get STUFFED: 3 ways to stuff your veggies

 

Recently I’ve been very into stuffing my veggies with all kinds of ~spicy~ mixtures of grains and protein so I have decided to share my top 3 combinations (as of now). All three are super easy to make and prepare and are perfect lunches to bring to work the next day.

 

  1. Zucchini Tempeh Taco Boats ( Recipe adapted from Oh My Veggies)

Serves 4 (or unless you are really hungry, like me, serves 2)

This recipe is great because you crumble the tempeh and it gives it the consistency of ground meat.

17379827_10154600848556379_1590218934_o Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini, sliced in half with insides removed but not discarded!!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or you can use garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1/2  yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke (optional but if you want a smokier flavor, duh)
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder (this gives the tempeh a richer flavor, you can also add cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-8 oz package of tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 can of corn (optional), drained
  • 1 can of black beans (optional), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, or grain of your choice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (or more if you please), diced
  • 1/2 large tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup salsa (or you can add more tomato)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth, or if you don’t have any you can use water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cheeze, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, avocado (optional toppin’s)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a pan, sauté garlic and onion until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including zucchini innards, and cook for about 15 minutes until the tempeh has been thoroughly heated, has absorbed flavor and turns light brown. Add cheese in the last five minutes of cooking, if using.
  4. Scoop mixture into the zucchini boats, top with more cheese if using cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Top with whatever fixings you like!!!

SO EASY

 

2. STUFFED Poblano Pepper (Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker)

Serves 4.

Serve this with some avocado and vegan queso fresco sauwwce and it’s so delish.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  •  1 cup cooked quinoa, or whatever grain you choose
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup salsa, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for topping
  • 1 can pinto beans (or about 2 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (for the beans)
  • Vegan green chili queso (for topping), avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, salsa

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to broil.
  2. Lightly brush peppers with oil; place on pan and broil for a few minutes until the peppers are lightly blistered.
  3. Turn down oven to 375 F.
  4. You can peel the blistered skin (I was not successful at this), and remove the seeds and stem with a pairing knife. Slit peppers to create a pocket for stuffing. Set aside.
  5. Heat skillet with olive oil and sautee onions until transclucent.
  6. Add quinoa, seasonings, beans, cilantro, salsa and cook for a few minutes until well combined.
  7. Stuff peppers! Add cheeze and more salsa. Cover in tinfoil and bake for fifteen minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until peppers are tender

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To make queso fresco you need:

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter or oil of choice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 green chilis
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sweetener
  • Hot sauce optional

Combine all in a small pot until thick and cheezeyyy.

 

3. STUFFED Sweet Potato with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressin’ (Recipe adapted from Connoisseurs Veg)

Super light, filling, and creamyyy.

Serves 2.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes , scrubbed and pierced a few times

Tahini Dressin’:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons of water

Chickpeas:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chickpeas (if canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake until skin is crispy and the potatoes are soft and tender (40-60 minutes).
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  3. Heat skillet with oil and sauté onion until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook until soft and combined (add lemon, cilantro, salt and pepper at the end).
  4. Stuff those potatoes with chickpeas and smother them in dressing.

 

roasted cashew tempeh stirfry

Hey all you lovely vegheads and enthusiasts. Sorry for the prolonged hiatus but I am BACK. These past few months (excluding this month) I have been trying a bunch of new recipes which I am happy to share with you this month! One of my goals for 2017 is to also experiment and create my own recipes (not just adaptations of others). I have some other ideas up my sleeve but you will have to wait and see until a little later!

Tempeh is an excellent meat-alternative, also soy-based similar to tofu. However, tempeh has more of a grainy, coarse texture, and a smoky flavor, and is in fact a less processed version of the soy plant. Similar to tofu, tempeh comes in a brick but can easily be crumbled into a ground beef-like texture, or can just be kept in cubes. Due to it’s fermented state, tempeh’s protein and phytonutrient content are actually easier to digest than tofu and other soy products. It is a good source of manganese (good for bone health, blood sugar control, and skin), copper (important for blood health/volume, tissue development, and energy creation in your body), fiber and protein.

Roasted Cashew Tempeh Stir-Fry Recipe (recipe adapted from Connoisseurusveg):

Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are).

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1-8 oz package of tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided (I used olive oil but coconut oil is nice too)
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1-2 heads of broccoli
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • Pineapple (optional)
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • Cooked rice (Optional)
  • Scallions for topping
  • Sesame seeds for topping

Instructions:

  1. Before chopping the tempeh, steam tempeh by wrapping it in a damp paper towel in the microwave for about two minutes. You can do this for about two more times, with time to cool in between.
  2. Heat oven to 400 F and roast cashews in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, checking on them frequently.
  3. Stir together all the liquids (minus the oil), ginger, white pepper, and garlic. Set aside.
  4. Heat skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and cook tempeh until browned (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
  5. Heat skillet with another tablespoon of oil and sauté vegetables until tender. Add tempeh and cashews, along with sauce, and serve when hot!

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korean bbq veggie and tofu bowl

As you can see I’m all about “the bowls.” I love having multi-component meals so I can please all different parts of my palette. In this case we have the bitterness of the kale, the nuttiness of the quinoa, and the slight sweetness of bbq tofu and veggies.

This recipe is super easy and versatile, and especially great for lunch the next day. I also love to drizzle sriracha all over it.

Another quick aside about tofu

For me at least, I didn’t know the differences between the types of tofu (what the heck is different between extra-firm and firm tofu????)

After doing my research, these are my conclusions (you can read more on the link). The main difference is the water content in all the tofus (silken having the most, extra-firm having the least!)

Silken tofu: Good for egg substitutes, stews, creamy foods like desserts and sauces.

Firm: Good for crumbles, stir-frys, pan-frys.

Extra-firm: Also good for stir-frys, pan-frys, grilling, baking, and crumbling. Holds texture and form the best.

Make sure to press or freeze your tofu before using it to get out excess water!!!

 

Recipe for Korean BBQ Veggie and Tofu Bowl (adapted from Oh My Veggies):

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup (I didn’t have any so I used tomato sauce which worked out relatively well)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (honey or maple syrup also work)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow miso (optional, I didn’t have any on me either)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or more if you like it more spicy!!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Veggies and tofu:

  • 2-4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 crown broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 tablespoon water (I used a little more, about 3-4)
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 package of extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes and then cut into cubes
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • Sesame seeds, scallions, cabbage/kale/spinach optional!

Directions:

  1. Whisk together all sauce ingredients, except sesame oil, in a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened and stir in sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan and quickly stir fry the broccoli for a few minutes until slightly crispy. Add water and cover pan to steam broccoli for additional 2 minutes until bright green.
  3. Add a little bit more sesame oil to stir fry remaining veggies for 3-5 minutes. Remove veggies from pan and set aside.
  4. Wipe out pan before adding more oil and frying the tofu until crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add 1/2 a cup of sauce to tofu and cook for a few more minutes until tofu is well-coated and sauce is slightly thicker.
  6. Create your bowls with veggies, tofu and quinoa and drizzle remaining sauce over the bowl!

General Tsao’s Crunchy Cauliflower

THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING!!!! Flavor and texture are on point; it really “feels” like you’re eating chicken, not that I would want to but you get what I’m saying. The sesame seeds and scallions add for nice little zing of flavor (I love sesame seeds on everything, a long with hot sauce).

Now that I live in NYC, I have discovered so many different colored versions of vegetables (including purple cauliflower and purple potatoes!!!) Although I did not use purple cauliflower in this recipe, I have learned that the purple coloring is due to the presence of an antioxidant (this is generally the case for brightly colored vegetables) called anthocyanin, which is also found in red wine and red cabbage.

Along with purple cauliflower there is orange cauliflower (which I have yet to see), which is orange due the presence of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A!

Recipe adapted from Connoisseurus Veg):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose is fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for topping)
  • toasted sesame seeds (for topping)
  • cooked rice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Stir milk, flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Toss the cauliflower into the mixture until well coated and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp. (Make sure to check in regularly and flip over if needed).
  3. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl until well dissolved and set aside.
  4. For the sauce, combine the remaining in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer, simmering the mixture for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour sauce over cauliflower and bake for another 3-4 minutes until the sauce is sticky.
  6. Remove from oven and add any toppings and rice! 🙂

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spicy mexican quinoa casserole

Hellooo chickpeazzz. These past few weeks have been super busy for me (and the restaurant I have been working at). Double serving shifts almost everyday can tire someone (like me) real quick. Pretty soon I will be moving to NYC to start my first job in nutrition! I am very excited and plan to blog about my teaching experiences and newly acquired knowledge and observations from working in various communities once I begin in September. I hope to also include more nutritional insight in my posts once I begin, as well as observations about changes that need to be made in our local food systems.

Anyways, I have finally had some more time to cook again and get creative! When I made this casserole I was in a super lazy mood and was very happy about the easy process and delicious outcome. My boyfriend and roommate were even able to handle the spice (previously I would make things a tad too spicy for their little tastebuds so I have trying to be a little bit better and not have them rush to the fridge for a gallon of milk….immediately). What is also great about this recipe is that you do not even have to cook the quinoa, as it is baked in the oven with the addition of water. The cashew cheeze came out surprisingly well (this is my first time making vegan cheeze) and enjoyed the consistency, as well as the flavor.

I was also very surprised at how much I liked the addition of the butternut squash. As a child, I hated squash soup and never attempted to eat squash until recently. The butternut squash was tender and slightly meaty, the flavor not overwhelming the casserole as a whole and added a nice textural component to the dish. I plan on experimenting more with butternut in the future.

Spicy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe (adapted from Vegan Richa):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Quinoa Casserole:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thin
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup sliced butternut squash, 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canned or frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp sliced pickled jalapeño

Cashew Cheeze Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp chickpea “miso” (liquid drained from chickpea can)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Handful or two of cashews (depending on your thickness preference)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray oil on a 9×7 inch baking dish and place a layer of sliced onions, followed by the sprinkling of the 5 listed spices, evenly.
  3. Add a layer of tomato, followed by the black beans, adobo sauce, quinoa, salt and paprika.
  4. Layer butternut squash on top, drizzled with oil and salt, and cover it with tinfoil/
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until squash is tender. (Mine was ready at about 30 minutes).
  6. While casserole is baking, prepare the cheeze sauce by blending together all the ingredients and adjust for taste and thickness (if too watery add flour, starch or cashews. I added cashews until I was pleased with the thickness).
  7. Remove casserole from the oven and add the cheeze sauce, after removing the tinfoil.
  8. Spread corn and jalapeño on top of the cheeze sauce and bake for 5 minutes at 400 F, and then broil it for 2 minutes, or until cheeze browns slightly and begins to bubble.

 

 

 

chickpea “chorizo” pasta

This pasta dish has a surprising combination of flavors and has easily become one of my new favorite pasta dishes. I, personally, have never eaten actual chorizo, which is a type of smoky pork sausage, but this dish comparatively has a hearty, smoky flavor. The key ingredient is cinnamon. Many of my friends who tried this dish have been confused about the identity of this spice, as it is very subtle and meshes well with the rest of the spices used. This dish is great hot or cold and is a very filling lunch to bring to work. In the future, I am thinking of using this sauce on pizza, sandwiches, and maybe even as a dip for crackers.

 

Chickpea “Chorizo” Pasta Recipe (from Vegan Richa):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of pasta
  • 1 16 oz  jar tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp extra virgin oil
  • 1/2 cup onion slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped olive, 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato (optional)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta as stated on box by bringing water to a boil. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan at medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of oil. Add garlic, onion, and 1/8 tsp of salt and cook until golden, a few minutes.
  3. Add spices, soy sauce, olives/tomatoes, and chickpeas and mix well.
  4. Mash chickpeas lightly (until there is a crumbly texture) and cook for two minutes.
  5. Add two tablespoons of pasta sauce, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and continue cooking chickpeas until dry (about 7-9 minutes).
  6. Add another tablespoon of oil and adjust spices.
  7. Reduce heat to minimum and add the rest of the pasta sauce and pasta. Cook for another few minutes.
  8. Add parsley, black pepper and/or olive oil for garnish and taste!

 

 

i-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan eggplant parm

This recipe is unbelievably good. I have tried making vegan eggplant parm in the past and was disappointed with the flavor and texture of the eggplant, and had some breading and binding issues but this recipe came out perfectly!!

The original recipe suggested using flax seed meal as a binder, but I used chickpea flour instead. I would like to continue to use chickpea flour in other recipes as egg binders, as it is extremely efficacious. 13405669_10153798742076379_877286541_o

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, the narrower the better (otherwise you can just cut pieces in half once cut into circles)
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pasta of choice (we used adzuki bean pasta)

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds, and slice the rounds in half if they are too wide/large.
  2. Sprinkle each side with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to dry/seep out water in the eggplant and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Lay eggplant on a baking sheet with tinfoil and plain a towel on top to absorb even more water. Leave eggplant for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplant and place on plate. Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly oil the baking sheet lined with tinfoil.
  5. Prepare three bowls: 1) flour, 2) almond milk and chickpea flour, 3) breadcrumbs, sea salt, oregano, nutritional yeast.
  6. Dip dried eggplant into flour , then almond milk mixture then breadcrumb mixture. Place on pan and then place in the oven. Bake for ten minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, heat up a skillet with oil and while eggplant continues to bake remove 3-4 pieces from pan to fry until crispy. Continue to do this to all of the eggplant, and place back in oven. Total baking time should equate to 20-30 minutes.
  8. Heat up marinara sauce and boil pasta, serve with eggplant!!

 

finger lickin’ buffalo chickpeas

This recipe is SOO good and SO easy. I was fully surprised at how comparable the taste of these chickpeas is to buffalo chicken. Wrap ’em up in a pita with some hummus and veggies and you have yourself a “buff chick” wrap. I want to try these on everything, salads, pizza, and maybe even roasted as a little snack.

Chickpeas are high in protein, which is important for growth and maintenance of your body/tissues, with 15 grams of protein in 1 cup. To find out your personal protein requirements multiply .36 and your body weight, however amounts may vary for activity level/lifestyle. In general, 25-35% of the calories you consume should be protein, and has also been show to boost metabolism levels, if you comply to dietary needs. There are other websites/calculations you can use to determine your appropriate amount of protein consumption like this protein calculator.

Chickpeas also have 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the daily value of 25 grams of fiber. Women need at least 25 grams of fiber, and men need 38 grams of fiber a day. Soluble fiber, which is found in chickpeas, is linked to lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), blood sugar regulation, and lowering risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, resulting in better control of blood sugar and beneficial for those who have diabetes, and is also good for mitigating diarrhea, unlike insoluble fiber which is better for constipation.

For this recipe, you can use any type of hot sauce/seasoning (I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce). I was also surprised at how well the coconut oil contributed to the taste effect of buffalo chicken. You will see that it adds an interesting buttery component to the flavor without having and outstanding coconut taste. The original recipe also comes with a dressing, which I have yet to try. Enjoy!!

Recipe for Buffalo Chickpeas (adapted from Minimalist Baker):

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and dried
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cajun seasoning, paprika, or any other seasoning you like
  • Veggies for salad: romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, avocado, anything else you want to include
  • Pita bread
  • Hummus to spread on pita

Directions:

  1. Add chickpeas, coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of hot sauce, garlic powder and salt to a bowl and mix until chickpeas are coated evenly.
  2. Heat a pan or skillet to medium heat and add chickpeas, sautéing for 3-5 minutes and mashing occasionally for added texture.
  3. Remove chickpeas from heat and add remaining hot sauce. Place chickpeas and mixed veggies in a pita and enjoy!!!

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gobi musallam (coconut curried cauliflower)

Hello readers! Sorry i have been on a hiatus, lots of moving and cleaning going on in my end. Last week I made this cauliflower dish that I have been eyeing/wanting to make for a while and it came out splendidly. Served with rice, a side of pita, some baba ghanoush, and fries (which I will be posting the recipe for shortly) it was the perfect meal and very filling dinner (although this cauliflower does look like a brain). Gobi means “cauliflower” and musallam means “whole” or “perfect.” It is served with a makhani gravy (generally made with butter and gravy but in this case it is made with coconut).

I found this recipe on Vegan Richa, one of my new favorite vegan sites, filled with plenty of Indian cuisine recipes. The blanched and baked cauliflower came out very tender and went nicely with the creamy, sweet and flavorful gravy, due to the mixture of coconut milk and other spices.

Cauliflower is a great and versatile vegetable, as it is not extremely flavorful and absorbs the the flavors of its seasoning. I also recently made spicy buffalo cauliflower bites (recipe soon to come) and it tasted very similar to buffalo chicken bites, much to my delight. Cauliflower is very low in calories (only 29 calories per 1 cup) and contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B-vitamins, and other minerals. There are connections to cauliflower in cancer prevention, detox support by antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits from vitamin K, and digestive benefits from fiber.

Also a side note, this recipe requires you to “blanch” the cauliflower, something I have never done before. Blanching means placing the vegetable in boiling water for a few minutes and then placing the vegetable in iced water to “shock it” and stop the cooking process, in order to remove some of the bitterness of the cauliflower.

Recipe (adapted from Vegan Richa):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head with leaves and stems removed
  • Water to blanch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For Gravy/Curry:

  • 2 teaspoons oil (olive or canola)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped (I used white onion)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala ( I didn’t have any so I used curry powder, but it is normally a blend of traditional Indian spices and you can make it yourself here.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk, from can
  • 1/4 cup ground cashew (I didn’t have any so I used 1/4 cup coconut/non-dairy yogurt)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Boil water and immerse, fully, the head of cauliflower, cooking for 4 minutes.
  2. Add salt, turmeric, chili and blanch cauliflower.
  3. Set aside and place on an oiled pan and preheat oven to 400 F.
  4. Heat pan, with oil, on medium heat and add onion, sautéing until translucent/golden.
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and chili and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar and cook for 8-10 minutes, mashing them when tender.
  7.  Cool slightly before adding coconut milk and cashews/yogurt and blend into a thick puree.
  8. Set aside 1/3 of the gravy and slowly drop the remaining gravy all over the cauliflower head.
  9. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes until gravy is thick and dried on and around the cauliflower.
  10. Heat up the gravy that was set aside and serve with the cauliflower and rice and/or pita.

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sweet potato chana: a sweet twist on a classic dish

Last night my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach and while noshing on some baba ghanoush I eagerly searched for a chana masala recipe, which I ended up only having a small serving of because I got full so quickly, leaving me with plenty of leftovers 😉 One of my new favorite recipe blogs is Vegan Richa, and I knew there would be a chana masala recipe there, which I successfully found, but also incorporated sweet potato! I have recently  been adding sweet potato to a lot of my dishes and was happy to add it to one of my favorite meals as I knew it would be tender and sweet, matching the creamy and spicy curried chickpeas and veggies. This dish is best served over rice and/or with naan or pita bread, and is very filling and light.

Sweet Potato Chana Recipe (Recipe adapted from Vegan Richa):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds or cumin
  • 3/4 cup of onion, chopped small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Optional: 1/2 of a jalapeño, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder (and if you’re adventurous another 1/2 teaspoon of cajun seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (this complements the sweet potato nicely)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or more if you wish
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup of sweet potato, chopped into bite size cubes
  • 1 cup of kale or spinach, I used kale
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add cumin, garlic and onions (and jalapeño) until transparent and fragrant.
  2. Add spices and tomato, mixing well, and cook until tomatoes are mushy, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and sweet potato, adding more spices as you see fit, and mix, cover and cook for fifteen minutes until all veggies are tender. Add kale/spinach at the end and cook until soft, a few minutes.
  4. Serve with rice and naan/pita!

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