Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red Curry Chickpeas and Broccoli with Coconut Milk, Puppy Mill Act, and Scooter!

A couple of topics before we get to the recipe! If you live in Missouri, have you had the opportunity to sign the petition to get the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot? Unfortunately, Missouri is known for puppy mills and meth labs, and the Missouri House just endorsed a bill to allow horse slaughter for human consumption. Let's hope the Senate has more sense. But back to the puppy mill issue. If you have not signed the petition to get the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot, please look here for an event where you can sign. You might also be able to telephone the HSMO locations and sign a petition there if you prefer, please check. This act simply requires large-scale dog breeders to provide basic care. I have personally seen the victims of puppy mills and these dogs need our help.

On a lighter note, I attended an Indian Street Food cooking class this week for St. Louis food bloggers! What an informative and fun event, taught by Nupur of One Hot Stove. She is an excellent instructor - enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and down to earth. Nupur is vegetarian, and this event's menu was almost entirely vegan! And she so considerately provided vegan options for the couple of items that were not. The food was delicious. I took the night off from blogging but check out Kelly's report on Vegan Thyme. It was great to meet Kelly in person finally!

Let's move on to today's recipe. Y'all know I like to keep it short and sweet so here we go. This stove top stew is hearty, creamy, and has a hint of sweetness. I basically followed this recipe with the following changes. I used chickpeas for the beans and lemon rather than lime juice, just because that's what I had on hand. I used a little olive oil rather than cooking spray to saute. I also chopped a head of broccoli and added it to the pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking, covering with a lid. We ate the stew atop red jasmine rice all mixed together with some chipotle roasted sweet potatoes. Tasty!

I'll leave you with a video of my buddy Scooter, available for adoption at the HSMO on Macklind. He is SO freaking adorable. He tends to not bark much in the shelter and likes to cuddle. He walks very nicely on a leash and frequently gives you a sit on his own because he knows the people love for him to sit and be a good boy. He is very handsome and has the sweetest brown eyes! He is a little happy-go-lucky fella who's ready for his forever home. Check him out below.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vegan Chickpea, Sausage, & Kale Pasta

Whew, after an EARLY day at work Thursday (5:40am!) and a long week, this pasta was a welcome comfort and perfect for my first outside supper of the season. The backyard is still a tangle of dried leaves, brown perennial stems, raspy tall grasses, and emerging Spring Beauty, but I can tolerate the chaos in exchange for just enough sunlight and warmth for dinner outside.

I spotted this recipe on bitchin' camero. The simplicity of preparation and bold ingredients appealed to me, so I veganized it using Tofurky Italian sausage and eliminating the parmesan. Unfortunately, I only had regular penne in the pantry rather than whole wheat. I do recommend the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish. So good. Almost good enough that I didn't envy MD for his business dinner at Niche. Almost.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Curried Lentils with Carrots and Peas

This week I pulled out Vegan Planet, one of my first vegan cookbooks, and made this delicious curried lentil dish to serve with jasmine rice. Vegan Planet is a great starter cookbook for the new vegan, because with so many recipes you are sure to find many you like. Plenty of the recipes use familiar ingredients, making the transition to vegan cooking easier, and Robertson gives lots of advice for the beginner vegan. I remember one of my earliest satisfying vegan pastas was from Vegan Planet, proving that yes, pasta can be delicious without the cheese! After being vegan for over two years, I still find fun and tasty recipes in Vegan Planet. This particular dish is simple to prepare, requiring little chopping, but the numerous spices yield a complex flavor. It's a forgiving recipe that held up even with my shortcuts and omissions. You can take a peek at Vegan Planet on Google Books.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Laura Beck's Vegan Smoked Apple Sage Sausage and Chard Spaghetti, plus sampling Primal Strips

Laura Beck, of Vegansaurus and Rocket Dog Rescue, recently posted an adorably sassy column on Huffington Post's Eating In series. Not only was I happy to see another pro-vegan column on HuffPost, but she included a pasta recipe to boot! Bo-nus. This pasta is easy to make but does take a little coordination to get all your separate pots ready when needed. You have sauteed Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage going in one skillet (which I can't seem to stop eating), steaming chard in another pot, and your pasta in another. This dish is so flavorful and the short ingredient list makes it quick to prepare on a weeknight. I can seriously imagine eating it every week.

I also recently had the chance to try Primal Strips vegan jerky after the company kindly sent me a bunch of flavors! I thought all the flavors were pretty tasty, especially the smokier ones like Texas BBQ and Hickory Smoked. The Mesquite Lime is mildly tangy. I'm always looking for good "road food" that will hold me over during a road trip or business travel, and these would be perfect! No refrigeration needed, they make a great snack as is. When you're on the road and your options are limited, this would be a great source of protein and flavor to add to a veganized Subway sandwich, side salad, or baked potato. I thought this was a great grab and go snack for any time you need something extra. Just have a napkin on hand, the strips are a little moist from the tasty flavoring.


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