Monday, June 13, 2011

Thai Green Curry - 2 ways

We make different varieties of Thai curry for dinner at least a few times per week, so we buy the curry paste in large quantities. Recently we ran out of green curry paste and replenished our stock from the Asian market. I was so irritated to realize, after getting it home and cooking with it one time, that this brand contained shrimp paste! Fortunately, the market also carries a brand that is vegan and my friend Miriam was more than happy to take the other off my hands.

We generally make the curry sauce the same: green curry paste, coconut milk, a little vegetarian stir fry sauce, and a little palm sugar. Sometimes a splash of Mirin or soy, sometimes extra ginger and garlic. The veggies are typically onion, bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, and whatever else seems good at the time.

The most recent variations:

Red Rice and 'Veef' (vegetarian beef)

Noodles and Vegan Shrimp

Bread Pudding, Cupcakes and Cookies

Here are a few favorite desserts made within the past few months, all packed into one delicious post.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding from Veganomicon. I made this to take to a brunch and became a fan of bread pudding for the first time in my life.

Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I opted for a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of frosting.

Vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World topped with strawberry jam, a strawberry, and a drizzle of powdered sugar icing (powdered sugar and oat milk).

Dark Chocolate Chunk Marzipan Cookies from the blog 'seitan is my motor'. 

Manhattan Glam Chowder with Tomato-Parmesan Crackers

This recipe has been on my mind since I bought the Appetite for Reduction cookbook. I have never in my life eaten clam chowder so it isn't because I miss the 'real thing'. For some reason, it just appealed to me.

I did learn that Manhattan Clam Chowder is tomato based and New England is the creamy version. I am definitely a fan of a thin, veggie flavor over a heavy creamy one.

The soup was great, the texture was fun (the 'clams' are chewy shitake mushrooms and the 'ocean' flavor comes from nori sheets!) and the crackers added a nice crunch. I followed this recipe but used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup fine corn meal. I added dried tomato flakes and sesame parmesan to the mix.

On the side, mixed greens, sunflower seeds, marinated red peppers, garlic and olives, and the leftover roasted veggies and chickpeas from dinner a few nights ago. 

Vegan Eating in Malmö, Sweden

John and I recently spent a long weekend in Malmö, Sweden. It is a little over a three hour train ride from Aarhus, Denmark (where we live). We took our bikes, crashed at a friend's apartment, and enjoyed the surprisingly perfect weather all weekend.

Before starting the trip, we checkout out the Happy Cow website and were so relieved to find a variety of vegan restaurants and health food stores. I give Malmö a thumbs up for vegan friendly city.

For breakfast, Chez Madame was a great choice. It had a granola, fruit, salad, and baked goods type buffet. They also make a heavenly soy latte.

I can't say enough about the vegan pizza at Pizzeria AlgarveWe each got a pizza - taco for me, kabob for John - and devoured it. The menu has so many choices and they have homemade sauces to go with each. Without question, this is the best vegan pizza I have ever eaten, in the world.

Here is my taco pizza...

...including melty cheese. 

And the unique kabob pizza. They even have a huge chunk of 'meat' on a big stick that they shave off for the pizza. So authentic. 

We had dinner at Vegegarden one night. We decided to order the pre-set "Dinner for two" menu, which was delicious but way too much food!

On our way to the train station to head home, we stopped at Astrid and Aporna to pick up some supplies. They had a huge selection of vegan meats, cheeses, and goodies. 

Licorice, chocolate, and cookies:

Instant soup (lunch for me on days when I can't stomach the canteen) and rice mayo:

New soy cheeses to try (Mozzerella, Blue, Edam, and White Cheddar):

A smorgasbord of vegan meats (Veef, chicken nuggets, salmon, shrimp, and Tzay: something made by monks):

And dried soy nuggets in a variety of sizes and colors (brown for beef, strips, nuggets and wafers):


An Unintentially Orange Meal

I had a pumpkin that was beyond the point of 'possibly using for dinner tonight' and on to 'if we don't cook this tonight, it is getting thrown away'. So, I made mashed pumpkin, followed this recipe (minus the cayenne pepper), and felt really happy to not see it go to waste. Instead of boiling the pumpkin, I chopped it in half and roasted it in a baking dish with shallow water.

I initially thought I would stuff the pumpkin with a pilaf but decided on a risotto instead. After the pumpkin was roasted it had completely lost its shape and would not have held anything, hence the mashing.

A few days ago I made a batch of sesame Parmesan that I can't get enough of. I googled Parmesan risotto and settled on this recipe for Parmesan-Carrot Risotto that was easily made vegan. Along my vegan parm, I used risotto rice instead of white, veggie broth, and vegan margarine.

Akara, Fufu, and Chili-Tomato Relish

We spent Easter this year in Hamburg with our friends, David and Julia. They introduced us to fufu: a staple food of West and Central Africa. Last time I was at the Asian market grocery shopping, I was really excited to find a box of plantain fufu flour. 

Julia warned me that making fufu can be a bit challenging and it takes practice to get it right. I definitely don't think ours turned out perfectly this time. It had the consistency of very dry, instant mashed potatoes but with a powdery flavor. I think I will get some advice from David and Julia before giving it another go. 

Interestingly enough, while trying to figure out what to make with the fufu, I grabbed the August 2009 issue of Veg News and flipped to the page I, at some point in time, marked with a pink post-it note. It is an article called Marvelous Mali and discusses fufu and other African foods. It was one of those really odd moments of 'way too much of a coincidence to believe'. But it quickly became part of the dinner menu for the night.

Clockwise: Garlic bread, Akara, Relish, fufu, eggplant, roasted veggies and chickpeas

Akara (Black-eyed Pea Fritters) are a nice combo of black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, chile and bell peppers, and lots of spices. They are coated in cornmeal and fried. Ideally, they become round, fried, deliciousness. Mine basically melted and became slop. We determined that they required more of a 'deep fried' technique versus the pan frying that we attempted. We just threw the second batch in the oven instead of frying. They were pretty terrible but at least remained in 'ball form'. 

The Chile-Tomato Relish was fine, but too spicy and nothing to write home about. Below is the relish and fufu (sprinkled with fresh cilantro).

Fortunately, my friend Thea brought over lots of veggies, chickpeas, and bread to save the meal!

The eggplants were sliced, sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, herbs, and paprika and baked. 

We chopped a red and yellow pepper, broccoli, and onion along with some chickpeas, sprayed it with olive oil, sprinkled dried tomato flakes and sesame Parmesan and roasted it. 

And, the best part was the bread! Thea started with frozen rolls, thawed a bit and sliced in half. She spread a layer of dijon mustard, grated a little garlic, sprinkled fresh parsley and sesame Parmesan and baked it. The combo of flavors was fantastic. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tofu scramble and Banana Bread

The thought of catching up has been so overwhelming, so I have neglected this blog far too long. I have loads of pictures and recipes that I am slowly but surely going to get posted...

...starting with breakfast this morning! We were asked to join a group from John's office to hike in a National Park here in Denmark today. To get us started I made a tofu scramble and some banana bread - that also became a nice snack on the hike.

The tofu scramble was a modified version of this recipe. I have a huge batch of sesame Parmesan - that I have literally been eating with a spoon - so I added a huge sprinkle of that, along with dijon mustard, turmeric, salt, pepper, and oat milk.

The veggies were sauteed in olive oil with a sprinkle of dried tomato flakes, basil, fennel, salt and pepper.

And the banana good! I added walnuts, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chips, and coconut. I sprinkled oatmeal on top. Note: I am not the "Courtney" as mentioned in the recipe. Sheer coincidence.