One of the things I’ve learned over the past year of nonstop cooking, is that you can have a simple meal that’s full of flavor and doesn’t require a lot of hard work. How?
Simple, you just have to step outside of your cuisine comfort zone. For me, that’s no problem. I lived in Los Angeles for many years where I was able to take advantage of all that Mexican and Mexican-American fusion cuisine has to offer. Then there was Germany, which gave me a great appreciation for sauerkraut that I didn’t have before. No to mention the flammkuchen, the beer and all the myriad ways there are to enjoy the King of vegetables, potatoes (click here for my potatoes two ways recipe). And now there’s Romania, where I’ve had plenty of exposure thanks to living with a Romanian born man for more than 17 years, but being here in the country, it’s different.
My long-winded point? Trying new things is good for the palate and good for you. How else can you take a simple dish like texture vegetable protein and couscous, and turn it into a mouthwatering dish?
All you need is the will to try and a fully stocked spice cabinet.
The ingredients in this dish are pretty simple: TVP, couscous, cauliflower, peanut oil, onion and bell peppers. Open up your spice rack and let the herbs and spices do the rest.
The couscous is the easiest to cook so you may be tempted to get it going first, but trust me when I tell you that you want it hot and fluffy, so wait until the last 5 to 10 minutes before you get it going. Cock the lid open just a smidge after the five minutes are up, and then fluff with a fork before you plate it up.
So what should you start with? The TVP, of course. You need to rehydrate it first and I prefer to do that with my waste free broth. For this particular recipe, I added a bit of garlic, turmeric and Ras el Hanout to the water to punch up the flavors. Let it drain for as long as you can, and then add another round of seasoning before sautéing in a heavy skillet or pan.
The onion, cauliflower and bell peppers are almost as easy as the couscous because the oven does all the work. Take some oil (optional, but I did use some peanut oil so this isn’t an oil free vegan recipe) and toss and then add more seasoning. If you can find Ras el Hanout, make your own using cumin, paprika, ground coriander, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and turmeric. Use what you have and make it work.
Plate it up and get ready to eat. See how simple this vegan recipe was?
Now, imagine making this Indian, Chinese, South American, southwest or any other cuisine that makes your mouth water.
Making easy vegan dinners is easy as long as you have two goals in mind: healthy & delicious.
If you’re not sure whether or not your dish is healthy, use a service like Cronometer.com to help you track vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.