Deliciously quick & easy vegetarian/
Grilled Tofu Steaks with Quinoa
I recently tried this delicious Grilled Tofu on Quinoa at the Food For Thought Cafe at the National Museum of Singapore. I'm not usually a fan of quinoa but to be honest, this was quite delicious. Quinoa was not cooked plain but with veg stock and it was topped with a vegetable tomato gravy and again topped with the grilled tofu. Its vegan and gluten free too! The portion size was quite small for a whopping $16 but its a good take away recipe to try at home. The ingredients below serves 1.
Ingredients (For Flavoured Quinoa)
Ingredients (Vegetable Tomato Gravy)
1) Firstly, rinse and cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock till all the liquid has evaporated.
2) Next, grill the tofus in shallow oil. Remove them when slightly golden brown and leave them on kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
3) Start getting the ingredients of the vegetable tomato gravy ready. Add 2 tbsps of canola oil to medium sized pot and start frying the chopped yellow onion and garlic.
4) Next add the garlic herb blend spice powder and chilli flakes.
5) Add the sliced zucchini, red capsicum and shimeji mushrooms. Let them cook on medium heat for 5 mins.
6) Afterwhich, add the diced tomatoes from the can or chopped tomatoes.
7) Let the whole gravy cook on medium heat for 10 mins. Check for seasonings and add more salt or garlic herb salt, if required.
8) These are the ingredients I used for this recipe.
9) Serve the tomato vegetable stew on top of a bed of quinoa and top this with the grilled tofu steaks. Garnish with a sprig of coriander leaf.
In Singapore, I usually frequent a restaurant called The Soup Spoon for its delicious soups but today I decided to try a different dish..the Flatbread with falafel and hummus. I like flatbreads with fillings or wraps. I don't know why but there is something quite delicious and satisfying about them. Its light on the tummy, full of good for you vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocadoes, beetroot, pumpkin and we can add any plant protein to make it wholesome. You don't leave the restaurant feeling guilty for loading yourself with carbs and worrying where its going to go - tummy, arms, thighs??
Plant protein comes in various ways - grilled tofu slices, scrambled tofu, soy patties or even chickpea patties or falafel. Falafels are one of my favourite middle eastern dishes and I'm embarassed to say till today I haven't attempted to make them! I just realised oh how long I have deprived my family of this delicious protein packed patties.
So, after gobbling down the flatbread with hummus and falafel, I headed home with a conviction to make them for dinner tonight and I'm proud to say I stuck to my conviction. The recipe below is adapted from a website called Cookie + Kate. I have shallow fried the falafels here but you can even bake them to be extra healthy. The falafels should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft inside. One bite will tell you if you have a winning recipe.
Did I mention that these patties are gluten free and vegan? They make great party appetizers as well. You can even make them as large patties for a vegetarian burger treat!
Ingredients (yields around 35-40 small falafels)
2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup of coriander leaves
1/4 cup red onion, cut into big pieces
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsps olive oil
1-2 cups Chickpea flour or Besan flour to thicken the batter should it become too wet while processing
1. Assemble all the ingredients except the Gram flour into a food processor.
2) Process the ingredients into a half crumbly paste. You may need to add bits of water. Don't add too much lest it becomes too wet.
3) Place the uncooked falafel paste into a bowl. Check for salt and add more if needed. If the paste is too wet, add gram flour to thicken so that its the right consistency to make the patties.
4) Take a flat pan and heat 2-3 tbsps of canola oil. Using your hands, take a tablespoon size paste and roll it into a ball, flatten it and place it on to the heated oil on the pan. Do the same for a few more and shallow fry the falafel patties in batches.
5) When brown, turn and cook the other side. Remove from fire and drain the oil on kitchen paper towels. Serve warm with a fresh garden salad and piping hot vegetable soup. That's what I served my family for dinner tonight. Needless to say, it was a winning dish with my family!!
'Revihosoupa' or 'Revithia' is a traditional Greek vegan soup that has origins, well from Greece. Usually served during cold wintery evenings to warm our soul and body. With winter fast approaching in other parts of the world and Singapore having wet I-don't- want-to-step-out rainy evenings, this soup could not have been introduced at a better time.
Traditionally, this soup is made using dried chickpeas soaked overnight and boiled the next day in vegetable stock. This process takes a little longer but it will definitely taste better. So go for it if you have the time on hand. Canned chickpeas make a suitable substitute if you are pressed for time. This recipe requires very few ingredients and most of them will be readily available in your kitchen. I have not used any potato but you could add it (cubed) as well to further thicken the soup.
It serves as a wholesome meal on its own with sufficient protein and because its thick and creamy, it rests quite snugly in our belly soothing us into deep hibernating sleep. Serve with a couple of crusty bread on the sides. You may need some chilli flakes for heat, if you are an Asian!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 tbps olive oil
1 medium onion (yellow or red), chopped finely
1-2 sprigs thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 litre veg broth
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cans of chickpeas (400gm each)
Salt & Pepper
Extra Olive oil, sprig of thyme for garnish
1) Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, and fry the bay leaf and thyme leaves. This will be followed by the chopped onion.
2) Add the veg stock and season with salt & freshly ground pepper. Also add the 1 tbsp lemon juice at this point and let it come to a boil.
3) Add the drained canned chickpeas and simmer for 10 mins.
4) Take half the soup, blend it to a smooth batter and pour it back into the pot where the other half is still simmering.
5) Serve hot with a swirl of olive oil, extra ground pepper, chilli flakes (if using) and thyme leaves for garnish.
Bulghur Wheat is a wholewheat grain made from durum wheat that has been cracked open and precooked partially. Bulgur is very commonly consumed in European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
As a wholegrain, bulgur wheat is naturally high in fibre and is a low fat, low calorie vegetarian and vegan food ingredient. It is not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. Using bulgur wheat in a simple mediterranean salad is a great way to fill up with wholegrain and vegetables.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 cup cooked bulgur wheat (roughly 75 gm uncooked )
1/2 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup yellow capsicum
8 olives, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
6-8 baby spinach leaves
12 cubes of feta cheese
Salt & Pepper to season
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1) Prepare the bulgur as stated in the box. It is usually quite simple - empty 75gm of the uncooked bulgur into a bowl. Pour around 100ml boiling water and leave it for around 10-15 mins. Season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar and fluff it up with a fork.
2) Get all the other ingredients ready.
3) Arrange them in a systematic way and serve. Told ya it was a simple salad!
We all love hummus at home. Hummus - the creamy protein-packed paste that is made primarily from mashed chickpeas which can be used as a dip or a spread.
History of the Humble Hummus
According to ancient scriptures, it was first consumed in Egypt around the 13th century but it was very different from what we having today. Early Egyptians omitted tahini and garlic and used pickled lemons, herbs, spices and other nuts instead. It was only during the 16th century that the Mediterraneans started consuming the way we do today. It is so popular all over the world and its not surprising that restaurants have sprung up recently dedicating their menu to this humble but highly nutritious dip/spread - namely Hummus Grill in Philadelphia, Hummus Cafe in Seattle and many more.
Hummus Health Benefits
Hummus, with its protein rich chickpeas, highly wholesome EVOO, raw garlic and calcium rich sesame seeds in its tahini, is packed with many health benefits. It
Basic hummus consists of chickpeas, tahini (which is essentially ground roasrted sesame seeds), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. I wanted to make a version with cilantro (coriander) to see how it would turn out. I used only 1/2 cup which gave a faint green shade to the hummus and a hint of cilantro flavor. I believe it will be even more delicious with a full cup.
Ingredients (yields 2 cups)
1 can of garbanzo beans (15 oz)
2 tbsp tahini
3/4 cup EVOO
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
Salt per preference
3-4 tbsps water
Extra EVOO, cilantro leaves and a dash cayenne pepper for prettying it up
1) Put everything into a food processor and blend. Please don't make the mistake of putting the ingredients into a blender, like I did. It took a long time to blend it to a smooth paste. Only use a food processor.
2) Remove from food processor, pour it into a shallow serving bowl with a coloured interior for that extra impact. Swirl EVOO, add a dash of cayenne and place the coriander leave in the center.
Serve with your fav dip chips or on your wrap as a spread. It's really delicious. You won't regret trying out this super easy recipe.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.