Monday, August 11, 2008

Curry & Clafouti & Chutney Oh MY!

I have a nice bounty of photos and recipes to share, and the great part is that most of the creations were inspired by the writing and cooking (and drool inducing photos) of other great vegan bloggers.

Last night I made dinner for us, following a taxing day of doing not much but house rearrangement and an attempt to find a new (and long) dinning room table from the flea market area of Brussels, which is neatly tucked away below the edge of the 'upper city'.

We did manage to make it to our favourite cafe on Ch. de Waterloo, where I indulged in a grilled veg salad.

The dinner was inspired by the writing of Ricki at Diet, Desserts and Dogs who made a great Tagine. Now, I don't own the proper cookware for an authentic tagine, and we were a little pressed for time after indulging in a late afternoon stroll. I did make a stew using the same philosophy harnessed in the obvious goodness of ricki's recipe. It was yummy, a little hot though. Might limit myself to 1 tsp of fancy harissa next time.

I used: green olives, 2 cups of quinoa, 1 tin of tomatoes, garlic, one can of chick peas, dates, harissa (2 next time) and cilantro sprigs for a topping.

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn after some tugging of covers woke me up. I managed to whip through some knitting that accidentally became unraveled last night, but soon wanted to play with the kitchen. Yesterday, almost by pure accident, we walked into a tasting party at a fancy gourmet shop that is actually open on Sundays (!!!!) in Brussels, on Waterloo. In addition to tasting some delightful wild strawberries, we picked up some harrisa, mango chutney and 1 basket of perfectly pink gooseberries.

I couldn't let these little darlings waste any time in my fridge so I set to work making my very first Clafouti, which is a French desert that is intended to be stuffed with fruit and custard. Kev was a pretty lucky dude this morning when he woke up to find his VB2B (a silly little name that he whipped up which stands for: Vegan Bride To Be....ahhhh.......) offering him a Gooseberry Clafouti for breakfast!!!! I made a quick Maple Glaze for the top. I had a tiny taste before embarking on my recent obsession of eating apple sauce as much as possible - and it was pretty fantastic if I do say so myself.

I borrowed the thoughts and basic rejigged desert recipe from
Vegan Visitor but mixed it up here and there.

Ingredients: 12 pink gooseberries, 1 packaged of silken tofu (medium), 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp of b.s, 1 tsp of arrow root powder, rose water, agar nectar, cinnamon.

I topped and tailed the goosberries, washed them and sliced them in half. I covered them with 2 tsp of agave syrup and 1 tsp of rose water. Whilst they soaked I added the lemon to the almond milk and processed the tofu (K did NOT wake up!), I added the milk to the tofu, and then the flour etc to the wet ingredients. I followed the advice of Vegan Visitor and added the fruit after the batter. I baked it for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350.
I couldn't bring myself to limit the little pink globes of gastronomic glory to one treat, so I made something else I had never tried - a chutney. We had the chutney tonight, with a yummy curry. Scrumptious!

Ingredients: Garlic chives, gooseberries, dates, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.

I have also been a little bit naughty in other areas of my life. I spent some euros on really cute foodie stuff, which, when I saw them, knew that they really, really, really wanted to come home with this little lady.Can you see the goat? Can you see the squirrel?

My next batch of beanie buddies is destined to be in the shape of butterflies...and god help all of my students this year.....
Aren't they great? Just you wait and see what I get up to with those cup cake bottoms! I made our lunch today on the groovy plate - did you SEE the squirrel AND the goat?

In other news I have to share a major accomplishment for Kevin and, we fit a three seater sofa in side our uber tiny euro-version Ford Fiesta and then preceded to put together a piece of IKEA furniture without screaming at each other! YES!


Bianca said...

OMG! I love those squirrel and mushroom cupcake wrappers! And the plates are nice too!

I love that your boyfriend calls you VB2B! Cute!

Liz² said...

gooseberry clafoutis, that's awesome! and that's cool that you used vegan visitor's recipe - I was looking at it, but I had no tofu. also that plate is soooo pretty!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

congrats on the home projects with no yelling! I'm still working on that one. :)

Chelsea said...

Those are the cutest plates! I love your blog!!!

Tofu Hunter said...

And, by the way, I've really enjoyed reading your blog! Lots of inspiring stuff. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OH, I can't believe you found these lovely and cute things somewhere in Brussels. Can you please, tell me where?

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at your delicious-looking food, but I am more amazed that you and your fiance managed to put together Ikea furniture without fighting! My husband and I don't even bother working on those things together as we know we're just asking for trouble!

jessy said...

VB2B - i love it! and i love your plate, too! it's adorable + fun! w00t!

gooseberry clafoutis = awesomeface! and your tagine looks AMAZING! very tasty, indeed! i want some!

you've been cooking so many yummies it's making me huuuungry looking at all of them. i'm drooling over here! :D

Alice (in Veganland) said...

This caflouti thing looks amazing, I wish I had some for breakfast... And all the great things you bought! Gorgeous! I love the cupcake liners :-)

Lily said...

wow I 've never thought it was possible to make a vegan clafoutis !
it's awsome !

Anonymous said...

Absurdly cute stuff...I can't resist cutesy, novelty foodie stuff these days. The plate is especially nice.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I read your last little paragraph about you and Kevin! Reminds me of my hubby & I. We definitely celebrate those occasions when we have to put together furniture and don't kill each other over it.

Catherine said...

I love your hip kitchen stuff! So much fun, even though I am deathly afraid of squirrels. (They are just too twitchy!)

I never answered the question you left on my blog -- sorry! I can't remember where I found "The Joy of Vegan Baking," but I'm pretty sure it's available through amazon!

sweetpotato said...

Your plates are so cute! I can't wait until I move and I can get all new dinner ware. I spend an embarrassing amount of time admired dishes. It's an addiction.

VeganCowGirl said...

I am so excited that you guys dig the plates etc as well! That means you all have to get yourself over to Brussels so that we can have a big fat vegan dinner party!

Liz - thanks! I must say - it is GONE - K finished the thing in two days. I am going to try it again....maybe with something else next time.

Tofuparty - the shop is on Rue de Balli (which the 81 tram goes down) it is called Tzo and is a totally amazing place...I worship it, it is known in our house as "my store". K knows that it is the holy ground.
I love that so many other people have had similar stress moments with others re: IKEA furniture - they make it sound so simple don't they...with their little diagrams.....damn them. :)

Great comments from everyone - thanks!

Mihl said...

I've never made clafoutis before. And I haven't made anything with gooseberries so far this year. I might be very inspired by your blog now :)

kree said...

Thanks for your comment! I thought my fellow English majors would like that title. :)

And those cookie cutters and muffins cups are too cute!

Katie said...

Yum! Great photos. I love your new kitchen goodies. I also love your blog!

Vegetation said...

Hahaha, I'm such a kitchen bits and bobs addicts. I love the cupcake wrappers (and yes, you're right the squirrel and the goat ARE adorable!)

- L said...

that clafoutis looks fabulous -- i love gooseberries.

lovely lovely lovely.