Tag Archives: vegetarian dinner

Ahh…Curry!

27 Aug

So, when I lived in London, I missed Mexican food so much. When I first moved over there, you couldn’t even buy tortillas, and the only salsa you could buy was El Paso in a jar. Which, let’s face it, is NOT salsa.

Mmmm...curry. It just makes life worth living.

Now that I’m back in California, I miss what London does so well: Indian curry. I had the best place near me in Battersea that I used to order from all the time. All the time. How often? Let’s just say I received a Christmas card from them…

There’s an Indian restaurant a half a block from my house. I never go there because it is not authentic. The weird thing is that the owners also own Nina’s Anglo-Indian Grocery in El Toro, where the food is quite good. Weird. I think this one is trying to appeal to the American palate too much. But never mind.

The Husband loves it when I start toasting up the spices and making curry. He loves anything with a ton of garlic in it, like me, so curry always works for us. It can be a little labor intensive with all the prep and chopping, but once you’ve done that, it goes pretty quick.

You can use plain rice with this, but I’ll also include a recipe for a simple rice and a pilau rice. If you need any of the spices listed here, head to Nina’s or another ethnic grocery, where they’ll be much cheaper than buying the little jars at the store.

I’m starting you all off with a mild curry—for those of you who like it hot, throw more chili in there. And for those who don’t like spice, don’t omit the chilis I have here. Really, there will be no burning of the mouth. I promise.

For the vegetarians/vegans out there, just omit the chicken and add more mushrooms and maybe throw in some chickpeas. Some eggplant would be nice too. Continue reading

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The Spanish Days of Summer

6 Aug

This one’s in honor of Santa Barbara’s Spanish Fiesta Days, which began yesterday. And we had this last night…hmm, I wasn’t even thinking about that at the time! I guess the excitement of our trip up to Santa Barbara (we’re leaving in a few minutes!) put me in the mood.

Grilled corn and my $7 corn scraper from Sur la Table

So, viva España! Pork is rarely better than with some smoked paprika slathered on it. And, before you vegetarians and vegans turn away, I’m sure this marinade will be super delicious on tofu or seitan, and certainly grilled. Just make sure you marinate it for longer!

I love getting my mortar and pestle out—as a matter of fact, I love it so much that I hunted it down for our very dear friends C+E. Turns out it’s very easy to find at Williams Sonoma, even though I brought mine over from the UK after buying it from the delightful Lakeland Limited catalogue.

Ahhh...smoked paprika. If only we'd had some rioja!

Anyway, on to the recipe. It was delicious, if I do say so myself. And yes, you will need a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder. If you’re really fancy, you’ll have a special spice grinder, and if so, wooo, get you! Continue reading

English Lesson

31 Jul

Most of you will be aware that I lived in the United Kingdom for some time. Eleven years, to be exact, give or take a few months. In that time I developed a fondness for many of the English delicacies. I’m talking a proper mug of tea, Marmite on toast, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie.

The small one was reserved for The Husband—it was too good not to save him some!

Ooh, shepherd’s pie! What a delightful dish to have when it’s cold and rainy outside. Technically, a shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb (or “mince” lamb in the vernacular), and cottage pie with ground beef, but shepherd’s pie is the term usually used for the meaty, mashed potato-topped—well, casserole, I guess we’d call it over here.

Even though it’s the height of summer in California, not the usual season for such a hearty meal, I made this one for our dear friend Paddy. She lives up at Top of the World, and The Husband used to deliver Meals on Wheels to her. She’s a British expat, and on her own now that her husband died about five years ago and her dear Boston Terrier died earlier this year. I decided this lovely lady needed a bit of good food and cheering up.

Seeing as how Paddy is in her 80s, I threw caution to the wind and a lot of butter in the pan. Continue reading

Yes, we like tacos. So sue us.

23 Jul

Are you bored yet? I hope not, because I’m really enjoying writing this blog! So, this is a few days late, as we had these on

Black bean tacos

It wasn't even Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday night, another veggie-dinner night. I was happy to find the tomatillos at Whole Foods, because I love a green salsa, even though The Husband usually doesn’t. But I knew if I made it from scratch I’d win him over. Which I did–he loved them, and especially the salsa. Which I must say, was quite good.

And non-vegans, please, add cheese to these tacos! We were on our cleanse, so no dairy, but they really deserved some nice cotija cheese crumbled on top. In SoCal, you can find this and other delicious Mexican cheese varieties in the cooler section near the processed cheese. I would recommend investing–it lasts for a while and is great in salads as a nice substitute for feta. Speaking of feta, those who do not live in SoCal, like my dear friend Gaby in London, should use feta on top of these tacos. Although cheddar would work in a pinch.

And Londoners, if you can’t find tomatillos, try Booths near St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have a stall at Borough Market, or at least they used to. (How I miss that market!) You can get jalapeños there too, but I’m not sure about serranos. Substitute a green Thai or Indian chili if you can’t find the Mexican variety.

So here we go with the recipe, with my notes, as usual! Continue reading

Pancakes for Dinner

19 Jul
Thai Pancakes

You're jealous of my child-sized stove. Go on, admit it.

I personally wasn’t convinced last night that I should blog about these Thai pancakes, as I didn’t think they were that hot, but The Husband must have been in some sort of psychedelic coconut love-drug haze last night. He loved them. Had seconds, even.

He did admit that the sauce on the stir fry was a little on the salty side—I blame myself for not tasting the oyster sauce before I put it in. It would have been perfect with just a splash of soy sauce, but I got a little twirled up because I remembered we had the oyster sauce in the fridge. To make this fully vegetarian, don’t use the oyster sauce. There’s tricks to replace the egg in the pancakes to make it vegan, but you can comment and ask if you want more info and I’ll happily give it.

So, here’s the recipes with a few notes on what I’ll do next time—because according to TH, there WILL be a next time. Continue reading