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As I was preparing this curry, I realized that almost all of the ingredients were white: Tofu, cauliflower, potato, onion, garlic, coconut milk. Yes, I used green curry paste, but I still planned to call this dish “White Curry.” When I realized I wanted a little more heat, I added jalapeno, and it became a “White and Green Curry.” Because I used a prepared curry paste, this was a very fast dish to prepare. You can serve it over rice, and use your favorite curry condiments (Alan likes chutney and raisins, I just love avocado slices).

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

One small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, diced

One jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (more to your taste)

One cup cauliflower florets, broken into bite size pieces

2 medium potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces

One can light coconut milk

One Tablespoon green curry paste (more to your taste)

One cup vegetable broth or white wine

One package firm or extra firm tofu, cubed

1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)

White pepper and salt to taste

Cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

In a large skillet or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the pepper, cauliflower, and potatoes and cook for two more minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, and curry paste. Increase the temperature  and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the tofu and peanuts. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and the potatoes are cooked. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro.

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I’ve been gone a while, I know. And I will be back, I promise. The only excuse, being busy, sounds empty. But, I have great intentions, even if we know where those lead.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that VegWeek is back! During the week of April 18 through 24, you can take the pledge to eat less (or no) meat. It is a great opportunity to explore the healthy and delicious choices that a vegetarian diet offers. When you sign up, you’ll receive recipes, tips, and resources in your area that will help you keep your pledge. If you are already vegetarian, why not try vegan for the week? Or spread the word to your omnivore friends.

In order to do my part, I pledge to get back to blogging. During VegWeek, I will post recipes, tips, restaurant reviews, and links to more information. I will also answer any questions you may have about going veg. (Like, where do you get your protein?)

Good luck and remember, I’m here to help.

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>…but sometimes my food tastes so good I’ve just gotta write about it.

Now, you know I’ve been vegetarian for several years, vegan for just about four months. Alan gave up meat at the same time I did and he is working on getting all other animal products out of his diet. So I’ve had some experience cooking vegetarian, both with my own original recipes, other recipes that I’ve found through vegetarian cookbooks and blogs, and reworking old favorites, exchanging the meat and dairy for plant based ingredients.

I have noticed that my dinner menus have changed over the last few years.  In the beginning, I relied heavily on substitute meats, and I would create dishes that mirrored my pre-veggie meals. I used imitation chicken in many dishes, including curry, cacciatore,  marsala, burritos.  Interestingly, prior to my vegetarian diet, it had been so long since I’d eaten beef or pork, I had no desire for imitation steak or chops (with the possible exception of veggie burgers and “bac’n”).

My meals have been evolving over time, though. I began using different protein sources, like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. I’ve centered meals around protein rich grains like quinoa. I often skip imitation meats altogether, and toss in beans, seeds, and nuts, for extra flavor and nutrition.

My recipes for all this? Well, mostly I wing it with what I have in the fridge. I follow some amazing vegan cooking blogs (check “My Faves” at left). I rarely follow a recipe from beginning to end, but I have found some great ideas on these sites. Since I eat a lot of salads, a great find was this vegan ranch dressing from Health. Happy. Life. 

My point? Well, sometimes I amaze myself with how delicious my meals are. The downside, is that those dishes I create by chance? Well, since I don’t follow a recipe, and don’t write things down, chances are that the next time, for good or for bad, the meal won’t be quite the same.  Oh, well, cook on. Here are a few photos of my favorite creations (since I don’t do a food blog, I sometimes forget to photograph my results):

When I was still a meat eater, Alan and I used to go
to a little hole in the wall called the Pita House for their Chicken 
Shawarma. Once a week.  Every week. And bring the leftovers home for 
lunch the next day. One of the few dishes I’ve missed over the years, I
decided to make a vegan version the other night, using Gardein Chik’n and
Quinoa.  It was totally yummy!
This is a recreation from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe
“Potato Tornadoes.” I made the vegan version using a cheese sauce made
with Daiya cheese and soy milk. Totally delicious!
My spicy “chicken” salad, copied from a favorite restaurant version,
using the Daiya cheese, and Gardein chick’n
Vegetarian Chili – my secret:  Soyrizo
Very simple: Take a vegan meat, vegan cheese, vegan sauce, a 
few favorite veggies, wrap it in phyllo, bake and serve with
garlic roasted asparagus. Outstanding!
A salad: Use whatever is in the veggie crisper, toss in 
whatever type of beans are in the cupboard, roast some sunflower
and pumpkin seeds to toss in, and voila:  A perfect summer 
(or any time of the year) salad.
My go-to meal when I’m late, lazy, or just have the urge.
Pasta. Olive Oil. Garlic. Parsley.
Serve with a salad and you’re good to go!
I usually use whole wheat pasta, but for me, this dish,
plain, enriched, carb-laden penne. I just can’t help myself.


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