rants & recipes

Archive for September, 2010

Asparagus Cashew Pilaf

Posted by trktos on 19-September-2010

Fixed a pilaf last night, it was pretty tasty. And relatively easy (except for the oddly un-roast-able cashews I ended up trying to brown on the stovetop, after about 4 or 5 10-minute sessions in the oven at 350 to 425??? Maybe our oven is broken?)

Adapted from this recipe.


  • 3 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into quarters or smaller
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • handful sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 2 1/4 cups water + 2 vegetable broth cubes
  • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 c vegan margarine
  • salt, pepper


  1. Melt margarine over medium-low heat.
  2. Add noodles, cook until they start to turn golden brown.
  3. And onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cover and cook a few more minutes.
  4. Add rice. Cook about 5 minutes, to toast.
  5. Add water, cubes. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat, cook without removing cover, 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, stir-steam asparagus.
  8. Combine rice, asparagus and cashews.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Okra Eggplant Curry

Posted by trktos on 12-September-2010

Had a really yummy Indian dinner tonight … no photo, though – maybe I’ll snap one of the leftovers. But honestly, it wasn’t much to look at. It was tasty enough, however, that I’m sitting here to type it up and will plan to cook it again. (Makes me sad that it’s such a rarity to find decent looking fresh okra here.)

I started with about 8 to 9 ounces of okra. I cut their heads and tails off, sliced on a diagonal and simmer in water plus about 3 tbsp vinegar (which is supposed to reduce the slime). Simmered maybe 5 minutes? Okra was crisp but edible when I drained it.

Whole spice mix:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp corriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

Heat seeds (don’t burn them) in 3 tbsp olive oil, in a covered pan.

Powdered spice mix:

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Make a paste of the powdered spices with a little water.


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled, cubed, salted, rinsed, squeezed
  • 8 ounce cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • 2 small, birdseye-like peppers, diced
  • maybe 1 tsp micro-planed ginger
  • simmered okra

After heating whole spices in oil for a few minutes, add onion, garlic, green onions, peppers and ginger. Add paste of powdered spices. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.

Add tomatoes and eggplant. I had to add maybe 2-3 tbsp water, to cook at a bit higher heat.

When eggplant is nearly done, add okra.

Cook until all veggies are done, according to your taste.


  • Improvised from this recipe, and this recipe. (Neither of which call for eggplant … I just didn’t have very much okra. But I did have an eggplant that needed to be cooked.
  • Next time, I will add more powdered spices for this amount of vegetables. I will probably add an additional teaspoon of paprika and garam masala.  I may add some mustard powder, too. And more birdseye peppers!

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Mayo Cake!

Posted by trktos on 6-September-2010

I finally got around to using my new bundt pan. I’ve had the thing for nearly two years … it might not qualify as new anymore.

Whipped up this chocolate cake – no one would ever guess its made with mayonnaise (vegan, of course).

Glazed with “chocolate sour cream glaze”, pretty much the same as the linked glaze recipe, except replacing the vegan cream cheese with vegan sour cream.

(1st photo by Evin)

The bad thing about thicker glazes is they don’t pour over a cake very nicely. The good part, however, is they don’t glaze the plate!

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