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How to eat less meat

Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better.Registered User regular
So for financial and environmental reasons, I want to eat less meat.

Problem is, I don't know how to really cook with vegetables. I mean, I know it's possible, because I can eat an Indian buffet out of business within a hour. But, every time I attempt to cook the same dishes I always end up something bland.

I also don't see the point of trying to make vegetables look and taste like meat (that and they tend to be full of salt which puts me into stroke territory if I'm not careful with my intake). So, does anyone have any good youtube channels, blogs, books, etc that teaches me how to cook good vegetarian dishes?

Posts

  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    My advice is to think not "vegetarian," but rather "vegetable", and go East.

    It's all in the herbs and spices. Veggies with just salt and pepper is an utter bore. But which herbs/spices/sauces you'll want to get really depends on the cuisine and what you have available locally.

    Why not just buy any old Indian cookbook? You also get to work with paneer, which is an awesome meat substitute, but still a cheese and therefore shouldn't be consumed in quantity over long periods of time. Indian spices also tend to be easier to find.

    Certain East Asian cuisines are also good for more tasty vegetable dishes. However this relies on having an Asian grocer to be able to source the veggies and sauces. This also requires cooking more homestyle Asian than restaurant Asian, which some people find disappointing.

    If you want meat substitute, there's always tofu. There's many different varieties of tofu of different textures and flavors. This might depend on where you live. If you have access to an H-mart, then Korean tofu will give you silken/soft/firm. Silken/soft tends to go into stuff like mapo-tofu and soups, while firms are typically used for stir frying or grilling. If you have a local Chinatown with real grocery shops, then the world opens up to all the varieties.

    There's also all the different types of bean dishes that are protein replacements. Give Greek revithia (I like this one) or gigantes soup recipes (try this one) a shot. Easy to assemble and very tasty.

    Akilae on
    bowenDoodmannEddy
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    The collapse of tofu prices means Americans have the opportunity to cook yummy tofu dishes.

    My ex girlfriend taught me to make MaPo Tofu, a zesty, protein rich tofu dish. I just buy the premade MaPo Tofu sauce. Just don't go licking the plate. Its high in sodium.

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    Akilae wrote: »
    My advice is to think not "vegetarian," but rather "vegetable", and go East.

    It's all in the herbs and spices. Veggies with just salt and pepper is an utter bore. But which herbs/spices/sauces you'll want to get really depends on the cuisine and what you have available locally.

    Why not just buy any old Indian cookbook? You also get to work with paneer, which is an awesome meat substitute, but still a cheese and therefore shouldn't be consumed in quantity over long periods of time. Indian spices also tend to be easier to find.

    Certain East Asian cuisines are also good for more tasty vegetable dishes. However this relies on having an Asian grocer to be able to source the veggies and sauces. This also requires cooking more homestyle Asian than restaurant Asian, which some people find disappointing.

    If you want meat substitute, there's always tofu. There's many different varieties of tofu of different textures and flavors. This might depend on where you live. If you have access to an H-mart, then Korean tofu will give you silken/soft/firm. Silken/soft tends to go into stuff like mapo-tofu and soups, while firms are typically used for stir frying or grilling. If you have a local Chinatown with real grocery shops, then the world opens up to all the varieties.

    There's also all the different types of bean dishes that are protein replacements. Give Greek revithia (I like this one) or gigantes soup recipes (try this one) a shot. Easy to assemble and very tasty.

    I have a town of east Europe, Oriental, and Middle East grocers I can visit.

    What sort of spice/sauces do you recommend for me to stock up on?

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Pick some vegetables or other plant matter you want to eat, and put "[vaguely edible non-meat food] recipes" into google. Find some recipes for things that look good, and get the spices to try them. Next time you go to look up a recipe, you will already have some of the spices. This is pretty much how I function these days. You end up almost entirely with flavorings you'll actually use, and there's less pressure to have a lot of pretty-sounding spices you'll honestly never know what to do with unless you have a specific interest in learning about it.

    You can do the same googling with herbs/spices that you did with whatever else you googled, so it's always an option to find something fancy to work with later.

    Also if you kind of like something don't be afraid to try to alter it to be a bit more to your taste. No one will put you in recipe-jail.

    Unless you poison someone. Then they'll just put you in regular jail.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • MrTLiciousMrTLicious Registered User regular
    Honestly this cookbook has changed my life.

    https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Xh7Jf00q8igC&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPCOxvO93QIVD1qGCh3sqAr2EAQYBCABEgLM-fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COSGhMjzvd0CFZKVyAod8ZcDsg

    I don't eat vegetarian for any particular reason but end up doing so just because I got this as a gift and there are so many great dishes here.

  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    If oriental, and that's still very broad, I would say the following will be called for in many East Asian recipes.

    -Soy sauce
    -Dark soy sauce (This is usually less salty than regular soy sauce. This is used to add color.)
    -Sesame oil (Common across Chinese and Korean.)
    -Oyster sauce (Largely used in Cantonese recipes.)
    -Mirin (Lots of Japanese recipes call for this.)
    -Cooking wine (There's no way for me to be more specific, since Japanese use sake, Koreans use cheongju, and each region of Chinese cooking has its own.)
    -Black bean paste is commonly used in Chinese recipes, comes in spicy or non-spicy variants.
    -Ginger
    -Scallions/Green onion

    For example, a typical recipe for Garlic Sauce Eggplant consists of:

    -Garlic, minced
    -Ginger, minced
    -Black bean paste
    -Regular soy sauce
    -Black vinegar (some places sell this as Spiced vinegar, Spiced Dark/Black vinegar, etc...)
    -Rice wine/michu
    -Brown sugar
    -Scallions
    -Eggplant, chunked (Usually Asian eggplant, they're long and thin.)
    -Minced pork (but if going meatless, substitute with minced shitake mushrooms)
    -Yam/Corn starch (I usually go without)
    -Get yourself a wok

    Brown the garlic/ginger in some oil on medium/high heat. Add the meat/shitake to brown. Add in the eggplant, some water, all of your sauces, and pinch of sugar to cook down on medium heat. When eggplant is soft, and water is reduced, add in scallions. Cook just long enough to heat the scallions, longer if you hate scallions. Plate.

    Add in Szechuan peppercorns, black pepper, and chili oils, and you've created Mapo Eggplant.
    Substitute the eggplant for soft tofu, and you've created Mapo Tofu.
    Take out the peppercorns and chili oil, and you're back to Garlic Sauce Tofu.
    Take out the vinegar and rice wine (some people can't stand them), and you have what's sold in Chinese restaurants as "Home style tofu". For this one you'll want to use firm tofu and give the tofu a slight pan fry first though.
    Add in bok choy, and now it's a "Home style bok choy with braised tofu".

    From firm tofu, you can then go to this Korean recipe.
    Once you have gochujang from the above, might as well pick up kimchee, and you're now able to make a very tasty pot of kimchejigae or sundubujigae.

    A very common Chinese veggie/protein dish is stir fried tomatoes with eggs. This is a good starter recipe, but I usually hold the ketchup and corn starch.

    If you're feeling adventurous, chanpuru is a terrific dish that can be tailored to be less meat heavy.

    Akilae on
    balerbower
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    The key to tasty vegetarian cooking is:

    1. Cook with vegetables that have a lot of flavour. Peas, carrots, spinach etc.
    2. Use spices that have a lot of taste but not a lot of heat. Mustard, thyme, basil, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coconut (although not all at once). I challenge you to make a dish with mustard or coconut that tastes bland.
    3. Think about how long a particular vegetable should cook. Most veggies should not be more than fork-tender (ie, you can easily stab 'em with a fork). If they're soggy and sloppy you've usually overcooked 'em. Most should only be quickly sauteed and then added at the last minute to whatever you're cooking. Some veggies can be cooked for a long time (onion, carrots, parsnips) and really adds to the richness and thickness of a soup or stew.

    Here are three recipes from the swedish kitchen that got me through lean times. Most of the ingredients should be pretty cheap in most temperate countries.

    Vegetarian Swedish Split Pea Soup*
    Olive or canola oil (canola is traditional, olive works just as well)
    1 1/2 cups of dried yellow split peas (dried split peas are awesome, both in the Swedish, persian and Indian kitchen)
    2 cups of chopped onions
    1 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
    1 clove of garlic
    6 cups of Vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
    White pepper (or black pepper I suppose)
    Dried Thyme
    Mustard

    1. Soak the split peas for whatever period they're supposed to be soaked. Some should soak overnight, others should should for 6 hours etc. If it doesn't come with instructions, soak for 6+ hours or overnight. Then rinse them and pour off the water.
    2. Quickly fry onions and carrots in the oil until soft (medium heat, 5-8 minutes). Add crushed garlic at the very last minute.
    3. Boil split peas, broth, thyme and white pepper for 35-50 minutes until soft. At the 20 minute mark, add in the onions/carrot mix.
    4. When everything is soft and mushy, blenderize it (I like to use a staff mixer).

    When eaten you pour in a bit of mustard. Stir it, taste it and then add more mustard if you want.
    Any leftovers can be put in an airtight container and stored for 2 days in the fridge or several months in the freezer. When you want to eat it, just heat it up under medium heat, then serve with mustard. Mustard really is an essential part of the experience. The combination of root veggies, peas, thyme and mustard are the core of this dish.

    Spinach soup
    Olive oil
    1/4 cup of chopped onions
    1 clove of garlic
    2 cups chopped baby spinach (can be frozen. Probably best actually since fresh spinach can be really expensive and it shrinks a lot)
    1/2 kilo (or about a pound) peeled potatoes (any kind of potato works, as long as it softens when boiled. Even non-potatoes like sweet potatoes)
    2 cups of vegetable broth
    Cayenne (just a few pinches. Spice until satisfied)
    Lemon juice
    Salt (maybe)

    1. Heat oil to medium heat. Saute the onions until soft. Last 30 seconds add garlic.
    2. Add broth&potatoes. boil until soft (maybe 15 minutes?)
    3. Add Spinach. Simmer for 2 minutes (just tiny tiny bubbles)
    4. Remove from heat. Spice it with a few dashes of lemon juice and a few pinches of cayenne and maybe salt.
    5. Can it Blend? Taste. See if it needs more spices.

    Again. Can be stored for a day or so in the fridge in an airtight container, for a couple of weeks in the freezer.

    Swedish Pyttipanna a la Bellman/Swedish Hash a la Bellman (famous swedish 18th century poet and singer-songwriter)
    4 persons (this dish cannot really be stored, so only make as much as you want. However the proportions aren't really that important. Just add a mix of root veggies that you like)
    Canola oil
    1/2 kilo (1 pound) peeled potatoes
    1/4 kilo carrots
    1/4 kilo celeriac
    1/4 kilo parsnip
    2 yellow onions
    1/2 teaspoon of white or black pepper
    A bit of cream.
    Thyme

    1. Peel and dice everything. Since potatoes have a lot of starch you should rinse it after it's diced so that it doesn't stick to the pan as much
    2. Get all the veggies into the pan, fry it on low heat.
    3. Add pepper, a bit of cream (enough to get it all gooey) and thyme. Taste. Possibly salt it.

    Serving suggestions include julienned beetroots and some greens.

    P.S: This looks like a pretty good collection of recipes 54-cheap-vegan-meals-that-dont-skimp-on-taste/

    P.P.S: Swedish yellow pea soup is really old-school swedish food. Traditionally it was eaten every thursday, and was a staple for the army. In the field it was boiled until really thick and you used bread to scoop it up. Garlic bread and pea soup is pretty darn tasty. Just don't forget the mustard. It also means that you can cook it in as large batches as you want to (if you want to stock up on enough soup for several months). It actually tastes best when cooked in company-sized cookpots.

    P.P.P.S: Swedish Hash works great with yesterdays potatoes as it's a dish that often used leftovers. Leftover veggies, leftover meat. Mix it up and eat it. Just reduce cooking time so that you only lightly fry it/heat it.

    Fiendishrabbit on
    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    Terrendos
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    MrTLicious wrote: »
    Honestly this cookbook has changed my life.

    https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Xh7Jf00q8igC&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPCOxvO93QIVD1qGCh3sqAr2EAQYBCABEgLM-fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COSGhMjzvd0CFZKVyAod8ZcDsg

    I don't eat vegetarian for any particular reason but end up doing so just because I got this as a gift and there are so many great dishes here.

    Moosewood is awesome. My mom has been cooking from it since I was a kid.

    MrTLiciousQuid
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy The Lady of Pain Breaks the Rhythm, Breaks the Rhythm, Breaks the Rhythm The City of FlowersRegistered User regular
    When I was in college, this book was helpful for simple Vegetarian recipes: https://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-5-Ingredient-Gourmet-Recipes-Healthy/dp/076790690X

    For more involved vegan stuff, I often riff off of Isa Chandra's recipes: http://www.isachandra.com/recipes/
    For instance, I might make something like her Mushroom Stout Pie, but I don't have a dutch oven so I skip make the biscuit crust and just serve it with some crusty bread or mashed potatoes.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    So for financial and environmental reasons, I want to eat less meat.

    Problem is, I don't know how to really cook with vegetables. I mean, I know it's possible, because I can eat an Indian buffet out of business within a hour. But, every time I attempt to cook the same dishes I always end up something bland.

    I also don't see the point of trying to make vegetables look and taste like meat (that and they tend to be full of salt which puts me into stroke territory if I'm not careful with my intake). So, does anyone have any good youtube channels, blogs, books, etc that teaches me how to cook good vegetarian dishes?

    Thug Kitchen is all vegetarian, and is reliably excellent.

    https://www.thugkitchen.com

    MsAnthropySo It GoesIrukaElvenshaeEncArcanisTheImpotentMr Ray
  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Akilae wrote: »
    It's all in the herbs and spices. Veggies with just salt and pepper is an utter bore.

    In general, this is true, but lots of vegetables can stand more or less on their own if they're cooked to highlight their flavours. Even something like the humble potato, take this recipe for oven fries: https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/10/oven-fries/. A total of three ingredients (potatoes, olive oil, salt) and let me tell you they are fantastic.

    I do love a good spice blend though, and lately have been enjoying a lot of middle eastern-inspired flavours. Two of my frequent go-tos are harissa and za'atar.

    Harissa is a paste of Tunisian origin made with ground (sometimes smoked) hot peppers, garlic, coriander and other spices. I like to toss root vegetables with some harissa, honey and lime juice, and roast until fork tender. You might also use harissa to punch up a pan of shakshuka (https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/shakshuka/), eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions.

    Za'atar is a usually dry spice blend with thyme, sumac (tart berries dried and ground into powder) and sesame seeds. This is really good with some garlic and lemon (rind and juice) on cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli.

    Speaking of sesame seeds tehina/tahini is basically sesame seed butter; it's really rich and kind of bitter on its own for my taste, but is a great base for a sauce, and part of something you may already be familiar with: hummus. Blend chickpeas, garlic, some lemon and other flavourings with tahini and olive oil and you have yourself some hummus. Chickpeas mashed with garlic, parsley and cumin, and rolled into balls can be fried or baked into falafel.

    Look into preserved lemons!

    I like looking at fancy cookbooks with complicated recipes for inspiration (as opposed to instruction) sometimes, and found both Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi to be great for that. Ottolenghi also just came out with Ottolenghi Simple, which might be good but I haven't seen myself yet.

    Yes, and... on
    Enc
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited September 2018
    I'm not a vegetarian, but back when I was trying raw food (I do not recommend raw food diets) I learned of the glorious foodstuff that is nutritional yeast. It's a great way to add flavor to veggie broths, and if you mix in your own spices with your nutritional yeast you can use it as your home made veggie broth and just swap it in for any recipe that calls for chicken or beef broth.

    Also if I was going vegetarian, I'd totally look into the more interesting styles of mushrooms (but then I've been wanting to try foraging forever, so that might just be a weird me thing).

    Cambiata on
    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

    My Dragon Age Origins Let's Play

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Mrs. Enc ended up unable to digest most meat proteins after a surgery about 5 year sago, and I switched to cooking primarily vegetarian dishes. Everything previously posted is pretty great advice.

    My biggest trick early on was to implement beans into the place where ground beef would be in most meals. Depending on the type of dish, kidney beans or black beans work great (tacos, for example, work just fine with little changes). For other things, the key is getting a good diversity in vegetables and not skimping on spice.

    The big thing: Fat is flavor, so if you don't have your fats from meat where are you getting them from? Quality olive oil can serve as a great substitute in many dishes, butter occasionally (but you don't want too much butter for health reasons, generally speaking). Avocados can add a ton of depth to a lot of dishes, as can other non-meat sources such as nuts (you can grind them into a wide variety of sauces to add a ton of depth) and other dairy items to amp up flavor without making it too heavy. A small dollop of sour cream or goat cheese can make a lot of sauces that normally only build well from meat fats really hit that same mark.

    And really, just experiment. I really suggest trying something like Blue Apron or the like with vegetarian on for a few weeks to get new ideas. I only stuck with meal delivery services for a few months, but learned enough new vegetarian ideas from the recipes and got to try enough vegetables and starches I hadn't tried before that it radically changed my cooking for the better.

    VishNub
  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    One other thing to bear in mind is that ingredient quality generally matters, and sometimes matters a lot. If you ever watch food shows where chefs go to a market or whatever, you'll often see them handling produce, looking at it closely, maybe giving it a sniff. Maybe that's pretentious or hamming it up for the camera, but I tend to think they do that sort of thing for a reason. A friend of mine had a roommate who claimed to hate vegetables, but apparently they would also always cook with produce that had clearly gone off (limp and squishy, if not outright moldy).

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    Well I went to the library and got an Indian cook book. The guest thing in going to make is....



    Cheese!


    Okay, not exactly what in shooting for but it's the only thing I can make without spending a ton at the grocery.

  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    One other thing to bear in mind is that ingredient quality generally matters, and sometimes matters a lot. If you ever watch food shows where chefs go to a market or whatever, you'll often see them handling produce, looking at it closely, maybe giving it a sniff. Maybe that's pretentious or hamming it up for the camera, but I tend to think they do that sort of thing for a reason. A friend of mine had a roommate who claimed to hate vegetables, but apparently they would also always cook with produce that had clearly gone off (limp and squishy, if not outright moldy).

    Depends on what you use them for and what type of veggies it is.

    I mean, you wouldn't want to eat an overripe and somewhat browned banana straight up, but for bananabread it doesn't matter (except that you should add less sugar).
    Same for some slightly limp veggies if you're just going to use them for stock and boil them for 1 hour or more.

    Some veggies and fruits are fairly sensitive and have a narrow window of usefulness. For example, take the avocado. There is a very specific feel to a useful avocado, not hard, not mushy but instead a slightly tennisball-ish quality of slight give and springyness.
    If it's too mushy it has probably browned and will taste awful. If it's hard there is no use to using it at all.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    Yes, and...Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    One trick with a lot of vegetables is that steaming and sauteing isn't always the best thing! Tossing some chopped red onion, cauliflower, and carrots in olive oil and balsamic then cooking them in a 400 degree oven for about 14 minutes makes a totally different flavor than any other way of cooking.

    Same with grilling. If you like to grill, grilling leeks can be one of the best things in the whole world.

    A ton of salad greens taste fantastic with a bit of char.

    I recommend checking out the Bon Appetit youtube channel. Its got some solid recipes.

    Yes, and...Eddy
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Well I went to the library and got an Indian cook book. The guest thing in going to make is....



    Cheese!


    Okay, not exactly what in shooting for but it's the only thing I can make without spending a ton at the grocery.

    Making Paneer?
    Palak Paneer (kind of an indian spinach soup where you add paneer at the very last stage for flavour, creaminess and more protein) is really tasty and really nutrious.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I came in to recommend the thug kitchen, but that's already covered.

    My rice cooker increased my vegetable intake. If you like sticky rice, having a batch of it at the ready with no fuss in 20 minutes is pretty great. It aided my veggie intake in that I'll now just make stir fry if I'm in a cooking slump. I've found ways to chopp all manner of veggies I have no idea what to do with and throw them over rice. I also revitalize a lot of leftovers by making fried rice. Not sure the financial situation, but the rice cooker and buying rice in bulk was a real lifesaver when I was broke as fuck. It can also make quinoa and wild rice with no fuss if the nutrition is the top concern.

    If you have an asian grocer, I highly recommend looking at their variety of soy sauces and getting away from just kikkoman in your cabinet. I have a mushroom sauce and a black bean sauce, and when used with a light touch their dark smokey flavors can add be an asset to veggies. There are some recipes that you'll run into that will recommend marmite for the same reason. They smell funky and if you aren't used to them you might shy away about adding them, but go for it.

  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    I'm a big fan of the Budget Bytes vegetarian/vegan recipes. They're cheap, easy to make and flavourful !

    Simpsonia
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    Well I went to the library and got an Indian cook book. The guest thing in going to make is....



    Cheese!


    Okay, not exactly what in shooting for but it's the only thing I can make without spending a ton at the grocery.

    Making Paneer?
    Palak Paneer (kind of an indian spinach soup where you add paneer at the very last stage for flavour, creaminess and more protein) is really tasty and really nutrious.

    Awesome, I'm going to try this out!

  • JusticeJustice Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    I came to recommend Indian food, but I think that point's been made. Find your local Indian grocer to get spices, jarred ginger, jarred garlic, and paneer. I recommend jasmine rice over basmati, despite being less culturally appropriate. There aren't an infinite number of legumes and spices, although it seems like it at first. You'll build a solid pantry in no time. I recommend getting the called-for ingredients rather than substituting (e.g., lemon juice isn't as good as amchur powder).

    Four recommended books: anything by Madhur Jaffrey, I'd get both World Vegetarian and Vegetarian India. Also Neelam Batra; the 1,000 Indian Recipes book is good, far better than the title suggests, and it looks like he or she has a vegetarian-only book now. Finally, Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness, which, although not entirely vegetarian, has some excellent vegetarian dishes (especially the dals) and uses different spice profiles than Jaffrey and Batra.

    And someone above mentioned fat. This is very true: you need something delicious because otherwise, unless you're really acclimated to a healthy diet or don't care about eating, you'll not feel motivated to make or eat it. I have a cupboard full of aspirational grains. Someday I'll move, and then I'll throw them away.

    Edit: You can freeze paneer no problem. You can freeze curry leaves, too. And the frozen naan and parathas at Indian groceries are awesome.

    Edit edit: When cooking veg, especially onions, more heat is better. Even blah onions, carrots, and celery become magical when shallow fried until browned. The brown stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan isn't burned, it's what makes it taste good, and it'll come up once you add some liquid.

    Justice on
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Justice wrote: »
    Edit edit: When cooking veg, especially onions, more heat is better. Even blah onions, carrots, and celery become magical when shallow fried until browned. The brown stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan isn't burned, it's what makes it taste good, and it'll come up once you add some liquid.

    I disagree strongly. Grilling&Flash frying has its place, but Caramelized onions are the best. To caramelize onions you need oil and relatively low heat, 155 C or between 310 and 320 F.
    Caramelized onions and mushrooms is great on so many things, like fried potatoes, pasta etc.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    Calica
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    When making something for my wife and I a favorite go to for me is roasting veggies. It’s a breeze to take some broccoli, onion, brussel sprouts, garlic and oil, season, and toss them in the over til crispy and delicious.

    Also just straight up roasting whole bulbs of garlic and spreading the result on good bread or literally anything really.

    ElvenshaezepherinMayabird
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I’m a big fan of cutting up veggies with olive oil salt and pepper and baking them for 5 minutes at 400 degrees in a baking sheet.

    Quid
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    A little tip: if you use tofu, you can marinate it to add extra flavors just like with any meat.

    EddyMsAnthropy
  • JusticeJustice Registered User regular
    I disagree strongly. Grilling&Flash frying has its place, but Caramelized onions are the best. To caramelize onions you need oil and relatively low heat, 155 C or between 310 and 320 F.

    This is also true. I didn't explain that well. Sometimes a fast hot heat for browning brings out flavor and maintains texture, I'm thinking cauliflower, corn, squash, and other veg that could turn to mush with long cooking. But as you say, long-and-low caramelizing of onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, celery is usually better.

    I was thinking of when I started cooking and was afraid I would burn everything. And lately I've become a fan of cooking the different groups of veg separately, sharing oil but moving each to a bowl after getting to the right state, and then recombining only to reheat and marry the flavors at the end.

  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    I can definitely support that method.
    "Fry, Remove, Fry, Remove->repeat->Mix all things together and heat it up on low heat for a minute or so" is a great way of ensuring that nothing is over or undercooked.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    OMFG

    So I went to an indian gorcer. Got all the seeds, all the herbs.

    Made this curry, throw in some potatoes, broccoli, and brown rice.

    Holy shit, like fuck, I didn't know it was so easy and cheap to cook curry this good. LIke, OMFG, I ate till I felt like throwing up it was so damn good!

    FiendishrabbitCelestialBadgerMayabirdJusticeceresPowerpuppiesGrobianBliss 101IrukaQuidElvenshaeAkilaeSkeithDisruptedCapitalistzepherinMsAnthropyMaguanoCalica
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Lentils are great as curry. Red lentils cook up fast, can be mixed with other stuff (like spinach) and freeze very well to store for later. Lots of protein, and if you eat it with brown rice, you definitely won't have problems with constipation.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Personal favorite:

    Two cans black beans drained and washed in a pot with a little water
    Two small cans of diced green chiles
    Some pickled jalapenos
    Some salsa
    Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili, cayenne, crushed peppers, and onion powder

    Heat over medium stirring occasionally until very slightly mushy. We usually either put it over rice or in soft tacos with sour cream and cheese.

    It's really simple, filling, and flavorful with the added benefit that you can adjust the amounts of any of the ingredients to change up the taste a bit.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Interesting, useful thread! My wife isn't much of a meat eater, and while I love beef I also want to reduce my intake of meat, so I went and ordered one of the books mentioned in the thread, the Moosewood one (hoping that I won't be too annoyed by having to convert amounts - why the hell do you guys still use cups and ounces and the like?!). It's not all that easy, though, since my wife doesn't particularly like Indian food, nor spicy food in general, and she dislikes soy sauce, which cuts out a lot of options. I'm hoping there'll still be more than enough dishes to choose from.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy The Lady of Pain Breaks the Rhythm, Breaks the Rhythm, Breaks the Rhythm The City of FlowersRegistered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Interesting, useful thread! My wife isn't much of a meat eater, and while I love beef I also want to reduce my intake of meat, so I went and ordered one of the books mentioned in the thread, the Moosewood one (hoping that I won't be too annoyed by having to convert amounts - why the hell do you guys still use cups and ounces and the like?!). It's not all that easy, though, since my wife doesn't particularly like Indian food, nor spicy food in general, and she dislikes soy sauce, which cuts out a lot of options. I'm hoping there'll still be more than enough dishes to choose from.

    I made this soup http://www.isachandra.com/2013/03/smoky-tomato-lentil-soup-with-spinach-olives/ the other day as it was kind of chilly and cloudy out. It was super hearty and went great with a hunk of crusty bread. It takes time—but not much effort—to make, and is not spicy if you go light on the black pepper.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Ooh, that sounds nice, thanks! Especially now that the days are getting colder.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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