The Lotus and the Artichoke - vegetarian recipes

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The Lotus and the Artichoke vegetarian recipes

INDIA vegan cookbook on Kickstarter

July 7 2017 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

INDIA vegan cookbook on KickstarterMy newest cookbook, The Lotus and the Artichoke – INDIA just launched on Kickstarter! watch the video: PRE-ORDER the the INDIA cookbook: http:/­­/­­kck.st/­­2uGbsog My new INDIA cookbook has been years in the making - with recipes, stories, artwork & photographs inspired by 8 trips to my most favourite country. It’s a culinary love story of my favorite cuisine - based on a total of nearly two years in India and 25 years of devotion to Indian cooking. My first trip to India was in 2001: mostly North India and Nepal. I spent 4 months on that journey, then another 6 weeks in South India in 2006. I visited twice more, in 2009 & 2010, followed by living and working for a year (as an art teacher) in Central India, returning to Berlin in 2011. In Autumn 2016 & Spring 2017, I went back to India to taste and explore the last regions (and cuisines) of India still waiting for me. I traveled across Kashmir & Ladakh, trekking through mountain villages and exploring towns and cities, staying mostly with families and cooking together in their kitchens. Then I went deep into the Northeast: West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, and Nagaland. I even met with world famous chefs at their restaurants - and homes - for incredible eats and great times in the kitchen. Now I’m back in Berlin, recreating the culinary wonders of the Indian subcontinent in my own kitchen. As with my previous 4 cookbooks, I have written, illustrated, cooked, photographed, and designed this book myself. It’s a labor of love and the ultimate combination of my passions: art, travel, vegan cooking, and photography. I’m back on Kickstarter for my 5th international cookbook project. You can join the crowdfunding which makes everything possible. It’s an adventure in itself, complete with backer-only updates, behind the scenes sneak peaks, exclusive travel videos & stories, recipe testing groups, and more. Pre-order a signed copy of The Lotus and the Artichoke – INDIA (including worldwide shipping, stickers & e-book for EUR25!) My INDIA Cookbook at a glance: - My 5th cookbook of vegan recipes inspired by my travels, stays with families, and cooking in the kitchens of restaurants worldwide - 192 pages with 90+ recipes and over 70 full-page color photos - Personal stories, art, and recipes inspired by 8 trips /­­ 21+ months of travel around India and over 25 years vegan cooking experience - Total variety of regional cuisines: Rajasthani, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Maharashtrian, Tamil, Kerelan, Karnatakan, Goan, Hyderbadi, Bengali, Assamese, Sikkimese, Ladakhi, Tibetan, Nepali - Indian classics & family favorites, timeless treats, new culinary wonders, mind-blowing mega-metropolitan snacks, fabulous village feasts, scrumptious street food, and insanely delicious desserts - Discover new flavors, tasty spices, and awesome cooking skills - Great for cooks of all levels, from beginner to advanced: Recipes use easy-to-find ingredients (Cook everything, anywhere!) - Delicious, easy-to-follow recipes designed to satisfy and impress eaters of all ages, tastes, and minds - Available in ENGLISH... und auch auf DEUTSCH! Shahi Bengan – Roasted Stuffed Eggplant Gobi Pakoras – Batter-fried Cauliflower Saag Paneer – Spinach & Fried Tofu Cubes Pani Puri – Street Food Favorite Aloo Paratha – Grilled Potato-Stuffed Flatbreads Shahi Paneer – fried tofu cubes in creamy tomato sauce Seitan Vindaloo – Goan Tangy Curry Samosas! Fried Potato-Stuffed Pastries Gajur Halava – Bengali Carrot Pudding Gulab Jamuns – Doughballs in Rose Syrup Berry Halava – Fruity Semolina Dessert Recipes in The Lotus and the Artichoke – INDIA: - Garam Masala, Sambar Masala, Chaat Masala & Panch Puran - Tamarind GingerPineapple, Tomato, CoconutChili & Bhang Chutneys - Aam Achar – Mango Pickle - Amitar Khar – Assamese papaya starter - Handvo – Gujurati zucchini cake - Uttapam – South Indian rice & lentil pancakes with tomatoes - Idly Paper Dosa – Karnatakan crispy rice & lentil crepes - Rava Dosa – Tamil semolina crepes - Dahi Vada Chaat – lentil cakes with yogurt & chutney - Hariali Paneer Tikka – Punjabi tofu skewers with spices & herbs - Gobi Pakora – batter-fried cauliflower - Mirchi Vada – Rajasthani batter-fried chillies - Aloo Tikka – spicy, fried potato cakesSamosa – vegetable-stuffed fried pastry - Pani Puripotato-stuffed fried pastry with tamarind spice water - Pav Bhaji - spicy vegetable mash with fresh baked buns - Momos – Tibetan vegetable dumplings - Shapaley – Tibetan vegetable pies - Kolkota Kathi Roll – spicy soymeat & shredded cabbage wrap - Sambar Bandhgobi Rolls – stuffed cabbage leaves - Aloo Dum – Kashmiri tomato potato curry - Shahi Tamatar – roasted stuffed tomatoes - Shahi Bengan – roasted stuffed eggplant - Shahi Mirch – roasted stuffed peppers - Shahi Paneer – tofu cubes in creamy, tomato curry - Paneer Jalfrezi – spicy tofu cubes - Saag Paneer – spinach & tofu cubes - Mutter Paneer - peas & tofu cubes - Xaak – Assamese greens, potatoes & cherry tomatoes - Bengan Bhartha – Kashmiri roasted aubergine - Malai Kofta – potato dumplings in creamy tomato curry - Bindi Aloo Tawa Masala – spicy stir-fried okra & potatoes - Khumb Kaju Makhani – Rajasthani cashew mushroom curry - Shukto – Bengali eggplant, potato & plantains - Pumpkin Posto – Bengali squash in creamy poppy seed curry - Seitan Vindaloo – Goan tangy curry - Black Sesame Seitan – Assamese spicy curry - Tamatar Pitika – Assamese tomatoes with herbs & spices - Aloo Pitika – Assamese potatoes with herbs & spices - Bol Tenga – Assames lentil dumplings in tangy curry - Mas Tenga – Assamese tangy jackfruit curry - Chupke – Tibetan dumpling soup - Tarka Dal – Punjabi lentil curry - Chana Masala – spicy chickpeas - Rajma - Kashmiri red kidney bean curry - Lobia Palak – black-eyed peas with lemon & spinach - Golden Rice - with turmeric & spices - Chana Pulao – rice with chickpeas - Pulihora – Tamil tamarind rice with peanuts & spices - Classic Biryani – Kashmiri rice dish with vegetables, nuts & spices - Jackfruit Biryani – Tamil coconut rice dish with spicy jackfruit - Tupula Bhaat – Assamese sticky rice steamed in banana leaves - Aloo Paratha – grilled flatbread stuffed with potatoes - Tibetan Bread – fried breakfast snack - Makki Roti – grilled cornbread - Roti – wholewheat grilled flatbreadGarlic Naantraditional baked flatbread - Poori – deep-fried flatbreads - Date Ladoo – date & nut sweets - Besan Ladoo – chickpea sweet - Gajur Halava – spiced carrot pudding - Berry Halava – strawberry & blueberry semolina sweet - Mysore Pak – traditional sweet squares - Gulab Jamun – deep-fried dough balls in rose syrup - Rasmalai – cheese balls in saffron mango milk - Jalebi – fried, syrupy sweet - Peda – lemon cashew creamy sweet - Kheer – Kashmiri rice pudding with cardamom, nuts & raisins - Mishti Doi - Bengali sweet curd - Shrikand - Maharashtran yogurt dessert - Pista Kulfi – pistachio ice cream - Pitha – Bengali sesame & date pastry - Narikol Ladoo – Assamese shredded coconut balls - Kadala Parippu – Keralan sweet chana dal dessertGinger Chai – spiced black tea - Kahwa – Kashmiri green tea with almond & saffron - Badam Dudh – almond milk with cardamom & cinnamon - Anjoor Kaju Dudh – cashew shake with fig & date - Strawberry Mint Lassiyogurt smoothie The post INDIA vegan cookbook on Kickstarter appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Nasi Goreng

March 23 2017 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Nasi Goreng I couldn’t even tell you how many times I had Nasi Goreng while I was in Malaysia. It was definitely often. Like, really often. Not only is this traditional vegetable fried rice dish usually totally delicious, it’s also usually easy to find and (with little to no effort) a great vegan option. Pretty much everywhere I went in the five weeks in Malaysia, this dish was on the menu or easy to order at almost any restaurant. Especially out of the big cities and in the countryside - and particularly on the islands and beaches - this is a vegan/­­vegetarian stand-by that is never hard to find. (By the way, based on my travels, this is true for most of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar… but the dish is found under other names and with local flavors.) This becomes an almost daily meal, if vegan options are limited. On Pulau Pangkor, there were two food places (more shacks than restaurants) that served fantastic Nasi Goreng and vegetable fried rice. And in Borneo, staying in the Permai rainforest, the local restaurant and the nearby food court had vegetable fried rice, or Nasi Goreng. There were also many breakfast or lunch buffets at hotels and restaurants that had rice dishes like this. Contrarily, when in Penang and Kuala Lumpur I was usually so blown away by other vegan choices that I didn’t eat Nasi Goreng as often. Nasi Goreng’s flavors and textures forge powerful memories for anyone who’s been to Malaysia or Indonesia - or even just a Malaysian or Indonesian restaurant - whether vegan, vegetarian, or neither. Just as with so many classic recipes - from region to region and family to family this dish is made a million different ways. This is mine… inspired by so many excellent meals on my adventures. When I created this recipe for the Malaysia cookbook, I made sure to hit all the best, unique flavors in a good Nasi Goreng: Fresh galangal root (or ginger), lime juice, spicy chili, and a thin, tangy sauce provided by the mix of Shoyu soy sauce, vinegar, and citrus zest. I also round out the savory flavors with some sweetness. Traditionally in Malaysia, this dish would be served with just a bit of chopped vegetables (and way more rice). For my recipe, I’ve got a lot of the good stuff, included the crumbled tofu - which, by the way, replaces scrambled egg - sometimes found in traditional Nasi Goreng. By the way, I have many similar recipes inspired by other travels and other countries and cuisines - including: Cambodian Fried Rice, Mexican Magic Rice, and Vegetable Fried Rice from my World, Mexico, and Sri Lanka vegan cookbooks. After you’ve tried my Nasi Goreng, check out the other recipes and decide which country’s classic fried rice is your favorite. Nasi Goreng traditional vegetable fried rice recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA available in English & German serves 2 to 3 /­­ time 40 min + - 3.5 oz (100 g) firm tofu - 1 cup (190 g) broken jasmine rice or short grain brown rice - 1/­­2 tsp sea salt - 1 2/­­3 cup (400 ml) water - 1 cup (100 g) chinese cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli or bok choy finely chopped - 1 medium (90 g) carrot finely chopped or sliced - 2-3 Tbs oil - 1 tsp sesame oil optional - 3 (50 g) spring onions chopped, separated into white ends and greens - 1 or 2 cloves garlic finely chopped - 1 large red chili finely chopped optional - 1/­­2 in. (1 cm) fresh galangal or ginger finely chopped - 1 tsp coriander ground - 1/­­2 tsp black pepper ground - 2 Tbs soy sauce (Shoyu) - 1 Tbs lime juice or lemon juice or 2 tsp rice vinegar - 1 tsp lime zest or lemon zest optional - 1 tsp sugar or agave syrup - 1/­­2 tsp sea salt - lime slices for garnish - Cut tofu in slabs, wrap in clean kitchen towel. Weight with heavy cutting boards to press out excess moisture. Let sit 20 min. Unwrap tofu and crumble into a bowl. - Wash and drain rice thoroughly. - Bring water to boil in a small pot. Add rice and salt. Stir. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 12 to 20 min as needed. After water is absorbed, remove from heat. Fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit and cool, ideally an hour or more. - Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan on medium high. Add chopped spring onion ends, garlic, chili (if using), galangal (or ginger), ground coriander, and black pepper. Fry, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2-3 min. - Add chopped carrots. Fry, stirring constantly, 2-3 min. Add crumbled tofu. Mix well. Fry, stirring regularly, until tofu begins to turn golden brown, 3-5 min. Add chopped cabbage (or other vegetables). Fry, stirring constantly, until vegetables start to soften, 4-5 min. - Whisk soy sauce, lime (or lemon) juice, zest, sugar (or agave syrup), and sea salt in a small bowl. - Add cooked rice to frying vegetables. Mix well. Add soy sauce mix and spring onions greens. Combine well. Fry, stirring constantly until liquid has been absorbed and rice and vegetables are moderately browned, 5-7 min. Remove from heat. Cover until ready to serve. - Serve with lime slices. vegan recipe for Nasi Goreng from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA The post Nasi Goreng appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Apam Balik

March 18 2017 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Apam Balik It was my first day in Kuala Lumpur… I’d just arrived and was at the start of a 5 week culinary adventure to get a taste of Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo. The sun shone bright and the sky was that deep, satisfying shade of blue. I was on a short morning walk from the Winsin Hotel on the edge of downtown Chinatown, heading towards the Indian neighborhood. Just outside the subway station on a particularly more urban street corner was a line of shiny, silver food trucks. My eye was caught immediately by one in particular: A woman was spilling roasted, candied peanuts and then corn kernels from a can onto a golden, round, thin pancake. She folded it over - making sort of a sweet taco - and placed it on a rack on the chrome counter of her street food cart. She caught me watching and smiled. “Hey Mister! You try Apam Balik!” Well, what could I say? I got closer and watched her make another two crepes. First, she stirred a simple batter of mostly rice flour and coconut milk and poured and spread the crepe on the sizzling griddle. Moments later, she pried up an edge, slid her spatula tracing under the circle, and flipped it over. I watched her again top the thin, crunchy crepes with peanuts and corn before folding them in half and setting them on the rack just in front of me. Just then, a colorfully dressed Indian woman parted from a few family members and approached the cart from my side. She reached out an anxious hand in a dance-like gesture, rattling rows of wrist bangles, and scooped two of the Apim Balik pancakes from the rack. She rattled off a few sentences in Malay to the seller, they exchanged some money, and both giggled briefly. The Indian woman turned to me and extended one of the crepes until it was right in my face. She said to me in melodic Indian English: “This one for you. Apam Balik. Peanut Pancake!” It was in my grasp and between my teeth before I knew it. The crepe was crunchy on the outside but then soft and chewy, quickly giving way to the delightful combination of sweet and salty flavors from the roasted peanuts, punctuated by bursts of fresh corn juiciness. It was perfect. I devoured the rest of it. Weeks later, back in Berlin, I set about to re-create the deliciousness. For the vegan recipe in my MALAYSIA cookbook, I made a simple, sure-fire formula for making Apim Balik at home in the kitchen. I didn’t have to veganize anything. It’s a pretty much straight-up thin pancake batter based on rice flour, coconut milk and sugar, lending a crunchy thin crepe. For the filling, I simplified it going with just candied peanuts. My variations (below) include optionally topping it with a sweet syrup and going authentic street food style with sweet corn kernels. Apam Balik crispy, crunchy peanut-filled pancakes recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA makes 4 to 6 /­ time 30 min + - 3/­4 cup (100 g) peanuts crumbled or very coarsely ground - 2 Tbs sugar - 1/­4 tsp sea salt - 1/­2 cup (60 g) flour (all purpose /­ type 550) - 1/­2 cup (50 g) rice flour - 1/­4 cup (45 g) sugar - 1 Tbs corn starch - 1 tsp baking powder - 1/­2 tsp sea salt - 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk - 2 Tbs wateragave syrup or coconut (palm) syrup optional - vegetable oil for frying pan - Crumble or coarsely grind peanuts and dry roast in a pan on medium heat until golden brown and dark spots appear, 4-5 min. Add sugar and salt. Mix well. Stirring constantly, roast until sugar melts and mix starts to stick together, 1-2 min. Remove from heat. - Combine flour, rice flour, sugar, corn starch, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in coconut milk and water gradually. Mix until mostly smooth, but do not over mix. Cover and let batter sit 20-30 min. - Heat frying pan on medium high heat. Put a few drops of oil on pan and rub it around with a paper towel. Do this before each pancake. When a drop of water sizzles and dances on surface, pan is ready. - Pour about 1/­4 to 1/­3 cup (60-80 ml) batter in the center of the hot pan. Tilt and turn the pan to form a large, thin, circular pancake. - After bubbles appear on surface and underside is golden brown (about 2-3 min), use a spatula to carefully peel up the edges around the pancake and then flip it over. Cook the other side for 1-2 min, then flip it back over. Put 2-3 Tbs of the sugary peanuts on the pancake and roll up or fold over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with other pancakes. - Serve plain, or drizzle pancakes with agave syrup or coconut syrup. Variations: Creamy: Use peanut butter instead of roasted, crumbled peanuts. Bananas: Add sliced banana to filling. Traditional: Add 1-2 Tbs sweet corn kernels to each pancake filling. vegan recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA available in English & German   The post Apam Balik appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Nasi Lemak

March 15 2017 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Nasi Lemak In the five weeks that I spent exploring Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo there were a few dishes that I just had to try whenever I had the chance. Nasi Lemak is a national favorite - and one of my favorites, too! The name technically means “fatty rice” but “creamy rice” sounds a least a little bit better. Traditionally, as with this recipe, Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in creamy, coconut milk - often along with fresh herbs and spices such as pandan (which you can replace with bay leaves if that’s what you’ve got.) The bright yellow hue comes from turmeric. Though it’s a breakfast dish, it can be eaten at any time of the day, and many variations cross firmly into Savory Culinary Territory. I eat this all times of the day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack, whatever! I tried Nasi Lemak in lots of places: Kuala Lampur, Penang, Malacca, and Singapore. Inspired by those dishes and their accompaniments - and my own imagination, I’ve created a complete meal set: Coconut Pandan Rice served with stir-fried Lemongrass Ginger Tofu, crunchy, charred Spicy Nuts, and a delicious sweet-chili sauce known as Sambal Belacan. These are actually four different recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA which I’ve put together in this one post. You can of course substitute or simplify the dishes for a less involved meal set designed how you like it. Nasi Lemak is equally awesome even when it’s just served with the fresh cucumber, lime slices, and nuts. I love going all out and doing the Lemongrass Tofu cubes, too. Also, I find the hot, spicy Samabal Belecan completes the dish fantastically. How to eat it? Mix it up and eat it with your hands! Serve this meal set up on a banana leaf, wash your hands, mix everything together, and dive in… wild and forkless. (By the way, frozen banana leaves are often available at your local Asian import grocery shop. Just thaw them, rinse them, and eat off of them.) If you prefer a more modern approach: Make it all, arrange it perfectly on plates, eat it with a fork and spoon. It’s up to you! Nasi Lemak Malaysian Coconut Pandan Rice with Lemongrass Ginger Tofu, Spicy Nuts & Sambal Belacan recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA serves 3 to 4 /­­ time 60 min Coconut Pandan Rice: - 2 cups (375 g) broken jasmine rice or basmati rice - 1 2/­­3 cup (400 ml) water - 1 2/­­3 cup (400 ml) coconut milk - 1/­­2 tsp sea salt - 1/­­2 tsp turmeric ground - 2 pandan leaves or bay leaves - fried onions for garnish - 1/­­2 small cucumber sliced - lime slices for garnish - Rinse and drain rice thoroughly. - Bring water and coconut milk to low boil in a medium pot with good lid. Stir in rice, salt, turmeric, and pandan (or bay leaves). Return to simmer. Cover and steam until most liquid is absorbed, 12-15 min. Remove from heat. Stir a few times. Cover and let sit 10 min. Remove and discard leaves before serving. - Garnish with fried onions, cucumber, and lime slices. Lemongrass Ginger Tofu: - 14 oz (400 g) firm tofu cut in cubes or strips - 1 1/­­2 cups (200 g) pineapple chopped - 1 Tbs oil - 2 shallots finely chopped - 2 cloves garlic finely chopped - 2 stalks lemongrass finely chopped - 3/­­4 in (2 cm) fresh ginger finely chopped - 1 tsp coriander ground - 1 Tbs lime juice or lemon juice - 1 Tbs soy sauce (Shoyu) - 1/­­4 tsp sea salt - fresh coriander or parsley leaves chopped, for garnish - Cut tofu in slabs and wrap in clean kitchen towel. Weight with a heavy cutting board and press out extra moisture, 15-20 min. Unwrap and cut in cubes or strips. - Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium high heat. Add chopped shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and ground coriander. Fry, stirring constantly, until shallots being to soften and brown, 2-3 min. - Add tofu cubes. Mix well. Fry, stirring regularly, until tofu cubes are golden brown and crispy on the edges, 5-8 min. - Add chopped pineapple, lime (or lemon) juice, soy sauce, and salt. Fry, stirring regularly, another 5-10 min. Remove from heat. Spicy Nuts: - 1/­­2 cup (50 g) peanuts - 1/­­2 cup (50 g) cashews - 1/­­2 tsp chili powder or paprika ground - 2 tsp coconut sugar - 1/­­4 tsp sea salt - Heat a medium frying pan on medium heat. Dry roast peanuts and cashews, stirring regularly, until light golden brown and dark spots begin to appear, 4-7 min. Do not burn. - Add chili powder (or paprika), sugar and salt. Mix well. Continue to cook another 2-3 min, stirring constantly, until sugar has melted and nuts are well coated. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Sambal Belacan: - 2-3 Tbs vegetable oil - 5 large (90 g) red chilies chopped - 2 cloves garlic chopped - 1 Tbs soy sauce (Shoyu) - 1 Tbs rice vinegar - 1 Tbs lime juice or lemon juice - 1 Tbs coconut sugar - 1/­­4 tsp sea salt - Blend all ingredients in a small food processor or blender until smooth, adding more oil (or some water) as needed. - Heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Add blended spice paste to pan and fry, stirring regularly, until sauce darkens, thickens, and oil separates, 8-12 min. vegan recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA (available as printed cookbook & ebook in English & German) The post Nasi Lemak appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

MALAYSIA cookbook released

November 1 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

MALAYSIA cookbook released Last week the printer delivered my new MALAYSIA cookbook! I’ll be busy packing Kickstarter orders and other pre-orders of the German and English books and going to the post office for the next few weeks. All the pre-orders and reward packages should arrive in time for the holidays. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still get my new book: ORDER: The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA vegan cookbook: - direct from publisher Ventil Verlag: DEUTSCHE Ausgabe /­­ ENGLISH edition - from amazon.de: DEUTSCHE Ausgabe /­­ ENGLISH edition - from Book Depository - worldwide (coming soon) - OR order a *signed* copy (eng/­­deutch) directly from me includes e-book, stickers & bookmarks! p.s. The Lotus and the Artichoke MALAYSIA e-book will be officially released in mid-November. On Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 at 11 am NYC (EST) /­­ 4 pm BERLIN (CET/­­GMT+1) I’ll be on KICKSTARTER LIVE again. Join me and the Kickstarter crew and listen to me tell all about how I turned my kitchen into a cooking show studio with their new live video stream feature. During my successful 30 day crowdfunding campaign I did two live cooking demos with recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke MALAYSIA: Mee Goreng (fried noodles) & Penang Laksa (noodle soup). Click here to watch the Nov 2 show (FREE) & submit your questions for me to answer! The post MALAYSIA cookbook released appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Mexican Street Food Dinner Party

June 7 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Mexican Street Food Dinner Party Mexican Street Food Dinner Party Saturday 25.06.2016 at Chaostheorie in Berlin In a few weeks, I’ll be cooking up an amazing, all vegan Mexican Street Food Dinner Party with many of my most favorite recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke MÉXICO for 40 lucky guests. In only 3 days the tickets were SOLD OUT… and we’ve got 10 people on the waiting list. Possibly we’ll free up a few more places and let more people join us. This is a dinner party I’ve been wanting to put on for years. I’m excited it’s finally going to happen! I’ve done smaller Mexican dinners, but never for more than 20 people. If all goes well (I expect it will be a smashing success) I’ll be doing more big dinner parties like this, not just in Berlin, but in other cities and countries. This is not the first dinner party I’ve done! Several times a year I put on vegan dinner parties, and so far I’ve had the pleasure of cooking for groups of 8 to 50 people in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Mainz, Solingen, and Vienna. Just to name a few. I’ve done Sri Lankan dinner parties, Mexican dinner parties, North and South Indian dinners, American Diner Classics, and one of my favorites: Around the World dinner parties… all with vegan recipes inspired by my travels to 50 countries all over the planet. Here’s the menu plan for the night: THE FOOD - Chiles Rellenos – fried stuffed peppers & Red Chipotle Sauce - Jackfruit Tacos & Mango Salsa - Tostada Supreme (Soy Chorizo) & Guacamole - Spinach Mushroom Sopes & Salsa Verde - Apple Pineapple Empanadas - Lemon Caramel Coconut Flan THE DRINKS - Frozen Margaritas (with/­­without alcohol) - all of the awesome Chaostheorie cocktails & drinks This event is sold out, but if you’d like to find out about future events or make arrangements with me to cook for you (or with you) wherever you might be in the world… Sign up for the newsletter, send me an email from the CONTACT page, and be sure to LIKE The Lotus and the Artichoke on Facebook. You can also follow my cooking and travel adventures here: The Lotus and the Artichoke on Instagram and get some hilarious insight into my day to day silliness and fun on SNAPCHAT: lotusartichoke Here’s a photo of me getting it on in the kitchen of our little apartment in Guanajuato, Mexico, where I stayed for about a week while traveling and living in Mexico for 3 months to research Mexican food, ride some waves, and escape the German winter. The post Mexican Street Food Dinner Party appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Vegetable Roti

May 12 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Vegetable Roti If you ever talk to anyone who’s been to Sri Lanka… and especially if you talk to someone from Sri Lanka, just mention Vegetable Roti and you’ll see their face light up. It’s practically impossible not to have tried them, and it’s even less likely to not love them! They are made and enjoyed pretty much everywhere in Sri Lanka, from North to South and East to West, coast to countryside to hill country. It’s also one of those classics, that despite their popularity, you just almost never find outside of the homeland. Unless you make them yourself… or have someone make them! Most of the few, good Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurants that I’ve found in Europe and North America don’t have stuffed roti quite like the original. One exception is in the delicious and awesome Tamil and Sri Lankan neighborhood in Paris, near the La Chapelle metro stop. That’s actually probably where I first had them, and got to try Sri Lankan food for the first time, many years ago. Since it’s so hard to find Vegetable Roti outside of Sri Lanka, and I (unfortunately) can’t just teleport myself to the island paradise whenever I want to, I was determined to make a convincing, authentic recipe. And when making my Sri Lanka vegan cookbook (with recipes inspired by the 10 weeks I spent exploring the island) there was no question about it. I knew I had to include a Veg Roti recipe! After watching roti being made at least 50 different times by street vendors and in restaurant kitchens, taking lots of notes, studying the technique, making my own recipe wasn’t that difficult. To be honest, making roti dough takes some practice and experimentation. It’s important to let it sit for at least an hour in a moderately warm place. And I always start with less water and very gradually add more. Learning how to get just the right texture and springiness for the dough is like with any bread-making. I refined this recipe over several weeks, had it tested by a dozen friends before publishing it in the cookbook, and continue to use it whenever I want to make vegetable roti: at home, for dinner parties, cooking classes, as a picnic snack, etc. Vegetable Roti are Sri Lankan “Short Eats” What’s a Short Eat? Simply put, snacks and appetizers and street food. There is a rich culture in the Sri Lankan tradition of grabbing a few snacks from the street vendors, hole-in-the-wall snack shops, neighborhood take-out bakery, and mobile bakery tuk-tuks. In addition to the classic roti, Short Eats also include all the many fried rolls, vada, baked snacks, bread and much more. Short Eats are typically enjoyed between meals or as a small meal - on the way to work, on the bus, on the train, at the office, wherever and kind of whenever. They’re everywhere and make a quick breakfast. Or small lunch. Or a mini-dinner, before - or even in place of - a big dinner. The bakery tuk-tuks drive around in the morning and evening - often with their trademark ice cream truck melodies playing funny variations of Für Elise. Yes, really. It’s awesome, and for the rest of your life you’ll start drooling when you hear Beethoven. Vegetable Roti stuffed with potatoes, carrots & leeks recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA makes 4 to 6 /­­ time 45 min + roti dough: - 1 1/­­2 cups (200 g) flour (all-purpose /­­ type 550) - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1/­­2 cup (120 ml) water - 2 Tbs vegetable oil - Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water and 1 Tbs oil. Mix with fork and knead with hands until smooth and elastic, 3-5 min. If batter sticks to hands, knead in more flour. If too dry, add slightly more water. - Add another 1 Tbs oil and knead another 5 min. - Separate into 4 to 6 pieces. Knead and form into balls. Lightly coat balls with oil and place on plate, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm (not hot) place for 1 hour. vegetable filling: - 2/­­3 cup (80 g) leeks or spring onions or 1 medium onion finely chopped - 1 medium (80 g) carrot peeled, grated or finely chopped - 1 large (140 g) potato peeled, grated or finely chopped - 1 Tbs vegetable oil - 1/­­2 tsp black mustard seeds - 1/­­2 tsp coriander ground - 1/­­2 tsp black pepper ground - 1/­­2 tsp chili powder or paprika ground - 5-6 curry leaves and/­­or 1/­­2 tsp curry powder - 1/­­2 tsp turmeric - 1/­­2 tsp sea salt - 3-4 Tbs water (more as needed) - Heat oil in a large pot or pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds. When they start to pop (20-30 sec), add ground coriander, black pepper, chili powder (or paprika), and curry leaves and/­­or curry powder. - Add leeks (or onions), grated carrot and potato, turmeric, salt. Cook partially covered, gradually adding water, stirring and mashing regularly, until vegetables are soft, 7-10 min. Remove from heat. - Uncover dough. Briefly knead a ball. On a greased surface, press flat and roll out or continually flip and stretch to form a long, wide strip. Wrapper should be almost 3 times as long as it is wide and about 1/­­8 in (3 mm) thick. Knead some oil into each dough ball if too firm and not stretching easily. - Spoon about 3 Tbs filling onto one end. Fold over repeatedly in triangles until sealed. Transfer to lightly greased plate and continue for others. - Heat a large, heavy frying pan on medium high heat. Place filled triangles on pan and press down lightly. Fry on both sides, until brown spots appear, 3-5 min each side. Arrange standing up on edges, pressing down lightly and leaning together to brown edges, 2-3 min each end. - Continue for all rotis. Serve with chili sauce, chutney, or eat plain. Making Sri Lanka Streetfood superstars: Vegetable Roti! homemade dough, spicy potato filling. I ate these almost every day during my 10 weeks in Sri Lanka. Recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke -- SRI LANKA #vegancookbook #srilanka #vegetableroti #streetfood #whatveganseat #lotusartichoke A video posted by Justin P. Moore (@lotusartichoke) on Sep 7, 2015 at 7:35am PDT The post Vegetable Roti appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Penang Laksa

March 13 2017 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Penang Laksa Incredibly, I’d been in Malaysia for almost two weeks before I got to try Laksa, the legendary noodle soup. Even before the trip, I’d read about the intensely loved, powerful and fiery, somewhat-sour soup in food blogs and food guides to Malaysia. I’d checked out plenty of recipes and seen lots of super tasty photos. Once I got to Malaysia, whenever I asked locals what dishes I had to try, I heard again and again: Laksa! Okay, great, but where? And the answer was: Penang! Penang was hands-down my favorite place to eat on the Malaysia trip. (Singapore was a fairly close second. Penang was just more artsy, soulful, and real). I collected maps with locations of the best street food in Georgetown (Penang) and scoured the web and my travel guides for addresses of must-try vegetarian restaurants. On my second day in town, I had lunch at the vegan restaurant Sushi Kitchen, and met the chef/­­owner, who made a list for me of Must-See places and dishes. That night I went to Luk Yea Yan, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant known for fantastic flavors and inexpensive eats. I ordered up the Laksa soup. Three minutes later my oversized bowl of hot, steaming, bright red soup arrived - with countless ingredients and toppings piled up to the rim. There were at least three kinds of noodles, tofu cubes, soya and seitan chunks, numerous vegetables, about four kinds of fresh herbs - and balanced on top: a soup spoon with a thick, red curry paste on it. I’d read about this… Traditionally Laksa is usually served with a generous spoonful of rempeh - spicy red curry paste for you to stir in to the hot red broth yourself. I knew what to do. I did it. A half dozen flavors immediately exploded in my mouth: tamarind, chili, lime, pineapple, cilantro, mint. This was followed by a second wave of flavors: an army of vegetables, tofu, and seitan slices. I slurped down the noodles and paddled pieces of everything with my chopsticks into my hungry jaws. I had to take a break a few times to catch my breath and cool the spice alarm with generous draws on my lemon iced tea. When I was done, my forehead was light with perspiration and my lips and tongue were tingling and alive. There was never a doubt whatsoever that I would include a vegan recipe for Penang Laksa in my new Malaysia cookbook. Several weeks later (after having tried vegan Laksa soup at least three other times in Malaysia) I was back in my kitchen in Germany and set to work. It took a few attempts to master the recipe, each try better than the last. And then I had it: my own epic Laksa recipe! Since then, I’ve made it probably ten more times, including for several dinner parties large and small, and plenty of times for lunch. It’s best on cold, cloudy days to fire up your mood and open you up! But I’ve also made it lots of other times, even in the summer, well… just because it’s so awesome and is always a dish guests talk about long after the meal. Penang Laksa classic Malaysian noodle soup recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA serves 2 to 3 /­­ time 45 min - 5 oz (150 g) seitan sliced - 3.5 oz (100 g) smoked tofu sliced - 1/­­3 cup (45 g) pineapple chopped - 1 Tbs vegetable oil  - 1 Tbs soy sauce or Vegan Fish Sauce - 7 oz (200 g) udon noodles (cooked) - 2 1/­­2 cups (600 ml) water  - 2/­­3 cup (150 ml) coconut milk  - 1 kefir lime leaf or 1 tsp lime zest  - fresh mint leaves chopped - fresh coriander leaves chopped - fresh thai basil leaves chopped - bean sprouts for garnish laksa spice paste: - 4 candlenuts or 2 Tbs cashews soaked 20 min in hot water, drained - 1 stalk lemongrass chopped - 1/­­2-1 large red chili chopped - 2 cloves garlic chopped - 1 shallot chopped - 3/­­4 in (2 cm) fresh galangal or ginger chopped - 1/­­2 tsp paprika ground (more as desired, for red color) - 1/­­2 tsp fennel seed ground - 1/­­2 tsp coriander ground - 2 tsp coconut sugar or agave syrup  - 3/­­4 tsp sea salt  - 1 tsp tamarind paste (seedless) - 2 Tbs lime juice or lemon juice  - 2 Tbs vegetable oil  - If using dried Udon: Cook, rinse, and drain 3.5 oz (100 g) noodles according to package instructions. - Blend spice paste ingredients in a small food processor until smooth. - Heat 1 Tbs oil a large pot or wok on medium high heat. Add sliced seitan and smoked tofu. Fry, turning regularly until edges are browned and crispy, 3-5 min. - Stir in chopped pineapple. Continue to stir-fry, 2-3 min. Add soy sauce (or Vegan Fish Sauce). Fry 2-3 min. Transfer to a plate or bowl. - Return pot or wok to medium high heat. Fry blended spice paste until it darkens and oil starts to separate, stirring constantly, 3-5 min. - Gradually stir in water, coconut milk and kefir lime leaf (or lime zest). Bring to simmer. Add cooked udon noodles. Return to simmer. Cook until noodles have slightly softened, 3-5 min. - Stir in fried seitan, tofu, and pineapple. Turn off heat. Cover until ready to serve. - Portion soup and noodles into bowls. Garnish with chopped herbs and bean sprouts. Serve. Panang Laksa vegan recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA (available as printed cookbook & ebook - in English & German) The post Penang Laksa appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

MALAYSIA vegan cookbook on Kickstarter

August 19 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

MALAYSIA vegan cookbook on Kickstarter On August 16th, 2016 I launched the Kickstarter Crowdfunding project for The Lotus and the Artichoke MALAYSIA vegan cookbook! This is my 4th Kickstarter project, and like the first three, it’s off to a terrific start. Cruise on over and check out the campaign. It’s a great way to support my creative endeavors and culinary adventures, and it’s a great way to pre-order the new cookbook which will be coming out in October. The Kickstarter will end on Sept 15th... make sure to get in before the fun is over. For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting cool updates and Behind the Scenes stories and photos of the design and production of the new cookbook. The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA After 3 successful Kickstarter projects and 3 internationally celebrated cookbooks, The Lotus and the Artichoke is back with a new cookbook... and back on Kickstarter! Earlier this year, I returned home to Berlin, Germany after 5 intense weeks exploring Malaysia, Singapore & Borneo: checking out the cities, cruising the coasts and countryside, island life during the wild Chinese New Year celebrations, staying in a rainforest treehouse, eating and cooking with the locals everywhere, and riding buses, trains, taxis, and boats all over the place. Since then, I’ve been recreating the insanely delicious eats, writing up new recipes inspired from the trip, spending hours at my art desk and computer with the illustrations and design, and photographing all the dishes for my next cookbook: The Lotus and the Artichoke – MALAYSIA: A Culinary Adventure with over 70 Vegan Recipes. My 4th cookbook of vegan recipes inspired by my travels, stays with families, and cooking in the kitchens of restaurants worldwide: - 160 pages - with over 60 full page color photos - Personal stories, art, and recipes inspired by 5 weeks of travel in Malaysia, Singapore & Borneo - Explore amazing Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine from the fantastic foodie metropolises Kuala Lumpur & Singapore, culinary heritage highlights of Penang, rising star Ipoh, Sarawak’s quaint Kuching, the tribal highlands of Borneo and beyond - Everyday classics, mind-blowing mains, fabulous feasts, street food superstars, awesome salads & fresh treats, great snacks, and crazy delicious desserts - Discover new flavors, tasty spices, and easy, awesome cooking skills - Great for cooks of all levels, from beginner to advanced: Recipes use easy-to-find ingredients (Cook everything anywhere!) - Delicious, easy-to-follow recipes designed to satisfy and impress eaters of all ages, tastes, and minds - Available in ENGLISH... und auch auf DEUTSCH! Pre-Order my MALAYSIA cookbook on Kickstarter Some of the recipes: - Kelabit Mango Salad - Shredded Beet & Coconut SaladCucumber Zucchini Salad - Acar - pickled vegetables - Urap - traditional veg side - Penang Laksa Soup - Curry Mee - Nonya Noodle Soup - Spicy Mushroom Noodle Soup - Wonton Soup - Popiah Rolls - Otak-Otak - steamed quiche pockets - Satay Skewers w/­­ peanut sauce - Serunding Kelapa - roasted coconut & spices - Sauce Kachang - satay sauce - Sambal Belachan - red chili saucePineapple Pepper Chutney - homemade red curry rempah paste - vegan faux-fish sauce - super 5-spice powder - Nasi Lemak - coconut creamy rice & ginger lemongrass tofu - Nasi Kandar - Malay street food feast - Nasi Kerabu - herbs, spices & olive mushroom rice - Nasi Goreng - fried rice classic - Mee Goreng - fried noodles with vegetables & crumbled tofu - KLFC - Kuala Lumpur Fried “Chicken” - Mushroom Murtabak - stuffed, grilled Indian flatbread - Sayur Campur - mixed vegetables w/­­ dark soy sauce - Sayur Lodeh - mixed vegetables w/­­ coconut gravy - Kang-Kong Goreng - stir-fried spinach - Bao - steamed buns w/­­ spicy seitan - Assam Tofu Faux-Fish - Asian casserole - Crispy Curry Tempeh Cubes - Soya Rendang - Black Pepper Seitan - Eggplant & Okra Tomato Curry - Szechuan (Kung Pow) Seitan - Char Kuey Teow - stir-fried rice noodles - Hong Shao Rou - roasted jackfruitMushroom Manchurian - Roti Canai - red curry & flatbread w/­­ chutneyBanana Leaf - Indian curry meal - Gobi 65 - Indochinese batter-fried cauliflower - Punjabi Sizzler - Apam Balik - crunchy peanut pancakes - Cendol - shaved ice, green noodles & syrup - Kueh Dadar - green pandan crepes - Kueh Lapis - multi-color cake - Ondeh-Ondeh - sweet, chewy dumplings - Kuih Kodok - fried banana fritters - Chocolate Mint Cake - Lychee Banana Sorbet - Coconut Ice Cream - Iced Ginger Lime Soda - Purple Dream - ... and more! Pre-Order my MALAYSIA cookbook on Kickstarter The post MALAYSIA vegan cookbook on Kickstarter appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Apple Pineapple Empanadas

June 1 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Apple Pineapple Empanadas When I was living in the small town of Lo de Marcos, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, we’d often take day trips to Sayulita. Sayulita, like San Pancho and Lo de Marcos, used to be just a sleepy fishing village. All three towns are just up the coast from Puerto Vallerta - which has been in the tourist guidebooks for quite some time. In the 1960s and 1970s, PV was built up for tourism (kind of like planned tourism destinations Acapulco and Cancun). It was also around this time that surfers “discovered” Sayulita, which remained pretty much a secret for a while. Over the next few decades, tourism and expat enclaves grew and migrated along the Nayarit coast, creating what it is now: cities, towns, and villages coming to terms with all of the holiday traffic and escape artists. In addition to surfing, Sayulita is popular for weddings and honeymoons, yoga retreats, artistic and culinary workshop getaways, souvenir and craft shopping, and of course: respite from the louder and brasher cities. For me, Sayulita will always be about empanadas. Going to Sayulita always meant going to my favorite little hole-in-the-wall empanada take-out bakery. We’d leave Lo de Marcos in the morning on the local bus, ride about half an hour south, down the coast along jungle and oceanview roads. The bus stand was a good, hot, 10 to 15 minute walk to the “downtown”. As we approached the main town square, my mouth would already be watering, anxious to see what kind of empanadas were there. You see, this is part of why we tried to leave early and arrive before lunch. By mid afternoon, the bakery would always sell out of at least one of my favorites: Empanadas de Manzana (with apple filling) and Empanadas Espinaca y Papas (spinach & potato filling). This place only made and sold empanadas, and nothing else. You’d just walk up to the counter, see what was listed on the chalkboard, and then place your order. The baked pastries never got a chance to cool off. Usually they rarely spent a few minutes on the counter in their baskets before they’d be bought, carried away, and devoured. I’d buy a bunch of whatever vegan empanadas they had, and then bring them back to the park for a family picnic. The rest of the day was usually spent sipping coconut water or fresh juice, watching surfers (and absolute beginner surfer lessons taking place on the beach), strolling around, and then, once we got hungry again, enjoying an excellent meal at La Esperanza, or our favorite taquería (whose name I’ve long since forgotten) just off the main street. This photo of me with my surfboard in Lo de Marcos has nothing to do with Empanadas. Unless perhaps I ate empanadas that morning in Sayulita. Which is entirely possible. Back in Germany, I got to work perfecting my Empanada recipe Sure they’re great with just apple, but adding fresh pineapple is mind-blowing. I love the tropical touch, which is a really powerful, nostalgic reminder of the my months spent living next to the beach in Mexico. I suggest using a good, buttery vegan margarine. Don’t use cheap stuff, and try to find something that is recommended for baking. Cheaper margarines have too much water in them, and you’ll miss out on the rich, creamy flavor for your dough. In Germany I use Alsan, and in the U.S.A. Earth Balance makes some good stuff that will work for baking. (If you’ve got other suggestions for readers, please leave a comment below!) Also, keep an eye on your goodies in the oven! If you overbake them, you’ll be disappointed by the texture. Since I’m really not that great of a baker, I actually take the empanadas out of the oven a minute or two before I think they’re done. A bit soft and chewy is always better than hard and dry! Keep fresh, hot empanadas covered or wrapped with a damp dishtowel so they don’t dry out, too. Oh, and always be careful with the first bite - I don’t even know how many times I’ve burned my tongue on blazing hot empanada filling! Enjoy! Apple Pineapple Empanadas Empanadas de Manzana y Pi?a recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MEXICO! makes 8 to 10 /­­ time 45 min + dough: - 3 cups (375 g) flour (all-purpose /­­ Type 550) - 1 1/­­2 tsp sea salt - 1 Tbs sugar - 1/­­4 tsp baking powder - 8 Tbs (110 g) margarine - 3/­­4 cup (180 ml) cold water - 2 Tbs soy milk or rice milk for glaze optional - Combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder in large mixing bowl. - Cut margarine into thinly sliced pieces and add to bowl. Using hands, knead margarine into flour mix. - Gradually add in cold water, continue kneading a few minutes until dough is rubbery and smooth. If needed use slightly more flour or water. - Pull and form into 8-10 equal sized balls and return to bowl. Cover and let sit 20 min. apple & pineapple filling: - 2 medium apples peeled, finely chopped - 1 cup (140 g) pineapple finely chopped - 1/­­2 tsp cinnamon ground - 1 Tbs sugar - Combine chopped apples and pineapple with cinnamon and sugar in large bowl. Mix well. - Pour 2 Tbs soy milk (or water) into cup or small bowl. - Preheat oven to 400 F /­­ 200 C /­­ level 6. - On floured surface, roll out a dough ball with rolling pin (or bottle) to 1/­­4 in (1 cm) thickness. Using a medium bowl or saucer as a guide, cut circle with knife. Roll up and save trim. - Put 2 Tbs filling onto a dough circle. Dip finger in soy milk (or water) and trace around outer edge to help seal. Fold over in half and press edges firmly with a fork to seal. - Brush top with soy (or rice) milk, if desired, for glaze. Carefully transfer to baking tray. Repeat for all empanadas. - Bake until golden brown and edges start to crisp and darken, about 20-25 min. - Allow to cool 5 min before serving: Filling is very hot! Variations: Other fillings: Experiment with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, chopped pears, walnuts, hazelnuts, banana, chocolate… or whatever else you come up with! recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MEXICO! The post Apple Pineapple Empanadas appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

Mexican Magic Rice

May 3 2016 The Lotus and the Artichoke 

Mexican Magic Rice When I was living in the small village of Lo de Marcos on the Pacific coast of Mexico, I went shopping at the vegetable shops in the neighborhood and cooked in the kitchen of our rented house every day. One of my favorite standard dishes, which I cooked at least twice a week, was Mexican Magic Rice. Its sort of a spin-off of traditional Mexican Dirty Rice, also called Messy Rice. Its basically a tomato rice dish - easy to make and always a treat. Its great with smoked tofu or fancy mushrooms instead of seitan. Ive been focusing so much on the new Malaysia cookbook coming out later this year… and, sure, Im still obsessed with the recipes from my new SRI LANKA cookbook. But now its time to give some more love to Mexico and all my favorite Mexican recipes from my previous cookbook with recipes inspired by my travels I had always been fascinated by Mexico… I wanted to spend more time there, since my first brief visit across the border with my family in the late 1980s. My second visit, in 2001, was a week-long visit with my father and brother Adam, and we went mountain climbing on Iztaccíhuatl. Fast forward to 2013: After the success of my first vegan cookbook inspired by my world travels, it was time to plan the next project. Mexico was my first pick for a winter escape from the cold Berlin winter. I talked with other travel bloggers I knew, and heard about the elusive town of San Pancho, an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, and just around the bend from surfer town Sayulita. Theres a great story of how I found an amazing house to rent right on the sea, and where I spent two months living with the locals, learning to surf, improving my Spanish, and super-charging my Mexican cooking game. The original plan was to find a house in San Pancho. But the scene was much more touristy and less authentic than I had pictured. Maybe a few years earlier it was still real. And the rents were well over what we wanted to spend.After a few days of looking for a reasonable, charming and down-to-earth place, we pretty much gave up on San Pancho. Locals suggested I go north to Lo de Marcos and see what was up over there. The search continued: asking everyone, locals and foreigners, if anyone knew of a house to rent. After two days of walking around in the sun and asking, and exhausting all the online resources for holiday rentals, we were just about ready to give up again. We had only one more night at the small apartment for one week in San Pancho until we needed to find a new place. On that fateful day, exhausted and sweaty, I sat down on the sidewalk on the small street a few minutes walk from the ocean. I saw two guys walking back from the beach, shirtless and tan. One had a fresh tattoo of Santa Muerte, the elaborately decorated Mexican Lady Death with a painted skeleton face, still healing on his chest. Should I ask them if they knew of any places to rent? Or would it be just like all the times before: no particularly helpful suggestions and just a smile and wish of good luck in our search? If you dont ask, the answer is always No. I stood up and greeted the young men, Buenos días, were looking for a place to rent for a few months. Do you know of anything. The guy with the tattoo, laughed and said, How about my house? Were standing right in front of it. We leave to go to Montreal tomorrow afternoon. Want to come in and see the house? He unlocked the gate and we walked up the path. I have to warn you, the house is kind of... unique. I love to cook and I built out the kitchen with a six-burner stove and giant double refrigerator from a restaurant that closed in Puerto Vallarta. Its probably way more than you need, eh? It was my turn to laugh. I told him that I cook every day and had come to Mexico to spend a few months learning more about the local cuisine and to work on recipes for a new cookbook. The entry way opened up to an expansive garden with papaya trees, banana trees, towering coconut palms, and a large herb garden with massive bushes of basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary. The house itself was a cosy and quaint, two-level casita, painted bright yellow and had a classic terracotta tiled roof with a thatched veranda. There are two bedrooms downstairs, and another room upstairs with its own bathroom and mini-kitchen. You can eat on the veranda upstairs, or downstairs on the patio. Weve got fast internet, a working washing machine, and... oh, heres the outdoor shower. I imagined myself showering in the outdoor shower and rinsing the salt water from my surfboard after a day in the waves. The house was perfect. Everything was falling into place in that awesome way. My friend Ben from Germany was coming to visit for a few weeks with his brother. My dad was planned to visit for a week, too. The upstairs room would be perfect for visitors, and could be my yoga room and work studio at other times. Instead of renting a small place (and we had seen many, but they just didnt feel right, so wed kept looking), we could rent this and the guests could stay here with us, instead of finding another place. We worked out a fair price for the rent the next day. I helped him finish packing the car and he gave me the keys to our beach house in Lo de Marcos, Mexico. Mexican Magic Rice is fantastic with Cashew Sour Cream or Guacamole and served on a bed of greens, lettuce, or with a salad. Its also awesome for packing killer bean burritos and much more fun than just plain rice. Similar to my Cambodian Fried Rice recipe from my first The Lotus and the Artichoke cookbook, this dish is a readers’ favorite, and can easily be doubled for a big family meal. I cook it all the time for dinner parties and cooking classes. And I still cook it regularly at home for my own family and friends. Enjoy! Mexican Magic Rice tomato rice with spicy seitan serves 3 to 4 /­­ time 35 min recipe from The Lotus and the Artichoke – MÉXICO! - 5 oz (150 g) seitan sliced or chopped - 3/­­4 cup (75 g) green peas - 1/­­2 cup (50 g) black olives sliced or chopped - 3 Tbs vegetable oil - 1 medium onion chopped - 2 cloves garlic finely chopped - 1 tsp cumin ground - 1 tsp coriander ground - 1 cup (200 g) rice - 2 Tbs tomato paste - 1/­­2 tsp turmeric ground - 1 bay leaf - 3/­­4 tsp salt - 1/­­2 cup (120 ml) beer or vegetable broth - 1 cup (240 ml) water - 1 tsp smoked paprika ground - 1/­­2 tsp black pepper ground - 1/­­2 tsp ground chipotle or chili powder optional - 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped - 1 Tbs lemon juice - fresh cilantro or parsley chopped, for garnish - Heat 2 Tbs oil in large pot on medium high heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, ground cumin, and coriander. Fry, stirring constantly, 2-3 min. - Add rice, tomato paste, turmeric, bay leaf, salt. Mix well. - Stir in beer (or vegetable broth) and water. Bring to boil, stirring, Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15-20 min until rice is cooked. Remove from heat. Mix with a fork. Cover and let sit 5-10 min. - Heat 1 Tbs oil in large frying pan on medium high heat. - Add ground paprika, pepper, chipotle (or chili powder), chopped seitan. Fry, stirring regularly, until lightly crispy and browned, 4-5 min. - Stir in chopped oregano and lemon juice, followed by peas and chopped olives. Cook another 2-3 min, stirring regularly. Remove from heat. Cover until rice is ready. - Add cooked seitan, peas, and olives to rice pot. Mix well. Cover until ready to serve. - Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve. Variations: No fake meats: Replace seitan with chopped mushrooms. Sliced oyster Mushrooms or portabellos are best! No olives: Replace with corn kernels, chopped bell pepper, broccoli or other vegetables. Extra Spicy: Add 1 chopped chipotle (or other) chili with spices when frying seitan. More Red: Sauté 8-10 cherry or small plum tomatoes with seitan, halved or whole. The post Mexican Magic Rice appeared first on The Lotus and the Artichoke.

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