I’ve had caldo verde on my list of dishes to try for a while. I recently found myself with extra collards during an especially cold March week. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try this recipe for Caldo Verde from the New York Times. The recipe is not vegan, but was easily made so by swapping the sausage for my favorite vegan sausage and the chicken broth for homemade veggie broth.
The ingredient list is short and the recipe was easy and quick to make. It would make a great weeknight dish. The whole thing was done in 30 minutes. The recipe said to cook the potatoes for 25 minutes, but mine were done in 15.
Even with the list of flavorings pretty limited (garlic, onion, broth), the soup was plenty flavorful. I made the soup by using onion and garlic oil instead of whole garlic and onion. I’m sure the dish would have been even better with the onion and garlic left in. I do think the dish would have benefited from a little more liquid. Next time I’d add an extra cup of broth. The recipe said to use 3-5 ounces of sausage. I used five and it was too much. Next time I’d use 3-4. Also, the vegan sausage became a bit water logged after I added it to the soup. Next time I’d keep it separate and just add the pieces each time I ate it.
I’ve been trying to go back to old cookbooks and try new recipes that I’ve previously overlooked. In one of these reviews, I found this intriguing slaw in Veganomicon. I previously overlooked the recipe because I don’t really care for parsnips. But I love beets and am eating more pineapple since it’s one of the low fodmap fruits I can eat, so I thought I’d try it. The recipe is pretty easy to make. You just shred the raw veggies, chop mint, and then combine the vinaigrette ingredients.
The vinaigrette calls for an absurd amount of pineapple juice (2 cups). I used 1.5 cups and thought it was still an unnecessary amount. The slaw was a bit too wet and sweet for me. Even with the nice mint flavor and the beets, the flavor of the parsnips was offputting to me. I found I could only eat small amounts of this at a time. On the plus side, it kept for two weeks in my fridge without going bad because of the pineapple juice. I don’t think I’d make it again, but if I did I’d swap half the parsnips for carrots and halve the pineapple juice.
On my quest to start eating Indian food again, I was very excited to make this recipe for potato carrot curry in a coconut sauce. The recipe was pretty easy. It called for 2 tbsp cumin seeds and 2 tbsp curry powder. That seemed high so I used 1 tbsp of each. I also left out the onion and garlic and used onion/garlic oil instead. Since I’m still trying to avoid spicy foods, I left out the serrano chilies as well.
This was super tasty and very little work to make. Definitely something I’d make again when I don’t feel like making something too complicated.
I’ve been wanting to try making congee for a while now. Simple and soothing, sounds good to me. I was intrigued by this recipe in the New York times for butternut squash congee with chile oil. I couldn’t use butternut squash since it’s high fodmap, so I used acorn squash instead. Maybe acorn squash is way more watery than butternut? Because the congee came out super watery. I’ve never had it before, but I can’t imagine that was the intended consistency. This wasn’t bad, but I do think the butternut would have made for a richer, sweeter porridge. I also didn’t add the chile oil because I’m avoiding spicy foods. I’m sure that would have made it more flavorful as well. This was alright, but I wasn’t jumping to eat the leftovers. Not sure if I’ll try making congee again. Time will tell.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from New York times, but I made a lot of changes to the flavor profile and the greens and also made it low fodmap. This was possibly the best rice dish I have ever made. So so good, super easy, and all in one pot. A great weeknight dish. It also keeps really well for leftovers. Here’s the recipe:
2 cups long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati (I used white basmati)
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 bunch wild onion or scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (I used the wild onion that grows in my yard)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground dry turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp grated fresh tumeric
1/4 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
1(14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
3 strands of saffron
2 tsp kosher salt
2 bunches collard greens
1 lime, zested and juiced (keep zest and juice separate)
Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
In a medium pot or Dutch oven, toast the coconut and sesame seeds over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.) Transfer to a small bowl.
In the same pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-low. Add the scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until as dark as possible without being burned (4-8 minutes)
Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and scallions (If you don’t need this to be low fodmap you can skip steps 3 and 4 and just add the scallions and garlic in with the coconut oil in step 5)
Add the ginger and fresh tumeric to the oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the ginger is cooking, bloom the saffron in small bowl of very hot water.
Add the dry tumeric and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes
Add the rice and stir together. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, saffron with its water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Fill the empty can of coconut milk with water and add it to the pot. Give the mixture a good stir to separate any lumps and bring to a boil over medium-high.
Once boiling, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
As rice cooks, remove and discard the tough stems of the collards. Cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, arrange the greens on top of the rice in an even layer and add final 1/2 tsp salt.
Cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 5 more minutes. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the lime zest.
Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
Stir in lime juice, coconut-sesame mixture, and the scallion greens.
Last month I was experimenting with adding soluble fiber to my diet. I overdid it and ended up with a week of stomach aches. But during that period I tried several recipes that use oats in interesting ways. This vegan burger recipe is one of them. Since I haven’t been eating beans, I haven’t made veggie burgers in a while. I was intrigued by this bean-less burger recipe, which uses squash as the binder and pecans as the protein source.
I made some modifications to make them low fodmap and increase the protein. I chopped up the cranberries and used half what was called for (since I wasn’t positive how they’d digest). I also doubled the flax seeds and added some extra walnuts (maybe 1.3x what was called for?). I fried the onion in the oil and then removed it. I then added about a cup combined of shredded carrot and zucchini to the oil and fried for another two minutes.
I was a little unsure how an oat-based burger would come out. But I was really surprised by how much I liked them. The flavor was really good and I enjoyed the texture as well. These were festive for fall, easy, and tasty. I’d make them again.
I needed to use up kale from my garden before it went to seed. And I was in the mood for tacos. So I decided to try this recipe for sweet potato and kale taco filling. The recipe calls for grated sweet potatoes. I was a little skeptical of this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The texture was great in the tacos. The recipe is super fast and easy and very tasty. I made it with this tempeh chorizo recipe and kidney beans. The combo was great. I’ll definitely make this again. In fact I already bought another sweet potato!
Recently, one of my neighbors was giving away a bunch of vegetarian cookbooks. In the pile was Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott, a cookbook I know my mother owns and likes.
The first recipe I tried was this rice noodle dish from page 164. Nancie describes the dish as easy to prepare and indeed it was. I could see myself making this on a weeknight when I want something comforting and indulgent as an alternative to ordering take out.
The recipe calls for a dark sweet soy sauce called si-yu but offers an alternative combo of regular soy sauce and brown sugar. I used this option since I didn’t have si-yu. But next time I go to the asian market I’ll be looking for si-yu so I can try making this again. The other change I made was reducing the oil. Nancie calls for 3 tbsp. I only used 4 tsp. Next time I think I’d try cutting it to 1 tbsp since the dish was still pretty high calorie.
I followed the timing of the dish carefully and the veggies came out crisp, just like I like them. The flavor of the dish was peppery and savory. And the eggs add a creamy aspect. Very yummy. Nancie calls for offering chili vinegar as a condiment, but I didn’t have any. So instead I used about a teaspoon of rice vinegar on each bowl, which added to the flavor. I’d like to pick up chili vinegar for the next time I make this.
Update: So far I’ve made this twice, once for myself and once for my sister’s family while in Germany. It was a hit both times. Easy, tasty, filling, and indulgent. A very good weeknight dish indeed. The only issue we had with the dish was the ratio of pasta to broccoli. Everyone, including my seven-year-old niece, agreed it needed more broccoli. Although I think I messed up the proportions when I made it for my sister’s family, so it probably was more that than the recipe. Still, I’d do 4 cups of broccoli instead of 3 and probably 7 ounces of pasta instead of 8 and see how that went. The other issue I had both times was volume. Flipping this recipe without a big wok is really hard. Next time I’m going to try making it in my cast iron dutch oven and see how that goes instead.
My sister posted this recipe on her blog. I’ve never actually made mole. Since this recipe just kind of creates the mole in the broth of the stew, it seemed like a good starter mole recipe. I used 85% chocolate instead of the 70% called for. I used two dried red chilies and two jalapenos and there was absolutely no spice in the final dish. It’s possible that somehow I ended up with jalapenos with no spice in them. Who knows. I also used double the kale called for.
The recipe calls for you to cook the dish in the oven for two hours. I did do this, but my sister says she didn’t and the dish tasted fine. So it might be an unnecessary step.
The final dish had a nice flavor, and I enjoyed eating it the first time. But I didn’t want to eat it the next day. It just wasn’t interesting or indulgent enough to hold my interest. I added 8 oz of cubed seitan, and I thought this really helped the dish. With the seitan it felt more indulgent and I enjoyed it for the rest of the week.
I was intrigued by this recipe for the popular hangover cure soup from page 99 of The Peruvian Vegan Cookbook. I liked the idea of a cilantro broth. And the potatoes and peppers in the picture looked so hearty and satisfying.
The recipe warns that the soup should be eaten immediately after making it, because it thickens with time. I actually didn’t have the thickening issue. However, I did find that the soup was much tastier the first night I made it. I suppose with time the cilantro looses some of it’s flavor. If I was rating it from the first niht, I’d give this recipe an A-. It was so flavorful unique, and satisfying. But the score dropped on the second day. Still good, just not quite so flavorful.
Overall, I found the potatoes in the recipe were a bit bland. I think I could enhance the second-day flavor of the recipe by using broth instead of water, which is what this recipes called for. I’m going to try making it again with a high-flavor broth and see if I can up the second-day flavor factor. Overall, even with that issue though, it was very good.