/* Google Analytics */

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Menu 3: Mashed "Potatoes", Babaganoush, Chickpea and Kale soup, Tempeh Tikka Masala, Sweet Potato Falafel...

Over the holidays, my cousin Rupal was crowned my mother’s new favorite nephew.

Why, you ask? (Especially if you are one of my mother’s many other nephews, angling to be in her good graces.)

His recipe for babaganoush earned him the honor – which I’m not so sure he’s happy about, since once he made the dish, he was “promoted” to her official sous chef, squeezing fresh orange juice for fifteen people, making chocolate chip pancakes with just the right thickness, and adjusting her recipe for hummus. At the end of Rupal’s trip, my mom expressed that our Florida home is open to him anytime he needs a vacation (from Austin), and insisted that he visit often.

The best part of all of this is that I’ve included Rupal’s babaganoush in this week’s menu. Speaking of which, here’s what I’m eating this week:

Chickpea and Kale Soup
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Tempeh Tikka Masala
Babaganoush wraps
Sweet Potato Falafel

The menu:
The weekly menu is a plan for cooking and eating – so that you use things while they are fresh, have variety in your daily set of meals, and know exactly what to cook or prepare each night. It also takes away the stress of thinking about what to do after work each night.

Dinner: Chickpea and Kale Soup with Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”
Cook: Soup, Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”, Marinate tempeh

Lunch: Chickpea and Kale soup, Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”
Dinner: Tempeh tikka masala with naan
Cook: Tempeh tikka masala with naan, Babaganoush

Lunch: Babaganoush wrap
Dinner: Tempeh tikka masala with naan
Cook: --

Lunch: Tempeh tikka masala
Dinner: Chickpea and Kale Soup, Babaganoush wrap
Cook: Sweet Potato Falafel

Lunch: Sweet Potato Falafel
Dinner: Babaganoush wrap, Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”
Cook: --

Lunch: Sweet Potato Falafel

The recipes:

Chickpea and Kale Soup
In my browsing of vegan food blogs, I came upon Fat Free Vegan – which for some of you translates into “no taste, are you kidding me?” – but really, Susan Voisin, who writes the blog, combines great flavors and high-nutrient foods to make her healthy dishes. She also writes that her blog is called “Fat Free Vegan” because she avoids cooking with fats like oil, margarine, or shortening. She does, however, cook with avocados, nuts, seeds, and the occasional bit of sesame or olive oil for flavor. (“Oil Free Vegan” just didn’t have the right ring to it.) She has generously agreed to allow me to link to her recipes, and so here’s the first Menu Drawer feature from her blog.

Click here for the Chickpea and Kale soup recipe and to view photos of the dish.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

I’ve heard that this is a delicious (and much healthier) substitute for mashed potatoes. Much like the tofu/pine nut “ricotta” from last week, most tasters can’t even tell the difference.

In this recipe, substitute 1 ¾ cups of vegetable broth for the broth listed.

Click here for the Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” recipe.

Tempeh Tikka Masala
When I became vegan, one of the things that I missed most was paneer tikka – especially the way my cousin Amit makes it on the grill. So, I was excited when I saw this recipe.

For the three cups of cauliflower florets required, I use frozen florets – just to eliminate the need to chop up another head of cauliflower. In addition – this recipe is not vegan because it calls for buttermilk. So, I substitute the buttermilk with Silk brand soy creamer. I also don’t plan to make the raita this week, and just eat the tempeh with naan or brown rice. I’ll do steps 1 and 2 of this on Sunday, so I just have to bake it come Monday night.

Click here for the Tempeh Tikka Masala recipe and to view photos of the dish.

Note: After making dish, I wasn't a big fan. I didn't really enjoy the tempeh, and found that my idea for a buttermilk subsitute wasn't the greatest - the sauce was too watery and didn't thicken the way I imagine it would with buttermilk. So, I suggest trying it with tofu or seitan, instead of tempeh. And, secondly, I don't recommend this dish for vegans - if you're vegetarian, it might work well if you stick to the buttermilk.

Babaganoush Wraps
The key to this is baking the eggplant with the garlic cloves inside of it.

Also, in terms of logistics, I’ll be doing this on Monday night while I’m also baking the Tempeh Tikka Masala. If you want to play it safe, make the tempeh, then increase the temperature to 425 and roast the eggplant. If you’re willing to take some risks in the interest of saving time, do both at 400 degrees. (The tempeh is supposed to bake at 375, and the eggplant is supposed to bake at 425). You may have to bake the tempeh for less time because of the increased temperature, and the eggplant for a bit more time (45 – 50 minutes). Just keep an eye on both, adjust the time as you see fit, and you should be fine.

You may want to add more or less of the lemon, salt, cumin, etc. depending on your taste. Start with what’s listed, and add more if you need to.

Finally, per my cousin’s advice, babaganoush will not taste just right until it’s been refrigerated for at least 4-5 hours (I refrigerate it overnight) and all of the flavors sink in. So, this will taste best when you take it out the next morning to put it into your wrap for lunch.

My cousin Rupal’s recipe for Babaganoush:

Ingredients for babaganoush:

1 eggplant
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Ingredients for wrap:

Lavash bread
½ cup of mesclun greens
1 small tomato, chopped
½ small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
Handful of sprouts (optional)
Kalamata olives (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Cut six clove-shaped holes into the eggplant (two rows of three, going around the eggplant). Stick a clove of garlic into each of the holes. Place the eggplant on a baking dish or sheet.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, until the eggplant looks destroyed, and is entirely sunken in.
4. Remove from the heat and let the eggplant cool for about five minutes.
5. Cut the eggplant in half, and using a fork or a spoon, scrape all of the insides (make sure to get all of the garlic cloves!) into the food processor.
6. Chop up about 1 tablespoon of the roasted eggplant peel, and add that to the food processor.
7. Add in the salt, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and tahini, and pulse until the babaganoush is smooth.
8. Transfer to storage container. Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate overnight.
9. Serve with pita triangles, vegetables, or inside of lavash bread with your choice of following ingredients:
Mesclun greens
Red onion, chopped
Tomato, chopped
Cucumber, peeled and chopped

Sweet Potato Falafel with Yogurt Tahini sauce
This recipe makes enough for about 20 falafel balls, which I think might be too much for me. So, I’m going to halve all of the ingredients as I am cooking, to make only ten. I still may have leftovers, in which case, this week’s menu is also giving me lunch for Saturday.

Click here for the Sweet Potato Falafel recipe and photos.

This week’s grocery list:
This list includes everything you would need to make all of the recipes this week. Check your pantry and refrigerator before you go shopping and cross off things that you already have. If you’ve been making some of the previous menus, you should already have some of these items (i.e. tahini and most spices) and not need to buy them.

2 large lemons
1 lime
2 bulbs, garlic
1, 2-inch piece fresh ginger
1 medium sweet potato
1 bunch, parsley
1 bunch, green onions (chives)
1 large bunch, kale
1 head, cauliflower
2 carrots
1 medium cucumber
1 large eggplant, but long and lean – not the ones with the fat round base
3 small tomatoes
2 small red onions
2 medium yellow onions
1 large yellow onion
2 cups mesclun greens
1, 4 oz package sprouts (optional)
¼ cup Kalamata olives (optional)

Oils, Spices, Condiments
1 bottle of tahini (smallest available)
Cayenne Pepper
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Ground ginger
Bay leaves
Tandoori spice blend
Vegetable bullion cubes
Olive oil

Canned and Bottled Goods
1, 15.5 oz. can of tomato puree
3, 15.5 oz. cans of chickpeas

Dry Goods
1, 4 oz. container of flax seeds
Chickpea flour
Baking powder
Sesame seeds (optional)
1 package of lavash bread
1 package of 4 naans

1 small container, soy yogurt
1 pint of Silk soy creamer
1, 8 oz. package of tempeh
24 oz. frozen cauliflower florets

No comments:

Post a Comment