100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 53 – Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

Day53

Gah!!! It was on of those way too busy Mondays, when you wish it was still Sunday and you can hide in bed with the covers over your head.   I definitely needed a quick and easy meal for tonight’s dinner.

Treehugger to the rescue!! Their recipe for a simple Red Lentil and Sweet Potato curry was just what I needed.

Curry is the generic English term to describe a wide variety of dishes from multiple word cusines. The similarity between dishes that are called a curry is the use of complex combinations of spices and herbs that is traditionally selected for each dish because of cultural tradition, religious practice, and family preference. Each individual dish usually has a specific name in the language of its origin describing the ingredients incorporated into the curry.

Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

adapted from: Treehugger

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato or kumara, peeled and cut into 40mm or  1 inch chunks1
  • 40 mm or 1inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • green onion/spring onion
  • chili flakes

In a saucepan or kettle, bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil, and add the onion and a pinch of salt to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens (3 to 4 minutes). Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder and bay leaf and continue cooking for about a minute or until fragrant.

Then pour in the boiling water and stir in the lentils bringing the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender (18 to 20 minutes). Season with salt.

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, make rice basmati or jasmine rice for serving, or warm pita bread in the oven.

Remove the bay leaf and dish curry out on top of rice or to eat with the pita bread. Chop green onion to sprinkle over the top along with a small (or large) pinch of chili flakes, and serve while warm.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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Poverty

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Are you interested in social issues like global poverty? Are you free next Sunday night? Do you love New Zealand Music?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you should be coming with me to the Global Citizen Concert on Sunday August 4th.  I am really looking forward to this gig!! http://www.globalcitizen.org/nz

They have been having these concert events all around the world, and now it is Auckland’s turn. They are calling it a “unique evening of powerful performances to awaken active citizenship around the issues of extreme poverty and climate change. With bespoke musical collaborations and new song releases inspired by this social movement, the audience are in for an unforgettable experience”. Whatever pretty words they want to use to dress it up, it should be a fantastic evening of music, with proceeds going towards numerous NGOs working to affect social change. How often do you get the chance to boogie your little butt off while helping the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty? I suspect not very often . . .

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100 Days Project, Breakfast, Recipes

Day 52 – Open Face Egg Sandwich with Roasted Chillies

Day52

Well . . . when you make fresh bread the day before, than a sandwich of some sort is almost a necessity.

I am a big fan of breakfast sandwiches, piling up layers of tasty ingredients on top of a slice of bread and topping it with some an egg or two. I found this recipe for an open face fried egg sandwich with Roasted Chilies and thought it would be a perfect match for the bread I made for my Day 51: Chipotle and Scallion Buttermilk Bread post.

Fried egg sandwiches have been around since at least the early 1900s, and believed to originally come from England. In 1910, a New York Times article describes the oddity of seeing actors on horror film set eating fried egg sandwiches dressed as “deathlike phantoms”. As an alternative to meat because of the war rationing, the first fast food fried egg sandwiches were introduced, by a manager at a St. Louis White Castle, during WWII .  While many WWII soldiers returned home with the taste for this kind of meal, since fried egg sandwiches called “Banjos” were popular with the troops in the trenches. Here is a piece of “saucy” trivia for you Herbivores . . . food writer Gael Greene wrote about her brief romantic encounter with Elvis Presley, and that a fried egg sandwich was his favorite post-coital snack.

I served this sandwich with the last of the Slow Cooked BBQ Baked Beans from my Day 44 post, which made a perfect Sunday late morning breakfast.

Open Face Egg Sandwich with Roasted Chillies

from: Fork, Spoon, and Knife

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 slice of bread
  • butter
  • 1 egg
  • adobe sauce
  • 4-6 poblano or other medium heat peppers.
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 green onion/spring onion, chopped
  • sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a pan, and fry the bread in the butter.

Transfer the toast to a plate, and spread it with a thin layer of adobo sauce.

Slice the poblano peppers, and put them on a roasting pan under the grill until they get a bit black. Layer the roasted chillies over the adobo sauce.

Put more butter in the pan and wait for it to melt, before cracking the egg into it. Fry the egg until the clear has gone white and the yolk is not too over cooked. Layer the egg on top of the adobo sauce and the roasted chillies.

Sprinkle with the crumbled feta, green onion, cracked black pepper, and sea salt.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Baking, Breads

Day 51 – Chipotle and Scallion Buttermilk Bread

Day51

I couldn’t resist trying to make this recipe . . .

This recipe from the Fork, Spoon, and Knife blog uses a combination of green/spring onion, spicy chipotle peppers, and rich buttermilk bread was just too tempting.

It is hard to find a lot of chilli pepper types in NZ, and Chipotle peppers are no exception. La Mama and Tio Pablo are two brands that are imported, and you can usually find one or the other in the higher end shops like Nosh or Farro Fresh. Chipotles are a key ingredient in Mexican food.  They have heat and a distinctive smoky flavor and give the food a mild and earthy spiciness.  These chilis acan be used to make salsas and are often ground and combined with other spices to make a marinade called adobo. The flesh of the chilli  is thick, so they are usually used in a slow-cooked dish rather than raw.

The bread recipe is flavorful enough to be eaten on its on, with a slather of butter or cream cheese, or used for a sandwich.

Chipotle and Scallion Buttermilk Bread

by: Fork, Spoon, and Knife

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3  cup flour
  • 2/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 chipotle peppers (preserved in adobo sauce but without sauce), diced fine
  • 4 scallions diced fine
  • 2 yolk
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil.

Sift together all the dry ingredients together and whisk together the wet ones. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until just incorporated. Fold in the chipotle and scallions and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until just golden brown and it passes the toothpick test. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Desert, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Vegan

Day 48 – Cherry & Dark Chocolate Vegan “Ice Cream”

Day48

I am never going to be stumped for something to serve a Vegan dinner guest for desert again!!

This quick recipe, from Treehugger, makes a rich a creamy “ice cream” like desert that is completely Vegan and uses no dairy substitutes. How does this work? The answer is  . . . BANANAS!!!

It is great to have another recipe that uses those bananas that are just starting to go too brown and are not so nice for eating anymore. Honestly, there is only so much banana bread a girl can eat, or give away to friends. To make this recipe all you need is bananas, a blender, and about 5 minutes of time. The secret is popping the bananas in the freezer beforehand. Unlike other fruit there is more sugar in bananas than water, so when you freeze them and then put them in a blender they do not break apart and go slushy. Instead, they stick together and turn into a rich creamy mixture not all that dissimilar from ice cream. Once you have the base mixture of blended banana, you can pretty much add any ingredients you want to make your personal ice cream flavor. All sorts of frozen fruit combinations would work here or you can use fresh fruit, but then have to pop in back in the freezer for a bit before eating. Also, nuts or chocolate never go amiss in ice cream.  I chose cherry and dark chocolate, but hey . . . get crazy . . . experiment a little . . . and have fun.

Cherry & Dark Chocolate Vegan “Ice Cream”

Adapted from: Treehugger

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 browning bananas, chopped into 40 mm or 1 inch pieces and frozen
  • 680 grams or 24 ounces cherries fresh or bottled/canned with juice
  • 125 grams or 4 1/2 ounces of chocolate chips

Make sure you peel and chop up the banana into pieces before you put it in the freezer. I did not originally do this, and could not peel my frozen bananas.

Place the frozen banana pieces and your chosen fruits into your blender and pulse. This will help break up the larger chunk of frozen banana to make it easier for your blender to process. Once you have pulsed a few times, blend the banana and fruit into a creamy puree, add more juice for extra flavor.  Mix in any toppings like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Your mixture should be the consistency of ice cream, and can be eaten right away.  If it is too liquid from juice or melting, pop it back into the freezer for a few minutes to harden up.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Drinks & Cocktails, Gluten Free, Vegan

Day 50 – Pomgranade Cocktail

Day50

Happy Day 50 Herbivores!!

Today is the 50th day of my 100 Days Project, which means I am half way through. To celebrate  . . . I figured a cocktail recipe was in order.

As I mentioned in my Day 9: French 75 post, gin is my favorite spirit, and I figured I would look for a cocktail that would help use the leftover pomegranate molasses from my Day 46: Pomegranate Glazed Tempeh recipe.  I found a recipe for a gin and pomegranate cocktail on the Fisher & Pykel: Our Kitchen blog . . . PERFECT!!!

I invited a few friends and colleagues around to help me celebrate Day 50, and come up with a good name for the cocktail. To be honest, I thought “Gin and Pomegranate Cocktail” was a bit boring; The Pomgranade was born. The sweet and tart flavors of pomegranate molasses and lime make this cocktail very easy to drink, but the gin eventually catches up with you . . . BOOM!!

If limes are out of season and ridiculously expensive, you can also use lime cordial, but then omit the sugar. If doing this substitution, I recommend Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial, because it is not as overly sweet as some of them can be.

Pomgranade Cocktail

adapted from: Our Kitchen

MAKES:2

INGREDIENTS

  • 60ml gin
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 1 cup ice
  • Mint to serve

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, give it a good shake, pour over ice in a glass, and garnish with a spring of mint.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Drinks & Cocktails, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 49 – Earl Gray Hot Chocolate

Day 49

Mmmm . . . there is nothing like curling up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate before bedtime.

That is unless you combine the two!! When I found this recipe for Earl Grey Hot Chocolate on Fisher and Paykel’s  Our Kitchen blog, it was one of those “why haven’t I thought of this before” moments.

I have been in love with tea since I spent time in Australia in 1999-2000, and had some friends who were obsessed with the stuff. I have to admit that one of the highlights of a short trip I took to London in late 2000 was a trip to the main Twinings tea shop. Floor to ceiling shelves full of teas with the lovely aroma of all those tinctures filling the store and pouring out into the busy London street.  I have no idea how people were passing by without coming in for a cup of tea, or at least a brief sniff of the tea perfumed air.

As far as I am concerned adding chocolate to tea, can only be a winning combination. The Earl Grey gave the hot chocolate just that slight earthy, herby flavor and made a delicious night cap.

This recipe can easily be made vegan by using soy, almond, or other non-dairy milk of your choice.

If you are feeling a bit naughty, a shot of vanilla liquor, Frangelico, Baileys, or even a good quality whiskey would probably go quite nicely.

Earl Gray Hot Chocolate

SERVES: 2 small cups or one large cup (my preference)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ tsp earl grey tea
  • 4 squares of dark chocolate, or to taste

Combine the milk and tea in a saucepan and gently heat without boiling. Continue heating for approximately 10 minutes. The milk will take on a light tea colour.

Place 2 squares of chocolate into a heatproof glass; you could always put an extra one in. Pour the milk over the chocolate using a tea strainer to remove the tea leaves. Stir the the chocolate into the milk, and serve while still warm.

ENJOY!!

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