Tag Archives: Vegan

Falafel with Spinach and Cilantro

Who doesn’t love falafels?? A plant-based vegan protein-packed food that is ever so delicious. Whether it is in sandwiches or salad toppings or cooked in sauce, falafels are versatile and very easy to make at home.

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Did you know Chickpeas are the oldest consumed crop in the world? Besides the historical fact, they do help keep you full and balance your blood sugar levels. Add spinach and fresh herbs to that and you are looking at a nutrient loaded food that is so good for your body.

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I was experimenting with a healthier version that is not deep fried and these turned out amazing.

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  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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A nutrient and power packed versatile food .

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dried garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro and parsley
  • 1 packed cup of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 5-7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt ( adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • Grapeseed oil for frying

 

Directions

  • Soak the garbanzo overnight in 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • Rinse when ready to make and set aside
  • In a food processor add the soaked garbanzo with the rest of the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and process into a paste.
  • The olive oil should be enough to hold the dough together ( if the dough is too soft you can add some chickpea flour to bind it)
  • Roll into balls add the sesame seeds to coat.
  • Let the balls chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  • You can deep fry these but I use a cast iron pancake pan (Takoyaki Pan) to fry these to keep it healthier.
  • Serve with a tahini garlic sauce or a yogurt mint sauce.

Joining the Fiesta Friday party with cohost  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.top 20 tips

Cauliflower and Peas Curry – Matar Gobi

Cauliflower has become a staple in the house and is an ingredient in a variety of dishes spanning cuisines. I used riced cauliflower as a substitute for rice which has been a phenomenal adjustment of carbs in our diet.

When you combine cauliflower with a nice tomato curry you just can’t go wrong. My local Traders Joes store has made it even easier for me by selling already riced cauliflower which saves me a ton of time and the mess on my counter with grains of the vegetable flying around 🙂

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This is really easy to make and just perfect for a cold winter day. Serve with some flatbread or rice with a side of pickles.

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If you love cauliflower do check out my other recipes:

 

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Riced Cauliflower and Peas Curry - Matar Gobi

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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a savory tomato curry with peas and riced cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Cauliflower – grated
  • 1 cup of frozen organic peas
  • 1 cup of peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch fresh ginger – grated
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 green chilies – chopped
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida or hing(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Mustard oil ( or oil of your choice)

Directions

  1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender
  2. You can cut the cauliflower in florets and grate them or buy a riced cauliflower bag
  3. In a large pan add 2 tbsp oil and cumin seeds, once crackling add cauliflower and cook for 3-4 mins until slightly brown. Set aside.
  4. In a pan warm up another 3 tbsp of oil, add green chilies, cloves, grated ginger, and asafoetida, and .
  5. Add pureed tomatoes and let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add  turmeric, chilies powder and kasoori methi and let the mixture cook until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes
  7. Add the yoghurt and mix well
  8. Add frozen peas, cook for a minute and add the cauliflower.
  9. Do not cover the pan and use a dash of water as needed. This will only take a couple of minutes
  10. Top with lemon juice and fresh cilantro.

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Taking this to Fiesta Friday with the fab  cohosts  Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Chutney

It was a surreal summer filled with travels, sorrows, beauty, love and new perspectives. When I got back to my veggie garden after weeks of being away the tomatoes ( among other vegetables) were screaming to be picked turned into something divine.

My first instinct was to get all of them out to friends and family ( which I did for some), but….the rest went in preparations like this amazing tomato chutney.

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The tomatoes were halved and roasted whole in a 375 degree oven for about 30 mins to bring out the flavor.

The chilies are whole and dried and are a staple in the pantry.  The oil is a mustard oil which brings out a beautiful flavor.

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This chutney will last a while in the fridge, my teenager has been using it to smear her morning bagels.  I have used it on top of my grilled chicken for a workday lunch and topped my sandwiches.

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You can adjust the heat and seasoning  to your taste but my recommendation would be to keep the heat elevated 🙂 😉

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Roasted Tomato Garlic Chutney

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a versatile chutney that goes with everything

Ingredients

  • 10-12 red tomatoes
  • 10 red dried chilies
  • 1 pod of whole garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

Directions

 

  • Slice off the very top of the garlic and wrap the garlic pod in foil.
  • Layer the tomatoes along with the pod of garlic on a sheet pan.
  • Roast  in the 375 degree oven for 30 mins
  • Cool and remove the skin from the tomatoes and the garlic
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan until smoking
  • Add the seeds and let them splutter
  • Add the chilies for a couple of minutes
  • Next add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and turmeric
  • Once bubbling, cover the pan and let the mixture cook for about 5- 7 mins.
  • Do taste the seasoning and adjust.
  • Cool the mixture and run it through your Vitamix or any other processor.
  • Bottle in jars. It will stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it lasts that long.

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Come join the party at Fiesta Friday!

 

Fermented Food experiments #2 -Beet Kanji

Fermented foods are just beautiful  not only for the taste buds but also for your gut.  Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout  the globe.  Similar foods can be found in every culture,  just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India  I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It  was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather  while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
Click here for a previous recipe of Red Cabbage Pickle

In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji

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BeetKanji-5786This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates  and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.

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“Kanji”  is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.

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Fermented Beets - Kanji

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 large organic beets
  • 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 6–7 cups filtered water

Directions

  • Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
  • Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
  • Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
  • Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
  • Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
  • Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
  • Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
  • You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.

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Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.

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Divine!

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Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday

Thai Vegetable Soup

The simplest soups are sometimes the best…warm, tangy and so good for the soul. This soup is simple and this soup is good and this soup is nourishing.

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It was ready is just 20 mins and made this chilly winter day just a little bright. The fridge was left with a depleting stock but I found the vibrant celery sticks and fresh carrots which inspired pulling this off. I had made some fresh lemongrass paste and had dried kafir lime leaves on hand so looked like a perfect day for soup.

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The color in the soup is obtained from fresh turmeric that I minced with the garlic and ginger. It adds an earthiness but if you don’t have it on hand then don’t fret….equally delicious with out it.

For the home made recipe of lemongrass paste check it out on my blog here.

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The vegetarian version of this soup uses a vegetarian broth, I bought an organic low sodium version but homemade would be great. If you are not a vegetarian then do use a good bone broth or beef broth that will bring intensity to the soup.

Thai vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Tangy Lemongrass and Kafir Lime flavored Vegatable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced fresh turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 4-5 Kafir Lime leaves ( fresh or dried)
  • Pink salt to taste
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth ( or chicken or beef for a non-veg version)
  • Cilantro and lemon juice for garnish

Directions

  • Add coconut oil to a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the onions and celery until translucent
  • Add the garlic, ginger, coriander and turmeric and continue to sauté for 3- 4 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, lemons grass paste and let them blend in for a minute.
  • Add the broth and salt to taste.
  • Add the broth comes to a boil add the a kafir lime leaves.
  • You can adjust the broth and seasoning at this point.
  • Let is cook on simmer for about 20 mins until fragrant.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon and cilantro leaves.

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This warm soup is joining the party at Fiesta Friday. Check out the co-hosts Linda @ La Petite Paniere  and  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Thai curried butternut squash soup

Fall is here…you feel the nip in the air and the leaves have started to fall and form the red and gold carpet .

When I look outside it reminds me of a Faiz poem

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:

it stripped them down to the skin,

left their ebony bodies naked.

It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,

scattered them over the ground.

Anyone could trample them out of shape

undisturbed by a single moan of protest…..

…..Faiz translated ( When Autumn Came)

The most beautiful time of the year and perfect for this soup.

Thai Curried butternut squash soup

Continue reading Thai curried butternut squash soup

Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho

A hot fiery day outside or a warm fall afternoon, a perfect watermelon from the farmers market, heirlooms tomatoes, serrano chilies and cucumbers from the garden.

It all calls for a perfectly chilled gazpacho smothered in watermelon.

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Watermelon Gazpacho

The serrano chilies break into the sweetness, the mint heightens it to superb levels…the rest you will just have to taste to believe.

They fact that no cooking is required makes it even better. Make  sure you use good organic ingredients for this dish and it is chilled for an hour or so in the fridge before serving

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Continue reading Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho