Thursday, September 30, 2010

Channa Masala

Before I get started with a lovely Channa Masala recipe I'm really excited to let you guys know that CSN Stores has given me an opportunity to do a product review from one of their many wonderful websites. Keep an eye out for the review and in the meantime checkout some of their beautiful dining chairs. Thanks so much CSN Stores!

Back to the food. Since becoming a vegetarian I have fallen in love with several cuisines that I had never tried in my meat eating days. The most important, delicious of these cuisines is Indian. I'm a little bit obsessed. Tampa has some really great Indian food and I make it a point to go out for an Indian lunch buffet at least once a month. But as a college student with limited funds I have been trying to recreate Indian food in my own kitchen. While this channa masala didn't necessarily taste authentically Indian it was still delicious, filling, cheap, and easy to make.

Channa Masala:
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less based on your heat preference)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth or water, plus about 1/2 cup extra
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large saute pan heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, paprika, and curry powder and saute about 1 minutes. Add the chick peas, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper. If you find that the liquid is reducing and the chickpeas are sticking, add more liquid. Cook for another 10 minutes until sauce is thick. Serve with brown rice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Restaurant Review:The Loving Hut

As much as I love to cook sometimes I can be pretty lazy. And on those very lazy days (usually after a long day at work) I like to go out to eat. I've become pretty attached to several restaurants, so I thought I'd do some restaurant reviews. So to start off we have the Loving Hut. I've been to the Loving Hut several times. It's an all vegan restaurant, so for me it's really nice to go to a place where I can order anything on the menu. It's a fairly new place in Tampa so it's never crowded; usually there are only a few other diners. The prices are really reasonable; my boyfriend and I always get water so our check almost always comes out under $20 before tip. The service can be slow, but the food is so good it's worth it.

This first dish is what I ordered the last time I went; Ocean Alfredo. It's a vegan alfredo and usually comes with vegan shrimp. I never ate seafood when I did eat meat so I asked to substitute vegan chicken instead, which they did, with no problems. It was really tasty. I've had more realistic vegan alfredos but this was really yummy and comforting.

This is what my boyfriend got. It was called Savory Eggplant. It had eggplant, silken tofu, and red bell peppers with a delicious sauce that reminded us of teriyaki. I only had one bite, but I enjoyed it. My boyfriend is an eggplant fanatic so he loved it. Other dishes I can recommend are the Tofu Scramble and the Noble Philly Sub. Definitely check out the Loving Hut if you're ever in Tampa.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Crispy Cajun Chickpea Cakes with Sauteed Kale

The chickpea cakes aren't an original recipe, but it turned out really tasty, so I thought I'd share. I used the recipe for the Chickpea Cakes from Vegan Dad. I pretty much just followed the recipe, except I substituted red pepper flakes for cayenne pepper. And my one piece of general advice about the chickpea cakes are to flip them as few times as possible. The more you flip them, the more likely the are to not stay together. That means you need to make sure your pan/oil is at the right temperature, so they don't cook too quickly.

And here is a quick and easy kale recipe.

Sauteed Kale:
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Pull the kale off the stem and give a rough chop. Coat a saute pan with olive oil. Saute garlic for about two minutes, then add the kale. Saute until kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. That's it. So simple, and so delicious.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The BEST Pizza

That's right. Kale on pizza. I know it's really not that crazy for some of you, such as Sammi from Vegan Pandamonium. But for others, who would've thought? I'm here to tell you, kale is probably the best pizza topping ever. The kale gets crispy in the oven and goes lovely with melted mozzarella. Don't believe me? Try it.

Kale Pizza:
  • 1 Pillsbury thin pizza crust
  • 1/4-1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 3-4 leaves of kale
  • 1 package Morning Star Italian Sausage (or veggie sausage of your choice)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a bell pepper
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese or Daiya
Preheat oven to 400. Slice sausage, thinly slice onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Pull kale off of stem, and roughly chop. Coat a saute pan with olive oil and brown the sausage. Once brown, take the sausage out of the pan. Add more olive oil, saute the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and kale until soft.

While sauteing veggies, spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Roll out crust, pre-bake crust for five minutes. After five minutes, pull crust out of the oven. Spread desired amount of marinara sauce on the crust. First layer with sausage. Add all but 1/4 cup of cheese. Layer veggies, with kale on top. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

This pizza reminds me of this soup I used to love in my pre-veggies days, from olive garden. It was an Italian sausage, kale, and potato soup. This is better, as it's vegetarian, and it's on a pizza!