Warning: array_merge(): Argument #2 is not an array in /home4/mugile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/image-watermark/image-watermark.php on line 102
Main Dish Archives - Everyday Vegan Cooking

Everyday Vegan Cooking

Vegan Recipes for Everyday Meals

Category: Main Dish

Vegan Swiss Chard & Sweet Potato (Yam) Quiche

This post is going to be a little bit extensive in details. If at any time you feel that you just want to read the full recipe, just scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a printable, consolidated version of this recipe.

However, I see this post as a vehicle that will carry you through some awesome tips, tricks and cooking techniques that should help you in achieving better results while cooking other recipes that you are already familiar with and will open a window to the thought process behind creating this recipe.

So, what I’m planning to cover besides giving you an awesome quiche recipe?

  • How to create an amazing crumbly but stable pie crust (shortcrust), that you can use for any quiche or a sweet pie (with the addition of just sugar)
  • A binding and delicious vegan custard mix for quiches, savory pies and casseroles (“eggs and cream” / custard substitute).
  • How to easily separate the quiche from a pan with a loose bottom?
  • How to avoid having a runny filling in a quiche that has greens (or mushrooms) in it.
  • How to get that shiny top without using eggs.
  • And probably more.

So let’s start.

What is a quiche?

Quiche  is (from wikipedia) “...a savoury, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savoury custard with cheese, meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold. It is part of French cuisine but is also popular in other countries, particularly as party food…

From the definition above you can rightly assume that the custard part (usually cream and eggs) is the main barrier between many vegans and the perfect quiche. In addition to that, the pastry crust in the non vegan world is full of butter, that adds fat to the flour and creates a texture to the crust that semi melts in your mouth (butter is solid in room temperature and becomes liquid in your mouth) and very crumbly.

So how do we veganize the custard part of the quiche? 

Let’s start with the recipe and later break it down and explain the function each ingredient plays in this vegan custard version.

In a vitamix or a similar blender, blend:

  • 1 cup of soaked (for 3 hours) raw (unsalted) cashews (or macadamia nuts)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 200 grams (about 1 cup) firm tofu
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Flavoring:

  • 2 TBS nutritional yeasts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt (I use grey sea salt)

Blend all the vegan custard ingredients in a blender to a creamy texture

How did I arrive to the above vegan custard recipe?

The custard plays several roles in the quiche. The main role is to  bind the veggies or other ingredients you decide to put in your quiche. Second, it adds fat and “fluffy” texture (mouthfeel) that is very pleasing, soft, yet with an omelette-like bite to it. The eggs that start as a liquid, become solid and “fluffy” when heated and bind the quiche ingredients to each other. The added cream, will soften the texture of the eggs and will add fat for a more pleasing mouthfeel (just like you would do when you make a non vegan omelette).

My substitute for the binding attributes of eggs is a cashew cream (cashews blended with water). It can basically be any type of nut cream (like macadamia or even almonds), but cashews have relatively high fat content and also serve as a substitute for the fat content a non vegan recipe will get from the cream. When you blend (soaked) cashews with water to a cream consistency and then heat it up, the water evaporates and the cashews  will go back to a solid state, but since it is now spread throughout the quiche, it now has the binding attributes similar to that of an egg. So we got ourself a binder, which adds almost neutral-nutty flavor to our quiche. BTW, why do you soak the cashews? when you soak the cashews they 1. It becomes softer and easier to blend to a smoother texture 2. It become neutral in flavor.

So what’s next? Eggs also tend to expand with heat, giving you this “fluffy” texture. For this attribute of the custard, we will add about 1 teaspoon of baking powder for each cup of soaked cashews.

Let’s move on. We are still missing some fat and protein content in this vegan custard. For that we will add a bit of olive oil and some Firm Tofu. Tofu is not a must here. I got similar binding results without tofu, however, texture wise, when water content evaporates with heat, the tofu serves as a binder as well and in addition, giving the mixture a scrambled-egg-like texture. The downside of having tofu in the mix is the after taste some tofu has. This can be resolved with adding some flavor to the custard like nutritional yeasts, garlic and salt and finding a tofu that is more neutral in flavor (experiment with different brands – go for the freshest tofu you can get).

Lastly, if we would like to get the sheen we get when baking a non-vegan custard, we should add the cornstarch. When cornstarch is baked or fried, it becomes crispy and shiny. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch will give us the desired sheen.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Look at the sheen this quiche has thanks to the added cornstarch.

Ok, now what about the crust?

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour (it can be any flour, including GF flour. I used whole sprouted spelt flour)
  • 1/2 cup almonds flour / almonds meal
  • 3 TBS (of 15mL) aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup of refined coconut oil (refined coconut oil is neutral in flavor, you can use a non-refine coconut oil if you don’t mind the faint coconut aftertaste you get)
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix it all with your hand to a crumbly dough.

How did I arrive to this crust / shortcrust recipe?

The almonds flours helps a lot in achieving the desired crumbling effect of the crust. If you only use flour (and omit the almonds flour) and over process/kneed the dough,  there are high chances that the crust will be too stiff and dry, similar in texture to a cracker and will not be as pleasant to cut and eat, texture wise. The almond fine grains, are making sure that this will not happen, as they separate between the flour parts (gluten and starches). It also adds some awesome nutty flavor to the final outcome. #win

Aquafaba (AF). Well, for over a year now I use AF to sub eggs in pastry with amazing results. The AF will make the crust softer and will even help it rise a bit, just like an egg would do.

Refined coconut oil. Coconut oil is a fat that has some similar attributes to that of a butter. It does liquefy in a lower temperature than butter, but it works great in this recipe. You can use olive oil instead, however, the end result will be less “melt-in-your-mouth”. When the quiche cools down, the coconut oils solidifies and when you put it in your mouth – it melts, just like butter. If you have some time in your hand, and would like to achieve similar melting temperature for your fat content, you can melt 1 part of cocoa butter with 10 parts of coconut oil and use it in this recipe. I find it better to use in sweet pie crusts than savory crusts, though the cocoa flavor is hardly noticeable. you really have to look for it to notice it.

If you would like to use this shortcrust recipe in sweet pies, just add two tablespoons of sugar to this recipe and reduce the salt content to 1/4 teaspoon.

Shaping the crust

This crust dough, doesn’t need refrigeration before you put it in a pan. You simply crumble it onto your 10″ pie pan and press it to the pan evenly with your fingers:

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Here is how you shape some nice edge to the pie:

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Stab it slightly with a fork, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

How do you make the filling?

Now, when you already know how to make the perfect crust and the perfect vegan custard, you can go wild with the filling you choose. You can basically veganize any non-vegan recipe of your choice.

In this case, I used the following veggies:

The Yam (sweet potato)

I’ve boiled diced sweet potatoes (to avoid undercooking) in salty water. Just bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Use the same process but boil for extra two minutes, if you decide to use potatoes in your quiche.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) QuicheThe swiss chard

I’ve sauteed a big bunch of sliced swiss chard, making sure that there are no excess liquids. In this process, the chard loses about 4/5 of its volume! The same process is applicable to mushrooms in case you want to make a fried onions and mushrooms quiche.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) QuicheThe shallots

I finely sliced two shallots and placed them in a large mixing bowl.

Assembling the quiche and baking

In a large bowl, mix with a spatula your boiled yams, chard, shallots and your vegan custard.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Take your crust out of the fridge and spread the mixture evenly in the crust using a spatula.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Bake on 320F for about 45 minutes or until you see that your pie gets the desired sheen.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Place your pie on a container that is slightly narrow than the perimeter of the pie and slide the metal edge down.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Now it’s ready to cut.

Vegan Swiss Chard & Yam (sweet potato) Quiche

Some afterthoughts. I would add some roasted bell peppers to the next quiche I would made. I think it would add some nice texture and flavor to it.

Let me know in the comments what you think about this post and if you like me to post more posts in this fashion.

Guy

Here is the printable recipe:

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan Swiss Chard & Sweet Potato (Yam) Quiche
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a recipe that fits a 10" pie pan.
Cuisine: French
Ingredients
The vegan custard
In a vitamix or a similar blender, blend:
  • 1 cup of soaked (for 3 hours) raw (unsalted) cashews (or macadamia nuts)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 200 grams (about 1 cup) firm tofu
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeasts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt (I use grey sea salt)
The veggies
  • 1 large sweet potato diced and boiled in salty water for a minute.
  • 1 big bunch of swiss chard sliced and sauteed until all water content evaporates
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
The crust
  • 1½ cups of flour (it can be any flour, including GF flour. I used whole sprouted spelt flour)
  • ½ cup almonds flour / almonds meal
  • 3 TBS (of 15mL) aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • ½ cup of refined coconut oil (refined coconut oil is neutral in flavor, you can use a non-refine coconut oil if you don't mind the faint coconut aftertaste you get)
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Make the crust. Mix all the crust ingredients with your hands to a crumbly dough. Crumble the dough evenly on a pie pan with a loose bottom. Use your fingers to flatten the dough evenly to the surface and edges. Stub the bottom of the crust slightly with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring the diced yam to a boil in a pot with salty water. remove from heat.
  3. Sautee a big bunch of sliced Swiss chard until all water evaporates.
  4. shallots - finely sliced
  5. Put the yums, shallots and chard in a large bowl.
  6. Blend all the vegan custard ingredients in a blender and mix, using a spatula in a bowl with the veggies.
  7. Take the crust out of the fridge and spread the above mix evenly using a spatula.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes at 320F until the quiche gets a sheen

 

Vegan Mafrum (Boulettes) – Stuffed Vegetables Recipe

The original Mafrum or (Boulettes in Tunisia) is a meat patty nestled between slices of potatoes, then coated in flour and eggs, pan fried and cooked in a thin tomato sauce. It is usually served without any sauce on couscous or rice with your favorite north African stew or soup along any north African salad like tirshi, Msier and marmumaThis is a staple of Libyan and Tunisian home cuisine and is usually served as a part of a Friday or a holiday dinner.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

I’m eating this patty every week since I was a little child since my mom and grandmother used to make it every Friday to go along with the couscous. So….today I’m bringing you a cruelty-free version of the mafrum that by no means less tasty than the original recipe and most of the credits for this veganized recipe go to my mom <3.

You might  wonder why bother veganizing such an obscure dish, for that I’ll say that mafrum for a north African is just like a hamburger for an American, and we all know how many vegan burger recipes are out there 🙂

Before going into the details of the recipe, I would like to note that this is not a easy or a simple recipe like many of the recipes I post here; there are multiple steps in it, and each is very important for achieving the final taste and texture. The vegan version tastes very similar to the non vegan version of the patty and carries the same texture, I know that for certain because I’ve tasted the original for many years and everyone in my family who had tasted it said that it is delicious and will gladly eat it when they come to visit.

One last note: though mafrum is usually made as a patty between potatoes, you can substitute potatoes for any other hard vegetable like zucchini, eggplant, fennel, artichoke, cauliflower, carrot, dried red pepper etc’.

Ingredients (for about 14 Mafrums):

1 cup of walnuts + 2 cups of black/red bean – cooked, drained – processed in a food processor (you can use veggie meat crumbles to more meaty texture)

1 cup – finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup – finely chopped cilantro

1 big onion – diced

1 TBS of Kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

2 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 tsp – freshly ground black pepper

4 potatoes

2 zucchini

4 dried peppers

1/2 cup bread crumbs or 2 slices of day old bread (wet and squeeze out of water)

1/2 cup of chickpea or lentils flour

1 tsp paprika or 1 tsp of tomato paste

Vegetable oil for frying

Tomato

2 cloves of garlic – peeled.

Directions:

Preparing the patty mixture

1. Finely dice the onion, put in a sieve and mix with 1 TBS of Kosher salt. Add the parsley and cilantro on top of the onion and set aside. We would like to extract some of the spiciness out of the onion and soften it a bit. It will extract about 1/4 of a cup of liquids while we prepare the rest of the ingredients. Don’t skip this step, it is crucial to the final flavor of the Mafrum.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

2. Blend the cooked beans with the walnuts in a food processor until smooth. If you use veggie meat crumbles, you can skip this step, though I would recommend to wash the veggie crumbles in a sieve under some running water to extract all the spices that are in it. We have our own spices 🙂

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

In this pic you can see the ratio between the cilantro (on the cutting board) and the parsley

3. Add the following spices to our meat substitute and mix well: 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 1/2 tsp – ground coriander, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, two cloves of garlic – minced.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

4. Now, we will prepare the vegetables that we are going to fill with our mixture, there are many ways to prepare it, the best way (that requires the use of a bird’s beak knife) to hold the filling  is to create some kind of a nest for the patty as shown in the following pic:

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

If you are filling some dry pepper (one of my favorite mafrum), you will have to soften it by soaking it in hot water for about 10 minutes. If you have any vegetable leftovers, you can grate them on top of the onions and parsley, we will later use them in the patty mixture.

5. Wash the onion, parsley and grated veggies under running water and squeeze well!

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

6. Add the onion and vegetables to the bean mixture and mix well. Add the soaked and squeezed bread or the breadcrumbs into the mixture and mix again. Now you can start filling the veggies with the mixture.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

Frying the mafrum

7. Mix the garbanzo beans flour with paprika and water until it reaches a creamy texture. A good sign for the right consistency (how much water to add) is that if you insert a spoon into it and take it out, it will stay coated all around.

8. Heat oil in a pan to a medium high heat. With tow spoons, dip the patty inside the mixture, make sure it is coated all around and transfer to oil. The oil should reach about half the height of the patty.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

9. When the part that is in the oil is golden brown, flip the patty to the other side.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

10. When the patties are fried all around, transfer to a plate.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

The patty is inside these dry spicy red peppers – yum!!

 Cooking the mafrum in tomato sauce

11. Take a large enough pan that can fit in one layer all the mafrum that you would like to make. Put about 1 TBS of oil, 1 tomato – sliced, salt, pepper and two cloves of garlic and fry until the tomatoes’ flesh separates from the skin. BTW, if you made, say 14 patties, but you planning to serve only 7 during dinner, you can freeze the fried patties and cook them in a later date.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

12. Add the patties in one layer on top of the sauce you’ve just cooked.

13. Add water, leave 1/8″ (1/2 cm) uncovered with water. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

14. Remove the lid and cook on low-medium heat until all water evaporates.

Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe

 Printable recipe:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of walnuts + 2 cups of black/red bean - cooked, drained - processed in a food processor (you can use veggie meat crumbles to more meaty texture)
  • 1 cup - finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup - finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 big onion - diced
  • 1 TBS of Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • ¼ tsp - freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 dried peppers
  • ½ cup bread crumbs or 2 slices of day old bread (wet and squeeze out of water)
  • ½ cup of chickpea or lentils flour
  • 1 tsp paprika or 1 tsp of tomato paste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Tomato
  • 2 cloves of garlic - peeled.
Instructions
Preparing the patty mixture
  1. Finely dice the onion, put in a sieve and mix with 1 TBS of Kosher salt. Add the parsley and cilantro on top of the onion and set aside. We would like to extract some of the spiciness out of the onion and soften it a bit. It will extract about ¼ of a cup of liquids while we prepare the rest of the ingredients. Don't skip this step, it is crucial to the final flavor of the Mafrum.
  2. Blend the cooked beans with the walnuts in a food processor until smooth. If you use veggie meat crumbles, you can skip this step, though I would recommend to wash the veggie crumbles in a sieve under some running water to extract all the spices that are in it. We have our own spices 🙂
  3. Vegan Mafrum - Stuffed Vegetables - North African Recipe
  4. In this pic you can see the ratio between the cilantro (on the cutting board) and the parsley (in the sieve)
  5. Add the following spices to our meat substitute and mix well: ¼ tsp of black pepper, ½ tsp - ground coriander, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, two cloves of garlic - minced.
  6. Now, we will prepare the vegetables that we are going to fill with our mixture, there are many ways to prepare it, the best way (that requires the use of a bird's beak knife) to hold the filling is to create some kind of a nest for the patty as shown in the following pic:
  7. If you are filling some dry pepper (one of my favorite mafrum), you will have to soften it by soaking it in hot water for about 10 minutes. If you have any vegetable leftovers, you can grate them on top of the onions and parsley, we will later use them in the patty mixture.
  8. Wash the onion, parsley and grated veggies under running water and squeeze well!
  9. Add the onion and vegetables to the bean mixture and mix well. Add the soaked and squeezed bread or the breadcrumbs into the mixture and mix again. Now you can start filling the veggies with the mixture.
Frying the mafrum
  1. Mix the garbanzo beans flour with paprika and water until it reaches a creamy texture. A good sign for the right consistency (how much water to add) is that if you insert a spoon into it and take it out, it will stay coated all around.
  2. Heat oil in a pan to a medium high heat. With tow spoons, dip the patty inside the mixture, make sure it is coated all around and transfer to oil. The oil should reach about half the height of the patty.
  3. When the part that is in the oil is golden brown, flip the patty to the other side.
  4. When the patties are fried all around, transfer to a plate.
Cooking the mafrum in tomato sauce
  1. Take a large enough pan that can fit in one layer all the mafrum that you would like to make. Put about 1 TBS of oil, 1 tomato - sliced, salt, pepper and two cloves of garlic and fry until the tomatoes' flesh separates from the skin. BTW, if you made, say 14 patties, but you planning to serve only 7 during dinner, you can freeze the fried patties and cook them in a later date.
  2. Add the patties in one layer on top of the sauce you've just cooked.
  3. Add water, leave ⅛" (1/2 cm) uncovered with water. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and cook on low-medium heat until all water evaporates.

 

Quick and Easy Vegetables and Tofu Fried Rice

Everyone in our family likes fried rice and there are many variations on fried rice that I’m making at home regularly. The key for having a delicious Thai style fried rice is two fold: you need to fry a lot of garlic (red onions will also be a nice addition to the flavor) and you need a special soy sauce that will substitute the fish sauce. Other than that, you can add any vegetable you like and cut it however you like, whatever you see and eat in your favorite Thai restaurant will do.

In regards to the soy sauce to use in vegan fried rice I highly recommend  Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce. It has a unique flavor that really helps in achieving a Thai style fried rice flavor. Any other soy sauce will do, but again, this one is the closest to the fish sauce flavor without adding the “fishy” taste to it (which I didn’t like anyways).

WP_20140801_19_20_41_Pro__highres

Some other tips:

1. Fried rice turns out better with a day old rice. You can store your rice in the fridge in an air tight container or in a big ziplock. It will still be good for fried rice up to four days later.

2. You have to fry a lot of chopped garlic and turn it slightly brown, this is giving the fried rice they unique Thai flavor.

The version that I’m suggesting here is a very quick and easy one that can serve as a full meal as it is full with protein and nutritious veggies. The way I cook the Tofu in this recipe mimics the fried egg that you occasionally find in non vegan fried rice dishes.

3. Use high heat during the whole cooking process, not medium-high. This will reduce the cooking time significantly and will also improve the flavor while maintaining the nutritional values of the veggies you use.

Ingredients:

10-15 garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 red onion – sliced

1 package of Tofu – crumbled

1 cup of broccoli florets

2 corn kernels – or one can of corn kernels

1 large carrot – diced

2 TBS oil

4 cups of cooked rice

2 TBS of turmeric or curry powder

1/4 cup Golden Mountain seasoning sauce or any other soy sauce.

WP_20140801_19_06_51_Pro

Directions:

1. Place a wok with the oil heat the oil over high heat.

2. Add the garlic and saute until slightly brown (about 40 seconds). Add the onions and saute for about 1 minute. Add the crumbled tofu and saute for about 2 minutes.

WP_20140801_19_02_58_Pro

 

3. Add the turmeric or curry powder and stir well until the tofu is yellow and resembles scrambled eggs.

4. Add the veggies and Saute for two more minutes.

WP_20140801_19_10_35_Pro__highres

5. Add the rice and the soy sauce and saute for about 3-5 minutes. You can add about 1/3 cup of water, if you like your fried rice to be more “sticky”.

6. Serve.

WP_20140801_19_20_59_Pro

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quick and Easy Vegetables and Tofu Fried Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 10-15 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 red onion - sliced
  • 1 package of Tofu - crumbled
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 2 corn kernels - or one can of corn kernels
  • 1 large carrot - diced
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 TBS of turmeric or curry powder
  • ¼ cup Golden Mountain seasoning sauce or any other soy sauce.
Instructions
  1. Place a wok with the oil heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until slightly brown (about 40 seconds). Add the onions and saute for about 1 minute. Add the crumbled tofu and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the turmeric or curry powder and stir well until the tofu is yellow and resembles scrambled eggs.
  4. Add the veggies and Saute for two more minutes.
  5. Add the rice and the soy sauce and saute for about 3-5 minutes. You can add about ⅓ cup of water, if you like your fried rice to be more "sticky".
  6. Serve.

 

Red Lentils Omelet / Savory Pancake Recipe

Before I’ve transitioned to a vegan diet, one of the most common dinners that I used to have was an omelet and a salad (usually along other condiments and bread). Since the transition, I’ve explored and developed many vegan omelets recipes that I love which I will probably share in the future. I’ve recently started making this recipe and I find it to be one of the tastiest versions of a vegan omelet. These vegan lentils omelets are very nutritious and full of protein and I bet you and your family will love to have it for dinner.

Please note: you will probably need a strong blender like the Vitamix to prepare this recipe as weaker blenders cannot create a smooth enough mixture from red lentils.

Ingredients for 8 medium omelets:

Must haves:

1 cup of red lentils – washed
1 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Olive oil for frying.

Optional – for flavor:

Small bunch of parsley
1 glove of garlic
3 TBS nutritional yeasts – will add nutritional values as well as egg yolk flavor
1 shallot
1/2 tsp Kala namak – a salt with a taste and a smell of sulfur – will give the omelet an egg like taste

DSC_3299

Directions:

1. Place the lentils, water, clove of garlic, nutritional yeasts, salt, half of the parsley and Kala Namak in the blender container and blend for about 2 minutes until very smooth and creamy. It is better to put the lentils and water first, when you start preparing the ingredients for this recipe so the lentils will soak in water for few minutes. Add the other ingredients as you have them ready.

2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped shallot, chopped other half of the parsley and the baking powder. Taste the mixture to see if it is salty enough for your taste, I like it less salty than others.  Mix well.

DSC_3333

3. Preheat a nonstick pan on a medium heat, add some olive oil. Using a ladle put from the mixture in the pan and fry from one side for about 2-3 minutes until the top part is slightly dry.

DSC_3363

4. Flip the omelets using a flexible flip turner, the omelet should be slightly brown. Fry the other side of the omelet for additional 2 minutes.

DSC_3365

5. Transfer the omelets to a plate lined with paper towels. It is ready.

Serve warm or eat cold a day after in your sandwich or lunch box. I suggest to serve it with fresh raw salads, tahini, hummus, olives and bread.

DSC_3366

5.0 from 2 reviews
Red Lentils Omelet / Savory Pancake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 Medium
Ingredients
Must haves:
  • 1 cup of red lentils - washed
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Olive oil for frying.
Optional - for flavor:
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 3 TBS nutritional yeasts - will add nutritional values as well as egg yolk flavor
  • 1 shallot
  • ½ tsp Kala namak - a salt with a taste and a smell of sulfur - will give the omelet an egg like taste
Instructions
  1. Place the lentils, water, clove of garlic, nutritional yeasts, salt, half of the parsley and Kala Namak in the blender container and blend for about 2 minutes until very smooth and creamy. It is better to put the lentils and water first, when you start preparing the ingredients for this recipe so the lentils will soak in water for few minutes. Add the other ingredients as you have them ready.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped shallot, chopped other half of the parsley and the baking powder. Taste the mixture to see if it is salty enough for your taste, I like it less salty than others. Mix well.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan on a medium heat, add some olive oil. Using a ladle put from the mixture in the pan and fry from one side for about 2-3 minutes until the top part is slightly dry.
  4. Flip using a flip turner, the omelet should be slightly brown. Fry the other side of the omelet for additional 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. It is ready.
Serve warm or eat cold a day after in your sandwich or lunch box. I suggest to serve it with fresh raw salads, tahini, hummus, olives and bread.

 

Quinoa Dish with Herbs and Steamed Vegetables Cooked in One Pot

Quinoa is high in protein content, low in fat and is the perfect substitute for rice or pasta dishes. You can serve it plain, with grilled or steamed vegetables, mixed with raw veggies and herbs or with your favorite pasta sauce. I often hear people complaining about how hard it is to cook Quinoa, how sometimes they get quinoa porridge and how sometimes it is under cooked and that sometimes it is even bitter. In this post I’ll explain the various ways to cook quinoa that will yield results that will be delicate and perfectly fluffy. I will also explain how you can make a delicious quinoa dish in one pot with about 5 minutes of preparation time.

How to cook the perfect quinoa?

There are many ways to cook quinoa that will yield good results:

  1. Cook it like you would cook pasta – boil water, season with salt, add the quinoa, lower the heat and cook for about 12 minutes until it reaches satisfactory texture. Drain and use in your favorite recipe.
  2. Cook it like you would cook rice – measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, fry the quinoa for a minute in oil, add liquid and some salt bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes. Leave the lid covered for another 5 minutes.
  3. The method I use in this post’s suggested recipe – measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer – place the quinoa and the liquid in a pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes, Leave the lid covered for additional 20 minutes.

It is important to rinse the quinoa as it has a natural coating called Saponin, which tastes a little bitter or soapy. rinsing under running water will help you remove this coating and the quinoa will not be bitter.

How to make quinoa that will actually taste good?

  1. Cook with vegetable stock instead of water – Well, almost any recipe that calls for adding water will benefit from adding vegetable broth instead, this is also the case with quinoa.
  2. Add some diced vegetables and herbs to the cooking water – Since I don’t always have  vegetable broth ready to use, I usually add to the water 1 clove of garlic, some chopped parsley and even some diced celery and carrots – these are the staples in any vegetable soup and will enrich the flavor of your quinoa.
  3. Add salt – about 1/2 of a teaspoon for each cup of dry quinoa.

Quinoa Dish with Herbs and steamed vegetables cooked in one pot

I usually make a variation of this recipe as a lunch to take to work. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation time (perhaps 5-10 minutes) and the overall process takes about 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect way to make sure I have a healthy and nutritious warm meal at work.

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa – washed

2 cups of water or vegetable stock

1/2 bunch of parsley – chopped

1 tomato – diced

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of broccoli florets

4 leaves of kale, washed and teared into bite size pieces

Roughly chopped chives (optional)

Directions:

1. Place the quinoa, water, parsley, tomato and salt in a tall cooking pot. We would like the pot to be at least 4 times taller than the volume of the quinoa as the boiled quinoa tend to boil over the top of lower pots.

DSC_3388

2. Put the lid and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes)

3. As you see the steam coming out of the lid, reduce the heat to low medium and put a timer for 10 minutes.

DSC_3390

4. Once the timer rings, place the kale, brocooli and chive on top of the partially cooked quinoa. This is how we are going to steam the kale and broccoli. You can squeeze some lemon on top and sprinkle some salt if you’d like.

In this stage, the quinoa is only partially cooked, the rest of the cooking process will be only steaming

In this stage, the quinoa is only partially cooked, the rest of the cooking process will be only steaming

Add the broccoli and the Kale and Cover with a lid for 20 minutes of steaming

Add the broccoli and the Kale and Cover with a lid for 20 minutes of steaming

5. Turn off the heat source! Place the lid back and put the timer for additional 20 minutes (of steaming).

DSC_3411

6. It is ready. Serve with some tahini, chopped cilantro/parsley, preshly cut tomatoes. I also like to dice a slice of lemon and add it to the mix.

DSC_3414

Tips and Variations:

– Cooking with vegetable stock instead of water will yield even tastier Quinoa

– Try adding raw vegetables like diced zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, yams etc’ during the first phase. Or any other herb (Step 1 above).

– Try adding spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley to the steaming process (Step 4 above).

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa Dish with Herbs and steamed vegetables cooked in one pot
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I usually make a variation of this recipe as a lunch to take to work. It doesn't require a lot of preparation time (perhaps 5-10 minutes) and the overall process takes about 30 minutes, so it's the perfect way to make sure I have a healthy and nutritious warm meal at work.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of quinoa - washed
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • ½ bunch of parsley - chopped
  • 1 tomato - diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 4 leaves of kale, washed and teared into bite size pieces
  • Roughly chopped chives (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the quinoa, water, parsley, tomato and salt in a tall cooking pot. We would like the pot to be at least 4 times taller than the volume of the quinoa as the boiled quinoa tend to boil over the top of lower pots.
  2. Put the lid and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes)
  3. As you see the steam coming out of the lid, reduce the heat to low medium and put a timer for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the timer rings, place the kale, brocooli and chive on top of the partially cooked quinoa. This is how we are going to steam the kale and broccoli. You can squeeze some lemon on top and sprinkle some salt if you'd like.
  5. Turn off the heat source! Place the lid back and put the timer for additional 20 minutes (of steaming).
  6. It is ready. Serve with some tahini, chopped cilantro/parsley, preshly cut tomatoes. I also like to dice a slice of lemon and add it to the mix.
Tips and Variations:
- Cooking with vegetable stock instead of water will yield even tastier Quinoa
- Try adding raw vegetables like diced zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, yams etc' during the first phase. Or any other herb (Step 1 above).
- Try adding spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley to the steaming process (Step 4 above).

 

5 Minute Pasta Tomato Sauce & a Brief Introduction to Pasta Cooking

I never buy jarred or a canned tomato sauce since I always sense an after-taste in these pre-made and packed sauces – the taste of preservatives, or the unpleasant taste of processed food even in those declared “preservative free”.

When I don’t have an hour to prepare a really good tomato pasta sauce (I promise to post a recipe next time I make one) I cook the sauce using the shortcut technique described below.

Before going into recipes, two tips that will improve the flavor and the texture of any pasta dish you make. Try using them for your favorite pasta recipe and see the difference. I promise you will take it up a notch in terms of texture and flavor.

Tip #1 – How to cook pasta?

The Italians say that to cook pasta properly you need 1 liter of water and10 grams of salt to every 100 grams of pasta. If you’re willing to weigh your salt and pasta, and to measure the volume of the water you use, I encourage you to use this scientific-like method. However, I assure you that a less scientific one will work just as well.

1. Bring the water to a boil: fill a large pot with water, 2/3 of the way, and turn up the heat to the maximum.

2. Salt the water: add salt by the teaspoon and taste the water after adding each teaspoon. When it tastes like the ocean – salty, but not too much – it’s the perfect time to add your pasta. How will you know when you have reached this point of perfection? Easily. Before reaching it, the water will taste too bland and after passing it – too salty.

3. Add the pasta and stir it with a long wooden spoon: this will prevent any of it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

4. Lower to medium-high heat and cook. Stir every 2 minutes or so, until the pasta is cooked all the way through. Bite the pasta after 6-7 minutes. If you feel it has a white spot in the center, or if it is too hard all over, it is not ready. Your pasta is ready when it is cooked all the way through but still firm. I find that the cooking time (in minutes) indicated on the pasta packaging is usually accurate.

5. When the pasta is ready, remove about 1 cup of the cooking water to save for later use when preparing the sauce (using my second tip below).

6. Turn off the stove and empty the entire pot into a strainer. Shake well, to discard all excess water, and cover with a lid.

7. If you don’t intend to use the pasta within 20 minutes, mix in a bit of olive oil (a teaspoon or two will do) – it will keep the noodles from sticking to each other. This works, however it is less favorable since the oil will create a barrier between the pasta and the sauce.

Tip #2 – Use the pasta cooking-water for your sauce

Before serving the pasta, add the sauce (any sauce!) to a pan, add the pasta and 1/2 a cup of the starchy-salty water you used to cook the pasta in. Cook in medium high heat for about 2 minutes and serve.

The starchy water works in two ways:

1. It serves as a “glue” bonding the pasta with the sauce, thus creating a much better, starchier (but in a good way) texture to the dish.

2. As odd as it sounds, it is also makes your sauce more “creamy”, even if you haven’t used any cream.

Try the above tips in your favorite pasta recipe and see the difference, I promise you will take it up a notch in terms of texture and flavor.

 

A simple 5 minute pasta tomato sauce 

This is a template recipe, you can enhance it’s flavor and texture and make it more complex by adding more texture and flavor to it with more ingredients. Try adding olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, jalapeno, mushrooms etc’. Please note that we are not frying the ingredients in oil, but creating an emulsion from the oil and the tomatoes’ liquids.

Ingredients:

4 large tomatoes – diced

2 cloves of garlic – sliced

2 TBS of olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 basil leaves – chiffonade or 1 tsp of dry oregano (optional)

1/4 bell pepper – diced (optional)

Directions:

1. Place all the ingredients in a wok, Turn the heat high.

DSC_3009

2. Within 2 minutes, the tomatoes’ skins will begin to separate

DSC_3025

3. Stir occasionally. After 5 minutes the sauce will be ready.

DSC_3028

4. Add the pasta and 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce.

DSC_3033

5. Mix well and cook for another minute.

6. Serve. You can garnish with some finely chopped parsley for decoration.

Printable recipe:

A simple 5 minute pasta tomato sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a template recipe. Please note that when preparing it we do not fry its ingredients in the oil, but rather create an emulsion from the oil and the tomatoes’ liquids You are invited to enhance its flavor and texture to create a richer sauce by adding more ingredients. Try adding olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, jalapeno, mushrooms etc’.
Ingredients
  • 4 large tomatoes – diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – sliced
  • 2 TBS of olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 fresh basil leaves – chiffonade, or 1 tsp of dry oregano (optional)
  • ¼ bell pepper – diced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a wok. Turn the heat high.
  2. Within 2 minutes, the tomatoes’ skins will begin to separate.
  3. Stir occasionally. After 5 minutes the sauce will be ready.
  4. Add the pasta and ½ a cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce.
  5. Mix well and cook for another minute.
  6. Serve. You can garnish with some finely chopped parsley for decoration.