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: Crack Italian Dressing

 

Fresh salad dressing is so simple that once you find a recipe you love, you’ll wonder how you ever bought bottled dressing. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and everyone loves it. Seriously, it’s been nicknamed my crack dressing. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 T garlic salt
1 T onion powder
2 T dried oregano
1 t black pepper
1/4 t dried thyme
1 t dried basil
1 T dried parsley
1/4 t celery salt
2 T sea salt
1/4 c vinegar*
2/3 c oil*
2 T water
1 garlic clove, minced

*For this rendition I used apple cider vinegar and hazelnut oil because it’s what I had on hand. Vinegar ideas: champagne / red wine / white wine vinegar, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar. Oil ideas: olive, canola,  pumpkin. Feel free to be creative with the vinegars and oils you use.

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  1. Mix together garlic salt, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour vinegar, oil, and water into a jar or dressing shaker.
  3. Add 2 T of dry mix and the minced garlic to liquid mix. Store remainder of dry mix in an airtight container.
  4. Seal and shake dressing until well combined.
  5. Toss desired amount of dressing into salad and keep the remainder in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. Next time you need salad dressing, simply repeat steps 2-5 until dry mix runs out.

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This dressing is fabulous over greens, but it’s also awesome over veggies (raw or cooked) and grains.

Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Italian Dressing Mix.

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: Cilantro Hummus

Hummus is a great source of protein and good fat, and the benefits of cilantro include aiding in digestion, preventing UTIs, and, perhaps most compelling, the ability to purify water.* The point is, it’s an incredible herb, and this recipe is like butta.

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Ingredients

15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 t sea salt
3 T tahini
1/4 c liquid reserved from chickpeas or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c water

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  1. Combine all ingredients into the small bowl of a food processor, pulsing until smooth.
  2. Taste and add more lemon juice or sea salt, if you like.

Enjoy straight away or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days.

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Serves many snackers.

Adapted from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.

*Roizman,, Tracey. “Health Benefits of Cilantro, Basil, Rosemary, Dill and Mint.” Healthy Eating | SF Gate, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-cilantro-basil-rosemary-dill-mint-4675.html. Accessed 01 July 2018.

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.