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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Palava sauce Ⓥ

IMG-20150710-WA0001Palava (or Palaver) sauce is a typical West African dish, which is generally made with lots of fish and meat. In this veganized version, I’ve simply omitted those proteins, which I serve on the side: seasoned and fried tofu cubes. I eat this dish with white (Basmati) rice and a serving of boiled or fried plantains. This European version uses swiss chard instead of the cocoyam leaves (Kontomire) that normally constitute the recipe.

Palava sauce

Ingredients (4P)

  • 250 ml palm oil (preferably organic and Fairtrade)
  • 4 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and mashed
  • 2-4 red chillies (hot peppers), finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 bunches of swiss chard or spinach or 750 g frozen spinach, washed and chopped
  • 100 g egushi (shelled pumpkin seeds or pepitas), ground in a coffee grinder
  • 1- 2 tsp of asafetida
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onions until golden. Add the tomatoes, pepper to taste and the chillies (hot peppers).
  2. Add the spinach. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the spinach is soft and cooked. Stir regularly.
  3. In the meantime prepare the egushi (or regular pumpkin seeds): rinse and dry and then grind them to a powder form. Add the egushi and stir them into the sauce. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  4. Serve hot with boiled rice, yams, plantains, gari (coarse cassava flour), Banku (cornmeal dumplings) or any root vegetable, roasted, boiled or grilled.

Note: Palm oil is red oil from the red, tropical, palm kernel and is linked to a myriad of ecological and ethical scandals. Please try to find an organic and Fairtrade version or substitute with organic, Fairtrade coconut oil and some turmeric powder (this will alter the taste of your Palava sauce).

For the tofu cubes:

Ingredients (4P)

  • 250 g of firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp of Tamari or Shoyu sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sesame or coconut oil
  • Black pepper
  • Preparation

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Drain the water from the tofu (using either your hands to squeeze the tofu (fast version) or placing the tofu between two plates and putting a heavy object on the top plate and wait 30 minutes to free the excess water).
  3. Cut into cubes (approximately 1-2 cm).
  4. Mix the other ingredients in an baking dish.
  5. Add the tofu cubes to the mixture; making sure all sides are well coated.
  6. Put the dish in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the tofu is nice and crispy (you can also fry it in coconut oil in a frying pan).
  7. Serve as a side dish to your palava sauce.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


4 Comments

Vegan recipe: gnocchi and veggies from the oven

Gnocchi are so delicious and filling. It’s not always easy to find a vegan version (check if they add milk in the ingredient list), but I’ve managed to find a good brand in my local organic store. Next up will be to make my own gnocchi from scratch, but until then, these will do 🙂

Ingredients (2-3p)

  • Chick'pieces250 g Mushrooms
  • 400 g fresh spinach
  • 160 g vegan chick’ pieces (ex. Vegetbutcher or Greenway in Belgium)
  • 200 ml soy cream
  • 1 package of vegan gnocchi for 2-3 people
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • Half a tsp turmerci
  • Pinch of pimenton (smoked paprika) powder
  • Salt (Himalayan or sea)
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Optional: nutritional yeast

Preparation

  1. Gnocchi from the ovenClean the mushrooms (not with water, but with a paper towel or special brush) & cut in 4.
  2. Wash the spinach thoroughly and cut in slices.
  3. Boil water for the gnocchi and preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Put some olive or coconut oil in a frying pan or wok, allow to heat up  well before adding the vegan chic” bits until they are lightly golden.
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 4 minutes until well done.
  6. Add the fresh spinach and stir for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the asafoetida, curcuma and pimenton and mix with the other ingredients in the wok for  a few minutes.
  8. Add the soy cream and stir until everything is well mixed and the sauce turns nicely golden yellow (turmeric effect). Let it simmer for a while.
  9. Add pepper & salt to your own taste.
  10. Add nutritional yeast for a nutty/ cheesy flavour (optional).
  11. Add the gnocchi in the boiling water, they only need to be there for a very short time (look at the package instructions), normally as soon as 1 or 2 come up to the surface, they’re all well done and you can drain them above a sieve.
  12. Mix the gnocchi with the sauce, put it in an oven dish and leave it the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve with a fresh green or tomato salad.


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Vegan recipe: no crust quiche

I love quiches and especially this simple version that’s also gluten-free.

Ingredients (2P)

  • 1 package of silken tofu (400g)
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp curcuma
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Sea (or Himalaya) salt & black pepper
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1 leek
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • Dry parsley

IMG_20141016_124037Preparation

  1. Mix the cashew nuts, asafoetida, nutritional yeast, curcuma and 2 tbsp of the silken tofu in a blender till it becomes soft (sauce like) consistency; add the rest of the silken tofu and blend it all together.
  2. Add salt and black pepper to your taste.
  3. Set the tofu mixture aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Clean and slice the mushrooms.
  6. Wash and slice the leek and spinach.
  7. Stir fry the leek for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms and finally the spinach and season with salt, pepper and some dried parsley.
  8. Put the vegetables in a baking dish, pour the tofu mixture over it and put in the oven for about 30′.

Serve with a green salad, or an avocado/ tomato and basil salad (see picture).

Tip: you can substitute the used veggies with any vegetable that you like, just adjust the cooking time to be sure they’re tender when they go in the oven.