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Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Mmmm…

Before a few days ago, I had never had an artichoke. My recent spike in cooking made me curious on whether I could cook one or not, so I searched around for basic recipes. Well, they all were almost identical. I added a few things, like bay leaves, to mine to make it taste a little more colorful, but again, pretty much every recipe is the same. There are also different ways to cook artichokes— steaming, baking, boiling, stuffing, but I opted for the simplest one, micro-waving. Here’s the steps I used to cook my very first artichokes!

Signs of a ripe artichoke…

  • Look for ones that are vibrant green all over, free of purple or yellow spots and any dry areas.
  • Make sure they don’t have buds or flowers on them, which is a sign they are over-ripe.
  • Select an artichoke that seems heavy or dense for its size, that has tightly closed leaves. (This does not mean one that is ‘big’, just one that is compact.)

Ingredients!

  • 2 artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon

Steps! 

1. Rinse off the vegetable and thoroughly scrub them to make sure the bitter “sap” is off of them. Tear of the small, hard leaves around the base of the artichoke. If the stem is long, trim it to be around 2 inches. Slice off the top of the artichoke, and then snip the tips of the leaves with kitchen scissors. Slice your artichokes in half, rubbing the lemon half over all the cuts to preserve the beautiful green color. Place them face side down into a microwave safe dish that has a fitting lid. (Don’t put the lid on just yet!)

2. Crush 2 cloves of garlic into the dish, and squeeze the remaining lemon half over the artichokes.

  

3. Place 2 bay leaves in the dish, then pour 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil into it, covering the bottom. To finish, add a good sprinkling of sea salt, to taste. Cover the dish, then microwave for 16-20 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave and the size of the artichokes. To test if they are finished cooking, gently drop a knife into the stems of the  artichokes. If the knife goes though easily, your artichokes are done!

  

To Serve!

To serve the artichokes, scoop out the fuzzy middle part (the choke) with a spoon, being careful to avoid the heart of the vegetable. When eating the artichokes, be sure to have a bowl nearby for the discarded leaf, and also whatever you’d like to dip it in too!

A few popular dips for artichokes are…

Mayonnaise

Mixture of garlic and butter

Mixture of oil, salt and vinegar

 Melted butter

Ranch dressing

For vegans, I recommend…

Veganaise

Earth Balance (melted)

or oil, salt and vinegar

ENJOY!

 

 

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Yum, yum, yum! This yellow rice recipe is the best under a hearty helping of curry with naan on the side. (I have a really great curry recipe on this blog titled “Tasty and Traditional Vegan Curry”) The bit of cinnamon in this yellow rice recipe really sets it apart from the others and gives a unique taste anyone will love. Hope you try it!

Ingredients:

3/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 pinch cinnamon

3 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups long grain white rice ( or basmati, I used Jasmine)

Directions:

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the spices and herbs over low heat until fragrant, stirring, for about 30 seconds.

Add the rice and slightly toast it (for about 1-2 minutes, stirring)

Carefully pour in all of the water and add the salt if you haven’t already.

Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed (about 20 mins)

When rice is done cooking, let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve under something or alone.

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This curry is absolutely AMAZING. It is an easy recipe to make, and you can throw in most of the vegetables that are just sitting in your fridge or freezer. The ingredients are all very cheap, and I would think most people would have them already in their houses, but there are various spices. The curry freezes well, I usually make more than I would eat normally so I can freeze it. This is a superb recipe, especially with naan or pita bread on the side. This curry is the best served over yellow or white rice.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

3 toes garlic, minced

2 cans garbanzo beans

3-4 handfuls spinach

1 can hominy

3 cans diced tomatos

5 small potatoes, peeled and diced (if you use red jacket potatoes, they do not need to be peeled)

4 cups vegetable broth or water

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp cumin (I used 1/2 tsp whole cumin and 1/2 tsp ground cumin)

2 tbsp curry powder (A good quality curry powder makes a very big difference!)

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp tumeric

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Heat 2-3 tbsp in a VERY LARGE skillet or pot (I used a pot, just make sure you have a lid that fits on whatever you use), and throw in the onion. Cook 2-3 minutes and add the garlic garbanzo. Cook a few more minutes.

Add in the garbanzo beans, hominy, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, water/broth, spices and herbs, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.

 Cook until the potatoes are soft and most of the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat, then mash some of the solids to thicken the sauce.

Serve over yellow or white rice. (I have a recipe for yellow rice on this blog named “Authentic Yellow Rice”) With naan or pita bread on the side.

Enjoy!

Note: You can add in almost any kind of vegetables to recipe, I have used corns, okra, and many others. Just experiment!

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    Okay, I was looking on vegweb.com for a good vegan oatmeal cookie for breakfast-on-the-go this week, but I couldn’t find one that I really wanted to make. The some of the “Anna’s Amazing Vegan Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies” recipe looked good, although I dont like nuts or chocolate in my oatmeal cookies. So, I just changed the recipe a tad, but aside from the nuts and chocolate switched out for the two types of raisins, its pretty much the same. Anyway, here is my take.

Ingredients:

1 c. Earth Balance (butter or margerine)

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 1/1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. oatmeal

1 c. golden raisins

1 c. regular raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 365.

Beat the vegan butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy and mixed throughout.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oatmeal in a separate bowl. Add sugar/butter mixture. (If mixture is too dry, add almond milk. stir in raisins.

Spoon onto lightly oiled cookie sheets, keeping each cookie about 3 inches apart.

Bake 7-12 minutes, or lightly golden. let cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen.

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