Soup Makeover

I love soup. It’s versatility is incredible. You can really add just about anything you like to it. It’s also really good at using up leftovers. So, I’m one person, but with school during the week, I often cook enough so that a meal can last me three or four times. I ended up doing that with the Palak paneer last week. I ended up eating it three times, but still had half left. I made soup out of it.

Ingredients

Half recipe of Palak paneer (found on this blog)
1 cup frozen veggies
1 cup cooked lentils
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp garlic
4 cups vegetable broth

Saute garlic. Add veggies and lentils. Add leftovers. Cook for three minutes. Add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for one hour. Add salt and pepper. Serve with crackers and a lemon wedge.

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Vegan Palak Paneer

It waits to be seen if this is the last of my Indian recipes. Palak paneer is basically a firm cheese in a spinach curry.

Ingredients – serves 4

1 bunch spinach – I used a block of the frozen, chopped variety, so very easy
1 cup frozen peas or whatever other vegetables you have
1 block extra firm tofu
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tsp each, chili powder and cumin 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup almond milk, or any other non dairy milk

First, squeeze all the water out of the tofu gently. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Marinate with half the spices. Remember, you can use more… Adjust the spice to your palate. Set aside for twenty minutes. Prepare the spinach, by chopping it finely in the meantime if you need to. If you’re using fresh spinach, remember to wash it well first.

Heat oil in the pan. Saute the tofu, again, taking care not to break it. Remove the tofu. Reserve the oil in the pan.

Add the onions and garlic. Once they soften, add the rest of the spices. Cook for two to three minutes. Add spinach, and frozen vegetables. Sprinkle salt to taste now, to release the water. Cook spinach and vegetables. In the “traditional” version of this dish, you may add peas or nothing. Real, add whatever you like and have at home. I added a mix of corn, carrots, and beans.

After about five minutes, add in the almond milk. Again, use the non dairy milk you like. The only rule is that it be unflavoured or vanilla. Also, avoid coconut milk as the flavours might be a bit strong and overpower the spinach. Simmer for five more minutes. Turn off heat, and add tofu. Stir gently. Let stand five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Vegan Indian curry

So, I’m still in the mood for Indian. There is nothing like the warmth of curry. It’s also inexplicably versatile. This one is vegan, but you could add meat to it if you liked. This will make six generous servings. If you don’t have the vegetables I used, use 5 cups of whatever you like or have on hand. Just remember, it needs to be chopped about the same size. A good rule is to go with the size of the soy chunks as a rule of thumb.

1 cup soy chunks
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup curry powder, your favourite, or to taste
2 cups almond milk, or your favourite non dairy milk (this tastes unbelievable with coconut milk)
Salt to taste
1 onion finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Water as needed

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1. Heat a pan with the olive oil. Add onions.
2. While onions cook, in a large bowl, add vegetables and soy. Add 1/4 cup curry powder. Add a bit of water, and toss to coat.
3. After onions soften, add remaining curry powder, and stir for a minute
4. Add the soy and vegetables
5. Toss, so everything is coated.
6. Add almond milk. Bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat, and simmer with the lid on for 30-45 minutes. Add water as necessary.

The curry is done when the sauce is thickened. You can eat this with roti, rice, couscous, anything. Enjoy!

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Vegan ‘Chicken’ Frankie

Well, the inspiration for today’s recipe comes from India. It’s been just over a year since I was there. Despite its shortfalls, Indian food is amazing. My favourite had to be a fast food type chicken roll called a frankie. However, how could I veganize it? Easy, use soy chunks.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
1 small onion chopped
1 small onion thinly sliced
Half a cup of dried soy chunks
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 tbsp frankie masala OR 1tsp chili powder, 1tbsp cumin powder, 1 and a 1/2 tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp mango powder all ground and mixed together. Salt to taste.
6-8 whole wheat rotis or tortillas

I’ve never liked soy, that is until my mum taught me how to cook it properly. So a couple of tips. First soak the soy in water. It will about double in quantity when rehydrated. Use warm water.

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Here’s the hard part. Leave it for 45 minutes to an hour. After this, it should have a meaty feel to it. Squeeze the water out of it, and put it aside in another bowl. Discard the water.

In a pan, add a bit of oil. I added olive this time. When hot, add garlic, chili paste, and CHOPPED ONIONS. Make sure to chop it finely. Once softened, add the soy, as well as the spices. I used a frankie masala I got when I was.in India, but, the above spice blend works fine.

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Coat everything well. Reduce the heat, and add some water. I started with a cup and added more as needed. Though nothing really needs to cook, cook it for about 30 minutes in order for the flavour to absorb. This is important so that your soy doesn’t taste like cardboard.

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Once most of the gravy is absorbed after the cooking time (keep adding more water during the cooking time if needed), its time to assemble the frankies.

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While you could use a whole wheat tortilla, I used an Indian whole wheat roti, readily available in many grocery stores now. Assembly is easy. Add a bit of the filling. Top with sliced onions. Roll. Eat. Enjoy!

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This would taste great with rice on the side instead as well.

Egg salad with a twist

Today’s recipe comes from my love for egg salad. This recipe is a sure contender to the traditional egg salad Since all the ingredients in this are pulsed into a spread,you really could add anything.

Ingredients

1 chick’n breast or tofu crumbled
1 ripe avocado
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
I tbsp mustard

Put all of the above into a food processor and pulse till you have a desired consistency. You can eat.this with crackers, on toast, anything. You could add roasted mushrooms to this, anything really, that will pulse easily. You can also have some fun with flavours. I got a pair of flavoured mustards for the holidays as well, so I used pineapple mustard in this.

So, what flavours and combinations did you use? Leave them here!

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