Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Vegan Sweet

If you're still looking for a quick and decadent-tasting vegan desert to share with a special person this evening, here is one of my favorites: Vegan Chocoloate Pudding. It uses silken tofu (like Mori-Nu brand, available at most grocery stores) as its base, although you'd never know it. (And indeed, it has fooled many.) It's also very easy to adjust how sweet or chocolatey the pudding turns out by increasing or decreasing the cocoa or maple syrup quantities.

Quick Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4

1 pkge (10 oz) firm or extra-firm silken tofu
1/2 to 1 c. maple syrup (to taste; can substitute honey)
3/4 c. cocoa powder (ad more for extra rich chocolate taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour into serving bowl(s).
Chill and serve.

Serve plain, with fresh fruit or with a fruit compote.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Red Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is one of my stand-bys for a quick meal when I am not really in the mood to cook. No need of veggie stock, it uses spices to jazz itself up. I add leftover steamed veggies at the end of the cooking just to heat through, giving me a filling, nutritious lunch or supper. This is even better the next day as the lentils thicken further when chilled. Reheated and served over rice, it makes a tasty dhal!

Red Lentil Soup

4 Tbsp butter or ghee
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp cayenne
2” piece of cinnamon stick

1 cup red lentils
5 cups water
2 tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

In a medium to large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic over low heat until golden. Add spices and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add washed and drained lentils, water, tomato paste and salt to taste. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

When ready, mash a few lentils against the side of the pan. Remove the cinnamon stick, add lemon juice and serve.