Vegan Vindaloo and Naan
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2tbsp white vinegar
- 1 can tomato paste OR 1 cup crushed tomatoes (depending on how tomato-y you want it)
- 2-4tsp Vindaloo spices, to taste
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2tbsp olive oil
- Vegetables of your choosing. I like peas, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and peppers.
- Protein of your choosing. I like Quorn chik’n tenders (not vegan, but vegetarian) or chickpeas
- Salt, to taste
- Over medium-high heat, saute onion and garlic in oil until onion turns translucent.
- Add coconut milk, tomato paste or crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and vindaloo spices. Mix until spices are well incorporated.
- Turn heat down to medium, add vegetables and protein, cover. Cook until vegetables are tender.
- Salt to taste. Serve over rice and with naan.
Chana Masala (spicy chickpeas) is one of those ten dishes you will find at pretty much every Indian restaurant in America. You can understand why: it is inexpensive to prepare, delicious, healthy and satisfying. The mass prepared versions are usually pretty good, but you can make a similar dish at home and enjoy fresher, more vibrant flavors.
If you have the ingredients on hand and use canned chickpeas, you can make this chana masala in just 20 minutes. I find that canned chickpeas are often undercooked and a little crunchy, so if I go that route, the first thing I do is put them on to simmer while I prepare everything else.
The mushrooms add a little textural counterpoint without being a main focus of the dish. You can certainly omit them or use a different vegetable to suit your needs.
Chana Masala with Mushrooms
Vegan and Gluten-free
Serves 2 as a main course with basmati rice or 4 as part of a larger Indian meal
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (15 oz. can, drained and rinsed, or better, home-cooked)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium onion, small dice
- 1 medium tomato, cored, small dice (canned is an option)
- 2/3 cups white mushrooms, quartered or thickly sliced
- 1 small, hot red chili pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric, or 2 teaspoons dry
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- for tempering: 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- for garnish: cilantro
- If using canned chickpeas and, drain and rinse them, and put them in a saucepan with water to cover, then bring to a boil and simmer while you get everything else going. This will improve their texture. You can do this in the microwave too. Or skip this step completely if your chickpeas are already pleasantly soft.
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high flame. Add the mustard, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds. Cook for about 10-20 seconds until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Immediately add the garlic, onion and tomato.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the liquid is mostly gone and everything is browning.
- Add the mushrooms and the drained chickpeas, the hot pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper, lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt, and a cup or so of water, so it is kind of soupy.
- Cook uncovered over a medium-low flame for about 15 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning. Does it need more salt? More lemon juice? A bit more cayenne?
- Finish for the texture you want – you can see how I like it in the picture above. Then in a separate skillet, heat the last tablespoon of oil over a high flame and fry the mustard seeds until they pop, just a few seconds. This is called tempering, and it is a great way to add a final layer of flavor. Toss the contents of that skillet over the chickpeas and serve, with the cilantro for garnish.
Sweet potato, carrot, apple, and red lentil soup
- 1/4 cup earth balance or other vegan margarine
- 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 2 apples, cored and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups fresh kale, torn into pieces
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
- 5 minutes before serving, mix kale into pot. Remove from heat.
- Serve with a crusty or rustic bread. Sourdough is great with this.
Vegan Mexican Soup
This is a really tasty, easy soup to make and great for when it is super cold outside (which it has been here in Wisconsin).
Vegan Mexican Soup
1lb of pinto beans (I used dry and made mine beforehand)
4 cups brown rice
1 can (14.5oz each) of black beans
1 can (14.5oz each) of tomato paste
1 can (14.5oz each) of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes (low sodium)
2 cans (14.5oz each) diced tomatoes with puree (low sodium)
1 carton (32oz each) of vegetable broth
3 large portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 packet (about 1oz each) vegan taco seasoning
salt & pepper
1. In a large stock pot over med-high heat, mix vegetable broth, tomato paste, and dice tomatoes until evenly distributed.
2. Add taco seasoning and stir.
3. Add all of the rice, vegetables, and beans. Stir until even.
4. Add seasonings to taste. It’s ready when the vegetables are tender (but not mushy!) and the broth is hot.
Quick and easy! Store in air-tight tupperware (I use ziploc containers with screw on lids) or freezer bags (make sure to freeze flat on a cookie sheet - makes them easier to stack in your freezer and to dethaw).