First up- Vegan MoFo! It stands for Vegan Month of Food and it was started by my future wife’s blog last year. No, I’m not gay, but if I were, I’d definitely pick a vegan chef. I missed out on last years Vegan MoFo in November but this year for the month of October it’s going to be all about the things I eat every day posted to this blog for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!!
You know it’s a good lunch day when your house smells like the most delicious curry and cinnamon that it makes your whole body melt with anticipation.
I get tired of making the same old pasta with beans and veggies combo, but I’m trying desperately to keep my nutrition at a high level so I don’t have to take supplements.
To be honest, vegan vitamins made me very sick. I sat them on my counter and for days wondered, “what is that awful smell?” because I hadn’t started taking them yet. Then I opened the bottle to take one and almost passed out from the rank stench of something that had died in there. My oldest daughter had come up the stairs from the basement at that very moment and said “Wow, that smells really gross. What are you cooking?” I told her it was the vitamins, not food. She told me that she could smell them even before she opened the basement door, that’s how potently smelly these things were. I took them out of the bottle and put them in two plastic bags, then into a plastic container hoping to hide that foul aroma, to no avail. Plus, they gave me the worst-ever after taste for hours without end.
So I’m on a quest to make sure that all my meals and snacks contain things that my body needs, as we all should be, really. These chickpea cutlets are packed with protein and super easy to make. The red lentil cauliflower curry has veggies and, well, lentils. I got the recipes out of Veganomicon and followed them almost exactly as the book said. I should note that the last time I made the cutlets, I didn’t have enough gluten and they turned out awful. Not bad tasting mind you, but having even one tablespoon less gluten than the recipe requires will screw up the texture. This time, I had plenty. These couldn’t be any easier, by the way, if I were standing in your kitchen making them for you.
Chickpea Cutlets (makes 4 cutlets)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used canned and froze what was left)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (i used 100% whole grain)
1/4 cup veggie broth or water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
1/2 tsp lemon zest (i didn’t have any, so I put in 1/4 tsp lemon juice)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried sage
In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas until there are no more whole chickpeas left. Add in all the remaining ingredients and knead for about three minutes or until the gluten has formed strings. You’ll see what this means as you knead.
You can pan fry these, or you can bake them, which is what I did. Put your oven at 375. You divide the mixture into 4 parts then pick a piece and to form a cutlet. Knead in your hand for a few moments, then flatten and stretch each one into about a 4X6 inch cutlet shape. Repeat for the other three pieces.
I served mine with the “cheesy” sauce on page 214. I know they already have a mustard sauce on page 204 but i think they should call their “cheesy” sauce “mustard sauce part 2.” I know it’s super good for me because of the nooch but all i could taste was mustard. Luckily, I love mustard so it’s no big deal. I don’t need anything to taste like cheese. I couldn’t eat cheese that much anyway because of my tummy so it’s not like I miss it or anything. I’m going to try the OG mustard sauce next time. It has capers and I love capers. Rambling a bit there, sorry.
I served mine with Jasmine rice and the red-lentil cauliflower curry from page 186. My changes to that recipe were as follows: No coriander, I hate the stuff so I don’t buy it. No shallots or onions. Don’t like them either. If it’s a sauce, I’ll use shallots and If I happen to have a vidalia onion, I’ll use it. Not the case here. Also, I used already-cooked brownish looking lentils from Trader Joe’s. This means that I should have reduced the broth by half but my head was up my rear that day so I made more of a red lentil cauliflower curry soup. The stuff tasted just fabulous anyway, maybe because I love curry so much that it hurts me inside. (Or is that pain from having too much curry? No matter…)
I hope this post finds you all in good health and Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends! L’shanah tovah!(I hope I spelled that right or I may have just told someone to go lick a goat.)