Vegan Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Veggies

Vegetarians are many, Vegans are few. People are turning towards what we call “Veganism”. Whatever is derived from animals including dairy, egg, honey and even leather, fur, cosmetics, silk, wool and soaps are abstained by vegans. Let’s talk about veganism today. Ellen DeGeneres, the great comedian and host switched her diet to vegan in the year 2008. Her flaunting body has been inspiration for millions. The celeb has read numerous books on diets without meat and animal rights that subsequently encouraged her to turn into vegan. Vegan inculcates in you a total new lifestyle not only relating to the food you take but also to the clothes and accessories you wear.

You can no more use the following:-

  • Leather jackets and shoes

  • Leather purses and wallets

  • Fur coats

  • Woolen cardigans

  • Feather earrings

  • Medicines containing animal products

  • Cosmetics like lotions, perfumes etc. containing animal products

Let’s munch on an exotic Vegan Recipe too. This is Vegan Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Veggies

Vegan Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Veggies
Vegan Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Veggies

Ingredients:-

2 cloves Garlic,

1 sliced Onion,

Salt as required,

teaspoon Nutmeg,

1 cup Pumpkin Puree,

8 oz. Buckwheat Pasta,

1 cup Vegetable Broth,

Pinch Cayenne Pepper,

3 tablespoon Olive Oil,

¼ teaspoon Chili Powder,

3 tablespoon Vegan Butter,

100 grams crumbled Tofu,

100 grams chopped French Beans.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Boil pasta till done. This takes 7 minutes. Drain in a colander.

  2. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Take a skillet. Mince two cloves of garlic. Add to a large skillet along with one tablespoon of vegan butter. Sautee on medium heat for 2 minutes.

  3. Add pumpkin puree plus broth to the skillet. Combine well. Add nutmeg, chili powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Let sauce simmer over medium-low. Once boiled, turn off the gas. Set aside.

  4. Take a small wok and add olive oil. In it add onions. When red, add in crumbled tofu and green beans. Cook till done. Keep aside. Once when pasta is done, add two tablespoon of vegan butter to the skillet. Mix well.

  5. Serve pasta on plate. Pour pumpkin sauce over it with added salt if required. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. Add green beans and tofu stir-fry over the sauce. Enjoy!

Stay fit with vegan food!!
Stay fit with vegan food!!

Relish your vegan treat!

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Cheung Chau Bun Festival and the Vegan Recipe

Highlighting wild lion dances, vibrant parades, funny bun scrambling contest and showcasing bun towers, here comes the most lively and colorful Hong Kong Festival, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. This festival portrays tradition and folklore of China. The centre of attraction includes giant bamboo mountains which are covered with homemade buns. These are set up at Pak Tai Temple, where the main celebration takes place. Like every other fest, this too has a story related to it. There was an island which was hit by epidemic ruining many lives. Finally the local people got in God Pak Tai. He eradicated plague and killed evil spirits. Hence Pak Tai Temple is considered as the most religious centre of the island.

Ma Po Tofu
Ma Po Tofu

The festival’s parade includes colorful lions, marching bands, martial arts activities, flowery floats, loud drums and cymbals. The most unique and thrilling activities includes adults carrying children on their shoulders, dressed up like mythological Chinese deities. Their dressing-up like this symbolizes driving away the evil spirits. Next is the peculiar Bun Grabbing Contest. A tower of 60 foot is made, all covered by buns. You have to grab maximum buns in 3 minutes, isn’t it interesting? There are more fun activities to add on to this. During 3 days of the fest, entire island goes for a vegetarian diet. I am very fond of Chinese food. So let’s add some vegetarian yummzz from the land of China.

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Ingredients:-

3 sliced Scallions,

1 cup warm Water,

1 block diced soft Tofu,

2 minced Garlic Cloves,

1 teaspoon minced Ginger,

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil,

15 dried Shiitake Mushrooms,

1 1/2 tablespoon Black Bean Sauce,

1 tablespoon Cornstarch with 2 tablespoons Water.

For Sauce:-

2 teaspoons Sugar,

2 teaspoons Soy Sauce,

2 teaspoons Sesame Oil,

2 ½ tablespoons Chili Bean Paste,

½ teaspoon ground Sichuan Pepper,

1 tablespoon Chinese Rice Wine or Dry Sherry.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water for 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms, squeezing excess water. Keep this water. Discard the stems and chop the mushroom caps. Now let’s prepare the sauce. Take a small bowl. Add in leftover water and all the ingredients mentioned under sauce. Keep aside.

  2. Heat a wok. Add oil. Add the mushrooms, black bean sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add scallion whites, garlic, ginger and stir-fry until fragrant for 1 minute.

  3. Pour in the sauce. Now add water. Bring it to boil, then simmer. Gently add tofu cubes. Allow the sauce to simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. In a small pan, add in the cornstarch and water mixture. Heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add to the tofu gravy. Allow to simmer till the gravy thickens.

  5. Garnish with green scallions. Serve hot with rice!

Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Enjoy the Chinese treat!

Vegan Tour with Vegan Celebs

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better” this song by The Beatles helped me when I ran out of recipes for my aunt. My aunt is a vegan and allergic to a lot of ingredients. I had to go vegan and less spicy for her a week. She heard this song and said “You know, Paul is also a vegan, just like me” where she emphasized on just like me. Therefore, I thought let me make her happy. Hope you liked my vegan recipes, vegan cream cheese and vegan sandwiches, vegan carrot cake and many more. Former Beatles member, Paul McCartney has been a vegan for quite a long time. His former wife was a figurehead of the vegan movement.

Vegan Baked Polenta
Vegan Baked Polenta

Paul looks 10 years younger than his age, I guess that’s how vegan food works. Not only him but many more including Bryan Adams, Ellen DeGeneres, Jared Leto, Jessica Chastain, Samuel L Jackson are working really hard to make people go vegan. Though it’s a difficult to make everybody vegan, these vegan celebs have substitutes for the meat to match their craving despite of their hectic schedule. I am not sure when or whether I’ll go vegan, but let me try something for my aunt atleast. I have planned a little treat for my aunt with everything vegan definitely inspired by all the vegan people and ofcourse the options they have with something like polenta.

Vegan Baked Polenta

Ingredients:-

Pepper to taste,

2 chopped Onions,

Garlic Salt to taste,

2 teaspoon Olive Oil,

1 chopped Tomatoes,

100 gms Vegan Cheese,

2 Squares Vegan Polenta,

20 gms chopped Coriander,

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano,

1 tablespoon Red Chili Sauce,

200 gms ground Vegan Sausage,

50 gms chopped Mushrooms (Optional).

Preparation Method:-

1. Take 1 teaspoon olive oil and saute in it onions and tomatoes. Now add in salt, ground vegan sausage and mushrooms (optional). Add garlic salt and stir it for a minutes. Set aside.

2. After removing from heat, add red chili sauce. Mix well. Now take a pan and heat the polenta squares with 1 teaspoon olive oil. You can directly bake the polenta squares but I prefer to heat them a bit first.

3. Make a sandwich of polenta with the filling. Add the remaining filling above the sandwich. Sprinkle vegan cheese inside and above the sandwich as shown.

4. Bake for 3 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with pepper, oregano and coriander. Your little vegan treat is ready.

Stay Fit with Vegan Food
Stay Fit with Vegan Food

Sometimes it’s good to enjoy a Vegan Treat!

Valentine’s Day Special Vegan Dip

It is often said, ‘You are blessed doublee if you are in love’. So how many thumbs up for this? Valentine’s day is here, express your feeling of love, affection and friendship. No matter how you dice and slice it, food and love are always inextricably tied. What are you planning for the love struck holiday? If your girl is hot, I’ve got something to really heat up your romantic date. Appetizers is a must from small to large scale gathering and even for a date.

Hot Chili Dip
Hot Chili Dip

Hope you enjoyed my last year’s Valentine’s day special recipe, Cheesy hearts. A winning dip or spread can score big at any special occasion. This is a classic hot vegan dip that can be served with almost anything your soul mate likes whether it is crackers, chips or roasted vegetables. Do you really want the good times to roll? Serve her with something sizzling, tangy and spicy apart from your love.

Vegan Walnut and Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:-

1 cup Water,

3/4 teaspoon Salt,

3 red bell Peppers,

1 small Garlic Clove,

1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika,

1 tablespoon Lemon juice,

2 slices Toast Pita Bread,

Black Pepper as required,

3/4 teaspoon ground Cumin,

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar,

4 ounces toasted Walnut pieces,

2 teaspoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Roast peppers over gas burner till they are black. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool for 15 minutes. Peel and discard skin, stem and seeds. Keep aside.

  2. Toast pita bread until crisp. Break into 2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Cover with water. Soak until soft for 10 minutes. Transfer to a sieve and drain well. Press out excess of water. Keep aside.

  3. Blend garlic and walnut pieces in a food processor. Now add paprika, cumin and reserved peppers and pita bread. Process for another 10 seconds.

  4. Add lemon juice, oil, vinegar and salt. Season with black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it overnight.

  5. Before serving, bring the dip to room temperature. Drizzle with oil. Garnish with walnuts. Enjoy with any snacks.

With Love
With Love

Happy Valentine’s Day

Celebrate Eurochocolate with Choco Pumpkin Muffins

Eurochocolate is the festival which is entirely dedicated to chocolate of Umbria, which is a historic as well as modern central Italy region. I love chocolate recipes. This festival takes place every year in the month of October in Perugia. The origin of this festival dates back to 1994 and symbolizes creative architect Eugene Guarducci. The festival displays Italian and International chocolates. It also consists of various cultural events and shows that animate the streets of the city. The most remarkable events among the events is the display of enormous Chocolate Sculptures, made by skilled sculptors.

Yummy Muffins :P
Yummy Muffins 😛

These sculptors are made out of one metre cube volume of chocolate. The sculptors prepare and display designs of their masterpiece during the event. I decided to make vegan and gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for a perfect celebration. I have used Flax Seed Egg that is the substitute of organic egg to keep it vegan. Gluten-free flour is readily available in the market. I thought of combining the chocolate from Europe and pumkin of America to make a friendly recipe that would cheer both the nations.

Ingredients:-

1/4 teaspoon Salt,

1/2 cup Brown Sugar,

1 teaspoon Cinnamon,

1/2 cup Pumpkin puree,

2 cups Gluten-free Flour,

2 tablespoons Canola oil,

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract,

1/2 teaspoon Baking soda,

1 teaspoon Baking powder,

1 cup Almond milk+1 Tbsp Lemon juice,

1/3 cup Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips,

1 Flax Egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2.5 tablespoons water).

Preparation Method:-

  1. Preheat oven to 375 D. F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Prepare flax egg by mixing flax meal and water in a large bowl. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, almond milk, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and stir. 

  2. Then add salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and whisk. Carefully place the flour into a bowl, over the wet ingredients and stir. Add chocolate chips and stir. If the batter appears to be thick, add almond milk accordingly. 

  3. Fill the mixture in muffin tins. Add a few more chocolate chips to the top, if you are a really big fan of chocolate like me. Bake for 28 minutes or until golden brown. Check whether it’s baked or not with the help of a toothpick. 

  4. It must come out clean when inserted till the bottom of the muffin. Let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy the treat :).

Chocolate Sculptures at Eurochocolate Fest
Chocolate Sculptures at Eurochocolate Fest

Enjoy Unique Chocolates on Eurochocolate Fest!

 

Pumpkin and Bean Stew for Halloween

Here comes the “Pumpkin Festival”. We all are excited for Halloween festival. Isn’t it? Let’s start the preparation with a healthy kick. Whether you are throwing a fancy party to your friends or kids, a healthy recipe is always welcomed. Pinto beans serve as a great source of proteins. Infact, it is a good substitute for meat. Pumpkin is almost fat free and low in calories. It contains carotenoids that generate vitamin A. They are also rich in vitamins C, E and B complex.

Halloween Stew
Halloween Stew

Pumpkins contain calcium and fibre. But the advantage is that they are free from fat which is otherwise present in red meat. They are great for sodium-free diet. These beans are rich in vitamin B, thiamin, roboflavin and niacin. Apart from this, they are rich in fibre which is very helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. Pinto beans are used in meal courses such as bakes, appetizers, salads and even bread. I will be preparing Healthy Pumpkin and Bean Stew with Herbs.

Healthy Pumpkin and Bean Stew with Herbs

Ingredients:-

2 cups water,

1 sliced Onion,

2 teaspoons Salt,

2 Mexican Chillies,

4 chopped Tomatoes,

15 ounce Pinto Beans,

2 tablespoons Olive oil,

2 teaspoons ground Cumin

1 tablespoon minced Ginger,

5 cups cubed peeled Pumpkin,

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese/Vegan Cream Cheese (Optional).

Preparation Method:-

1. Preheat the broiler. Place Mexican chillies on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until blackened for 8 minutes, turning them with a tong. Steam the chillies, discarding stem and seeds.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cumin, onion, ginger and Mexican chillies. Cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are soft for 5 minutes.

3. Add water and pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in par-boiled beans and cook until heated through. Stir in Parmesan/Vegan Cream Cheese and salt.

4. Serve hot with steamed rice or garlic bread!

Halloween is here!!
Halloween is here!!

Enjoy the Halloween Treat!

Celebrate the The Vegetarian Fest with Tofu and Peanut Dip

The Vegetarian Festival of Phuket, Thailand is celebrated each year from the end of September to beginning of October, which lasts for nine days. The largest island of Thailand, named as ‘Pearl of the South’ looks spectacular on this fest. On this fest, the Chinese community considers the event as the beginning of the month of ‘Taoist Lent’, according to which the followers of the Tao, restrict themselves from eating meat and meat products. The main centre where the festival is celebrated is Jui Tui temple. It is the oldest and well renowned temple of Phuket. Highlights include:

  • Walking on hot coals

  • Climbing knife-blade ladders

  • Piercing skin with sharp tools

I thought of making something out of tofu for the vegans/vegetarians. Hope you liked my vegan recipe ideas for Father’s Day special. You can smartly substitute almond with peanuts, for the people allergic to peanuts. Tofu can be deep fried directly or you can have it as follows.

Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe

Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce

For Deep Fried Tofu

Ingredients:-

1 pound Tofu,

Oil for deep frying as needed,

4 tablespoons Cornstarch or Flour.

Preparation method:-

  1. Drain the tofu. Cut the tofu into triangles or squares as desired. Roll the tofu in the cornstarch or flour. Heat wok and add oil for deep frying. Heated the oil to 350 D. F.

  2. Fry, until the tofu is golden on both sides. Remove with a skimmer spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep warm while frying the remaining tofu.

  3. Serve with Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce.

For Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce

Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce
Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:-

1 pinch Salt,

2 tablespoons Sugar,

2 tablespoons Vinegar,

7 sprigs sliced Cilantro,

1 teaspoon ground fresh Chili paste,

2 tablespoons toasted and crushed Peanuts.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Take a large microwave bowl to prevent over boiling. In a microwavable bowl, combine sugar, ground fresh chili paste, salt and vinegar. Heat up for a minute or till sugar is dissolved.  

  2. Stir the sauce with a spoon to blend all the ingredients in. Add the crushed, toasted peanuts and top with the sliced cilantro.

Shrine of Phuket
Shrine of Phuket

Enjoy the spirit of the fest!

Vegan Recipes – Summer Soups

Oh! It’s summer time. I’m almost through writing my experience about grill recipes, appetizers plus salads. Now it’s time for some soupy affair. Apart from Red Borscht and Hearty Croutons Broccoli Soup, that I had mentioned in the post My Heart RecipesI prefer having following Vegan soups. If you are vegetarian then additional cream cheese, cottage cheese, milk can also be added. I have presented my recipes in both forms, vegans or vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup– Butternut squash soup is made purely from the rich puree of butternut squash. The thick puree is blended with broth or stock. We can use broth/stock of our own choice. Incase we prefer vegan soup, vegetable stalk can be added to the puree. If we are fond of non-vegetarian flavors, then chicken stock is recommended. Thick cream adds to the richness of the soups. I prefer vegan soups over the non-vegetarian ones. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread with vegan cream cheese on it. You’ll relish it, I’m sure.

Cold Cucumber Soup
Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup– There is a special reason behind the saying as cool as cucumber. This fresh and crisp vegetable makes so many lovely recipes for this hot summer eg. cucumber bites with feta, yogurt, dips, subs, sandwiches, salads, juice etc. Let’s have a look at cold cucumber soup. This soup is a low calorie soup. It is loaded with goodness of capsicum and low fat milk. It is flavored with mint and dill for freshness. It makes a cool and refreshing lunch. Vegan cucumber soup can be made from smooth avocado cream. A fine mixture of fresh dill, onions and garlic may also give it a smooth texture. Hence there are many ways to have cucumber soup.

Summer Vegetable Curry Soup
Summer Vegetable Curry Soup

Summer Vegetable Curry Soup– I love incorporating seasonal vegetables in my recipes. It makes the food very nutritious. I make it a point to use fresh ginger as it not only adds taste but also improves digestion. Pumpkin is one of my favorites. Hence, I include onion, tomatoes, corns, tomatoes, baby spinach, coriander and cottage cheese. Vegans can opt for tofu. Infact, I love tofu. This makes an excellent supper. This soups can be made in two ways, either boil all the vegetables, blend them and then add tofu or cottage cheese cubes at the end or keep the vegetables as such and do not blend. It is quite filling. When I opt for lite dinner, I prefer this soup with steamed rice or plain bread.

Happy Summer
Happy Summer

Happy Summer 🙂

Jagannath Ratha Yatra with Vegan Recipes

Ratha Yatra is AKA Roth Jatra or Chariot Festival. This is a famous Hindu Festival, and originated in Puri (Orissa). Ratha means Chariot and Yatra means journey. It marks annual journey of divinity in form of idols (Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra) to their aunt’s home. Ratha Yatra has gained popularity in famous cities of the world since 1968 because of ISKCON Hare Krishna movement. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in more than 100 cities including Dublin, Belfast, Birmingham, New York, Singapore, Toronto, Antwerp, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, London, Bath, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris and Mexico. It is also celebrated in Bangladesh.

Dalma Recipe
Dalma Recipe

Well, hope you liked my blog, Indian meat recipes. My sister and her family went to India during this festival. They are very fond of Indian food. They participated in Ratha Yatra and also drew the wheel from Puri Temple to the sea. She found it very exciting doing the Hindu rituals and also wore saree (Indian culture dress) on the auspicious occasion, how lovely she looked in it. She loves Indian cuisine, just like me and taught she two yummy vegan recipes from East India. Dalma is the traditional Oriya lentil recipe. Khatta is a sweet and sour compote. The specialty of these recipe is that here we use panch phoron. Panch phoron consists of equal quantity of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed.

Dalma (Lentils Curry)

Ingredients (Serving – 6)

Salt as required,

4 pieces long beans (1’ cut),

1 large diced Potato,

2 large diced Tomatoes,

2 pieces Dry red chillies,

1 medium diced Radish,

4 large diced Colocasia,

100 grams diced Jackfruit,

1 tablespoon Cooking oil,

½ cup yellow pigeon peas,

½ teaspoon Turmeric powder,

1 medium diced Raw banana,

2 medium diced Pointed gourd,

1 tablespoon Panch phoron,

3 tablespoons Grated fresh coconut.

Preparation Method:-

1. Pressure cook the vegetables with lentils, salt, and turmeric. Give it 2 whistles. Remove from heat. Wait till the steam is out. Add grated coconut into the pressure cooker, keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a large wok. When warm add to panch phoronand dry red chillies. Allow the spices to splutter. Add in the cooked vegetables and lentils.

3. Serve with rice and khatta (Sour accompaniment).

Khatta (Tangy Pulpy Tomato Sauce – Serving 6)

Khatta Recipe
Khatta Recipe

Ingredients:-

10 piece Dates,

Salt as required,

1 pinch Asafoetida,

100 grams Jaggery,

1 piece Dry red chilli,

1 tablespoon Cooking oil,

Curry leaves as required,

8 medium size diced Tomatoes,

1 piece split Green chillies,

½ teaspoon Panch phoron.

1. In a large wok, heat oil. Add panch phoron, green chilli, dry red chilli, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Add the tomato, dates and jaggery. Cook till ingredients are blended and soft.

2. Add one cup water and simmer for 5 minutes. Khatta is ready to be served. Enjoy with Dalma and boiled rice.

Happy Ratha Yatra!!

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