Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award

I want to thank Linda on her karlinda for stunning me with her kindness in awarding me the Kreativ Blogger award!

The rules for the award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Seven things you might not knowabout me:

1. My dh and I both got our degrees in the same week from the same universities (in Canada and in the USA) way back when - and all in English Lit.

2. We spent 25 years of our lives in Sydney, Australia, and returned to Canada upon retirement.

3. I am mad for miso and mushrooms, separately or together.

4. I still get homesick for the UK after 60 years whenever I smell chips with vinegar.

5. My favourite flower is the rose and favourite scent is lavender - so old ladyish.

6. I never had a dog as an adult until I was 60 when I rescued two beagles.

7. I nearly always wear black - because I like it - and am never seen without earrings.

My nominations for Kreativ Blogger Awards:

1. Linda at Karlinda (turn-around is fair play LOL) - for her frank and heartwarming insight into the world of domestic infant adoption in California.

2. Kristen Suzanne at Kristen's Raw - for her wonderful recipes there (and excellent uncookbooks).

3. Erin at Zenpawn - for his varied and intelligent approaches to veganism, rawfoodism, and CRON.

4. Carrie at The House of Simon - for her varied 'all-purpose' blog with veggie food, Canadian music and sports and insights into the mind of a Jack Russell Terrier.

5. Susan V. at Fat-Free Vegan - for her inspired recipes which have kept me going for years with a healthy, tasty, vegan diet.

6. Veggie Girl at, well, Veggie Girl - for giving me a fantasy life in which I imagine I get to sit in her kitchen and taste her tantalizing baked goods without adding inches. Fantastic.

7. Jessica at Raw Food With Jessica - For an aesthetic thrill and total inspiration.

Okay, and now to post at each site. What fun!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cajun-Spiced Portabellas


Yesterday’s mushroom dish was based on Kristen Suzanne’s “Cajun Portabellas With Wild Rice” recipe from her Easy Raw Entrees. Although I usually like to make a recipe according to the original the first time around, except perhaps for making a smaller quantity for just the two of us, but in this case I nervously cut way way down on the amount of oil required for the recipe – and ran into a bit of a problem. I corrected it another way, but neglected to write down the exact amounts of ingredients, changes in procedure, etc. (I’m naming the dish slightly differently since I took liberties with the recipe.)

A small problem with raw recipes is that most raw chefs use a lot of oil and/or nuts and seeds, and as you know I don't usually do that. I have tried the recipes at first with a little of the oil, to get the 'right' taste, but generally find away around that afterwards for successive 'repeats' of the dish. I just don't see the need for all that fat as well as all those calories - but that's just me.

Anyway, here goes:

CAJUN-SPICED PORTABELLAS (Raw - but don't run away!)

Okay, here’s a rough idea of what this dish was about:

Portabella mushrooms cut into strips, salted and left to marinate in olive oil for a while. Chopped tomatoes. A mix of spices, onion powder, garlic powder, and various herbs. After tossing the drained mushrooms with the spice mixture, they were placed on dehydrator sheets for about an hour and a half, at which time I deviated yet again from the recipe and added the tomatoes, mixing them in with the mushroom slices, and dehydrated for about another half hour. A squeeze of lime finished it off. I doubt that they are like what Ms Suzanne intended, but they were very very good and I will make these again and write down exactly how I did it for this blog.

With the Cajun-Spiced Portabellas we had some old faves: Avocado and Strawberry Salad plus a side dish of thinly sliced (raw) green beans with red bell peppers and a little green onion - all very tender and delish. We finished up with berries - strawberry and blueberry. I can never get enough berries.

Thanks for listening! ;-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

About My Raw Adventure


I have been neglecting this blog while sending all kinds of results of my raw adventures to my Rawly Vegan blog on Wordpress - and I'm sorry. Perhaps I should publish some of the results here, but I'd now have to go back quite a way to catch up on that :( But you can click into the title of the photo above for its recipe if you like and of course I can offer you more and more raw recipes, if anyone's interested, in future. (Previous recipes are, as I say, on my Rawly Vegan blog.

The thing is, I hadn't expected to be keeping on with this rawfood lark. I thought that I'd like it for a while - as an excuse, perhaps, to eat lots and lots of lovely fresh fruit while it was in season, but that I'd quickly tire of eating raw instead of the delicious cooked meals I used to concoct each day. I do so like to cook! Well, I still 'cook' or, I should day, prepare food, and I am absolutely loving it. There are some great recipes out there, including some wonderful recipe books (I have only a handful), and I'm just not prepared to stop eating raw for a while yet!

Now I don't mean that I'm 100 per cent raw. We still choose to eat non-raw food for around 10 to 15 per cent of our daily calories on the occasional day, and my condiments, herbs and spices are not yet all raw. But the experiment, as I used to call it, has worked out find and for the time being, at least, I have no intention of going back to the way I used to eat - nor, I should add, has my husband, who delights in preparing some of our dishes himself (and this after his thinking, like myself, that it would be boring old salads all the time).

Some raw dishes are worth knowing about whether you're raw or not: Some raw soups are much better than their cooked counterparts if they even have cooked counterparts and can be served to anyone at any time that, say, a chilled soup would be appropriate. They're so very quick to make that it makes me wonder why I ever fussed with soup pots etc. And raw crackers? Fantastic. I have a (new) dehydrator, and if anyone has access to one raw Flax Crackers, Hummus Crackers, and Dulse Crackers are all easy to make and soooooo delicious. I keep a couple of containers full of them all the time now.

So prowl through my other blog, if you will, and see if there is anything there to tempt you. Not all the photos have recipes attached, but that's fairly easily remedied, since I'm developing my own variations on other people's recipes all the time now. Such fun!

And did I say how bright and alert and energized I feel since eating high raw? Fantastic pay off! Now that absolutely stunned me!

Okay, back again later with more - and some recipes. Cheers, everyone.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Blog In Town

This recipe is't here, is it? Nope. Why not?

Well, I shall be posting here again soon (truly) but I want you all to know of my two other blogs:

River Rambles at

This blog is for my adventures outside my own kitchen - when I feel the need to comment on good meals in usual or unusual places - and also holidays (which often centre around restaurants!) here and overseas, complete with pics. Have a look! (That's River Rambles - okay?

And my other blog is my notes with pics on my new adventure into raw food, Rawly Vegan Some of you might be interested in that too.

I should mention, however, that it is not at this time my intent to turn 100 per cent raw foodist. But I am aiming for highly raw - and in my book that means somewhere around 20 per cent of calories or less of non-raw food. As for eating out and holidays, well, one does what one can but there's no way I plan to travel on an apple and a handful of leaves, no matter what the diehards do LOL I love you all, but that's just not quite for me - yet! Nevertheless, having promised myself 'baby steps' in this endeavour (and so far it's working brilliantly for around 2 weeks now, maybe more), I intend to make this a long-range project which will bring me to a comfortable lifestyle for me. That's Rawly Vegan

Therefore, now and then (each week at least) I shall be actually cooking a dish or two and, to keep things lively around our dining table I shall be experimenting with new recipes and adapting old ones, either mine or someone else's. Those will be posted here!

Thanks for your understanding and patience - and do, please, visit my other blogs. They could stand the scrutiny!

Best to all, River.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What Happened To Summer? Some Faves.

(Above: Bell Pepper, Mushroom and Faux Chicken 'Stir-fry')

For all kinds of reasons (don't ask!) this has been a lost summer, more or less. As a result, I've been shockingly lazy when it comes to developing new recipes or even trying other people's recipes (but see the seitan dishes below). Mostly, it has been comfort food of the kind you have seen on this blog time and again, or it has been something fast made with the help of faux meats from the local supermarket (I know, I know!). Between that and being away (see my other Blogspot blog at, which is where I ramble on about trips away from home, mostly, and post photos for family and friends. You're welcome to look!) . . . So you see above one of the many stir-fry (read 'stir-steamed') dishes which came in handy.

Then there were the inevitable curry-style dishes, because they are easy to make if you cheat a little and add some commercial curry paste to the array of spices to the whole and because we love all these hot and spicy dishes. Yes, even in summer.

The Thai Coconut Curry with Root Vegetables, Zucchini and Eggplant above used coconut milk in the original, but I cheated and used non-dairy milk and a little coconut extract in order to cut back on the fat calories a bit. It tasted fine - handy to remember if you run out of coconut milk.

There were the usual salads, soups (both hot and chilled), and quick pasta dishes - as I say, it was a lost kind of summer. I did however work on something else.


I did a little experimenting with my seitan fish recipe (see previous post) and I think I nearly have it right. I shall try again soon and give you the measurements. What I did in effect was to halve the recipe but to keep the seasonings etc. as is (or even to add a little extra, except for salt). I also put the cooking liquid (you know, seaweed, dried mushrooms, etc.) in a pan and let it simmer ahead of time and then cooled a little of it off to replace the water to be added to the gluten flour to make the seitan. (I replaced the 'stolen' cooking liquid with the same amount of water so that there's be plenty to cover the seitan on the stovetop.) That addition of cooking liquid got flavour into the seitan from the start. You might have to experiment a bit yourself, and much depends on how strong you like this kind of dish to be in 'taste of the sea'.

Having made this dish a few times, I have tried in in three or more ways:

(Above: Home-made Seitan Fish in Panko Crumbs)

I lightly sprayed the pan with canola oil and then browned the seitan on both sides. In this case I simply served with a squeeze of lemon and served with vegetables in the western manner. Lovely.

Not to be boring the next time I served it, I cut it in small pieces and made a Southeast Asian-style sauce with peanuts, soysauce, ketjap manis and sambal oelek.

(Above: Stir-'fried'Home-made Seitan Fish with Indonesian-style Peanut-Chilie Sauce.)

This was stronger in flavour and went superbly with rice and other appropriate accompaniments - your choice.

And finally, the inevitable 'finishing up what's in the fridge' dish - Rice with Vegetables, Home-made Seitan Fish and Commercial Faux Chicken Pieces. . .

. . . seasoned Asian Style with chilies thrown in for good measure. This kind of thing is one of our favourite kinds of meals ;-)

And no, we didn't eat all these in the same week! Although my dh assured me that he wouldn't mind a bit. It was good seitan.

Fortunately now that September is here I have no further excuse, and I shall be posting on a regular basis both on this blog and on my blog.

I am also starting another blog elsewhere - another food blog indeed, but that story for another time.

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. My best to you all!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Some time ago I enjoyed a fake 'fish' dish at Montreal's ChuChai vegetarian restaurant - well, several times, actually, along with fake prawns and fake chicken etc. etc. They did it very well, and all went brilliantly with the Thai flavours. Since then I have had soy and wheat meat substitutes of various kinds at Candle 79 in New York, at Toronto's Fressen, and in London, Ontario, including most notably at Veg-Out on Richmond Row. It was Veg-Out's renowned 'Fish' And Chips and (not to mention a delightful Daily Special of tempe Red 'Halibut' In Cashew Crumbs) that made me want to try to create my own version of faux fish. Just for the fun of it!


I had been hoping to find someone with a tried-and-true recipe for a fish-flavoured wheat meat (seitan) or soy meat on one of my groups, but it's a bad time of year to be asking people to be in their kitchens or even thinking of it. One kind person sent me a link to this page (thanks, John!):

I settled for the simple seitan formula in the above link and made half a recipe in the fillets of fish shape - although I made them a bit smaller than what is usual, I think. The photo above shows the fish, lightly pan-browned, before adding the sauce which I made with peanut, coconut, sambal oelek, mirin, and basil etc. Lovely. I'll put a photo of my plate, with sauce added, below.

As you may be able to see, we had it with small potatoes, steamed kohlrabi and new peas - eschewing traditional rice accompaniment for once.

A couple of days later we finished it off with a slightly different combination of vegetables - cut into smaller pieces and sort of stir-fried with mushrooms, onion, halved cherry tomatoes and cilantro (coriander leaves) and very lightly sauced with low-sodium tamari and mirin. The image is, I'm afraid, blurred - but the flavour was not.

I'm going to work on this recipe. When I've got it right or as close to being right as I can get, I'll post on it again :) I fancy some seitan salmon and seitan scallops and maybe even seitan smoked trout or whatever. Just for fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aparagus & Tomato Pasta, Three Thai Dishes


There has been some lovely asparagus in the market lately, both the green kind and the purple. Being a little conservative for colour for this dish, I chose the green and teamed it with some lovely little grape tomatoes, basil, and green onions to mix with baby shell pasta. It was so good.

The recipe is just about what I've said above:

Shell pasta for two persons (I use about 100-120 grams or 3-4 ounces)
1 slice of onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. grape tomatoes, halved
pinch of crushed chiles - or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
half a bunch of fresh basil, lightly chopped
2 green/spring onions, chopped
basil sprigs for garnish

While the pasta water is coming to the boil and the pasta is cooking (according to package instructions), put the onion and garlic in a little water in a skillet (large enough to contain all the ingredients in the recipe) and cook until soft.

Add the asparagus, tomatoes and chopped basil with the seasonings and stir over medium-high heat until the tomato skins start to look as if they are loosening up a little. Stop there. Don't overcook. If the pasta is not ready, remove the vegetables from the heat until the pasta is done.

Drain the pasta and add to the vegetables in the skillet, toss them together and return to the heat if necessary for a moment or two to make sure everything is heated through. Remove from heat, stir in the green onions and transfer the pasta to a warmed serving dish. Garnish.

It doesn't get much simpler than that :)


I've also been playing around at making more Thai food - we both love it! This one in the photo above is EGGPLANT WITH BASIL. I usually like to add a little cubed tofu to this dish as well as the red bell pepper.

And this one . . .

. . . is a SWEET POTATO AND POTATO COCONUT CURRY. Tofu goes nicely in this one too.

And then there was the day I made (dah-dah dah-dah!) . . .

TOM YUM SOUP! This was my first time of making it, and I think I got a little carried away, putting in enough vegetables and tofu to make it into something approaching a stew rather than a soup. That is, however, easily corrected.

These dishes are keepers here. Actually, we love Thai spices and like to flavour all kinds of things with them. My problem, however, is being able to get fresh kaffir lime leaves (although I keep a good supply of dried ones up the cupboard) and fresh lemon grass, not to mention fresh Thai basil, which is so important to the taste. It's a bore to have to substitute other things :(

Now that spring is here I'm looking to more and more lovely vegetables to put into my stir 'fries' and curries. I remind myself that they have snow out west!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Zucchini-Lemon Soup. Thai Curries


This is a very forgiving recipe, and you can adjust the amount of zucchini used according to your appetite and to the desired thickness of the finished product. Although I have included tofu in this recipe, I often make it without tofu altogether and it is delicious that way too.

3/4 lb zucchini squash, sliced but not peeled
1 or two slices onion, chopped, or to taste (less rather than more, in this case)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of half a lemon
4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
crushed chilies to taste
juice of half a lemon
half a pack of soft tofu, roughly cubed

Put all except the lemon juice and the tofu into a soup pot and cook until the zucchini is just done.

Blend the soup with a wand blender but preferably in a blender jug along with the lemon juice and the tofu. The soup should be creamy and a lovely fresh pale green colour. You may need to add a little water to get it to the consistency you wish.

Return soup to the soup pot and reheat gently. Serve garnished as you will - I used cilantro for the soup in the photo because we like the taste and it also goes very well with the lemon.

Variation: you may wish to use fresh or dried herbs along with the zucchini etc. in the soup pot. Italian herbs go well, but be careful not to overwhelm the fresh taste of the zucchini and lemon.

And now for a change of pace :)


Wanting some Thai curry (yes yes, the whole thing with - gasp - coconut milk and all!) I decided to make my own for the first time in ages. The impetus was seeing some lovely fresh Thai basil and some fresh kaffir lime leaves along with lemon grass at our local asian shop. I also picked up some of their tofu - a real treat when we can get it. Stopping at another shop, I got a small jar (yes, I know it's cheating) of Thai
yellow curry paste - the kind without fish paste of creatures of any kind in it. It's good to make your own paste, but this was to be a relatively quick meal and I didn't think I'd have the time. I found organic light coconut milk at my health food store, so all was set.

No real recipe here, except to shred a few kaffir lime leaves, grate some ginger, peel and finely chop the lemon grass, chop a little onion and garlic, and defrost and chop some Thai red chlies which I always have in the freezer. This all went into a large pan with some cubed eggplant, a diced potato, and (a little later so that it didn't get overcooked) a red bell pepper - and of course the Thai basil and enough of the Thai curry paste to make it just right (which in our lexicon means HOT).

By the time the rice was ready, so was the curry!

We've had variations on this over the last week - including one with sweet potato and green snap peas - and it's been lovely every time. I do so love Thai food.

What Have These Vegans Been Cooking?

Original recipes have been in short supply around here lately (the cold weather has frozen my creative side), but that doesn't mean we've been having take-out food. We have been doing the usual salads, fresh fruit and lots of greens, but doing them simply. Soups have been important, because of the weather, and lately more stews and bakes than earlier in the year (or so it seems to me right now). Check below:


Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This is another case of taking one's favourite recipe for home-cooked pasta sauce, adding a little crumbled tofu or tvp, simmering until blended and putting atop one's favourite kind of pasta. Have a lovely green salad first (in the North American way) or after (in the Italian way) and you've got a lovely meal, right? Yumm!

Below you have two similar ideas:



They were made at quite different times, but I recall flavouring each with Indian spices and herbs. And both were what I call spicy hot! Eggplant was important to each (it blends so nicely with lentils) and apart from that and some carrot, perhaps a little sweet potato, it's more or less a free-for-all as far as the vegetables go.

The soup made a lovely light meal with a salad, and the stew was consumed as a main course with crusty homemade whole wheat bread. What a treat! Shall work on these some more and post the recipes when I'm happy with them.

More soon - I'm still having trouble with the photo thingie on this new computer :(

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kudos for a Fellow Blogger - and a link to watch it happen!

GREAT NEWS: PCRM's Food For Life TV has actually highlighted - AND done their cooking segment on - my dear cyberfriend, mentor and publisher Erin Dame's own _Vegan Done Light_ e-cookbook and in particular on his incredibly innovative recipe for Cherry Hummus (believe it or not, it's delicious!). Congratulations, Erin! That's a huge feat. Fantastic, my friend!

See the video on Erin's site at:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think something like this kind of kudos for another vegan blogger vindicates all of us for our huge efforts in trying to maintain and develop healthy recipes that are low in fat and, in Erin's Case, gluten-free as well as low-cal and full of all good things.

So have a look at the video - and while you're at it have a listen/look to all the excellent advice for vegan health from the Food For Life TV team. It echoes so much that Erin and many of the rest of us strive for in our recipes.

Oh, and write down the recipe for that cherry hummus as it's playing - it's a winner :)

Exciting!!! Way to go, Erin!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mushroom Crepe, Spiced Mushrooms - and chat

[Edited because this got posted before I had finished! Slight changes to food descriptions, etc.]

It's a while since I recommended anything on this blog - other than great food - but the following article (see link below) on the vegan diet, its 'stick-to-it-edness' and its benefit for those with diabetes or at risk for the disease is very important. Published in Canada's national daily 'The Globe and Mail' 4 February. Do please have a look - it will lighten your heart, brighten your day, and give you loads of ammunition against all those omnivores and even some vegetarians who are suspicious of a vegan diet.

And now on with the lovely safe and healthy vegan food! I love mushrooms and eat them almost daily.


This made a lovely lunch, along with a green salad. I took some mushrooms, enough for two persons (although I show only one crepe), seasoned them with a little chopped onion, two or three cloves of garlic, a tsp or so of grated ginger root, a little mirin (I was out of sherry), a dash of low-sodium soy sauce, a dash of cayenne pepper, some mixed herbs and put them all together in a skillet, adding a tsp or so of water at a time to keep them from scorching. I kept them pretty plump - dried-out mushrooms aren't my idea of fun.

The crepes I made of a mixture of wholewheat flour and cornflour (plus liquid of course) but you could use a mix of your choice. I made them very very thin and did not attempt to flip them. I gave the pan a hint of cooking spray (olive oil) and I slid each gently onto a plate when cooked to keep it warm, covered, at the lowest possible oven setting. Then I simply scooped the mushroom mixture onto the centre third of each crepe and rolled the other two sides to enclose it. Delicious.

For my next trick -


This time I mixed cremini mushrooms with portobellos and shiitakes and added 4 cloves of garlic, a healthy pinch of crushed chilies, 1 Tbsp grated ginger root and a good shake of dried tarragon (had no fresh) to the pan before I started the steam-sautee process. I made a little mix of warm water and about half a tsp or so of dark miso (to dissolve the miso), a small amount 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 2 Tbsp tomato paste and 1/4 cup of red wine and added it to the half-cooked mushroom mix.

When the mushrooms were just done (and the sauce well reduced) I stirred in a couple of chopped green onions and some chopped home-roasted peppers and used the mushroom mixture to top a heated wholewheat wrap - this was to catch what sauce remained. (I use Weight Watchers wraps, low fat and only 90 calories each, for things like this. They keep well in the freezer.)

I topped the mushrooms with a couple of strips of the roasted pepper too - and wished I'd had some nice fresh herbs to add, but perhaps that would have been painting the lily.

I was in a terrible hurry to get a meal on the table, so I had raided my emergency bin in the freezer right at the beginning and thrown some tiny potatoes, baby peas and miniature corn into a pan to steam so that I could serve them alongside the mushroom dish. Worked just fine! I think this is a major way we will have mushrooms from now on.

Althoughhhhhh, I'm still working on my mushroom paprikash/stroganoff recipe. It's good too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bonus with 'Wake Up To Spice'


Just to inform you all that my e-cookbook Wake Up To Spice now has a bonus attached: When you buy the cookbook this month (February) you get, free, Erin Dame's special report 7 Strategies to Successful Weight Loss! (This is normally a $5.00 cost, given for the rest of February to those who wish to dowload WAKE UP TO SPICE.)

In any event, you can sign up for Erin's free newsletter and download a sample recipe from my collection for only a click of the mouse. Not a bad deal!

Take a look and see what you think! You can find the whole deal HERE.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baked Eggplant & Tomato Casserole, plus some old favourites


Around four days ago I had an eggplant that was burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak, and a yellow sweet bell pepper that was threatening to leave home. So I decided to put together a mix of compatible vegetables with some Italian-type herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, you get the idea) and a hastily chopped chili and the usual suspects, including half a large can of tomatoes.

I heated the oven when these were cooked (in a little stock in a skillet) and made a quick cheezy sauce from a package of tofu which was soon to be past its prime. The eggplant mixture went into a round baking dish, the tofu topping (with some lovely spices in it) went on top and I popped the whole thing into the oven while I was fixing the salad.

I had one serving (Okay, it was a big one) and my dh polished off the rest (shock horror!). So I guess it was a success and yet so easy. Oh I'm too modest - It was great!

I promised myself, and probably you, that I'd post what I was eating from time to time - apart from salads and fresh fruit. The thing is, we have been going more in favour of old favourties, including one my dh adores: POTATO PEA & MUSHROOM CURRY from India. This is a good standby for us whenever we find we're in a hurry, want something comforting, and have no special ingredients in the house. Potatoes? Sure, always have a few lying around I guess (although I have been known to run out). Peas? Always in the freezer, just in case. Mushrooms? They're a staple. As for the rest of the things - garlic, ginger, onions, spices, well they're in the fridge and cupboards all the time too. So this meal can be had ready for the table in the time it takes to chop the veggies and cook the potatoes (the smaller the dice, the quicker the meal). We had this about three days ago. Lovely as always.

Another quick and reliable recipe is this soup - TOMATO CABBAGE SOUP Which is usually ready in twenty minutes from start to finish.

It's hot, it's light and it's satisfying. Eat it with cornbread, wholewheat rolls, muffins or, as here, with a simple salad (and faux hamm) wrap.

We'll be finishing off the soup this evening!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dry Cauliflower Curry with Dhal

This is something I thought I'd try again (after some years) after having it in New York just over a week ago. (See Well, I had something like it, and this version was indeed good, but I'm going to have to mess around a little with the spices to recreate the original, if that's at all possible. Still, my husband raved about this and we ate every scrap, so perhaps the other we had was simply different :)


1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground fennel
large pinch or more of crushed chilies (to taste)
approx. 1 lb cauliflower (trimmed pieces, a little over bite-sized)
water to cook
pinch of salt, optional
garam masala to taste
2 or 3 spring/green onions, chopped, to be stirred in at the end
handful fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) - optional - to serve
fresh squeeze of lemon to serve

Put the onion, garlic and ginger root into a skillet and add a little water to 'saute' until onion is translucent. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they decide to pop. Add the other spices quickly along with the cauliflwer and, again, just enough water to steam the pieces nicely without overcooking. (The cauliflower in the photo had a bit longer to cook than was needed.) Add the salt if using. You want the cauliflower to be just done, and you want the curry to be pretty well dry, so only allow for enough water to cook - the vegetable should be moist but there will be no sauce.

When the cauliflower is cooked, taste for seasoning and add a shake or two of garam masala. Add the green onions, the lemon juice and stir. Add chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) if you like them and serve.

We had ours, as you see below, without the coriander leaves - which we love - because we found we had none at all in the refrigerator. What a disaster! Nevertheless, it tasted great and I shall be sure to make this simple dish again.

We also made a dhal from an old Australian Women's Weekly cookbook, using red instead of brown lentils. It was excellent.

The thing about dhal is that it keeps so well and it is a nice counter to dry curries because of its usual wetness. Besides that dhal is GOOD!

I think it's so easy to forget that cauliflower is a 'green' vegetable full of all the good things that cruciferous veggies offer and yet low, very low, in calories. Not being as strong in flavour as, say, broccoli, it also lends itself to a variety of flavour additives - spices! - to ring a change on it from time to time. From crudite to soup to main dishes, the humble cauliflower shines.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My apologies for neglecting this blog yet again! I have some new recipes and ideas for good food to post any day now AND I have just returned from New York where we had some fab dining experiences which I am going to want to try - just try - to reproduce at home.

For those curious, interested, or simply bored, try going to my other blog - River Rambles - which has a rather longish account of where we were and what we ate - photos and all for the most part :)

You can find it HERE - headed by this rather silly pic of me at the airport after waiting hours and hours for a flight out!

Best to you all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dithering :) - Plus Some Food Pics


Here was lunch today :) I did two of these - but we couldn't finish them at all - too much salad to start, I'm afraid. But oh my they were really good! I didn't write down all the ingredients nor do any real measuring, so I'll have to save the recipe for another time. However, there was long-grain brown rice, wild rice, mushrooms, some marinated tofu, onions and garlic and chilies, green peas, water chestnuts and I forget what else all steam-sauteed together in a pan then stuffed into the peppers with various herbs and spices (which is what made it all so very good) and put in the oven with a seasoned crumb topping.

We must have been in the mood for stuffed dishes lately, because the other day I made


This was a pale imitation of a recipe from Erin Dame's Vegan Done Light e-cookbook found here. Great as a side dish with a whole lot of things, I guarantee.

Somewhere along the line lately I made a couple of versions of stroganoff - one using faux beeef strips, one using portobello mushrooms, but somehow that photo has been lost while moving things from one computer to my new one :( (The photos in this post were still on the camera, however, so that's how these came about.) Never mind - it was good (if a bit bland for me) and I will be making it again and posting photo and recipe.

Meanwhile, I have been dithering, hence the title of this post, about to Raw or Not To Raw. I had decided, with help from the dh, that it was too difficult to do it the way we would like in the winter (this part of Canada is not all that far from Michigan, but a long way from California and Florida!) and, also, we weren't ready to forego our hot meals in icy weather. As a result, when I came to the end of the cookbook recipe testing, rather than going back on raw food (well, highly raw food) as planned we continued with the cooked variety, making all sorts of things again that had not been in the cookbook, especially things with soy in them. Around this season a lot of good food is tempting!

And now? Well, we looked at each other today and decided that as much as we think we'll be making a few cooked dishes during the week - and perhaps even a hot soup in the evening - we are going to slowly revert to our attempt to go raw. So satisfying! Now how's that for an about-turn!


My last photo is of the kind of stir-'fry' dishes I like to make now and then - no recipe really needed, perhaps, although I sometimes do do a twist on the usual ingredients. I may not be making so many of these, although the are wonderfully quick and easy, don't you think! Asian food lends itself so well to a vegan lifestyle, and spicy vegan food makes vegan eating a delight!

Cheers, everyone. And continued good wishes for 2009. Make it a good one!