Folks, this recipe for chickpeas indian style, or cholay or chana masala as it is called, hits the spot. 🙂 This is one of my favourite South Asian dishes. It’s incredibly delicious and surprisingly easy and quick enough to make for a weekday meal. It’s also fancy enough to serve for company. It’s my regular, “O no! People are coming over for dinner and I need to make something quick!”
This canned mixed bean salad recipe is courtesy of my super duper Mama-in-law. 🙂
Even though it’s April, it seems that Winter has just arrived in Toronto – we had the biggest snowstorm this past week!
Lucky for me, I had the good fortune to spend this past week on a Caribbean cruise with my Mama. Friends, it was absolutely amazing. I’d never been on a cruise before and now I know why people are cruisers for life. It’s basically a 5-star resort on a ship, in the middle of the ocean. I was a bit worried about the food situation (being gluten-free and vegan isn’t always very easy) but I had no reason to fear! The food was incredible and they were very accommodating to gluten-free and vegan diets! We cruised with Holland American who have impeccable service.
Anywho, I arrived 2 days ago and was not ready for a Toronto winter in April! To keep up with my Caribbean spirits, I have decided to share a summer canned mixed bean salad recipe. This salad is incredibly satisfying with it’s sweet and spicy flavours. It’s basically a flavour party in your mouth. Plus, it’s perfect for the summer! Bring some Caribbean in your life. 😛 Enjoy!
Canned Mixed Bean Salad Recipe
This canned mixed bean salad recipe is the perfect spring and summer salad. Not only is it super delicious but it is incredibly quick and easy to make!
My Mama’s Pakistani saag recipe made with rapini and spinach is the best! I have adapted it to make it a complete protein packed vegan meal, by adding tofu. Hence, my vegan saag paneer 🙂
The thing is, I have been exposed to many different type of saag dishes (disclaimer: I could live off my Mama’s Pakistani saag dish for a very long time). I especially love saag that is made with rapini and spinach. Unfortunately Pakistani saag is often drenched in ghee, or clarified butter. This isn’t necessarily bad as ghee can have many health benefits, one of them being easier on your digestive track than other types of dairy. Nevertheless, it’s still dairy so if you can’t have dairy then you can’t have ghee. Never to fear though, happygutters (well, that sounds kind of strange :S), saag has just become vegan with tofu and olive oil instead of ghee. I like to call this one the “Vegan Saag Paneer” 🙂 Enjoy!
Drain tofu - I usually put it between two plates and put something heavy on it for about 20 minutes, then I drain the liquid.
Place ALL saag ingredients into a saucepan, stir and bring to boil.
Lower to low-medium and allow to cook for about 40 minutes (or about 25 minutes if you have a pressure cooker).
Check and stir it every 5-10 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn or dry out (add more water if this is the case, but don't add too much - you don't want it to be watery). You can to cook it until it is really soft and until the water has evaporated.
Remove from heat and, if you like, use your hand blender or food processor to blend it (this makes really smooth, like saag you would get at a restaurant).
While the saag is cooking, make the tarka. Place your olive oil or vegan butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the ginger and garlic just until they start to brown. Add the tarka to the saag when it is cooked and mix well.
Cut tofu into thirds lengthwise and eighths crosswise.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook tofu, stirring gently every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the tofu with the saag
Adjust spices to taste.
Tarka refers to the final seasoning of an Indian/Pakistani Punjabi dish.
This dish also freezes really well. If you do plan on freezing it, don't add the tofu to the saag. Rather, eat the tofu on the side as the tofu doesn't freeze as good.
This chickpea flour wrap is a vegan/gluten-free/grain-free person’s best friend. 🙂 I have been experimenting with going grain-free recently which my gut my has been lovin’. I eat a lot of Indian-Pakistani food (that’s where my blood is from!) and so wanted a roti replacement as I LOVE roti! Before going grain-free I would usually make my gluten-free buckwheat flour chapati/roti, but now needed a replacement.
(*Update: a reader just told me that buckwheat is in fact a seed, not a grain!
“While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.”
There is a traditional chickpea flour roti in India/Pakistan that they call “Besan Roti.” My Mom sometimes makes it and it’s delicious. The only problem though is that it is traditional quite stiff and not as malleable as regular roti. I used my Mama’s recipe as a template and adjusted it to make it more roti like. The result? Perfection. 🙂 Plus, only 2 ingredients are required! See my video and recipe for my chickpea flour wrap below.
Chickpea Flour Wrap
This chickpea flour wrap is absolutely perfect. It's vegan, gluten-free and grain-free. Plus, it only requires two ingredients. Incredibly easy to make!
I love tofu scramble. I’ve tried many variations of tofu scramble over the years but this tofu scramble recipe with nutritional yeast is absolutely amazing! Nutritional yeast is so versatile and is a vegan’s best friend. 🙂 It’s a terrific veggie/vegan dietary supplement and has a nutty (some even say cheesy) flavour. It’s also rich in vitamin B-12 and packed with protein –1 heaping tbsp has about 8 grams! Aside from it’s nutritional benefits and awesome taste, nutritional yeast is also a wonderful yellow colour! I like my tofu scramble to look like scrambled eggs (this way I get to trick the meat-eaters :P) and so the addition of nutritional yeast is perfect! This recipe came out so wonderfully delicious and satisfying – try it for yourself and see. 😉 I had it with some hummus and avocado.
This is how this vegan chicken strips recipe came about: It was a lazy Sunday morning. We hadn’t had breakfast yet and my brah (i.e. my partner) asked if we wanted to go to Hogtown Vegan in for some waffles and eggs (oh the pearls of living in Toronto! We can literally go to a restaurant 5 mins away and get “chicken” and waffles, I love this city!). Then I had a brilliant idea! I thought, “We have a waffle maker. We have tofu. We have (gluten-free) breadcrumbs. Omigod, I can make my own chicken and waffles!”
Needless to say, the vegan chicken strips recipe was born. 🙂
I’ve always wanted to know how to make a curry pie. I never made one before and have been curious. My friend has recently had baby number 3 (that’s right folks, THREE babies!!) and so I wanted to bring her over lunch. She also asked to make her some super healthy food that she could freeze for later (she also has IBD issues!) and so I was on the search for healthy freezable meals. I made her some hearty soup, dal (indian lentils), both of which is easily freezable, and then decided to experiment with a curry pot pie. It was a success! Plus, it freezes so well. 🙂 Check out my recipe below for how to make a curry pie.
1 can mung beans (or 1 cup dried, soaked overnight and cooked)
1 cup chopped veggies (carrots, celery, peas, etc.)
1 handful of chopped kale (or other greens), optional
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2-1 tsp chilli powder
81 fresh chilli, optional
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
When hot, add the chopped onion and sauté the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes (add more oil if spices are sticking to the pot).
Add all the veggies and cook for another 2 minutes (remember we are going to be baking them again so we don't want them overcooked).
Add the mung beans, lemon juice, salt and mix.
Adjust spices to taste.
Pour the mixture into an oven safe dish and cover with a pie crust.
*If you want the taste of the chilli but not the spice of the chilli, you can simply add a whole chilli when you add the spices. For a little spice you can hit the chilli in half, or for even more spiciness you can chop up the chilli.
This amazing chickpea pattie recipe comes from my Mama (thanks mama!). The recipe is an adaptation of a traditional Punjabi dish made with potatoes called “Aloo Tikkis” (meaning potato patties). I try not to eat too many potatoes and so I asked my Mom to make it with chickpeas. She did and it was delicious. 🙂 This chickpea pattie recipe is filled with indian spices so get ready for your mouth to explode with spicy amazingness!
Ingredients for Chickpea Pattie Recipe
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 2 cans of 15 ounce chickpeas)
2-3 green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp of chat masala, optional
1/4 tsp of chilli powder, optional
1/2 of a fresh green (or red) chilli, optional
1-2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
3 tbsp of ground chia + 1/2 cup water
4 cup greens (baby spinach, kale, etc.), optional
Directions for Chickpea Pattie Recipe
Combine the 3 tbsp of ground chia with the 1/2 cup of water in a bowl and set aside.
Wash & cook the chickpeas until they are super soft (you will have to mash them by hand, so the softer they are the easier it will be for you).
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain any excess water and set aside.
Grease a baking sheet and preheat oven to 400.
Chop the green onion, fresh cilantro and greens, if using, and set aside.
Now it’s time to use your mom arms, yoga arms or if you are like me, your slightly weakling arms. 🙂 With a potato masher (or fork if you don’t have a masher), mash the chickpeas. You want to mash them just until you can’t see any more whole chickpeas. You still want them to keep their form. You don’t want to use a food processor because they will get too soft and won’t form properly into patties.
Add all of the spices and the chia mixture to the chickpeas and mix with a spoon until everything is nicely combined.
Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop up the chickpea mixture and place onto your greased baking sheet. Use your fingers to flatten your patties until they are about 2-3 inches thick.
Bake at 400 for about 30-40 minutes, flipping them mid-way through.
Enjoy them in your salad, in your burger, in a wrap or on their own!
You can pan fry them right before you eat them so that they are nice and crispy.
These freeze really well, so feel free to wrap them up and freeze them once they are cool.
Are you ready for this? Vegan butter chicken sauce? Ahhh my gawdd! It was so so so delicious and so so easy! I will be making this again again! My only regret is that I didn’t make more! I had a number of friends stroll in the day I made this vegan butter chicken sauce and everyone of them loved it (and none of them are even vegan). 🙂
I want to make this again and eat this right now. 🙂
The picture here doesn’t look super saucy but not to worry! I’ve adapted the recipe to double the sauce and that’s what I have shared below.
Ingredients for Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup soaked cashews
2 tbsp olive oil (or vegan butter)
2 tsp freshly ground/grated ginger
2 tsp freshly ground/grated garlic
1 tsp garam masala
4 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns
2 inch piece of cinnamon
1 cup tomato puree (from the can)
1/2 – 1 tsp red chilli powder
2-3 fresh green chillies, optional
salt, to taste
fresh coriander to garnish, optional
1 block tofu
1 tsp of sugar, optional (I didn’t add this but “traditional” butter chicken often includes this)
Directions for Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce
Soak the cashews (you can do this for however long you like. I have a high powdered blender so I usually skip the soaking process entirely but if you don’t have a high powdered blender, you can soak the cashews overnight or for a minimum of 30 minutes). Place the soaked cashews in a food processor / blender, add the coconut milk and blend them until they are completely smooth. Set aside.
Drain tofu and prep tofu. I usually do this by placing it between 2 plates, putting something heavy on top, and letting it sit for about 10-20 minutes. If you would like a “meatier” tofu texture, you can then bake the tofu after it’s drained on a greased baking sheet/parchment paper. Bake it for in about 30 minutes on 400 degrees, flipping mid-way through.
Heat the olive oil (or vegan butter) in a large pan over medium heat.
Add the green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon.
Sauté for a couple of minutes then add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for a couple of more minutes.
Add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, and fresh chillies, if using.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil (you can add more water if you find the mixture sticking to the pan. I did not do this though).
Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the tofu and simmer for another five minutes or so. Add the coconut milk & cashew mixture.
Sigh, vegan winter salads….the best type of salads! I love salads and eat them all year round. Eating salads is the summer is super easy and refreshing. Having salads in the winter though is not always awesome. My criteria for vegan winter salads: it has be warm and complete with protein (and, of course, delicious and easy).
I was invited to a potluck a couple of weeks ago and decided to bring a salad. In my search for vegan winter salads, I came up with so many delicious options that I decided to bookmark and share with you. 🙂
See below for my roundup for the best vegan winter salads.
All of the salads are complete with protein. The first section of salads calls for lentils, the second section has tofu and the last section has some other type of veggie protein.