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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seitan (Or Gluten Free Tempeh) Mulligatawny Soup from "Vegan Indian Cooking" by Anupy Singla. 30 day Vegan Challenge. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Seitan (Or Gluten Free Tempeh) Mulligatawny Soup

Some ingredients for the Seitan Mulligatawny Soup.  

If you visit this blog, then you probably know I am a huge fan of Anupy's first book about Indian Slow Cooking.  Reasons I am a fan:
  • Dried Beans are used.  Dried Beans and NOOOOOO Soaking required!!!!!!!.  Organic Dried beans are dirt cheap & packed with nutrients.
  • Authentic Indian Food.  Okay, so coming from someone without much Indian in them, that may be worthless.  But, the slow cooker dishes packed a spicy punch & just didn't seem "dumbed down" for a super non-spicy American audience.  I appreciated that.  
  • Nearly everything could be made with zero oil.  And I think you could skip the salt if you wanted/needed.
  • Incredible amounts of delicious food for the smallest amount of money.
  • I think you can save the planet by eating this way.  Climate Change.  Health Care Costs. Public Aid Costs. Medicaid/care Costs. If we armed each person in the country with a slow cooker and dried legumes with some spices, maybe we could make a dent in that national debt.  Add that to some community gardening projects & we've got a start.........With the country gasping for air from trying to pay for environmental disasters, financial disasters, health care disasters, it's a great time to embrace the basics.  Dried Beans.  Greens.  Healing Spices.  
  • You can work 80 hours a week & make no money & still be able to feed your family healthy meals.  Just grab a slow cooker & her book!

So what is to love about her new book?  Everything.  While there are several slow cooker recipes, there are also sections on making your own spice blends (hide that bottle of generic "curry" powder now!).  Salads that incorporate fruits, spice blends, veggies, WOW! Soups such as North Indian Tomato (Tamatar ka Shorba), South Indian Tomato and Tamarind (Rasam). Breads like Daikon-Stuffed bread, Cauliflower Stuffed Bread, Gluten Free Chickpea Flour Crepes (Besan Poora), Dosas (South Indian Crepes) which are also gluten free. Snacky Snacks like Roasted Masala Nuts, Chai-Spiced Roasted Almonds and Cashews, Spicy Bean Salad, Chickpea Poppers and Tofu Pakora (Tofu Chickpea Fritters).   Slow Cooked Legumes.  Vegetables.  Rice Dishes & One Pot Meals.  Chutneys.  Drinks.  Yummy Baked Samosas, Orange Salad with onions & olives & garam masala, Brown Rice and Adzuki Bean Dhokla, Chana Masala, Chana & Split Moong Dal with Pepper Flakes, Cashew Stuffed Baby Eggplant, Cabbage with Mustard Seeds and Coconut, Sweet & Sour Sweet Potatoes, Spicy Plantains.  And apparently Anupy has the best Masala Chai recipe!  So many recipes to try! Have made so many already, but kind of enduring the 106 degree days (and the whole month of basically being 100 and over!!!!) to restart the Indian Cooking Feast!  Really love the variety of this book.  Easy to make a whole meal.  A lot more veggies like mushrooms, okra, cabbage, potatoes, squash.  And the snack & bread sections both look delicious & still healthy.  Since I "try" to do a basically oil & salt free diet, I have made everything thus far (excluding the dosas where I did use a touch of oil for the cast iron pan) without-and everything has been great.  There are so many spices in Indian Cooking, that I personally feel like it lends itself easily to being salt free.  The only times one might "need" the oil, is if you are making the breads/dosas on stovetop & don't have a non-stick pan.  I don't know of a "safe" non-stick pan so I just use cast iron, and haven't mastered a way to use zero oil for the breads.......

I try to get my herbs/spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.

I eat gluten free so had to find a gluten free tempeh.  Careful! A lot of tempeh has gluten......So if it matters to you, read the label!

These are 2 little tins that are within the Spice Tiffin that Anupy designed and sells.  The tiffin saves me a load of time in the kitchen.  I just put the most commonly used spices in there and then open only one lid when I read the ingredient list....

I just added this to my spice tiffin, so I no longer need to open yet another lid!

Love cast iron because there are no linings or coatings with nasty things in it.  And your food will absorb iron!

Final Verdict.  Hubby was completely delighted (as was I!).  So warming & loved the tempeh chunks.     Peppery.....loved the heat from the black pepper and the richness that that touch of besan flour added.  Delicious.  Can't wait to try more soups out!  And so many Indian recipes that are not typically offered if you walk into a restaurant.  Sure, there are the "common" dishes, but she also includes so much more.    So obviously, you can't go wrong with this book.  You don't need any canned beans, but you can use them if you choose.  You have choices whether to make certain dishes stovetop or slowcooker.  You can make up your own spice blends or if you are too lazy, you can still try the dish & order her own spice blends online!!  And you can adapt the heat to taste.  I have found that this book is slightly less spicy overall, than the slow cooker book.  But the recipes are a lot more varied.  The Slow Cooker book didn't have all of the breads, snacks, salads, drinks.  But the spice varies from dish to dish in this book.......

And prolific author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is starting up a Vegan Challenge.  30 days.  Think it may be about $20.00 if you sign up now.  So if you have been flirting with a more compassionate is your chance.  20 bucks to perhaps change your life?  And that's not a "monthly" fee.  I am all for "booster" programs, starters, boot camps.  I am not for counting calories.  Not for paying a monthly fee to go weigh in somewhere.  Not for being "on" and "off" a healthy "diet".  I feel like a healthy lifestyle with foods that love on you is the way to go.   Maybe that is too much overnight.  But programs such as these can get you started in the right direction.  They can help you learn to transition away from meat & dairy.

And why?  Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary short shows some kids.  Love them.  There is no need to exploit other beings for milk, meat, eggs.  We only harm them, ourselves, and the planet.  Reduce the suffering.  Go Vegan.  "Try to Suck Less".

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