Day 28 – Yam & Cauliflower Spice Curry (Pakistani style)

While lunching with my cousin about a month ago, I was told a hilarious story of a 5am , post-night-out, cook fest. My cousin, being the amazing host that she is, decided to cook a typical Pakistani breakfast, ‘Aaloo Bhujiya’ (potato curry – for lack of a better name/ not really knowing what the correct translation of ‘Bhujiya’ is). Anyhow, She sent a friend out to pick up some potatoes only to be greeted 10 minutes later with sweet potatoes! That’s what you get for sending someone out at 5am to buy groceries!

If you ever do see a ‘sweet potato’ in Pakistani food, it is never served as a salty dish. Sweet potatoes are cooked into delicious ‘Halwa’ ; a thick, rich, oily, sugary desert. My cousin though, was determined to make a Bhujiya, and so, un-phased by this new ingredient, she decided to continue cooking. Apparently, the sweet potato Bhujiya, turned out to be delicious!

Today- I made up my mind to cook a dish I was really craving – Aaloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower); I was completely convinced I had potatoes at home and didn’t bother to go get groceries- Unfortunately (or fortunately) when I got home; all I had was a single Yam! I decided to take inspiration from the ‘sweet bhujiya’ story, and try out ‘Yam Gobi’ out to see how it would taste.

It tasted GREAT!

Here’s what I cooked up:

Recipe:

1 Yam (Chopped into small cubes)

1 large bunch of Cauliflower

2 Table spoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tomato (chopped)

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder

salt

1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste (I used the bottled kind)

fresh coriander

half an onion (preferably white onion) – (chopped)

splash of lemon juice

pinch of Red chilli flakes

1 cup water

Directions:

In a deep set pan, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil and let it heat. Add onions and cook on low heat till the onions brown. Add in cumin seeds and ginger paste and let the flavours infuse into the oil. Next, Add in chopped tomato, turmeric powder, fresh coriander and a splash of lemon juice and red chilli flakes. Cook for about 1 minute, and then add the Yam and 1 full cup of water. Cover the pan and let the Yam cook in the tomato/spice mixture for a tleast 8-10 minutes on medium heat – Make sure the Yam has softened and the water has evaporated about 90%.

Once you are sure the Yam is cooked, Add in Salt (to taste), and Finally add in the Cauliflower heads. Mix everything together, allowing the cauliflower to get fully coated by the juices of the tomato and the spices in your pan. Cook on medium heat for another 5-7 minutes or until your cauliflower has become slightly tender and all the water has evaporated.

Garnish with some more fresh coriander and then serve ๐Ÿ™‚

Colourful, flavourful AND packed with nutrients! Serve this up with naan bread or pita bread and watch it disappear before you eyes!

Anyhow- that’s my recipe for the day. I hope you try it out! No Meat November is nearing it’s end , but the recipes will keep coming , so stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day 26 – Marinated Tofu & Avacado on Greens

A great salad to serve with the Quinoa is an avacado and tofu Salad – I can guarantee that after this meal, no one on the table will have any meat cravings at all!

Here’s how to make it:

Recipe:

1 Slab of extra firm tofu

2 ripe avacados

Leafy greens (I prefer Spinach, parsley and Kale- but most people prefer to leave out the kale)

Walnuts (for garnish)

Light soya sauce

Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

Chop extra firm tofu into cubes- place in a large plastic bowl. Pour in 1/3 Apple cider vinegar and 2/3 light soya sauce. (make sure all the cubes are covered). Let the tofu marinade for ATLEAST 2 hours.

Once the tofu is done, simple it to a bowl of fresh greens and throw on chopped avacado and walnuts!

( i didn’t have extra firm tofu or walnuts- so your salad will look a little different.

That’s all for today. Will post another recipe tomorrow! Hope everyone is enjoying No Meat November!! For updates and recipes follow me on twitter @NoMeatNovember , and don’t forget to donate to the amazing WSPA (www.wspa.ca) to support Animal Rights this month!!

Day 26 – Red Quinoa with Sweet Potato & Roasted Cauliflower

I haven’t had a moment free for the last 2 days with work and travel; But today I decided to post 2 great recipes ! I bought organic red Quinoa and have been experimenting with it a whole lot .

Inspired by the delicious quinoa dish I had in New York, I decided to make my own version of it and post up the recipe here.

Recipe:

1 1/2 cup organic red quinoa

1 small sweet potato (finely chopped)

half a red onion (finely chopped)

1 head of cauliflower

handful of fresh parsely

2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce (optional)

3 tablespoons lime juice

olive oil

Red Chilli flakes

salt

pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a roasting pan, place cauliflower (only the heads- don’t make them too small as they will burn), Drizzle with Olive oil, salt and red chilli flakes. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes

Rinse Red Quinoa and place in boiling water with a pinch of salt, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

After 10 minutes (once 90% of the moisture is gone), add in chopped sweet potato. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes or till the potato is tender.

Add in chopped parsley, chopped onion, tzatziki sauce, lime juice,aย  hint of olive oil, salt and pepper (just a pinch). Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes , or until all the moisture is gone.

garnish with roasted cauliflower and serve ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you try it out !! Delicious and full of protein, this is definitely a hearty meal and a much healthier option than rice or pasta!

Day 23 – Vegan Thanksgiving Bell Peppers

Everyday I blog about what I cooked that day; today is going to be a little different. Because thanksgiving is tomorrow, I figured I’d post my favorite vegan thanksgiving dish the day before for anyone who may want to use it tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be about the turkey! Tomorrow night , I’m cooking up a humane/ vegan thanksgiving dinner for some friends visiting from the US – I’m used to using beef filling for Stuffed red peppers; but instead- I’m making colourful vegan stuffing , incorporating all the gorgeous fall colours (red, yellow, orange).

Here’s how I’m going to do it (pictures to follow)

6 Bell Peppers (Use Red, Yellow and Orange for thanksgiving colours)

1 can pinto beans

2 cup rice

2 cans black olives (chopped)

3 garlic cloves (minced)

2 cups spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup chopped tofu

basil

salt

black pepper

Directions :

pre heat oven to 350 degrees

Bring rice to a boil. While the rice is cooking clean the peppers and cut off the tops so that they can be stuffed. Set them aside and in a seperate bowl combine the cooked rice, pinto beans, black olives and tofu. Mix in the garlic, basil and other spices.

Combine the spaghetti sauce and vegetable broth in a seperate bowl. Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture, put them into the slow cooker and cover them with the spaghetti sauce and vegetable broth mixture (let a good amount drip into the peppers covering the rice). Cook on high till peppers are tender.

Serve with Yam mash (Boil yams, add butter, garlic, salt and rosemary)

*——————-*

As for today, I made a very simple caesar salad; Romaine lettuce and snap peas, lathered in ceasar dressing and garnished with homemade croutons (mix butter, garlic, rosemary and spread it on slightly stale bread. cut into small pieces and put in the oven till they become crisp)

I really hope you try the recipes and let me know how they go! You can write me an email at nomeatnovember@gmail.com , or tweet @NoMeatNovember .

Happy Thanksgiving everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 22 – Zuchinni and Mushroom crisps (Kid friendly finger food)

Want a quick, delicious snack that your kids will love?

Today, I had a bunch of random ingredients lying around and was baffled with what to do with them. If you have been reading my blog, I’m sure you will note that whenever I cook zucchini I pair it with mushroom and that’s exactly what I did again today with simple zucchini and crimini mushroom crisps that are quick, easy and perfect for kids to munch on!

Here is how they’re made:

Recipe:

1 medium sized zucchini

handful of chopped crimini mushrooms

half white onion

pinch of oregano

1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

pinch salt

pinch pepper

1 cup multi grain bread crumbs (slightly soaked in water)

pinch red chilli flakes

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Finely chop zucchini, onion and crimini mushrooms and throw into a mixing bowl; add garlic, oregano, salt, pepper , red chilli flakes and mix. Add in soaked bread crumbs and mix together till you have a ‘dough’ like mixture.

Roll into small balls and flatten to make ‘crisps’

Place on a baking tray and pop in the oven for about 20 minutesย (flipping over at least once) or until they are crispy and brown.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @NoMeatNovember.

If you like my recipes, and you like the blog – please consider donating to the WSPA at http://www.wspa.ca ! Also, stay tuned for Thanksgiving dinner + Toronto restaurant reccos and some more info on the No Meat November challenge!!

Day 21 – Crunchy Kale, Apple, candied walnut and Snap pea crisp Salad

I raced out of my sisters apartment in Brooklyn with a heavy heart; leaving NY and my family is always depressing. So I guess it came as a cute little surprise when I opened my bag and found a bag of ‘Snap Pea Crisps’ tucked in there. This is something my mother always did when I was young, and embarking on any kind of journey; while I was putting on my shoes, she would be busy stuffing as many snacks into my hand carry bag as possible.

Anyway- I had never tried Snap pea crisps before; they turned out to be pretty delicious. After the first bite, I realized these little baked goods could potentially taste great in a salad I make very frequently. So as soon as I got home, I tried it out!

Here’s how it went :

Recipe

Salad :-

1 Bunch Fresh Kale

1 bunch Romaine lettuce

2ย  apples

candied walnuts

1 cup snap pea crisps

raspberry vinaigrette (bottled – will provide a home-made recipe later)

Recipe for Candied Walnuts

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup walnut halves

Vegetable oil (for frying)

1/2 teaspoon salt

ย Directions for Candied Walnuts:

In a saucepan add water, sugar, and cayenne. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves Add walnuts to pan; reduce heat to medium and cook until syrup boils, is thick and coats all the walnuts โ€“ the cooking time is about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into wok or large frying pan and allow to heat. Drain extra syrup from walnuts. Slowly and carefully transfer walnuts to hot oil and cook until well browned, stirring constantly. Finally, transfer all the walnuts to a cooling sheet, sprinkle with salt and leave to cool and crisp!

Directions for Salad:

Roughly chop Kale, Romaine lettuce and wash thoroughly.

Chop apple into thin long slices.

In a bowl, mix greens, apple and raspberry vinaigrette . throw candied walnuts and Snap Pea Crisps on top as a generous garnish.

*___________*

The Salad turned out great and the snap pea’s really did add a great salty crunch to the salad. Not only that, the crisps are healthy and have a delicious flavor.

This is a perfect lunch salad for anyone; it is extremely healthy and full of flavour. Anyone can enjoy it !

Try it out and let me know how it worked for you ๐Ÿ™‚ @NoMeatNovember signing out..

Day 20 – NYC Vegan food hunt!

Reason 1098097 for Why I Love New York City :

You can easily find a great vegan/vegetarian restaurant that delivers in any burrough !

After the longest and most exhausting weekend, Sunday night was all about hanging out with my sisters and enjoying some warm soup. The only issue, by the time our errands for the day got done (i.e , socializing), we were all too tired to cook and it was pretty late in the evening.

Luckily- In NYC, this is not a problem!

My sister introduced me to ‘Zen Palate‘ (663 9th Ave – this is just ONE of the many locations); An All Vegan fusion/Pan-Asian restaurant.

http://www.zenpalate.com/

For starters we ordered,

Taro Spring Rolls (shredded chinese cabbage, mushrooms, taro root and soy protein, fried until crisp)

Basil Peanut Moo-Shu Rolls (dried jicama, carrots, mushrooms and soy with basil, ginger and crushed peanuts rolled in rice paper)

And for soups – we ordered (Not realizing how HUGE the servings were going to be, we should’ve just gotten one and shared it)

Tong-Mein Noodle Soup With Deluxe Vegetables (soy chicken and mock duck,ย  garden vegetables, wheat noodles in vegetable broth)

Dumpling Soup With Vegetables (veggie dumplings, garden vegetables, chinese mustard greens and scallions)

*____________*

Now, I have to add- the reviews online for the dine-in resto have not been great, but I found the meal to be absolutely delicious, filling and wholesome! My sister, who is not a vegetarian, LOVED every bite of the meal and said she didn’t feel the need to eat any meat!

I would highly recommend Zen Palate to anyone who wants a really good Pan-Asian/Chinese Vegan meal in NYC.

*____________*

I’m REALLY looking forward to my return to Toronto, and the long anticipated all-Veg Thanksgiving cook-off (I am hosting some American friends who are visiting)!!! For anyone looking for Great tried & tested Thanksgiving recipes, STAY TUNED! @NoMeatNovember will provide ๐Ÿ™‚

Till tomorrow ! I’m loving my Veg-Adventures in NYC and hope you’re enjoying healthy, delicious and environmentally friendly eating , where ever you are !! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @NoMeatNovember !

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