a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf (embroiderama) wrote in vegancooking,
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf

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My delicious vegan dinner!

As a new mostly-vegan, I've been doing a lot more "serious" cooking than I ever did before. I'm particularly proud of the dinner I put together tonight. And for anyone out there who doesn't like beans, I highly recommend trying adzukis. I always hated beans, but last year I started pushing myself to try them, and adzukis were the first I really liked rather than barely tolerated. They're more tender than a lot of more popular beans (like kidney beans, which I think are vile), and they have a taste that borders on sweet.

Gingered Azuki Squash Stew

This recipe is from the book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass. I adore this book, just as I adore the pressure cooker I bought several months ago.

1 cup dried adzuki beans, soaked several hours and then drained and rinsed
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1.5 cups boiling water for 10 minutes (I used regular fresh mushrooms instead)
1 tbsp light sesame oil or canola oil
1.5 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 cup boiling water, approx.
1 pound butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (I didn't use these)
Tamari soy sauce to taste
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds (optional)
My addition: 1 piece of kombu seaweed, broken into smaller chunks.

If you're using the dried mushrooms, remove them from the water and cut them into 1/4" slivers. Keep the mushroom water.
Heat the oil in the cooker and cook the onions over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the giner, adzukis, kombu and mushrooms. And the mushroom water and the boiling water just until the beans are covers. Set thee squash on top.
Lock the pressure cooker lid, and bring it to pressure over high heat. Lower the heat just enough to keep the cooker at pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to natually release for 10 minutes. Then quick release any remaining pressure, open the cooker, and stir the stew, mushing the squash a little as you do so.
Stir in the tamari and scallions and garnish with sesame seeds.

I served the stew over brown rice and with a side of steamed kale. The kale also got sesame seeds and tamari. I'm sure this stew could be easilty made without a pressure cooker, basically doing everything the same except for cooking longer--however long is recommended to adzuki beans.

Chocolate Coconut Rice Pudding

Once again, I didn't invent this recipe, but I did add to it. I got the original version from VegWeb and added chocolate--because I was having a major chocolate craving as well as a creamy-dairy craving.


1 16 oz can of Coconut milk (I used the light kind)
2 cups of cooked rice (I used long-grain white)
sweetener, your choice, enough to sweeten the milk (I used 1/2 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 tbsp cocoa powder


Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan until it simmers, then add the sweetener, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Stir until everything disolves--the cocoa powder will need encouragement, so some wisking with a fork helps. Add the cooked rice and coconut flakes and simmer until the pudding thickens most of the way. It will thicken more upon standing.

I really love this pudding--like rice pudding crossed with a Mounds bar--AND VEGAN! However, I will do a few things differently next time. I'm going to try using a short grain rice or cooking the long grain rice longer and with a bit more water to make it softer, and I'm going to try chopping the coconut flakes up in a food chopper to make the bits smaller.


ETA: I'm sorry my camera is such a POS, but this is best I can do. :)
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