Good morning, beautiful readers, YES I mean you! This past week I’v been so in love with my new kitchen toy! And that is my badass tagine clay pot. Tagine is a really sweet traditional north African clay pot from the areas of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. It has a deep base and a cute pointy (conical) lid. It is used to cook stews, curries, meats, couscous and other vegetable dishes. If you don’t have a clay pot, or tagine, you can just use a regular pot for this recipe. This recipe calls for a moroccan spice blend called Ras El Hanout which you either can purchase it from your local grocery store or make it from scratch. It’s kind of similar to the garam masala in Indian food and suits really nice in vegetable dishes. If you can, try to invest in a type of clay pot because the flavors of the dishes have a really nice earthiness to it that is amazing! I’ve noticed especially that when you cook some type of legumes in clay pots like beans, lentils, split mung, and chickpeas (my favorite) the flavors and aromas are enhanced on a whole different level! Check it out and let your taste buds take you on a scented journey with this ambrosial chickpea tagine infused with rosewater!
Vietnamese Vegan Pho Soup
It’s throw back thursday with a Vietnamese pho soup my friend and I would cook up after our long days of school in the Art Institute. Pho soup is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup typically cooked with spices, beef broth and topped with sprouts, fresh cilantro and Thai basil, but this beef-less version of it is so good, it will surely be a staple in your recipes for asian dishes. I was very lucky to have my vietnamese friend teach me this vegetarian version of it, because her family actually owned a vegetarian restaurant in Vietnam. where they made mouthwatering dishes with fake mock meats made out of tofu, seitan and soy. This soup is super versatile and if you don’t have all the ingredients, play around with different vegetables to create the vegetable broth, I’m always reinventing it and it’s still so delicious, gluten free and vegan! Oh yeah baby, let’s rock and roll in the kitchen!
Royal Indian Biryani Rice
Biryani is a festive colorful rice dish from India, that is cooked with many spices and herbs. Growing up my mother would make a similar rice dish, but in a Bengali style, which is called Pushpanna and it is much sweeter and mixed with dried fruits. Both are very delicious, but I’m more inclined to vegetable biryani which is a bit more on the savory side. My Biryani (kinda like the Indian version of Chinese fried rice) version has lots of vegetables and i usually use leftover rice, and stir fry it in ghee or coconut oil. You can also cook fresh rice and just let it chill. This biryani dish is a great companion with any Indian curries, dal, and yogurt raitas. With so many layers of flavors and textures, this veggielicious dish is perfect for any special occasion.
Vegan Zoodles + Cilantro, Basil & Sundried Tomato Pesto
Today was a gorgeous morning. I had an early morning stroll through my garden-in-progress, and checked on my tomato plants for any new suckers, which are little stems that grow between the main stem and lower branch. Those naughty suckers take the vital energy from productive branches that will actually give you tomatoes, so you have to get rid of them. As I continued checking through my garden, I noticed my cilantro had grown relatively enormous compared to last week. And I thought, why not make cilantro pesto with all the basil I have (10 basil plants) growing right next to it. I picked a bunch of both from my garden and made a veganlicious pesto to go with zucchini noodles. One word for this garden concoction: Delicioso!
Orange, Cabbage, Carrot Salad + Cilantro Tahini Dressing
Today’s feature: Organic Farm to Table Salad! Last year at my old place, my landlord told me I couldn’t plant a garden in my 25×5 ft backyard lawn, so I planted everything in pots. To my surprise it was amazing how I was able to feed myself from summer to winter with potted vegetables. I grew from seeds: kale, tomatoes (which i still harvested until November!), arugula, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, green beans and among others. This summer I am at a new spot where I have all the garden space to grow even more veggies! On mother’s day I got 25 different types of tomatoes, tons of bell, poblanos, serrano, jalapeno, and banana peppers, eggplant, lots of melons, different squashes, beans, cucumbers and others you will see later through out my posts.
For the rest of this year, I want to do a farm to table recipe index, and showcase the benefits of growing your own vegetables. When I lived in Mexico, my dad made me read a giant book of Permaculture, which is the art of agricultural cultivation in really small space but still have a production 3 times the space! So if you have a small place you can still grow a good amount of vegetables with all the advantages of a mini farm right at your home! So anyways today I picked up some lettuce and carrots from my garden-in-progress, and decided to whip up a tahini dressing to coat a delicious organic garden fresh salad! Ooohhh so crunchy, oh so good!
Breakfast & Tofu: Kickstarter Relaunch
Dear Friends and Family, the pledge time has ended for my Kickstarter cookbook campaign, and although I was unable to complete my Kickstarter $$ goal (you don’t get any $$ from the pledges unless the goal is reached), I have learned a lot from this Kickstarter campaign. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up and I can assure you that I will NOT give up! Sometimes by loosing a battle you find a new way to win the next one, and that’s exactly what I am determined to do on the next Kickstarter relaunch. I really want thank each one of you for your contribution, it means the world to me that you believe in this cookbook!