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Around the World and Back……For lunch!

Eating out as a vegan can be challenging but Indian food always have tasty and satisfying options. This weekend, we went to a delicious restaurant called Zaika Indian Cuisine. From the first bite, we were just drooling! It was so good! We had Vegetable Biryani, Roasted Eggplant, Rice, and two types of naan. Our son had Butter Chicken. I tasted the sauce and was so jealous that I don’t eat chicken. So instead of missing out, I decided to make a meatless and dairy free version so we could enjoy the same flavors at home. So here’s one for the recipe book, it’s quick, easy and had no uncommon ingredients.

“Butter” Vegetabes

6 Tbsp of margarine
1 1/2 Cups of yellow onion, diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Grated ginger
1 Tsp Chili powder
1/2 Tsp Ground turmeric
3 Tsp Garam masala
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Cayenne pepper, Optional, I usually don’t add it
1 Cinnamon Stick
14 Oz Tomato sauce
1 Cup Veggie stock
1 Cup soaked raw cashews

Soak the cashews in hot water while you prepare the sauce. Melt the margarine and add the diced onions. Stir occasionally until the onion starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes more.
Add the spices to the onions and cook for about one minute. Add the tomatoes and keep stirring to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom pan. Add the Veggie stock and bring the pot to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes.

Drain the cashews and add to the blender with a little bit of veggie stock, whirl toll smooth. Remove the cinnamon sauce but don’t throw it away and Carefully add the sauce to your blender and blend on high until it is very smooth. Add the sauce back to the pan and and add in your vegetables of choice and cook it just tender. Add the brown sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with a basmati rice.


OH Sweet Cheeses

I LOVE CHEESE!!! If you don’t like cheese, I’m not sure we can be friends, that’s my bottom line. I kid! But seriously, anyone that has tried to cut out dairy struggles with finding a cheese replacement. I tried making non dairy cheese (quite Laborious with the fermented mother) but with not much success. So my son was asking for a cheese dipping sauce and I hit the web. I tried the cashew version, not always cost and time effective. I stumbled on a version made of veggies and it caught my attention. I plan to tweak a bit the next time around but it was definitely a make again recipe.

This makes quite a big batch so feel free to cut it in half. Have pasta boiled and ready to go if you can making mac and cheese because this sauce comes together quickly. This mixture can be used in so many recipes. Try it in a broccoli rice bake, on top of enchiladas, eggplant parm, gnoochi, a baked potato or in place of hollendaise sauce. Enjoy!

Nacho Cheese Sauce

2 Cups Potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Cups Carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 Cup Water (save water from cooking veggies)
1/3 Cup Olive oil
1 tsp Salt or more to taste
1 Tbsp Lemon juice (fresh is best and don’t use lime, it makes sauce too sweet)
1/2 Cup Nutritional yeast flakes (start with 1/4 Cup and add more to taste, I prefer a little less, my family prefers the full 1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1 to 2 Tsp Garlic Chili Sauce (Chalula is my favorite)

Boil potatoes and carrots til soft. Drain and save about 1/2 cup of the hot water from potatoes and carrots. Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings til it suits your taste. This sauce can be kept in the fridge if it lasts that long 🙂

Let Them Eat Cake!

One of my beloved past times is to whip up a delicious cake to eat after a yummy dinner. Therein lies the problem. A good cake calls for eggs, butter, milk and flour all of which I have removed from my pantry. So, I tried and failed at a few different recipes and this is what I’ve come up with, an orange coffee cake. It’s gluten free, dairy free, egg free, taste FULL! The flavors can be changed around, raspberries and lemon would be really good also. Here you go!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 6 or 8 inch pan.

Cake Ingredients

3 Tbsp of Flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup of Apple sauce (Flax and apple sauce are the egg substitute)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp Orange extract
1/2 Cup Canola oil or oil of choice
1 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup of Corn Meal
1 Tsp gluten free Baking powder
Pinch of Salt

In blender or food processor, blend almond flour and corn meal. Whirl for a about 30 seconds or til corn meal feels softer and is finer. Add in the rest of the Cake ingredients and blend til well combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. While its cooking, prepare next two steps

Orange Simple Syrup Ingredients

Juice of 3 oranges, around 1 cup
Juice of 1 lime or lemon, around 1/3 cup
1/4 of powdered sugar

Heat to fully melt sugar, about 2 minutes in the microwave or on medium heat til it starts to gently boil.

Coffee Crumb Ingredients

1 Cup Almond flour
1/2 Cup of Coconut flour
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/3 Cup Canola oil or Oil of choice
1/3 Cup of Sugar

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Make sure the when you press it together, it holds together. If it doesn’t, add about 1 tbsp of oil and mix well til it holds together.

When cake has baked for 20 minutes, remove and pour Orange simple syrup over hot cake and sprinkle Coffee Crumb mixture over cake and place back into oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until crumb is golden brown. Let cool and enjoy with a scoop of Dairy Free Vanilla Ice cream.

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