Friday, February 19, 2010

Coconut Rice (with some unauthentic-y twists)

As a rule, I hate anything coconut-y. It's rich and creamy, which seem like things that would add up to a food I'd love but, for some reason, it just makes me feel stabby. Coconut rice is the exception. It took me until last fall to even try the stuff but it actually pleasantly surprised me. I hadn't had coconut rice since that first time, but a few days ago I was craaaving some and it just so happened that I had left over coconut milk in the fridge (from making the spicy pumpkin soup from Vegan Comfort Food. Will post pictures soon!). I was too tired to follow a recipe so I decided to hope for the best and jsut wing it. The result was delicious, albeit not the most authetic rendition.

1/2 cup rice
coconut milk*
2 cups water

sesame oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped into small cubes
1 small tomato, chopped into small cubes
1 large button mushroom, sliced
splash of dark soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste
small squeaze of ginger paste (optional)

Cook the rice in the coconut milk/water mixture. Boil for 15 minutes and then drain.

While the rice is cooking, sautee the onions in the sesame oil (use a large frying pan or small sauce pan). Add the rest of the vegetables and heat on low until the rice is done cooking.

Add the rice to the vegetables and mix. Add some turmeric (as much as you like, but I used about 2 tsp.), soy sauce, the rest of the coconut milk, and ginger paste.

Done! So quick and easy. I put a little dollop of chopped cilantro mix my flatmate had in the fridge and it complemented the sweetness of the rice really well.

*use as much as you'd like but know that a little does NOT go a long way in this recipe. I finished all the left over coconut milk in this recipe and still would have preferred a stronger flavor. Also, save a little on the side to add towards the end.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mac & Cheese

Ask any culinary inclinded (self-professed included) vegan and they're guaranteed to have their own signature mac & cheese recipe. It's like a right of passage; the bar mitzvah or sweet 16 of the vegan world if you will. Most of these recipes involve lots of ingredients that can be pricey and hard/annoying to find if you don't live near a health food store. I've tried a few different recipes, but mostly I've played around with the ingredients I've had on hand until I ended up with something resembling mac & cheese. After over a year of experimenting I finally have my own, personal mac & cheese.

As with most of my recipes I'm lucky if I measure things at all, let alone carefully, so the measurements here are just an estimation. I've made this recipe loads of times and have never measured and it always turns out fine!

Mac & Cheese
2 cups pasta

1/3 cup soy milk
1 package silken tofu (aseptic packaged)
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 T mustard
salt and pepper to taste

While the pasta's boiling, put the rest of the ingredients in a seperate pot. Heat up and use a hand blender to liquidize the mixture. Continue heating until it bubbles. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until it's thick (5-10 minutes).

Drain the pasta and add the tofu mixture.

See? Easy.

This made enough for me to have lefovers for lunch and dinner the next day.