Braised Cauliflower and Leeks with Indian Spices and Chickpeas (+ Rainbow Potluck)

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I have always loved potlucks. Call me crazy (IZZY, YOU CRAY), but I would pick crowding my plate up with a huge array of taste treats over eating one main dish 100/100 times. I’ve never been the type to keep my peas separate from my carrots, so having a big mush of deliciousness and a beer in hand is my idea of a wild Saturday night. Since I started cooking in college, I have hosted a couple dozen potluck-style parties where people are encouraged to cook something then we all come and break bread together. There are few things I like more in life than eating meals with people. Also, I want people to show up at my house with delicious food and spoon feed me while someone gives me a massage.

Last night I hosted a rainbow potluck where everyone brought a dish that was a different color of the rainbow. When I told my mom she was TOO excited that I was finally catching on to “eating a rainbow,” which she begged me to do approximately 15 times a day throughout my childhood. I coordinated assigning colors to people so we covered all the bases without too much overlap. It was a smashing success featuring (in ROYGBIV order): borscht, beet hummus, delicata squash roasted red pepper rosemary pasta, carrot chickpea cilantro salad,  tiny lemon tarts, cauliflower and leeks with Indian spices and chickpeas (recipe below), guacamole, pea shoot avocado salad with a tasty green goddess dressing, kale caesar, lemon custard pie with blueberries, lavender macarons, braised purple cabbage, purple cabbage slaw, and black bean burgers! We didn’t bother playing any music at the party because the background sound was everyone MMMMing and UNNNGGGHHing because everything tasted so damn good.

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One last thing! This October I am helping to host a retreat for people who question their relationship with their work, health, food, and other people. Read about it HERE and signup for updates!

Braised Cauliflower and Leeks with Indian Spices and Chickpeas

  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced into florets
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook until just softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in onions and peppers and cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in turmeric, coriander, cumin, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and a splash of water. Cover and cook until the florets are tender, but not soggy, between 5 and 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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Posted in 50 ways to love a chickpea, Curry, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Korean Barbecue Tempeh Wraps

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Last weekend I was in a bar doing what I do best (throwing back beers like CO2 bubbles were oxygen and I was about to be sucked into outer space à la Clooney in Gravity) and I got into a conversation with someone about why I am vegan. I have explained this about 350,000 times, and at this point I just mumble something about not being a huge fan of factory farming and enjoying vegetables. I used to take the questions people asked as a kind of assault; why would did everyone always need to challenge the way I chose to eat? WHY ARE PEOPLE SO AGGRESSIVE? Who gives a flying fart if I just want to eat my tofu in peace?

In the last couple years I’ve come to terms with the fact that most people ask out of genuine curiosity.  I rarely bring veganism up first (see: internet meme “how do you know someone is vegan, don’t worry they’ll tell you”), but when it comes up and people ask, I now get psyched to tell them everything I can about why I choose not to eat the meats. At some point people generally confide that they don’t really know where to begin with vegetarian/vegan cooking.

On that note, I want to rave for a second about America’s Test Kitchen’s new Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. It has 700 recipes (250 of which are vegan), tips for cooking veggies to perfection, cutting how-tos, flavor-building tips, and a crazy glossary of pasta. Did you know that papparedelle means “gulp down” and ziti means “bridegrooms”? ME NEITHER.

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Anyway, in my not-so-humble opinion the book is an absolute must-have for any cookbook collection, especially for those who want to try eating a little less meat. I read the book cover to cover and liked this recipe in particular because it was super quick (the whole thing look less than 30 minutes), didn’t use any crazy ingredients, and was totally delicious. 10/10 Izzies would make again. One note: I chose to braise the bok choy in the reduced sauce because I don’t love raw bok choy. V. V. GOOD.

Lastly, if you aren’t already planning to buy a copy of this bomb book, you can enter to win a free copy! Follow that link and check out the different ways to win. Good luck!

Book release date is March 1. Contest ends March 16 at 11:59 PM.

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  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 1/12 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound tempeh, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips (two 8 oz. packages)
  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 heads bok choy
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 radishes, trimmed, halved, sliced thin
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

1. Whisk sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic, rice vinegar, Sriracha, and cornstarch together in a bowl; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of tempeh and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining tempeh.

2. Add sugar-soy mixture to now-empty skillet and bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer tempeh to bowl, add half of sauce, and toss to coat. Leave half the sauce in the pan and add the bok choy. Braise 2-3 minutes until it is wilted. Lay tortillas on counter, then divide tempeh evenly among tortillas. Top evenly with braised bok choy, cilantro, radishes, and scallions, then drizzle each wrap with sauce. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, fold bottom of tortilla over sides and filling, and roll tightly. Slice in half and serve.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili {Best Ever}

Every year I inevitably have a post about being up to my eyeballs in snot (YOU’RE WELCOME AND SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR APPETITE, FOOD BLOG READERS). I am just textbook bad at handling being sick. Ben has had this cold all week and while I have taken the liberty of ordering Thai food and popping ibuprofen in his mouth like candy, I have also been avoiding any physical contact with his plagued, sorry ass (sorry, Ben).

AND SO, the universe is taking a dump on me for having no empathy and making me sick too. Maybe it was the fact that I went into work Monday and Tuesday despite the 10 feet of snow and minus 100 temps in Boston. I am just a good employee, what can I say? In any case, I am filling my bedroom with crumpled tissues so that one day I can make a mattress out of them and Ben won’t have to sleep next to me anymore. Until my mattress is complete, I will be running back and forth from the kitchen making a pot of this stuff, because it is the most warming and sensationally tasty chili I have ever made. Seriously, it will cure what ails you (especially if what ails you is a rumbling hungry stomach, the common cold, or Ebola).

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Based loosely off of Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (roughly 1 lb)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely minced mushrooms
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 limes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300*. Place jalapeño on a baking sheet and roast 8-9 minutes, or until wilted and fragrant. Remove and set aside.

2. Place walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground, then set aside in a bowl. Combine the drained tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, garlic,  and roasted jalapeño. Process until you have a loose salsa-like mixture, then set aside.

3. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil, then add the chopped onions and mushrooms. Sauté 9-10 minutes until the onions brown, then add oregano and cumin. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the tomato mixture and the processed walnuts. Add 8 cups water and the reserved tomato juice, plus the chopped sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Set to simmer for 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime juice.

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©2015 Veganizzm. Design, caligraphy and illustrations by Pati Mo / Developed by Tyler Schappe

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