securedownload-9Spring is here, and soon I will be graduating to salads and lighter meals. But last night was particularly cool and rainy, so I wanted to eat something comforting. I had some of this awesome creamed coconut in my cupboard, so I decided to make a curry. If you don’t have a similar product, no worries, just use 1 cup coconut milk in place of water. The addition of smoked paprika makes it even more swoonable, I think.

Smokey Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

Serves 3 / Time: 35 minutes

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Do you remember when my buddy Nick over at TheLittlestWinslow and I watched Rain Man and ate Thrice Fried Rice? No? Well, he is on an epic film quest to watch every Best Picture winner, and I just like movies and food. So we get together and watch and feast. He is not a vegan at all, but does like healthy eating, so we have fun veganizing shtuff. He is currently on some weird caveman diet, the Paleo diet, which is basically (as far as I can tell) veganism minus all grains, plus hunks of animal flesh. Er what? It is lots of veggies and meat, and no dairy or grains. But I love grains! Good thing I was not a cavelady.

SO we did a weird Paleo/Vegan split with a recipe for Thai Chicken Curry. View the original recipe here. And here is the veganized version, for all you lettuce-munchers.

Thai Seitan, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

1 package Seitan
1 large sweet po, cut into 1′ pieces
3-4 cups of spinach (I like the baby variety…because everything is better in baby form)
1 can of coconut milk (We used light, but I like full fat because I am glutenous)
1.5 T Thai Green Curry Paste (Which I had never cooked with before!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ yellow onion, diced
¼ cup lime juice
2 T Sriracha (sigh sigh sigh I LOVE SRIRACHA)
2 serrano peppers, minced (we left the seeds in because WE ARE SO BAD ASS)
2 T apple cider vinegar
Vegetable oil for wok

(Note: When Nick and I made this, we cooked our proteins seperate. In the below recipe, I pretend we added the seitan when it would normally be added if I wasn’t cooking with some club-wielding, Oscar watching caveman.)

Step one:
Place sweet potatoes in boiling water to speed cooking time, because I am impatient and hungry. While they are boiling (about 3-4 minutes), heat oil in wok, and saute onion and garlic on medium-high heat until the onion becomes translucent (Also about 3-4 minutes…how convenient).

Step two:
Remove sweet potatoes from boiling water and add them to wok. Add Thai green chili paste, coconut milk, vinegar, and serrano pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.

Step three:
Add seitan, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Check to make sure the potato is cooked thoroughly, then add lime juice and Sriracha. Stir. Add spinach and allow to wilt, 1-2 minutes.

Oh and as for An American In Paris? I spent most of it commenting on Gene Kelly’s tight pants, which Nick’s fiance pointed out probably gave all sorts of lady boners when it came out. Also, if you were a man who could tap dance, would you be really ashamed of it and tell no one, or would you bust out dancing in public? I feel like it has to be one or the other, right? If I could dance, and I had a penis, I would surely bust moves in public to woo women (or convince them I am gay). Pow pow pow!

Pow pow pow! (1950s lady boners all around)

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Some things just don't photograph me...and most Mexican and Indian dishes

This enchilada recipe is inspired by my friend A, who lives in Arizona. Remember her guest post on phantom erections!? I call these dirty because the enchilada sauce includes rich cocoa. With black beans, kale and sweet potatoes, this dish is something that would come out of A’s kitchen. Also, please note that when I made them, I was so hungry that I made the filling and then decided to ditch the last step—rolling them in tortillas and baking them! You can feel free to skip the last step too. I find, especially when cooking for just myself, I often get impatient and lazy and skip over fancy, complex steps that I would follow diligently if I were cooking for a guest. Also this recipe is gluten-free, because my gorgeous friend A is allergic to that jank!

Please note you need to make the enchilada sauce first.

Arizona Enchiladas
Prep time: 10 minutes/ Cook time:  40 minutes/ Serves: 4-5

You will need:

For the filling:
– 1 onion, roughly chopped
– 2 medium sweet potatoes, baked and cubed
– 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
– 1 large bunch of kale, washed and torn into small pieces
– 2 tomatoes, washed and chopped
– 2 tbsp cumin
– 1 tbsp chili powder
– 1 lime
– 2 tbsp Earth Balance
– Your favorite gluten-free corn tortillas

For the sauce:
(Makes 2  ½ cups)
– 2 tablespoons safflower oil
– 1 tablespoon rice flour (or your fav gluten-free flour alternative)
– 1/4 cup chili powder
– 1 tsp cocoa powder
– 2 cups veggie broth
– 10 oz can organic tomato paste
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp salt

Quick tip: If you are planning to go bake the enchiladas and not just eat the filling like this lazy vegan, pre-heat your oven to 350 while you make the filling.

Directions for Sauce

Step one
Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Step two
Stirring constantly, slowly add ½ cup veggie broth to make a thin paste.

Step three
Pour into saucepot or pan and add rest of broth

Step four
Simmer  over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.

Step five
Stir in tomato paste, simmer 3-4 more minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.

Directions for Filling

Step one
Heat a wok or large pan over medium heat. Add the Earth Balance, wait until it has melted,  and add onion. Sauté until translucent, approximately 5- 6 minutes.

Step two
Add sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes and all spices.  Stir, and then add half of your enchilada sauce. Cook, uncovered, 5-6 minutes until everything is well incorporated.

Step three
Add kale and cover to let steam, 2-3 minutes or until leaves are bright green. Don’t overcook!

Assemble your enchiladas by placing ½ cup (more or less depending on size of your tortillas) and rolling. Assemble rolled tortillas (stuff them in there! Hard and deep! ) in a baking dish and pour the rest of your enchilada sauce over the top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes. Pull out, squeeze your lime on top, and enjoy!

Okay tell me your dirty enchilada tips!

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So after I posted on my sweet potato latkes yesterday, where I talked about how I plan to go to my father’s house and be lazy while he cooks for me, my dad read it. So when I arrived he told me that I am cooking! My own recipe! So much for parent-child dynamics. But to make up for it, he made me a martini. His martinis always knock me on my butt, so I asked for a “baby” martini, which means it has less booze.

Well, apparently I am terrible at cooking and drinking simultaneously—even fetal, first-trimester sized drinks. I was so interested in catching up with my family and enjoying my didn’t-eat-all-day-plus-I’m-a-cheap-drunk buzz that I forgot to measure how much shredded sweet potato should go in (4 cups!) to my mix, and therefore added way too many potatoes and the latkes were a serious disaster. They wouldn’t stick together, they wouldn’t fry, they wouldn’t do anything but plop in the pan and sort of sizzle. Hanukkah fail!

latke lush

However, let’s talk about my gift from my father. To lend background to my present (and show you all where I get my enthusiasm for uhm, human sexuality) let me tell you about my cousin! I have a super brilliant cousin who, while getting her masters at Harvard (smartypants), had a project where she had to design, create and market a product. Her partner in this project would later become her husband. Their product? The ‘pleasant surprise’ bag; a swanky bag for you to carry and/or store all your sex toys in.

So, if you’re a call girl traveling from hotel to hotel in the dead of night, you can carry your tricks in this posh purse-style bag with separate breathable, mesh compartments that you can remove and wash to keep things clean. Or if you’re going on a romantic vacation—or spring break!—and you want to bring all of your dirty accoutrement, now you can do it without looking like the freak you clearly are. Or, in my case, now you can just store all your sex toys in one place instead of flinging them all over your closet, causing you to swear a lot as you dig through to find what you’re looking for.

Bag next to my fuzzy 8 1/2s so you can get a size idea.

This was my Hanukkah gift from my father. (My step-mother gave me a lovely globe Christmas ornament. Christmas ornaments as Hanukkah gifts! Ironic?) After I left, pops send me a text message to make sure I get home safe and tell me to “have fun loading my bag.” Weird?

The bag used to have a website, but since it’s been nearly a decade since the bag’s birth and my cousin’s project is in her past, the site now belongs to a cruise line.

Do you see how it says your VALUABLE adult toys? When my dad gave it to me (sorry for blowing up your spot dad but what did you expect, really?) he told me he didn’t think the bag was big enough for “all toys.”  The convo went like this:

Me: All toys?
Dad: Yes, like magic wands.
Me:  You mean a Hitachi?!
Dad: Yes, aren’t they like the Jaguar of sex toys?
Me: Pffft, I can’t afford a Hitachi…
Dad: It would be weird if I got you a magic wand, right?

Yes. Yes it would be. So, what did you get for Hanukkah? Are you frustrated with all the different spellings of Hanukkah? Does your family get you interesting gifts? Does your family design accessories for sex toys? Do you want to buy me a Hitachi? Do you think about Uma Thurman wielding a deluxe vibrator and going “Hitachi Hanzo!” when you think of the Hitachi? I know that’s a lot of questions but I have had SO much COFFEE!

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Happy Hanukkah! Today is the first of eight crrrazy nights, and so in lieu of another sexy rant, I will post recipes for my favorite traditional Jewish dish, with a twist: Sweet Potato Latkes. Tonight I will be going to my dad’s house ( also I am posting this ‘cause my dad gets upset when I post too many rants about sex in a row…more food!) where we will be eating sweet potato latkes, and regular potato latkes. But I will not be cooking them tonight, because when I go home to my parents’ I like to be lazy. You have to hold on to that parent-child dynamic as long as you can!

So here is my jazzed up version of sweet potato latkes, with apple compote.

Sweet Potato Apple Latkes
Serves: 2/ Prep time: 15 minutes/ Cook Time: 15 minutes

4 cups sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweets) peeled and shredded
1 apple  (I like Braeburns), diced
1 small Vidalia onion, minced
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 batches flax egg replacer (I usually have this pre-made in fridge)
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
oil (I use Safflower) for frying

Step one:
Combine shredded sweets (I shred with my Cuisinart or a box grater),apple, onion, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and egg replacer in a bowl. Use your hands because it’s more fun and takes less time than a spoon.

Step two:
Wet your hands to prevent sticking and form smallish, flat pancakes. This recipe usually makes 8 or 9.

Step three:
Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add pancake and fry 2 minutes per side until golden. Add more oil, if needed, between pancakes.

Apple Compote
Serves: 2/ Prep time: 6 minutes/ Cook Time: 15 minutes

This is the ultimate lazy girl recipe. I cooked it last week at 9 pm, without the latkes, in my slippers and robe, while listening to Cat Power (who makes me want to take off all of my clothes due to Pavlovian conditioning). When it was complete I ate the entire batch with a spoon, thus the lack of photo-proof. Food blog fail…

3 apples, peeled and roughly chopped. Again, I use Braeburn.
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger

Step one:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté apples in melted Earth Balance for 4-5 minutes.

Step two:
Once tender, add syrup and spices.

Step three:
Turn heat to low, cover and cook 6-8 more minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

Serve over latkes. Or not. Who am I to tell you what to do? Happy Hanukkah!

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Thanks, !

Today is national food day. Occasionally my co-worker, Nick (oh hey, Nick!) and I talk about how exactly one goes about declaring a national day. How do you do it? Do you need to get it approved? Is it someone’s job to approve the national days, or can you do it at your leisure? If so, it could be a disgustingly terrible way to hit on the opposite sex and make them feel overall uncomfortable. “Did you know it’s national Oral Sex day? There’s only a few hours left ’til midnight, baby…” ANYWAY, on national coffee day I indulged in 3 cups of extra dark Columbian. Actually, I do that everyday. And today is national food day, but so far I haven’t really eaten anything different. I will, however, make you this nice little list of my top 5 favorite foods, because I know you care.  

1. Avocados—Full of healthy fats and potassium, I smear avocado on toast, eat them with a spoon, and make copious amounts of guacamole.

2. Hummus—Hummus is a food group for me. I probably eat it every day. I make my own because—like someone with a heroin problem—my addiction can get expensive.

3. Sweet potatoes—Sweet potato kale soup, baked sweet potato, sweet potato fries, stuffed sweet potato, sweet potato curry. Sweet potatoes are to me what shrimp is to Bubba. (If you don’t understand that reference, we will never be friends.)  Sometimes I wonder why my palms aren’t orange.

4. Barbeque sauce—This isn’t a food, you might be saying! Oh, but it is. I like to make my own when I am feeling productive, and I put it on everything—tofu, tempeh, veggies, and all of the things listed above (BBQ hummus, what!?!). Sometimes if I am real hungry and have already spent my allotted grocery money, you will find me eating my version of a poor college student’s Ramen: quinoa with barbecue sauce. Yep. Nasty.

5. Anything that comes out of a blender. I am a smoothie freak, a green juice freak, a soup-in-a-blender freak. I chipped my glass blender a few weeks ago, sprinkling shards of glass into my pumpkin smoothie, and I nearly died. I think I texted about 4 of my favorite epicureans about the tragedy, Tweeted about it, and called my mother to whine (and drop hints I want a nicer blender for Christmahannukah…).

Today, to celebrate national food day (to me, every day is national food day) I made a  Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “milk” shake with the So Delicious Chocolate PB “ice cream” flavor. (The ice cream was compliments of VegNews who sent me a complimentary coupon for spreading the vegan love and helping them with distribution via the VegNews Street Team. Thanks, VegNews!)

1 ripe banana, frozen
2 (big!) scoops So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Dessert
2 Tbsp Non-Dairy milk (I used soy this time, I also like almond and coconut)

Put the banana, ice cream and milk into a blender. Turn it on, pulse a few times—running it too much will make it very thin, and you want it nice and thick!—and pour into a glass! Enjoy while on lunch break while you serenade your kitten with Milkshake by Kelis. Or not.

In other vegan news, Russell Brand is now a vegan!?! Say what!? Another reason for me to want to slather him in sticky sweet foodstuffs and lick it off his skinny British body. Don’t worry Katy P, you can join too; there’s nothing crowded about a party of three in my opinion.

Oh Russell, I wish I was your pleather pants

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Fresh Pea Soup; image by bport7831

There’s nothing like a good hot soup on a cold winter day. Recently I brought one of my favorite soups, Simple Fresh Pea, to a potluck dinner at Cifax Yoga. Later, my super-sweet-bendy-flexy-yogi-goddess of a teacher, Donna, told me she overheard a couple of students wondering what I had added to the soup to make it so creamy The answer? Nothing!

Starchy veggies likes peas, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes give their own creamy texture to soups when pureed. This allows you to indulge in a filling, healthy dairy-free soup that is low in calories and fat and high in fiber. Pea soup is a particular favorite of mine, and most people don’t know how high in protein the magnificent little pod is. So the next time you’re feeling soupy, grab a bag of frozen peas (or fresh if they’re in season) and get to work. You won’t regret it.

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