Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lowfat Sesame Ginger Chia Dressing


This is a recipe that was really popular on Melomeals circa 2011!

Sesame Ginger Chia Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup water, broth or aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • pinch stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Blend everything for a minute or two in a blender. Allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes so it can thicken up.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thai Slaw


Just a simple slaw – cabbage, radish, scallion, carrot, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, lime juice, smoked almonds, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and ginger.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

30 Minute Supermarket Chana Masala

I love Indian food! We are lucky to have some really good Indian restaurants in the Boston area and take advantage of them at least several times a month, but the food can be really heavy, so I love to make my own interpretations at home.
This is a super fast dish that will taste like it’s been simmering for a while. I purposely picked ingredients that are available in a regular supermarket. Traditional Chana Masala uses amchor to give it a lovely sour kick. I have replaced the amchor with lemon juice and added lemon zest for a lovely little explosion of flavor in your mouth. When you are cooking food fast, little things like lemon zest and cumin seeds dance around on your palate, which is very satisfying.
To make this a one-pot stew, increase the curry powder to 2 tbsp., the salsa to 3 cups, the soy sauce to 3 tbsp., and add a 16 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower when you add the chickpeas. Serve over rice for a full meal. This dish also freezes very well, so feel free to double it and freeze the second batch! Cook once, eat twice! I like to portion my second batch into 1.5 cup servings so I can pull one out whenever I want a fast meal.
30 Minute Supermarket Chana Masala- serves 4
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, minced, seeds removed if you don’t want heat (omit or add more depending on personal taste.)
  • 8 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Several pinches salt/freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped, fresh ginger
  • 2 cups salsa*
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk (or half cup regular coconut milk mixed with ½ cup water, you can also use full fat if you want)
  •  1 29 oz. can chickpeas (or around 3 cups cooked chickpeas) **
  • Water or vegetable broth as needed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional) Tip: peel lemon zest with a peeler, making sure not to get any of the white pith and keep in the freezer.
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
Method:
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil and spices. Toast spices for 20 seconds or so, then add the onion, serrano, and garlic along with a good pinch salt and pepper.
  2. Cook for around 10 minutes, then add the ginger, salsa and coconut milk and chickpeas.
  3. If the mixture looks dry, add some water or broth as needed
  4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring several times and adding broth as needed.
  5. Take off heat, stir in soy sauce, lemon juice/zest and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning.
*The salsa brings all of the flavors together; allowing the dish to taste like it’s been cooked longer. If you don’t have salsa, you can use canned, crushed tomatoes.
**You can choose to drain the chickpeas or not based on personal preference.
Serve over rice.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Simple Pickled Onions


Condiments and sauces are my best friend! They can elevate a dish to the next level and are great to have on hand. One of my favs is pickled onions! I used red onions and red wine vinegar because I like the color, but you can use white onions and other kinds of vinegar. I would stay away from a live apple cider vinegar though because the flavor can be a bit intense.
Pickled Onions
  • 1 large red onions, sliced (around 2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • optional: 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 stevia packet
Method: Massage the onions with the salt, then add the rest of the ingredients. Incorporate them well, then pack mixture into a sterilized glass jar. Make sure the brine is covering the onion. Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour. This will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

SALSA!


Salsa
  • 1 tablespoon oil 
  • 1 tablespoon coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Pinch oregano
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers
  • 1 teaspoon Tony’s Cajun Seasoning or Salt
  • Around a ½ cup of water
  • 28 oz can tomatoes and their juice, crushed with your hands
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
Method:
Over medium heat, add the oil and spices. Toast for several minutes or until very fragrant. Add the onions and peppers along with the salt and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often adding water to keep the mixture from burning. Next add the tomatoes, cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take off heat, stir in the garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Puree in a food processor or blender. Allow Salsa to cool then adjust seasoning if needed. 


Clean out the fridge salad.


I love cabbage so much. Shredding it on a mandoline is my preferred way to eat it raw. I always have a large bowl of prepped cabbage in my fridge. I mix red and green together and use it as the base of salad instead of lettuce.  I added pea shoots, rainbow carrots, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, and garlicky, lemon hummus as the dressing.
I love eating a big salad for breakfast.

Coconut Mint Chutney


Cilantro-Mint-Coconut Chutney
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp black salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 1 bunch mint (leaves only)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1-3 jalapenos, seeds and all.
  • 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp toasted coriander
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Juice of 2 large limes
Method:
  1. In a food processor, add the garlic and black salt.
  2. Puree into a paste.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until combined.


French Lentil Soup
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • Healthy pinch freshly grated nutmeg, salt, and white pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or 2 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Knorr veggie bouillon cube
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper to taste
Method:
  1. In a heavy bottom soup pan, over medium heat add the oil and mustard seeds until they pop.  Then add the tarragon, coriander, nutmeg, onion, garlic, carrots and celery along with a pinch of salt and white pepper.
  2. Saute for 5-10 minutes, then deglaze with the wine or vinegar, add the lentils and broth; turn heat to high and bring to a boil for two minutes.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, then stir in the mustard, fresh herbs, and salt/pepper to taste.

Cheater Baked Falafel


Nothing beats traditional falafel made with soaked chickpeas, but this simple baked version is still pretty good!
Baked Falafel
  • 1 29 oz. can drained chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 ½  cups chopped scallions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBS soy sauce or Braggs
  • 1 TBS siracha or hot sauce (optional)
  • ½  tsp kosher salt
  • ½  tsp pepper
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • Around 1 – 2 cups dried breadcrumbs (more or less depending on the humidity, start with 1 cup and work your way up to 2 cups if needed) You want to be able to form a ball and have it hold together.
Method: Pre-heat oven to 400
  1. Place all of the ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) into a food processor and pulse until combined. Place mixture in a mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes. Use around 2 TBS per ball and roll them into balls.
  3. Place on a sheet pan (I usually use a silicone baking mat, but you can just spray it with spray if you’d like) and spray the tops of the falafels with cooking spray. Bake for around 20 minutes, then turn them over, spray the other side of the balls and bake for another 10 minutes or so. You might want to check them after 15 minutes on the first side in case your oven is different from mine. This will make around 16-18 falafels and I usually serve 2 or 3 per person.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Recipe Thursday: Simple Dahl.


I’m sharing another one of my old recipes. I took a poll on Facebook, and this was the recipe people wanted to see.  It’s one of my kids favorite recipes ever.
If you can’t find black mustard seeds, leave them out. It’s not a big deal…  everything else should be easily found in any well stocked grocery store. One tip about spices: buy them in bulk from a health food store or whole foods. They are so much cheaper!
I use a lot of garlic. I recommend it, but if you don’t want to use as much feel free to cut down. If you are sensitive to heat, then start with 2 tbsp. of ginger.
I love this recipe so much! I hope you do too.
SIMPLE DAHL
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-4 tbsp. freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 lb. red lentils
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth (I use better than bouillon)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce to taste
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. diced, raw red onion
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 pieces
Method:
  1. In a heavy bottom 4 qt. pan over medium heat, add the oil, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion and garlic along with the salt. Cook for around 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the rest of the spices and toast with the onion mixture for around 1 minute, then add the ginger, lentils and broth (start with 4 cups)
  3. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for around 30 minutes, adding more broth if needed.
  4. When lentils are cooked, stir in the cilantro, lemon juice and zest, sesame oil, and season with Braggs or soy sauce.
  5. Serve over basmati rice and top with fresh tomatoes, raw onion, and a wedge of lime.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Recipe Thursday: Groundnut Stew

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I am going to be sharing a recipe every Thursday! It's only fitting that I will share the very first recipe I ever posted online, way back in May 2006 on my MeloMeals blog! This was always a huge hit in my World Vegetarian cooking class I taught when I lived in Portsmouth, NH. There are a lot of ingredients in this dish, and they all bring something to the table. People are usually shocked by the amount of garlic and spices I use, but trust me - this is how you make vegan food good. No bland or boring food here!

Groundnut Stew Serves 8
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. crushed, dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 2 onion, chopped (around 2 cups)
  • 1-2 Serrano chilies, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 each: green, red, yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes diced (around 4 cups)
  • 1 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 qt. vegetable broth or 4 cups water mixed with bouillon
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 29 oz. can kidney beans (or around 3 cups cooked beans)
  • Water if needed
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Hot sauce and Bragg’s or Soy Sauce to taste
Method:
  1. In a very large, heavy bottom Dutch oven, or stew pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the spices and vegetables, along with the salt and sauté for around 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture well.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes peanut butter, and beans and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover, and cook for around 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. You may or may not need to add some water.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are cooked through, add the onion and garlic powder, cilantro, thyme, basil, and lime juice.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt/pepper, soy sauce, and hot sauce to suit your palate.
  6. Serve over millet, rice, or quinoa.
I hope you try this! If you do, let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Learn how to make Vegan Meatballs!


CLICK TO SIGN UP! 
meatball sub

In my cooking class, Vegan 101: The System,  one of the things I will be teaching is how to make a simple, NO COOK (unless you count boiling water) veggie burger base that can be turned into meatballs and veggie meatloaf!

Date: August 27
Time: 1-5 pm
Place: Holbrook, MA
Cost: $125

Here's what people are saying about this class:
Local friends, if you are looking to massively level up your plant based cooking, Melody Polakow is *the* person to learn from - she makes the most inspired, delicious, satisfying vegan food I have ever come across. - Andrea, Boston, MA

I can whole heartedly second Andrea's testimonial about Melody -- we recently did a private cooking class with Melody -- it was totally amazing -- I was about to give up on going Vegan as I had almost begun to dread eating -- in the class with Melody I learned to make several "master sauces" and applied them to a few recipes -- and they were fantastic -- tasty, well spiced and filling. Take the class -- you will be happy you did. - Penny, Boston, MA

Yes indeed. Melody Polakow's class is awesome. I love being vegan, but I didn't feel like I had the tools. Now, we have the basis for a bunch of sauces. We know how to create "cheese flavoring" sauces that work with everything. Amazing "meat" to make meatloaf, hamburgers, meatballs and so forth. Some core ingredients to use.. Comfort with using my Instant Pot, etc.
We crammed more in to this class then I thought possible. It felt like we learned 3 class fulls in one class. We were all exhausted, but happy at the end. Had a delicious "meatball" sub to celebrate and a refrigerator full of food.
Melody is a great instructor.. Super friendly. Very knowledgeable. Amazingly Skillful. Wow. - Michael, Boston, MA

This class is awesome. Y'all should definitely attend! Her food is super tasty! - Jason, Boston, MA


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Savory breakfast is the best.


I'm a fan. Sweet potato toast topped with guacamole and chipotle hummus. And lots of Sriracha!

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Salad.

Grilled Romaine, Quinoa, Toasty Tempeh, Charred Tomato, Ranch, Parmesan. Vegan of course. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vegan Meatball Sub


This is a recipe I'm testing and I've finally nailed it. The bread is homemade, as are all the sauces and meatballs.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hydrating Watermelon Smoothie


It's kind of amazing that three simple ingredients can work so well together it feels like you are drinking dessert. (four if you count the stevia). This lovely little smoothie had frozen watermelon, frozen banana (rations 3:1), lime juice, and a very scant scoop of Kal stevia. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Recipe Testing: Tofu Banh Mi


I think this is my favorite sandwich ever. Crusty French bread, homemade Sriracha mayo (tofu based), pickled daikon & carrots, marinated tofu, basil, mint, cilantro, and jalapenos. 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Lentil Pidcadillo Stuffed Peppers - Home Cooking


Clean out the fridge meals are a regular in my house. Those of you who used to read this blog years ago probably remember my method of having three sauces, two cooked legumes, and two cooked grains on hand. I still do that! My freezer always has cooked individual size portions of cooked grains and legumes, and my fridge is stocked with and abundance of homemade sauces. (Seriously, I make a new sauce at least 3 or 4 times a week during recipe testing for MeloMeals.) 

So, onto this meal. I had some red peppers I wanted to use and some cooked lentils, so I sauteed up some onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika along with a bay leaf for around 10 minutes, I deglazed with red wine vinegar and tomatoes and added raisins, green olives, and the olive brine. I filled the peppers with the mixture and popped them in my air fryer for around 15 minutes or so. I topped the peppers with my homemade vegan feta, and some pico. I added a bit of fresh marjoram to the pico, and wowza guys! It was amazing. So simple, so delicious, and so healthy. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Recipe Testing: Vegan cheese made from whole soybeans!

Day 1: I plan on aging this for at least 7 days,

Smoked White Cheddar Day 1: I plan on aging this for at least 7 days,. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thai Red Curry Tofu, Daikon Noodles & Arugula






Hidden under the greens are noodles made of Daikon! I dry fried the tofu, then cooked the daikon/tofu in a red curry sauce I made a while back with some coconut milk (the drinkable kind from the carton) and peanut butter. 

This is my kind of breakfast! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Sauce



I get so excited when I score Scotch Bonnets! Habaneros are easy to find, but these babies are elusive. When we went to Jamaica, I fell in love with the sauce at a little roadside place and have been re-creating it every time I am lucky enough to get my hand on these firey, floral little gems. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Warrior Bowl - Unchained Pizza 960 William T Morrissey BLVD. Dorchester, MA

BBQ Tofu, Red Quinoa, Corn, Roasted Red Peppers, Roasted Carrots, Kale, Cabbage, Romaine, Creamy Chipotle Cashew Sauce 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pizza experiment - gone wrong!

Before baking.

I am always looking for ways to improve upon my recipes, and even though I like my gluten-free and vegan pizza, it's still fun to experiment. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the pizza after baking, because I burnt it almost beyond recognition. There were small edible pieces, and from the taste of them, this pizza would have been amazing. Fortunately, this was only a small pizza for one. 
homemade vegan sunflower-soy mozzarella, shrooms, pepper, onions

I made the cheese out of sunflower seeds and tofu. So many people are allergic to tree nuts that I'm experimenting again with sunflower seeds for cheesemaking. I pulled out some of my old cheese recipes from 2006 and tweaked them a bit.
Sunflower-Soy cheese before baking

Fortunately, I have access to commercial pizza ovens, so I'm going to make another batch of cheese and dough (and sauce) and bake one up there. I will report back! 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Baby it's cold outside! Chickpea-Daikon Stew revisited


It's so cold! Fortunately, my slow cooker has been at work at home while I was away, cooking for work. I normally make this on the stove, but decided to test it in the crockpot. 
Daikon, carrots, potatoes, chickpeas in a savory Asian Fusion gravy is so delicious.The original recipe was born out of me attempting to recreate the Japanese Beef Curry my BF loves. I knew that I didn't want to try to replicate beef, but I love how the chickpea liquid gels when you cook them from scratch, so I knew chickpeas would be a great substitution. And they are! The chickpea liquid coats the veggies in a similar way that meat gelatin does (or so I'm told, I have never really eaten meat, but The Boyfriend confirmed this.) This is such a warming stew; perfect for the weather, but not nearly as heavy as a full potato based stew is. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup



Seventeen herbs and spices go into my Ethiopian Spice Blend and that makes this soup incredibly fantastic! Available at Unchained Pizza 960 William T Morrissey BLVD. in Dorchester, MA! 

Far East Rice Noodle Bowl - Unchained Pizza 960 William T Morrissey BLVD. Dorchester

Delicious rice noodles, 5 spice chickpeas, kale, cabbage, sesame ginger turmeric dressing! Yum!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Spicy Thai White Bean & Corn Chowdah!


This soup is available at Unchained Pizza 960 William T. Morrissey BLVD. in Dorchester, MA! Vegan, gluten free, 100% homemade with love. 

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Leftovers!

Leftover Love


One benefit of being a chef is eating leftover food. This bowl contains Edamame, Red Quinoa, Greens, Radish & Carrots, Toasted Sesame Seeds, and Spicy Sesame Ginger Dressing.  the actual bowl was served over rice noodles instead of quinoa. 

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Greek Style Tofu Frittata

Greek Style Tofu Frittata
My Vegan Feta was amazing in this delicious fritatta. Peppers, mushrooms, onions, sun dried tomatoes, fresh oregano and feta are such a great combination!

Ethiopian Feast!


I love being inspired to create the foods I love to eat in restaurants at home. For some reason, today feels like Saturday even though it's Thursday, and I have some free time, so let the cooking begin!