The weather has been a bit wonky here. Feels like summer one day and chilly the next. This is a perfect cozy meal. I wrote about this recipe a long time ago, but my very amateur photography skills didn’t display it in the best light. This is a post worth repeating.
The household (read: the husband) doesn’t eat red meat, but I don’t miss it with this recipe. The bbq sauce is worthy for vegans and meat eaters alike. Even if you’re not a big tofu fan, it’s worth making the sauce. This is a great vegan recipe to have in your repertoire.
Pomegranate molasses are called for in this recipe. You can find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but I’ve also found the ingredient quite easily in gourmet shops.
Pomegranate BBQ Tofu (from Vegan with a Vengeance)
1. Marinate the tofu in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon tamari. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes in the oven then flip the slices and bake for 15 minutes longer.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat sauté the shallots and the garlic for about 5 minutes, add the 5 spice and sauté 1 minute more. Add the rest of the ingredients in order of the recipe. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir frequently.
3. When the tofu is done, smother with the sauce and bake for 15 minutes longer. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
You do need a few spices to get the right taste. I’ve accepted this as a necessary part of Indian cooking and I’ve begun buying spices on an as-needed basis. I find if you start skipping a lot of spices, the end product becomes bland.
The recipes here are simple to prepare and flavourful. I made the tofu curry and I recommend baking the tofu first to boost the texture. The curry was easy to make and if you’re not vegan/vegetarian, this is a good base for meat like chicken. I knew this dish would turn out spicy so I omitted the teaspoon of cayenne which would have been suicide for me.
The sweet and sour potatoes even though the ingredient list is short, it doesn’t come off as bland.
Chickpea poppers. I think the oven took longer to preheat than the actual bake time. The prep work is nearly zero and it’s healthy because it’s baked, not fried. I did find the original recipe makes a large batch so next time I’ll halve it. Singla, has the chickpea popper recipe posted on her blog.
The Ripe Banana Curry is another easy one to prepare. It’s a nice change from using those over-ripe bananas for banana bread to make something more savoury.
As someone who can’t really tolerate spicy food, I found I had to tone down the recipes quite a bit. If you’re spice averse, I’d only use a fraction of what’s suggested or omitting some items completely (e.g. if a chile pepper is needed, you might not need the cayenne pepper as well). The index is a little frustrating to use and could be laid out better. They’re sorted by their title name and that makes it harder to find what you’re looking for. The banana curry, for example, wasn’t under banana or curry. It was listed under the Indian name and the title (which was a person). I’m not too familiar with the Indian names so I’d often have to flip through the book to find what I was looking for. Another thing I’d like to see is the serving size. The yield is stated, but serving sizes are my lazy way of seeing how many people it can feed. I do like how the author has included weights for some ingredients. I’d like to see more cookbook authors do this as a “large” potato is open to interpretation.
I’ve bookmarked more that I need to try (baked samosas, anyone?) and I really like how it’s health-focused without sacrificing taste.
Sneh Masi’s Ripe Banana Curry
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, peeled and diced (3/4 cup [113 g])
1 med tomato, peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups [240 g])
1-3 green thai, serrano or cayenne chiles, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch (6mm) rounds (3 cups [450 g])
1. In a deep, heavy pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the cumin and cook until the seeds sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add the onions. Cook for about 20 seconds.
3. Add the tomato, chiles, and salt. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomato softens into a slight sauce.
4. Add the bananas. Replace the lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over a bed of brown or white basmati rice.
Note: My review copy had an errata for this recipe. I contacted the author and this is the correct version.
Excerpted from Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla (Agate Publishing)
Thanks to Agate Publishing for sending me a review copy. As always, reviews are my own opinions and I did not receive monetary compensation.
I recently got the book Get It Ripe by Jae Steele. I’ve been looking forward to getting it from all the rave reviews I’ve read. This is more than just a cookbook as it goes into food choices (e.g. organic vs local), digestion, and even a cleansing and detox section.
As much as I like my refined sugars and other unhealthy treats, this book is a nice change from my usual habits and the recipes focus on whole grains and unrefined sugars. It also helps that the recipes taste good.
The banana chocolate chip muffins?
Definitely up there with the other muffins I make.
My 2 year old niece came over so we could bake cookies together. She’s allergic to eggs and dairy and I prefer feeding my niece treats that aren’t filled with refined sugar. This book is perfect for that. I chose the Flax Maple Cookies because there’s 6 ingredients and the instructions are so simple and straight forward.
I prepped all the ingredients beforehand so my niece could just pour everything into the bowl and I wouldn’t waste time measuring ingredients. She did well mixing the ingredients together, but once the batter came together she was too interested in tasting the dough to do the rest.
Verdict? She likes the cookies! My sister took home a bunch and the ones that were left here were eaten so quickly by R that I had to tell him to stop eating any more so I could take a picture of them.
Recipe here. There’s also a video for this recipe here.
I had some spelt flour on hand and for some inexplicable reason wanted to make muffins specifically using this flour. I’ve never baked anything with spelt except for some dog treats so I really don’t know why I had the sudden urge to make muffins with this.
I used a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe from Jae Steele’s book Get It Ripe. It’s a great recipe and it’s vegan to boot. No dairy means I can serve these up to my niece who is among the growing population of kidlets that seem to be allergic to something. There’s also no granulated sugar that’s used, just some maple syrup to sweeten the batter up. I used 70% Lindt chocolate chopped up and gave the muffin lovely big chunks of chocolate. If you really want something to stand out, ditch the chocolate chips and chop the chocolate yourself. It’s much much better.
This muffin is definitely a winner and gives me a reason to keep spelt flour in stock.