Saag (Spinach) & Tofu

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Another saag recipe! This one is a definite competitor to my previous one

I am doing this thing where I’m comparing my take on Indo-Pak dishes (namely the Punjabi style I learn from my Mom) to recipes I find on the web. Some are hits and some are misses, but worry not, I only share the hits 🙂

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 14-ounce package water-packed firm tofu, drained
2 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 onion sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pound baby spinach
1 cup (dairy free) yogurt of your choice – I am digging goat these days
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Directions

1. Cut tofu into thirds lengthwise and eighths crosswise. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring gently every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, ginger and mustard seeds and cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add spinach in batches small enough to fit in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until all the spinach has been added and has wilted, 4 to 6 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, curry powder, cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add to the pan along with the tofu and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
4. Add lemon juice and adjust spices to taste.

Adapted from eatingwell.com

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Cholay (Chickpea curry)

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Cholay have to be one of my fave Indo-Pak dishes and is definitely one of my go to quick and tasty meals. Serve with either wheat-free roti or you choice of grain with a side of greens.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tomato (optional – I don’t like to use them often because I try to stay away from the nightshades)
2 small chilli pepper, cut in half (use less if you like mild)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 cumin powder
1.5 coriander powder
1.5 garam masala
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)

Directions 

1. Saute onions over medium heat in skillet
2. Add ginger and garlic when onions START to brown and saute for 1-2 minutes
3. Add all spices, chilli pepper, and tomato (if using) and mix
4. Add chickpeas, 2 cups of water and bring to  a boil
5. Cover and let cook for about 20-25 minutes over low-medium heat (or less if you are using a pressure cooker) or until chickpeas are soft, adding more water if needed
6. Remove from heat, mix in lemon juice and add cilantro, if using
7. Serve with your favourite type of grain or my buckwheat roti.

Enjoy!


Crispy Chickpea Patties

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These were pretty delicious my friends. I try not to eat too many chickpeas as they don’t always agree with me but I can’t help myself sometimes! These patties burst with flavour and have such a nice crunch!

Ingredients 

1 cup dried chickpeas, washed and soaked overnight
1.5 cups brown rice, washed and soaked overnight
3-4 green onions, sliced finely
ÂĽ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp ground chia
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp chickpea flour
Grapeseed oil for frying

Directions

1. Cook chickpeas and set aside
2. Cook brown rice and set aside
3. Combine 2 tbsp chia with the 6 tbsp water, set aside and let sit for about 10 mins
4. In a food processor combine 1 cup of the brown rice and Âľ of the can of chickpeas. Pulse about six times, until combined but not pureed. Add the remaining chickpeas and pulse just once or twice to break them down but leaving them in large pieces.
5. Pour out mixture into a bowl and add the remaining rice and the rest of the ingredients (including the chia and water mix). Mix well to combine.
6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil.
7. Once the skillet is hot form patties and place in hot oil. Fry in hot oil until browned, flip and brown on the other side. This should take about 5 minutes per side. You want a nice golden brown and crunchy texture on the outside.

Adapted from The Gluten Free Vegan


Kichiri

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I am back on my cleanse! Heyyyy!! I have been so excited about this! I love love LOVE eating super healthy!
Although I must admit this particular diet is more complicated than usual. I have to alternate my grains and proteins on a 3 day rotation. This means that if I have rice today I can’t have it again for another 3 days. Because of this, I have had to plan my meals with much care and well in advance, which I actually really like! Being organized is good for the soul I think. I think I will be continuing a weekly meal plan even after the cleanse is over….

Okay back to Kichiri! I dig kichiri! It’s super tasty, easy on the tummy and goes down so nice – enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup green half moong beans
2 cups brown rice, washed and soaked for 8-12 hours
2 medium sized onions
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups water

Directions

Place all ingredients in pot and stir. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for about 1 hour (checking and stirring on it every 10 minutes or so) or 20-25 minutes if you have a pressure cooker (checking and stirring every 5 minutes).


Zucchini Curry

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Fatima came over for linner (lunch/dinner of course!) 🙂 I wanted to make something quick and gave her the option of a veggie stir fry or a Pakistani style zucchini curry. Fatima likes her spices and opted for the zucchini. Turned out pretty good, check it out for yourself if you please!

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small chilli pepper (cut in half if you like it spicy)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 cumin powder
1.5 coriander powder
1.5 garam masala
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
optional: 1/2 – 1 tsp chilli flakes

Directions 

1. Saute onions over medium heat in skillet
2. Add ginger and garlic when onions START to brown and saute for 1-2 minutes
3. Add all spices, chilli pepper, chilli flakes (if using) and mix
4. Add a LITTLE bit of water if needed so that it doesn’t burn (the zucchini will release a lot of water so make sure not to put too much water or will become soupy)
5. Add zucchini, cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes (over low-medium heat) or until desired tenderness, stirring every 5 minutes
6. Remove from heat, mix in lemon juice
7. Serve with your favourite type of grain or my rice roti. I like to include grilled tofu for some protein.

Enjoy!


Black-eyed beans

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I like to eat relatively simple meals. Things that are made with whole foods, are quick, tasty and happygut friendly 🙂 This meal fulfills all of these criteria.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup dry black-eyed beans soaked overnight (or any other bean e.g. pinto, adzuki, black beans, etc.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 small onion chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumuric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 green chilli whole
2-3 tbsp Braggs
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup water
optional: bay leaf

Directions 

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in pot
2. Saute onions with garlic and ginger until onions just START to brown
3. Add all spices, whole green chilli (you can cut the green chilli in half if you are a fan of spice!) and bay leaf (if using) and mix, add a little water if needed so it doesn’t burn. Let cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add soaked beans and 1 cup of water
5. Bring to a boil, cover and then let simmer on low-medium for about 35 minutes or until beans are soft stirring every 10 minutes, adding more water if needed (if you are using a pressure cooker it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes)
6. Remove from eat, stir in Braggs and lemon juice
7. Adjust spices to taste
8. Serve with your favourite grain/bread, greens and, my personal favourite: avocado (I love avocado with beans!)

I served mine with some gluten free bread (I drizzled some olive oil and dill on it), half an avo and some kale. So incredibly satisfying, try it for yourself! 🙂


Rice Roti

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My background is Pakistani and so I grew up with a lot of rotis to say the least. I used to buy the Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas as a roti substitute when I first became gluten free which worked well for a number of months (thank you for that Food For Life!). However, like other gluten free foods I was purchasing, I quickly realized that I could make it myself for a fraction of the cost.

Here is my rice roti recipe. Feel free to use it as a base and add whatever else you please. Sometimes I add onions, cilantro and spices if I’m feeling fancy (makes a dosa type roti).

Makes 4 medium sized rotis

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flower

1.5 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt (optional)

Directions

Heat oil in frying pan over medium eat. Mix brown rice flour, salt (if using)and water into bowl until smooth (no clumps). Pour a thin layer of batter onto hot frying pan (I usually use a ladle for this). Let cook for 5 minutes (or until it starts to brown), flip and then cook for another 5 minutes (or until it starts to brown).

Serve warm.