Now that my girls are vegans, I have to replace their favourite egg scramble with an alternative for their breakfast. My younger daughter Riya found a recipe online for tofu scrambled with just turmeric powder and salt. Just turmeric and salt? Wouldn't that be so bland and boring?
So, I added my own ingredients to make it tastier. I must say it did turn out quite delicious. Serve this tofu scramble with baked beans and vegan toast and you have a complete protein packed belly filling start to the day! Now, I make this quite often as it turned out to be a favourite with my family.
Ingredients (For 4)
2 blocks of firm tofu, mashed
2 tbsps of canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1/4 of each red and green bell peppers, sliced thin
1 medium sized tomato, chopped small
1 sprig coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
1) Heat the canola oil in a large pot and fry the chopped onions for 3 mins on medium heat.
2) Add the sliced bell peppers and fry for another 3 minutes on medium to high heat. Its important the bell peppers are cooked before you add in the tomatoes.
3) Add in the turmeric, chilli powders and salt per your preference.
4) Add in the chopped tomato pieces and cook till it turns pulpy.
5) Finally add in the mashed tofu and mix well.
6) Cook till the mix is well incorporated, roughly 5-10mins on medium to low heat. Watch out for the mix sticking to the pot.
7) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm.
Kachumber is a salad dish which basically consists of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, fruits like pineapples all chopped and tossed with a lemon juice dressing. Its a good side dish which goes well with almost any main meal. I especially find that it pairs well with Vegetable Briyani. The simple light Kachumber balances the complex spice rich briyani well. The Kachumber salad can be made in advance and served just before the dinner/lunch begins. I'm not a fan of raw onions in salad because of the bad breath after. So, I have excluded it here. But, do go ahead to include a chopped onion if you would like.
1 pineapple, peeled and with the eyes removed
1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded
2 medium sized tomatoes, pulp removed
1/2 cup lemon juice mixed with a pinch of salt
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
A few mint leaves, chopped small
Chop all the ingredients into very small cubes and toss with the lemon juice.
Garnish with the chopped mint leaves and the chilli strips and serve with any main meal.
What do you do when you have a gluten free husband and vegan daughters at home? Go mad? No not really :) You improvise and tweak your recipes. Thank god for Indian food which is basically vegan and gluten free (if you do not consider the cream, ghee). Over the Easter weekend, while memorising my script for the presentation for my docent training at the Malay Heritage Centre here in Singapore, my husband requested me to do a gluten free vegan banana bread.
Now, there are many varieties of gluten free flour available today. That's wonderful to hear isn't it? I can't imagine saying this 10 years ago. But, my husband especially requested for besan flour which is the Hindi word for chickpea flour, having tasted besan nut bread during recent his trip to Bangalore, India. So, I tried it today. It came out quite alright. Not my standard banana cake but he was thrilled and even took photos of it to show to his dad in Pune, India. That's all that matters. I made it for him and he was satisfied with the end results.
I have posted the recipe here but let me warn you that there is no added sugar (you can add half a cup of brown sugar) and it carries the besan lentil taste, if you don't mind.
Yields 1 loaf
4 small baby bananas or 2 medium bananas, peeled and mashed
6 dates pitted and chopped roughly
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup besan flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup mixed nuts
Top : 2 tbsps oats and 2 dates, pitted and chopped roughly
1) Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2) Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl.
3) Mix them both together lightly.
4) Spray a loaf tin with olive oil/ canola oil cooking spray.
5) Pour the batter in and top with the oats and chopped dates.
6) Cook in the middle shelf of the oven for 20 mins. Remove and serve warm with a light tea.
My younger daughter has recently turned vegan. She is all of 14 years and as a mother I was and am still worried about her nutrition and her development.
Riya started her vegan quest a month ago avoiding eggs, claiming that the chickens are packed tighly in cages without any space to move around and they are stacked in levels so that the poo of the chickens above falls on the chickens below. She felt so sad for the chickens being caged this way just so that they can produce eggs for us. Of course that jolted me. Here is my daughter who loves eggs in any form. Without much of a choice, I agreed and persuaded her to go egg free but still have milk products. She was fine with that for a month.
Last week, she read that cows are impregnated purposely with sperms so that they get pregnant to produce milk. The cows are always pregnant! Imagine being always pregnant throughout your childbearing years? That got her all riled up. Her fight for these poor animals who are being managed inhumanely skyrocketed. The many videos and posts in Instagram supporting vegan lifestyle didn't help as it only made her more wilful. She couldn't stand to watch us having milk and eggs and started trying to convince us to go vegan too. She even went on to say that she will not date a guy who eats meat! 'Imagine kissing him after he eats beef or pork? Ew!!' She has stopped all makeup that tests on animals and is now against all leather products as well. She wants to become a vegan activist when she grows up. That's my spirited younger daughter! My thoughts are why wait till you grow up? Why not start a vegan group for teens in Singapore? I hv pitched my ideas to her. Let's see where she takes them.
I was against her veganism at the beginning as I was worried about her development but now after seeing how passionate she was about these poor animals, I only can support her and ensure her growing body's nutritional demands are met in other ways. She has become more conscious of what she is eating and ensuring that there is enough protein through nuts and tofu. I supplement her diet with multi vitamins which she now takes without complaining. Her junk food bingeing has stopped as well because she discovered there is milk in all cookies and snacks.. My chips packets remain untouched and unopened for so long. She claims she has lost all taste for junk food. She is so mature and serious about this whole issue that I'm surprised how could she be only 14?
I have scouted around for special vegan bread for her ( did you know that all baguettes are vegan?!), special vegan ice cream etc. I also found out there are special supplements for vegans. Fish Oil from algae and flax seeds. Thanks to my docent friend and also a vegan advocate Christine Zeng.
But there is always the nagging worry at the back of my mind about her health. Will she recover quickly when she falls ill? What about when she reaches child bearing age? Only time will tell.
My first vegan recipe I'm featuring, after this development at home, is vegan pancakes. They don't taste like the usual with butter and eggs but it passed. Riya appreciated the fact that I'm making special dishes for her to support her vegan diet. Should I ask for more?
Ingredients (6-8 large pancakes)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tbsps fine sugar
3/4 cups canola oil
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries, rinsed
1. Mix the dry ingredients, followed by all the wet ingredients. Whisk well.
2. If the batter is too thick, add more soy milk to thin it.
3. Add the blueberries.
4. Heat a small frying pan, drop a few drops of canola oil and swirl them around the pan.
5. Once the pan is hot pour enough batter to coat the base of the pan. Drop a few drops of canola oil on top, cover and cook on medium heat till you see the sides cooked with holes all around.
6. Flip and cook the other side, this time uncovered. It should turn golden brown on both sides.
7. Serve warm with maple syrup.
'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.
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.