Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Borrowed Bobotie Recipe {South Africa}

two slices of vegetarian bobotie

Ignore all typos that may follow.  I’m blogging from my favorite Knoxville coffee shop (don’t be alarmed by their stub of a website).  Their lattes are potent.  And I am weak and very susceptible to the side effects of coffee.  I’m jittery, overly excited about everything, and typing faster than I can actually read it.  My thoughts are absolutely everywhere and refusing to coalesce.  And I’m only halfway through the iced soy vanilla latte bliss.  Beware.

Moving on, I am certainly not alone in my plot to try vegetarian recipes from around the world.    For something like 24 hours, I thought the concept of The Pearl Project was my own.  But when researching content, recipes, ideas for my blog, I quickly stumbled upon the many foodies with similar goals that have come before me.  There are oodles of cookbooks, hundreds of bloggers doing a very similar thing.  Some are great; some mediocre; some very, um, lack luster (the best of intentions).  I do not know that anyone else forced the all countries in one year time crunch onto themselves, however…they were smarter than me.

My point is that while I often feel the need to reinvent the wheel (making my own recipes), when I find a really great-looking wheel, I just smooth it out to my own liking.  Enter: One World Vegetarian Cookbook.

(Source)

Usually, I find great recipes from a country and have to figure out how to make them vegetarian. While this book does not have a recipe from every single country, it does cover a good bit of territory.

For today’s post, I found an already vegetarian South African bobotie recipe in this book.  Since the recipe is not my own and I don’t want be a copyright jerk (although, frankly, Disney and the Mickey Mouse copyright extension drive me nuts as a little librarian lady), I will not post it for the world.  But you should check this book out from your local public library!  (If you use the same public library as me, you’re going to have to reserve it to force me to not renew it).

Bobotie is traditionally a meatloaf with curry flavor and other Indian spices.  What a representation of the mixing pot that is South African cuisine.  Hello, combination of English and Indian food cultures.  Troth Wells’ version is a lentil/bean loaf with the same flavors.

My only substitutions for his recipe were swapping milk with almond milk (I eat cheese like crazy, but don’t ever have cow’s milk in the fridge…go figure), and pinto beans for black-eyed peas.  It worked.  Good going on this recipe, Troth Wells.

We had a lot of other things going on in this meal, besides the bobotie.  Plain yogurt, saffron rice with raisins, mango (my first golden mango back there), mango chutney (courtesy of Trader Joe’s–wish Kville had a TJ), and tomatoes, barely-dressed (that’s right, boys, they are the tomatoes you’re parents warned you about when you went to college as an innocent freshman; when tomatoes dress like that, they are just asking to be eaten) with vinegar, salt, and pepper.

This meal snapped me back out of easy meal mode, as it took a bit more effort.  The ingredient list was long; the seasoning more complex than the salt, pepper, and peanuts of the last post.  But it was worth making to experience the combination of cuisines.  And if you’re really dying for this recipe and cannot find a recipe you like online, send me an e-mail–I’ll share with you off-blog to avoid that pesky copyright infringement.

Latte is almost gone.

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Categories: African Food, Cookbooks, Food, Recommended Recipe Sources, Rice, Southern Africa, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Squash and Peanut Mash with Millet {Chad}

Let’s stick with the easy recipes theme, yeah?  I’ll ratchet it up with my South Africa post.

If you are still looking for an easy and fast meal and I did not convince you to make Lebleli last night, good.  Skip that.  Make this.  It’s easier.  And better.

In Chad, millet is the absolute staple. (Chad is the world’s 7th largest producer of millet).  I simply made mine like rice: boil water, add grain, simmer until tender and no excess water.  Oh, yeah, and a little pat of Earth Balance.

As for the squash and peanut mash, it’s too easy to even call a recipe.  Your secret weapon: frozen, cubed squash.  Saves you the oven and knife time.

Heat a tablespoon of oil (I used peanut oil) in a pot.  Add in your bag of squash–mine was about 1 lb.  Cook until heated through.  For every pound of squash added, toss in a cup of crushed peanuts (food processor holla!) Add 1/2 tsp sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on top of that simple millet.  If you cannot get millet, rice will do.  Rice is also a mainstay in Chadian cuisine.  I added some slices of green onion for garnish.

This is my new mac ‘n cheese.  Au revoir (French is an official language of Chad, you know), la sauce de fromage artificielle.

Categories: African Food, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Fast and Easy Lebleli {Tunisian Chickpea Soup}

Hey, readers.  I’m checking in with a quick and simple Tunisian recipe tonight.  Work’s been a bit busy this week (funny how work can be so tiring and rewarding all in the same day!), so my posts are behind (again!–when will I ever catch up…).  I’ve been steadily making progress this week on the Pearl Project, with the exception of last night.  Think one glass of Sangria, turned into two, turned into sushi, turned into gelato, turned into the latest episode of The New Girl.  It was an absolutely lovely evening of good weather, people watching, and eating out unnecessarily.  You cannot blame me.  Conversation away from the interwebs and television was just too much to pass up.

If you’re work week has been like mine, but you’re not feeling an evening filled with gelato splurges, make Lebeli–because it’s super fast.

Fast and Easy Lebleli, Serves 6, Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 2 15 oz cans cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp of Lazy Bones harissa (1 T olive oil with 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground caraway, 1/2 tsp coriander, 2 crushed red peppers–I’m not that lazy bones, right?); okay, fine, if you want to make a more authentic harissa, you go ahead.
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat pot and oil to medium.
  2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Add water, chickpeas, cumin, and Lazy Bones Harissa.  Simmer until chickpeas and water are warmed thoroughly.  (I simmered for only about 15-20 minutes since I had canned chickpeas)
  5. Remove from heat.  Splash with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Garnishes vary greatly with lebleli.  Add hard-boiled eggs, cilantro, croutons, toasted cumin seeds, and on and on and on.  We kept it simple with a bottom layer of croutons which soaked the flavor right up.

If this dish seems too easy for you, then you should have gone running earlier.  Easy dishes like this feel like such edible God-sends during busy weeks.  Okay, fine, you can make mint tea to feel more Tunisian.

And then read about Tunisia’s delegates arriving in Baghdad for the League of Arab Nations’ conference.  Now you’ve made supper, a refreshing beverage, and read up on current events.  You are good, readers.  You are so good.

 

 

 

Categories: African Food, Beverages, Food, North African Food, Soups, Tea, Vegan | Tags: | Leave a comment

Whole Wheat Cheese and Onion Empanadas and Dulce De Leche Alfajores {Argentina}

Woops! Due to photo storage issues, this post has been moved to: http://www.therestoflhistoire.com/2012/03/26/whole-wheat-cheese-and-onion-empanadas-and-dulce-de-leche-alfajores/
See you there!

Categories: Baking, Desserts, Food, Latin American Food, Travel, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Updated Progress Map

The husband has been busy on my behalf.  The white countries are those I have completed. Looks like I’ll be here a while, folks.

For the list of countries by name and recipe, check the Country List Page.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vegetable Kespe and Kuwaiti Black-Eyed Peas {Kazahkstan and Kuwait}

Here’s a 2 for 1 post.  These recipes were made a week or so ago, and never made it to a post yet.  I know, these dishes deserve a bit more love than I’m about to give them.  Not having the battery for the good camera charged is my excuse for having only one, single photo of the Kuwaiti Black-Eyed Peas.  My excuse for the Kespe is non-existent.

The Kuwaiti Black-Eyed Peas are simmered in a tomato-vegetable broth and served over rice.  Typically, there’s not left-over Jamaican festival served with it though…

As for the Kazakh meal, I prepared the Vegetable Kespe over egg noodles, with a Kazakh coleslaw.  Served with a dill and parsley yogurt.  It was good, yes, but honestly, the yogurt was my favorite part.  In both of these cases, I should have looked harder for a more interesting recipe, but still feel that these are dishes traditionally eaten in these countries.

If you’re new to the blog, don’t judge me by this post, or these cuisine of these countries by this post.  Hang out, look around.  Check out some other posts.

Categories: Central Asian Food, Food, Middle Eastern Food, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Sweet Orange Persian Rice and Pomegranate Soup {Iran}

This post has been migrated to my new location. Stop by for some Persian food at:
http://www.therestoflhistoire.com/2012/03/23/jewelled-persian-rice-and-vegetarian-pomegranate-stew/

Categories: Food, Holidays, Middle Eastern Food, Rice, Soups, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Nowruz (Persian New Year) Teaser Photo

Post coming later today/tonight.  I’ve got a work conference today and wasn’t able to get my Persian New Year post pre-posted.  Check back for the recipe for this feast for the eyes.

See you soon!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Follow-Up Recipes for Jamaican Jerk Tofu and Baked Festival (Both Vegan)

So, although my blog is but nascent, someone (hey, there!) has requested my recipes for the Jamaican post from yesterday. All I really need to be talked into posting a recipe is a simple comment asking for it.  Because let’s be real, I’m a wee blogger that’s happy to share.  You can still offer up [false] flattery if you’d like.

Remember the Jamaican post?  Or are you too distracted by beautiful purple tubers?  Here’s a photo to jog the memory.

First:

Jamaican Jerk Tofu Serves 4, (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T Earth Balance (butter if you’re not worried about dairy)
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t salt

I know, it’s a long list, but almost all is a simple spice mixture to add to the marinade.  No need to be intimidated.

Directions:

  1. Press tofu.  Either use tofu press (if you’re lucky enough to have one…anyone with an extra can send to me!) or the dishcloths and pan method to squeeze excess water from tofu.
  2. While pressing the tofu, prepare the marinade.  Mix oil, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and all spice ingredients together in bowl or directly in large zip lock bag.
  3. Once pressed, cut into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  4. Place tofu slices and marinade in zip lock bag.  Marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  5. Melt 1 T Earth Balance in a heated skillet.
  6. Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add jalapenos.  Keep cooking until onions are slightly browned.
  7. Add tofu slices directly onto pan.  Cook 8 minutes on each side. Pour extra marinade into pan to form glaze.

And for the carbs…

Baked Jamaican Festival, Makes 12 fritters (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance + more for pan-frying step
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 T cane sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1/2 vanilla extract
  • Extra cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling (if desired)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour cornmeal, b. powder, cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Either using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix in the butter to form a coarse meal.
  4. Add extracts and milk to the flour mix to form the dough.
  5. Knead enough to combine dough thoroughly (about 30 seconds).  Divide into 12 sections.
  6. Form into slightly flattened oval shapes.  Sometimes described as cigars but not quite that cylindrical.
  7. Melt 1 T Earth Balance in frying pan.  Add festivals to pan as they fit.
  8. Cook festivals on each side until a nice crust forms.
  9. When crust is formed, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until no longer doughy in the middle.  (Ours took a while, but feel free to experiment with upping the temp and less time).
  10. Serve while still warm.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired.

These are a little sweet/dessertish.  But this morning, I came across a fun foodie article related to Caribbean dining in Montreal. It explains that the slight sweetness of the festival is meant to balance out the spice from your jerk chicken tofu.

Note the misspelling in the title when you get to the article.  With the amount of typos on my blog, I certainly am in no place to call another blogger out on typos, but newspaper… Anyhow, it made me feel pleased to have gone with making the festival.

 

Categories: Baking, Breads/Starches, Caribbean Cooking, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Tour de Peru

Today, I bring you three dishes: a vegetarian ceviche, Garlic Quinoa Soup, and Papas a la Huancaina.  But first, you’re stuck scrolling through some of my travel photos from Peru!  I can’t help but look through travel pictures when I’ve actually visited a country of origin for my recipes.

We visited Peru in March of 2010.  Again, I was still a meat eater.  This blog has a lot of meaty photos for being hosted by a non-meat-eater, I know.  Next international vacation will be a bit different.

Jordan, Emilee, and I hiked, shopped, wandered for 8 days.  ‘Twas lovely.  You’ll see an alpaca steak, cuy (guinea pig), passionfruit, produce markets, and the God-send for altitude sickness–coca tea.

Aside from river trout, alpaca, and cuy, I remember eating a lot of pizza, quinoa, fresh fruit juices, and tubers.  Oh, yeah, also remember some pisco sours 🙂

While in Pisac for the weekend market, we stopped to eat at Ulrike’s Cafe.

I had a few bites of Emilee’s cheesecake, a Coke in a glass bottle, and quinoa for the very first time.  Our tour guide told us all about it’s protein powers, etc., so I was eager to try. Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice, which can be used as a base, in soups, or simply stand by itself as a side dish.

(It’s becoming much for available within the U.S. due to increased demand for this nutrition-packed grain, but this does drive the price up for Peruvian citizens.)

My quinoa came in a light, garlicky soup, not the typical tomato based quinoa soup.  I attempted to recreate!

My recipe is at the end of the post.

Our vegetarian ceviche was quite delicious.  I followed a recipe from Food.com that includes hearts of palm.  I was glad that I followed that suggestion, as they come close to offering a crab-like substitute.  I’d honestly never even seen hearts of palm before this grocery shopping trip, though.  Interesting little things…

No, not string cheese. I swear it.

We may have overindulged on ceviche, as we barely had room for the final dish.

I made, or at least sort of made, Papas a la Huancaina!  Papas a la Hancaina consists of slices of boiled potatoes covered in a spicy cheese sauce, hard-boiled eggs, and olives–all on a bed of fresh lettuce.

You might read that the dish is typically served with white or yellow potatoes.  That might be true–I honestly don’t know.  What I do know, is that I was lucky enough to have access to locally-grown, purple Peruvian potatoes!  Wouldn’t you know, someone in Sevierville started planting Peruvian tubers!

(So glad I have a husband who loves me in spite of the fact that I set up photo shoots for tubers).

I often feel conflicted because I love to support local farmers, but also love trying new foods and recipes from all over the world.  This was win-win.

My cheese sauce ended up being entirely too runny–which I now know is because I didn’t shake my can of evaporated milk near enough.  Still, it tasted absolutely delicious.

You can see in the following photo how the cheese sauce just sunk to the bottom of the plate.  When served into individual portions, we spooned the mixture back over las papas.

Trust me on the deliciousness. Or don’t.  Make your own!

As promised, my soup recipe:

Garlic Quinoa Soup, (Serves 8), Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup farfalle or macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add quinoa, carrots, and celery.  Cook until quinoa is slightly toasted.
  4. Add water, bouillon, bay leaf, parsley, and salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil; Let simmer until quinoa and vegetables are tender.
  6. Add pasta and simmer for 6-9 more minutes or until pasta is soft.

Let me know what you think!  I don’t feel the tomatoes are necessary at all…

Adios, Peru.  Until next quinoa dish.

Categories: Food, Latin American Food, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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