Summer brings inspiration and love, it brings the abundance of fresh vegetables in your garden or the farmers market. Veggies like broccolini and cauliflower are so rich for your mind and soul that they need the simplest of preparation.
So what I have here is a simple roasted and charred presentation that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. I have roasted the beets separately wrapped in a foil for 30 mins in a 375-degree oven. These stay in the fridge for multiple uses throughout the week.
The sauce is a kicker…soaked walnuts, wasabi powder, garlic and garden herbs. This can showcase just about anything you put on a plate.
So here goes
- Slice I head of organic cauliflower in steaks.
- Take a bunch of broccolini
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and some olive oil
- Mix well with your hands and lay it out on a baking tray
Roast at 425 degrees for 20 mins. The idea is to char it and still keep it somewhat crunchy
For the sauce
- 1 cup soaked walnuts ( 1 hr)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp wasabi powder
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 sprigs of basil
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Blend together and adjust the oil and salt to taste.
Plate with roasted beets and fresh radishes.
Linking to Fiesta Friday and to Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.
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.
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.
I was experimenting with a healthier version that is not deep fried and these turned out amazing.
A nutrient and power packed versatile food .
- 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
- 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.
Ok…. so this is not much of a recipe but more of the art of putting it all together…but I just had to post. Such an amazing crunch and taste that it leaves you craving for more. And it is healthy, nutritious and scrumptious. If Gluten bothers you, this is GF.
My cauliflower pizza base is Cauliflower and Corn flour from Trader Joes or Moms Organic market. On my trip to MOMs, I brought back beautiful garlic, asparagus, fresh Kale, Jalapeño, and mushrooms. I had some Parmesan and Halloumi in the fridge so putting this together was a breeze.
Note this is not a typical pizza smothering in tomato sauce and cheese. This one showcases the beautiful vegetables so adjust if you need more of the cheeses or add some tomato sauce.
The Kale and chopped mushrooms need to be sautéed in chopped garlic with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Slice or chop some Asparagus, Jalapeño, Roma tomato and set aside
Slice the cheeses.
Cook the crust according to instruction until it is firm and slightly crisp. The TJ version had me cook at 450 degrees and flip the crust to cook 12 mins on each side. That was perfect
Top the crust with veggies and cheese and put under a broiler for 3-4 mins.
Douse with some good avocado or olive oil and red chili flakes.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday featuring Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Alex @ Turks Who Eat as co-hosts this week.
My love for eggplants keeps me experimenting with new recipes from around the globe. This one is close to my heart and soul and so very easy to make.
Frying eggplants will fill your kitchen with an amazing aroma. I often chow down a few slices even before they make their way to the dish.
This recipe has the flavor of cloves, ginger, and fennel and is a delicate yet strong blend to showcase the eggplants. The tamarind paste is what adds the tanginess. Use it to your taste.
Tip: Be careful not to burn the cloves or the chili powder but adding water quickly.
- 4 eggplants – long or 8 small
- 4 cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 2 tbsp fennel powder
- 2 tbsp red chili powder
- 4 green cardamoms
- 4 black cardamoms
- 1 tsp black cumin seeds
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- Salt – to taste.
- Mustard oil
Putting it together:
- Soak the tamarind paste in 1/2 cup hot water. Put aside.
- Chopped and fry the onion until golden brown and make a paste of the fried onions adding a dash of water
- Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 3 to 4-inch lengths – keeping a part of stem on the end pieces.
- Heat the mustard oil until smoking and deep fry the eggplants until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
- In a wide pan take 3 tbsp of the remaining oil and bring to medium heat
- Add the cloves, red chili powder and salt. Add 2 cups of water immediately not letting the red chilies burn. Add the garlic, turmeric and cardamoms fennel powder, ginger powder, onion paste and continue to cook for 10 mins adding 2 more cups of water if needed.
- Add the eggplants and tamarind water and cook for 5 -10 mins to get to a saucy consistency.
- Serve with a garnish of green chilies with white rice or roti.
Sometimes the simpler the food the more rewarding for your taste buds. Visons of many a beautiful vegetarian tables with paneer, lentils and pickles seems to stay with me. The memories range from restaurants to friends houses after school, to street side travel shacks and many more…..but they are always vivid and connect me to a rich past.
Growing up our family were big meat eaters…it would not be “food” without lamb or chicken 🙂 However, every now and then we would have a vegetarian day where Paneer would be the showcase.
When I first moved to the US, store bought paneer (cheese) was not an option so making the paneer at home was the only way. Don’t get me wrong, homemade cheese is the best but sometimes a working girl needs a premade handy version so dinner can be cooked at moments notice.
The local Asian stores now have the most amazing Paneer available so I keep a block in the fridge or freezer for quick dinner situations.
This is a curry, which as always is spicy, tangy, rich, gentle, soft and ever so delicious.
I have paired it with butter rice, lentils and pickles. Naan or roti would be perfect with the platter.
A quick and easy matar paneer
- 1 block of Paneer cubed ( I used Nanak Paneer)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 large chopped red onion
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 7-8 garlic cloves – sliced
- 1 inch ginger – grated
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
- Salt to taste
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Putting it together:
- Add 2 tbsp oil to a pan on medium heat and add the chopped garlic cloves, ginger and onion into the pan and fry this for a few minutes until the onions start to soften.
- Add chopped tomatoes and little salt, cover the pan and cook the mixture until the tomatoes have softened.
- Blend this sauce in a food processor ( there should be any need to add water)
- Using the same pan add 2 tbsp oil into the pan on medium heat, add
- Add cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds until they pop, add turmeric coriander and chili powder.
- Now you can add the prepared tomato sauce mixture and bring the mixture together.
- Throw in the cumin powder and a few tablespoons of water and let it cook for a few minutes. Do stir to ensure it does not start sticking
- Add yoghurt into the sauce and continue stirring.
- Add the frozen peas and then the paneer cubes
- Adjust for salt and water for consistency and cover and cook the curry for on low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with Cilantro and a squeeze of lemon and serve with rice or bread.
Sharing on Fiesta Friday!
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 🙂
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.
If you love cauliflower do check out my other recipes:
Riced Cauliflower and Peas Curry - Matar Gobi
a savory tomato curry with peas and riced cauliflower
- 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)
- Puree the tomatoes in a blender
- You can cut the cauliflower in florets and grate them or buy a riced cauliflower bag
- 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.
- In a pan warm up another 3 tbsp of oil, add green chilies, cloves, grated ginger, and asafoetida, and .
- Add pureed tomatoes and let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
- Add turmeric, chilies powder and kasoori methi and let the mixture cook until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes
- Add the yoghurt and mix well
- Add frozen peas, cook for a minute and add the cauliflower.
- Do not cover the pan and use a dash of water as needed. This will only take a couple of minutes
- Top with lemon juice and fresh cilantro.
Taking this to Fiesta Friday with the fab cohosts Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health
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
In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji
This 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.
“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.
Fermented Beets - Kanji
a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle
- 3 – 4 large organic beets
- 3 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
- 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 6–7 cups filtered water
- 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.
Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.
Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday