Autumn Recipes

Old habits die hard. Because I am a full 24 hours late with this newsletter, I see how my mind is already trying to come up with clever, defensive excuses - "I was kidnapped by aliens;" "My dog ate my recipes;" "I was sick with a fever;" "My boulders (moving boxes) got out of control and started crushing the entire house..." You get the picture. However the reality is much more down to earth than all that. My life was overwhelmed by work, catering, traveling and singing (ya-hoo!) - all things that take time away from writing. Before I go any farther though, I want to make a very important public service announcement: ** I will be traveling this weekend again, and thus there will be no dinners next week, October 12th-16th.** We will resume our normal schedule by the next week, October 19th. So please plan accordingly and either order extra to tide you over, or start working on your respective honeys to take you out to those special restaurants you have been putting off visiting.

So what is with all this traveling? There has suddenly been an influx of opportunities for me to engage in my deepest passion of passions - kirtan singing. For those of you who are new to this blog and have no idea what kirtan is or what I just said, here is a video to give you an idea of what I do when I am not at my stove. ;-) I say "suddenly" there has been an influx of opportunities,

Why do I bring all this up in a newsletter about vegan cooking? Well, because I almost always talk about something other than cooking. I wouldn't want you all to get confused if I just started fixating on something like which kind of tomato is best for marinara sauce, for example. You might think I had finally hired someone else to do content management for me. I suspect that more than a couple of you have a "day job" that is different from your super secret, super burning passion in life. This is one of my jobs, to encourage those of you who read all the way down here to the third paragraph to consider tending the garden of your soul. Plant a seed or two for the flowers that you truly would love to blossom in your life. You never know, you may just end up with a whole field of blooms that would take your breath away...

Entree #1 - Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup

It's that time, oh yeah! Oh yeah! C'mon y'all, do the happy dance! It has been almost a full year since I last made this amazing, seasonally yummy cream-fest of a soup. Made with real live ugly pumpkins (they are cheaper and tastier than "showing" pumpkins), almond milk, coconut milk, apples, and some spice magic, this soup has been a favorite of our customers for millennia. (A little hyperbole never hurt anyone, right?) *GF, soy-free

(photo seriouseats.com)

Entree #2 - Hearty 5-Bean Dal

Since we are doing blasts from the past, I thought I would pull out this Govinda's classic dal. The recipe actually comes from Yamuna Devi's massive cookbook, Lord Krishna's Cuisine, and it is a wonderfully satisfying combination of mung, urad, split pea, toor, and chana dals. *GF, soy-free

(photo vegrecipesofindia.com)

Entree #3 - Shepherd's Pie

Some time ago I saw a video for shepherd's pie by the Vegan Zombie and have wanted to make it ever since. If you have never watched Vegan Zombie cooking videos, I highly recommend them. The recipes are good and the presentation is so kooky, I can't help but laugh. I did compare a few recipes though before deciding on this one from Susan Voisin over at Fat Free Vegan. Her recipes are consistently some of my favorites, and this looks to be no exception. *GF, soy-free

(photo fatfreevegan.com)

Side Dishes:

Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup)

Black Rice - $2/serving (1 cup) In keeping with our oh-so-almosty Halloween color scheme, I decided to offer black rice to complement our orange pumpkin dishes. Black rice has a nutty flavor, similar to brown rice. It also is incredibly healthy - high in antioxidants, protein, anti-inflammatory properties, & good for the heart. *GF, soy-free

(photo vibrantwellnessjournal.com)

Veggie Cutlets - $2.50 ea. or 2/$4. These little savories are another Govinda's favorite. Their inclusion in the menu is not necessarily thematic, rather I thought they would make excellent traveling food for my son and I since they are delicious as anything and can be easily hand-held. They are made with brown rice, chopped veggies, Indian spices and then lightly fried, so that they are crisp on the outside and yummy chewy on the inside.*GF, soy-free

(photo manjulaskitchen.com)

Mini Pumpkin "Cheesecakes" - $3 ea. or 2/$5. You may now commence more pumpkin happy-dancing. These vegan mini cheesecakes are made with a ginger snap, pumpkin puree, coconut cream (yes!), cashews, bananas, some love and some spices. They are the beyond of healthy yummy treats. *soy-free

(photo connoisseurusveg.com)

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