Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Travel, Vegan

Surprisingly Yummy Vegan Food in Sinaia

Happy Friday, people!

As you all recently know, I achieved a goal of mine by climbing to Caraiman Peak which is in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. It was a wonderfully thrilling and terrifying experience and you can read all about it here.

But though the trip was mainly about climbing the mountain, it’s always nice to make the short drive to Sinaia and visit what has become a vegan staple in the area, Ramayana.

Ramayana isn’t a vegan restaurant, unfortunately. But it’s the only place you can get any vegan food that’s not a burger. There are quite a few places where you can eat with your non-vegan friends and family, if you never get tired of eating the same old vegan burger. Ramayana is, or was, the only place you could get more than one vegan food option and after a complicated first visit, things have only gotten better.

Vegan Aloo Gobi Curry
Continue reading “Surprisingly Yummy Vegan Food in Sinaia”
Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya

Just in case you are wondering, yes I am still knee-deep in editing Let It Be Love because well, because editing takes time and it has taken me a while to write this story because my day job–more writing–has been insane over the past few years.

We should all be so lucky to have that problem, right?

Anyway instead of spending my time writing up recipes I have been spending a little bit of extra time actually making the recipes. There’s just something about cooking that doesn’t just relax me, but helps clear my mind. I’ve been cooking while listening to police interrogation videos–an off-shoot of my love of true crime docs–and they are surprisingly Zen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been doing prep work and an idea will pop in my head, forcing me to wash my hands and type notes or put them in a voice recorder.

So…the good news is that I did get a few plot ideas while I was making this vegan vindaloo recipe. The not quite as good news is that I went with the traditional-ish method of making Vindaloo.

What does mean? Well it means I did what I could with what I had, while adhering to the traditional methods such as cooking and then grinding whole spices. It was a whole thing and I completely understand if you opt for already ground spices to get this recipe on your table.

So, let’s give it a go! (Are you a fan of That Chapter on YouTube? It’s Mike’s catchphrase only picture it with an Irish accent!)

Easy vegan lamb vindaloo recipe

Get ready for some major prep work and some insane flavors!

Continue reading “Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Curry Recipe ~ Butternut Squash, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry

This weather has been so all over the place lately that it makes it difficult to meal plan. Okay the truth is that I’m not much on meal planning, our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights have been working out incredibly for the past few years so we get tons of ingredients, many of them fresh and then pantry staples, and then we can decide from one night to the next.

But with food shortages and shipping delays it’s harder and harder to get what you expect to find in the grocery stores in April. For example, there has been a TON of butternut squash lately which I love, but for me it usually means soup like, Squash & Lentil Stew. Or cookies. Or cake. Those are my go to recipes for squash, but sometimes I feel creative and make Vegan Spinach & Squash Queso Dip or Squash Blondies.

But I wasn’t in the mood and the weather was just insane. It was super warm and we went for a long walk without jackets one day and the next it was gray and gloomy and super chilly. And the only thing to like about a cold and gloomy day is cold weather vegan food. Chili and soups and stews and casseroles are all great vegan meals when the temperature dips and I knew when The Hubs asked for cauliflower curry, exactly what I would do.

Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Curry

Crispy vegan roasted cauliflower & butternut squash curry

This isn’t a quick vegan dinner but the good news is that the oven does most of the work.

Continue reading “Vegan Curry Recipe ~ Butternut Squash, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Easy Vegan Dinners ~ Spiced Chickpeas & Rice

We’re all so busy all of the time that we’re often on the lookout for easy vegan recipes, right? I mean, for example I’m committed to the cause, I annoy my friends and family and all that, but some days I want something delicious, vegan and easy. Whether it’s an easy vegan salad or my favorite Easy Vegan Colcannon, sometimes easy is the priority.

Of course, I don’t mean easy like frozen pizza or other vegan junk food that doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of taste, calorie friendliness or satiety. I mean is this something I will enjoy and not regret when I’m finished eating.

When it comes to this easy plant based vegan recipe, you won’t have any regrets, except that there isn’t enough for seconds. But you can easily double this recipe to make four servings.

So let’s not waste any time and get right into these saucy spiced chickpeas and rice. You can thank me later. 😉

Indian spiced vegan chickpeas and rice

If you want to forego the sauce, simply toss the chickpeas in dry seasoning and pop them in the air fryer or the oven. Otherwise, keep reading to get the recipe.

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Dinners ~ Spiced Chickpeas & Rice”
Posted in Bowls, Herbs, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Another Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe

I have talked time, and time again about my love of the marvelous Buddha bowl.

I mean, what’s not to like about a bowl of food that contains tons of veggies, a heaping pile of grains and just enough protein to provide a well-balanced vegan meal that nourishes while tasting wickedly delicious?

I can’t think of one thing that’s unappealing about any of that.

So, here is (yet) another vegan buddha bowl recipe for you to enjoy. Or experiment with. Or try to top.

Whatever you prefer. 😉

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new vegan or an old vegan, the Buddha bowl is the perfect way to get you in the kitchen, cooking healthy vegan meals, and taking control of what you put inside your body.

Continue reading “Another Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe”
Posted in Bowls, Curry, Dips, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Potatoes, Vegan

Kartoffel (Potato) Vindaloo ~ Easy Vegan Potato Stew

The first time I ate Indian food, I was at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. and I hated it. The food was bland and boring and left such a bad taste in my mouth that it took me about three years before I tried it again. That time, well let’s just say that in our house, Indian food is on the menu at least once a week.

At least.

The dish was lamb vindaloo (sorry lamb!) and it was everything I had been promised Indian food would be. Well-seasoned, flavorful as hell, and spicy. It blew me away and from that moment on, I was hooked. The addiction was formed.

And it was that memory that inspired me to re-create the Kartoffel Vindaloo in all it’s spicy glory.

You’re probably wondering why I named this recipe Kartoffel Vindaloo intsead of regular ol’ potato vindaloo? The simple answer is that after spending almost a decade living in Germany, I’ve decided that I prefer the word kartoffel to the word potato, that’s all. 🙂

Continue reading “Kartoffel (Potato) Vindaloo ~ Easy Vegan Potato Stew”
Posted in Asian Food, Grains, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Mujadarrah Inspired Cauliflower & Soya

I’ve been away for a while. A long while. First my husband had the flu while I was editing my latest book and then, for the very first time in my life, I was taken down with the flu as well. It was awful and an experience that I never, ever, ever want to experience again. So the blog had to take a backseat and now, I’m back. 😀

Yes, I’m calling this a mujadara even though there are no lentils in it. Sue me.

I wanted the flavors of this dish without the lentils so after a few adjustments, I was armed with tofu, a beautiful head of cauliflower and brown basmati rice, and I was ready to get the vegan mujadara started.

When it comes to cooking cauliflower, I prefer to cook it separately and usually in the oven because it gets those nice crispy edges in the oven or the air fryer. For this particular recipe, I used a combination of Indian spices and peanut oil, tossed with the cauliflower and then laid out on a baking sheet. It can take anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes in the oven, or about 15 to 20 in the air fryer, but you should use your eyes and your mouth to decide when your cauliflower is perfectly ready.

Pick a rice and cook it according to the package instructions. I used brown basmati here because I wanted a grain with a bit of a bite.

For the rest of the recipe you’ll need: rehydrated TVP or tofu if you have it handy, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili pepper and Korean chili paste. The onions should be cooked until caramelized as this will provide SO much flavor to this dish and it is a key in any mujadarrah recipe.

Cook it on the stovetop until everything is fragrant and tender. Toss all the ingredients together and heat through, and then get your yum-yum on!

Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and you’re good to go. A delicious vegan meal in less than an hour.

What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?

Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori

Let’s just get this out in the open right now; I do NOT have a clay Tandoori oven so, sure, technically this isn’t a real vegan Tandoori. But I used all the delicious flavors that mean Tandoori to me, so here we are.

I’m not going to let myself get boggled down in the details when I have a perfectly good stove, oven and air fryer. You work with what ya got, and this is what I got.

Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori.

If you’re into one pot vegan meals, then you’ll be happy to know that you can pop this all into one pot and minimize your dish load. I didn’t do that, but it’s only because I like to have different flavors and textures on my plate. Instead of popping everything in one pot, I used the air fryer for the sweet potatoes and the oven to crisp up the chickpeas.

Continue reading “Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori”
Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Grains, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

No-Meatball Creamy Curry Risotto

Perhaps my favorite part of getting to choose what my husband cooks on his nights, is coming up with new combinations to see what he’ll do with the dish. On this night, I wanted three things: curry, vegan meatballs and risotto.

It sounded strange even to my own ears, so I hit up the Google machine just in case I was sending him on a fool’s errand. Turns out, I was…kind of.

There were curry meatball dishes for all diets and lifestyles, but I guess most people are purists when it comes to risotto, where I am not. So this is what happens when you ask for curry, vegan meatballs and risotto for dinner.

Meatless Creamy Curry Risotto.

The key to any good curry is a well-stocked spice rack, or finding the right premade vegan curry sauce or seasoning packet. Those aren’t all that easy to come by here in Romania, which works out fine because my spice rack is more like a spice shelving unit and it borders on ridiculous.

Continue reading “No-Meatball Creamy Curry Risotto”
Posted in Asian Food, Beans, Bowls, Curry, Grains, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes ~ Chickpea Masala

Life as we know it under normal circumstances is…a distant memory. You know that as well as I do, and as such, we have all been doing the best we can as often as we can. For the purposes of today’s blog, that means making sure you get a good chunk of whole foods in your vegan diet.

When was the last time you ordered/cooked a meal without soy or seitan? How about the last time you cooked a meal, period? Or one that consisted mostly of vegetables, grains, beans and/or legumes? It’s not a judgment, believe me. Some weeks I have to really go through the photos to find a meal without pasta or tofu or vegan burgers. It happens and I’ve forgiven myself.

Have you?

Good because today we have a quick and easy vegan chickpea masala for those nights when you just need something simple, whole and plant based to eat.

The chickpeas are the main source of protein in this, but the good thing about a plant based, vegan whole food diet is that you get tons of essential vitamins and nutrients from ALL of the ingredients.

To get this vegan dinner started, you start with the onion, ginger and hot chili peppers. If you’re using oil, add that into the pan, otherwise look the vegetables cook until fragrant, adding water or waste-free broth a little at a time.

Add the garlic along with any herbs and spices such as: cumin, turmeric, curry, smoky paprika, garam masala seasoning and chili powder. Stir until well coated and then add the chickpeas (rinsed & drained) and cherry/grape tomatoes or just canned crushed tomatoes which is what I used, because this was a day before shopping meal for us.

Add some broth and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick. You want to let this liquid reduce a little so the end result is thick and creamy.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add coconut milk (for cooking) at the last five or so minutes, making sure to taste as you go and adjust for flavor preferences.

Serve on a bed of rice and that’s a pretty darn quick and easy vegan recipes, perfect for lunch or dinner.

If you need a little extra spice, jalapenos or Sriracha will do the trick, but my hubs thought it had a nice little kick to it, emphasis on little.

The other thing I loved about this vegan chana masala? It’s super calorie friendly, even with the creamy coconut milk added to it.

This is for one serving but ingredients list is chickpea masala for 2.

Quick and easy and delicious, so next time you’re in need of a whole food vegan meal, consider hitting up your pantry for that can of beans you haven’t used in forever and toss’em in a pot.