Needless to say, these are the times when being vegan can be really difficult. I didn't know the extent of the snow we were getting until this morning, and when I saw that it could be in the 25 inches range, I threw together a suitcase hoping I would be able to spend the night closer to work. (I'm only about a 20 minute drive away on a normal day, but that has stretched into over an hour when we get snow like this.) I also threw two days worth of breakfast and lunch into a bag (English muffins with Smart Bacon and vegan "egg" for brekky sandwiches, a tofu "egg" salad sandwich, an apple, and some leftover pizza--yes, sad food, I know--I was in a big hurry), and grabbed a few dollars worth of quarters for vending machines in case of emergency. Tonight, I got capellini pomodoro from Olive Garden right next to my hotel. Vegan? Yes. Blog-worthy? No. But at least I got a hot meal and a big (dry) salad. Plus John talked me into bringing my laptop so I can post a couple of the things I've been sitting on for a while.
Both of these meals are homemade except for one convenient ingredient each. In both cases, it was something I had sitting around for a night when I was short on time but still wanted to make sure I got something healthful and veggie-packed.
Vegan Chorizo Potato Hash
5 medium potatoes (Yukon golds are good in this), uniformly diced, peeled if not organic
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium to large green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (button or cremini)
1/2 tomato, diced
1 package soy chorizo (sold at Trader Joe's and other well-stocked supermarkets)
Parboil potatoes in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until slightly yielding but still holding shape. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, saute onions and peppers in small amount of water until onions are beginning to soften. Add drained potatoes and stir fry for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to stir fry until potatoes and mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add chorizo and continue to stir fry. When chorizo is heated through, add tomatoes and stir fry for several minutes until tomatoes begin to lose shape. At this point, onions and pepper should be tender crisp, potatoes cooked through, mushrooms browned and chorizo starting to brown. Makes about 5 servings.
It's not the most attractive meal, but it's tasty and filling, and it's one of the first vegan meals I ever thought up. John is a "meat" and potatoes kind of guy, so it's something he really enjoys and always wants an extra serving of. Interestingly, the package of soyrizo I used this time had a similar recipe printed right on the package.
Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 jar of vegan curry simmer sauce (I used Trader Joe's brand, but Seeds of Change makes a few truly excellent varieties as well)
Cooked brown rice
Saute onions and peppers in water over medium heat until slightly softened. Add cauliflower, chickpeas, and simmer sauce. Mix well and lower heat to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower has softened to tender crisp. If mixture becomes too thick, add water and stir. Once cauliflower reaches desired texture, serve mixture over cooked brown rice. Makes 4-5 servings.
John & I both love Indian food, and I got an Indian vegan cookbook for Christmas, but I haven't had a chance to really get involved with it yet. Right now, with the amount of snow we have on the ground, even the simplest trip to the grocery store takes more than twice as long as it should Maybe when all this snow finally subsides I'll be able to get to one of the nearby Indian groceries and pick up a few ingredients to experiment with. For the time being though, with how busy I have been, and how little I care to leave the house, this will definitely do!