Curry Quinoa and Cauliflower with Roasted Chickpeas and Date-Tamarind Sauce

Sometimes I really don’t feel like cooking (believe it or not!).  This recipe was made on one of those days.  Groceries and morale were low, so I looked at my dates, my box of tamarind and head of cauliflower and said, “Let me try my hand at making some fake Indian food.”

Oftentimes the best recipes spring from improvisation.

For those unfamiliar with tamarind, here’s what it looks like.  You have to crack the shell and remove the seeds for it to be edible.

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1 cup quinoa

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp curry (or just turmeric)

Salt (to taste)

2 cups cauliflower flowerets (fresh or frozen)

For the roasted chickpeas:

1 cup of chickpeas (cooked or from a can)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Date-Tamarind Sauce:

4 pieces of tamarind

2 dates

½ cup to ¾ cup of water

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, oil, garlic powder and salt until chickpeas are well coated.  Spread them out onto a baking dish and let them back for approx.. 15 mins.
  2. While the chickpeas are cooking, rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions, adding the curry, salt (to taste), and garam masala.
  3. Steam your cauliflower flowerets and set aside.
  4. For the date-tamarind sauce, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour out and set aside.
  5. Assemble your bowl: Quinoa first, then layered with cauliflower, then chickpeas, then sauce. Serve hot.

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Maple Amaranth Cornbread (vegan, gluten-free)

Back in December, I made this cornbread and served it with veggie quinoa chili (recipe to come) to feed (Pay? Bribe? Induce? Entice? Manipulate?) one of my good friends into helping me mark exams.  Said friend comes from the Southern United States, so I thought that making chili (recipe to come) and cornbread would be a propos.

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With inspiration from the recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill amaranth package and having the taste of the cornbread from a certain vegan bakery in Toronto in mind, I came up with this.  It’s soft and moist and spicy.  My friend liked it, although he said that he was not used to eating such elaborately made cornbread (I smell a hater. Lol).

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Random side note: I like to pronounce it “Kownbrayed” because it makes me feel like I come from the South… (*cough**cough** Southern belle wannabe* *cough*)

…anyways…

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups non-dairy milk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut milk/ or 1 tbsp coconut cream

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup amaranth

¼ cup applesauce

1 cup gluten-free flour

2 cups cornmeal (check to see if it is gluten-free; Bob’s Red Mill has gluten-free cornmeal)

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup corn (optional, but recommended)

1 tbsp chopped jalepeno (optional, but recommended)

1 tbsp chopped red or orange peppers (optional, but recommended)

½ cup Daiya pepperjack or cheddar cheese (optional – never tried it, but I have a feeling it would be a nice accompaniment)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare/grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mix the non-dairy milk and the apple cider vinegar together to make your vegan buttermilk (it may be a little on the thin side; that’s okay).  Set aside.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients together.
  4. Combine all wet ingredients together.
  5. Create a “well”/hole in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to the the “well” in the dry ingredients.  Mix well.
  6. Incorporate jalepeno, corn, red/orange peppers and cheese if using.
  7. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake until tests done (when inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean).  This should take about an hour. Serve hot.

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