American Moments Turns 5!
Yes, it was on a cold dark pre-winter November evening (Nov 14th to be precise) in 2014 in Bluebell, Pennsylvania when the idea for American Moments was born. Now, 5 years later and after more than 222 recipes, its still going strong. I must confess, it has been an absolute challenge to find time to try new recipes, take beautiful well laid out Instagram worthy photos and post them, but I promise they will be posted more regularly. I now make a resolution for the upcoming 2020 to post at least 2 recipes per month? If I falter, please give me a jolt?
I came across this super easy mushroom pasta which looked so creamy without any cheese. How incredible! Just by using flour and coconut milk, a creamy base was created. Packed with mushrooms, it is a perfect weeknight meal. Inspired by mushroom stroganaff, I had to try it and see if my vegan daughters would love it! Yes, its unbelievably quick and easy to make this pasta dish! Girls loved it !! Hv your ingredients all ready and on medium to high heat, this only takes 5 mins!
The recipe below serves 4.
250gm (3 cups) large Penne Pasta, cooked al dente
3 tbsps vegan butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
500gm white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
4 tbsps plain all purpose flour
200ml thin coconut or any other non dairy milk
100ml veg stock
1 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
Salt and pepper per preference
A sprig of thyme for garnish and a dash of black pepper/chilli flakes
1) Cook the penne pasta till al dente, drain and set aside.
2) Heat the vegan butter in another pot and fry the chopped onions until softened.
3) Then, add the crushed garlic, oregano and the sliced mushrooms. Fry till the mushrooms are cooked and softened.
4) Add the all purpose flour and stir fry for around 1 min.
5) Then, add in the coconut or any other non dairy milk you are using and vegetable stock. Keep on stirring till it reaches a simmer. It should be perfectly thick and creamy by now.
6) Add in the salt, pepper and dijon mustard together with the cooked pasta. Toss well.
7) Garnish with thyme and serve warm. If it thickens up after some time, add 1/2 cup hot water, stir and warm it up. It should loosen up and be creamy.
(223rd Recipe Credit : LovingItVegan)
Now that autumn is giving way to cold wintery days, this Chinese Vegetable soup will come in handy. Yes, it can be whipped up in 15 mins if you have all the ingredients ready. Quick and easy! Vegan and gluten free, this soup is pretty versatile too in that you can just throw in any vegetables you have in your fridge. Serve it with a small serving of brown rice or even quinoa and you have a protein-packed (tofu, peanuts) belly-filling meal. This is quite a straighforward recipe which doesn't require step by step photos.
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side soup or 2 as a main meal)
1. Heat a medium sized saucepot and fry the pounded ginger.
2) Add in the mushroom powder and sambal oelek.
3) Now, pour in 3 cups of water and add the hardier vegetables like zucchini, snow peas and capsicum first. Let the soup boil then reduce fire and let it simmer for 5 mins.
4) After 5 mins, add in the cherry tomatoes, shimeji mushrooms and peanuts. Boil again for another 5 mins.
5) Lastly add in the silken tofu and stir. Cook for another 2-3mins on low heat.
6) Add the corn flour mix and let the soup thicken. This will happen instantly.
7) Serve warm garnished with sesame seeds and coriander leaves.
I recently tried this delicious Grilled Tofu on Quinoa at the Food For Thought Cafe at the National Museum of Singapore. I'm not usually a fan of quinoa but to be honest, this was quite delicious. Quinoa was not cooked plain but with veg stock and it was topped with a vegetable tomato gravy and again topped with the grilled tofu. Its vegan and gluten free too! The portion size was quite small for a whopping $16 but its a good take away recipe to try at home. The ingredients below serves 1.
Ingredients (For Flavoured Quinoa)
Ingredients (Vegetable Tomato Gravy)
1) Firstly, rinse and cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock till all the liquid has evaporated.
2) Next, grill the tofus in shallow oil. Remove them when slightly golden brown and leave them on kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
3) Start getting the ingredients of the vegetable tomato gravy ready. Add 2 tbsps of canola oil to medium sized pot and start frying the chopped yellow onion and garlic.
4) Next add the garlic herb blend spice powder and chilli flakes.
5) Add the sliced zucchini, red capsicum and shimeji mushrooms. Let them cook on medium heat for 5 mins.
6) Afterwhich, add the diced tomatoes from the can or chopped tomatoes.
7) Let the whole gravy cook on medium heat for 10 mins. Check for seasonings and add more salt or garlic herb salt, if required.
8) These are the ingredients I used for this recipe.
9) Serve the tomato vegetable stew on top of a bed of quinoa and top this with the grilled tofu steaks. Garnish with a sprig of coriander leaf.
There are perhaps 50,000 capsicum varieties grown worldwide and they have been classified under 5 major species of cultivated capsicums:
Have I bored you enough? :) So, I came across these peppers while grocery shopping at NTUC Finest in the east of Singapore last weekend. A young lady of perhaps 20 was dressed in a beautiful traditional Korean Hanbok and I was curious to see what she was promoting. At first sight, I was horrified at these chilli peppers! They were huge and looked quite menacing. But she laid my concerns to rest and claimed they were only mildly hot and that they taste very much like our regular capsicums. She had these lettle plastic cups with samples of these cut Dangjo peppers in a mild tomato gravy. I tried a small piece with a tissue on hand in case I needed to spit it out immediately.
Contrary to what I thought, it actually tasted yum! I was bought! The packet of around 15 of these premium peppers costed around $7.50 Singapore dollars but they are truly worth it. Plus, I wondered how long she must have been standing there the whole day and wondered if anyone had bought her pretty expensive bell peppers. I just wanted to help her out in her promotion.
Who says we can't mix Korean and Indian cuisine?
Today I tried making an Indian version of these peppers. It turned out quite delicious. The tomatoes added a sour taste to the peppers and it complemented their mild heat. My husband thought so as well. No way I could introduce peppers to my teen daughters! These Dangjo peppers are so versatile - because they are quite large, you could stuff them with tofu brown rice mix and bake them or you could even make a simple Chinese version by frying ginger and adding light soy sauce and serve them topped with toasted sesame seeds.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish)
300gm Dango Peppers cut at an angle
1 medium sized red onion, sliced
1 ginger garlic paste
1 to 2 tsp turmeric powder
1 to 2 tsp cumin powder
1 large ripe tomato sliced
Salt per preference
A sprig of coriender leaves, chopped roughly
This is a relatively easy recipe so I didn't take photos of the actual method.
1. Take a medium sized cooking pot and fry the sliced onion.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a while.
3. Add the spices and salt and stir well.
4. The sliced tomatoes go in next.
5. After a few minutes when the tomatoes get pulpy, add in the sliced Danjo peppers and coriander leaves.
6. Stir, add half a cup of water and cover.
7. Cook till the Dangjo peppers are soft.
8. Serve it at your next gathering - I'm sure it will be a conversation starter!!
In Singapore, I usually frequent a restaurant called The Soup Spoon for its delicious soups but today I decided to try a different dish..the Flatbread with falafel and hummus. I like flatbreads with fillings or wraps. I don't know why but there is something quite delicious and satisfying about them. Its light on the tummy, full of good for you vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocadoes, beetroot, pumpkin and we can add any plant protein to make it wholesome. You don't leave the restaurant feeling guilty for loading yourself with carbs and worrying where its going to go - tummy, arms, thighs??
Plant protein comes in various ways - grilled tofu slices, scrambled tofu, soy patties or even chickpea patties or falafel. Falafels are one of my favourite middle eastern dishes and I'm embarassed to say till today I haven't attempted to make them! I just realised oh how long I have deprived my family of this delicious protein packed patties.
So, after gobbling down the flatbread with hummus and falafel, I headed home with a conviction to make them for dinner tonight and I'm proud to say I stuck to my conviction. The recipe below is adapted from a website called Cookie + Kate. I have shallow fried the falafels here but you can even bake them to be extra healthy. The falafels should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft inside. One bite will tell you if you have a winning recipe.
Did I mention that these patties are gluten free and vegan? They make great party appetizers as well. You can even make them as large patties for a vegetarian burger treat!
Ingredients (yields around 35-40 small falafels)
2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup of coriander leaves
1/4 cup red onion, cut into big pieces
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsps olive oil
1-2 cups Chickpea flour or Besan flour to thicken the batter should it become too wet while processing
1. Assemble all the ingredients except the Gram flour into a food processor.
2) Process the ingredients into a half crumbly paste. You may need to add bits of water. Don't add too much lest it becomes too wet.
3) Place the uncooked falafel paste into a bowl. Check for salt and add more if needed. If the paste is too wet, add gram flour to thicken so that its the right consistency to make the patties.
4) Take a flat pan and heat 2-3 tbsps of canola oil. Using your hands, take a tablespoon size paste and roll it into a ball, flatten it and place it on to the heated oil on the pan. Do the same for a few more and shallow fry the falafel patties in batches.
5) When brown, turn and cook the other side. Remove from fire and drain the oil on kitchen paper towels. Serve warm with a fresh garden salad and piping hot vegetable soup. That's what I served my family for dinner tonight. Needless to say, it was a winning dish with my family!!
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.