Protein

Tofu Bhurji (Masala Scramble) (V)

I need to preface by saying, I love this recipe! It is so quick, easy and filling and the leftovers lasted me for quite a while. It’s a take on the traditional Indian Paneer or Egg bhurji, which usually involves crumbled paneer cheese or egg and some veggies in a tomatoey spicy gravy. The difference between this and a traditional scrambled egg is that I added a bit more tomatoes so the tofu was really soaking in a spiced almost-gravy.  It was so delicious!

Health Stuff: Now that the Whole Foods Plant Based diet has become so popularized people are always looking for a vegetarian protein source. This is one that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Specifically, it alters the texture of tofu which is the biggest complaint I’ve heard from people who eat meat. Turmeric is totally en-vogue right now too! It’s been used in my family for generations and is so good for you! It’s an antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.

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You will need:

  • 1 block of tofu (I prefer not to use the extra or super firm because I like a softer consistency)
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 med onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • Grated Ginger
  • Pinch of garam masala powder
  • Cilantro for garnish

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Prep:

  • Using a fork, crumble the tofu. Let it drain in a muslin cloth if you like, but since this recipe is slightly wet, it doesn’t matter if you skip that step.
  • Finely chop all the veggies.
  • Grate the ginger (about 1 tbsp)

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To Prepare:

  1. In a skillet, heat 2-3 tsp of oil. Add cumin seeds.
  2. When cumin seeds sputter, add chopped onions and 1 tbsp grated ginger and green chillies to taste.
  3. When onions become transluscent add the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook down on high heat until they start to break down and get soft. Add 1 tsp of turmeric.
  4. Add peppers of choice, (I used green and red) and the tofu
  5. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Salt liberally and simmer for 5 minutes until the tofu absorbs the flavors.
  7. Sprinkle some garam masala over the top
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with chapatis, bread or rice!

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Makes 4-6 servings!

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Moroccan Lentil Soup

I’m on a cooking at home roll! I’ve been trying really hard to make protein-rich lunches and dinner without spending money to go eat out. I love lentils, but I’m a bit tired of having it the same old way, so I decided to make Moroccan Lentil Soup. Spicy, tomato-ey, and  hearty. Moroccan lentil soup is full of flavor and really fills you up. For this dish I used two different types of lentils, red split lentils, or Masoor dal, and I also used brown lentils, which are more traditionally used in Middle Eastern recipes. Brown lentils hold their shape after being cooked, but if you’d like softer lentils, feel free to soak them. The recipe takes no more than 20 mins cooking time and maybe 10 minutes of prep. And it keeps incredibly well. I thoroughly enjoyed this as my next-day lunch :). Hope you enjoy!

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You will need:DSC_9711

  • 1/4 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 4 San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed
  • Parsley or cilantro to garnish
  • Optional: Cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a pot, heat a few tbsps of  olive oil and add onions, garlic, celery and carrots
  2. Let the vegetables saute until the carrots rae slightly softened and the onions are transcluscent
  3. Crush 4 tomatoes into the vegetable mixture
  4. Now add the spices, 1 tsp of cumin powder, a tablespoon of paprika (Some people don’t like the flavor of smoked paprika, so feel free to use regular paprika), Salt, pepper and optional pinchcayenne.
  5. Stir the mixture and let the spices toast, but not burn.
  6. Crush in 4 whole San Marzano tomatoes from the can. I  had some left over and I love the sweetness of these tomatoes, so this is what I prefer to use, but you are welcome to use fresh or canned tomatoes of your choice.
  7. Add lentils and 1 cup of vegetable broth.
  8. Add water to cover and reduce heat to medium
  9. Simmer on medium for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are softened
  10. Garnish with flat leaf parsely or cilantro and serve!

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Blueberry Almond Protein Smoothie

Stufft is about eating healthy and feeling truly satisfied. I love food. I love eating  and I love thinking of recipes. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been on a detox diet this week eliminating all addictive foods such as carbs, sugar, caffeine and dairy. But I found it was just as creative! What I loved most is every morning I’d make a different type of protein shake. Many people skimp out on breakfast, but it’s actually better to have a wholesome, nutritious and packed with protein to stay energized throughout the day. I try to keep it under 400 calories.  Protein shakes also keep you full until lunchtime. Here’s a delicious recipe for Blueberry Almond smoothie.

DSC_9790Health Stuff

Blueberries: are packed with antioxidants and have been linked to improved brain function and memory. They are low on the glycemic index, which means it does not have  too much of an effect on your blood sugar. What’s really cool is that freezing blueberries does not damage anthocyanin antioxidants, so frozen blueberries are just as healthy!

Almonds: are an excellent source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high quality protein. Lower in calories than regular milk, almond  milk also has no saturated fat.  This recipe calls for both almond milk and almond butter as well as almond meal if you have it.

Chia seeds: are a great source of Omega-3 Fatty acids, great for those vegetarians who are not able to get them from fish. They also have several other essential  nutrients including protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Just one ounce has 137 calories so a little goes a long way.

Bananas: add sweetness without adding sugar. Also high in potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and B6DSC_9788

To Prepare:

To make the blueberry almond smoothie I have for breakfast, in a blender or magic bullet, combine:

  • Half a frozen banana. I freeze it overnight to keep the smoothie cold. You can add 1 banana if you like it sweeter.
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted creamy almond butter
  • 1 handful of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk
  • 1 tbsp (approximately) chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond meal
  • 1 tbsp protein powder (optional)
  • Water to fill up the rest of the cup

Blend blend blend until smooth and enjoy! 

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Spicy Red Beans with Thyme

DSC_8663Today I started a week-long cleanse to restart my system and maybe shed a few winter lbs. No processed food, no dairy, no carbs, no wheat no sugar. Sounds daunting, but  I can have plenty of veggies and protein. I feel great so far!  Here’s a dish I made a few weeks ago  and I thought this would be great to help keep me full during the week.  I usually make red beans the traditional indian way–Rajma, with garlic chillies, ginger and spices, but I thought I’d switch it up with some leftover thyme and it tastes great! I don’t think I’ll feel like I’m on a cleanse eating this!

It’s shown here with a side stir-fry of spinach, tofu, chillies, cilantro, garlic and onion. DSC_8659

Since tomatoes are not in season, I used San Marzano tomatoes, which are sweet and give the sauce a lot of body. I also really enjoy crushing them between my fingers, but you are welcome to chop it up or break it up with a spoon. I also used dried beans instead of canned beans to cut down on the preservatives Dried beans also have an incredible flavor that you just can’t get out of canned beans. It just takes a little planning ahead (soaking for 4-8 hrs and pressure cooking for approx 20 mins)

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried red beans (soaked for 4-8 hours)
  • San Marzano tomatoes (5 tomatoes)
  • Cayenne or red chili powder
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Pressure cook beans with 1 and a half tsp salt.  Allow it to come to 2 whistles, then reduce heat for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate wok or skillet, sauté 1 medium chopped onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped in 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. Crush 5 San Marzano whole tomatoes with your hands into the skillet.
  4. Add 1 tsp chilli powder and several sprigs of fresh thyme. You can either toss the thyme in and pull out the stems at the end, or pull of the leaves from the stem.
  5. Add in the beans with the water
  6. Make sure the water covers the beans by 1 inch and simmer on medium for at least 20 minutes, add salt if needed.
  7. Serve with brown rice and veggies!

Tip: when cooking beans, the longer you cook them the more the flavors come out. It tastes even better the next day and freezes and stores well!

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One-Skillet Quinoa with Sweet Potato

I love cooking, but I hate the cleanup! The cleanup often prevents me from cooking as much as I’d like to. This one-skillet quinoa helps! It’s everything you need in a meal in one pot! It has veggies, healthy carbs (quinoa and sweet potato), and protein (beans). It’s super simple and delicious and saves great if you want to have it for lunch the next day. All of these veggies are optional. Feel free to add in any veggie that you enjoy.

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You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • half a jalapeno pepper.
  • 1 small sweet potato (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 small can sweet corn, rinsed
  • a handful of cooked black beans
  • Scallions
  • cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • Cilantro
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, rinsed.
  • 1 can low sodium vegetable broth

To prepare:

  1. In a skillet, heat up a little bit of olive oil and throw in 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  2. When they start to sputter, add onions, garlic and jalapeño
  3. Add sweet potato and saute for a few minutes
  4. Add the can of tomatoes and 1 tbsp cumin powder and stir
  5. Add the quinoa (rinsed) and saute for just a minute
  6. Add 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 cup water,  black beans and corn and reduce heat to medium
  7. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  8. Stir in some chopped cilantro and scallion, season with salt and pepper and serve!
  9. Optional: garnish with Avocado slices and lime

Enjoy!

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“Superfood” Veggie Asian Brown Rice Bowl

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The weather outside is dreary, snowy and frightfully cold! I’m on a mission to eat healthier this winter, but it’s impossible to get myself to have a salad when the weather is like this, so I roasted up some veggies–brussel sprouts, kale, red onion, butternut squash, portabella mushroom, tofu and served it over steaming hot brown rice with a soy-sesame-ginger honey glaze. The red onion isn’t exactly a superfood, but it tastes so sweet and caramelized paired with the portabella. This recipe is mostly prep time (chopping veggies, making rice etc), and it is very difficult to go wrong here. So comforting and packed with vitamins and nutritiousness!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 heads portabella mushroom
  • 1 red onion cut into large slices
  • about 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • a handful of kale, chopped
  • 10-12 brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 block Baked or dry fried tofu, cut into  cubes
  • Honey
  • Fresh ginger
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Sriracha
  • Fresh ginger

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat veggies in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle some sesame oil on top and spread them out on a baking tray. The kale does not need much cooking time otherwise it will turn into  chips and the tofu has already been cooked so just needs to be warmed up at the end. Reserve these two for later.
  3. Bake the veggies 20 minutes. Remove the tray and add the tofu  and kale. Coat the kale in a bit of olive oil.
  4. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with brown rice topped with glaze

For the glaze:

  1. In a saucepan whisk together4 tbsp soy sauce, 5 tbsp water, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp sriracha sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and grate 1/2 inch  nub of ginger into it.
  2. Bring to simmer on medium heat
  3. Drizzle over veggies

Serves 4

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Stufft Poblano Peppers with Goat Cheese and Crumbled Tofu

Over the break I wanted to treat my parents to a nice, healthy meal that was a treat for the eyes and the tummy. My cousin Vika had made this really yummy dish over Thanksgiving, that really was the highlight of the meal. His dish had charred poblanos and was stuffed with peppers, beans and goat cheese. I decided to make a variation of this and give it more substance using crumbled tofu! It passed the test. Even my little sister, who is a huge critic of health food loved it!

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Crumbled tofu has no flavor but has an interesting  texture. It’s basically just regular extra firm tofu that you crumble using a fork. Tofu has very little flavor so be sure to use plenty of salt when doing this and wring out excess water using a cheesecloth. Lay the tofu out to dry before using.

**TIP: This works great as a vegan/Indian vegetarian alternative to scrambled eggs. DSC_9408

 

 

I broiled the poblano peppers and stuffed them with a mixture of tofu, beans, veggies and goat cheese and served it in a tomatillo sauce. (Also super simple to make but will post a recipe in another post.

All in all, a protein-packed, healthy, spicy delight! Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • Extra firm tofu (1/4 of packet crumbled)
  • 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 orange pepper chopped
  • Canned sweet corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • About a 4 oz goat cheese packet
  • Assorted beans (I had some extra from other recipes but I just used a handful of garbanzo and a handful of black beans)
  • Cilantro

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Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 400-425
  2. On a baking sheet spray olive oil on peppers and
  3. Crumble the tofu and let it sit  on a towel to remove some of the liquid.
  4. Prepare any veggies you will be using

Directions

  1. Broil the peppers for about 15 minutes turning  the peppers about half way. When done, the peppers will have a nice char, but not too charred
  2. Once the peppers are cooled, gently slice the pepper on one side lengthwise so that it can be stuffed. Remove veins and seeds. Remove excessively charred skin gently.
  3. In a wok or saucepan  saute peppers. Add the tofu and let it brown slightly. Mix in beans, corn and goat cheese. Depending on the consistency you can add more goat cheese. Taste to make sure the mixture is seasoned with enough salt and pepper.
  4. Grab the pepper in one hand and spoon the mixture in with the other hand. It should be enough for 4 peppers.
  5. Garnish with salsa and serve with warm Tomatillo salsa.

Serves 4

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