Tag Archives: Main course

Artichokes

Do you know which is my favorite vegetables of the winter that grows in Valencia? Yes yes you guessed right, Artichoke. We eat it all the winter long in all kinds of forms: with Spanish omelet, baked, in stews, barbecued,  in soups, raw in salads, … more and more ways … The artichoke is known for its anti-age properties, for the vitamin E and other more interesting properties but even if they were unhealthy I would still eat them, they are so good!

Stewing the artichokes is one of the best ways to eat them. They come out really tender and full of flavour. Basically remove the extra leaves from the outside, open the center with your hands or hit them against a table, clean the inside with water and place them as in the photo in a thick bottom pan. Then pour water until the artichokes are covered half and in the center of each of them sprinkle salt and olive oil. Cover the pan and cook at low flame for around 45-60 min (depends on the size and the tenderness of the artichokes). If at the end of the process there is no more water, you can add extra and cook for a while more. This broth  is great to pour into the artichoke or to cook with something else.

Matteo's gnocchi

I have a really good Italian friend that by mistake or not a mistake, he did gnocchi in a vegan way. Even if his grand mum would think that this is a nonsense recipe.

So lovely home-made gnocchi, …

I am sure that I will make them really soon, yum yum

Ingredients:

  • 11 small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • A big bowl of water boiling with salt

Some tomato sauce as you prefer for eating them.

Procedure:

This recipe is explained by photos.

The red small potatoes cooked in microwave oven, after being pierced with a fork to prevent explosion

mashed potatoes

a ball of mashed potatoes, flour, salt and pepper and
a fine cylinder and a few already cut gnocchi in the background


gnocchi ready for being boiled

Ethiopian dinner

Risotto & stew veggies

As a kid growing up in València, you always get white rice with olive oil, laurel and garlic when you have stomach ache (such as indigestion). We believe that it is easy to digest and has a mild taste. I loved it as a child and I still enjoy a lot to eat a good plain risotto with olive oil. It is so tasty and yummy, however one has to use the proper rice (in my opinion, the best one is rice from “L’horta de València“).

We served the risotto with a veggie stew made of carrots, onions, courgette, aubergine, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green pepper and … I think that I did not forget any veggie.

If you want to know a bit of history of València, I found a nice article (it is in catalan, try to translate it otherwise ask me for help). In this article you will see that actually the paella is not a Spanish dish, as it is known in the rest of the world. The traditional Spanish cuisine does not use rice, even though Spanish people can eat a lot of it. You will find out that the rice comes from the Catalan countries, as well as most of the traditional rice dishes eaten by Spanish. 

Courgette with pasta and aubergine snack

A lovely Sunday lunch …

First we start with a nice baked bread with some oregano on top and eat it with roasted aubergine and red pepper.

And later, a lovely whole grain pasta with courgette and champiognon tomato sauce.

Thai red curry with 3 types of quinoa

Since my first time that I went to a Thai restaurant, I fell in love with the red curry. I tried several times to do it from scratch myself but it was never as good as in the restaurant. After that, I searched for a red curry paste that was vegan and that took a while. But finally I found one that did not have prawn or fish taste.

As you see from the photo, we use 3 types of quinoa (white, red and brown). To my surprise each of them has a different flavor. If you can find them, give them a try.

Ingredients:

- 1 0nion

- 2 cloves of garlic

- 2 carrots

- 1 red pepper

- 100g runner beans

- 250ml coconut milk

- 2 tablespoons red curry paste

Procedure:

Start by stir frying all the vegetables in a big wok. When they are golden add the red curry paste and let it heat for a while. Just right after add the coconut milk and let it cook. I do not recommend you to add salt before the red paste, usually those pastes contain salt and add already a strong flavor to the dish. Try it before adding the salt. Do not let the coconut milk cook for a long time otherwise you will end up with no sauce (I let mine cook around 10min in small fire). In a separate sauce pan, cook the quinoa until it becomes soft (usually 20min). And voila! mix quinoa with the sauce and enjoy it.

Indian dinner

You can see from top to bottom: Aloo gobi, potato bhaji and Missi roti (gram flour roti). As a drink we had some mango lassi. A gorgeous dinner with a lot of turmeric.


Veggie sushi with lemon-ginger sauce

I always thought that making sushi was a difficult task however I found it was really easy to do if you have the right tools.

Tools: bamboo mat, it is really useful since will help you to roll the nori sheet.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup rice

- 1 cup water

- 4 nori sheets

- 1 cucumber

- 2 carrots

- 1 advocado

(Actually the ingredients depend on the sushi filling that you will use). In my opinion the best one was the cucumber filling, it is nice since the cucumber is watery and give nice texture to the rice.

Procedure:

First, soak the rice in water for around 20 min (this process will ensure your rice to not be too sticky). In a boiling pan, place two cups of water and bring it to boil. Then add the rice and just leave on an small flame for 20min. In some recipes for sushi, at this point some rice vinegar is added to add more flavor to the rice.

Now it comes the rolling task with the mat, place a nori sheet on top of it (usually nori sheets already have some indications from where to roll, place it correctly) and in one edge start to put a one finger thick layer of rice. On top of it, place the filling. Take the edge from where you placed the rice and roll it with the help of the mat. Do not be afraid, nothing will fall out. Once you get the other edge rolled, pour some water on it for a glue effect. And now with a sharp wet knife, cut the nori sheet as indicated by the stripes on it, otherwise 3 fingers wide.

We served the sushi with a nice lemon-ginger sauce from Vegan Eats:

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ heaping teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
Instructions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.

With the rolling procedure, I found hard to get the edges full of rice or with filling. Try to put more rice on the edges so then they will be full.

By the way, he also has a nice variation of sushi with quinoa, which I believe is worth to try. As well, I read that with brown rice will also work fine but you have to soak the rice more in the water.

Stuffed mushrooms

Enjoy eating big mushrooms stuffed with soy sprouts and tofu.

Ingredients:

- 8 big size mushrooms (white mushroom)

- 2 onions

- 200g of sprouted soy

- 100g tofu

- oregano, salt, pepper, oil and cayenne pepper

- Salad is a suggestion for the serving

Procedure:

Stir fry the onions, the sprouts and the tofu in a pan and add the salt, pepper and some cayenne to taste. Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms and remove carefully the stem. Place the mushroom up side down in an oven plate and when the vegetables are already well cooked, stuff the mushrooms with the vegetables and put some oregano on the top. Place them in the oven for around  20 min and bon appetite.

Aubergine casserole

This recipe was inspired by the traditional Greek musaka plate, but of course a vegan version. This course has been cooked for a dinner that we had with two friends (an Italian and a Swiss) with whom we had the joke of starting a game that is familiar to most of us: “Find the vegan”, maybe we can play another day.

Ingredients:
- 3 potatoes
- 2 aubergines
- 2 tomatoes
- 200g spinach
- 1 onion
- 250ml soy cream
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- oregano
- Salt, pepper and olive oil

Procedure:

This recipe requires some effort, things need to be cooked separately and then joined together.
- In the first place, peel the potatoes and cut them in thin sliced and boil them in a sauce pan. In another pan, boil the spinach until it loses all its water.
- In the second place, in a pan fry the onion really well, when it is done add the paprika, oregano, pepper and the small chopped tomatoes. After 10 min add the soy cream and some salt, stir and leave it cooking on low fire.
- In the third place, use a grill pan or a pan with a thick bottom for toasting the potatoes and the aubergine until they get a nice brownish color. I prefer not use oil in that process but that is a matter of taste.
- And finally, in a oven pan or casserole we have to join all ingredients in layers. First, cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes (use half of the potatoes), on top put a layer of the soy cream. Now, put all the aubergine between the cream, that will make the aubergine to acquire a melted texture. Finally, cover the top with remaining potatoes. Put the casserole in the oven and leave it around 30 min at 180C or until the top potato layer gets the desired toasted color.