Recipes

Easy Creamy Tofu and Pea Curry (aka Matar Paneer) – Vegan, WFPB

 

As life gets busier (between quarantine ending and closing on a house), my BIGGEST cooking goal these days is to come up with super simple recipes that are both healthy and easy to make in bulk. And my latest favorite creation that fits the bill is this super simple tofu & pea curry!

It has all the creamy, comforting goodness of the authentic Indian version (called Matar or Mutter Paneer), but without any of the cheese, cream or oil. The only source of fat in this recipe, in fact, are cashews! (And if you want to get fat free with it, you could omit the cashew cream. But then… it wouldn’t be creamy anymore. 😉 )

And bonus, this version is high in protein!

This recipe is super simple, because the ONLY chopping required is cubing the tofu–everything else is just chucked into the blender.

I also cook this in bulk by doubling the recipe below (cooking times are the same)–it takes me about 30 mins of prep time for 8 meals’ worth of food!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 16oz block super firm tofu, cubed
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 1″ ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chili pepper (can also use ~1 tbsp canned)
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or sub powder)
  • Half a 15oz can tomato sauce (or pureed fresh tomato)
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp coriander
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder, or to taste*

Cashew cream:

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup water

*This will depend on the chili you use. When I use my spicier homegrown chilis, I omit the cayenne. If you use canned mild chilis, you’ll probably want to keep the cayenne in.

Directions:

  1. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, and 3/8c water to your blender, and blend until smooth. Let sit for a minute or two before opening it, as the chili will be airborne for a moment!
  2. Meanwhile, saute the cumin seeds with a splash of water until they start to turn brown, 1-2 minutes. Add the pureed onion mixture, and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, coriander, turmeric, and salt, and boil for another ~5 minutes.
  4. Add the cubed tofu and peas and stir them in gently, just as much as needed to combine everything, so as not to break the tofu.
  5. Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 2 mins, and let it release naturally for 10-15 minutes. (For stovetop version: simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the peas are tender but not mushy. Stir it occasionally.)
  6. While the curry is cooking, blend the cashew cream ingredients, and set aside. Once the curry is done cooking, gently stir in the cashew cream.
  7. Serve with rice, paratha, or naan, and enjoy!

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Recipes

Easy Thai Red Curry Lentils (Vegan, WFPB)

In my neverending quest to find recipes that are quick & easy to make, super healthy, AND also budget-friendly, I’ve found that lentil-based recipes often check all those boxes. Especially for bulk cooking, which really cuts down on the time needed per meal.

These lentils may be one of my easiest recipes yet… especially considering how flavorful they are. I know it sounds unusual to use Thai curry paste with lentils, but they taste really good together. These lentils work well on their own as a stew, or paired with rice to make them last even longer.

(I will admit, I have made even faster meals on occasion: when I needed a 5-minute lunch to bring to work on especially busy weeks, I used to just toss lentils and rice in my rice cooker, and add frozen spinach and seasoning salt. But that’s not delicious enough to write a whole post about 😉 )

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry brown or red lentils, washed
  • 5 cups water
  • 15oz can coconut milk
  • 10oz bag frozen spinach
  • 10oz sliced mushrooms; I used frozen
  • 4 tbsp red curry paste (make sure it’s vegan–I use this kind)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the lentils and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer until the lentils are soft and most of the water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Optional: sauté mushrooms in a separate pan with a splash of soy sauce (or water + salt) until they start to get tender. (If you don’t feel like sautéing them, you can just add the mushrooms raw in the next step)
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, frozen spinach, mushrooms, curry paste, and tomato paste to the pot with the lentils. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and it’s a curry-like texture, for about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve on its own or with rice, and enjoy!

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Recipes

Vegan Chickpea Shakshuka Recipe

By popular demand (according to a poll on my Instagram), I finally finalized the recipe for this shakshuka I first made a few months ago!

Or, perhaps, I should call this a shakshuka-inspired curry.

I tried shakshuka for the first time this past Christmas, because my sister-in-law made an amazing one that she kindly veganized by removing the egg and sausage!

I wanted to make one at home, and while making it, I just found myself feeling inspired to add things… chickpeas, soy curls, spinach, etc. And I loved it.

So now, I’m sharing what is essentially a hybrid between shakshuka and chana masala. It’s packed with protein, and super customizable with whatever you have on hand! I’m always throwing in different veggies at the end, depending on whatever veggies I have on hand: mushrooms and zucchini have both worked beautifully, and I imagine it would also get along very well with eggplant, green beans, and greens!

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can pureed tomato sauce (or another can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced (or sub 2-3 tsp chili powder to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 2.5 cups soy curls*
  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
  • Salt to taste
  • Extra veggies (optional)**
* If removing or substituting soy curls, omit water or add just enough to get your desired consistency. You could also use TVP, in which case you should add enough water to hydrate it.
** If adding extra veggies, make all the spice measurements heaping, or add dashes of garam masala to taste

Directions

  1. Sautee onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and garlic in a pot over medium heat for 5 mins, until onion starts to get translucent.
  2. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. If you want a chunkier consistency, leave it as is, but otherwise, blend 1/2-3/4 of it until smooth and add it back into the pot.
  3. Add spinach and all spices. Simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add chickpeas, soy curls, and water, and simmer on low while the soy curls absorb the extra water, stirring occasionally. Add water if necessary to keep it at a curry sauce consistency (that is, how it was before you added the soy curls and water).
  5. Serve with warmed pita or rice, and enjoy!

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