If you haven’t learned by now that I am addicted to flavors of the Asian continent, then you haven’t been paying attention. There are so many different flavor profiles, cuisines, spices and dishes to try that I worry I won’t get through them all before I die. That’s how much I love them.
So when I’m looking for something that is:
I turn to my favorite way to enjoy a vegan meal, a Buddha bowl.
Today we have what I like to call a vegan shawarma bowl.
You get a little bit of everything with a bowl. Spiced tofu steaks, spiced chickpeas, couscous and sauteed onion and bok choy greens.
This meal requires one thing: a very well stocked spice cabinet.
You’ll need everything from cumin to smoky paprika, turmeric (for the couscous water), ras el hanout, baharrat, cardamom….you get the drift, right?
The key to perfectly spiced chickpeas? Drying the beans after you rinse them. I used canned garbanzo beans here so I rinsed them twice and lined a colander with a paper towel and tossing them until dry. Then put all of your spices–salt & pepper included–in to a bowl and add the chickpeas. Toss until well coated and put on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes or until it reaches desired crispiness.
This was a last minute addition to the meal because I wanted to add something green and I wanted to use the last of the bok choy before it went bad. A teaspoon of olive oil along with a halved & sliced onion until translucent and brown, then add the greens for another minute or two.
The yogurt sauce was vegan yogurt, fresh dill & parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It was a nice cooling agent if needed, or just a hint of citrus if you don’t.
The prep time on his meal is about 20 minutes but the tofu and chickpeas go in the oven, couscous is done in 5 minutes and the greens took about 10 minutes total. It seems complicated and it tastes like it takes hours to cook…but it doesn’t.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, grab a few spices you’ve never heard of and test’em out.