Tag Archives: tomato paste

Pasta with a side of protein, please…

I like pasta. It’s easy to make and easy to request with no meat or cheese at restaurants. The problem with veganizing pasta (other than the obvious, which is doing your best to ensure that the actual pasta is vegan) is that it very often will lack a good amount of protein. I like having some Italian sausage or ground turkey or meatballs or chicken or fish with some pasta. I love hot dogs in my spaghetti! But I’m vegan now. I had a pressed block of tofu and some vegan spaghetti waiting for me in the fridge, so I had to get creative.

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I “ground” up the tofu with a fork and mixed it together with the following:

1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
minced garlic
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

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I took my leftover spaghetti out of the fridge, put some on a plate, topped it with some of the tofu and heated it up in the microwave.

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Mix it up a little and it just looks like there’s some cheese in there! It was delicious on the pasta and also on its own. I’ll be making this tofu mix again. –Melissa

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Easy Pigeon Peas

Since going vegan, I’ve easily had guacamole and chips for dinner at least once a week. It sounds weird when I say it out loud, but it’s the reality of my vegan lifestyle. That said, I was in no mood for guacamole tonight. So I threw together a pigeon pea dish.

 

Ingredient list:

1/2 dried pigeon peas or gandules
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tbsp tomato paste
dash of annatto powder
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I boiled the pigeon peas in 2 cups of boiling water for a few minutes and then set it aside for an hour. Then, I heated a pot, browned the garlic and onions in olive oil until the onions were translucent, and then added the diced tomato. Once the tomato was softened to my liking, I added the peas, the spices, tomato paste, and a cup of water. I covered the pot until it boiled and the water had dried out a bit. I served the pigeon peas over some garlicky fried rice.

I was definitely in need of something more hearty than guacamole for dinner and this fit the bill! –Melissa

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Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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