Monthly Archives: January 2009

Chickpea Curry




Chickpea Curry

Originally uploaded by marleah

This was such an easy meal to whip up, and it’s delicious as leftovers. I got two cans of curry sauce from the health food store (sorry, I am blanking on brand names!), and then added a can of diced tomatoes (drained) and a can of chickpeas (washed and drained). Just in case the things I added took away from the curry flavor, I added a bit more curry powder to the mix. In a separate pan I made some brown rice, and on Ryan’s request did not mix the rice in with the curry – he prefers to layer it on his plate.

Since we can’t find pre-made naan that is vegan, and since I do not have the time to make it myself at the moment, we use pitas instead. It still turns out pretty good!

We’re in demand!

Since we’ve been doing our vegetarian and vegan discussions at the Hays Public Library, we were asked to do a presentation at the Center for Life Experiences for their Community Connections program. The purpose of this program is to connect international students (we have a large international student base for our local university) with local community members, and each time they meet they have a different presentation. Well, just this past Friday we gave a presentation about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, as well as local resources for various ingredients or food substitutions.

We got a lot of great questions, which I thought that, between my husband Ryan and me, we were able to answer clearly and thoroughly. Many of the community members who attended were senior citizens, and some of them were quite traditional. We were met with some skepticism from some, but I think that we are able to hold our own while still being respectful so that our message came across without ruffling too many feathers. I was frustrated when one person mentioned the egg as being “the perfect protein, since everything in it goes to produce a chick.” I replied that yes, the egg is a perfect protein … for the embryonic chick itself, but not necessarily for people, considering the huge amount of cholesterol in one tiny little egg.

Besides the small amount of frustration we experienced, we heard from many people who were quite interested in the topic and who were eager to learn about our lifestyle. On another positive note, we served barbecue tofu and chocolate mousse (made from silken tofu). There were about 30 people there, and all the barbecue tofu got eaten, and we only had a few cups of the chocolate mousse left. In fact, many people took seconds! It’s great to get such a good response to your own cooking.

Anyway, this was a great opportunity, and I hope that there are a few more western-Kansans who are now considering reducing their meat consumption.

Here is a PDF copy of the Powerpoint presentation we gave: Veg Overview

Vegan Thanksgiving

Holy moly – it’s been a long time! And apparently when I take a hiatus, WordPress decides that’s a great time to revamp everything. Sheesh! So school and life got in the way of blogging in the past couple … ok, several months. But that’s how it goes.

Of note in this post, however, is the fact that my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving – and since we were hosting it at our home, we decided that we would have a vegan feast and do all of the cooking! It did take a bit of work, but there was no having the oven on for hours so a turkey would get cooked or any of that nonsense, so there was surprisingly little work for me to do the day of. I woke up really early so that I could get started, but then realized that I didn’t want to start everything too early because then I would have to reheat it when people got to our house around lunch time. So it was one of the most laid-back Thanksgivings I’ve ever witnessed. On to the photos!

First we had salad (not pictured – come on, you know what a salad looks like). Then we had succotash made with edamame – which everyone always thinks are lima beans – corn, red bell pepper, and vegetable broth. This happens to be one of my mother-in-law’s favorite dishes that we make for the holidays. We also made a traditional dressing/stuffing – I admit, this was Pepperidge Farm dressing from the bag, made with vegetable broth rather than chicken broth. This also – surprisingly – has become a secret recipe of my mother-in-law’s, because apparently everyone thinks it tastes so much better with vegetable broth. So that’s how they have started making it too!

Another side was mashed potatoes (made with red potatoes; they have a yellow tint from vegetable broth). I always mix a bit of soy milk and Tofutti Sour Supreme in with these to make them creamy, and it turns out pretty well. We also had quinoa-stuffed acorn squash, inspired by a Compassionate Cooks recipe. These were excellent! Another Compassionate Cooks-inspired recipe was the garlic green beans. I was skeptical about this because I happen to enjoy garlic a lot, and I know that some people don’t. Luckily, most of our visitors were garlic lovers as well.

For the main course, we had harvest chili – my basic chili recipe (which I have posted in the past) with the addition of about half a butternut squash – just simmer or put it on a low boil until the squash is soft! The squash gives the chili a nice sweetness.

Finally for our desserts. For the banana bread, I used a veganized version of this recipe, at Allrecipes.com. Just use Earth Balance instead of butter and Ener-G egg replacer instead of the egg. I’ve had some people comment that my vegan version was the best banana bread they had ever had! It just goes to show that “vegan” does not necessarily equal “bland” … or “healthy”! I also made the German Apple Cake from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s cookbook, Joy of Vegan Baking (can you tell I’m a fan of hers?). This cake turned out really moist and full of flavor. Then we had our family’s traditional pudding pie:  veganized chocolate pudding mix – made with soymilk – put into a graham cracker crust. You can tell we are real gourmets in this house! Finally, I made another Joy of Vegan Baking recipe, the Pumpkin Pie. This was made with silken tofu, and it helped me realize that my food processor is way too small – I had to process everything bit by bit to get it smooth. My mom – not vegan – commented that it tasted just like homemade pumpkin pie. This too I just put into a storebought crust – hey, it was my first time hosting Thanksgiving, so give me a break.

For the most part, it went well. Everyone who ate with us (and trust me, there were a few who didn’t – which was frustrating for me after all that work) had positive comments, and the fact that no dead animals or their products was present didn’t even come up in conversation. I’m pretty sure we will do this again next year, because it was very relaxing for us. We typically have to go to everyone else’s homes, which means that we have three Thanksgivings where we can eat maybe a third of the food. This year staying home suited us just fine.