Tag Archives: spicy

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup and Vegan Red Lobster Biscuits

soup and biscuit

This soup from the Post Punk Kitchen is an old favorite and easily one of my favorite soups of all time. I’ve posted it here before, but it’s been a long time so I thought I would revisit. I’ve also changed my instructions slightly to cut out a couple of steps, making the prep time about 10 minutes.

biscuitsBut first. BUT FIRST. Let’s get to these biscuits. It’s been probably close to two decades since I’ve been to a Red Lobster. Something recently made me think of those biscuits they give you — salty, cheesy, flaky, bottomless baskets of delicious cheddar bay biscuits. PROBABLY not the healthiest thing on the planet, but making them at home helps. I found this recipe on the blog Amazeballs Eats.

claire biscuits Our resident tween, a self-appointed cheddar bay biscuit connoisseur, even said, “If you gave me a Red Lobster biscuit and gave me one of these biscuits, I wouldn’t know the difference. They are soooooo good.”

She always seems to like things she helped make more, but I can’t disagree. She was a great sous chef.

Do cheddar biscuits go with Thai flavors? I don’t know. But they were both good and nobody complained. Good enough for me.

Even the toddler ate some of the soup, which does have a bit of a kick in the background. She would eat a spoonful, say “hot,” push it away, then ask for more.

I’ve tried to add different vegetables over the years — it’s perfect as is. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way just to leave it alone. Also, don’t skip the cilantro and sesame oil garnish on this one. You might think it wouldn’t make that big of a difference, but you would be wrong. It completes the soup and is so much better than without. Now to the recipes!

Vegan Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour — I’ve been using spelt flour a lot lately for a little extra health 🙂
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 3/4 tsp. salt (I put less in the biscuits and added to the buttery glaze that goes on top)
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
• 1 c. cheddar style shreds (I use and recommend Daiya)
• 1 c. plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I went with almond)
• 1/2 c. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks), melted

Butter Topping Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. dried parsley (I used 1 tsp. fresh, minced parsley)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar style shreds; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond milk and melted vegan butter until the butter forms small clumps. (Ours never formed clumps, so we just went for it. It was fine. They were flaky and wonderful!)
  4. Add the almond milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

• 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
• 1/2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1-2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon red curry paste (or more for extra spice! I probably added closer to 2)
• 1 15 oz. coconut milk unsweetened
• 3 cup(s) vegetable broth
• 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
• 1 tablespoon(s) sesame oil
• 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, fresh

1. In a stock pot, saute onion and ginger in oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add curry paste and cook for another minute or so.

2. Add sweet potato, diced small, and stir for about a minute.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

4. Add lemon juice and salt. You’re ready to serve!

5. Once in bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro (as much as you like).

 

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Quick Chickpea Tikka Masala

chickpeamasala

In a continued effort to utilize the many magazines I get, I decided to make this version of chickpea masala out of the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. From first cut to eating it was about 45 minutes — I’ll definitely make this again! It’s really close to another version I’ve been making for years (which you can find HERE in this 2010 post). The main difference is the lack of cauliflower here, which makes this even more of a pantry recipe. The only fresh ingredients you need are an onion, ginger (which you could keep jarred in the fridge for when you’re in a pinch) and a serrano pepper (which technically you could do without — it just wouldn’t be spicy).

I only changed up a couple of things — I threw in a whole onion because I knew the other half would go to waste and I used two serrano peppers to spice it up a bit (I like things spicy these days and hey — at 38 weeks pregnant if it helps move things along…). I don’t have Greek yogurt around — and would rather keep it vegan anyway — so I didn’t use that. In the other version, I use coconut milk so I would gladly add that or coconut creamer in the future, but went without tonight.

I started my brown rice, made the rest of the recipe and by the time it came to the  “simmer for 15 minutes” part, there was about that long left on the rice — perfect! I cleaned up and before I knew it — dinner was served.

Here it is!

Ingredients
• 1 Tbsp. oil
• 1/2 medium onion, diced
• 1 Tbsp. garam masala (I might add a bit more next time…. or my extra peppers might be overpowering the spices in the recipe…)
• 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
• 2 tsp. grated ginger
• 1 serrano chile, minced
• salt
• 2 15-0z. cans chickpeas, drained and rinse
• 1 28-0z. can crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 c. Greek yogurt (or I’d say 1/4 c. coconut creamer or milk, or more to taste)
• 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes or until softened.

2. Add garam masala, tomato paste, ginger and serrano, and season with a bit of salt to taste. Sauté one minute more.

3. Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt and cilantro.

Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Chili

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A few weeks ago I came across a recipe online for a pumpkin lentil chili and I finally made it last night! It was supposed to be beef-based, so of course I axed that. You can find the original recipe HERE. I tweaked a few things based on what I had on hand (I can’t find the jalapenos I KNOW I bought for the life of me, I wanted a few more lentils since there was no other protein, etc. in it). So, the following is what I did.

The pumpkin flavor is hidden and it makes the chili thicker and creamier. If your kiddos (or perhaps a picky spouse!) like chili you could take the spice down a bit and this is a way you can hide some extra veggies in there. Pumpkin does add a little protein as we as several vitamins.

I think you could just as easily throw all the ingredients into a crock pot for a couple of hours too. Either way, give yourself a little time. This needs to simmer for an hour or two.

Ingredients
• 2/3 small can pumpkin
• 1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
• 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (any variety will do)
• 1 c. dried lentils (I used brown lentils)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 c. vegetable broth
• 1 green pepper, diced
• 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and diced, some adobo sauce added.
• 3 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
• 1 tsp. oregano
• 1 1/2 tsp.  chili powder
• olive oil

Garnishes: I garnished with Daiya cheddar flavor vegan cheese, Tofutti sour cream and sliced green onions

1. Saute onion, garlic and green pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven. I used my new favorite, the amazing Calphalon Dutch Oven I got as a wedding gift this summer. I use it for everything. If you are using fresh jalapenos, I’d add them now too.

2. Once the onions, etc. are softened add everything else! Let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. I had some after 1 1/2 hours and there was still a little “bite” to the lentils, but it was 9:30 p.m. and I was hungry! Round two is going to be delicious (and probably spicier!) tonight. Enjoy!

Vegan Black Bean Tamale Pie

Look at me! Two posts in two weeks! I’m really on a roll, aren’t I? I decided I better post this ASAP or my week will get away from me. I made this for a client last week and have been craving it ever since. I finally got around to it tonight.

This can be vegan or just vegetarian, depending on what kind of cheese, milk and eggs (or egg replacers) you use. I chose to make it vegan. This is a really simple dish you can make with a few things you can keep in your pantry. If you have a bit of onion and some kind of bell pepper, that’s about the only produce you need (although I think I did throw some minced garlic in tonight because I can’t seem to leave garlic out of anything).

This got high marks from my better half too — he couldn’t stop himself from taking extra helpings. It’s really rich and filling, kind of like eating chili with cornbread all in one dish. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser and very easy to adjust the heat — throw some freshly minced jalapeno or habaneros in the early stages to kick it up a few notches.

Ingredients
• 1 tsp. olive oil
• 1/2 c. chopped onion
• 1/3 c. green pepper (I used yellow because it was what I had)
• 1 15 oz. can black beans
• 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
• 1 c. corn canned, cooked fresh or frozen
• 1 1/4 oz. taco seasoning mix (or throw some cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. in and season to taste).
• 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
• 1 c. grated cheese (I used Daiya pepper jack style grated cheese)
• 1 1/4 c. milk (I used almond)
• salt and pepper to taste (Oops, I forgot this entirely today… it was fine)
•  2 large eggs, beaten or equivalent egg replacer (I used 3 tsp. egg replacer powder mixed with 4 Tbsp. warm water).
• Minced jalapenos or habaneros (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Throw your minced hot peppers in at this point too if you’re using.  (Just before the next step is when I threw in the garlic and cooked for 1 more minute).

2. Add undrained beans, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning or spices, 1/2 c. of the cornmeal and 1/2 c. of cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened and cornmeal is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, then put in 1 1/2- or 2- quart casserole dish.

3. Meanwhile, heat milk with remaining 3/4 c. cornmeal in a small saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (Well, close enough. I stirred it often…) until all of the milk is absorbed. Remove from heat. Slowly add eggs or egg replacer and stir in the remaining 1/2 c. of cheese.

4. Spread over top of bean mixture and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until top begins to lightly brown. Mine didn’t get that far, because there were hungry mouths to feed, but it was 40 minutes and good enough.

I can’t believe I waited this long to make this for my own family — I have a feeling it will stay in the winter-time rotation!

Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Last night I had to make something for a gathering with a Mexican theme and I was stumped — I couldn’t think of anything new or original to bring. So, I took to the Internet and one of my first searches turned up this great blog A Couple Cooks. Their recipe for Stuffed Poblano Peppers sounded great, so I decided to go with that, as well as a basic salsa recipe. (Look for that tomorrow).

First the peppers. (I didn’t take pictures — this one is from the post on A Couple Cooks.)

I decided to double it, which was just enough for 10 people (who also had another entree going on). Everyone loved these and there were only 4 leftover. I’ll post the single recipe here though, which would be good for 4+ people.  If you found some mini bell peppers, you could make great little appetizers out of this recipe too.

Ingredients
• 4 poblano peppers (I did a mixture of poblano and bell peppers — prepare the same way)
• 1 c. uncooked brown rice (could use quinoa or another grain too)
• 1 1/2 c. salsa (I ended up using 2 c. for the doubled recipe and it was great)
• 1 15 oz. can black beans
• 1 1/2 c. frozen or canned corn
• 3 green onions
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. chili powder
• cayenne pepper or Tobasco to taste
• salt and pepper to taste
• olive oil
• Shredded cheese
• Chopped cilantro for garnish (which I forgot…)

1. Cook rice according to package directions. I ended up not putting in all of the rice I cooked for the double batch. As it was I had some filling left over (which is great, because we can freeze it or use it for tacos or something). SO, you could maybe go with 3/4 of a cup and see how that goes.

2. Whilte the rice cooks (you’ll have plenty of time to do everything else while the rice cooks for 45 minutes, FYI) prepare the peppers: slice in half length-wise and remove seeds and ribs. It looks nice if the stems are still attached, but obviously those don’t get eaten. You may want to wear gloves for this if you’re using poblanos (especially if you’re wearing contacts you’ll have to take out later!). This is my general rule of thumb for every pepper that isn’t a bell pepper, after burning my eyeballs far too many times.

Place skin side down, drizzle with olive oil, flip (so skin side up) and drizzle again. Put them under a broiler for 6-7 minutes (until they start to char a bit). Flip so they are skin side down and broil for another 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. While the peppers are broiling… chop onions, drain and rinse the black beans.

4. Place onions, black beans, corn (I went with frozen), seasonings (all seasonings to taste — go nuts if you like things spicier) in a large microwaveable bowl (especially if corn is frozen. If it’s thawed/canned, you might be good at room temp).

5. If the rice has been cooked and has cooled, add rice first, then heat in microwave. Otherwise, heat the mixture to warm (1-3 minutes), then add your cooked rice, along with a handful of cheese just to stick it all together a bit.

I split my mixture and used a regular Mexican blend of cheeses for the vegetarian ones and used Daiya vegan cheese for the vegan ones. (If you haven’t tried this cheese yet, vegan or not, you must!)

6. Place peppers back on baking sheet and fill with rice/bean mixture. My peppers were all oddly shaped so I had to get a little creative with this and pile it up and tuck it in crevices.

7. Top with a bit of shredded cheese (any kind you’re using) and place back under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts and begins to brown a bit.

8. Top with sour cream (regular or Tofutti) and sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro if you have it or salsa.

This was easy to make, took less than an hour and was a crowd pleaser. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Refried Beans

My good friend Jay made this recipe and said they are crazy good and she’ll never buy refried beans again — that’s what I call a glowing review. I haven’t made them yet, but I had to share. It’s a Mark Bittman recipe, if you know who he is (he knows how to cook everything and tells us so). I have black beans in the cupboard, so I might have to whip up a batch of black refried beans, yes?

Ingredients
• 2 cans pinto beans rinsed
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 1/4 c. chopped onion
• 2 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• salt and pepper

From Jay:
1. Melt butter in a frying pan, add beans.  Mush using a potato masher, fork or the back of your spoon until you get the consistency you like.

2. Add onion, cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper.  Continue stirring until the onions are a little tender.  I added a little water to thin it up a bit since it was hard to stir.

3. Eat!  I ate mine with salsa, sourcream and tortilla chips.  No more canned refried beans ever again, these are way good…  I bet you could add garlic or really anything else you want.

 

Spicy Vegan Fall Soup

I’m not ready for snow or anything, but I haven’t been totally hating the cooler temperatures.  I decided I needed to make soup this week  and went for it — what else are you supposed to do when you’ve got a couple of leeks and an acorn squash staring you in the face? I didn’t follow any recipe at all — just a bit of this and a bit of that. Obviously this could be changed up with all kinds of stuff, but I like how it turned out. Spicy, smooth and just what the weatherman ordered.

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash
• 1 sweet potato
• 2 leeks, cleaned and white parts chopped well
• 1 small cooking onion, chopped
• 10-15 baby carrots, chopped small
• olive oil and/or vegan butter
• 4 c. vegetable broth
• about 10 to 11 oz. coconut milk
• about 2 cloves minced garlic
• 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• Various spices: curry powder, cayenne pepper, dill, salt, pepper, turmeric, celery salt (there may be others, that’s all I can remember!)
• honey (optional)

And here’s what I did:

1. Cut squash in half (from stem to bottom), remove seeds/pulp from center, lay cut side down on microwave safe plate and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. This also could be done by laying face down on a baking sheet or foil and baking for about 30-40 minutes at, let’s say, 400 degrees. I chose the shorter route, as I wasn’t getting started making my dinner until about 8 o’clock last night…

2. Prick sweet potato with fork all over, lay on a paper towel on a plate and microwave for about 4-5 minutes, depending on size.

3. Saute onion, leeks and carrots with ginger and garlic in a bit of olive oil and/or butter (1-2 Tbsp. total, I’d say). Cook this down for a bit until everything is soft and browning a little.

4. While cooking down/browning, add spices — a bit of salt and pepper, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/4 tsp. dill and a dash or two each of the rest (I chose celery salt because I didn’t have any celery to contribute, cayenne for a bit of heat, turmeric for a little color and flavor)

5. Once squash and sweet potato is cool enough to be handled, squeeze/scrape, scoop out the pulp and mash it up as well as you can. This made about 1 c. of mashed sweet potatoes and 2 c. of mashed squash. Add to pot.

6. Add broth — I started with 3 c. and later put the fourth. You can kind of play it by ear depending on what consistency you think you want to end up with. Bring to a quick boil then drop down to a simmer.

7. Blend with an immersion blender, or cool a bit and blend in a blender in batches. I borrowed my sister’s immersion blender (I really need to get a new one!) and it took about 2 seconds and was really easy. There are some really affordable ones and you won’t believe how often you will wish you had one!). I added the fourth cup of broth around now, I think, because it seemed like it was a little thick and it hadn’t made very much.

8. Add coconut milk. I started with a mini can that is 5.5 ounces. This left the soup nice and thick — I actually loved the consistency. But it was a little spicier than I wanted. I started with about half of a 13.5 oz. can and it was great. I wish I just would have used the whole 13.5 oz. can to begin with (and maybe held back on the broth a little…)

9. If you’re not vegan, I thought it would be good to add a little honey for sweetness or to tone down the spice a little. It would also be a great opportunity for sprinkling in a little nutritional yeast if you’ve got some too (which would thicken it back up a little too).

I had this soup again tonight and it was really good! I’m happy with my little adventure and will definitely be “winging it” like this again. You should too.   🙂