Cook's Hideout: October 2012

October 31, 2012

Vegan Mug Cakes

VeganMofo Day 31: Today's the last day of October and the last day for this year's Vegan month of food. I totally enjoyed making and blogging about Vegan food. I tried some new dishes and some new ingredients and totally loved going vegan for the whole month. I have to say I'm enjoying my morning coffee with soy milk and my breakfast cereal with almond milk. Even though I didn't like the taste, texture or the smell of soy yogurt, it works great in biryanis and rawa dosas. I'm totally in love with Almond "mozarella" cheese that melted beautifully. So all in all it's been a great month of eating and I'm already looking forward to next year's edition.

October 30, 2012

Broccoli Basil Pesto

VeganMofo Day 30: Super storm Sandy has created quite a havoc in the tri-state area. Thankfully we were not affected too badly; few of our sidings flew away due to the wind but my husband was able to bring them back this morning; a ton of broken branches in the backyard, but no damage to the property. 

Even though Sandy did not affect us directly, we have been impacted by it indirectly. We are in the middle of changing our kitchen counter top and the guys ripped out our old counter and sink last week. We were expecting the new counter installed today, but thanks to Sandy the counter guys are not even picking up their phone. So now here we are with a kitchen with just a working stove and everything else gutted out, keeping our fingers crossed on when we can get the fully functional kitchen back. 

October 28, 2012

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

VeganMofo Day 28: We are bracing ourselves for the super storm, Sandy. Hopefully we will have our electricity and internet connections intact. Last year we had the untimely snow storm around the same time and Halloween parades were cancelled as a result. My 5 year old has his costume picked out and he's been talking about Halloween since the beginning of October. So we are keeping our fingers crossed that the storm is not as bad as the weather department is predicting.

October 27, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

VeganMofo Day 27: I had to make some snacks or treats for my son's Kindergarten class yesterday and I decided to try these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies that I found at Erica's Sweet Tooth blog. I had all the ingredients on hand and the resultant cookies turned out delicious. Feedback from my son's class also came back positive (you know how brutally honest a bunch of 5 year olds can be).


October 26, 2012

Rasta Pasta

VeganMofo Day: This recipe has been on my "to-make" list for quite some time now. Recipe is from my latest Vegan cookbook "Big Vegan" by Robin Asbell. I've never been to Jamaica, but according to the author this Rasta Pasta is on all the menus at tourist-oriented restaurants. It's Island-speak for a vegetarian pasta dish made with native produce and spice. Rastafarians practice vegetarian cuisine as part of their religion, and make some amazingly delicious vegan food as a result.


October 25, 2012

Vegan Semya Payasam (Kheer) with Almond Milk

VeganMofo Day 25: Belated Dasara Wishes to Everyone. My husband was out of town yesterday, it was just my mom and I at home. Didn't feel like making anything big for the two of us, so I made this quick prasad for Vijayadasami.

October 23, 2012

Ullipaya Gaarelu (Onion Vada)

VeganMofo Day 23: I rarely deep fry at home, health is only part of the reason. I'm worried about on how to dispose or use up the leftover oil. But having my mom here, I don't have to think of ways to use up the oil, she has a ton of ideas up her sleeve. She does not heat up too much oil to begin with and she used the rest of the oil for daily cooking.

October 22, 2012

Vegetable Bhath & Vegan Sooji Halwa

VeganMofo Day 22: Happy Durgashtami for Everyone. We (my mom & I) made Vegetable bhath and Rava Kesari for the 8th day of Navarathri
Vegetable bhath is something my mom always made at home and I make it too when I have some time on hand and want to serve something other than fried rice or biryani. I posted vegetable bhath recipe way back in 2008 and coincidentally that was also during the month of October for Veganmofo. I'm updating the post with a better picture.

I made some Vegan Sooji Halwa as offering to Durga.

October 21, 2012

Alu Methi Curry with Sesame Seeds powder

VeganMofo Day 21: Organizers of VeganMofo have planned some very interesting contests for this month. Iron Chef Challenge is one of them, they announce the secret ingredient on Friday and the dishes using these secret ingredients are then compiled and posted on the site. 

October 19, 2012

Vegan Hot Chocolate with Soy Creamer

VeganMofo Day 19: It's been raining and chilly the whole day today. I'm not a big fan of rains because I don't like wiping water from my glasses and I definitely don't like getting my feet wet. So I prefer to stay home when it rains (whenever I can), which is what I did today.

October 18, 2012

Kadai Tofu (Tofu & Peppers in Creamy Tomato Sauce)

VeganMofo Day 18: I rarely used Tofu in Indian dishes, I'm not sure why I have never tried it before. Tofu to me is a very Asian ingredient and I tend to use in Chinese or Thai dishes. I know tofu is very versatile and I finally decided to use it in a way I've never used it before.

Veganmofo is going pretty good so far, I missed 4 days so far and hopefully I can keep up the momentum and finish the month with no further disruptions. The little one is keeping us busy, so most of my blogging is happening only around midnight. 

October 17, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

 VeganMofo Day 17: Today is my husband's birthday and since he's a big chocoholic I wanted to make a vegan chocolate cake for him. Tres Leche cake is one of my favorite cakes and I decided to make a chocolate version. I adapted the Tres Leche Cake recipe from "Viva Vegan" cookbook by Terry Hope Romero to include chocolate.

October 16, 2012

Fruit Salad with Vegan Custard

VeganMofo Day 16: Rice Milk that I bought from Trader Joe's is still sitting in my fridge waiting to be used. The consistency of the milk is very thin, almost water like and I can't see myself using it in my morning coffee (I started to like my coffee with soy milk these days). So after using it in these cupcakes and smoothie, I wanted to try and see how it would work in a custard. 

October 15, 2012

Tempeh Rendang

VeganMofo Day 15: Today's recipe is from the cookbook "Way to Cook Vegetarian" by Cooking Light. Rendang is a spicy Indonesian dish usually made with meat, this recipe uses tempeh instead of meat. Tempeh
has stronger flavor than tofu and has a meaty texture that works great in this dish.

October 14, 2012

Gongura Pappu (Dal with Sorrel Leaves)

VeganMofo Day 14: Fall is in the air in our neck of woods, chilly days and color changing leaves. I planted some sorrel in my container garden this year, with the changing weather I harvested the last of the leaves before the frost got them.

Gongura or sorrel is a leafy green vegetable that is tangy and delicious. Gongura pachadi is one of the most famous dishes that is a must in any Andhra kitchen. Another delicious creation with this tangy greens is this dal; its spicy, tangy and yummy. Served with rice and a dry saute on the side, this makes for a healthy and filling meal for any time of the day.

October 12, 2012

Oats Upma with Carrot & Peas

VeganMofo Day 12: Breakfast on a weekday in our household used to be a quick toast with pb&j or cereal. Being home and having my mom around, we have started to have more substantial breakfasts now. 
Today morning I made this quick and healthy Oats Upma (porridge). I was planning on using Steel Cut Oats, but ran short of time, so ended up using Rolled oats for a quicker breakfast. Also I grated a carrot and added it, so it cooks faster. Veggies like potato, peppers, green beans, shredded cabbage etc can also be added.

October 11, 2012

Mango-Berry Smoothie with Rice Milk

VeganMofo Day 11: Yet another quick post. I bought Trader Joe's Rice Drink on impulse on my last grocery trip and I've been looking for recipes to use it. I used it in place of soy milk in these cupcakes and then made this simple berry smoothie.

I used frozen fruit to make the smoothie, but if using fresh fruit add some ice when blending the fruit.

October 10, 2012

Masoor Dal Sambar (Indian Style Red Lentil Stew)

VeganMofo Day 10: I had plans to post everyday for this year's Veganmofo. So much for my wishful thinking, little did I realize that tending for a newborn can be so time consuming, even though all I'm doing is holding her so she doesn't spit up or rocking her to sleep. It's been 5 years since we had done this with my older one and I don't really remember what we did when he was a little baby. Time surely flies..

Thankfully my mom is here to help me out and for today's post I have this delicious Masoor dal Sambar that she made for our lunch. I usually use toor dal to make sambar. Masoor dal makes a smoother and milder tasting sambar. Vegetables like eggplant, bottle gourd, carrot, potato, chayote etc can be added to the sambar to make it more substantial.

October 08, 2012

Vegan Banana-Chocolate Chip Cupcake

VeganMofo Day 8: This is going to be a quick post with a delicious Banana-chocolate chip cupcake recipe. I wanted to use up some of the very ripe bananas that I had on hand and found this recipe. Though I was only able to use only of the 1 of the said bananas, I was happy I tried the recipe. These cupcakes are moist with subtle banana flavor and the almond extract totally complements the flavors.

October 05, 2012

Sourdough Chocolate Bread

VeganMofo Day 5: My sourdough starter has been neglected for quite sometime now. During my 3rd trimester, I neither had the energy nor the time to even feed the poor starter. I can't even explain why or how I brought it out and fed it just hours before I rushed to the hospital for delivery!!!! I had the presence of mind to put it back in the fridge before leaving the house (??). 

So finally I felt it was time to use the sourdough starter and I made this amazing Sourdough Chocolate Bread. I had this recipe bookmarked forever and finally I got to make it.

October 04, 2012

Indian Dal with Radish & Tomatoes

VeganMofo Day 4: Many Indian savory dishes are either Vegan to begin with or can be easily made Vegan by simply substituting very few ingredients. 'Desserts' is another story, most of them use ghee (clarified butter) and milk, but come to think of it, these can be veganized easily too. I want to make some traditional Indian desserts - vegan style this festival season (which starts this month with Dasara, yay) and hopefully I can post them for veganmofo.

Today's dish is simple, healthy and delicious. Radish is not one of our favorite veggies, but I buy it since it has quite a few health benefits. My husband hates the smell and pungent taste of raw radish. So I pressure cooked it with dal and tomato and once done it turned out mellow with no discernible smell or the taste.

October 03, 2012

Green Beans & Carrot Curry with Coconut

VeganMofo Day 3: Today's dish is extremely simple to make and is very healthy and delicious. I love dry sauteed curries because they are made with very few ingredients and you can taste the vegetables used in the dish instead of being overpowered by the spices.


October 02, 2012

Vegan Burger made with Refried Beans

Vegan MOFO Day 2: I planned to cook today's vegan lunch in 30 minutes and post it under '30 minute meals', but little did I know that my 3 week old had her own plans. I was hardly in the kitchen for 10 minutes, she started to cry and wanted to be fed and so my 30 minute meal ended up being more than an hour meal. Even though I wasn't able to make the meal under 30, but I'm sure it can done if there are no distractions.

One of my favorite things to do while on maternity leave is to watch tons of TV. Feeding time is the best time to catch up on Law & Order: SVU marathons and loads of cooking shows. One of the cooking shows I've started watching is Bal Arneson's Spice Goddess on Cooking Channel. I'm not too thrilled with her Americanized Indian accent and her over using of spices, but this Veggie Burger did catch my attention when I watched it. She used canned refried beans as the base for the burger and I thought that was a pretty genius idea.

October 01, 2012

Bisi Bele Bath (Tangy Lentil Rice with Mixed Veggies)

It has been a busy September with the early arrival of our little bundle of joy, Disha, and her big brother turning 5 in the same month. It has been a bit crazy around here with the late night wakings for the little one and early morning running around for the older one's kindergarten. We are slowly settling in and getting used to the new schedule and responsibilities.
I had to think really hard before signing up for this year's VeganMOFO. I wasn't sure if I can do it, but the thought of waiting for an ENTIRE YEAR to do it, made me sign up and now I've to make sure that I post consistently this month. I'm planning to keep it simple and post dishes that I make on a daily basis. Also I pulled out all of my Vegan cookbooks and I want to try some of the dishes that I've been meaning to make forever.


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