13 July 2017

Maggie's Vegan Massaman Curry

I love Thai food. When Shana and I have something to celebrate, or have people in town visiting, or just a craving for an amazing dinner, we head to Thai 9 in Dayton. In the past two months, we've gone 3 times. Once when my family came to visit, once when Shana's family came to visit, and once to celebrate that I'd been awarded tenure!

While everything there is delicious (we think they must have a wall of avocados because they are always ripe), there's one dish they can't make vegan for me: massaman curry. Their recipe includes half & half and fish sauce. After feeling sad about missing out on massaman curry, I figured I would try to make my own.

In my explorations of possible recipes online, so many had ingredient lists full of things I knew I couldn't get in my town. I started feeling a bit hopeless. But then, one of the recipes I saw had an aside about a really good pre-made curry paste that was also vegan! I jumped on the chance to have massaman curry in my own kitchen and purchased two cans from Amazon. I didn't need to make this more than once; I ordered more the next day. Now I can have massaman curry whenever the mood strikes.



03 July 2017

Vegan Teriyaki Boats

On summer nights, I can't bring myself to heat up my kitchen. But as hot days and warm nights stretch on, I also get sick of grilling dinners and Shana wouldn't be satisfied with continuous salads. This means a recipe that can satisfy the requirements of not heating the kitchen, not using the grill, and not being a salad is a huge win for our summer eating.

This particular recipe was in a special recipe collection called "Best Vegan Recipes" published by Vegetarian Times magazine (which now exists in an altered state under the title Vegetarian Today; I no longer subscribe). Shana and I had been standing in line at a grocery store and saw this special collection. While waiting to check out, I perused it and found so many recipes I wanted to make that we ended up purchasing it.

These teriyaki boats are ridiculously fast and easy - so much so that Shana has made them - and they are delicious and healthy. Everyone we've served them to has enjoyed them and I can see them being quite flexible, if you wanted to add/remove ingredients.  Serve them as a lunch, a light dinner, or even as an appetizer (see Helpful Hints).


10 June 2017

Maggie's Vegan Peachy Cream Bars

Last week, my neighbor brought over 10 beautiful, juicy, perfectly-ripe peaches. She got them from The Peach Truck, which makes runs of Georgia peaches during peach season. I looked at them and daydreamed about them, but then figured I really needed to DO something with them.

The first thing I did was dehydrate six of them. I blanched them (like you do with tomatoes), so that I could remove the skins easily, and then sliced them for the dehydrator. Approximate 6 hours later, we had these chewy, candy-sweet peaches. What is in that tiny bowl is all that remains. Next time, I'll do double the amount.

After that, I needed to figure out what to do with the remaining blanched/peeled peaches. I knew we were having some friends for a late dinner to break their Ramadan fast, so I starting thinking about some kind of dessert. After double-checking that they like peaches and were willing to try a brand new recipe (both of which got enthusiastic positive responses), I starting digging around. One of our friends is completely gluten-free, so  I that was a constraint. I also didn't want to simply make a peach cobbler or pie. I stumbled upon a recipe that seemed like a good place to start. What emerged was a delicious dessert, perfect for a summer sweet tooth.



04 June 2017

Maggie's Vegan Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

My wife love banana bread. LOVES it. Me? I prefer my sweet bread with zucchini. If I have to do banana, I'll do the best banana muffins ever. But Shana had been asking for banana bread - specifically, banana bread that tasted like bananas and included chocolate chips - for a long time.

A few months ago, I gave in to her request and started looking up recipes. I didn't find any that I liked. Undeterred, I made something up. Here's the crazy part: I wrote down what I did. When Shana tried it, she was thrilled. It was just what she wanted.

But the rule for the blog is that I have to make my own recipes at least twice before they appear here. Given my lack of enthusiasm for banana bread, it was a while before I felt like making it again. This weekend, my mother-in-law and step-dude (her husband) came to town and Shana mentioned banana bread when we were discussing breakfast. Three pairs of eyes lit up. In my quick mental check, I realized that my frozen-banana-zone of the freezer (what, you don't have one of those?!) was getting full, so I acquiesced.

It was just a good the second time as it was the first, though I'll still take zucchini bread any day.

It was still a bit warm when I cut it, so look at all that melty chocolate. 


31 March 2017

KMW's Vegan Honduran Black Bean Soup

It was this time two years ago that we were moving into our new house. We are so happy here and a lot of that has to with our neighbors. We have AWESOME neighbors.

One set of our across the street neighbors, Katie and Marc, work at one of the other colleges in town. Both of them are biological anthropologists. They do field work where they dig for bones or artifacts in carefully arranged grids. (And habits die hard; you should have seen them digging a very precise 3'x3' hole for a new tree they planted!) Although they do field work in a variety of places, one of their primary locations is Honduras.

A while back, they invited us over for dinner. They were a little worried about what vegan thing to cook, but then realized that a traditional meal they ate while doing field work in Honduras could easily be made vegan. Katie Neighbor* told me that two women, Rosa Hernandez and Elvia Martinez, in Copan, Honduras taught her the recipe. I'll never meet these women, but I am SO glad they shared with her. This black bean soup was so. freaking. good. Seriously good. The underlying flavor is layered and complex and round. Plus, each of us gets to personalize our own bowl with the via all sorts of add-ins. Finally, while I hate to tell anyone how to eat, whichever add-ins you choose, you simply must add the radishes! Yes, radishes.



05 March 2017

Lazy Dinner Quesadillas

It's been quiet around these here parts, huh? I've got all sorts of backlogged recipes, plus, when spring rolls around I get sick of everything we've been eating over the winter, but still no blog posts. Sad for me (and you!).

But, here's a quick and easy Lazy Dinner (or lunch or snack or appetizer or whatever) to tide you all over until I actually get around to posting real things: quesadillas.

Lazy Dinner Quesadillas were something I would periodically eat when Shana was still working in Indianapolis. Without a plan to come home and make/eat dinner, I would often stay at school until mid-evening and then come home famished. I needed something that would fill my tummy in as little time as possible. By relying on a few convenience foods (e.g., vegan cheese shreds and store-bought tortillas), all I needed was a veggie or two (or three) to throw into the mix. Into a hot pan went my ingredients and a satisfying dinner emerged in under 5 minutes.

This particular LD Quesadilla was prompted by just a few caramelized onions left over from mujaddara we had with friends a few nights ago. The onions are soooooo good that we just couldn't waste them. Adding a few ripped spinach leaves and some vegan cheese and I was all set.


30 January 2017

Alphabentil Soup (veggie soup with pasta & lentils)

I'm not sure it's ever been two months in between blog posts. That's so sad for me (and for you, if you've been looking for new recipes).

A lot has happened since my last blog post. The end of last semester has come and gone, the holidays have passed, a new year has dawned, a new semester started, a new president has been inaugurated - after which protests against his actions have occurred, :"alternative facts" became a thing (?), and I've presented research with one of my undergrads at a conference. Oh, and I submitted my tenure portfolio. (EEEK!!) On top of all of that, it's still January, so the weather is chilly.

Given all of that craziness, I've been seeking out comfort. Comfort from my wife, from friends and family, from rogue twitter accounts and Swear Trek (so good! but includes copious amounts of swearing). I've also been seeking out comfort in the food I've been making and eating, like this soup.

At it's heart, this is nothing more than an unremarkable vegetable soup. But that's part of what makes it so comforting. With the addition of green lentils, with their warm savoriness and toothsome chew, and whimsical alphabet-shaped pasta, this simple soup becomes both comforting and craving-worthy.

You can just see a little pasta "V" below the broccoli in the center.