Saturday, August 20, 2011

On the Menu

This has been a whirlwind of a week as I get ready to teach classes for the fall semester, so this post is more of a recap of meals prepared over the last couple of days.  Lots of good ones, nonetheless.  Whenever people ask me the secret to good vegan food I always say, "sauces."  Once you master 4 or 5 key combinations, immediately your repertoire expands exponentially.  Such is the case with three items on the menu this week.

One of my favorites is peanut sauce.  Whoever thought to combine peanut butter with soy sauce (or in my case, wheat-free tamari) and turn it into a savory, spicy, silken concoction was a genius.  I love it on noodles, on rice, in a stirfry, or even for dipping summer rolls.  This week I poured it over  Baked Tofu, Wilted Cabbage and Carrots, and Brown Rice. delish.

Sauce #2 features Dijon mustard.  I pan-fried some tempeh then drizzled a sweet and spicy mixture of Dijon, agave syrup, lemon juice and olive oil over the top for an added layer of flavor.  This was served with Mashed Garnet Yams and Pan-fried Zucchini.

The other entree I made this week I also did a variation on for dinner tonight:  Spinach and Chickpea Coconut Curry.  At home I substituted Cabbage, Yellow Squash, and Green Beans since this is what I picked from the garden.  Instead of Chickpeas, I found a can of chili beans in my pantry.  The color was a little, shall we say... bold, but they were nonetheless good.  I tossed this heavenly stew with some leftover rice noodles for myself, and in 15 minutes it was ready to enjoy.

Here's the final dish, in progress, in case you'd like to follow along at home:

Start by sauteeing some veggies in olive oil.  I used onion, yellow squash, cabbage, and green beans.

Once the veggies have softened, add your spices and fresh ginger.

Next, stir in a can of full fat coconut milk.  (yup, go for it!)

Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce and blend the flavors.  Then add your chickpeas (or in my case, chili beans), rice, noodles, or whatever else you want to put in the bubbling cauldron.

And there you have it.

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