Veggie Panang Curry

Oh I think you are really going to love this one.  I spent last summer in Colorado and I was just absolutely addicted to the Panang Curry they served at this Thai place that was a block from my apartment.  I went there way.too.much. Let’s just leave it at that.

This is a veggie version of that amazing dish. I truly loved making it at home!  Enjoy!

Veggie Panang Curry  adapted from Running on Real Food



  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 C. veggie broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 TBS. pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • squeeze of Sriracha
  • 1 package firm tofu, cubed


  • Serve with brown rice or another grain of your choice



  1. Add the diced onion, diced carrot, and minced garlic to a skillet and cook over medium heat in in a little water until the veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add additional water if needed to keep veggies from sticking to pan.
  2. Add the zucchini and red pepper and stir to combine, again, adding water if needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, turmeric and salt.  Stir to combine and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the veggie broth and coconut milk and simmer lightly until the carrots are tender and it’s thick and creamy, about 15 minutes or so. Stir occasionally.
  5. Stir in the maple syrup, peanut butter, Sriracha, and cubed tofu and cook for a few more minutes until the peanut butter is mixed in and the tofu is heated through.
  6. Serve with brown rice or another grain of your choice.

Summer Corn Chowder

I don’t usually make soup that much in the summer.  Soup is more of a winter thing for me and we get a loooooooot of winter in these parts!  So by the time summer comes, I tend to eat a lot more simply…i.e. lots of finger food like bell pepper and hummus, sandwiches, fruit, popcorn, nuts, etc.

I decided to make an exception because this just looked so yummy.  And it was!  I hope you enjoy this tasty plant-based recipe!

Summer Corn Chowder adapted from The Minimalist Baker



  • olive oil spray + water for cooking onion/garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C.)
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • small red potatoes, quartered (I left the peels on, but you can peel them if you’d like.)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1.5-2 cans of corn (or 3 ears with the kernels sliced off if corn is in season for you)
  • 2 C. veggie broth
  • 2 C. unsweetened plain almond milk* (or you can use regular milk if you aren’t eating plant-based)
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor
  • 2 TBS. cornstarch/water to make a slurry


  1. Spray a medium-sized soup pot with olive oil spray.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add a little water to keep the onion and garlic from sticking to the pan if needed.
  2. Add potato, season with a little salt and pepper, and cover the pot with a lid for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1.5 cans of corn, reserving 1/2 a can for garnish, and stir.
  4. Add broth and almond milk, cover, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Use a hand blender to blend the soup to desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky but still with some creaminess to it.  Do whatever you like!
  6. If using nutritional yeast, add now.  For plant-based cooking, nutritional yeast gives dishes a bit of a cheesy flavor.  To be honest, I haven’t been able to find nutritional yeast in Moscow, but I had some my mom had sent me in a package from Trader Joe’s, so I used it.  It will still be tasty without it!
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Mix 2 TBS. cornstarch with a little water to make a thin paste and add this to the soup. (It’s called a slurry and it will help thicken that chowder right up!)  Simmer at least 10 minutes to let thicken. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
  9. To serve, top a little more corn and black pepper. Add a sprinkle of paprika for color.  You carnivores, go wild and add some cheese or bacon. 🙂

Yummers! Enjoy!

Banana Almond Granola


Do you have any idea how much sugar is in most store-bought cereals and granolas?  I didn’t really think about it.  Muesli and granola – that’s healthy, right?  Well it can often have the appearance of being healthy while being a sugar bomb for your breakfast bowl!

Here is a yummy recipe for WFPB granola.  I ate mine with some plain soy yogurt and blueberries.  So yummy!

Moscovites, if you are looking for soy yogurt, this is the one I have been able to find at Ashan:


If you aren’t doing the plant based “thang” you can still enjoy this with some plain regular or greek yogurt and your favorite fruit.  Beware of flavored yogurts though…lots of sugar in there usually!

Banana Almond Granola adapted from Forks Over Knives


  • 8 C. rolled oats
  • 2 C. dates, pitted and diced up
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  2. Add the oats to a large bowl and set aside. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Place the dates in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add a little more water if needed to keep the dates from sticking to the pan.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to a blender or food processor with the bananas, extract, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the date mixture to the bowl with the oats and mix well. Divide the granola between the two prepared baking sheets and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is crispy. At 50 minutes mine still wasn’t quite crispy, so I turned the oven up to 350°F and baked it for a little longer.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool.  (The cereal will get even crispier as it cools.)
  8. Store the granola in an airtight container.

The Bad Vegan

I almost did it.  I almost changed the name of my cooking blog to the bad vegan.  🙂  I mean, I’ve been following an 80% vegan diet for the last 2 months and I thought, well, why not make it blog official?  But the truth is, I ain’t here to teach no one about veganism.  Because I’m not a good vegan.  I’m a bad one.  I eat vegan about 80% of the time.  I cook mostly vegan, whole-food, plant-based meals at home, and I always look for vegan and vegetarian options when I’m out at restaurants.  I can make a mean soy iced latte.  I no longer use sugar in most of my baking and I don’t put it in my coffee.  I also don’t really bake with white, all-purpose four anymore.  Yeah, if you look around this site, I’ve made some changes!

But I’m a bad vegan, not a good one.  I eat eggs twice a week.  Gasp!  When I get invited over to friends’ houses for dinner, I eat what they make for me.  And I’m grateful!  I still love meat, let’s be totes honest here!

So what caused the shift to my bad veganism?  Well, about 3 months ago I started feeling exhausted ALL THE TIME.  And that got old really fast.  I went to the doctor, he checked all the usual suspects: thyroid, cholesterol, blood sugar, OH MY!  It turned out my blood sugar and triglycerides were super high, and if I didn’t change something, I was at a high risk of becoming diabetic.  NO THANKS.  “Try a plant based diet,” my doctor said.  “See what it does for you.”

All I can say is, my exhaustion is gone, I feel better, I have more energy, and I’ve lost 18 lbs. (So far). I ain’t here to preach about veganism.  You all know I love good food.  And that hasn’t changed.  I still live in Russia too, and it’s not the friendliest country for vegans, though it’s getting better.

I’m still the cooking devushka, but just doesn’t really quite have that nice of a ring to it.  So you’ll be seeing more whole-food, plant-based recipes on here.  The old standards will stay on the site and I’m not sayin’ I’ll never post a sugar-laden treat ever again in my life.  But this shift, it’s been a good one for me.  And I hope you’ll enjoy some of my new tasty recipes!

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole

Hi friends!  I haven’t been blogging too much lately but I have some more recipes to share so I’ll be posting more often!  This post goes out to my new pals Miriam, Amanda, and Rikki!  They are just out of college and living in Moscow this year!  They reminded me of why I started this blog – to help people make yummy food when certain ingredients are harder to come by since we are living in a foreign country!  This recipe for Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole is is comfort food for me. And it is actually pretty healthy too as long as you don’t go too heavy on the cheese!    Enjoy!


Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Skinny Cheesy Chick Rice



  • 1 C. brown rice or white rice (I used brown)
  • 2 C. chicken broth
  • 2 C. frozen broccoli florets (can use fresh – about 1/2 head of broccoli)
  • 1 green onion
  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. (225g) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut up into small pieces
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. flour
  • 1 C. milk
  • dollop of sour cream
  • 4 oz. (113g) colby jack cheese (can use your favorite cheese), grated
  • more salt, pepper, and garlic powder



  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot then add rice. Cover then turn heat down to medium-low. When rice is almost done, add broccoli and green onions on top to steam them a bit.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then saute until done.  Remove to a plate and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour and 1/4 C. milk in a small bowl.  Turn skillet down to medium and pour milk mixture in it.  Stirring continually, slowly add remaining 3/4 C. milk. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened, 7-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add 3/4 of the grated cheese, as well as the sour cream, and more salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste.  Stir until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).  Combine cooked rice and broccoli mixture with cheese sauce, and add chicken back into the mixture.  Pour into an 8×8 casserole pan and top with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted.
  5. Serve the yummy cheesy goodness! 🙂