Recipe: Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is my all time favorite Indian dish. I knew it was vegetarian, but didn’t know much else, ingredient-wise. I learned that it usually has heavy cream, so here’s a vegan version to make at home.

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Ingredients

Part One: Kofta
3-4 russet potatoes*
14 oz extra firm tofu
1/2 c arrowroot**
2 T cilantro leaves and stems, minced, more leaves for garnish
1 T lemon juice
2 t garam masala
1 3/4 t sea salt
1 c frozen green peas
coconut oil for baking

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Part Two: Sauce
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 c cashews
4 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 t garam masala
1 t ground turmeric
1/2  t cayenne pepper
1 t sea salt
1 t fenugreek
1 15 oz can coconut milk

*Or 4-6 yukon gold potatoes
**Or cornstarch

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  1. Cover potatoes with water in a pot, then cover with lid. Bring water to boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork. Drain water from the potatoes, mash them smooth, and set aside.
  2. In another large pot add onion, canned tomatoes and their juices, cashews, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, sea salt, and fenugreek. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer onion / tomato mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Make sure to vent so hot air doesn’t build up in the food processor or blender. Pour mixture back into pot and add coconut milk. Mix together, cover, and set aside until kofta are ready.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu by squeezing it in your hands until it’s creamy or blend it in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 ºF.
  6. Mix potatoes, arrowroot, cilantro, lemon juice, garam masala, and sea salt into mashed tofu. Test consistency by forming a ball. It should hold together and might stick to your hands a little, but if it is very sticky and falling apart add a bit more arrowroot.
  7. Mix in frozen peas.
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment and spray or brush with oil.
  9. Shape kofta mixture into balls, about one tablespoon each. Arrange kofta so there is about an inch between each, then spray or brush the tops with oil. Bake for 40 minutes and flip halfway through, until both sides are golden and the edges of the kofta are crispy and chewy.
  10. To serve, pour sauce over kofta and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy with naan or brown basmati rice.
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tofu post-food processor

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Omnomnomnomnom.

Serves ten.

Adapted from VEGAN MALAI KOFTA: INDIAN DUMPLINGS IN CURRY TOMATO CREAM SAUCE.

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Recipe: Falafel

This falafel is baked and hits the spot. Serve it with cilantro hummus for added flavor.

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Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T bread crumbs
2 T chickpea flour*
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3/4 t sea salt, divided
2 T coconut oil
1 lemon
6 T tahini
1/4 c water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
pita bread
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
dill pickles, chopped

*Whole wheat flour can be substituted.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine chickpeas, onion, bread crumbs, flour, parsley, cumin, coriander, pepper, two garlic cloves, and sea salt in food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  3. Using a spoon, cookie dough scoop, or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the back of the spatula until they’re about 3/4″ thick.
  4. Brush both sides of each falafel disc with coconut oil. Bake for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Set aside when done.
  5. Whisk together juice from the lemon, tahini, water, olive oil, paprika, remaining 1/4 t sea salt, and remaining two minced garlic cloves and set aside.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. To assemble, cut about 1″ off the top of the pita to open the pocket. Add falafel, romaine, tomato, cucumber, and pickles and then top with tahini sauce.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Recipe: Mujaddara

Mujaddara is a Lebanese dish, but I’ve also seen it associated with Jordan and Iran. I believe the origins are regional and predate today’s borders, but if you have more info please let me know in the comments below.

This recipe is simple,  savory, and an unsuspecting crowd pleaser. The caramelized onions are heaven and the vibrant spices bring the dish to life. Rick houses it.

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Ingredients

1 c lentils
1/2 c olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t black peppercorns, cracked or whole
3-5 red onions
2 t sea salt
3/4 c brown basmati rice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1″ cinnamon stick
3 c water
1-2 lemons
2 T pine nuts, toasted (optional)

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  1. Put lentils into a medium saucepan and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a minute. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns, occasionally shaking the pan until the cumin seeds darken, about one minute.
  3. Sauté onions and 1/2 t sea salt, stirring often. The onions are done when they’re dark brown in color with slightly crispy edges. This will take about ten minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, move about half of the onions to a tea towel or paper towel-lined plate. These are for garnish.
  5. Add ground cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick and sauté about one minute.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and allow the rice mixture to steam for about five minutes.
  8. If using, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat about five minutes.
  9. Serve rice mixture with the reserved onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, and pine nuts, if using.

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Unlike the photo above, make a polished table presentation by filling a mold or small bowl with the dish and flipping it onto a plate.

Enjoy this mujaddara for lunch or dinner, as a side, or as a main course.

Serves four.

Adapted from Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions.

Recipe: Pad Thai

 

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Ingredients

6 oz rice stick noodles
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c mirin
3 T ketchup
3 T soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 T lime juice
1 T sambal oelek or sriracha
~15 oz baked tofu*
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1 handful of baby carrots, shredded
1/4 c fresh cilantro, mint, or combo, chopped
1/2 c roasted peanuts, chopped

*Get hard, vacuum sealed tofu in the refrigerated section. Don’t get the crumbly stuff. This should require a knife!

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  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Whisk syrup, mirin, ketchup, soy sauce, lime juice, and sambal oelek together. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over high. Add tofu and stir-fry for four minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.
  5. Add noodles and sauce mixture and stir-fry until even coated.
  6. Add scallions and carrots and stir-fry until all ingredients are well combined and heated through.
  7. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in herbs and peanuts.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Recipe: Magic Tofu Quiche

This quiche is magical because I spotted a local meat eater going back for seconds. It’s also gluten-free!

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“Buckwheat groats” is fun to photograph and fun to say.

IMG_2162Ingredients

Crust Ingredients
1 T ground flax
6 T water, divided
1 c almonds, ground into flour
1 c buckwheat groats, ground into flour
1 t dried parsley
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t sea salt
1 T coconut oil

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If you need an ego boost, make a homemade quiche crust.

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Filling Ingredients
14 oz block of firm tofu
1 T coconut oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/3 c oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 c spinach
2 T nutritional yeast
1 t dried oregano
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a glass pie dish or quiche dish.
  2. Drain the block of tofu and wrap it in a few tea towels or paper towels. Place a couple of books on top of it to press out the water while you prepare the crust.
  3. Whisk flax and 3 T water in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, buckwheat flour, parsley, oregano, and sea salt.
  5. Stir in the flax mixture and oil until mostly combined, then add the remaining 3 T of water. The dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
  6. Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle of the dish, press the mixture evenly into the dish, working your way outward and up the sides. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape.
  7. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  9. Break up the tofu block and put into food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. If it doesn’t get creamy, add a tiny splash of coconut milk to help it along.
  10. In a pan, add oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes.
  11. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt and cook until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about ten minutes.
  12. Stir in the basil, tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
  13. Remove from heat and stir in the creamed tofu until thoroughly combined.
  14. Pour mixture into the crust, smoothing out until even.
  15. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until the quiche is golden and firm to the touch.
  16. Cool quiche for 20 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.

Quiche goes great alongside a simple salad for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Sun-dried Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Tofu Quiche.