Falafels with Naan

I was talking with a friend the other day who was saying how easy it is to make naan. I nodded my head in agreement… but deep down, I was like, “No. Way.” I’ve gone through three naan recipes in two weeks. The one I have below is my favorite thus far, but I still feel like it’s a work in progress for me.

With the falafels, I love falafels. I mean, I will eat chickpeas straight out of the can. When it comes to this falafel recipe, it’s pan fried which is a little different than most restaurant falafels that tend to be deep fried. I found that coating the falafel in a seasoned panko mix gave it a nice crunch and added depth of flavor.

Naan (inspired by Saveur)

  •  3/4 c warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp active yeast
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c high protein bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c plain, full fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbls canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • *optional, chopped garlic to add into dough later
  • Melted ghee, for brushing
  1. Combine the warm water, honey and yeast in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes
  2. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients
  3. Once the yeast mix has proofed, add all wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry
  4. As dough comes together, knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for an hour
  5. Portion dough into 10 balls. Roll dough out to 1/4″ with rolling pin, *optional to add chopped garlic into dough. Let the flattened naan sit while pan is heating up
  6. I recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe. You do not need to oil the pan. If the pan starts smoking – it’s too hot, turn the heat down
  7. Run your hands under some water so they are damp. Pick up the flattened dough, pass back and forth between hands so dough gets slightly wet. Drop dough onto hot skillet and cover. This is the look you are going for:AE6320F1-1B12-43FF-A43C-50CDA5899AAA
  8. Cook for about 30 seconds per side

 

Falafels (inspired by Minimalist Baker)

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed
  • 2 Tbls raw sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 1 Tbls chickpea flour
  • Panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Tbls oil
  1. Combine and pulse everything in a food processor except for the flour, panko and oil
  2. Slowly add the flours into the food processor, pulse for a few more seconds
  3. Roll the falafels into desired shape. I prefer flatter, circular shapes
  4. Lightly press or roll falafel into panko seasoning
  5. Add oil to cast iron skillet, set heat to medium. Add the falafels, making sure you have enough room to flip
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side. Set falafel on a plate lined with paper towl
  7. Garnish with desired toppings. I made a cucumber, tomato, onion salad with a pre-made tahini dressing

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Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Tacos

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I am so grateful for other food sites, like Splendid Table, that post amazing and inspiring recipes. These recipes are often the catalyst for my kitchen adventures. The Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos are phenomenal. They have the perfect amount of heat; slight crunch from the panko/coconut breading, and a soft earthy flavor of the cauliflower.

While I did not make the slaw in the recipe, I opted for a similar one with a pre-made chipotle-tomato dressing. I also served the tacos with this delicious Tomato Rice.

I also changed the process of where I added the spice – I put most of the spice in the breading mix, leaving the coconut milk plain. The downside to this was if the breading fell off, the cauliflower was a bit more bland.

 
Ingredients

  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Corn tortillas, warmed

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix coconut, panko and spices in a bowl, set aside.

2. Whisk coconut milk. Dip the cauliflower into coconut milk mixture; coat well.

3. Once cauliflower is coated with coconut milk, roll in the seasoned panko/coconut topping. Place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning cauliflower pieces halfway through.

 

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

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Veganizing recipes can be a frustrating and arduous process. When successful attempts come along, it’s cause for a celebration! I came across this recipe today and thought, “mmm.. that looks good, but how can I make it better?”

The answer: Jackfruit. If you don’t know what jackfruit is, I suggest you buy some, preferably canned as it’s easier to work with. As jackfruit becomes more mainstream, you should be able to find it nearby. I just spotted cans of jackfruit at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

You can incorporate jackfruit into most shredded beef/chicken/pork recipes (think: burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, rice bowls, tacos, and sandwiches!)

Within minutes I was sautéing some onion and green pepper. When the veggies were tender, I added them along shredded jackfruit to a slow cooker. The special sauce follows in the recipe below. Together, the ingredients simmered low and slow for several hours.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 c ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 can of jackfruit in brine (approximately 10 oz drained)
  1. Sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender (5-10 minutes)
  2. Mix the spices and liquids (water as needed) together to make a sauce
  3. Drain and rinse the jackfruit and shred the jackfruit with your hands or a fork
  4. Add the sautéed veggies and jackfruit to you slow cooker*, add BBQ marinade
  5. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for about 4 hours, then reduce to warm and eat when ready. You will likely want to add water along the way to  make sure the jackfruit stays saucy

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6. Serve on a bun or over rice and top with your favorite barbecue sauce!

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*Don’t have a slow cooker? No worries, follow this recipe and simmer all ingredients on the stove for at least an hour – making sure the veggies are tender and the jackfruit has absorbed some of the sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Patties and Cashew Parmesan

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What a fun twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs! I really enjoy working with traditional recipes and finding ways to get creative with them. This meal is completely plant based and is very easy to make.

First, I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400F until it was tender. Then, I set this aside to cool.

Then, I made the sauce – I used a jar of my favorite sauce and added some mushrooms that were sautéed in red wine and garlic, mmm!

For the lentil patties and parmesan, see the recipe below…

Lentil Patties

  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbls flax plus 3 Tbls water)
  • 1 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • 5 Tbls cashew parmesan (see below)
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until ingredients reach a dough-like consistency. I had to use about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs because my mixture was too wet
  2. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a patty. Add oil to a skillet and fry each side of the patty
  3. Once the patties have slightly browned, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes

Cashew Parmesan

  •  3/4 c raw cashews
  • 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  1. Pulse everything in a food processor until you reach a desired texture.

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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Tacos are an incredibly versatile dish. You can keep it traditional with your protein asada or you can get creative and add new veggies, like spaghetti squash.

What I loved about this meal is that it was ready in less than 30 minutes. If you bake your spaghetti squash the night before, all you need to do the next night is marinate and heat the squash. I added corn to my squash, but you can add peppers, onion, beans, etc. I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative the next time you are craving tacos!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, roasted, set 2 cups aside
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle sauce, if you like more heat, add 1 chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c to 1 c vegetable broth or water
  • 1 c corn
  • ½ c black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)

 

  1. Make the spaghetti squash ahead of time. Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds* and coat inside of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast flesh side down at 400 F until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Pull squash out using a fork.
  2. In a skillet, sauté olive oil, spices and garlic. After 3-5 minutes, add ½ c of broth or water
  3. Next, add the spaghetti squash, corn and beans into the marinade. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until warm.
  4. Season as necessary. Heat the tortillas, add the butternut squash filling to each taco and garnish with desired toppings

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

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I’ve been working on a cooking class that features plant based protein. This Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh was awesome! I served it with a side of couscous which is topped with oven-roasted green beans and mushrooms. I then dressed the dish with truffle infused balsamic. I may have gone a bit overboard with balsamic. You can definitely substitute other flavors and sauces, such as barbecue or ketchup.

Now, I ask you friendly viewers, what are your favorite plant based proteins? Some of mine include marinated tempeh, tofu (scrambles and eggless salads), chickpea sloppy joes, and desserts using soft tofu as the filling.. I would love to hear some ideas from you that I could incorporate into my upcoming class!

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/3 c balsamic vinegar (start with less, unless you are really looking for that balsamic flavor)
  • 3 tsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  1. Steam the 8 oz block of tempeh in a skillet until water is evaporated (I fill enough water in the pan to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the block of tempeh)- this takes about 10 minutes. I like to steam my tempeh before cooking with it because it opens up the protein which helps the marinade process. Tempeh can also have a strong, fermented taste, and steaming can help soften that flavor
  2. Let the tempeh cool until you are able to handle it, then cut it into desired shapes. To make the small triangles, I cut the 8 oz square into 4 triangles. I then cut those triangles in half (width wise) and then in half lengthwise.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, olive oil and pepper
  4. Add the tempeh in a pan/dish where you can lay them all flat – I fit them easily into an 8×6 Pyrex. Cover the tempeh with your marinade. Let this sit overnight, then flip them in the morning
  5. In the evening – or whenever you’re ready to bake these, preheat your oven to 350F. Cover your pan/dish with foil, bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed