Friday, June 22, 2007

Curried Split-Pea Soup, Bean 'Muffins', Unfried Noodles, Tofu

The first two cooking adventures here are from a new e-cookbook by a cyberfriend of mine. You can find more about them here, but the recipes are, naturally, not mine to give.

This is such an innovative recipe - and so simple to make. The trick is to match the herbs, spices, etc. with what you plan to use the 'muffins' for. That's no big ask :) I have made them twice now - the first time as an experiment (not quite believing they'd work), the second at the express request of my dh, who seems to have become addicted to them. These are ever so slightly sweetened and have allspice mixed in. I put a scrap of chopped walnut on each of this batch to remind us which ones were which, since the options for flavourings are limitless. Portable beans? Great idea!

There are practically as many versions of split-pea soup in the world, I swear, as there are cooks to produce it! Erin's is, however, excellent - from his new e-cookbook - and we will probably make this version from now on! Lovely. I should say, however, that I made the 'variation' he suggested, and found it worked beautifully. For someone who cooks without salt, I found the spices he suggested pepped up the taste buds wonderfully. (And I thought I was clever with spices myself!) This soup is a winner!

Once in a while I like to break the rules and have a little 'pasta', asian style. These noodles below are of course from white rice, not quite the whole foods we generally live on. But they cook very quickly - a quick blanching in boiling water, then can
be mixed with a barely stir-'fried' (no oil) selection of whatever suitable vegetables are in the fridge and dressed with a sauce made from low-sodium soy (about a Tbsp or less for two of us), some jarred garlic, jarred minced ginger, sambal oelek (jarred Indonesian condiment of finely minced chilies), a tsp peanut butter, and a tsp of cornstarch in a little water. Not quite mee goreng, but still tasty and, equally important, quick!

And sometimes on a hot day, or when in a hurry, I like to have so-called 'firm' silken tofu with a salad (any kind) - not together, but separately of course :) since silken really isn't firm and doesn't lend itself well to mixing except very very gently. Rather than heat it (I like it in a Hunan-style sauce over rice), on such days I like it cut into cubes with a drop or two of low-sodium soy sauce and a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions. It doesn't get much simpler than that!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Catching Up

Still catching up here ;) I find that when I haven't posted in a long time it's because I have been revisiting old favourites in my recipe book/s and where's the novelty in that! For interest of those who still like to know what vegans eat (yes, there's a blog about that, I know!), here are a few of my recent ventures in the kitchen.

See my post about this HERE. I keep varying the recipe, of course, but that's just the way jambalaya is!

Sometimes I use chickpeas in this dish, sometimes tofu, sometimes homemade seitan - and of course the veggies keep changing according to what's available!

I originally posted the recipe HERE. This is something we keep going back to because it has the virtue of freezing well. This time we had it with polenta and a salad.


I don't suppose you will find this 'recipe' on this blog, but you will find something similar to do with cabbage or greens or whatever. What I did with these lovely little things was to steam them lightly with some chopped ginger root, garlic and chilies. They were to go with a baked millet dish (which is not my recipe to give, I'm sorry to say), which has all kinds of lovely tastes in it. It's a bit of a clash of ethnicities, but the flavours were superb together!

A couple of days later we had the millet with a mint tabouleh and steamed sweet potatoes and carrots.

And finally, to end with rice as I began, easily one of our favourite quick meals is unfried rice - steamed vegetables, of course, with lovely brown rice. This one has wakame in it too as well as a sprinkling of oven-roasted soybeans - but like everyone else we vary this each time we make it.

And they say it's hard to cook vegan - HAH!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

New Cookbook Just Out!

I have the delightful job of alerting you all to a new cookbook by Erin, aka Zenpawn. I have long been a fan of Erin's blog
and have delighted in the wonderful meals he has presented for us. Now, I found this morning, he has gone 'all the way' and
published an e-cookbook - very very nutritious, very very economical of fat and calories (indeed, the ones I have read all through seem to use the teeniest amount of fat for the pan only), very very big on a variety of flavours and super-duper delicious!

I have just downloaded my own copy (very modest price) and just can't decide where to start! It's great. The illustrations are beautiful, the recipes clear and simple (with fewer ingredients than most) and all nutritional information is given.

You can find the story behind the cookbook here:

and the link to where it can be purchased HERE:

Way to go, Erin!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


One thing I've been doing while shamelessly neglecting this blog is eating lots and lots of greens. Anything green!


I love beets and I also love beet greens, lightly steamed, but they are available as tender baby greens for only a short while. The other day they had some lovely little organic beets with their pretty leaves still attached, so we bought a bunch - and wished we'd bought more!

I cooked them in their skins, because the skins slip off so easily once they're done, then sliced them through while still warm and put them in a fatless 'vinaigrette' of vinegar, mustard, horseradish, pinch of sugar. Then I roughly sliced and cooked the greens until just done (although they look a little overdone in the photo, I think). The greens were then tossed with the beets (I made enough dressing to coat the greens too) and served the dish warm. You could make this ahead of time, but it's best, in my opinion, either warm or at room temperature rather than chilled.

My husband is wild for this dish - so guess who is getting up early for the next market day!


Broccoli goes beautifully in stir-'fried' dishes, and when teamed with tempeh needs little more than some nice fluffy brown rice to complete the meal.

I like to 'marinate' the tempeh, cut into little strips, in a little low-sodium soy sauce, a spoonful of minced ginger, another spoonful of minced garlic and one of minced chilies (I use sambal oelek, an Indonesian chilie sauce/paste sometimes made in California, but I doubt it matters much). Then I cut the broccoli into florets (saving the stems for another use another day) while I steam 'saute' a small sliced onion in some water to which I have added a couple of slices of ginger root (cut into tiny matchsticks) and a couple of large cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and one or two hot chilies (minced). The trick to getting broccoli to taste its best is not to overcook it, so must before it is 'ready' I throw in that tempeh along with its marinade, heat the tempeh through, then get the whole thing out into a heated serving dish before the broccoli starts to lose its crispness. Lovely!


When I can get kale, I buy a couple of bunches and we have it over a couple of days. The rest of the time I just pine for it! Preparation is a cinch - remove the tough stems and slice thinly (or keep them for stock), then slice the leaves at about quarter-inch intervals. It is much quicker and easier if you face them all the same way and then rolle them lengthways into a long cigar shape.

Kale is indeed a favourite of ours, and we especially like it when it is lightly steamed with a little sliced onion and a handful of raisins - The raisins puff up beautifully, and their sweetness adds a pleasant surprise when encountered in the occasional forkful (which is why we use only a small handful - to keep up the surprised factor). A squeeze of lemon over the finished dish makes it perfection!