janet @ the taste space

Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

Curried Tomato Spaghetti Squash & Chickpeas

In Mains (Vegetarian) on February 26, 2015 at 7:15 AM

Curried Tomato Spaghetti Squash & Chickpeas

Oddly enough, these last few months have been the hardest for me to blog. My new normal is scrambling the night before to cobble together a post. The recipes and photos are ready to go but I just don’t know what to say.

It isn’t that I am getting bored with my eats (I am most certainly not) but they are certainly fitting a similar theme each week. What can I say? I know what I like and I like to eat it.

Curried Tomato Spaghetti Squash & Chickpeas

Here, I took Gabby’s recipe which took an Indian-spiced tomato sauce with some (leftover, in my case) roasted spaghetti squash and cooked chickpeas. It did not disappoint in the slightest. Something a bit different than my bean-centric curries, loaded with strands of spaghetti squash. Totally a winner.

What are your oft-repeated meals?

Curried Tomato Spaghetti Squash & Chickpeas

I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes.

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Asian Veggie Noodle Bowl with a Miso-Ginger Sauce

In Mains (Vegetarian) on February 24, 2015 at 8:04 AM

Asian Veggies and Noodles in a Miso-Ginger Sauce

As I told you earlier, this weekend Rob and I completed the pool portion of our PADI scuba certification. Amidst Toronto’s cold, donning bathing suits in an 86F pool (and all the scuba gear) was a pleasant adventure, as we each described our plans for wanting to learn how to scuba dive. Some of the participants were going to head to Grenada for an ecological mission, others to Indonesia and Thailand but the majority, like us, were preparing for Caribbean destinations in a few short weeks.

The interesting thing about PADI certification, is that while yes, you learn how to scuba dive, the majority of the training is how to work your way through different challenges and how not to inflict harm on yourself. Lung overexpansion injuries, decompression syndrome, and contaminated air, it was actually kind of neat and definitely not anything we learned in medical school. If anything, Rob and I will probably be very happy spending more time in shallow waters than using more air in deeper depths. But we’ll see what it is like when we get there.

If you are at all interested in water ecology and environments, I highly recommend this excellent article all about jellyfish. Fascinating look at how they are taking over the waters.

However, I am willing to bet you are here for some good food. This is a basically a noodle topped with stir-fried veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, and even some edamame) and fried tofu then doused in a miso-ginger sauce. I used kelp noodles here but soba would work equally well.  I also think this would work great with a quinoa or brown rice base, too, but it is nice to mix things up. Enjoy!

How are you keeping warm during this blast of cold? My thoughts are still with those digging out in Atlantic Canada (see the impressive photos here).
Asian Veggies and Noodles in a Miso-Ginger Sauce

This is my submission to this month’s Pasta Please.

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Orange Red Lentil Soup with Coriander and Star Anise

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on February 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

One can never have too many soup recipes, especially during the heart of this very cold winter.

However, this isn’t your standard red lentil soup. Have I ever shared a standard recipe? Probably not.

The red lentils are infused with coriander and star anise, spiked with orange juice and a touch of fresh ginger gives you a bit of a bite. This split pea soup has also has ginger and coriander, but the orange and star anise were a refreshing twist. Flavours that seemed a tad unusual but worked very well.

Not as unusual as some of your chocolate suggestions, though. I am totally intrigued by Gabby’s homemade chocolate shampoo! I love reading them, so please keep them coming!

Red lentil soups shared here previously:

Creamy Red Lentil, Spinach and Lemon Soup

Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

Red Lentil and Lemon Soup

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime

Tomato Red Lentil Soup with Dill

Orange Red Lentil Soup with Coriander and Star Anise

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays.

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Bengali Squash with Black Chickpeas

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 17, 2015 at 7:04 AM

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

This weekend was a doozy of a cold fest. With the long weekend, I briefly contemplated using the snow in my favour by breaking out the snowshoes… until I realized just how cold it was. With temperatures near -40C with the wind, Rob and I opted to stay inside most the weekend.

We actually had a plan. We needed to study.

We are working to becoming PADI scuba certified. Since our wedding in one of the best places to go scuba diving, we decided to capitalize on the uniqueness of the location. 5 hours of videos, 300 pages of a manual and multiple questions, we spent the majority of the weekend tucked away reading. Next weekend, we will attempt our pool portion of the training. Sadly, outdoor dives here will not resume until June, so we won’t be certified before we go, but it will make it much easier to go scuba diving.

 

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

 

Around this time of year, it is probably a good idea for us to go through our pantries and cold rooms. Please tell me I am not the only one with winter squashes that always seem to linger throughout the winter. No better time to use the winter squash along with a new variety of bean. Especially in curry form.

Susan gifted me these black chickpeas awhile back and I will admit, I prefer regular chickpeas. However, this curry was spectacular. There were a multitude of spices, added at different times to the curry, which created a rather optimally spiced dish. The fennel and panch phoran make this Bengali-inspired and a bit different from our typical curries. The black chickpeas made for a beautiful visual contrast but regular chickpeas could work, too.

How did you stay warm this weekend? Any scuba divers with beginner tips? 🙂

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

I am sharing this with Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and Extra Veg.

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Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

Happy Valentine’s Day!

While the blogosphere blows up with desserts, here is a fun way to add even more chocolate to your meals. Cocoa jerk tofu tacos. No stranger to brightly flavoured jerk foods (e.g. Jamaican Jerk Plantain Soup and the ever classic Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Wraps), I have never seen it with the addition of chocolate.

The recipe is courtesy of Superfoods for Life, Cocoa which is a vegan cookbook devoted to adding more chocolate to your meals. The book explains the health benefits of chocolate and shows you ways to incorporate it into your breakfast, lunch and dinner, including desserts (obviously). Sweet and savoury.

This has been my favourite recipe so far, and I probably would not have tried it had Sayward not raved about it. The perfect balance of tangy, spicy (not too spicy) with flavourful spices (allspice, oregano, cinnamon) and the raw cocoa powder merely lent a deeper flavour. This did not taste like chocolate. It was also really simple to put together, with a quick marinade mixed in a baking dish which was then baked altogether. I served it as tacos with a spoonful of mashed avocado but Matt also recommends eating it with a side of rice, beans and/or plantains. Rob doesn’t like onions too much, so if you are like him, reduce or replace the onions with more bell peppers.

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

It took me awhile to review this cookbook because I quickly realized it is hard to eat chocolate so often. Even with the savoury meals, sometimes I got tired with my leftovers prematurely so I had to space them out. I will also admit was not that adventurous to try all of Matt’s suggestions yet (bana ghanoush with cocoa powder, cocoa coleslaw, choco-spinach lasagna). However, it just goes to show you how novel some of these recipes truly are.

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

I wish the cookbook was organized more intuitively for finding the recipes, but I cannot determine the method to their madness. I think they are organized based on health benefits (ie, preventing stroke, diabetes, etc). The chapters are labelled as such: Heart-Healthy Cacao: Little Bean, Lots of Benefits and Cacao on the Brain: From Stroke Prevention to Cognitive Function.

Here is a sample of the recipes shared elsewhere:

Aztec-Style Chocolate Drink (Two Ways)

Chocolate-Cocoa Za’atar Pesto Balls

Cocoa Mango Lassi

Coconut Shortbread-Double Brownie Delight

Raw Chocolate Carrot Cake

Rich Chocolaty Vegetable Tarts

Tamarind Chocolate Chili

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite unusual way to enjoy chocolate. The winner will be selected at random on February 22, 2015. Good luck!

PS. I am sharing this with Vegetable Palette.

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Kale Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on February 12, 2015 at 8:21 AM

Kale Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Life would be boring is I only ate the same thing everyday.

Except if it for a few days thanks to leftovers. That’s how I roll.

I used to eat a grapefruit every.single.morning. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I ate a grapefruit. Perhaps in Houston. Suffice it to say, it has been a while.

Kale Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I probably should have spent more time devouring citrus while in Texas because ripe and sweet grapefruits are delicious. Sometimes you are lucky to find them in Canada, too. In this case, I went with something more unique and added it to a kale salad. I also experimented with raw fennel, which was a touch bitter for me (especially paired with the grapefruit), so add that to taste.  A bit of coconut was reminiscent of the Caribbean. The flageolet beans, perfect for adding to salads, was a way for me to make this a complete meals instead of a side salad.

Do you eat grapefruit?

Kale Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes and Souper Sundays.

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Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on February 10, 2015 at 7:59 AM

Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

Howdy! I don’t have much to say today… other than to highly suggest making this soup. Bonus points if you make it and you don’t have snow outside. It will still taste delicious.

The coconut-infused broth is silky smooth with spicy hints of sriracha and ginger, balanced by the lime juice and cilantro and packed with good-for-you veggies like sweet potato and cabbage. Oh, and there are red lentils in there to make this a complete meal. The cabbage was fun because they were inadvertently like noodles with their long strands.

Dig in!

Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays and No Croutons Required.

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Yellow Split Chickpeas with Spinach (Chana Dal Sat-Bhaji)

In Mains (Vegetarian) on February 7, 2015 at 8:37 AM

Yellow Split Chickpeas with Spinach (Chana Dal Sat-Bhaji)

(Continuing with making a curry each week, although not necessarily blogging about them each week, ha!)

If you are looking for recipes with a pressure cooker, other than JL’s new book, I recommend checking out Indian cookbooks. Or more specifically, I knew there were plenty of bean-centric pressure cooker recipes in one of my Indian cookbooks, 1000 Indian Recipes. I ventured forth with a dish that required no pre-soaking and cooked reasonably fast.

Thank you, chana dal, which are split black chickpeas. They are more crunchy than most beans I cook although that may because I didn’t cook them with too much water (2:1 water to bean ratio, weird). This dish could also be made without a pressure cooker, it would just take longer and I would add the greens later.

While dill might seem like an unusual ingredient for curry, I know it works really well (see this fabulous chickpea dill curry). The tomato is familiar to both Indian and European foods although this is purely Indian with the ginger, cumin, garlic and cilantro. The spinach almost melted by the weight of the pressure cooker, so I may try something different next time (like using baby spinach added at the end) or use a heartier green like kale.

Rob gave me a high five for finishing up the last of our chana dal. I say high five for the chana dal for still being awesome after all these years on my bean shelf!! Yeah! 🙂

Yellow Split Chickpeas with Spinach (Chana Dal Sat-Bhaji)

I am sharing this with Credit Crunch Munch, Cooking with Herbs and Eat Your Greens.

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Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 3, 2015 at 7:01 AM

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Full disclosure: In the fall, I had a full-blown case of cooking ennui. It probably evolved from a combination of immobility from my fracture, beginning my new job and the stress of starting to plan for our wedding.

I ended up buying a lot more prepared foods than ever before. At the farmer’s market close to our house, they would sell flavoured tofu and would easily at least 2 packets per week. My favourite was the miso-flavoured tofu. They also have a sweet and sour one, but miso was the best. When I tried this recipe for “sweet and sour marinaded tofu” is was a close approximation to the miso tofu (and not sweet and sour). Go figure. A bit more salty but you only notice it if you eat it cold from the fridge. Added to a bowl of vegetables and some quinoa, you have a seriously delicious and balanced meal.

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

This recipe is courtesy of Aine Carlin’s new cookbook Keep It Vegan. Another blogger that I have been following for a while, it is my pleasure to share her recipes with you. She blogs at Pea Soup Eats and her British influence is obvious throughout her book of comfort vegan foods: Morning Oat Jacks, Shepherdess Pie with Sweet Potato Topping, Chana Masala, Mexican-Style Lasagna, Red Lentil and Spinach Lasagna, Braised Red Cabbage with Apple, Chocolate Chestnut Pie, Summer (Bread) Pudding, and Banana Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce Sundae. Her recipes are approachable without too many esoteric ingredients (beyond what is normally found in a vegan pantry) but she also includes unusual and creative ideas like Bloody Mary Bruschetta, Breakfast Brownie with a Strawberry Bottom, Rosemary-and-Pear-Stuffed-French Toast and even Sweet Potato and Kiwi Soup.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Rob made the Hole Mole Black Bean Chili which was excellent, although we skipped the chocolate part. And we snuck in some leftover tamarind chickpea curry from Vegan Without Borders. But is was still excellent.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

But these tofu bites were spectacular. A strong-flavoured miso-based marinade infused the tofu for a few hours and then they were lightly pan-fried for a delicious crispy crust. It reminded me of old-school vegan eats (aka this classic tofu dish dubbed Sweet and Sour, Hot and Spicy Tofu) and I added it to a bowl of almost roasted red peppers, sliced avocado, quinoa, arugula/spinach and hemp seeds. Basically, another version of a Dragon Bowl with the vegetable remnants from my fridge. Astute readers might realize a lot of the ingredients were leftovers from the Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hemp and Orange. 🙂 If you have extra marinade, it could be used to drizzle overtop but I let mine soak into the leftover tofu.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

The photo below is the one from the cookbook. Feel free to cut the tofu into bigger slabs and serve with the green bean salad, as suggested.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

 

Recipes from Keep It Vegan spotted elsewhere:

Baked Eggplant with Lemon-Infused Couscous

Bloody Mary Bruschetta

Carrot Cake Bites

Crusty No-Knead Carrot and Courgette Bread

Fudgy Brownies

Hole Mole Black Bean Chilli

Indian Spiced Tacos with Mango Salsa

Macaro-no Cheese with Crispy Kale

No Bake Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake

Pea and Lemon Risotto with a Mint Oil Drizzle

Rosemary and Pear Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed mushroom burgers and dijon-coated potato wedges

Super Green Smoothie

Winter Squash and Couscous Salad

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite vegan comfort food. The winner will be selected at random on February 12, 2015. Good luck!

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