This weekend I met a girl who didn't eat vegetables. No veggies, no fruit. She said she couldn't get them down. I was not involved in the conversation, so I didn't want to react and admit I had been eavesdropping... but seriously? No vegetables or fruit? I know one other person who does not eat fruit/veggies, and she was explaining her "diet" to a couple of us. Someone asked "you really just don't like them?" She answered a blase ""no." My question was: "aren't you concerned about your health one bit?" But I think a lot of people can find their answers in a pill. These ladies probably take a multivitamin and think they're doing just dandy. It's no wonder people are so confused as to why I chose to alter my diet to lower cholesterol rather than take medication. But, hey - even Bill Clinton is trying a plant-based diet to fight cardiovascular disease! As I served myself dinner tonight, picking around to get the most peppers, I really couldn't imagine a life without veggies.
This brings us to dinner tonight. I was surprised I hadn't posted this dish yet, since I love it so much and it turns out absolutely delicious each time I make it. It's another favorite from Vegan Express - by Nava Atlas. I flipped past it at first, but after seeing it looking so awesome on This is Vegan, I decided to make it myself and was not disappointed.
Tonight I served it with gingered coconut rice and chile-spiced asparagus. The rice is a recipe from another Nava Atlas cookbook, The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet.
1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp H2O
1/2 cup fruit juice (I like V8 fruit juice. Mmmmmm)
2 Tbsp molasses (it says you can use maple syrup, but why?)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp lime juice (I only have lemon)
1 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning (I use a whole Tbsp)
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 onion - quartered and sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 pound seitan (the cubed variety works better than strips)
First step: dissolve cornstarch in H20, add the remainder of ingredients and set aside. Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until nice and browned. Set aside. (Because I use my cast-iron skillet, I deglaze here with a Tbsp or 2 of wine. Who can argue when you are cooking with wine?)
Add seitan to the pan and brown on all sides. Add the sauce, thicken it until it is reduced by about 50% and smells great. Add onions and peppers - and serve at once.
Gingered coconut rice:
16 oz can of coconut milk (it says to use light, but light SUCKS. Full fat is the only way to go)
1.5 cups rice (I use short grain brown rice)
2-3 garlic cloves
1-2 tsp grated ginger
1-2 tsp curry powder
Mix together H2O and coconut milk and bring to simmer. Stir in remaining ingredients, put lid on pan and simmer. Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. The book says the recipe serves 6, but that is a lot of rice per person.
For the asparagus, I toss it in about a tsp of olive oil, chili powder and a little cayenne and roast at 400 for about 5 minutes, and voila! You're done. A dinner chock full of veggies and other goodness.