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05 October 2005 @ 12:34 pm
Calls for cooking comments  
Since there have been many questions recently, this serves as your official notice that the only meat I will eat is fish (and even then, very rarely and carefully). In terms of animal products, non-destructive animal products (like honey, dairy products, and eggs) are still fair game. If you have concerns are questions about this sudden change, please address them  in the comments.

My cafeteria at work costs an inordinate amount  to eat vegetarian. This is because the only veg meals available are the salad bar and the sandwich bar; these costs are calculated by weight. A meatless sandwich and a varied salad will run you about $7 on a good scale day. Since this is ridiculous (and also since I want to avoid disposable dinnnerware as much as possible), I'm going to have to start bringing my own lunch. This means that I need to bring things that I can cook a) small quantities of in little time , or b) large quantities which last for three or four days that take 1-2 hours to cook.

If you have any such recipes, please feel free to pass them along, in comments, e-mail, or somesuch.

Here is the recipe for my lunch today:

Basic Vegetable Korma-Thing

Oil (olive or vegetable) to coat the bottom of a large pot
3 cloves garlic*
A finger-sized amount of pickled ginger*
2 cans coconut milk
3.5 large spoonfuls curry paste*
2 dried hot peppers, sliced to expose the seeds
1 bag frozen peas
1 head of cauliflower of broccoli, broken into florets
5 carrots
1 medium-sized onion, sliced

* - I go heavy on all of these things. You may choose to go lighter, although I've been told that the ginger greatly aids in digestion.

Start by heating the oil in the pot on medium-high heat. When you can smell the oil getting hot, add the ginger and garlic, immediately stepping away from the pot to avoid injury. Stir for 5-10 seconds (seriously), then add the onions and sauté them until they are mildly translucent. At this point, adding the curry paste and hot peppers and fry lightly for about a minute or two. Then start adding the coconut milk in batches, giving the coconut milk time to evaporate a little of itself between additions.

Now turn the heat to high and add your vegetables. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for about half an hour, or until the curry mixture has thickened some. When removed from heat and left to sit, the curry mixture will thicken a bit, but a spoon or two of corn starch will thicken it a great deal. I prefer this curry a little runny, so it soaks into the rice.

I don't think this is "actual" Vegetable Korma. I don't think a definitive recipe exists, but the use of coconut milk suggests a Southern Indian origin of recipe (please correct me if I'm wrong).

I have a new journal layout. I miss the faux-CRT green, but I find this layout much more soothing. Topa levels of soothing, even.

I do have bigger things on my mind, but I don't quite up to getting into them right now.
Current Mood: like the Man with the Plan
Current Music: (AC/DC) Lemmy and jake E. Lee - It's a Long Way to the Top (
Hillarysusanofstohelit on October 5th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
I strongly recommend things like dal, chili or lentil soup. These can be frozen (in tupperwares or sandwich-size ziplocks) and thaw in the fridge during the day for lunch. Things that are bean- or veggie-based will freeze fairly well, things that are dairy based won't.

You're welcome to come over and peruse my cookbooks, or borrow some of them. I have 6 or 7 vegetarian cookbooks now, and will be happy to point out my favorite things.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
Do you have any particularly compelling recipes for dal, chili, or lentil soup? ;-)

Moffatt is going to teach me how to make his dals - I didn't know until this weekend that he was a huge fan.
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 6th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 6th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 6th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 6th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Hillarysusanofstohelit on October 5th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
oh yes, and, vegrecipes tends to have good recipes, although it's a little newbie/political at times.
Hillarysusanofstohelit on October 5th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
and finally, because I keep thinking of new things,

I think I have two copies of one Moosewood cookbook (different editions, but) and I certainly don't need both. Do you want one?
(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 5th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 5th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - susanofstohelit on October 5th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
prof_vencireprof_vencire on October 5th, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC)
I have some friends which are vegetarians due to either Hipness or Poorness.

I can give them a question.

One of them has this recipe for delicious vegetarian beer stew.
I'll ask'em.

I personally love fried tomatoes. And sauteed mushrooms. The huge ones.

There's always quiche. Various meringues.

Damn, I love eggs. 1000 ways to cook'em. They reheat alright, too. Hardboiled eggs last a good long time if you leave the shell on.
atelierlune on October 5th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
For Goodness Sake
if you find yourself in an Asian grocery, get some Japanese Curry. You can make a ton in a hour or two and all you really need to add to it is potatoes, carrots, onions and raisins (the raisins are a finishing thing, you don't put them in until you're almost done with them, and not everyone likes them though for me their essential). You can freeze some as you have need and just heat a few scoops of it to put over good, hot white rice (get some Nishiki at the Asian grocery while you're at it. Mmmm!! It's very good when it's cold out. Have some cayenne pepper on hand if you need more heat. A whole batch lasts a long time.
Josiah Carlsonchouyu_31 on October 5th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
If you acquire some solid curry blocks, you could make a variant of the curry we offered to you and Sam last May.

Fry onions until carmelized, add water and boil curry-suitable veggies in as little water as possible for 30+ minutes until they are cooked through. Add curry blocks and stir in under lower heat until it is dissolved and mixed. Serve over rice. If you want to have meat with it, you can add chicken with the veggies, or beef with the onion.

We recently ran out of the blocks, so I don't know the brand, but I'll find out. Heck, I could probably even send you a few. The 2 parts potato, 1 part carrot, 1 part celery, 1 large white onion we recently had was perfect, and lasted the two of us for around 6 meals (it stayed good in the fridge for 2 weeks).
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(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 5th, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 5th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
masui on October 5th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
I'll send you some recipes, um, spoonish.
I have little time of late.

time, you know, it's not on my side.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Devourdiscoflamingo on October 5th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC)
No it's not :(
(no subject) - masui on October 5th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 5th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
That may be the most tactful way to say "I think you are a bleeding idiot" I've ever seen ;-)

Seriously though, I thank you for your candor.
(no subject) - elfdope on October 6th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - discoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The past is prologuenemoren on October 6th, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)
I would like to make soup sometime with you, if you're ever free of evenings.

My mother, when cooking veg. for the family, tended to make a batch or two of soups & casseroles on Sunday, then dip into them over the week for lunches & suppers. If you have the storage space, I think it's the way to go.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
I will be more free, soon. Don't worry - you'll get a call, even if soup is not related.
Virtual Travellervtraveller on October 6th, 2005 08:22 am (UTC)
Do you scale? Seems like a ton of chow to me.

As a rule I stock the kitchen with whatever looks good and work from there. Less science more art.

Providing you've got a base set of things (our fridge bleeds Japanese and Asian sauces - seseme, fish oil, thai dipping, piere-piere, Kokomon ... god I love BullDog Fruit Sauce) plus the cupboards are laced with spices, noodles (rice/egg), stocks etc.

If you build up a suitable collection of wet/dry and a big-assed bag of Sushi Rice you can pretty much do anything veggie or otherwise.

I then buy veg based on what actually looks fresh at the supermarket and work with that.

Most stuff reheats with a Microwave just fine ... although even hard tofu breaks down.

I understand your veggie motivations; when I'm wifeless I do this too. Part of my brain goes, "If I'm not prepared to kill it, then I shouldn't eat it" ... but I'm the guy that uses the fly swotter to herd flies out of the house, so that's not a huge surprise.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: For Science!discoflamingo on October 6th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Do you scale?

I have to be honest - I've spent most of this morning trying to determine the meaning of that idiomatic expression. It's awesome - and I'm a fool for not getting it sooner. Seeing as how I am not a network architecture or a database program, I can rule out that meaning of "scale". I assume that you mean "do I weigh myself with a scale"? The answer is yes, but not obsessively so.

The recipe is four-six servings - I should probably say that up there somewhere :-/ It was hella ridiculous cooking it - it would be even more ridiculous trying to eat all of it at once.
(no subject) - vtraveller on October 6th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Gostor of Wafflekaulis on October 13th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC)
Dal is tasty
Here's the recipe for the dal I've been making for breakfast every couple weeks. If you'd like, I'll bring some to gnfnrf's next game, so you can try it without having to buy an entire bottle of asafoetida.


Gram (split) 1 cup (NE corner of University Cub Foods Aisle #5)
Serranos 2 (sliced into long strips with seeds, then chopped)
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
½ teaspoon(s) each of asafoetida and turmeric powder
Salt 1/2 tsp
Ginger 1"
Garlic 0-2 cloves
Onion, chopped 1
Tomato, roma 2 (chopped)
Cilantro garnish
Oil 1-2 tbsp
a squeeze of lemon, jaggery and salt to taste

Soak the split red gram in 4 cups of water for about an hour. (Or, don't.)

Add turmeric powder, salt and a drop of oil to the gram along with the water in which it was soaked.

Heat on medium level till it comes to a boil and then on low level for about 20 minutes or till the gram is fully cooked.

Finish chopping the ginger, garlic, serranos, tomatos, and onions that you started chopping an hour ago. This is the hardest part; you really want the pieces to be as small as possible, I'd say a quarter inch at most. (I wish I had a food processor.)

Heat oil in a pan till it is hot and drop in the mustard seeds followed by the cumin seeds and then asafoetida. Fry on medium level for about 2 minute(s) till the seeds splutter. Add this to the cooked red gram and let it come to a simmer.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve over rice with any flatbreads you may have at your disposal.


I've been making this without the serranos in deference to Alyssa. When omitting the peppers, I double the amount of cumin and mustard but NOT asafoetida.
Gostor of Wafflekaulis on October 13th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: Dal is tasty
Oh, right. Serves 2-4, depending on rice. I always cook a double batch, which seems to serve 6-8.