Have you run across baharat, the Middle Eastern spice blend often used in tagines that features smoked paprika, cinnamon, and at least half a dozen other spices? I buy it at my local ethnic grocery store. You can make your own from spices you already have in your pantry, and it will give a special, warm taste and aroma to this Iraqi-inspired seitan and eggplant stew from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. The recipe calls for seitan, which is not gluten-free, but Susan suggests you can substitute chickpeas, and that sounds like a great idea. Put this recipe on your Meatless Monday list.
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Joumana of Taste of Beirut promises that this vegan okra stew is not the least little bit slimy, so if that's been your objection to okra in the past, you can feel confident that this stew is for you. Start with frozen okra, a convenience product found at Middle Eastern markets, and homemade or store-bought tomato sauce. Add traditional Lebanese flavors -- allspice, lemon, garlic. I might even toss in a pinch of cinnamon. Serve the stew over couscous or rice, or scooped up with wedges of pita bread. It's great for a Meatless Monday main dish.
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Sometimes, in the cold and snow of a New England winter, it helps to imagine myself on a beach in a warm country, like Thailand. The next best thing? A bowl of this Thai vegetable soup
from Kahakai Kitchen. Filled with vegetables and the fragrance of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro and Thai basil, this vegan and gluten-free stew gets its creaminess from coconut milk. If you want to stretch it a bit, add some rice noodles or chunks of tofu.
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