Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Ful Mudammas (Egyptian Fava Beans)

Talk about longevity. Ful mudammas has been a staple of Middle Eastern foods for thousands of years, and it’s still highly popular. The basic recipe has remained unchanged throughout the millennia, although there are regional differences in accompaniments and serving style. These humble, but oh-so-rich tasting fava beans have held their popularity for a good reason. 

Ful mudammas is creamy, savory, perfectly spiced and stars as the centerpiece alongside an impressively beautiful entourage of fresh veggies, bread and eggs. While many people throughout Egypt enjoy this gorgeous and very healthy meal for breakfast, it’s also eaten at lunch and even dinner. I find this vegan dish is so filling and comforting, and along with all of the accoutrements, it’s perfect for dinner. However, I’m pretty sure that if you ate this for breakfast, you could accomplish anything that day at a superhero level. Doesn’t matter when you eat it, just eat it. You will love this! 

Ingredients:

1 c. dried fava beans (or 2 c. canned fava beans)

½ onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

Juice from 1 lemon

½ c. water

¼ c. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

Hard boiled eggs

Diced tomato

Green onions

Chopped parsley

Jalapeno peppers 

Extra olive oil

Pita bread 

Skip this step if you are using canned fava beans: Soak the fava beans overnight in plenty of water, e.g 5-6 cups. The beans will increase in size. When you are ready to cook them, drain and rinse them. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the beans and let them simmer for 1-2 hours, or until they are soft. At this point, you can either peel the beans, just by squeezing them, or leave the skin on if you like the extra texture. 

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft. Add the garlic, cumin, and paprika and cook for 1 more minute. Add the beans to the skillet, along with ½ c. of water. Allow the mixture to boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the water has been reduced and there’s just a little left. 

Pour the bean mixture, including the small amount of water left over, into a glass bowl. Add the lemon juice and mash the beans with a potato masher until they are a consistency similar to thick refried beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve the ful mudammas warm with an extra drizzle of olive oil, hard boiled eggs, diced tomato, green onions, parsley, hot peppers, and pita bread.

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Spicy Thai Peanut Collard Green Wrap

This. Sandwich. If you’re thinking about sandwiches right now and bread is the first obvious thing that comes to your mind, stop for just one second and consider the fact that some sandwiches are actually better without bread. Impossible, you say? 

Not at all. Try this one, and your bread-sandwich mind connection may be compromised just a little. The slightly crunchy, flavorful collard green wrap is like a hug around the peanut sauce hummus-covered veggies and salty-sweet tofu in the middle. Think of it like a messy Thai burrito packed with veggies. If you’re not actually commenting out loud about how good this wrap is when you’re eating it (yes, even if you’re alone), I just don’t get you. 

Ingredients: 

Collard greens, bottom stem removed

Carrots, cut into matchsticks

Cucumbers, cut into matchsticks

Radishes, cut into matchsticks

Jalapenos, finely chopped

Spicy Thai Peanut Hummus

Asian Baked Tofu

Salt to taste

Boil a large pot of water. Carefully drop in the collard green leaves into the hot water and blanch for 1 minute until the leaves are pliable. Drain immediately and dry the leaves. They are ready to be wrapped!

Spread out the collard green leaves on a flat surface. Spread the hummus all over the middle of the leaf. Top with veggies, tofu, and a little salt. Fold the ends in and roll from front to back (like they do at burrito joints).

Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Asian Baked Tofu

It’s probably really obvious by now, but I really love tofu. It’s inexpensive, healthy and can have any taste or texture you want to create. This Asian baked version of tofu is quick, simple, and versatile. It’s great in salads, sandwiches or all by itself. I make it regularly, so my kids love it too. Tofu is a family tradition, after all.

My love for tofu dates a lonnnng way back to my childhood. My parents have always been adventurous eaters, and my dad jumped on the tofu wagon sometime before I can even remember. I remember trekking to the natural foods store an hour away as a kid so that we could buy the ingredients for homemade tofu burgers. I was mystified by those burgers. They were so glorious and had no meat in them. It was mind boggling! My dad always served them topped with sprouts, tomatoes, avocados, and all kinds of other good things. I can still remember the smell of those little miracles cooking.

Now tofu is much more mainstream and easy to find in any grocery store. Even “normal” people like it now . . . not just the granolas like us who used to hang around natural food co-ops. I sure am glad my dad indoctrinated me with those crazy tofu burgers at such a young age. Thanks, Dad!

Ingredients:

1 package of extra-firm tofu, cut into thin slices

2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

½ Tbsp. agave

2 tsp. sriracha sauce

2 tsp. garlic powder

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Mix all ingredients (except for the tofu) in a bowl. Dredge each piece of tofu in the sauce mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flip over, and bake for 15 more minutes.

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Spicy Thai Peanut Hummus

I was making a tofu and veggie wrap earlier today and I just couldn’t decide: did I want hummus on it or a peanut dipping sauce on the side? Well, my overly imaginative brain decided to smash the two options together into one, and voila: spicy Thai peanut hummus was born. 

Suddenly, I want to cover everything in this spicy Thai peanut hummus. Or maybe just eat it by the spoonful. Good thing hummus is healthy, right?

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. sriracha (or more!)

1 clove of garlic

2 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tbsp. agave or honey

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1-inch knob of fresh ginger

⅓ c. olive oil

Juice from ½ lemon

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve with warm pita bread or as a topping or dip.

Categories
Salads Vegan Vegetarian

Jewel Tone Chaat Salad

This gem-colored salad is almost too beautiful to eat. But not eating it would be a huge mistake because it tastes amazing. A perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, this salad knocks it out of the park with its balance of unique flavors. 

The key to making a good chaat salad is to cut the pieces of all of the ingredients into small, equal-sized morsels so that every time you take a bite you get ALL of those delicious ingredients in your mouth at once. Perfection, I tell ya.

Ingredients:

½ cucumber, chopped into small cubes

7-8 radishes, chopped into small cubes

4 green onions, sliced

½ bunch of cilantro, chopped

½ jalapeno, finely chopped

Pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ginger powder

1 tsp. chili powder

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tsp. honey

1 tsp. tamarind paste

2 Tbsp. shredded coconut

½ tsp. chaat masala

Salt to taste

Combine the cucumber, radishes, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and pomegranate seeds in a large salad bowl. 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add mustards seeds and stir until they pop. Then, add the chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy. Add the chili powder, cumin, ginger, lemon juice, honey, tamarind and stir to combine. Add the coconut and remove from heat. Stir to combine again. Season with salt. 

Add the chickpea mixture to the salad and mix together. Sprinkle with chaat masala. 

Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Spicy Sofritas Bowl

Whether you are a tofu fan or not doesn’t matter when it comes to this vegan spicy sofritas bowl. Frankly, I’m not sure there’s a person on this big round planet who wouldn’t love these tiny bits of savory heaven paired with your favorite taco toppings. 

A few years back when Chipotle introduced their tofu sofritas on the menu, many people gained a new respect, and even love, for this lovely concoction. It was, in fact, fairly brilliant to combine scrambled tofu with sofrito, a versatile sauce that’s popular in Latin America that contains tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onions and garlic. So I give thanks to Chiptole for inspiring me and countless others to create our own versions of sofritas at home. This meal is healthy and super simple to make, and at home I never have to pay extra for guac.

Ingredients:

Sofritas:

1 block of extra-firm tofu

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 Tbsp. adobo sauce

2 roma tomatoes, quartered

2 Tbsp. cilantro 

2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. cumin 

Salt and pepper

Bowl:

1 can black beans, warm and seasoned with salt and pepper

Guacamole or avocado

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped cilantro

Cotija cheese or vegan cheese

Chopped jalapenos

Rice or quinoa

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Combine all ingredients for the sofritas, except for the tofu, in a food processor and process until smooth. 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Drop in the tofu and scramble like you would eggs, breaking the tofu into small pieces. Add the sofritas sauce, along with ¼ c. of water, and simmer for 15 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more water. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the bowls, add rice or quinoa. Top with sofritas, black beans, guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese. Serve immediately!

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Shiitake Sesame Bok Choy

Shiitake sesame bok choy is a quick and easy side dish that is versatile and can be paired with anything from grilled fish to ramen. This particular version brings together two vegetables, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, that are truly a match made in heaven. The very simple sauce of sesame oil, green onions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce meshes perfectly with the vegetables and sesame seeds to create a delicious umami side dish that is both healthy and lip-smacking. 

Ingredients:

4 small baby bok choy, halved

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced

5 green onions, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch knob ginger, minced

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Place the bok choy in the skillet and cook until brown on one side (about 2 minutes). Turn over gently and cook until the other side is browned (2 more minutes). Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes until the bok choy is tender. Set the bok choy aside on a plate.

Add the shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and green onions to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add soy sauce and cook for 30 more seconds. Place the mushroom mixture on top of the bok choy. Season with salt and pepper and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Categories
Sandwiches Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich

This meatless version of the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is blow-your-socks-off good. The banh mi sandwich is nearly the perfect food because it marries together foods from two very different culinary empires: Vietnam and France. Rumor has it that the French introduced Vietnam to the baguette long ago when Vietnam was part of French colonial territories. Over the years, the Vietnamese embraced the baguette and eventually, these sandwiches were created and became very popular street food. This amazing sandwich later landed here, where we now know and love them. 

While traditional banh mi sandwiches are packed with pork, this version showcases marinated tofu. And it’s delicious. It might even be better than the original version. Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

Tofu:

½ block extra firm tofu

1 inch knob of ginger, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp lemongrass paste

Pickled veggies:

2 carrots, julienned or thinly sliced

1 cucumber, julienned or thinly sliced

½ c. apple cider vinegar

½ c. rice wine vinegar

½ c. water

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Sandwich:

2 demi baguettes

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

Vegan mayo (or regular if you’re not vegan)

Sriracha (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients for the pickled veggies together and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes (or even for several days). 

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Slice the tofu into ½ thin inch pieces that are long and flat. Mix together all of the other ingredients for the tofu in a bowl. Add the tofu carefully and let it marinate for 15 minutes. Place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. 

Turn the oven to broil (low) and broil for 8-10 minutes. Flip over and broil the other side for 8-10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on both sides. Set the tofu aside to cool. 

To assemble the sandwich, split the baguettes lengthwise. Spread one half with vegan mayo and the other half with sriracha (if you like it). Add the tofu, topped by the pickled veggies. Place the jalapenos, cilantro, and green onions on top. Close the sandwich and tear into it!

Categories
Sides Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Sunomomo (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

Aren’t the cucumbers served at sushi restaurants magical? Don’t get me wrong, I love sushi. It’s one of my favorite things on earth. But the cucumber salad that is served with sushi is nearly as exciting as the main event. I’ll probably get some backlash for that statement, but I stand by my word. 

I absolutely love the fresh, clean taste of Japanese cucumber salad. The flavor is delicate, but also tangy. Cucumber salad is not overpowering, and it showcases the authentic, unadulterated taste of cucumbers but with a little extra zip. It’s delicious alongside just about anything, easy to make, and healthy as can be. 

Ingredients:

2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced

Pinch of salt (to dry out cucumbers)

3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. soy sauce

Pinch of salt (for dressing)

2 tsp. sesame seeds

Slice the cucumbers very thin. A mandonline works best if you have one, but hand-cut works too. 

Place the sliced cucumbers in a strainer and mix with a pinch of salt. Let the cucumbers drain for about 10 minutes and then gently squeeze out excess water with clean hands. Place in a large bowl.

Mix together rice vinegar, sugar, pinch of salt, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Pour on top of the cucumbers and mix together. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Categories
Pasta Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Kale and Lentil Pasta with Caramelized Onions

Do you have a special meal in your rotation that you love so much that you obsess about it all day when you know you’re going to eat it for dinner? This is my obsession meal. And I’m fairly certain my kids would second that and declare it their obsession meal too. This healthy, vegan pasta meal is off-the-charts good. 

Most of the amazingness can be attributed to the caramelized onions. They are, without a doubt, the star of this show. But when you combine these heavenly onions with garlic, tender kale, and earthy lentils, you’ve got a meal you’ll be obsessing about long after you’ve eaten it. Top it with Parmesan (or vegan Parm), and you may eat multiple servings . .  which is actually ok because this is such a clean meal.

Ingredients:

One bunch of organic kale, curly or lacinato

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ c. uncooked lentils

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ c. red wine

½ c. vegetable broth

1 16 oz. package of pasta

Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Vegan Parmesan cheese or regular Parmesan cheese, for topping

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat high, drop in onions and then reduce to medium low heat. Cook onions very slowly stirring often until they are light brown and very soft. This will take 30-45 minutes.  You can cook the lentils and pasta while the onions caramelize.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of salted water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. 

When the onions are nice and brown, add garlic and cook for one minute. Then, add the kale, broth, and wine and cook until the kale is wilted and soft. Add the lentils and mix together. Finally, add in the drained pasta and toss everything together in the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. 

Serve immediately and top liberally with vegan Parmesan (or Parmesan)!