Kickstart my Vegan Heart

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Being huge fans of the website Kickstarter, we find ourselves constantly looking for independent businesses, projects, and ideas to support in hopes of expanding the ever-growing world of vegan commerce.  When you add in our passion for cookbooks, new and old, it’s no surprise that we jumped at the opportunity to fund an all-vegan cookbook inspired by the author’s world travels and culinary adventures.  This project was met its funding goal last October, and we have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the finished product.  The authors have done a great job of keeping us posted on the progress, sharing additional recipes and thoughts along the way, and building the excitement up to the release date.

We recently received our copy of The Lotus and Artichoke and couldn’t wait to crack it open and start cookin’!  Along with the author’s story and pictures of adventures, the book features amazing recipes from all over the globe representing multiple cuisines and ethnic fare.  We’ve already “tested” a couple recipes, and have several more on our growing list to try out over the course of the next month or so.  They will definitely make an appearance on the blog, and we are looking forward to sharing these with all you in.  In the meantime, check out the official website for the Lotus and the Artichoke, and head on over to their Facebook page and give them some love.  If you feel inspired enough, pick up a copy or three for yourself and two of your best friends and get cookin’ yourself!

If you need some extra inspiration or a soundtrack for your cooking, we leave you with this gem.

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Web Feast Friday


I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we are on 18 days and counting on our 2013 resolution to blog every day. We’ve even accomplished one of our 2013 resolutions by hitting the 100 post mark on the blog.  This may not seem like a great feat to those seasoned bloggers,  but coming from a couple folks who can justify doing/not doing many things, we continue to amaze ourselves!  We’ve found a routine that is keeping us on track, and we are definitely taking plenty of pictures and cooking delicious foods that will definitely make an appearance on the blog.  This weeks Feast includes links and lists that can help create routines, or provide ideas to incorporate into your current routine.

Kick your morning off with any and all of these AM activities.

Let’s all commit to this list for 2013!

Lot’s of Top 10 lists always get kicked around this time of year.  This top 15 list is 5 better.

So true.  So true.

For those of you joining us for “Raw February,” here’s some helpful tools.

For those of you still looking to detox from the holidays, or adopting a more detoxifying lifestyle, here’s some tips.

This recipe has Sunday dinner written all over it!

Actually, I’m making this on Sunday.  This too.

This song just popped up while we were watching Girls, and I totally forgot how great of a jam it is!

Souper Sunday – Asian Persuasion Edition: Lotus Root


Any way you plate lotus root, it looks beautiful.

Any way you plate lotus root, it looks beautiful.

There are a few things that I like to do when I’m feeling blue:

  1. Look at this picture of Burglekutt from the 1988 movie gem Willow 

    He totally deserved it.

    He totally deserved it.

  2. Watch any SNL “What Up With That” skit
  3. Wander around Asian grocery stores and buy the craziest looking things to experiment with in the kitchen

Not since my military days living in Korea have I been so emerged in the process of discovering new foods as these last few weeks, thanks to my friend Evonne who lived in Japan for 5 years. Oh man, be sure to tune in tomorrow for her guest blog post with more of the awesome (and easy) Asian market eats.

Until a few days ago we had never worked with, seen, or even heard of lotus root – so since then we learned a few things:

What is lotus root?

Looking much like a mixture of a parsnip and a sweet potato and growing up to 4 feet long, a lotus root grows underwater. It is a common food in Asian countries for both consumption and medicinal purposes in treating respiratory issues.

What does lotus root taste like? How do you cook it?

The root can be eaten either raw or cooked and has a mildly bitter, crispy taste simliar to jicama. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used raw in salads, added to soups and stews, steamed as a side dish, or pan fried (as prepared in this recipe). The older a lotus root gets, the darker it becomes – so shop for a firm, light colored root then keep refrigerator.

Much like any root vegetable, there really isn’t a WRONG way to prepare a lotus root. The most common prep is to peel, slice horizontally to show off the lace-like interior, then eaten raw or cooked to taste. Check out this website for more ideas.

Does lotus root have nutritional benefits?

Absolutely! Half a cup of lotus root contains 73% of your daily Vitamin C recommended requirements along with moderate levels of iron, b-complex, and minerals such as copper, zinc, and magnesium  All these benefits at just 40 calories per half cup serving. Check out more benefits here.

The fun part about lotus root is how BEAUTIFUL it looks! You can be a show off to friends and family while keeping to your resolutions. We served the recipe below with soba noodles and miso soup.

Stir-fried Lotus Root*

From Asian Vegan Kitchen 

asian_lotus

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 11 ounces of lotus root (You can find this in the freezer section of your local Asian market)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

Heat vegetable oil in a broad sauce pan or wok, and stir-fry lotus root over high heat for 1 minute, or until glazed with oil.  Add in chili and mix together.  Turn heat to low, and add remaining ingredients except sesame seeds.  Stir-fry lotus root until most of liquid is absorbed and lotus root is cooked.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and transfer to serving dish.

We served  our lotus root with soba noodles which were prepared following the instructions on the package.

Monday Meal Planz

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The first Monday of 2013 got us thinking about some kind of themed day.  We already have Web Feast Fridays, and from time to time, we’ll post on Souper Sunday.  Why not add another topic to provide us with a little guidance and inspiration while tackling our “365 Days of Blogging” goal.

Actually, I am pretty sure that some of our favorite blogs actually post meal and menu planning-style posts on Mondays, and I’m confident that ours will absolutely reflect our current cooking passions/interests/obsessions.  Whether you end up planning your weekly menu around this post or not is entirely up to you.  At the very least, we hope you find something interestingly tasty to share with friends and family at some point during the week.

Those of you still in detox mode will love this!  I never thought of this combination, but I love all these ingredients equally on their own!

Our raw adventure begins next month, so in the meantime, I plan on preparing this at least once before then.

Anything hickory-smoked served with tator tots will ALWAYS earn a spot on the blog!

We love this blog and you will love this recipe!

Easy + Glazed = Mealtime

What would a Meal Plan be without ‘zerts!

Keep the comments and feedback coming!  We appreciate everything you are willing to share with us.  Since we plan on posting each and every day of 2013, we will present you with plenty of chances!  Thanks for reading!

 

Souper Sunday – East meets West Edition

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California - no doubt about it.

California – no doubt about it.

If you can have great friends visit during the first few weeks of the year (like my lovely life-pal Evonne), we highly recommend it. Let’s face it, if Evonne wasn’t visiting our year would have began in one of two ways:

  1. Keeping ourselves locked into a strict routine and forgetting to have fun adventures
  2. Stressed out over not adequately meeting our new years resolutions, causing a tearful binge on macadamia nuts

Instead – we are laughing, traveling, having reckless adventures, eating healthy NEW food (which means actually using our cookbooks that we buy), and overall just setting the tone for really living life in 2013. I’m not going to tell the whole story, but I am proud to say that Evonne was in town for less then 24 hours before we had to make back to back calls to the police then to my mom. It’s going to be a great year.

As a way to pay homage to the years that Evonne spent living in Japan, we decided to kick off the trip with an Asian meal – but with the time lost with the whole secret ‘cop calling’ issue, it needed to be quick. We love Asian soups of all kinds, but this one is one of my favs and totally worth making a large batch and keeping for leftovers as the tastes only get more dynamic over time. Enjoy!

Edamame Sea Vegetable Soup*

Made from: The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East

We added sea palm for extra salty deliciousness

We added sea palm for extra salty deliciousness

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame or arame 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms, slices (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (we were in a hurry and used lima beans)
  • 4 cups water or dashi (we added 2 tsp mushroom bouillon for flava)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp barley or other miso paste, optional but recommended
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Place the wakame in a small bowl with 2 cups of warm water. 
  2. Place the sesame oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the red bell pepper and carrots, stir well. Lower to medium heat, add the edamame and water, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the wakame along with the soaking water to the pot with the remaining ingredients. Stir well before serving.
We didn't have one of those pretty, staged pictures of the soup - so almost just posted this abstract pic. It's kind of like when I blur the picture when I'm trying to hide double chins.

We didn’t have one of those pretty, staged pictures of the soup – so almost just posted this abstract pic. It’s kind of like when I blur the picture when I’m trying to hide double chins.

Souper Sunday


 

 

Since this is the finally installment of our Vegan MOFO:  Souper Sunday edition, I figured instead of posting this evening’s chili recipe and pics, I would take the opportunity to post a few links to some of our favorite soups, stews, and curries.  Have no fear, we will definitely be posting tonight’s chili as it goes down as one of our favorites of all time.  In the meantime, check out these recipes and get them on your cookin’ calendar soon!

This roasted corn and sweet pepper soup was the starter for last year’s New Year’s Eve dinner, which included paella!

Around these parts, we love our southwestern corn chowder.

This tortilla soup has been made so many times when we haven’t been able to decided what to cook for dinner.

Our first stew of list includes TVP!  Awwww yeah!!

Simple.  Easy.  Flavas!!!!

No soup list is complete without French onion soup.  This soup with some bread and a BIG red wine.  Yes please.  As I type this, I can’t believe the last time I made this was last year.

We are HUGE curry fans and this recipe is one of our favorites.  In fact, we have made so many variations of this recipe, I had almost forgotten what the original called for.

We have enjoyed making Souper Sundays part of our Vegan MOFO routine, and plan on continuing this “tradition” long after October ends.  Stay tuned for the recap and pics of our epic chili recipe later this week!

Souper Sunday! Noodles in Spicy Coconut Soup

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Much like the early pioneers and tribal medicine-men, I’m of the opinion that just about any ailment can be cured with some good soup and frivolous dancing. Evan knows that if I’m not feeling well or I had a tough day at work or I’m in the throws of being a ‘lady’, his key responsibility as my friend and life partner is to stop by Lemongrass Thai for a vat of their Tofu Tom Kha. It’s creamy, coconuty, chunky, warm, silky, salty, and sweet – and quite possibly the unofficial nectar of the gods.

It’s no secret to my inner circle that I’m a fan of really any asian cuisine, and when my friend Evonne bought me The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh for my graduation last year, I literally squealed. Every person, not just vegan peeps, need to own this cookbook as it’s straight up stacked with cuisine from India, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea. After last week’s rich fall flavas, we took a field trip to Thailand for this week’s Souper Sunday feast. Sweatpants and microbrew required.

The most delicious cider I’ve ever tasted…pop this in a sippy cup and no one would ever know. (says the person with no kids)

 

Noodles in Spicy Coconut Soup

 

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE SPICE PASTE 

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 candlenuts or cashews
  • 5 fresh red chilies (this makes for a 7/10 on the spice scale, so start with less)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 inch cube galangal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

FOR THE SOUP 

  • 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, halved and crushed
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 slices galangal 
  • 7 ounces deep fried tofu, sliced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 11 ounces wheat flour noodles or thin spaghetti, cooked

FOR THE GARNISHES: 

  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • Celery leaves
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lettuce leaves, shredded
  • Crackers

 

 

  1. Using a food processor, grind the spice paste ingredients together until smooth, using a little water if needed.
  2. For the soup, heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the ground spice, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and tofu.
  3. Add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 6-8 minutes. Add the tomato to the simmering broth.
  4. Arrange the garnishes on the table. Immerse the noodles in boiling water for a few seconds. Drain and divide between individual bowls. Pour a ladleful of the hot coconut broth into each bowl. Invite your guests to add their favorite garnishes.

 

Put a wooden spoon across a boiling pot as shown to prevent boiling over.

Check out these other delicious soup recipes from the EPL kitchen:

 

 

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SOUPER SUNDAY! Yam & Black Bean Soup with Massaged Kale Salad

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Warning: may cause a musical of toot-trumpets…eat amongst close friends and/or worst enemies.

Fall Sundays are brimming with tradition at the Casa de EatPlantsLive. The timeline goes like this:

8:00 AM – Arise from slumber

8:30 AM – drink 8 oz lemon water followed by 24 oz of water and prep pour-over coffee

8:45 – 9:00 AM: Body functions

9:00 AM: Ezekiel raisin english muffins topped with almond butter and banana (the perfect pre-workout fuel)

9:30 – 11:00 AM: ‘Long’ run: 6 – 10 miles

12:00 PM: It’s HEMP LATTE DAY! Thanks Good Bean for accommodating

12:30 – 5:00 PM: Read magazines and watch trilogies+. Last weekend was Bourne movies, before that the Matrix movies, before that X-man. Others include: Harry Potter, Wes Anderson, Star Wars, Batman, Die Hard, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, The Godfather, and (my personal favorite) Lord of the Rings.

5:00 PM: Weekly beer! Oh yeah, beer only happens during training season on Sundays. Our main point of excitement.

6:00 PM: SOUP DINNER!

6:30 – 9:00 PM: Weekly goal setting – workouts, writing, meditation, etc

9:00 PM: Bedtime

Don’t hate on bedtime. I’m excited to say that at 31, I’m finally feeling like I’m growing into the age that I actually feel…well, whatever age where it becomes acceptable to go to sleep at 9:00 on a weekend, wear moomoo’s around the house, and complain about not understanding youth culture.

As for the food – shout out to one of my FAVORITE cookbooks, Appetite for Reduction, for the great recipe that was delicious and nutrition and lasted us all week for leftovers. Follow the linked titles to the easy-to-make recipes.

Have a great week my friends!

Vegetables come in many forms. We prefer ours liquified and ‘hopped’ up. (EY YO!)

YAM & BLACK BEAN SOUP with ORANGE & CILANTRO

MASSAGED KALE SALAD with AVOCADO & MARINATED BEANS

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