Greetings blogosphere! I’m writing to you from my kitchen, with maple syrup dripped on my pajama pants. Microwaved pancakes with syrup and walnuts are delicious, as are two cups of coffee.
This week I once again made that delicious cauliflower curry, this time complete with cashews.
May as well give you the recipe for that, because I keep talking about it.
1/2 an onion
1 tsp cumin seeds (or to taste)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (or to taste)
oil, either in a spray can or about a tablespoon
1 head cauliflower
1/4 block tofu
about half an inch of ginger root (or to taste)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 tsp coriander (or to taste)
1/4 tsp chili powder — I’m still using the ancho chili powder I got in Arizona (or to taste)
1/4 tsp curry powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup cashews
1. Chop the onion into small pieces, and the garlic, ginger, tofu, and cauliflower. Oil the pan and put the onion and seeds in it, and saute for a couple minutes.
2. Once the onion is translucent, add in the other things that you chopped and the other spices. Just a note on the spices — the reason I say “or to taste” for all of them is a) this is just what I like, and you may indeed have different tastes b) I never actually measure my spices.
3. Continue to saute, and turn down the heat a tiny bit. Add in some water or soymilk if things are sticking too much. Then add in the tomato paste.
4. Once things look cooked — about 15 minutes, I would guess — add in the cashews. Don’t put them in too early or they will get soft. You want them to remain crunchy because that’s most of the reason you put them in there to begin with.
5. Enjoy. Perhaps you want to serve with rice. I don’t typically do that because honestly, making rice is a pain, especially the delicious brown rice that I prefer which takes a long time to make.
On the subject of rice — I have a lot to say about it! — I actually have been cooking it recently, which I haven’t done in a while. I really like brown rice a lot because it has more or a texture, but it also takes longer to make. As a solution to this, I have been making mainly brown rice with a bit of white rice mixed in there. Not a good idea, folks. This just means that it takes just as long, only there are some mushy white rice bits mixed in. Just say no. Aside from the weirdly-textured rice, my stir fries have been working out well for me.
This time I had zucchini and broccoli and bell pepper to stir fry. I love broccoli and zucchini in stir fry no matter what. The bell pepper was red, which I felt was too sweet, not something I usually feel about anything. This stir fry was sad, though, because I had no peanuts or cashews. Yesterday I bought like 1.5 lbs of three different kinds of nuts, so that should no longer be a problem, I hope. And crunchiness was restored throughout the land.
This week I finally got around to making my lentil soup! Lentils are an amazing thing in life. So versatile. So protein-rich. So delicious. Plus I love having those 2-serving cans of coconut milk by Thai Kitchen. When I’m just cooking for myself, using an entire can, even of the “lite” stuff just makes my lentils taste like some sort of tropical cocktail.
That splat represents the coconut milk. The little can is our old friend tomato paste.
Speaking of versatile, this week I also made quinoa, something I literally don’t think I’ve ever made the same way twice. This time I put in red bell pepper, scallions, and black beans, and served it with salsa. I seasoned it with cumin seeds and cilantro, pretty strong flavors that ended up working.
OK, now let’s talk about oatmeal. I learned from Feeling Sorry for Celia that some people don’t like it, which is a strange thing to think about. Oatmeal is an important part of my life, I think. The other day I was doing a crossword puzzle and the clue was “vegan’s morning meal” and I had a huge mental block because “oatmeal” did not fit. It ended up being “muesli,” close enough. Still. Oatmeal.
Here is how you make oatmeal — don’t argue with me. You put in half a cup of oatmeal, then about 3/4 cup of water. Put it in the microwave for three minutes on high. Stir in maple syrup, a splash of soymilk, cinnamon, and sliced almonds. In the winter, add raisins. In the summer, opt for some seasonal berries — blackberries are the greatest.
Sometimes, I put in blueberry jam, or pumpkin butter, or nutmeg, or honey, or walnuts but it’s not the authentic oatmeal experience.
Finally, I just gave my kids a quiz, and here was the word problem:
“There are twice as many cupcakes as people in my kitchen. Subtracting 5 (by eating them) gives me 7 cupcakes leftover. How many people are in my kitchen?”
Some of the ones who don’t usually do well in math got , which was AWESOME and I was really really happy! However, a few of them saw , which was bad news. We’re going to keep working on solving equations the next couple of weeks, and I hope I can get them all in the A/B range. I hate giving F’s.
If you can solve my word problem, or want to argue about oatmeal, leave me a comment.