Emi's Good Eating

Be good to yourself and all fellow animals


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Napoli Soul Food: Lightly Stewed Courgette (Zucchini) with Plum Tomatoes

While visiting my sister B. in Napoli, she made this dish for us for dinner. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed courgette cooked in this manner. Upon my return, I made it for Mr. GoodEating, who also very much enjoyed it.

This is a traditional Neapolitan dish and it is inherently vegan. It is a savoury and flavourful main dish that is simple, inexpensive, fast and, most importantly, very satisfying.  It is also low in calories, yet very filling. In the summer, you could also eat it cold. Add some tofu or tempeh if you fancy. It can be gluten free if you omit the bread crumbs and oil free if you omit the oil.

Serves two as a main.

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Courgette and tomatoes with breadcrumbs

Marrow mixed with courgette, tomatoes and Saga's seitan pancetta. No breadcrumbs

Marrow mixed with courgette, tomatoes and Sgaia’s seitan pancetta. No breadcrumbs

Ingredients

  • 400 g plum/cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if bigger tomatoes
  • five courgette/zucchini or a medium sized marrow (or a combination of the two, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • one garlic clove, smashed, or one shallot thinly sliced
  • 200ml water (or vegetable broth or cube)
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida, optional
  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs, optional
  • hot chilli (flakes or fresh), to taste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 5-6 basil leaves and/or 1 Tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • glug olive oil, optional

Method

You will need a deep skillet for which you have a cover.

Wash the courgette/zucchini and quickly pass a sharp knife over the skin to remove the small fibres atop the courgette (if there are any).

If you are using marrow instead of courgette/zucchini (or a combination), deseed it by scooping out the spongy middle. 

Heat the skillet. If you are using olive oil, then add that in once the skillet is hot. If you are going for an oil free version, then use about 1/3 to 1/4 cup of water instead. Add the asafoetida and the clove of garlic in a large skillet. If you are using a fresh chilli, then heat that now too. If you are using the shallot instead of the garlic, then add that in at this time as well.

If you are adding tofu/tempeh, add now. Let the garlic get golden brown and then remove (5 minutes or so). If you are using the shallot, then let that get soft.

Add the courgette and/or marrow, the tomatoes, the wine and the water and cover. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.

Cook for an additional five minutes, uncovered, and add the salt, pepper, chilli flakes (if not using fresh), bread crumbs, parsley and/or basil. In the second photo above, I used Sgaia’s seitan pancetta for an added flavoursome element. That is not necessary for this dish to be tasty. If you have some liquid smoke, that would work too, but that is also unnecessary.  

Check the water level. If you would like the dish to be soupier, add more water. If you would prefer it dryer, then turn up the heat and let the water evaporate a bit more, minding that the dish doesn’t burn or stick, OR add another tablespoon of breadcrumbs.

When you have finished cooking, add the nutritional yeast and serve. You may also want to add the nutritional yeast atop the dish once you have decanted it to a plate.

The animals we love are no different from the animals we eat. If you are not vegan, please go vegan. It is easier than ever and http://www.howdoigovegan.com will help you get started. 

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Vegg Salad: Vegan Egg Salad

I like food and vegan food is just simply food to me. It is not fake, faux, replacement, vegan-this or vegan-that. But how do you solve a problem like egg salad? [You can sing that if you fancy and know the musical allusion] Do you call it “no egg,” “tofu egg,” “eggless” “n-egg” “vegg”? Or something altogether different? I like simplicity and directness (and film and music); hence, my title.

This is very tasty, fast and delicious. Serves two as a meal or four if the vegg salad is part of a more substantial meal. 

N-Egg salad

Vegg salad on toasted multi-seed bread

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Vegg salad on romaine leaves, steamed plantains and steamed cavolo nero

Ingredients

  • 400g firm or extra firm tofu (pre-boiled and cooled, following this method or see below)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons mustard (not too spicy and you can also use whole grain or a mix of the two)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons (more or less, as you fancy) of either tahini, for a no-oil take on the recipe, or mayonnaise (either home-made or store-bought; for a fast recipe click here) and if you have neither of those, you can also use soy or other non-dairy cream, but only use two Tablespoons and increase the mustard if it needs to cut back on the sweetness
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoon Indian Black Salt (aka, Kala Namak, that you will find at an Indian market or a good spice shop. It’s optional if you can’t find it, but it’s great because it has a slightly sulphuric smell, so it’s “eggy”)
  • 1/2 or a whole fennel, halved and thinly sliced (if you don’t like fennel, then use 1 celery stalk)
  • 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1 shallot, finely chopped)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon dill (fresh or dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons flax meal
  • 1-2 Tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

Method

Begin by slicing the tofu into small slabs and place in a small saucepan. Cover with water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the tofu from the water and set it aside to cool and dry. This will help it absorb the flavours and firm up the texture even more.

Crumble the cooled tofu into a bowl. Use your hands to mash it up well get the texture of the tofu just right. You will know it when you see it.

In a smaller bowl, mix the spices, mustard, tahini or mayo and mix well. Add that mixture to the tofu, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Taste to see if it needs anything else and done! 

You could also chop a bit of spinach and throw it in the mix for a bit more nutrition, texture and taste. 

Some serving suggestions in the photos above and sprinkle pine nuts atop just before serving. 

The animals we love are no different from the animals we eat. If you are not vegan, please go vegan. It is easier than ever and http://www.howdoigovegan.com will help you get started. 

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Our Journey and Advocacy: Where The Two Roads Diverge

With a nod to Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”, here is my latest piece for Ecorazzi.

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And here is the poem itself, reprinted from Poetry Foundation

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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Weekend Porridge That I’d Actually Love to Eat Every Day (with Quinoa)

It’s a long holiday weekend and this is the perfect porridge for it – oats and quinoa with fruit, berries or rhubarb… up to you!

Emi's Good Eating

I love porridge made in any way, whether sweet or a bit salty, thick, runny or even almost raw with the oat flakes just lightly absorbing soy/almond/coconut milk or water. I have some form of porridge every day, usually three tablespoons of oat bran with a tablespoon of flax or linseeds (or mix of linseeds and goji berry – basically, whatever I can find and/or is on sale).

But the weekend porridge, well… that’s totally different. It is a mix of oats, quinoa (which is a seed so has lots of protein) and dried apricots. You could add a variety of other fruits/nuts as well, but I like to keep it simple.

Recently, because it is in season, we added rhubarb, which gave the porridge a tangy edge to the creamy and sweet breakfast. Or you could make an easy rhubarb compote, with just a bit of water, sweetener and rhubarb boiled…

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No Oil Creamy Spring Bow Ties

What? A creamy sauce made without oils? Yes, it can be done … and you have seen the basic method on this blog before (remember The Easiest and Creamiest Mac & Cheese and the broccoli mac & cheese).

This dish sacrifices nothing in terms of flavour. It packs a tangy punch, it is creamy and full of umami. Yet, it is made only with whole foods, with no oils, in one saucepan and it is super fast and easy to prepare and inexpensive.

Serves two to three.

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Ingredients

  • 250g bow tie or other small shaped pasta
  • a handful (or more if you like) of cherry tomatoes, sliced or 1-2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 200-300g asparagus spears, chopped (or use broccoli, broccolini, spinach, or even peas or corn – whatever vegetable you may have on hand and is in season) and steamed separately
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons garlic granules/garlic powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal (or tapioca or corn flour), optional used for thickening if necessary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegan parmesan (optional) 

Method

Instead of using the basic method of cooking pasta in a large quantity of boiling water (see Basic Pasta Cooking tips), you will use very little and the gluten and starch released from the pasta in the water will, in effect, become the basis for your sauce.

In a large saucepan, place the pasta and add enough water to cover the pasta plus a splash more. This is obviously not an exact measurement! Add a bit of salt to the water and stir.

Keep a glass of water nearby in case you need to add more, but in any event, do so gradually if need be.

Turn the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-high/simmer. It is important to stir from time to time so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  

While the pasta is cooking, steam the asparagus and then set aside.

The water will get cloudier as the pasta cooks and it will be absorbed by the pasta. If you notice that the water is getting absorbed faster than the pasta is cooking, then add more water. But be careful! If you add too much water, the “sauce” will be runny. But there is a remedy for that too.

As soon as the water is cloudy, add the tomatoes and garlic granules and stir. The tomatoes will mostly disintegrate and infuse the pasta with flavour, colour and umami. 

The pasta will cook in well under ten minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed by the pasta, as well as have evaporated somewhat, and the pasta should be creamy. If you feel the creamy sauce is too runny, add a tablespoon of flax meal and/or tapioca or corn flour. If you will be using the tapioca flour, be sure to dissolve it first in a bit of water so you avoid lumps.  

Once you have reached desired consistency for the sauce, take off the flame and taste for seasoning. Then combine the asparagus, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, stir and serve immediately with freshly ground pepper and vegan parmesan (home made or with Good Carma Flavour Fusion parmesans). Leftovers, if any, are delicious for the next day or so.

 

The animals we love are no different than the animals we eat. If you’re not vegan, please go vegan. It is easier than ever and http://www.howdoigovegan.com will help you get started. 

  

 

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