Healthy Vegan Summer Rolls

    

Our friend, vegan super-middleweight boxing champion, Omowale Adewale, is always looking for new ways to engage his children, Rayne, Aziza and Chi, in the kitchen. Danielle created these videos to teach them how to make summer rolls with a spicy Thai peanut sauce. So easy, anyone can do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

by Danielle Bussone

 

 

Watch this video to learn how to make Coconut Curry with Indian Spices! This recipe is from my new book, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!” It is a perfect food for transitioning to a plant-based diet. It is deliciously decadent and filled with health-promoting antioxidants and phytonutrients.  YUM!

 

Hi, Y’all!

 

What? You expect perfection?

What? You expect perfection?

There seems to be a learning curve to this business of making cooking videos. I made lots of mistakes in the production of this one, but the ladies from ElderSpirit were very forgiving and a lot of fun. Rather than cut out the mistakes or redo the video, I’m sharing it with you blunders and all hoping you will be equally forgiving. We did cut out a lot in the interest of time and clarity.

I started to explain about how healthy garlic is and I managed to botch that section of the video. Here is the lowdown as explained by Dr. Michael Gregor of NutritionFacts.org. Garlic is the number one cancer fighting food. However, the protective effect of garlic may be destroyed in the cooking process so it is better to eat it raw or to crush it ten minutes before cooking. Crushing the garlic allows the compound alliin and the enzyme alliinase, which are located in different parts of the garlic’s cells, to combine and form the powerful enzyme allicin. This enzyme, once created, is resistant to heat. It takes ten minutes for that enzymatic process to take place.

 

Hmmm... How do I fix this?

Hmmm… How do I fix this?

Another gaffe I made is I forgot to put the spices in towards the end of sautéing the onions. This allows the flavor of the spices to develop and adding them at the end of the sautéing process prevents scorching. Usually, spices are tempered in a little oil when cooking Indian and Thai dishes. Since we want to avoid using oil, which damages our endothelial cells and restricts blood flow, we add the spices at this point.

Adding the spices later didn’t noticeably affect the flavor at all, however, try to remember to add them earlier. Just the fragrance of the dish while cooking will make everyone scramble to find a seat at your table.

 

And there you have it!

And there you have it!

Also, because I was cooking for a crowd who did not care for spicy foods, I eliminated the chili pepper from this recipe. I really love it with the ground chili pepper but it’s fine to eliminate it if you wish. For simplicity I used a five-ounce package of organic spinach for this recipe, however you can add as much as eight ounces if you want to add more of this delicious phytonutrient. The original recipe calls for six ounces.

 

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

 

This dish smells as good as it tastes. The aromas will drive your family and dinner guests wild while they are awaiting this treat. Again, don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients needed. You’ll use these spices over and over. Measuring them out in advance into small bowls will prevent mistakes. It is easy to forget a spice if it isn’t handy. If you prepare the rice in advance, it will save you some time when you are scrambling to get food on the table. It is also very good served with French whole wheat couscous, which only takes 10 minutes to prepare. It is also excellent served over linguini.

Note that the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods are for flavor and should not be eaten. Pick the cinnamon and bay leaf out before serving; the cardamom pods will be harder to find so just warn your guests that they are not to be eaten. They won’t hurt them, but the seeds are very fibrous and have a woody texture. Plus, biting into them may give your guests a jolt of cardamom flavor that could be overpowering.

 

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yield: 7 cups, plus rice

 

Ingredients:

Prepare in advance:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat French Couscous
2 1/4 cups mirepoix vegetable stock or filtered water
2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained

 

Spice Blend:

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground hot chili powder (You can substitute cayenne.)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

 

Main Ingredients:

2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 can organic coconut milk
6 ounces baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (1 3/4 cups or about 40)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Preparation: about 20 minutes

Prepare vegetables.

Transfer drained, cooked chickpeas to a bowl. Set aside.

Set aside cinnamon stick and cardamon pods. Measure remaining spices into a small bowl. Set aside.

Method: 15 to 20 minutes

In a dry skillet, sauté onion with bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon until soft and translucent, stirring frequently (about 10 minutes).

Stir in ginger and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes, adding a little water a tablespoon or two at a time if necessary to prevent scorching.

Add turmeric, garam masala, ground chili powder, and black pepper. Stir until spices are fully incorporated with the onion mixture.

Stir in coconut milk, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes or so on medium heat until sauce is bubbling and tomatoes have wilted. Adjust spices to taste.

Just prior to serving, remove saucepan from heat and fold spinach** into mixture until wilted.

Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately over rice, couscous, pasta or grain of choice.

*You can cook chickpeas on your stovetop if you don’t have a pressure cooker, though it will take longer. Or you can substitute canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

**Don’t over-cook the spinach. It should be added no more than 5 minutes before serving. Spinach becomes a little slimy if allowed to cook for too long. Heat it only until it is wilted.

Note:

In cooking demonstrations I often substitute couscous for rice, simply because of time limitations. Actually, couscous is very delicious with this dish. Coconut Curry With Indian Spices can also be served over linguini or angel hair pasta.  Please refer to my book, Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!, for instructions on cooking beans, vegetable stock much more.

 

French Couscous

 

French couscous is a tiny crumble-shaped pasta that looks a lot like cracked wheat and its precooked form, bulgar wheat. If you store your grains and pastas in jars, be sure to label them. More than once I’ve had to call the large health-food chain in the next city to ask them to look up the bin number on the items I just purchased because I couldn’t tell the difference between cracked wheat and French couscous. When I buy them in bulk, I’ve learned to write not only the bin number but the name of the item on the package.

French couscous is one of the quickest and least labor-intensive foods you will find. It only needs rehydrating in hot water. Boil the water, stir in the couscous, let it absorb the water and fluff. That’s all there is to it! It is a wonderful quick substitution for rice when you’re in a hurry or have forgotten to put rice on to cook in time for dinner.

Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 cups

 

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock or water

Preparation and Method:

In a small saucepan bring 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water to a boil.

Stir in couscous, making sure it all becomes wet.

Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Fluff with a fork and serve. It is important to fluff couscous because otherwise it will become compact as it absorbs the liquid.

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Serving It Up Vegan At Lemongrass Cuisine of Thailand, Jacksonville, Florida!

 

by Michael Wilkins

Lemongrass Thai Exterior

 

Lemongrass Cuisine of Thailand is a great place to find something deliciously vegan in Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant was easy to get to, reasonably quiet and had great options. The wait staff was courteous and friendly while taking care of our needs. The restaurant is located on Old Bay Meadows Road on the south side of Jacksonville. It has been in this area for quite a while and seems to do pretty well. Most of the entrées had tofu choices as a replacement for the carniverous options.

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Chow Thai in Boca Raton, FL – A Favorite Among Vegan Diners!

So there we were, my running partner, Mark, and I, scrambling to find a restaurant to accommodate our specific tastes on a Friday night.  With no long run scheduled for the next morning, we were looking for something somewhat exotic and spicy.  We contemplated the trendy and overpriced Japanese place up the street and then decided on the all-you-can-eat Japanese place nearby for the same value.  Much to our dismay, it had closed so we were at a loss.  Then it suddenly occurred to me…a few blocks north of us, on S.R. 7 or 441, just south of Palmetto Park Rd. , in South Boca Raton, FL, there is a Thai restaurant that the local vegan Meet up group raves about.  I know, I know, Thai food isn’t typically vegan friendly, with either fish or oyster sauce present in most, if not all of their dishes, sauces and dressings, not to mention egg in the Pad Thai.  I had eaten at this very place a few years back and I did indeed enjoy it.  With my palate being even more refined, I thought, why not revisit this establishment, long hallowed by discerning vegan patrons.
Chow Thai Vegetable Soup

Chow Thai Vegetable Soup

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Angkor Bistro Shares Recipe For Cambodian Vegan Stir Fry

 
 
 

 
 
 Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup green onions

1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables

3/4 cups fried tofu

1 teaspoon minced garlic

chili pepper to taste
 

 Method:

Blanch vegetables in boiling water for 10-15 seconds.

In a hot wok or skillet add oil. When the oil is hot add garlic and stir. Add vegetables and tofu. Stir. Add the the sauce, green onions and chili peppers. Continue to stir until heated through. The vegetables will deepen in color. Transfer to a bowl and serve with brown or white rice.

 

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Tomy Thai Serving Up Asian In East Tennessee!

by Danielle Bussone

Tommy Thai, situated on State of Franklin across from EarthFare in Johnson City has an distinctively Asian air with a Bhudda in the corner entrance, several stools supported by wooden elephants and  feminine deities interspersed throughout. Tommy’s seats 60, not counting 16 in the outdoor patio area.  At 1:30pm we had no problem finding a table.

 

Tommy Thai Exterior

Exterior

 

The restaurant sports and extensive menu of fresh entrees which includes a variety of vegan options and a full bar for those wishing a cocktail with their meal. Most everything on the menu from noodle dishes to curries to stir fries can be made vegan upon request. The prices are reasonable and the food is quite good. Most items come with a choice of tofu (fried or steamed) or extra vegetables or some kind of meat for your carnivorous companions. You will also be given a choice of white and brown rice, except for the noodle dishes.

 

Interior

Interior

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