Toasted Coconut Rice With Bok Choy and Fried Eggs

This is a super easy one pot recipe. And it’s totally low fodmap to boot! The recipe is made in layers so everything cooks the right amount of time. I made the dish at the beginning of the week, but just made one egg at a time as needed. I think this is a great basic recipe and I love the one pot idea, but the ratios were off. There was too much rice for the amount of veggies or eggs. I would double the amount of veggies. I also think this recipe probably calls for 5-6 eggs instead of 4.

I liked this and didn’t mind eating it all week (after adding more veggies) but I felt like the flavor was a bit on the bland side. I’d like to take this idea and play with it to add some complexity of flavor.

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Marketplace Salad

I had a great harvest of beets at the end of the summer and needed to use up the last cucumber of the season. I found this salad recipe on page 40 of The Vegetarian Bistro. The salad uses lots of veggies, including beets, cucumber, carrot, green beans, and endive. The beets and green beans are cooked, while the rest of the veggies are raw. I enjoyed the mix of veggies, but didn’t like the creme mustard dressing. I also found the salad was missing some heft. I ended up adding pumpkin seeds, which improved it a bit.

Bharta (Mashed Eggplant with Peanuts and Spices)

I hadn’t made Indian food in a while, since I can’t eat beans or spicy food at the moment. But I’d read that sprouted mung beans were low fodmap and found a recipe for spiced sprouted mung beans in the Indian Vegetarian Cookbook. I wanted to make a vegetable to go with them, so I made this eggplant dish. This is an unusual preparation, as you first steam the eggplant before incorporating it into the rest of the dish. I didn’t like the result. The eggplant tasted watery and didn’t incorporate the flavor of the rest of the dish. I ended up adding some half and half, which improved the taste, but I wouldn’t make this again.

Summer Squash and Red Rice Salad with Lemon and Dill

On the harrowing quest to cook things that both Ian and I can eat, I found this salad, which could be made low fodmap and would use up my summer squash. I couldn’t find red rice so I used regular jasmine rice. I think I either mismeasured the dry rice or the picture for this recipe is quite dishonest. The picture shows a dish of mostly squash with a sprinkling of rice. As you can see from my photo, my dish was mostly rice with a smattering of squash. Despite this and my failure to find red rice, we enjoyed this recipe. It was super easy to make and would make a good weeknight dish when you already have summer squash or zucchini in the fridge.

I left out the garlic since Ian isn’t eating garlic. It only called for one clove so I can’t imagine it would have changed the dish a ton. I thought the 1/4 cup of olive oil called for was absurd and halve it. Without knowing this, Ian complained that the dish needed more olive oil and added more. I’m sure it would have tasted better with more, but I didn’t mind it as is. He also thought it needed more pine nuts. I would probably use 3 tbsp instead of 2 tbsp as called for, but I suspect he would still end up adding more. My main issue with the dish was that I thought it needed more dill and chives. I’d double those next time.

New England “Clam” Chowder

As the weather has begun to cool down at last in North Carolina, I’m finally ready for soups and stews again. Time to try Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ vegan take on clam chowder from Isa Does It. I’ve never had clam chowder, so I really have nothing to compare the recipe to. But I suspect this does not taste like clam chowder. Isa uses mushrooms and seaweed to add an umami and fishy flavor. I’m not sure I got enough of that though, as the flavor was a bit on the dull side. I suspect the seaweed and mushrooms weren’t in the broth long enough to give all their flavor. On the other hand though, I thought the potatoes were too soft, so I wouldn’t want to cook for any longer. I did use kombu instead of nori. I’m not sure if nori wouldn’t have given a lot more flavor since my seaweed knowledge is on the lighter side.

The recipe does have the requisite creaminess, thanks to cashew cream. But I found that the broth to veggie ratio was off. I ended up adding 2 cups of extra liquid, which seemed about right.

I’m non the fence about whether I will make this again. But if I do, I’ll tweak several things:

  1. I’ll make special vegetable broth for the dish that includes sewaeed and dried mushrooms in it to up the sea flavor factor without overcooking the veggies.
  2. I’d use 4 cups of vegetable broth when I put in the potatoes instead of 2.
  3. I’d only cook the potatoes for 7 minutes instead of the 10-15 called for in the recipe. I prefer my potatoes to still have some bite to them.

Rice Noodles with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Mint

Finding a recipe that both Ian and I can eat right now is nearly impossible, since we are both dealing with very restrictive medically prescribed diets. Add my vegetarian diet, his gluten free diet, plus both of our lactose intolerance, and there’s nearly nothing we can both eat. I was intrigued by this dish since it uses rice noodles instead of flour noodles, but incorporates Italian flavors rather than the usual Asian flavors I associate with rice noodles.

I’ve made it twice now. The first time I did quite a bit of tweaking based on what we had in the house and Ian’s restrictions. The second time I stuck to the recipe. I liked my first version much better. Both Ian and I really loved it and had multiple additional helpings. I think the original recipe is too low on veggies and I like a basil/mint mixture better than mint alone. I’ve also found it’s much better with cherry tomatoes than with large tomatoes or canned. Whatever version you make, this is a simple, quick, weeknight dish. I made simple pan fried tofu for a protein on the side and Ian ate it with chicken. Here’s my adjusted version:

  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2garlic cloves (to taste), minced (optional)
  • 1.5 pound zucchini, cut in ΒΌ-inch dice
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt to taste (I use about 1.5 tsp)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 7 to 8ounces thin rice sticks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, torn

I follow the instructions from the original recipe. If I leave out the garlic for Ian, I just skip that step. I honestly didn’t notice a big flavor difference between having the garlic and not having it. I think the key to the flavor of this recipe is really high quality ingredients, since it’s so simple. Great olive oil and sweet cherry tomatoes really make the dish. I also like spaghetti style rice noodles better than the fettuccine ones for this dish because they have more bite.

Jackfruit Biryani

I went to Texas to visit family in August and came back with four of my siblings’ cookbooks on loan. After a barely getting five green beans from my garden all summer, I’ve had a miraculous end-of-season glut of green beans this year. So this recipe for jackfruit biryani was the first from the group I decided to try. It’s from East Meets Vegan by Shasha Gill.

I had to do quite a bit of modification since I’m avoiding many types of nuts and all fruit at the moment. I replaced the cashews with 1/2 and 1/2 pine nuts and walnuts. Both were good. I left out the raisins and instead added a tsp of sugar to the cooking onions. That worked out really well and I didn’t really miss the dried fruit. I also used regular yogurt instead of vegan yogurt and swapped out bell pepper for the carrot, since that’s what I had.

The flavor of the dish was good and the jackfruit was a very unique aspect. But the consistency was wrong. The picture from the cookbook shoes a nice fluffy biryani with individuated pieces of rice. But my version came out very wet and mushy. More like a sticky rice compote than a biryani. I’m not sure why this happened, but next time I’d halve the vegetable stock. Also, next time I’d pull the cardamom pods out of the rice before combining it with the curry. Worth trying again with some tweaking I think.

Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Ginger

Since my garden is overflowing with cucumbers and tomatoes right now, I’ve been looking for salad recipes to keep up with the onslaught. This very simple Asian salad recipe seemed promising since it would use both veggies as well as my end-of-season basil.

Indeed, this was a real winner. After the mushy cucumber disaster of the cucumber avocado salad, I just made the dressing ahead of time and chopped the cucumber and tomato I needed for a single meal. This strategy worked well. I used Thai basil, which was quite yummy as well. I added Marinated Asian Tofu from Veganomicon to make this a meal. And voila! A very simple tasty fresh lunch was born. I’ll definitely make this again next summer.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint

It was my turn to make the food for my monthly dinner with my neighbors. I was making Asian marinated tofu from Veganomicon and needed a side to go with it. I had planned to make sesame cucumber salad, but found I didn’t have enough cucumbers in my garden. I’ve got a lot of summer squash and mint in my garden right now and my sister has told me repeatedly that she really likes this recipe from Fresh Food Fast. So even though it really wasn’t on theme with Asian tofu, pan-seared summer squash for the win!

If you’re like me and don’t have a griddle, searing the summer squash in round cast iron pans is a bit time consuming. But other than that, this recipe is really easy and comes together fast. I left out the red pepper flakes since I’m avoiding spicy foods. I cut the olive oil in half and the salt by 3/4, which meant I added 1.5 tbsp olive oil and 3/4 tsp of course salt. I think if I was making this for myself instead of guests I’d just use 1 tbsp of oil. But the result was really tasty and my neighbors loved it. One recipe was the perfect amount for three people (plus a 3-year-old who had 1 bite). Surprisingly, it went really well with the Asian tofu, and my neighbor discovered that is was delicious with the tofu on buttered ciabatta to form a funky bahn mi as he called it. Honestly, the funky bahn mi sandwich was so good I’m already craving it again.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash w/ Garlic & Mint

Zucchini-Scallion Chickpea Flour Pancakes

When I was in Germany visiting my sister and her family, Rose made a vegan version of these pancakes (since my mom is vegan and the original recipe has egg). They were so tasty! And since it’s zucchini season in my garden, I thought I’d try to make them.

I made Rose’s original version from her blog with buckwheat flour and egg. Super easy and yummy. Rose made them with dal for dipping, which was surprisingly tasty. But since I’m currently trying to eat low FODMAP, lentils were off the table. Instead, I made them with a cold east African soup from The Ethnic Vegetarian. The combo worked really well!

I made the batter over the weekend and just cooked up the number of pancakes I wanted to each each day right before I ate. This worked really well and I had no issues with the batter keeping all week.

Ian is nervous about eating buckwheat flour, so next time I’m going to try to make a version without the buckwheat and report back. I really liked the buckwheat flavor but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for the texture.