cleverchickadee


Vegan Curry: a Slow Cooker Recipe by quornflour

So we had this lunch at work. I was going to make some curried mussels, but then I got to worrying.

I kept thinking how the crockpots were not going to get hot enough to get the mussels hot enough to cook, and what if someone got a bad one…

Well by that point it was too late to change up the protein, so I decided to just leave out the mussels all together.

Trouble is, when you take the mussels out, then you end up with a lot of space so you need a new filler.

I personally HATE eggplant. It is not just the texture or the flavor it is both. Lucky for me, lots of people really like it.

So here is what you are going to need for a 5 quart slow cooker:

  • 6 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large zucchini (so you have 2 cups when you cut it up)
  • 5 thai eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 8-10 basil leaves gut to grass
  • 6 green onions cut into grass
  • 5 chilies
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Salt to taste

*When you pick your red curry paste (the Thai Kitchen is most commonly available) you will need to see what the recommendation is for per can of coconut milk. The 2 tablespoons listed above will make this a mild curry, if you like yours with more kick add more.

Now to make this is pretty simple.

  1. Wash and chop your beans into 1 inch pieces
  2. Julienne your peppers and zucchini
  3. Quarter your eggplants (remove the green parts) and then cut those pieces in half so you have about ¾” chunks
  4. Slice the chilies down into small pieces
  5. In your crock pot mix ½ a can of coconut milk with your curry paste to get everything mixed in with no lumps then add the rest of the can and mix it in
  6. Add your sugar and mix it in
  7. Add your eggplant
  8. Add the rest of your coconut milk
  9. Stir and let cook for about an hour on high
  10. Add the rest of the peppers, beans, chilies, basil and zucchini
  11. Let sit until everything is hot
  12. Add green onion
  13. Salt to taste

Serve over rice, it is mild and sweet, even with the chilies in it, if you cannot handle heat then reduce the number of chilies or leave out all together.

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Simple Pasta Salad by quornflour

If I do not have a ton of time when I get home, I like to throw together a quick pasta salad. I like to make this one because it is good both warm and cold, so it travels as left overs really well.

All you need is:

  • 1 cup of cooked pasta
  • 2 table spoons of coarse chopped basil
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

Toss it all together and enjoy. Quick, easy, delicious!



Lemon Basil Chicken and Mushrooms by quornflour

I get meat from a CSA, so like many things you get from a CSA you do not always have complete control over what you are getting. In a recent delivery I got a bone in chicken breast.

Last spring I took a knife skills class where I learned to de-bone a chicken, but I had friends over and I just wanted to take the easy route, you could do this with boneless too, though I am not sure if or how that changes cooking time.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple recipe and you end up with chicken that you can eat with a wide variety of other things.

You will need:

  • A pair of bone in chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons – the juice there of
  • 4 garlic cloves – smashed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt about a ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper
  • 6-10 basil leaves
  • ¼ a red onion
  • 6 medium coarse chopped button mushrooms

It is pretty easy to put it all together (except the basil leaves, onion and mushrooms), since you put it all in an oven safe glass covered dish and let it marinade for 2-3 hours, if you are going to cook in the dish you marinade in you will need to marinade on the counter. Do not put a dish straight from the fridge to the oven unless you are looking for a reason to clean up glass shards.

Before you cook it, take the garlic cloves that have been in the marinade and the basil leaves and push them up between the skin and the meat and put the skin side down in the cooking dish. Add the onion and sprinkle the mushrooms over top and place the lid or tinfoil.

Skin side down, bake in an oven for about 40 minutes with the lid on at 400⁰, then for another 10 minutes (or until the skin gets golden) with the top off and the skin side up. Tent and let rest for about 10 minutes and then enjoy with your favorite veggies or a starch or both.



Mozz Ballz by quornflour

I was driving home past Dial-A-Pizza, yes, really, and I thought to myself, “self, they have really good mozzarella sticks.”

Then I totally wanted mozzarella sticks, because the one time I had mozzarella sticks from there, they were really quite delicious.

I did not want to order them though because then I would need to also get a pizza and I wasn’t that hungry and I didn’t want to be disappointed by my memory of delicious mozzarella sticks.

So then I realized that I had mozzarella balls (cue, “it says balls on your forehead”) in the fridge at home.

So on I went.

When I got home I put a few cups of peanut (or other high temp) oil in a small frying or sauce pan and turned it up to bring it to temp, then I grabbed:

  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (one of these days I will post some easy and delicious recipes for bread crumbs)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon “Italian seasoning” (equal parts: parsley, oregano, basil, garlic – all dry)

I mixed it all together in a small bowl.

Then I got an egg and beat it in a separate bowl.

Then I got the mozzarella balls from the fridge and:

  1. dropped them in the egg coating them thoroughly
  2. put them in the bread crumbs coating thoroughly
  3. using a fine wire mesh strainer (helps prevent the breadcrumbs from making a mess of your oil) lowered them into the oil and held them there until they got golden brown

Serve warm with red sauce. You can also freeze these (on a tray before co-mingling) and reheat in the oven.



Clever Kids by quornflour

Recently, while staying with friends in Seattle, I was making dinner. My friend’s youngest daughter was home and needed something to do.

We were throwing a party and there were to be a load of people at the house. Yes I go visit friends, cook food, invite people over and leave the dishes for someone else. Ok, sometimes I help with clean-up, but as my friend once said, “it’s a cook thing you are an excellent chef, because you make a mess in the kitchen!”

Anyway, I was at my friend’s house and her younger daughter who is in first grade who is super smart and helpful needed a project.

So first up I had her make some Caprese skewers, I had picked up a pint of colorful cherry tomatoes and some tiny balls of mozzarella, pretty much everyone who has ever been on Pinterest has seen the various versions of this. Yes that is what I was making, but with a little more basil.

Simple instructions:

Cherry tomatoes, small mozzarella balls wrapped with basil leaves: stab on skewer.

After skewered: drizzle olive oil (garlic olive oil if you are fancy like me) and balsamic vinegar.

So first I had her (with a little help from her Uncle Peter who wrapped the mozzarella – not because she couldn’t but because he was there) make those.

Simple and delicious and saved me about 30 minutes.

I was preparing mussels, for which I wanted to use basil grass. Basil grass is finely sliced basil leaves, it is pretty and adds a nice burst of flavor since it crushes the leaves a bit.

So her second job was to make basil joint, cigars, rolls… they have many names, I suppose with a lot of people with kids, maybe rolls is a better word choice.

Anyway, to do this, you lay basil leaves on top of one another about 10 deep. You can use this for practice counting as well.



Then you roll them up starting at one long side.

Once you have done this, cut the basil in small strips and ta-dah! Now you are fancy with your basil grass.

Don’t you feel fancy?



Pizza Pizza by quornflour

No matter how healthy or not healthy you eat, sometimes what you want is pizza.

In a search for gluten free options I have found that my personal favorite ready-made pie crusts are made by Schär and Udi respectively.

I like that Schär’s is shelf stable so it can live in your pantry, Udi is thinner and crispy but needs to be refrigerated until used.

One of my favorite pizzas to make is really simple.

All you need is:

  • 1 crust
  • 1 tomato
  • 6-10 fresh basil leaves
  • Teaspoon or so of olive oil
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves very thinly sliced
  • 4-6 thin slices of fresh mozzarella
  • Crushed red pepper

Since both crusts are fully cooked, you only need to cook it all until the cheese gets melty.

First brush the olive oil on the crust, layer on the cheese then basil then tomatoes. Top with crushed red pepper and garlic. Bake at 400⁰ for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm.



Caprese Pasta Salad by quornflour

With spring on the horizon, hopefully, I have been finding myself drawn to lighter colder tasting foods.

Tonight I threw together a very simple and yet delicious pasta salad based on a Caprese Salad.

  • ½ bag of Pasta Joy Fusilli – cooked
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese – chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves – chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
  • 3-4 cloves finely chopped raw garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Put it all together like this:

  1. cook your pasta per the directions on the bag, drain and toss with a little salt and a tablespoon of olive oil and let cool
  2. chop up your tomatoes and cheese
  3. add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients
  4. add pasta
  5. toss and serve

It will leave your belly full and happy.




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