Tag Archives: Vegan

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Chutney

It was a surreal summer filled with travels, sorrows, beauty, love and new perspectives. When I got back to my veggie garden after weeks of being away the tomatoes ( among other vegetables) were screaming to be picked turned into something divine.

My first instinct was to get all of them out to friends and family ( which I did for some), but….the rest went in preparations like this amazing tomato chutney.

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The tomatoes were halved and roasted whole in a 375 degree oven for about 30 mins to bring out the flavor.

The chilies are whole and dried and are a staple in the pantry.  The oil is a mustard oil which brings out a beautiful flavor.

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This chutney will last a while in the fridge, my teenager has been using it to smear her morning bagels.  I have used it on top of my grilled chicken for a workday lunch and topped my sandwiches.

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You can adjust the heat and seasoning  to your taste but my recommendation would be to keep the heat elevated 🙂 😉

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Roasted Tomato Garlic Chutney

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a versatile chutney that goes with everything

Ingredients

  • 10-12 red tomatoes
  • 10 red dried chilies
  • 1 pod of whole garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

Directions

 

  • Slice off the very top of the garlic and wrap the garlic pod in foil.
  • Layer the tomatoes along with the pod of garlic on a sheet pan.
  • Roast  in the 375 degree oven for 30 mins
  • Cool and remove the skin from the tomatoes and the garlic
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan until smoking
  • Add the seeds and let them splutter
  • Add the chilies for a couple of minutes
  • Next add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and turmeric
  • Once bubbling, cover the pan and let the mixture cook for about 5- 7 mins.
  • Do taste the seasoning and adjust.
  • Cool the mixture and run it through your Vitamix or any other processor.
  • Bottle in jars. It will stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it lasts that long.

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Come join the party at Fiesta Friday!

 

Fermented Food experiments #2 -Beet Kanji

Fermented foods are just beautiful  not only for the taste buds but also for your gut.  Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout  the globe.  Similar foods can be found in every culture,  just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India  I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It  was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather  while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
Click here for a previous recipe of Red Cabbage Pickle

In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji

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BeetKanji-5786This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates  and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.

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“Kanji”  is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.

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Fermented Beets - Kanji

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 large organic beets
  • 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 6–7 cups filtered water

Directions

  • Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
  • Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
  • Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
  • Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
  • Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
  • Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
  • Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
  • You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.

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Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.

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Divine!

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Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday

Thai Vegetable Soup

The simplest soups are sometimes the best…warm, tangy and so good for the soul. This soup is simple and this soup is good and this soup is nourishing.

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It was ready is just 20 mins and made this chilly winter day just a little bright. The fridge was left with a depleting stock but I found the vibrant celery sticks and fresh carrots which inspired pulling this off. I had made some fresh lemongrass paste and had dried kafir lime leaves on hand so looked like a perfect day for soup.

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The color in the soup is obtained from fresh turmeric that I minced with the garlic and ginger. It adds an earthiness but if you don’t have it on hand then don’t fret….equally delicious with out it.

For the home made recipe of lemongrass paste check it out on my blog here.

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The vegetarian version of this soup uses a vegetarian broth, I bought an organic low sodium version but homemade would be great. If you are not a vegetarian then do use a good bone broth or beef broth that will bring intensity to the soup.

Thai vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Tangy Lemongrass and Kafir Lime flavored Vegatable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced fresh turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 4-5 Kafir Lime leaves ( fresh or dried)
  • Pink salt to taste
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth ( or chicken or beef for a non-veg version)
  • Cilantro and lemon juice for garnish

Directions

  • Add coconut oil to a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the onions and celery until translucent
  • Add the garlic, ginger, coriander and turmeric and continue to sauté for 3- 4 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, lemons grass paste and let them blend in for a minute.
  • Add the broth and salt to taste.
  • Add the broth comes to a boil add the a kafir lime leaves.
  • You can adjust the broth and seasoning at this point.
  • Let is cook on simmer for about 20 mins until fragrant.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon and cilantro leaves.

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This warm soup is joining the party at Fiesta Friday. Check out the co-hosts Linda @ La Petite Paniere  and  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Thai curried butternut squash soup

Fall is here…you feel the nip in the air and the leaves have started to fall and form the red and gold carpet .

When I look outside it reminds me of a Faiz poem

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:

it stripped them down to the skin,

left their ebony bodies naked.

It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,

scattered them over the ground.

Anyone could trample them out of shape

undisturbed by a single moan of protest…..

…..Faiz translated ( When Autumn Came)

The most beautiful time of the year and perfect for this soup.

Thai Curried butternut squash soup

Continue reading Thai curried butternut squash soup

Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho

A hot fiery day outside or a warm fall afternoon, a perfect watermelon from the farmers market, heirlooms tomatoes, serrano chilies and cucumbers from the garden.

It all calls for a perfectly chilled gazpacho smothered in watermelon.

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Watermelon Gazpacho

The serrano chilies break into the sweetness, the mint heightens it to superb levels…the rest you will just have to taste to believe.

They fact that no cooking is required makes it even better. Make  sure you use good organic ingredients for this dish and it is chilled for an hour or so in the fridge before serving

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Continue reading Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

A simple eggplant stew with Moroccan flavors, can’t go wrong with this hearty dish.  A quick weekend light dinner or a side that stays in the fridge to go with many main courses.

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Chickpeas are soaked overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins or in a pan for 30-45 mins

I roast my cinnamon, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them but the good store bought versions are just fine.

You can salt the eggplant for 20 mins and drain the juice before cooking. In season and fresh eggplants don’t need any salting.

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Eggplant and chickpea stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggplants
  • 1 medium onion (large diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
  • Cilantro and mint chopped for garnish
  • Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Putting it together

  • Chop eggplants into 1 inch cubes and salt for 30 mins.
  • Coat a large deep-sided frypan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly brown
  • Add the eggplant,  tomatoes and chickpeas. Add the vegetable stock.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes approx. The consistency should be thick with some sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with cilantro and mint and serve over rice or by itself.

Banana Berry Cashew Cream Pie

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Fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are flourishing in the market now and you know you want to put them in everything including Banana cream pie! They are perfect this time of year. Just be careful to pick the organic one without the harmful pesticides.

Not only I had the best bananas and berries on hand, I had the inspiration which came in the form of my creative fellow blogger Laurena@Life Diet Health. Do visit her blog for the original version that inspired me and her other amazing healthful recipes. Thanks Laurena!

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So back to banana berry pie…it is vegan and gluten free. How you say? Cashews make the best creamy filling and you will not miss the fresh cream….they have to be soaked and then put in a high powered blender to get that creamy consistency.

The other ingredient used her to hold the cream together is Psyllium husk. It comes from the small seeds of the Plantago ovata plant and it gluten free. Just a tablespoon and half was enough for this pie.

I did not feel like making a pie crust from scratch so picked up a pre made gluten free crust from my next door Mom’s organic market. It worked out pretty well.

Oh yes and lets not forget the dates, sweet and delicious! I have used 4-5 dates plus coconut nectar too sweeten this pie.

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Let’s get to the recipe

 

Banana Berry Cashew Cream Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pie crust (if you want to make your own use a combination of dates and walnuts ground up)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for a couple of hoursBananaBerryPie-3
  • 4-5 pitted mehjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar ( or maple syrup)
  • 1 medium banana
  • I can coconut cream ( I pick of the cream from the top of the can and leave the water)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1  1/2 tbsp Psyllium husk
  • 1 lime and its zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries
  • Choice of mixed berries for topping the pie
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Putting it together:

  • Put the pre-soaked cashews in the blender ( I use a high powered blender) with the coconut cream, dates, banana.
  • Add 1/2 cup berries, coconut nectar lime juice, pinch of salt and Psyllium husk. Blend again.
  • Add lime zest and stir
  • Pour in the pie crust and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  • Cover with fresh berries and some mint before serving.
  • If you have any leftovers, this will stay in the fridge for a few days and freeze really well for several weeks.

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Taking this dessert to Angie’s Fiesta Friday where  the co-hosts this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam