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Logo Veggie ChallengeIn June and July this year, the Dutch youth foundation Viva Las Vega’s organized the Veggie Challenge: a dare to eat less animal produce for at least one day a week during a whole month. Depending on their diet, participants would set their own goals, i.e. 1 day vegetarian for omnis, a day vegan for vegetarians, an extra day veggie for flexitarians et cetera. 2000+ people gave it a go! Among them were three people I know — and no, I had nothing to do with that ;) Curious about their experiences, I decided to interview them for VeganMoFo.

First up is YvonneP from Loisirs et Plaisirs. I met her on-line 14 years ago (!) when I joined the Dutch Boekgrrls, a virtual book club by mailinglist, exclusively for women. :) Later I got to know her in real life on book-related outings (swaps!).

YvonneP’s asked to be represented by this colourful picture of red, blue and purple fruit. That doesn’t surprise me, as she once initiated a summer theme on the Kookgrrls’ blog for which she made a pink blackberry-yoghurt pudding/blob. I wonder if it can be veganized..?

fruit and berries

Before the Veggie Challenge (VC) I was maybe a flexitarian. I ate very little meat (don’t like most meat), sometimes fish, some cheese, but I love eggs, yoghurt and soft cheese (kwark). So that could be the hard part of the vegan thing.

When I read about the VC I thought it was the best I could do, because of all the alarming news about food. I am really worried about the way food is produced and the way we are not told the truth about production mistakes, etc. Though I am not the sentimental type about animals I do not think it is right the way they are treated to serve as food.

So I decided to eat 2 days vegetarian and 2 days vegan. The other 3 days I would try to slow down eating ‘wrong’ things. Well, I ended up by doing the challenge for 2 months and now, we still eat vegetarian, very, very little fish, eggs and cheese. Even our way of shopping has changed. No supermarkets anymore, no ‘grootgrutter‘, but we buy our food at EkoPlaza. So, in fact, everything from the challenge lasts. I am still refining… :-)

In the beginning I did not know what to eat my bread with on the vegan days. But then I discovered all kinds of spreads and now, long time after the challenge we never buy anything else. Those spreads were my biggest discovery! And because it was sometimes very hot I made loads of strawberry (!!) basil ice and melon mint ice! Just blend the fruits and put them in the freezer. Love fruits, love strawberries, love blueberries, love myrtilles (don’t know the English word for it).

I can not decide what was the best we ate. I ate one recipe from the Provamel publication 20 Winnaars met smaak (shared below) with tofu and oranges that was extremely tasteful, but then again: so much was so tasteful.

My partner joined me in the challenge and he is now addicted to lentil curry spread. Does not want anything else on his bread. I do not know what he eats when he is traveling for business, but at home he eats what I make and he likes it…

I have told enthusiastically about the VC to others, but everyone has to decide for themselves whether they do it or not. I liked it very much, but maybe because the time was right for me…

Wow. I’m very impressed how YvonneP (and her partner!) went way beyond her goals while she’d expected it to be difficult. It’s had a huge impact on their lives; a real success story! That’s several animal lives saved a year — yay YvonneP!

Tofu Curry with Orange

Serves: 4
Estimated time: 45 minutes
Recipe by Great Baten
Source: Provamel publication 20 Winnaars met smaak p.20-21

Ingredients

  • 225 g tofu
  • 250 g apple-green tea flavoured soygurt (Provamel)
  • 1 organic orange
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbs raisins
  • 2 tbs almond flakes
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs 100% vegetable margarine
  • 1 tbs curry powder or curry paste of choice
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • salt ’n pepper

Preparation

  1. Wash the orange and grate some of the skin until you’ve got half a tablespoon of orange zest.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the orange, add the raisins and et them soak until needed.
  3. Shortly toast the almond flakes in a non-stick pan. Don’t take your eyes of them! ;)
  4. Chop the cilantro and onion (keep them separate).
  5. Cut the tofu into small blocks.
  6. Heat the oil and margarine together in a pan. Add the curry (powder or paste) and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Add the tofu and onion. Stirfry on high heat.
  8. Add orange juice & raisins, orange zest, apple-tea yofu, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Garnish with almonds and cilantro and serve with rice.

Sounds like an easy recipe that I must try sometime! Personally I would insert a step #0 to drain the tofu first (how to do this is described in steps 1&2 of the Faux Feta recipe on Graasland). And maybe add some cinnamon which, to me, seems to go perfect with this dish. What do you think?

Next week:Uniflame from She Likes Bento.

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Join us with a food related post in Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

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Our third season of CSA has come to a closing. Now we’ll need to decide on which veggies to buy all by ourselves again… Not an easy task! #lazybums

Last organic CSA veggies of the year (week 51, 2010)

  • purslane
  • leek
  • thyme
  • red cabbage
  • choggia beets
  • apples
  • variety of onions: shallot, red and white

When I got beets last time I made Nigel Slater’s Beetroot Seeds Cake and it was goooood!

Nigel Slater's Beetroot seeds cake

Clicking on the picture will bring you to Flickr, where I’ve put up the link to the on-line recipe and some adaptations I made.

Yesterday was another Meatless Monday (Plantaardig Maandag) and supposed to be December’s #twitterfoodparty about squash, so I made a vegan Indian curry with basmati rice and (prefab) mango chutney with last week’s hokkaido pumpkin. The picture didn’t turn out too great but it tasted better than it looks. ;) Anyway, the food party got postponed due to too many ‘twabsentees‘…! If you want to join in, just make something with squash on January 10th, use the hashtag and tweet a picture!

Vegan pumpkin curry with basmati rice and mango chutney

So, no more CSA (b)log posts until the first week of May 2011. Some of you might think that a good thing… But hopefully not all???

We’re already two days into November and I haven’t even posted the last veggies of October yet. So let me present to you our wholesome winter food of this week.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 43, 2010

  • Cox’s apples
  • mini pumpkins (great for Halloween!)
  • white cabbage
  • celeriac
  • small beets
  • curly red-leaf lettuce

Menu plan for October 28th – November 4th

  • Root night‘: French carrot soup, celery root au gratin, spicy beet salad with walnuts and fresh tomato salad [Thursday]
  • Cabbage quiche & lettuce with leftover eggplant-lentil salad [Friday]
  • Italian flag menu‘: Andy McDonald’s red beet risotto with Salade Caprese [Saturday]
  • Halloween dinner: Kookgrrl Ellen’s Indian vegetable curry with cashews served in pumpkin with basmati rice [Sunday]
  • Stir-fried cauliflower with Nigella’s ‘tomato & red onion couscous’, beet hummus and falafel
  • pitah bread with easy looking spinach balls from Louanne’s Kitchen, beet hummus, salad & sauce (balls possibly swapped for prefab falafel)
  • sambal goreng tofu, cabbage & bean sprout lalab (cucumber & steamed vegetables; carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, leek) with home-made sambal bawang (hot pepper sauce with shallots), rice/nasi goreng (fried rice)
    [Wednesday/Thursday; when mungo beans have sprouted]

Today I’ll be eating out with wlfr (a.k.a. @variomatic), who gets a small jar of the home-made sambal bawang. I hope he likes it! Mr Gnoe (a.k.a. @no1song) will have a dinner of leftovers or whatever else takes his fancy.

Since we’re already halfway the menu plan, I can show you some pictures of our food. Why wait till next blogpost, eh? ;)

Beetroot Risotto

Italian tricolore menu: salade Caprese & red beet risotto

Italian tricolore menu: Salade Caprese & red beet risotto

This beetroot risotto has become a returning guest at our dinner table. The colour is awesome and it tastes delish too ;)

Although we mainly follow the original recipe, we always swap a little of the vegetable broth for wine (red or white) and we normally skip the part where we’re supposed to make green herb oil from scratch: we just throw in some herbs and/or pick one of our bottles of infused oils. But since we have a lot of fresh herbs at the moment (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, celery), it seemed silly not to use them this time around.

Indian veggie curry with cashews served in pumpkin

Indian vegetable curry with cashews served in pumpkin

Halloween night: Indian vegetable curry with cashews served in pumpkin

I only needed to buy a cauliflower to make this smooth curry recipe that seemed perfect for the two small pumpkins from our CSA batch. I had some coconut milk waiting to be used up and a piece of ageing zucchini; added carrots, frozen peas and a potato. Instead of roasting the squash in the oven, I nuked it in 1/3 of the time at 850 Watt. It was YUM!

Today’s bento is a mix of several Asian dishes. Yes, Gnoe likes her Asian foodies :)

Upper tier

  • Indian egg-tomato curry (one of our all-time favourites!)
  • Japanese edamame
  • Indonesian nasi goreng
  • gherkin fox
  • cucumber
  • two types of parsley
  • on a bed of lettuce

Lower tier

  • Indonesian emping
  • raspberries and red currants
  • yoghurt coated apricot
  • carrots
  • basil
  • and another fox

Selamat makan!

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