Mujadarrah Inspired Cauliflower & Soya

I’ve been away for a while. A long while. First my husband had the flu while I was editing my latest book and then, for the very first time in my life, I was taken down with the flu as well. It was awful and an experience that I never, ever, ever want to experience again. So the blog had to take a backseat and now, I’m back. 😀

Yes, I’m calling this a mujadara even though there are no lentils in it. Sue me.

I wanted the flavors of this dish without the lentils so after a few adjustments, I was armed with tofu, a beautiful head of cauliflower and brown basmati rice, and I was ready to get the vegan mujadara started.

When it comes to cooking cauliflower, I prefer to cook it separately and usually in the oven because it gets those nice crispy edges in the oven or the air fryer. For this particular recipe, I used a combination of Indian spices and peanut oil, tossed with the cauliflower and then laid out on a baking sheet. It can take anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes in the oven, or about 15 to 20 in the air fryer, but you should use your eyes and your mouth to decide when your cauliflower is perfectly ready.

Pick a rice and cook it according to the package instructions. I used brown basmati here because I wanted a grain with a bit of a bite.

For the rest of the recipe you’ll need: rehydrated TVP or tofu if you have it handy, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili pepper and Korean chili paste. The onions should be cooked until caramelized as this will provide SO much flavor to this dish and it is a key in any mujadarrah recipe.

Cook it on the stovetop until everything is fragrant and tender. Toss all the ingredients together and heat through, and then get your yum-yum on!

Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and you’re good to go. A delicious vegan meal in less than an hour.

What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?

Twice Cooked Vegan Gobi Manchurian

As you guys know, my love for all forms of Asian cuisine knows no bounds. None. Okay well, I can veganize pretty much anything so I guess–technically–that is a boundary, but the point is that I just love the flavor profiles and I’m always happy to find something new.

Different.

Exciting.

Imagine my surprise when it was my partner’s turn to choose a meal and he chose Gobi Manchurian. I was skeptical at first, not because of the flavors, but because I cringe a little when it comes to anything that is deep fried. I’m not quite at my goal weight yet and I’ve been more relaxed about indulging in the things I love, but all that extra oil is where I draw the line.

Draw. The. Line.

But I’m a trooper. And an experimenter. So I decided to veganize it and healthy it up, and it was a challenge. Though, not as big a challenge as I anticipated, so let’s get to it, shall we?

This recipe had a few moving parts to it, but honestly it was pretty simple. Mostly.

Creamy Vegan Indian Butter Cauliflower

This week has been pretty hectic–sorry I skipped Wednesday–but I really wanted to share yet another delicious cauliflower recipe for vegans. Everyone loves to joke about the ‘glow up’ cauliflower has had lately but if you loved cauliflower back when there was just steaming, roasting, sauteeing options, you’ll love this vegan take on butter chicken.

If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant you’ve probably seen butter chicken on the recipe and thought, “Butter & chicken? No thanks.” And then you tasted it and your world was absolutely rocked.

Am I right?

Well preapare yourself for this super creamy vegan version of Butter Cauliflower.

The ingredient list on this meal is pretty simple:

Cauliflower
Jasmine rice
Tomato paste
Coconut milk (creamy, but feel free to get coconut cream if your waistline can afford it!)
Peanut oil
Onion
Ginger
Cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
Coconut oil
Garlic
Spices: turmeric, smoky paprika, yellow curry powder, garam masala, ginger powder, salt & pepper

The reason there are two types of oil on the ingredient list is because my partner loves our air fryer and decided to give the cauliflower a little crisp before tossing it on the creamy vegan coconut sauce. It takes about 15 minutes on 200C/180F in the air fryer.

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add garlic & ginger until it starts to brown and becomes fragrant. This is about when my hunger usually kicks in. Toss in the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes then add the spices (turmeric, garam masala, etc…) and cook for another 1 minute.

Add tomato paste an coconut milk, but if you don’t want this too thick or you want it more soup-like, mix it with water. Otherwise, cook until the sauce starts to thicken and reduce a little, about 15 minutes or so. Then toss in the crispy cauliflower and serve it on a bed of rice, turmeric in your rice is totally optional.

You can serve this with noodles if you want to give it an Asian flare, or just get creative with your grains and use bulgur or couscous. Whatever floats your boat.

As I mentioned earlier, thanks to the creamy coconut milk, this is a fairly decadent vegan dish as far as I’m concerned, but it was crazy delicious. Below I’ve posted the calorie content of this vegan meal for two, courtesy of Cronometer, which I use to track my meals, snacks, booze and anything else I put in my mouth and you really should too!

What’s your favorite Indian dish to veganize?

Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Peanut Sauce

I’m not one to follow trends, per se, but the upside to a particular food being ‘on trend’ means there’s a flood of new recipes to make you rethink your stance on, say…cauliflower.

Now I was never a cauliflower hater but I’ve always preferred broccoli. Then I adopted a plant based lifestyle and that began to change. Slowly. One night The Hubs made cauliflower buffalo wings and they were INCREDIBLE. So crispy and spicy and surprisingly delicious and that made me look at cauliflower in a whole new light.

And now I’ve begun experimenting with my own recipes, like today’s spiced cauliflower salad with peanut sauce. I’m calling it a salad but this is a cooked dish, served warm (or hot if that’s how you like it).

The first thing you’ll want to do is preheat the oven to 175c/350f so you can get the cauliflower going. Toss it in herbs and spices with just a pinch of olive oil so you get a little bit of crisp around the edges. I used: cumin, smoky & spicy paprika, garlic granules, ras el hanout, harissa, salt & pepper and tumeric. Toss and bake about 35-40 minutes, until nice and crispy.

Then put the water to a boil for rice and follow the package instructions. I used a basmati and wild rice blend because it’s tasty and pretty.

Okay, on to the easy part. Chop onion, ginger and garlic and add to a skillet with a splash of oil if you want. Cook until brown and then add peas, we used frozen peas because they taste better than the canned ones in my opinion. By the time you’ve done all this, the cauliflower should be done and ready to toss in the skillet.

Get a big serving spoon or a giant wooden spoon and stir in the cauliflower and rice until everything is blended.

Okay, two more things.

First, the peanut sauce. It’s simple. All you need is soy sauce, coconut sugar, powdered or grated ginger, peanut butter and lime juice. Stir in hot water, a tablespoon at a time to get the sauce to a thin enough consistency to drizzle. Once the food has been plated, just drizzle on this on top.

Second thing is…green garnish. Thin slice a scallion and a few tablespoons of mint together with a few peanuts and sprinkle on top for the final garnish.

Now, get your grub on!

We really enjoyed this dish. A lot. It was flavorful and satisfying and very calorie friendly. It’s something I’ll definitely add into the rotation.

The only thing missing was an ice cold beer or maybe some kind of tea-based cocktail.

I’ll keep you posted.