Menu Board – Vegan Ethnic Recipes

Vegan Ethnic Recipes - Africa, Thailand, India & Southern America

I’m going through a waffle phase. The first experiment was a simple cornbread waffle to serve with chili. I’m hooked on the whole concept. I thought I had a photo of that one, but turns out there was no memory stick in the camera that also had a dead battery. Nice. Anyway, I don’t mind at all recreating that probably next week.

This week’s nod to Thanksgiving and another waffle is roasted root veg (carrots, parsnips, and carrots) served with a stuffing/dressing waffle topped with mushroom gravy. Oh yes.

I’ve done a pumpkin yellow curry, so this time I’ll try it with red because I have a craving for spicy creamy goodness. I also have a pie pumpkin that deserves to be cooked along with a bag of pepitas in the pantry that should be used.

I have a new love for mustard greens. I tasted them straight from the garden and was intrigued. This southern gal has never even tasted mustard or collard greens! How does that happen? I’m all about a good ole fashioned greens and beans meal accompanied by…..another cornbread waffle. I like mixing the mustard greens with kale cooked simply with a little garlic and finished with vinegar.

I still have sweet potatoes from the garden, and we all love African peanut stew. It’s a good one for weekday leftover lunches.

I’m trying to learn the Indian words for dishes, so I’ve started writing the proper terms on the board. Dali Ambat is a creamy red lentil dish with spinach. I’ll make it with kale and serve with rice or bread. Looks like I haven’t posted that one before, so it could be another “coming soon”. ย This week highlights include two curries: Pumpkin Red Curry & African Stew (not technically a curry) but is a wonderful addition to vegan ethnic recipes.

V V H was my assistant’s contribution. I think he said it was for violin, vanilla, and honey. ๐Ÿ™‚


Standard Homestyle Baguette Recipe


I’ve posted LOTS of dough recipes, but I realized that I’ve probably never posted this plain jane standard home style baguette recipe. It’s easy to play around with and add flavors and different flours, but this is the standby. I used it yesterday to make dried bread chunks for a stuffing/dressing waffle recipe. (Coming soon!)

Standard Homestyle Baguette
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  1. Warm the water from the tap or place cool water in a microwave for 30 seconds. Pour water into mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Add all other ingredients. MIx/knead on lowest setting for 5 minutes. Spray or rub with a little extra olive oil. Cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap for about an hour. Divide into 2 parts. Stretch/roll into baguettes. Add to baguette pan. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.

Even as I was adding the recipe I almost let myself complicate things. You could also use all 2 1/2 cups unbleached. Or 1 1/2 cups unbleached plus 1 cup white whole wheat flour. OR……. See? I’ll just keep it simple because I want to perfect that stuffing/dressing recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

This dough should come together in a smooth ball while mixing kneading. If it is sticking to the bottom after 5 minutes, add another tablespoon of all purpose flour. Repeat as needed.

I call this home style because it’s certainly not the professional bakery big air pockets and loud crust kinda baguette. (I’m working on my version of that!) That being said it’s a perfect go-to for lots of thing like tearing off a bit as a side for anything, made into croutons or bread crumbs or dried bread chunks, and sliced for sandwiches or crostini.

Last….this dough is very versatile and can be used for pizza dough, bread sticks, “naan”, focaccia, and even burger buns.

Sweet Potato Tikki

Sweet potatoes are abundant at the garden these days. Sweet potato fries and African stew are a couple go-to vegan recipes, but I was looking around for something different. These are really easy and so tasty! When I need inspiration I often click over to Spice Up the Curry. This sweet potato dish was part of a fasting menu. I couldn’t resist all the spices and the fact that it was something new to me. I thought it might be messy to prepare but….no. So easy. Everyone including the little one loved them. These are surprisingly filling. We served them with toasted garbanzos.



Sweet Potato Tikki
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchur (mango) powder
  • 1 tsp chlii powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, grind
  • cilantro, handful chopped
  • 2 TB chopped peanuts
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a shallow pan with approximately an inch of water. Bring to bubble, cover, and lower heat to steam until potatoes are soft. Drain or cook off any leftover liquid. Allow to cool and add to a mixing bowl. Mash potatoes with a masher or fork and mix in all other ingredients. Form into small patties using damp hands. Heat a nonstick pan to medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil or spray lightly with oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.

The original recipe included some lemon juice. I forgot. The mango powder adds a tang, so I didn’t miss it. If I didn’t have any of the mango powder I’d definitely sub some lemon juice. (Amchur powder is available at Indian grocers.) The original also included a small amount of flour for binding purposes, but I didn’t need any. The potatoes were dry and starchy in a good way. The spices and other ingredients mixed in easily, and the patties were easy to form with no problem falling apart.

These really wouldn’t have to be cooked at all. It could be served as a scoop for a side dish, but the patties are fun and easily stored. I’m imagining all sorts of variations. Wouldn’t this make a great bbq side with some slight adjustments??

Now I need to find something new and yummy to make with all these eggplants…..

Menu Board

menu board

I think I’m in a food rut, but I did manage to do one new recipe this week. I like to look at the school lunch menu and was interested in Koshari, an Egyptian street food. It was really good, reminded me of mujadara in a way.

Roasted roots was potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga cut into bite size chunks and roasted at 425 for about 45 minutes. We had this with green beans sauteed briefly with minced garlic.

Gumbo didn’t make the cut. I did a lackluster red beans and rice instead.

Koshari was a tasty newbie that included chickpeas, lentils, rice, macaroni, and a tomato sauce with caramelized onions. The spice blend was new to me and will be back for sure. Peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, paprika, and nutmeg. YUM!!


Masman was absolutely delicious as usual. I did it without the beer and mushrooms. Simple tasty comfort food.


I was looking forward to African peanut stew tonight, but it might not make the cut either. There are already leftovers in the fridge, and I don’t want to keep loading it. Maybe something like pizza or pad thai instead? The stew will definitely make an appearance in the near future.

Next week includes planning for my parents. I’m thinking maybe some southern goodness like okra/tomatoes, speckled butter beans, and cornbread. (If veg availability cooperates!) I’m also a new lover of mustard greens. I tasted some growing in the garden, and I’m really looking forward to cooking with them.

Magic Sprinkles – Hot Pepper Blend

magic sprinkles

I’ve been doing this for years. I love heat on most anything. (I even sprinkle habanero Tabasco on my toast in the morning.) It started with really liking cayenne pepper on certain foods. Along the way I would encounter other dried hot peppers and somehow decided to make my own. I’ve done this with all different varieties. The one before this included ghost peppers and habaneros. That as probably my favorite, but it’s hard to find ghost peppers. The norm is habaneros with other varieties like jalapeno and serrano for a nice flavor mix.

The one I just finished happened because I had so many peppers from the garden. I didn’t want them to go to waste. Serrano, tabasco, cayenne. The tabascos are tiny, so I left those whole. The other I cut here and there so that everything was about the same size. I left the seeds in these because the peppers were so small. With larger ones like habanero I would have gone to the effort of deseeding. These were roasted in a low temp oven (200) for about 8-10 hours. I let them cool completely in the oven overnight. Then I use a coffee grinder to make it into yummy HOT sprinkles that are stored in a jar. I don’t remember exactly why we started calling these magic sprinkles, but it’s probably because you only need a fairy dusting to get great heat and flavor. ๐Ÿ™‚

This pan of peppers resulted in right around 3 ounces of ground pepper. Looks to be a cup or more.


African Peanut Stew

african stew

My father in law randomly sent me a couple recipes for this type African stew last year. It instantly became a fave in this house. It is SO TASTY! I finally got the proportions just right, so this was my favorite rendition yet. Score one for the home team that I actually wrote it down. This is a regular especially when it starts getting chilly outside. It’s that perfect tangy creamy spicy mix that I love. The textures are so good too with the sweet potato, edamame, and kale all in one. We sprinkled crunchy crushed peanuts on top this time, and that made it even better somehow. Love… this… dish.

African Peanut Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 small mild pepper (ex: banana pepper) or hot pepper (habanero)
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • 28 oz can tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup edamame (frozen)
  • 1 bunch kale, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • salt, to taste
  1. Heat pot to medium. Add onion, celery, carrots, pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook for a few minutes, stirring often to avoid sticking. Whiz tomatoes in the food processor along with the peanut butter. Add tomato mixture and stock to the pot along with sweet potatoes and spices. Bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. Add edamame and kale just before serving. Stir to incorporate, cover and simmer just until kale is wilted and edamame is heated through.
  2. Serve over whole grain couscous. Garnish each bowl with about a tablespoon of crushed peanuts and lots of cilantro.

I kept it mild this time in case the little guy wanted to partake and used a mild pepper variety from the garden. I highly recommend habanero in this, seeded and chopped. I heated mine up at the table with “magic sprinkles”, a dried hot pepper house blend. I would normally use probably 2 sweet potatoes, but this one was a monster and plenty. The peanut butter can be added at the end before the edamame and kale. I lose patience with stirring it until it dissolves, so I prefer to whiz it with the tomatoes to blend it in at the beginning. It can stick, but if the heat is controlled it’s no problem. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is use fresh ginger. Can’t wait to have this again for lunch!

Menu Board

menu board

Veg quesadillas were made with thin sliced grilled zucchini, red onion, and mild pepper. Served with “refried” pinto beans and salsa. I made a huge pot of the beans, so we are still working on those. It’s been great for quick lunches with tortillas or rice.

Spiced vegetables was a recipe I noticed in a vegetarian cookbook. I hadn’t paid it much attention before but I wanted something new to try with okra from the garden. It was OK but probably not something I’ll make again. It was tasty but a little blah. Potatoes, cauliflower, and okra simmered with spices like cinnamon and cardamom in coconut milk. I substituted coconut milk for yogurt in the original recipe, so that might have been the issue. Any more okra will go straight into yummy stewed “okra and tomatoes” or gumbo!

We haven’t had much curry lately. We’ve had a couple chilly days lately, so masman was a welcome comfort food. It was SO GOOD.

masman curry

Chili might not happen this week. I threw it into the mix because I thought I would have extra salsa. We might take care of that in other ways. I did my first veg lasagne experiment last night instead. (work in progress)

Seems we were on a soup/stew kick when we came up with this menu. Potato pea soup is a very simple soup with flavors similar to samosas. Potatoes simmered and slightly mashed to thicken the soup that includes green peas spiced with garam masala coriander, and cumin. Splashed with a little coconut milk at the end. (instead of yogurt) I might add chickpeas this time. Not sure.

Dizzle requested African stew. It really is good. I always make way too much, so I’ll work on measurements this time to reduce it a little. Looks like I’ve never posted that recipe, so that will be on my list. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, edamame, spicy peppers, cilantro, kale, couscous… many tasty things in one dish!

I also want to try something that was on the school menu this week…. Koshari, a popular Egyptian dish/street food. I’m a little turned off but intrigued enough to want to try the mix of ingredients. Macaroni, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and some sort of spicy tomato sauce. Hmmmm…

Leftover Lunch & Minted Cabbage Salad


Sweet potato fries, minted cabbage salad, tomato bread, babaganoush with peppers and tomatoes

Minted Cabbage Salad
Serves: 4
  • ½ head cabbage finely sliced
  • 2 scallions chopped or sliced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1 sprig mint chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine and toss all ingredients. Adjust lemon juice and seasonings to taste.

Dizzle talked about a mint cabbage salad from a recent biz trip. This was my interpretation that we had with the coconut creamy black eyed peas. I warmed the oil slightly to bring out the mint a little more. Pretty tasty!



Menu Board

menu board

Nothing really new this week. More tomatoes from the garden made it really easy to default to okra/tomatoes and pizza.

We also had nice eggplant from the garden, so babaganoush came to mind. We’ve had lots of hummus lately, so toasted garbanzos was a nice departure. We had that with spinach bread sticks.

Scored a huge white sweet potato at the market, so one night we simply had sweet potato fries and salad. Tossed sweet potato slices with a little olive oil, salt, and garam masala. Then roasted at 425 for about 35-40 minutes.

We haven’t done curry in quite a while. Mango curry sounded summer-ish and not too heavy. It was the best one yet! I don’t know what made it so good. It could have been the addition of tabasco peppers from the garden instead of pepper paste? Mae Ploy coconut milk is maybe just that much better? I also added 2 sprigs of basil to the curry instead of simply using a little as garnish. Oh…also added a couple small diced potatoes. (maybe I should update that recipe!) YUM.

mango curry

Dizzle spotted orzo in the pantry and wanted it in something. I did a quick white bean soup. Soaked a couple handfuls of great northern beans overnight. Cooked those and drained. Whizzed a carrot, stalk of celery, onion, banana pepper, and 4 cloves of garlic in the food processor. Sauteed that in a little olive oil. Added beans and a diced potato. Covered with veg stock. Salt and pepper. Cook until yummy. Done. I cooked the orzo separately so it wouldn’t mush in the soup pot.

So, maybe kind of a boring week, but still really TASTY. My well intentioned in-laws gifted me with some silken tofu, so that has actually inspired me to find a few new things to try. Souffle? Lasagne? I’ve also run across a few random tasty ideas like black eyed pea cakes. Think hush puppy or cornbread muffin but with black eyed peas inside the batter. Topped with a remoulade type sauce. Sign me up.

Indian Spiced Coconut Black Eyed Peas

indian black eyed peas

This was the first recipe I tried out of my new favorite cookbook. It’s really close to the original, but I’ve made some slight adjustments after making it a few times for convenience and taste preference. Love the creamy tangy flavor of this one!

Indian Spiced Coconut Black Eyed Peas
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced or grated (equal amount to ginger)
  • 1 heaping TB tamarind (or 2 TB lemon juice)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 can (12 oz) coconut milk
  • 4-5 cups cooked black eyed peas
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat oil in pot on medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown. (Cover occasionally or add small amounts of water to avoid sticking if necessary.) Lower heat to medium low.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili powder, and coriander. Cook and stir for a couple minutes. Add tamarind and coconut milk. Increase heat and bring to a low bubble. Stir until tamarind is incorporated. Add peas and salt to taste. Cook over low or medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until thickened and well incorporated.
  3. *If using lemon juice wait and add this along with the peas.

spiced black eyed peas w/ coconut

Tamarind comes in lots of different consistencies and packaging….or fresh in the produce sometimes. Mine was a block of tamarind labeled as “wet tamarind seedless”. It cost $2.50 at an ethnic grocery store and will last a really long time. I cut a chunk off when needed, and wrap it back up to store in the fridge.

We ate this as a main dish with a flat bread. Even so, I think it was probably 6 servings spread over several leftover meals for us and the little one. He is a big fan of creamy turmeric recipes. Hmmmm….. maybe time for coconut cauliflower or samosa style baked potatoes soon!