Moroccan Monday: Chickpea Balls

Kefta means ground meat, and Kefta Mkaouara is a traditional Moroccan tagine dish with meatballs and eggs in tomato sauce. We obviously didn’t cook meat and eggs today, but inspired by this dish we made chickpea balls and tomato sauce. We don’t have a tagine, so we just baked the balls in the oven and prepared the sauce on stove. We served them separately, but you can also mix them together.

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Chickpea Balls

4 dl cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
1 small onion
1 dl chickpea flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt, pepper
oil for brushing

Mash the chickpeas until there are no whole chickpeas left. Use blender if you prefer smoother texture. Finely chop the onion. Mix all the ingredients together, add couple of tbsp water if it looks too dry. Form balls and put them on a baking sheet. Brush the balls with oil and bake about half an hour in 200 Celsius degrees. Serve with tomato sauce and couscous/potatoes/rise.

Tomato Sauce

2 onions
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 can tomato passata or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
0,5-1 tsp cayenne

Chop the onions and garlic. Put all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve with chickpea balls.

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Slow Food Sunday: Chili

Nomad makes great chili, I love it and all our friends love it. Today he made a batch and I wrote down how he made it. This time he used only bell peppers as vegetables, but sometimes he has used other vegetables too, like eggplant or zucchini. You can use beans of your choice, for example combination of kidney beans and white beans are great. Long simmering time smooths the burning of the chili peppers and makes the chili perfect. Also plain soy yogurt or Oatly creme fraiche cuts down the heat, serve the yogurt plain or season it with salt, pepper and lime juice.

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Vegan Chili

1,5 tbsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
3 Scotch Bonnets or other hot peppers
4-5 garlic cloves
2-3 onions
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4-5 tbsp oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
few pieces of dark chocolate (about 25 g)
2,5 dl dark beer (make sure it’s vegan, for example Guiness isn’t)
10-12 dl cooked beans (or 3 cans)
2 cans crushed tomatoes

Grind cumin seeds and black pepper. Finely chop chili peppers, garlic and onions. Chop the bell peppers in little bigger chunks. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté cumin, black pepper and chili pepper for a minute. Add onion, garlic and liquid smoke and continue sautéing until onions are soft. Add bell peppers and few minutes later the chocolate. When the chocolate has melted, add beer and simmer until the sauce gets thicker. Add beans and tomatoes and simmer a few hours.

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Seitan Saturday: Burgers

Seitan is a versatile ingredient. You can use them in soups, stews, make steaks or ribs for barbecue, make vegan sausages etc. Seitan is also great for burgers. The seitan recipe below is a variation of these awesome seitan ribz from FatFree Vegan Kitchen -blog. My sister’s comment about these burgers: “They were good. Yum yum.”

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Barbecue Seitan Burgers

2,4 dl vital wheat gluten
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1,8 dl water
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke

marinade:
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp syrup/molasses
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
0,5 tsp salt
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp strong mustard
chili powder or chopped chili pepper (optional)

burger buns
lettuce, tomato, onion etc.
vegan mayo, ketchup, mustard etc.

Combine vital wheat gluten, paprika, nutritional yeast and garlic powder in a bowl. Combine water, tahini, soy sauce and liquid smoke in another bowl and pour onto gluten mixture. Knead couple of minutes. Divide into 6 pieces and form them into flat “steaks”. Bake 20 minutes in 175 Celsius degrees.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and put them into a plastic bag with baked seitan. Rub the marinade all over seitans and refrigerate 30 minutes or few hours.

Fry seitan on a pan in oil, or in the summertime you can grill/barbecue them. Put a piece of seitan inside a burger bun with your favourite burger fillings.

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Tofu Tuesday: “Fish” Fingers

Everybody likes fish fingers, and here’s a cruelty free version of them! A Finnish blog Vegaaninen versio had already posted a recipe for vegan “fish” fingers, and we more or less followed it. We had our “fish” fingers with roasted root vegetables and cabbage salad.

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Tofu “Fish” Fingers

250 g tofu
2,5 dl water
3/4 sheet nori seaweed
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1,5 tsp dill

0,75 dl wheat flour
0,75 dl water
1/4 sheet nori seaweed
1 dl dy bread crumbs
salt, pepper
1 tsp dill

oil for frying

Cut the tofu into sticks. Bring 2,5 dl water to boil. Cut the 3/4 sheet of nori into small pieces and add to the water with bouillon powder, salt, lemon juice and dill. Add tofu and marinade at least 15 minutes.

Combine wheat flour and water in a bowl. Cut the 1/4 sheet of nori into very small pieces. In another bowl combine nori, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and dill. Roll the tofu sticks first in the flour mix and then in the bread crumbs. Fry both sides in oil until golden brown.

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Moroccan Monday: Couscous

As one of our themes was Moroccan Monday, there had to come a day when couscous would be in the main role. We have no statistics to back this claim up, but looking at various cookbooks and recipes online, couscous seems to be really popular in their cuisine.

And why not? It’s rather versatile and keeps hunger away for long periods of time. (I guess this might explain its historical popularity among desert-dwelling people.)

marokkolainen

Fava Beans and Vegetables

1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 zucchini
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
0,5 tsp turmeric
0,5 tsp cinnamon
0,5 tsp all spice
0,25 tsp cloves
0,5 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
2 big tomatoes
4 dl fava beans
salt, pepper

Dice onion, bell pepper and zucchini. Heat the oil in a pan or pot and sauté diced vegetables with spices about 5 minutes. Meanwhile dice the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and fava beans to the pan and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are ready and tomatoes are a bit mushy. Season with salt and pepper and serve with herb couscous.

Herb Couscous

4 dl water
pinch of salt
4 dl couscous
4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil

Bring the water to boil. Add salt and couscous, remove from heat and let sit covered until the couscous has absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork. Add chopped herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.

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Slowfood Sunday: Sweet coconut curry

Sundays are great days, especially if you have absolutely nothing to do, and can just concentrate on relaxing. That’s why I’m also a big sucker for foods which you can just throw together and put in the oven to prepare. I was looking around for something nice to make, and found (via Pinterest possiby, or something, I can’t remember) this recipe in a site for healthy living. So if the food tastes good and is healthy, that’s even better!

I must say I was really suspicious of making a dish like this without any chili pepper in it, but decided to be nice this time and play by the rules… Used a tablesauce (Tabasco Habanero) afterwards, which brought a very nice sour contrast to the otherwise sweetish taste!

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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry with Coconut Rice

vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 dl cooked chickpeas (roughly the same as one can)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
5 dl cauliflower florets
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can coconut milk
some vegetable broth
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
4 dl spinach or nettle, chopped (lesser amount will do just fine, this isn’t essential for the food)

Coconut rice:
3,5dl parboiled rice (original recipe calls for basmati rice, but parboiled was the only I had)
1 can light coconut milk
1 dl water
1/4 tsp salt

Heat up some oil in a pan, and add the onion, garlic and ginger into the pan. Saute for some time until nice and caramelized. Combine all other curry ingredients except the spinach with the onion mix. If you’re like us, you’ll use a cast-iron pot for making this food. Word of recommendation: leave the sweet potato for the last, it’s easier to mix everything together if your pot isn’t full of sweet potato chunks. Warm up the oven to 150-175 C and let the food cook there for five to six hours.

Making the coconut rice is pretty easy, throw all the ingredients together in a pot, warm until it boils, turn the heat down and let it cook under a lid. While the rice is slowly getting ready (the time depends on the type of rice you use), you might want to add the spinach into your cast-iron pot, mix it a bit and put it back into the oven until you’re ready to eat. When the rice is ready, you’re good to enjoy your curry.

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Seitan Saturday: Roast with Juniper Berries

On Wednesday we promised to post recipe for this seitan. It’s actually a combination of two recipes, with some changes. The basic roast is from Inna Somersalo’s book “Yllin kyllin”, and the marinade is from Kasviskeittiössä-blog. The roast gets better when it cools down, so it’s best if you make it a day before serving.

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Seitan Roast with Juniper Berries and Rosemary

4 dl vital wheat gluten
2 dl gram flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp dry ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
0,5 dl soy sauce
0,5 dl oil
2,5 dl water

marinade:
15 dried juniper berries
5 pepper corns
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp dried rosemary or some fresh rosemary leaves
0,5 tsp salt
0,5 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
0,5 dl water

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix oil, soy sauce and water in another bowl and combine with the dry ingredients. Knead couple of minutes. Form a roast.

Grind the juniper berries and peppercorns. Mince the garlic cloves. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and put into a plastic bag with seitan roast. Marinade overnight. Wrap the roast in aluminium foil and bake 1,5 hours in 175 Celsius degrees.

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