let sauté for a minute more. Add the vegetable stock, dry sherry, white beans, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes and liquid smoke. Cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Add in cashew cream, the baby kale and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Filed under Beans, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Vegan Stock Powder

Vegan Stock Powder

I’m not the type of girl that has enough freezer space (or the inclination) to store all my vegetable odds and ends and then remembers to boil them down into a broth and then re-store that broth in the freezer. Enter: awesome stock powder that almost tastes like chicken stock (gasp!) I first read about stock powder in a vegan cookbook (can’t even remember which one). I didn’t think much of it at the time. Then Holly at My Plant Based Family did a post on it and I ran to my kitchen and made changes with some Vedged Out flair. Here’s my rendition. Made hearty by the addition of dried shitake mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, more dried herbs and stuff like that.

Mushrooms and Dried Tomatoes

Vegan Stock Powder

  • 1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
  • 10 sun dried tomato halves (not the kind packed in oil) snipped into quarters
  • 3 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 2 T.  sea salt
  • 1 T. raw sugar
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 1 t. mustard powder
  • 1/2 t. celery seeds
  • 1 C. nutritional yeast

Method: In a food processor, process the shitake mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes until they are very fine. Add all other ingredients. Process for a few minutes more. Just made this in my Blendtec instead of the food processor after reading Annie’s comment below. I highly recommend using a high powered blender instead of the food processor if you own one. Just dumped everything in the Blendtec and ran it through a couple of cycles on a 10. The result was a powder as fine as cornstarch with none of the graininess that I had experienced with the food processor. The powder stuck to the jar like crazy, so I emptied it out as best as I could, then added a quart of water and whizzed it all up to clean the jar. Viola. A quart of stock in my fridge for dinner tonight.

Finished Product

This stock powder stores perfectly in a pint jar in the pantry. Use 1 T. stock powder per cup of liquid in your recipes. If you don’t have the dried mushrooms and tomatoes on hand, this recipe is still good without, it just won’t have as much depth. If you can’t be bothered to make this than at least buy this delicious veggie stock base and stop wasting un-recycleable tetra-paks.

Thanks to all of you for all the love this last week and for helping me get my blogging mojo back.

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Blogging and Friendship

Peanut Butter CupDark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, using Annie’s base then adding in the middle: 1/2 cup each: vegan graham cracker crumbs, melted peanut butter and vegan powdered sugar stirred together.

Blogging is a funny thing. At first you start posting your recipes, hoping to garner some sort of recognition, then you start reading other people’s blogs, then joyfully and inevitably some lovely friendships form. Sometimes, you get lucky enough to actually meet and get to know these friends. Pure love. So, I’m apologizing now to all my blogging friends whom I haven’t been by your sites to read or comment on your posts lately. In the last month I’ve sustained two different injuries that have left me mostly couch bound, reading the classics, and drinking lots of tea and trying not to feel sorry for my sad self. My cooking skills have gone down the proverbial toilet (as evidenced by THREE batches of failed cupcakes for a Valentines party yesterday). You may have noticed I haven’t been around, I’m not feeling inspired and I’m sorry to say that the last thing I’m interested in right now is reading about food. I’m sure when I recover I’ll be back with a vengeance, but in the meantime I hope you’ll forgive my absence. It’s not you, it’s me.

PancakesAnnie’s Whole Wheat Nectarine Pancakes (except I used apples) and a blob of her Cocoa Coconut Butter. The best invention ever.

It hasn’t helped my mojo that one of my best blogging buddies jumped ship and moved back to her home in Oklahoma after being here in Utah for the better part of 2012. I’m feeling forlorn and I miss her like I miss my right arm. I thought you might enjoy a post about her food since I’m not creating anything wonderful. At least you can get some inspiration from Annie at An Unrefined Vegan.

Chocolate AssemblyAssembling the chocolates.

Flavors to try: coconut, chopped crystalized ginger, roasted almond and raisin, orange (using a couple drops essential oil), mayan (cinnamon and chili), peppermint (using a couple drops essential oil), pecan, and of course peanut butter cup.

Miso SoupAnnie’s Miso Ginger Soup with mushrooms added in. Nearly as comforting as a hug from the girl herself.

I’ll miss our lunch dates my friend.

DSC_0004The big funny: Emergency pit stop with Annie at the always fabulous Cafe Rio Mexican Grill after a lunch date at another restaurant we were reviewing left us famished and disappointed (minuscule portions, average food).

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Friendship, Restaurants, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Vegan Laksa

 

DSC_0036-001Vegan Laksa

16 years ago I was living in Australia and attending University. I worked in downtown Sydney near the Queen Victoria Building. Around the corner from my work was a fantastic little Malaysian Restaurant on George Street. They made the most incredible Laksa in the whole city. People swooned over it. While I can’t pretend I’ve created an exact replica of their recipe, this comes pretty close and has the bonus of being veganized.

Note: Real Laksa contains lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shrimp paste and candlenuts, none of which are easily available in my little community. Restaurants are also notorious for using dairy milk in the recipe to stretch it and cut the cost of the coconut milk. Obviously I’m not gonna use dairy milk or shrimp paste and I’ve improvised with the other ingredients to make a dish that most people can recreate at home with ingredients found at their local supermarket.

Vegan Laksa

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 4 C. vegetable stock
  • 1 carrot, julliened
  • 1/4 head roughly chopped cabbage
  • few leaves bok choy, torn into pieces
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 t. to 1 T. sriracha or red curry powder/paste (depending on heat preference)
  • 1 oz. yellow noodles (can use udon or thin spaghetti)
  • 1 oz. thin rice noodles
  • 1 T. agave
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 C. raw cashews (replaces the candlenuts) soak these for a few hours if you don’t have a power blender
  • 2 T. bragg’s liquid aminos, soy sauce or tamari
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 4 diced scallions, for garnish
  • basil/mint leaves for garnish
  • hot chili oil or sambal olek chili paste for garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the cubed tofu on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Sprinkle with a bit of salt if desired. Cook for 20-25 minutes until crispy, turning once. While tofu is baking, cook yellow noodles and rice noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Blend cashews, water and red curry powder/paste until completely smooth. Add coconut milk, spiced cashew liquid and vegetable stock to a large pot. Heat over medium high heat. Add all the vegetables, spices and seasonings, except those used for garnish. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until veggies are just crisp/tender. Remove from heat. Divide noodles between 4-6 bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles, garnish with pieces of the baked tofu, the basil/mint, scallions and the chili paste.

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