This & That
Plant-based food industry leaders finding themselves on the side of mainstream (niche no more!)
Plant Based News reports that according to the Plant Based Foods Association, U.S. sales of vegan food is up 20% in dollar sales over last year. Commissioned from Nielsen, the custom retail sales data also shows “other” plant-based dairy alternatives (excluding milks) such as cheeses, creamers, butters, yogurts and ice creams, is experiencing explosive growth. The plant-based milk category is up 9% (compared to 3% the previous year) while plant-based cheeses are growing at 43%. The data also shows plant-based milk now comprises 13% of total milk sales. This data is incredibly exciting and holds promise that the plant-based movement continues to burgeon. Case in point when I did my scan of weekly flyers I came across dairy-free ice cream on sale (various brands) at more than a handful of local retailers (here in B.C)..
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We need to
With the August long weekend on the horizon and back-to-school sales advertised everywhere meal planning for the kids’ lunches is top of mind. Plant Based News reports that Scottish vegans are urged to request plant-based meals as part of a government consultation aimed at overhauling school meals to make them more healthy. This reminded me of when, earlier this year, we asked to look at the vegetarian meal plan available at the kids’ school (the lunch program is run of the school kitchen as it’s a K-12 school). We were disappointed to see a “reductionist” approach to the meals; in other words, any non-vegetarian/standard meals were made “vegetarian” by simply removing the meat (e.g. vegetarian version of spaghetti and meatballs would be spaghetti with sauce) No meatless meatballs on the menu and certainly no breaded tofu “chick’n” fingers. When Janik asked if they would consider offering a plant-based option he was told “it’s not feasible at this time”. As I think ahead to September when lunch-making duties resume I’m reminded that we need to be a voice for our children and urge the school system to do better. Even if one plant-based meal was available per week I would jump on the chance to have the kids experience lunch day at school like many of their peers. More importantly, any step toward making plant-based eating mainstream (and what better way than to do it with our youth) is a step in the right direction.
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Feature Recipe | Curried Dahl with Golden Chapatis
Think Indian-inspired comfort food meets aromatic wonderland. This recipe dishes up incredible flavour and will tantalize your senses. I’ve experimented with a variety of curry sauces and this is one of our family favourites. Less is also more with this recipe. No black mustard/cumin seeds, no garam masala and no serrano chilies are required for this ready-in-under-an-hour dahl. With just a few pantry staples and a can of coconut milk you can make this recipe your own. Like most dahls —which are typically made from lentils—you can substitute the yellow lentils for another legume variety or split peas.
This recipe for chapatis (more commonly known as roti) is unbelievably simple to make and requires just 40-60 minutes for proofing. Each disk of dough is cooked over dry heat until golden. Deliciously simple.
1/Steam a handful of potatoes and 1 cup frozen peas (see Recipe Notes)
2/Cook 2 cups dry yellow or red lentils/split peas (see Recipe Notes)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (20g)
- 1 onion, finely chopped (85g)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (10g)
- 2 large carrots, grated (200g)
- 1 cup mixed greens, chopped (30g)
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- One 400ml can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp tamari sauce
- 2 cups cooked yellow or red lentils/split peas
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups water (room temperature)
Prepare the chapatis:
1/In a large prep bowl sift together the flour and salt. Fold in the olive oil with a mixing spoon.
2/Add the water. Using a spoon, combine until a rough, sticky dough forms.
3/On a flour-covered surface knead the dough for a few minutes until well combined.
4/Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl (I use coconut oil spray). Cover dough with a slightly damp, warm tea towel; let stand for 30-60 minutes to proof.
5/Divide the dough into 8-10 balls; use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 6inch disk.
6/Cook each disk in a dry pan over medium heat (Tip: Both sides should be golden brown for best results)
1/Drizzle olive oil over a skillet at medium-high heat. Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, carrots and mixed greens until fragrant and onions are translucent.
2/Add dry spices (curry powder, cumin, turmeric & cayenne) and coconut milk to the sautéed mixture. Stir until well combined. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3/Add tamari sauce, reserved (cooked) yellow lentils and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust spices if/as required.
Tip: For a smoother consistency, break up/mash the lentils periodically with a spoon while the sauce simmers.
Spoon curried dahl over prepared chapatis. Serve with a side of basmati rice (optional).
*I use red and yellow creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company®
*Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy.
*Dried lentils do not require soaking before cooking,; instead, be sure to wash them well and remove any that float.
*When using canned lentils (already cooked) rinse in a colander before using.