Lemongrass Tofu Bowl

I am on a perpetual search to find a way to make a good curry. It is harder than it seems. Usually, the only way I can get one that has enough flavor is to make it the day before, boil the coconut milk down, and then let it sit overnight for consumption the next day. Below is a version that is quick and simple and tasty. It doesn’t have as much sauce but it has a lot of nice flavor. I have adapted it from a recipe found on the Sprouted Kitchen Blog (I also stole their photo). Works best to marinade the tofu for the day. I put together the first part of the recipe in the morning and then finished it up at night. It also cut down on the preparation time and made it a quick and easy dish.

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Lemongrass Tofu Bowl (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)

Serves 3-4

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 12-14 oz package extra firm tofu (preferably one that is pre seasoned; I used a smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trim off edges
  • 2 tbs curry paste (I use a pre-made red curry paste)
  • juice of one lime (about 1 tbs)
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups (ish) broccoli, chopped
  • 2 carrots, julienned or sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 3 stalks–use white and green part)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh coriander or parsley (or mixed)
  • 1 handful of sliced almonds
  • 2 sliced avocados

1. Rinse and cook the brown rice according to directions.

2. Cut the tofu into cubes and drain (if necessary).

3. Smash the lemon grass with the back of a knife and mince the stalk well. In a mixing bowl, combine lemongrass, curry paste, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, a pinch of salt, and stir to mix. Add the tofu and stir everything to coat. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Warm the coconut and 1 tbs sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the tofu and it’s marinade and saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring, until edges are browned and a bit crusted (add more coconut oil if needed).

5. Add the coconut milk, remaining tbs of sesame oil, soy sauce and brown sugar and let it simmer down a bit while chopping the broccoli, carrots, and spring onions.

6. Add the broccoli and carrots and saute until the vegetables are warmed through but still look bright and fresh (about 3 more minutes–may help to put a cover on the skillet for steaming broccoli). Add the chopped greens onions and another pinch of salt. Stir and taste for seasonings.

7. Slice avocado and place on plates with a mound of cooked rice. Scoop veggie mixture on top of rice and sprinkle with fresh herbs and chopped nuts. Enjoy!

 

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Jenny’s Carrot and Beetroot Salad

This salad was first introduced to us by one of our favorite people: Jenny Pilz, wall paper designer and friend extra-ordinaire. We owe her a lot–from helping to organize our magnificent wedding, to helping me get my European visa (running up and down the halls of the ausländerbehörde), to introducing us to some of our closest European friends, to just being an all around fabulous person. If you are ever in Berlin, I highly recommend meeting her. Watch out Jenny, here they come…

Anyway, back to the salad. It works great on top of a bed of arugula or you can also use it as a spread in a sandwich with hummus, goat cheese, and fresh bread. Either way, it is a winner and great for the summer or winter months. It has a bright, fresh flavor and it adds a lot of color to any dish–although once you mix it up it primarily looks beet red.

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(image from Simply Recipes–this one has raisins, which are also an add in option)

Jenny’s Carrot and Beetroot Salad

  • 3 medium to large carrots, shredded (easiest to use a food processor but you can do it by hand as well)
  • 3 peeled beets, shredded (again, if you don’t want to turn purple, I recommend a food processor)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (optional–it is fine if you don’t use it but it adds a nice zing)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)

1. Shred and drain the carrots and beets. You can drink the carrot beet juice for a tasty treat while you are making the salad (fresh carrot, beet, ginger juice is one of my favorites). You don’t have to fully drain the shredded veggies, just slightly so that it doesn’t become mushy–you still want to leave some juice for the flavor.

2. Mix together lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, ginger, and mint (if using). Pour onto the beet, carrot mix. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

3. Place veggies on top of a bed of arugula (there will be enough juices that you won’t need an extra salad dressing). Or toast some bread, cover with fresh hummus or goat cheese and put the carrot beet mixture on top for a nice appetizer or open faced lunch dish.

NOTE: You could add raisins to the mixture for a sweeter taste. Sometimes we add a bit of cayenne or paprika to add a bit of spice.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Red Cabbage

This recipe takes a bit more prep time but once you have everything chopped it is simple, quick and tasty. If you have the time, soak some dried chickpeas overnight but, in all honesty, 2 cans of chickpeas will work just fine. I serve the stew and red cabbage with Tahini sauce (one of my favorite discoveries from my time in Tel Aviv, the base of which you can find in most middle eastern stores) but you could also use a fresh greek yogurt or the cashew lime sour cream mentioned in one of the earlier posts. This recipe will easily feed four people. You may still have left overs.

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Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Red Cabbage (based on a recipe from Coconut and Quinoa)

  • 6 cups cubed/sliced root veggies such as squash, sweet potato, beets, etc. (cut into small pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small bunch flat leaf parsley, stems attached
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’atar (a middle eastern spice that you can generally find in a whole foods spice section–if you can’t find it, you can leave this spice out or make your own: click here for recipe)
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into small piece
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 veggie bouillon cube
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (about two drained cans)
  • 5 teaspoons of harissa paste or more to taste (harissa paste is a North African/Tunisian paste that can usually be found in the middle eastern area of your super market–if not, this link will lead you to a harissa paste recipe: click here)
  • 2 cups dried quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
  1. Finely slice cabbage. Place in a bowl, add 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and vinegar and use your hands to mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes. If you are planning on eating the cabbage over the next few days, add little extra salt and vinegar to keep the flavor bright as it marinates. Be sure to store it in a closed jar.
  2. Place two cups of quinoa into a small sauce pan with three cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until the quinoa is cooked through (about 10 to 15 minutes). Once quinoa is finished removed from heat and let cool. When the grains have cooled add the 1/2 cup of raisins and stir just before serving.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking you can start on the main stew. Preheat the oven to about 365 F or 150 C and place a parchment paper onto a baking tray. Combine the 6 cups of root veggies into a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to cover. Place the veggies onto the baking pan and evenly spread. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown, string the veggies every ten or so minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet or pot, warm remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes or until the onions start to become translucent.
  5. Add chopped garlic and let simmer for another minute.
  6. Finely dice the parsley stems and add to the mixture. Keep the parsley leaves aside for later use.
  7. Add cumin, paprika, carrots and 1 cup of water with half of the bouillon cube to the onion mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  8. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  9. Stir in harissa paste, parsley leaves, remaining cup of water and the left over bouillon. Continue simmering uncovered for another few minutes until the water has mostly evaporated.
  10. Take off the heat and mix in the roasted root veggies.
  11. To serve, place the stew on top of the quinoa/raisin mix and add a spoonful the pickled cabbage to the side. Drizzle the tahini (or topping of your choice) on top.

Portobello Burgers

Portobello mushrooms are always best when roasted on a grill, but you can still make a pretty tasty burger with an oven. My mom always makes an excellent marinade for our summer BBQ’s. The version I used is below. I like to pair the mushrooms with fresh avocado, baby spinach, roasted peppers, cashew cream, and roasted rolls.

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photo by Corey Harrower (pictured here with Jenny’s Carrot Beetroot Salad)

Portobello Burgers

  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms (cleaned to your liking)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (invest in good balsamic, you won’t be disappointed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 fresh rolls

Optional add-ins:

  1. Place all the ingredients (except the mushrooms) into a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large plastic bag and add the mushrooms. Mix it all up and let the mushrooms marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking. (I try to leave them for a few hours.)
  3. Preheat oven to around 350 F or fire up the grill. When the oven is ready place the mushrooms on a baking sheet (or on an oven rack) and cook for about 5 -10 minutes each side. (Do the same on a grill).
  4. Slightly toast your roll and then layer up you ingredients with a big dollop of cashew cream on top and dig in.

 

Cashew Lime Sour Cream

This is an amazing vegan substitute for any kind of cream. It is supposedly linked to sour cream but if you use a bit less water it would make a nice cream cheese substitute. It works as a great topping for burgers or sandwiches. It even tastes good with Rold Gold Tiny Twists. This recipe is straight from the Coconut and Quinoa blog that I love. The photo is by Stephen Johnson.

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Cashew Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 4 to 6 hours (or overnight)
  • Zest of one lime (I have made it without this and it was still great)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  1. Drain and rinse cashews and place in an upright blender. Add remaining ingredients (excluding the lime zest).
  2. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, scraping sides as necessary.
  3. Season to taste and add reserved lime zest.
  4. Pulse to combine and pour into a bowl.
  5. Place in the fridge for an hour or until ready to serve to let it settle.

NOTE: Sour cream will last 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

 

Feta, Fig and Pomegranate Salad

I discovered this recipe in the magazine given to us from our grocery delivery. Yep, that is right. We have our groceries delivered. Corey did the math and thinks it is a better environmental choice. Ocado is a full delivery grocery store. They don’t have a home store so they don’t use electricity and space to run an actual store. Also, we can choose when things are delivered and can make sure the van is already in the area. Last, but not least, they price check with all the groceries in the area and refund your payment if anything is lower in price. Not to shabby, right?

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Feta, Fig and Pomegranate Salad (adapted from Ocado)

  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 4 dried figs, cut into fourths (with small hard stem cut off)
  • 300g feta
  • 1 splash lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil , 1 tbsp for the marinade, 2 tbsp for tossing the spinach
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 110g slivered almonds , toasted
  • 4 small handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package of baby spinach
  1. Put the feta in a shallow dish, squeeze over the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of olive oil and scatter over the toasted cumin seeds. Leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Toss the spinach in a large salad bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Crumble in the marinated feta, arrange the figs on top and scatter over the toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE: The original recipe asks for fresh figs. If you choose this option, roast the sliced figs for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft.

FUN FACT: To see Corey’s favorite way to deseed a pomegranate click here.

ANOTHER IDEA: Corey and I love to have massaged kale salad with pomegranate seeds. It is refreshing, healthy and looks beautiful.

Tania’s Spiced Sweet Potatoes

This recipe adds a tasty extra to almost any meal. I make versions of it with whatever spices I have when adding sweet potatoes into dishes. I also have used the line up of spices on other veggies.

The lovely Tania Issac (who was just featured with her darling daughters in Dance Magazine) first introduced me to the recipe when I was in graduate school at Ohio State. It has been a mainstay ever since.

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Tania’s Spiced Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 sweet potatoes (diced into cubes–leave on skins if you want)
  • olive oil (enough to lightly coat potatoes)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped/mashed)
  • 1″ ginger (chopped/mashed) or 1/2 tsp dry
  • 1 tsp herb de provence

1. Cover bake pan with aluminum foil and turn on oven to 400-450 degrees F

2. Place potato cubes (or wedges) into a bowl and cover lightly with olive oil. Put in all the spices and mix so that the potatoes are covered (add more if necessary-I sometimes use up to a tablespoon of some of the spices)

3. Bake 25-35 minutes turning occasionally until they start to get crispy or dark. (The time also depends on the size of the sweet potato cubes)

RECIPE IDEAS: I like to put these into just about everything. You can start with rice, black beans, tomato, avocado and feta in a burrito. I also add them to salads, as a side dish, or mixed into quinoa with other chopped veggies and feta.

NOTE: You can add other spices if desired. Also you could cut the potato into french fry like wedges for larger pieces.