Tag Archives: yogurt

Harissa Spiced Tofu Bowl with Cured Lemon Cous-Cous and Herbed Yogurt

9 Mar

YUM. A colourful and spicy triumph. This whole dish was inspired by an experiment with preserved lemons (which I made ages ago) yet mysteriously had not been enlisted to bolster any recipes. They are my new favourite ingredient. I love Middle Eastern flavours.  It may be my favourite kind of food (after Indian, obvs), and something I’d like to experiment with much, much more.

All of the elements of this dish worked together beautifully. The tofu was spicy and chewy, the couscous fluffy and savory, the avocado rich, and the tangy herbed yogurt tied it all together seamlessly.

20140309-235243.jpgThis was also my first time making Harissa paste. It is a Tunesian hot pepper paste that is usually made with fresh hot red peppers. I didn’t have any of these on hand, so I substituted them for dried chili powder and smokey paprika. It was pretty easy and packed a huge punch of flavour. I can’t wait to try it out again (with fish, with chicken, with chickpeas, and and and…)

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Harissa Paste: 

  • 1/2 half teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (crushed or shredded)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Mix.

I then coated the tofu cubes with the spice paste and let it sit for 1 hour (the longer the better). On an oiled baking sheet I baked the tofu with lemon slices at 350 for about 45 minutes. (I really like baked lemons, bothvisually and for a cleansing, sour finish to the meal!)

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Meanwhile, I prepared the cous cous and yogurt.

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Moroccan Spiced CousCous

  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • red pepper, sliced
  • 2 small dates, chopped (or substitute raisins or dried apricots)
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon cured lemon rind (chopped finely)
  1. In a small pot, bring 3.5 cups of salted water to a boil (optional: use vegetable or chicken stock). Once boiling point is reached, add two cups of couscous and remove from heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil and cover tightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in small frying pan, fry onions until soft (about 6 minutes). Add spices (minus the parsley) and fry over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes) mixing well. Add some coconut oil if the pan gets too dry. This should form a nice paste.
  3. Once couscous is ready (about 5 minutes) remove lid and fluff gently with a fork. Add to frying pan and mix wit onion and spice mixture. Add raw tomatoes, peppers, lemon juice, lemon rind, dates and parsley, taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Mix well.

This made for awesome leftovers.

“What is cured lemon rind?” I hear you wondering. It’s basically lemons pickled in their own juice with lots of salt and a few spices. You only use the rind for flavour, and a little bit goes a really long way to brighten up any dish.  I was inspired by Chuck Hughes’ Food Network show Chuck’s Day Off, which I love. He put it on fish, and made it look so sexy (the fish I mean).

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You should try it out!

Cured Lemons:

  • 4 lemons
  • 1.5 cups course sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 kefir lime leaves

Read more 

Cured things make me happy. Listen to this song while making these for a double whammy.

Now onto the easiest/yummiest concoction…

Herbed Yogurt

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or one clove fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilntro
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch brown sugar, to taste

If you do nothing else, make sure you include this yogurt. It made the meal, in my opinion!

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To serve, pile all elements haphazardly into one bowl. I served with a dollop of garlic hummus, avocado, sesame flat breads and fresh cilantro.

Dayyyum.

And that’s how we do March.

M

Gluten free Falafel with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt

25 Feb

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Craving a quick and light meal? Look no further! You can whip these bad boys up and still have time to do homework watch the Oscars for four hours, uninterrupted!

The key ingredient for me here was the chipotle. Nothing beats that smokiness. It goes surprisingly excellent with the combination of tangy yogurt and nutty tahini.

And of course, this recipe is gluten and sugar free (just like me!). I’ve been on this crazy diet for 13 days now, (which also eliminates all dairy except for yogurt) and honestly, I feel great. More energetic and more alert! I’ve also finally lost those 3.5 Italy pounds (worth it) which is a nice bonus!

For those of you not on a cleanse, fear not. These falafel would be lovely wrapped in a warm pita with onion, tomato and parsley.

Gluten Free Falafel with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt
Makes 16

2 small cans of chickpeas (or one can chickpeas, one can another bean if you’re short- I actually used chickpeas and adzuki beans for this dish), drained and rinsed.
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1 egg
1 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste, remember, I like things spicy!)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 juicy lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Coconut oil, for frying
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Add beans to food processor and give it a few pulses. Remove half of the chopped beans into a large bowl, and leave the rest.

2. Process the remaining beans with garlic, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, herbs, salt, cornmeal and flaxseeds. Taste for salt. Add egg and blend until incorporated into a thick, chunky paste. Add mixture to bowl with chopped beans.

3.in a large skillet heat oil at medium high (about two tablespoons). Gently ball dough and drop into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate lines with paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.

Sauce
1 cup yogurt
2 heaping tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1/4 fresh lemon
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground chipotle

1. Mix and drizzle on top or serve on the side.

I served this on a makeshift tabbouleh salad- finely chopped parsley with cherry tomatoes, chopped red pepper and cilantro, topped with olive oil,more sea salt and more lemon juice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and ground black pepper.

Then sit back, relax, and talk smack about celebrities.

M

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