Ambika Yoga

Sivananda yoga classes in Brussels


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Eggplant, spinach and tofu lasagne Ⓥ

mozzarisellaOne evening we were having friends over for dinner and I actually wanted to make my delicious eggplant tempeh gnocchi recipe, but I couldn’t find any vegan gnocchi (and didn’t feel like making them myself) whereas I had all the other ingredients. After some quick searching online I improvised and came up with a parmigiana alla melanzana/ lasagne combo. It was relatively quick.

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 block of firm tofu (400 g)
  • 2 large or 4 small eggplants
  • 400 g spinach (frozen)
  • 400 ml tomato sauce
  • 200 ml soy (or other plant based) cream
  • Vegan mozzarella (I used “Mozzarisella”)
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 2-3 tsp. asafetida
  • 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Unscented coconut oil (or olive oil)

Melanzana lasagne

Preparation

  1. Wash then cut the eggplant in slices (lenghtwise) of about 1 cm thick.
  2. Generously sprinkle salt on each layer and leave in a strainer (with a plate underneath) to ‘sweat’ for about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Drain the tofu (using plates method OR squeeze using your hands in the sink).
  5. Press the tofu into tiny bits (using a kitchen machine OR a potato masher).
  6. Season the tofu with the spices and mix well, add some olive oil so the spices absorb nicely (don’t use the nutritional yeast yet).
  7. Heat some coconut oil and stir fry the tofu until slightly crispy.
  8. Add the frozen spinach (or fresh if you prefer but then you’ll need a lot more) and leave to simmer until the spinach is done.
  9. In the meantime, rinse the eggplant, then dry with a clean kitchen towel and slice the flesh a few times diagonally.
  10. Place the eggplants onto a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, both sides and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, turn them after 10 minutes (or until nicely cooked).
  11. Add the tomato sauce to the tofu/ eggplant mixture and let it simmer.
  12. Mix in the cream, nutritional yeast and fresh basil, season with salt & pepper if necessary.
  13. Slice the mozzarella.
  14. Take 1 big or 2 medium sized oven plates and place a thin layer of the tomato sauce, add slices of eggplant, repeat until done, ending with a layer of tomato sauce and cover with mozzarella.
  15. Add foil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, take away the foil after 15 minutes.
  16. Serve with simple green seasonal salad (purslane, lettuce, dandelion, …) and a lemon-olive oil dressing.

By now you must be wondering what happened to the tempeh? I seasoned the slices with sesame oil and Tamari & baked them about 15 minutes in the oven and served them with a tahini sauce as an appetizer. The one year old that was visiting with her parents LOVED the tempeh. A vegan in the making 😉

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति

 

 


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Vegan recipe: pasta alla norma

I love this sicilian dish which normally contains only eggplant, tomato sauce and basil (and often parmesan or ricotta cheese), so I’ve transformed it into my own vegan version with some added proteins.

Ingredients (mine are all organic) for 3 to 4 portions

  • 2 eggplants (medium size)
  • 400 ml or a  carton of tomato sauce (passata) or a portion of home-made sauce
  • 1 pack of vegan chick’pieces (I used Greenway, there’s also De Vegetarische Slager in The Netherlands and Beyond Meat in the USA)
  • 1 small purple onion (optional, non-sattvic)
  • 1 tsp of asafoetida powder or 1 garlic clove (optional, non-sattvic)
  • Pasta of your choice (I used orecchiette)
  • Half a cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Himalaya salt
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

Pasta à la normaPreparation

  1. Cut the eggplants in 3 or 4 slices (lengthwise), then cut them in strips
  2. Put the strips in a colander and rinse
  3. Put enough Himalaya salt on the strips to coat them all lightly and leave covered with a clean cloth for about 20 minutes, or until the strips are ‘sweating’  (water drops form on the strips)
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  5. Cut the garlic and onion (optional) in small pieces
  6. Wash the basil leaves
  7. Once the eggplants are ‘sweating’, rinse of the excess salt and pat them dry with kitchen towels or a clean cloth
  8. Toss the eggplant strips with olive oil in a bowl, enough to coat each strip lightly, put the strips on a non sticky baking sheet and put in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until well baked. Turn the strips after 10 minutes
  9. Boil a big enough pan with (filtered) water for the pasta and cook following direction
  10. In the meantime, fry the chick’pieces in olive oil, add the asafoetida (or garlic & onion) until golden
  11. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt & pepper
  12. Add the eggplant strips once nicely roasted
  13. Add most of the basil leaves, but leave some for decoration of the plates
  14. Strain the pasta once ‘al dente’, cover with the pasta sauce and serve with a couple of leaves of fresh basil and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast (optional)

=> Serve directly with a side salad of aragula (rucola), roasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds with an olive oil/ lemon juice dressing

=> You can make your own vegan parmesan to sprinkle on top: in a coffee grinder, mix an equal quantity of brasil nuts (or almonds) and nutritional yeast and sprinkle this over your pasta dish (or salad). Save the left-overs in the fridge in a closed jar.


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Vegan recipe: roasted miso-and-ginger-glazed eggplant

Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables. They are purple (my favorite color) & so versatile: use them either oven-roasted, in a stew, on the BBQ, as a spread, … It took me some time to understand how to prepare eggplant well, to obtain the perfect tenderness of the flesh of this beautiful vegetable, without the bitter taste.

Eggplants are in season from august to october. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper, as well as a good source of vitamins B6 and K and of manganese. Make sure you eat the skin as it’s rich in antioxidants. It is generally discouraged by healthcare practitioners to eat eggplant if you have untreated kidney or gallbladder problems, because of the high content of oxalates. More information about the health benefits of eggplants can be found here.

For 4 persons, as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 tbsp of olive or sesame oil
  • a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 cm of ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 0,5 tsp of miso (I used black miso)
  • Himalaya or sea salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the stem end and bottom off the eggplant, then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the flesh with a knife, cutting deep into the flesh but not through the skin. Cut diagonal lines going about 2 cm apart, then turn the eggplant around and cut again so you have a diamond pattern.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant halves and leave to rest (sweat) for about 30 minutes or longer.
  4. 2014 - 1In the meantime peal the ginger, and add it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend into a nice liquid mixture.
  5. Gently squeeze out the excess water and salt from the eggplant halves above the sink and pat dry with paper towels or a clean towel.
  6. Apply the mixture (prepared under 4) on the eggplant halves with a brush making sure it also seeps into the cut flesh.
  7. Put the eggplant halves face-down on a baking sheet.
  8. Roast the eggplant for about 35-40 minutes, or until the back of the eggplant looks collapsed.
  9. Let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. It can be scooped out of the peel for use in dips, or eaten plain with its antioxidant-rich peel and a extra sprinkle of lemon juice.

I used 1 halve of a grilled eggplant per person for a dinner with home-made fries & veganaise, a green salad tossed with pear vinaigrette and seitan gyros (Wheaty).


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Yogi recipe: gnocchi with tempeh, eggplant and tomato sauce

Last year I went to Frankfurt for the first time in my life and it was such an amazing city to discover, especially since it was super easy to find delicious vegan food ! In the Veganz supermarket there is this small café (Sesamo) where you can get delicious food to take away or eat there (there are some high chairs with high tables against the windows), they sell pastries too, all vegan! I love gnocchi, but it’s not easy to find a vegan version, at least not in Belgium. Hence I was super happy to find a gnocchi recipe with eggplant, tempeh, mozzarella and tomato/ basil sauce. I ate it twice that weekend …

Back home I’ve tried to recreate the recipe, hereby my version:

gnocchi - tomato and aubergine

Ingredients*

  • 1 block of tempeh
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants
  • 1 portion tomato sauce (home-made or bought)
  • Gnocchi (I buy a vegan version at an organic supermarket)
  • Fresh basil
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese, i.e. Daiya, Tofutti or Cheezly (so far, I’ve only found it in Ekoplaza, in the Netherlands)

*I use mostly organic, unless impossible to find.

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the tempeh in 1 or 2 cm pieces or strips. Marinate it for at least 30 minutes in a mix of shoyu or tamari sauce mixed with some olive oil and black pepper. Wash and cut the eggplant in cubes, add salt, leave it for about 30 minutes until the water comes out of the eggplant, use paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to wipe off the excess water.
Sprinkle olive oil and black pepper on the eggplant cubes, spread out on an oven plate, in one layer and put in the oven. (You can add garlic if you like that’s not a sattvic ingredient, so I don’t use it in my yogi recipes). Add the tempeh in an oven plate and put in the oven as well. After about 10 or 15 minutes, turn the eggplant (or when well baked), idem for the tempeh. Cut the mozzarella cheese in thin slices. Wash the basil and shred the leaves. Boil a big pot of water for the gnocchi. When the tempeh and eggplant are well baked, transfer them to a big pot, add the tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese, add salt and pepper to your taste. You might want to add some fresh cherry tomatoes (when in season) and leave the sauce for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Prepare the gnocchi according to the instructions. Serve the sauce on top of the gnocchi and serve directly. Garnish with some freshly washed basil leaves. You can serve the gnocchi with a seasonal salad.


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Yogi recipe : vegan eggplant-quinoa roast

Eggplant-quinoa roast

This delicious recipe combines eggplant, quinoa, a red pepper & zucchinis with a lemon, ginger & tamari sauce.

It’s a real yogi recipe as it doesn’t contain any garlic or onions or other stimulants (except for the ginger maybe) & is taken from the Sivananda  Yoga Cook Book, a highly recommended cook book (available on Book Depository, free shipping)!

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 12 ounces eggplants (I used 2 big egg plants), cut into big / long slices
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (or other soy sauce you may have at home)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (filtered) water
  • 1 teaspoon (or more 🙂 ) grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup of quinoa (I used 2 cups whilst keeping the other ingredients the same)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (paprika/ poivron rouge), cored, seeded & sliced
  • 2 zucchini, coarsely grated (or cut into small chunks)
  • Parsley sprigs, to decorate
  • Himalaya salt
  • Black pepper

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet or frying pan (I used a grill pan) and bake the eggplant slices until brown. Arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish. Combine the tamari, lemon juice, water & ginger & pour over the eggplant slices. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

2. Wash & then cook the quinoa according to instructions (mostly it’s 1 volume of quinoa requires 2 volumes of boiling water). Add the red pepper and zucchini to some sesame oil and sauté until soft. Add the quinoa, mix well, and spoon over the eggplant (season to taste with Himalaya salt & black pepper). Press down well into the baking dish. Return to the oven en bake for about 10 minutes.

3. Serve hot decorated with parsley sprigs & a green salad on the side.

Om Shanti