South Indian chickpea and eggplant stew

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This will be a short post since we have to jet out the door for swimming lessons. Today’s dinner is South Indian chickpea and eggplant stew. It’s fromĀ Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook.

It was quick to make – blended the sauce, cooked the onions and garlic with spices and added the sauce, simmered it a bit and then added the rest to finish it off. It was really good.

I didn’t bother making my picky eater taste the eggplant since we’re in such a hurry and he did complain about the sauce but with encouragement, he ate it. It’s good for him to push his taste comfort a bit.

Have a good evening! Off we go!

 

Pizzas with caesar salad

vegan pizza

I made pesto the other day so I’ve been planning on making a pizza for me with pesto and roasted veggies with a cashew cheese instead of the kiddie version we usually make with Daiya. Served with a caesar salad, it’s the perfect meal.

But, of course, the kids won’t eat the pizza I want – the pesto is covered with roasted garlic and onions – so they get their own. All the leftovers go into the freezer for last minute lunches so it’s worth my effort to make two large pizzas.

I was originally going to make the pizza from my new cookbook but I would have had to start it yesterday to have it today! The dough is supposed to sit in the fridge overnight, cashews are supposed to soak overnight, the onions, garlic and peppers are supposed to be caramelized and roasted separately… it was too much prep work. Not to mention the dishes!

So went with my tried and true quick pizza dough (takes about 5 minutes to mix and then 10 minutes to rest and it’s ready to use). I used the pesto I made on the weekend. I chopped the onion, peppers and peeled the garlic cloves, tossed them in olive oil and roasted them in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes (on one pan).

vegan pizza
My pizza has pesto, cashew cheese, vegan sausages, roasted onions, peppers and garlic on a whole wheat crust.

I used the quick soak method for the cashew cheese, adding boiling water and letting them soak for 30 minutes or so and followed the mozzarella recipe inĀ The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes.

When I got to the end of the recipe, I noticed it said to let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours before using. That didn’t happen. But I didn’t use it all, I guess I’ll see if the time in the fridge improves the flavour or texture of the cheese. It was nice on the pizza.

I wouldn’t call it mozzarella, though. Cashew cheese is delicious in its own right. When we name it a traditional cheese name, like mozzarella, it disappoints because it isn’t the same thing. This cheese was dropped in spoonfuls onto the pizza – it doesn’t spread or melt. But it does taste good. And with the pesto, roasted vegetables and vegan sausages, it was REALLY good.

The kids’ pizza

vegan kid pizza
The kids pizza has Daiya cheese, vegan sausage and roasted yellow pepper with tomato sauce.

Both pizzas were topped with roasted yellow peppers and vegan sausages made by Fieldroast. So far, these are the only sausages my kids enjoy – the Fieldroast Apple Sage Sausage. They were delicious with the caramelized onions, peppers and garlic. We enjoy the other flavours but the kids find them too spicy. Their pizza has tomato sauce from our freezer stash.

The salad

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When I was making the salad, I originally planned to top it with the eggplant bacon from the Edgy Veg but the eggplant took too long to sweat and then marinate. The next step is to bake for an hour or longer in a not so hot oven but this would have cut into the pizza baking time. So I saved half the caesar dressing to make the salad I wanted to make tonight, tomorrow.

In the meantime, I tossed half the dressing with romaine lettuce, a red bell pepper, cucumber and a large tomato. I topped it with hemp seeds and sea salt. And put the black pepper grinder on the table (my daughter has no tolerance for black pepper). My son isn’t into salads so he got his cucumber and red pepper in stick form on the side of his plate.

 

Spiced carrot soup with red lentils

Vegan carrot soup
Carrot soup made with red lentils, cumin and curry powder. It’s garnished with red pepper flakes.

I may have come down a bit harshly on the lowly red lentil in last night’s post so I thought I’d give an example of a recipe that works well with red lentils. Red lentils are the secret ingredient in this carrot soup making it thick and creamy enough to banish the chill from our bones.

It has been snowing since last night and I’m hoping the smell of dinner cooking will make up for the fact that I have refused go back out to shovel the driveway for a second time today. I summoned all my will to force my aching body to clear the last of the snow this morning. When I went to leave the house but saw the snowplow had deposited a new, rock-hard pile at the end of my no-longer clear driveway, I drove right over it!

This soup will melt any hard feelings. The carrots are sweet and the cumin and curry gives it a bit of a kick without overwhelming the kids. The grown-ups’ soup is garnished with red pepper flakes.

Carrot soup with red lentils

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste

Heat a large pot over medium heat and toast the spices until they’re fragrant (it takes about a minute). Add the remaining ingredients (except the salt) and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt according to taste.

FYI – my daughter came in the door singing, “I hope Mommy shovelled the driveway, I hope Mommy shovelled the driveway!” So, I guess the subject came up on the car ride home – but all was forgiven thanks to this yummy soup.

I served it with homemade bread – the dough was ready in the fridge, I just had to preheat the oven and bake it while I made the rest of dinner. We had the rest of the lentils I had cooked for last night’s dinner with basmati rice cooked in cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric and garam masala.

My son asked me to make this dinner every night. If I had to, I could live on this too! But they’ll have to be happy with having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.