RED LENTIL THAI CHILI (10-12 servings)
Olive oil (1-2 tsp)
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes cut into ¾ inch chunks
1 cup red lentils
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 15 oz can coconut milk
28 oz can diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Limes for garnish (optional)
-Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onions and pepper in oil with a pinch of salt, for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more.
-Add chili powder, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are tender, add the remaining ingredients and heat through.
-Taste for salt and seasoning, top with cilantro and lime and serve!
THAI CUCUMBER SALAD (makes ~5 servings)
1 Cucumber, peeled
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 loose cup fresh coriander/cilantro, lightly chopped
1/2 loose cup fresh basil, lightly chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly ground or chopped
* Lime juice
* 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp. soy sauce + extra salt
* 1/2 tsp chili
* 1.5 to 2 tsp. white sugar
1. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, then continue slicing lengthwise until you have about 8 long strips. Now slice strips the other way to create bite-size rectangular chunks. Place in a salad bowl.
2. Add prepared red pepper, green onion, fresh herbs, and peanuts to the salad bowl.
3. Combine the dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste-test for a sweet-sour balance, adding more sugar if it’s too sour for your taste. Tip: Note that the dressing will taste quite salty and pungent now, but will be perfect once it is combined with the salad.
4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Taste-test the salad, adding more chili sauce or dried crushed chili if you’d like it spicier.
5. To serve, transfer salad to a serving platter or bowl. Top with a little more coriander, basil, and peanuts. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. This salad is best eaten up the same day you make it.
COCONUT COOKIE BARS (makes 24)
One 14 oz can coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
2 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
-In a large saucepan whisk together coconut milk and brown sugar over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture may form a thin skin on the surface; just stir it back into the liquid. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the crust.
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with parchment paper*. In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, melted margarine and sugar; mix well to moisten crumbs completely. Firmly press mixture into prepared pan, pressing evenly from center to sides of pan.
-Pour warm coconut milk mixture evenly over crumb base. Top with an even layer of chocolate chips, flaked coconut and nuts, in that order. Firmly pat everything down until coconut milk mixture soaks upward into the toppings. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until coconut is deeply golden and filling is bubbling, remove from oven and let entire pan cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Transfer pan to the refrigerator to completely cool and firm up for at least 4 hours, even better overnight or until very firm. Use a sharp, heavy knife to run along the edges of bars, slide bars on parchment paper out of pan onto a cutting board then to slice into 24 squares. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. These also freeze well, tightly wrapped and allowed to thaw for 20 minutes before serving.
*Be sure to use parchment paper; otherwise you will be spending 15 minutes trying to lift the bars out of the pan! Trust me haha.