Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

This is one thing I've been wanting to make for a long time: African peanut stew. I've seen many recipes for it with different variations, like adding quinoa, cilantro, etc. After buying Angela's first cookbook, I vowed to finally try her recipe for African peanut stew because it looks so delicious! And it did not disappoint! This stew came together in no time and it's SO good. Would be perfect for a cold day, which hopefully NC is done with for now! But it still makes a great hearty, healthy stew for a weeknight. 

I've had my ice cream maker for about a year now, and this is only the second time I've made ice cream! I definitely want to start using it more because I forget how easy it is to make vegan ice cream. This time, I made coconut mint with fresh mint and coconut milk. The fresh mint gives it a very different flavor than with mint extract. I loved it with the chocolate sauce (which didn't really melt) and it was SO easy. I will definitely make this again!

I've been eyeing these cocktails for a while and finally decided to try my own spin on them. For mine, I did: 1 shot vodka and some torn fresh mint in a cocktail shaker with ice. After shaking, I poured it in a glass and topped with mango kombucha. For Mike's: 1 shot coconut/whipped rum over ice in a shaker with a generous drizzle of sriracha and torn fresh mint. After shaking, I poured it in a glass and topped with mango kombucha. I can't wait to experiment with other kombucha cocktails! 

So I finally started loving cabbage, and now I'm a little obsessed, but now I'm trying to get us to eat it every week. It has so many health benefits that we'd be crazy not to! I made this Asian rainbow salad with spicy mango dressing and sesame broiled tofu for dinner this week. These salads were HUGE! It took me a solid 20-25 minutes just to eat one! It's filled with napa and red cabbages, romaine, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, chopped red onion, chopped carrots, cucumber, and cilantro. The dressing is awesome and spicy, but on the second day I also used some bottled GF peanut sauce which was also great. I will post the sesame tofu recipe from Isa Does It because it's my favorite, quick way to make tofu:

Preheat oven to broiler (high setting). Chop a block of tofu into 8 pieces widthwise (press tofu if you have time). On a dinner plate, mix 3 TBS (GF) soy sauce and 2 TBS sesame oil. Dredge each tofu slice in this mixture and place on baking tray. Broil, 3-5 minutes on each side, being careful it doesn't burn and flipping after the first 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into any shape

More easy meals this week: lentils with spicy tomatoes over polenta with harissa! This was super filling, easy to make, and the polenta was delicious. I skipped the 8 hour setting time for polenta and just served it mushy and warm like it is (because I am supremely lazy, or a student). To make it vegan, I skipped the cheese and used a mix of vegan butter, veg broth, garlic powder, salt + red pepper flakes to add flavor to my polenta. I will definitely use more harissa powder next time because it wasn't very spicy to me.

I love love love trying new spices. Here's a few that maybe you haven't tried yet: garam masala (favorite), za'atar, berbere, coriander, harissa, chinese 5-spice, herbes de provence, Jamaican curry powder, panch phoron. Do any of these ring a bell? I guess when all you do in your free time is cook/bake/read food blogs/read cookbooks/read about food, you start to become familiar with these weird things. So yes, I love buying spices and I finally went to my local Savory Spice Shop to register for a class when I came across panch phoron. Panch Phoron is a Bengali spice blend of (essentially) cumin seeds, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and other delicious spices. I used it in this DELICIOUS cauliflower red lentil dal, which is possibly my new favorite Indian dish. This spice blend has so many layers of flavor that change through out eating this dish. I seriously can't wait to try other spices and other dishes with panch phoron. My advice about new spices is give it a shot! Buy the smallest amount possible (I bought 2 oz of panch phoron for $2) and try it out. You will be amazed at what new flavors you discover!

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