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How Do I Love Momos?

Let me count the ways….
I love my momos steamed. But I love them even more when steamed first and then sautéed in a little soy sauce. Most of all, though, I love momos when liberally doused with spicy tomato achar — a “must have” accompaniment for any serving of momos.

If you’ve never had momos, you’re in for a treat — especially if you like all manner of Asian and Indian food like I do.  Momos are Nepali stuffed dumplings, similar to stuffed wontons or gyoza, with a flavorful vegetable filling.  What seals the deal is the achar sauce, which is made with lots of tomatoes, hot chiles, garlic, cilantro, and spices. The sauce is so good, there is rarely any leftover, but when there is, it’s great scooped up with chips.

I wish I could share the recipe, but I can’t right now because it’s scheduled to be in an upcoming issue of VegNews magazine in my Global Vegan column. For now, the above photo shows some of the yummy momos in achar that I made recently — the photo was taken just seconds before they were devoured.

If you live near a Himalayan or Nepali restaurant, consider stopping by for some vegetable momos and let me know if it was love at first bite for you, too.

Other News:
Cookbook Giveaway on Vegan Appetite: Head on over to Vegan Appetite for your chance to win a copy of Vegan Unplugged — the pantry cookbook (with recipes ready in 15 minutes) that also doubles as an emergency guide for when the power’s out.

Other, other news:
My Black Bean and Butternut Chili from Party Vegan is featured in this week’s Splendid Table newsletter!

On Tuesday, November 2, I will be the guest blogger on GoDairyFree.org.

On Wednesday, November 3, I will be a guest on the Jazzy Vegetarian radio program.

And, finally….

Recipe Testing Has Begun:  All of the recipe testers for my next cookbook have been chosen and contacted and the testing has begun!  Thanks again to all who e-mailed me or otherwise contacted me about testing.  It was a tough decision because I’m sure you’d all be terrific!
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Burmese Tea Leaf Salad


I never thought I could be enchanted by a salad, but from my first bite of Burmese tea leaf salad, I was under its spell. This addictive salad has it all: good looks, great taste, fabulous textures, and, due to the high concentration of caffeine, it also has an incomparable “energizing” after-effect that can have you bouncing off the walls, depending on your caffeine tolerance.

After my first encounter, I knew I’d need to make it at home, since the nearest Burmese restaurant is, well, not very near. However, the main ingredient proved difficult to find. The Asian market I shop in doesn’t carry fermented tea leaves, so I asked my friend in Philadelphia to try her bigger/better store. Still no luck. I finally tracked down the elusive tea leaves online and ordered them from a source in New York. Within a few days, they were delivered to my door.

If you order the salad in a Burmese restaurant, chances are it will look much like the one in my photo (I’m a sucker for composed salads anyway, and this one is as composed as it gets.) In a restaurant, the server may bring it to your table and then mix it for you tableside, ala Caesar-salad style, with the fermented tea leaves (in the center of the salad) being tossed with the other ingredients.

You can find the recipe for this amazing salad (and more info about Burmese cooking) in my Global Vegan column in the current (January/February) issue of VegNews Magazine.

By the way, if you don’t tolerate caffeine well, you’ll be happy to know that the tea leaf salad has a close cousin that can be made with pickled ginger in place of the fermented tea leaf mixture. The ginger salad is equally beautiful and delicious as the tea leaf salad, but without the caffeine kick. Anyone who ever thought salads were boring needs to try one of these!

What’s Cooking for Thanksgiving?

Is it just me, or is this year really flying by at record speed? I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. If you’re not sure what to make for Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve got some ideas to tell you about.

I already know what I’m making, and you can read all about it (and see a photo) at Vegan.com where I share my menu and recipes for the entire meal. Many of the recipes this year are from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, including Seitan en Croute with Madeira Sauce and Rum-Spiked Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Pecans).

For even more holiday dinner options, consider ordering a copy of A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving, an e-book compiled by Nava Atlas. It’s filled with holiday recipes contributed by several cookbook authors and bloggers. It includes my recipe for Thyme-Scented Sweet Potatoes with Black Olives and Garlic. Nava is donating profits from this e-book to charities concerned with global women’s issues and world hunger.

Wait, there’s more… The editors at VegNews Magazine have just published their Holiday Cookie Collection. This little e-book is filled with all the flavors of the holiday season, from gingerbread and Chocolate-Orange Macaroons, to Pecan Pie Truffles and Candy Cane Whoopie Pies. (The e-book also includes my recipe for White Chocolate Oatmeal Spice Cookies.)

With all these options available, there’s no excuse for not making a great vegan Thanksgiving feast at your house and goodies throughout the holiday season.

Autumn Vegetable Fritters

Last night’s dinner was a wealth of autumn vegetables: buttercup squash, sweet potatoes, Savoy cabbage, carrots, and onion, all cut into large chunks and roasted together until crisply browned around the edges and tender-sweet inside. I made more than we could reasonably eat at one meal, so for today’s lunch I decided to use the leftover vegetables to make fritters.

They’re so quick and easy to make. Just chop up the cooked vegetables and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup) and season with salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t add any additional herbs or spices because the cooked vegetables were already seasoned, and I wanted their flavors to come though without other influences.

After shaping the vegetable mixture into patties, fry them in a little oil until browned on both sides. That’s all there is to it. I served them with a lightening-quick applesauce I made by shredding a few apples with a box grater and combining them in a saucepan with a little sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of lemon juice. I cooked the applesauce for no more than five minutes, just long enough to warm through and allow the flavors to combine.

The applesauce tasted great with the fritters which were delicious and so gorgeous—the colors of the different vegetables in the fritters reminded me of the vivid autumn leaves gracing the trees this time of year.

More 1,000 Vegan Recipes Sightings:

  • On 10/9, 1,000 Vegan Recipes was a staff pick on VegNews Magazine’s This Just In.
  • On 10/7, the book was also recommended by Erik Marcus on Vegan.com.
  • Also on 10/7, Jenn, of Vegan Dance If You Want To, did a post about one of my favorite recipes in the book, the Soy-tan Dream Cutlets. Made with both tofu and wheat gluten, these tender and tasty cutlets can be used in your favorite seitan or savory tofu recipes.

Spring Rolls


Spring has finally sprung, and what better way to celebrate the season than with fresh and fabulous spring rolls. They’re fun to make, pretty to look at, and oh so delicious. Fact is, I love spring rolls any time of year. I’m actually beginning to think I’m obsessed with them. Here’s some of the evidence:

In my Global Vegan column in the current issue of VegNews Magazine the subject is spring rolls. (By the way, I hope you’ll try my recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls in that article — they are so good!)

During the last two visits to my favorite Thai restaurant, all I wanted for lunch was spring rolls and more spring rolls.

A few days later, I still had a taste for more, so I made some for lunch. This time I filled them with red leaf lettuce, rice noodles, cilantro, mango, and avocado. Dipped in a spicy-sweet chili sauce, the flavor was sublime. But I know it’s only a matter of time before I crave them again. In fact, I’m already craving them again.

So why do I love spring rolls? Let me count the ways:

1. They’re self-contained packets making them easy to pick up and eat.
2. They get dipped in a yummy dipping sauce (always a plus).
3. They’re made with fresh, healthful ingredients.
4. They have a great combination of textures and flavors: at once crunchy, chewy, sweet, and spicy.
5. They’re like eating a wonderful salad, only fun because you can eat them with your hands.

I’m totally hooked! Is anyone else as spring-roll obsessed as I am?

Eatin’ of the Green

Even though I’m not Irish, I’ve always enjoyed making a fun meal of Irish-inspired dishes. Actually, it’s just an elaborate excuse to make soda bread — (yum!) which I plan to make later today — it’s best eaten soon after it’s made.

Yesterday, however, I felt like playing in the kitchen, so I decided to make “corned seitan and cabbage” using my basic slow-cooker seitan pot roast recipe (see earlier post) and then coating the seitan with a layer of coarse mustard and brown sugar topped with pickling spices. I also added some ground coriander, mustard, and allspice to the seitan mixture. It turned out great, as you can see in the photo — I love the way the whole spices look on top! There’s lots leftover for tonight to go with the soda bread. If you’re looking for a great soda bread recipe, check out my Global Vegan column on Irish food in the latest issue of VegNews Magazine, where there’s also a good recipe for Colcannon.

On another subject — “vegan” is the “Word of the Day” today on Wordsmith.org. The guest wordsmith is Matt Ball, co-founder and executive director
of Vegan Outreach. Here’s the link: http://wordsmith.org/words/vegan.html