Tag Archives: peppers

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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Quick and Easy Japanese Eggplant in a Green Curry Sauce

I’m not much of an eggplant person. I’ve learned to like it more over the years, but it will never be my go-to choice. But I was at the farmers market the other day and I saw these beautifully vibrant purple japanese eggplants. Japanese eggplants have a tougher, less mushy consistency. They hold their shape well and go great with asian dishes. I decided to make a quick and easy green curry. Quite honestly, this recipe is quick! I find that most of my cooking time is used with prep. In this dish I only used eggplant, and some shallots and red pepper. I served it with Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown rice.  I was super excited to use my fresh thai basil that I have growing out on the balcony as a garnish. It was delicious! If you don’t have thai basil, you can use cilantro or regular basil. This dish was a true testament to the fact that a healthy meal can be done from start to finish in under 20 minutes.

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You will Need:

  • 2 Japanese Eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a small nub of ginger (optional)
  • Green Curry Paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Soy sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Thai basil (optional)

To prepare:

  1. Cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Then cut them on the bias, meaning at a diagonal so you get nice little pretty angled pieces. DSC_0032
  2. Next, chop the garlic, shallots, and slice the red pepper.
  3. In a wok, heat some oil, add the garlic and shallots and stir.
  4. Add in the eggplants and saute for 5 minutes on high heat.
  5. Add in the red peppers and stir.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, add 1 can of coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Take a tablespoon of green curry paste and dissolve this in the milk. You can optionally grate some ginger over the top for added flavor at this stage.
  7. Reduce the flame to medium and allow the curry to simmer for another 5 minutes, adding water as necessary, depending on how you like it. The eggplants are cooked when they are no longer white, but have a more eggplanty color.
  8. Taste the  curry and make sure it has enough salt.
  9. Sprinkle some chopped or julienned thai basil over the top and serve with steaming brown rice!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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Vegan “Egg” Scramble

It looks like egg…it tastes BETTER than egg! And it’s vegan! I have a beautiful vegan friend who inspired me to read more about veganism and animal rights and really opened my eyes to all of the issues involved. While I haven’t yet made the leap to veganism, I am trying my best to make more vegan choices and experiment with vegan alternatives to my favorite foods! And one of those foods is eggs! I live in DC, and love going out to brunch or making brunch on the weekends. This recipe is SO delicious, and packed with veggies. Super simple to make too! The eggs are made from crumbled tofu and the yellow color comes from turmeric and paprika.

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Health Stuff: Turmeric is an extremely healthy indian spice that has tons of medicinal properties. Curcumin, the main active ingredient and it is an anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties too.

You will need: dsc_68671.jpg

  • Veggies: I chopped a quarter of each veggie -onion, red pepper, green pepper. A small piece of zucchini and squash and 2-3 mushrooms sliced.
  • 1/2 a block of tofu. Avoid extra firm or super firm. The softer tofu’s give it a more egg-like consistency
  • garlic (or garlic powder), paprika, turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro  and soy cheese (optional) to garnish
  • Optional: you can grate in some ginger to make it a bit spicy

 

To Prepare:

  1. Crumble the tofu. Using a fork break the tofu up into little crumbles DSC_9408
  2. Chop the veggies finely. I used the ones I had on hand, cut a small amount of them  and saved the rest for later.
  3. Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add in the onions and let them saute for a minute
  4. Add in the peppers and saute for another 2 minutes
  5. Add in the tofu, and stir it in well.
  6. Season with salt, add 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp  paprika. Add garlic powder if you didn’t add fresh garlic. This is the point where you can choose to grate a little ginger in. But this step is optional. I usually avoid it for a more classic taste.
  7. Add in the squash and mushrooms and let it cook for a couple minutes until tender, stirring constantly.
  8. If you feel the tofu has dried out too much, unlike actual eggs, you can add in a few tbsps of water and let it simmer out a bit to get the right consistency.
  9. Sprinkle in a little soy cheese. I buy mine at Trader Joes and it’s great! Stir it in and garnish with cilantro and serve!

Prep time: 15  Cook time: 10

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Massaged Kale and Quinoa Salad

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry for the delay! i just started a new job and have been busy adjusting to the new schedule. One thing that I’ve been making a point to do, is to pack my lunch almost every day. This helps me save money, but also ensures that I’m getting healthy food with good quality ingredients. I tend to keep my lunches light to avoid the afternoon slump. This Kale Quinoa salad can be quite filling though! Feel free to add proteins, like chick peas, or boiled egg for a more filling meal. I just tossed this with a simple lemon vinaigrette, but tastes great with balsamic too!

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Chilled Gazpacho

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The weather lately has been so unpredictable lately! A few days ago it was 90 degrees, and then yesterday it went down to 50! Well now that Memorial Day is coming up looks like the weather is just going to get hotter and hotter.

Gazpacho was one of the first recipes I learned how to make when I first started cooking. It is so cooling and refreshing, and packed with veggies so it’s good for you! Here’s my recipe for a pretty simple Gazpacho soup.

You Will Need:

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2  medium-large vine-ripened tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 medium English cucumber, seeds removed and peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic (3 if you want it really sharp)
  • 2-3 slices of any kind of bread. I used multigrain.
  • 2.5- 3 cups of tomato juice or v-8
  • A splash of white vinegar
  • Olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
  • A blender ( I used  a Ninja)

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To Prepare:

  1. Chop up the veggies into large chunks
  2. Fill the blender half way with veggies and start pulsing 2-3 times.
  3. You might need to stir. Break in pieces of the bread.
  4. Add tomato juice and pulse until all the vegetables have been incorporated and are grainy, but not pureed.
  5. Season with vinegar,salt and pepper. Adjust as needed.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors set in.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil before serving and enjoy!

Tip: When pulsing, add the garlic and onions last so that they don’t overpower the dish. Different people have different preferences and add as much as you can handle. This also tastes great topped with avocado. But what doesn’t taste great with avocado!

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Lentil and Mushroom “Taco” Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Avocado Lime Sauce

I can’t get enough of these lettuce wraps! The recipe I made was supposed to feed four, but the two of us finished it off at once! I’ve been  low-carbing it lately–don’t ask why. For the recipe I used Boston Bib Lettuce, because they are so pretty, but you can use regular taco shells, tortillas, or iceburg lettuce. The “tacos” in this recipe are made out of lentils and cremini mushrooms, with red pepper and onion. It has a nice hearty feel to it without using the meatless crumbles which are mainly gluten and not very nutrient-rich. I used my own taco seasoning for this recipe!

DSC_0122The taco seasoning was made from:

  • 2 tbsp Paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp  cumin powder

Use any combination of these ingredients and it tastes just like taco seasoning from a pouch, without all the preservatives and sodium.  I topped this with a creamy avocado lime sauce and a side of home-made pico de gallo. The pico was just onion, tomato, a little bit of jalapeño and cilantro, lime and salt.  Delicious! I’m definitely making more!

For the Tacos:

You Will Need

  • 1 cup cooked lentils. (soak cook the lentils beforehand in a little bit of vegetable broth, or  just water and salt)
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper , chopped
  • A handful of sweet corn (I used well-rinsed canned in this recipe)
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Cilantro
  • Optional: Half a jalapeno for spice

To Prepare

  1. In a saucepan,  heat up a few tbsps of olive oil and drop in 1-2 tsp of cumin seeds
  2. Allow them to sputter and add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add the Bell pepper and  jalapeño and saute for a minute more.
  4. Add the spice mixture: 1 tbsp garlic powder,  2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp onion powder and salt as desired. Be careful not to let this burn. Stir quickly and add the next ingredients.
  5. Add the lentils and a half a cup of water and let it simmer.
  6. Add in a handful of sweet corn. Stir, adding water if needed.
  7. Let this simmer, adding water whenever necessary for about 10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve! DSC_0135

For the Avocado Sauce:

You will need

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Lime
  • Cumin Powder
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Salt n’ peppa

To Prepare

  1. In a bowl, mash 2 extremely ripe small avocados with 3-4 tbsp greek yogurt, the juice of half a lime
  2. Mix well, add a tsp of cumin powder, salt and pepper
  3. Add water or lime juice until you reach your desired consistency–creamy and delicious!
  4. Mix in finely chopped cilantro

Serve with pico de gallo and tacos. This makes an excellent dip too to munch on with tortilla chips!

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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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