rants & recipes

Archive for December, 2008

Eggplant and Lentil Curry

Posted by trktos on 20-December-2008

Nothing terribly special about this recipe, except that it’s just really good!


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 smallish eggplants – chopped, salted for 30+ minutes, rinsed, squeezed
  • 1 cup brown lentils, soaked in hot water while waiting for the eggplant
  • 2 tbsp curry
  • generous pinch ground coriander seed
  • vegetable stock (water to almost cover, 2 vegetable bullion cubes)
  • ~ 2/3 can coconut milk


  1. Sauté onion, carrot, garlic in some olive oil.
  2. Add eggplant, curry, coriander, lentils, stock to almost cover (I used as little water as possible because I wanted a thick curry … and you add the ‘milk later.)
  3. Bring to a boil, simmer until lentils are done to taste (about 20 minutes for me).
  4. Stir in coconut milk.


  • Modified from this recipe.
  • Serve with rice or another grain. Or not – it’s plenty tasty all by itself!

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Seitan O’ Dryness

Posted by trktos on 17-December-2008

The title is sort of in jest … I think I made my log a little longer and thinner than normal, but didn’t decrease the baking time and so my first attempt at Italian sausage seitan was a little dry on the ends/edges (but quite tasty with pasta sauce and how else does one eat Italian sausage, anyway?). This dryness issue will be remedied next time.

See Notes for improvements.


  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pesto:  ~ 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/3 – 1/2 cup walnuts, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp A1
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • about 2 tbsp Campbell’s Tomato Soup (leftover – it’s not exactly that great)
  • ~ 2 tsp dried basil
  • ~ 1 tsp Italian seasoning (basil, oregano)
  • ~ 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ~ 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • pinch or two of chili powder
  • ~ 1/4 – 1/2 tsp spicy mustard
  • ~ 1/8 – 1/4 tsp each ground sage and rosemary (not too much, or it’ll taste like stuffing! :)
  • 3 cloves garlic, microplaned


  1. I ground the nuts, the rest of the “pesto” ingredients, the 1/2 cup yeast, the red pepper flakes, the rest of the dry flavoring/herbs  in a blender (no, I don’t have a food processor) until well ground.
  2. Then, combine rest of dry ingredients, “pesto”.
  3. Combine wet ingredients, garlic.
  4. Add wet mix to dry.
  5. Knead until combined.
  6. Form a log, roll in foil, twist ends tightly.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 90 minutes.


  • based on the famous seitan o’ greatness recipe here, with a few modifications to the spices found here.
  • next time, I will add a little more oil/liquid and a dash of liquid smoke.
  • I may have used a little more basil, it’s hard to tell from my notes.
  • makes good meatballs, if you don’t mind cube-shaped meatballs.
  • definitely leave out pine nuts, if you don’t have them … sub any other nut or more walnuts.
  • LESS DRY: when made a second time, I increased the oil to 4 tbsp, increased the A1 to 4 tbsp, added an extra tbsp of water and used 3 tbsp ketchup in place of the 2 tbsp tomato soup. The result was very tender (the 2/3rds of middle was under-done at 80 minutes cooking time but made a great “ground seitan” for this recipe).

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Hearty Barley Lentil Tomato Stew

Posted by trktos on 14-December-2008


  • 1 onion
  • 3+ cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 Chinese eggplants
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini
  • 28 ounce can pear strip tomatoes
  • ~ 1 tbsp Better Than Bullion Vegetable Bouillon
  • ~ 2 tsp marmite
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • dash nutritional yeast
  • dried parsley
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup lentils
  • dash oregano
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 2 Rapunzel vegetable cubes


  1. Rinse and soak barley and lentils about 6 hours before cooking.
  2. Wash, dice all other vegetables, chop up tomatoes.
  3. Add grains, vegetables,  tomatoes and olive oil to pot, nearly cover with water.
  4. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and add salt, pepper, marmite, bouillons.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Make thick paste from flour, yeast, parsley, oregano and a little water. Stir into soup/stew, cook until thickened.
  7. Stir this stew occasionally … more often if you’re making this fairly thick – barley will try to stick to the pot bottom!
  8. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the lentils and barley are done to taste.

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