6 cups eggplant (two medium or one large), cut into large cubes
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
6 tbsp coconut cream solids (from a can of coconut milk or coconut cream left to separate overnight in the fridge)
about an inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
green onions to garnish
1. prepare rice according to package directions, making sure to rinse it several times with cool water to remove excess starch. for best results, soak the rice in cool water for about half an hour after rinsing and before cooking. after cooking, set the rice aside in the refrigerator.
slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu: place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weight it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave for about 30 minutes to remove moisture.
3. cut the tofu into even cubes of your preferred size. lay the cubes on a plate in a single layer and freeze for a few hours, until they darken and harden. toss the frozen tofu into boiling water and boil for at least 15-20 minutes, agitating occasionally.
4. meanwhlie, spread the cubed eggplant in a single layer over the bottom of a large dish, or a cutting board, laid with paper towels. coat evenly with 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp salt. cover with more paper towels and weight evenly (with a few cans of soup on top of a smaller cutting board, for example) to remove water. leave for about an hour.
5. remove cubes of tofu from boil and drain. pat them dry with a towel to get as much moisture out as possible. sprinkle 2 tbsp of cornstarch over them and coat evenly. heat coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and then add tofu. turn the cubes to a new side to cook every couple of minutes, until all sides are golden brown (this is tedious but I find that chopsticks help). set aside.
6. heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pan, or a wok (if you have a gas stove and a wok ring) until it’s spluttering. add ginger and cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
7. add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown. set aside, keeping the oil.
8. add the solids from a separated can of coconut milk or cream (this should work out to around 6 tbsp) and raise heat to high. bring to a boil.
9. add rice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt, white pepper, and more curry powder as desired. fry, adding more coconut oil as necessary, for 2-3 minutes.
10. add eggplant and tofu and continue to fry for another minute or two.
makes one two-layered 9″ cake, or one 9″ x 13″ loaf
for the cake:
3 ¼ cups (390g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (200g) shredded carrot
2 cups (440g) light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
about 1 cup total chopped and toasted walnuts and/or pecans (optional)
2/3 cup (160mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (470mL) water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp vanilla extract
for the cream cheese frosting (makes a generous amount):
12oz vegan cream cheese (1 and a half standard tubs)
½ cup (1 stick) vegan margarine, softened
½ cup (115g) vegan sour cream
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups (375-500g) vegan powdered sugar
pinch of nutmeg
toasted walnuts and pecans for garnish
for the cake:
1. combine flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl (if measuring flour by volume, gently spoon it into a measuring cup until it’s heaping and then level it off. brown sugar should be packed tightly into the measuring cup).
2. grate, or shred using a food processor, peeled carrots or baby carrots and mix into the other dry ingredients. toast chopped walnuts and pecans on a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until a shade darker and add half to most of them to the batter, if desired.
3. mix the wet ingredients–oil, water, vinegar, and vanilla–into a small bowl. add into wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
4. grease two 9″ cake pans, or one 9″ x 13″ loaf pan, then line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper (you made need to use two separate pieces–one for the bottoms and one for the sides). divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake at 350 F (175 C) for 35 – 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.
for the frosting:
1. combine cream cheese, margarine, and sour cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. stir in maple syrup and vanilla.
2. add sugar one cup at a time, continuing to beat, until the desired consistency is achieved (it should be thick enough to coat the sides of the cake). add nutmeg if desired.
1. allow cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from cake pans (the parchment paper should make this easy–if you didn’t use any and your cakes are stuck, just flip the pans upside down and wait) and allow to cool completely before frosting. top with the remaining toasted nuts.
1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)
2 VeganEggs, prepared according to instructions on package
¼ cup non-dairy milk
for the crust:
1. sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. cut margarine into the flour with a knife or a pastry blender until the chunks are about the size of peas.
3. add water 1 tablespoon at a time and knead until dough just comes together, being careful not to overwork it. wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
for the filling:
1. cut onions in half lengthwise and lay them cut-side down. make four to five cuts through the onion lengthwise, angled towards the center of the onion, such that you get visible rings. crush, peel and chop garlic.
2. heat butter over medium-high heat in a large pan. cook onions, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent. reduce the heat to medium-low, add garlic, and cook for about another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized and attained a deep golden brown color.
3. remove from heat. beat two VeganEggs (aka, just the powder mixed with water) with ¼ cup non-dairy milk and stir into the warm filling.
1. roll out dough between two lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. form a rough circle by placing your rolling pin in the center of the dough and pushing outward, repeating the motion as you move around. the dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick.
2. remove the top layer of plastic wrap and flip the dough over into a 9″ tart tray or pie tin. press the dough into the edges of the tin with a fork, making sure that it’s pressed all the way down into the corners. don’t work the dough with your hands too much or you risk melting the butter. prick holes into the bottom of the dough with a fork
optionally, refrigerate the crust for another half hour or so before baking (this should make the finished product more flaky).
3. cover the center of the dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, or something like dried beans, so that the dough doesn’t puff up during baking.
4. parbake the crust at 400 F for 12 minutes. remove the pie weights and cook for another 5 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown.
5. pour the filling into the pie and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
6. cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the filling of the tart is no longer liquid.
7. top with shredded mozzarella and sliced fresh figs, or serve with fig jam.
seffa madfouna is a Moroccan main dish that consists of a meat such as chicken, lamb, or beef buried (“madfouna”) in a dome of couscous or vermicelli that’s been sweetened with powdered sugar, golden raisins, and butter. without the meat, the dish is called “seffa” and is served as a dessert.
for the seffa:
1lb (450g) broken vermicelli (you can find this in a Middle Eastern or comparable store)
½ tsp ground black pepper or whole black peppercorns, toasted and ground
½ tsp ground white pepper
or whole white peppercorns, toasted and ground
1 tsp salt
1 large pinch saffron, toasted
2 tsp ground cinnamon, or 2 cinnamon sticks
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup almonds
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp orange blossom water
about ½ cup dried dates (optional)
additional powdered sugar and ground cinnamon
steaming the seffa:
the vermicelli will need to be steamed three or four times.
1. place vermicelli in a large bowl and, using your hands, coat evenly with oil.
2. boil about 8 cups of water, lemon, orange blossom water, and cinnamon in the bottom of a couscoussier, or in a large pot.
3. reduce heat to medium-low and add vermicelli in the top of your couscoussier, or in a strainer or colander that fits inside the pot without touching the water. steam for about 20 minutes, until you see the edges of the broken vermicelli begin to point upwards.
[before and after steaming]
4. return the vermicelli to the bowl and add about 1 cup (250ml) warm, salted water, using your hands or a fork to ensure that the water is evenly distributed. allow the vermicelli to absorb the water for about 10 minutes.
5. return the vermicelli to the couscoussier and steam for another 20 minutes, until the edges begin to point upwards. this is the second steaming.
6. return the vermicelli to the bowl and add 1/3 to ½
(80 – 120ml) cup of water, depending on how dry the pasta feels. it should be almost tender enough to eat.
7. add in the golden raisins. return the vermicelli to the couscoussier and steam for another 20 minutes
(you may need to add more water). this is the third steaming.
8. repeat this process again if the vermicelli is still not tender enough to eat. it won’t have the same texture as cooked noodles but it shouldn’t be hard in the center.
9. add margarine and sisugar, making sure they’re evenly incorporated.
preparing the meat:
1. defrost the beefless tips in a bowl filled with warm water until no longer frozen.
2. mix the oil with the ras el hanout, ground ginger, black pepper, white pepper, salt, cinnamon (if using ground) and saffron. toss beefless tips in spiced oil, leaving aside about 3 tbsp for cooking the onions. set beef in the fridge to marinate.
3. heat the remainder of the spiced oil over medium heat and add onions, beefless tips, and cinnamon (if using a stick). cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the tips are fully cooked. set aside.
preparing the toppings:
1. blanch the almonds by leaving them in boiling water for about a minute, rinsing them in cool water, and gently removing their skins. dry thoroughly.
2. heat enough oil to cover the almonds in a pan over medium-low heat. an almond dropped into the oil should cause a bubble to form–if the oil sputters, it’s too hot. fry almonds, stirring constantly, until golden brown. allow to cool.
3. grind ½ cup of fried almonds in a food processor with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp orange blossom water until coarse crumbs form. set aside.
assembling the dish:
1. spread a layer of vermicelli on the bottom of a large serving dish. top with a mound of beefless tips in a rough dome shape.
2. pile the rest of the vermicelli on top of the beefless tips until they are fully covered, completing the dome.
3. top with fried almonds, almond mixture, ground cinnamon, powdered sugar, and dates as desired.
1. mix almond meal, powdered sugar, orange zest, and salt in a large bowl. add wet ingredients and knead until combined (it may take a few minutes for all of the almond meal to be incorporated). wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
2. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. shape dough into small balls about an inch in diameter and flatten slightly. roll each cookie in powdered sugar, then top with a pinch of ground cinnamon and an almond.
3. bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 F (175 C), until firm to the touch.
1. thaw beefless tips by placing the bag in a large bowl full of warm water.
2. mix ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. add beefless tips to the bowl, stirring to coat, and refrigerate. mix ingredients for the cornstarch slurry in a bowl and refrigerate. (all ingredients should be kept at room temperature or colder: heat will cause the cornstarch to clump.)
3. boil ¼ cup of water in a large pan, or a wok on a wok ring if you have a gas stove. blanch broccoli for about three minutes, stirring occasionally. set aside.
4. heat oil over high heat in your pan or wok until oil is smoking. add ginger and garlic and fry for about 30 seconds, until aromatic. remove garlic and ginger from the oil.
5. lower heat to medium and fry onions for a few minutes until slightly softened. add beefless tips and marinade and fry until almost done, stirring occasionally.
6. add cornstarch slurry and sesame seeds. lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened. add broccoli and fry for another minute until softened.
vegan fried rice with “chicken,” walnuts, and dried figs
recipe under the cut!
1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into strips
1 bag Gardein chick’n strips
1 cup walnuts
½ cup dried figs, stemmed and halved
2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp ground cinnamon, or 2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground white pepper
1. measure rice into a bowl and cover with cool water. agitate with your hands and pour the water out. repeat until the water is no longer clouded (this will get rid of excess starch on the rice). cook rice according to package directions and refrigerate for a few hours. (leftover rice from take-out will also work well.)
2. heat oil over medium heat in a large pan, or a wok if you have a wok ring and a gas stove (this is the only way the wok will get hot enough to fry rice).
3. add onions and cook for about thirty seconds until aromatic. add chick’n and spices and cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chick’n is crispy.
4. add walnuts and figs and continue to cook until figs are soft and moist.
5. raise heat to high. add rice and fry for 3-4 minutes, adding more oil if needed. taste and adjust spices.
4 large shiitake mushrooms, slivered (about 1 cup)
1 cup snow peas
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
2-4 carrots, sliced or julienned (about 1 cup)
1 cup baby corn
1 ½ cup broccoli florets
1 cup bean sprouts
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
for the sauce:
½ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
½ cup water
2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
1. mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
(all ingredients should be kept at room temperature or colder: heat will cause the cornstarch to clump.)
2. coat noodles with 2 tbsp of oil in a large bowl.
3. heat a large pan, or a wok on a wok ring if you have a gas stove (otherwise the wok won’t get hot enough), over high heat. fry the noodles, stirring constantly, until light brown and crispy. set aside.
4. heat ¼ cup oil over high heat in your wok or pan. add garlic, ginger, and onion and fry, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften.
5. add broccoli and baby corn and continue frying for another minute.
6. add the carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, and yellow pepper and fry until the pepper begins to soften.
7. pour in the sauce and continue frying until the sauce thickens. add in bean sprouts and continue to cook for about a minute, until the sprouts are wilted.
8. pour vegetable and sauce mixture over the noodles and serve.
Shirin Plov (Azerbaijani rice pilaf with dried apricots, raisins, and prunes)
recipe under the cut!
2 cups dried basmati rice
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy margarine
large pinch of high-quality saffron
3 tbsp salt
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup prunes
a few flour tortillas (as a substitute for qazmaq, for frying)
for the rice:
1. rinse the rice several times in cold water until the water comes out mostly clear–this will get rid of excess starch and prevent the rice from sticking.
2. dissolve a few teaspoons of salt in enough water to cover the rice and soak the rice for at least a few hours, or overnight.
3. strain rice and cook according to package directions, then rinse to get rid of excess salt.
for the dried fruit:
1. melt 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of water in a pan over medium heat. add the raisins, apricots, and prunes. cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the fruit becomes a bit plumper.
for the saffron infusion:
1. place a large pinch of saffron in the bottom of a small glass. pour 2 tablespoons of just-boiled water over the saffron and let soak for a few minutes until the water turns orange.
to prepare the pilaf:
1. mix the dried fruit into the rice, leaving some aside to top the dish with.
2. melt a cup of butter. place about ¼ of the rice into a large pot and spread it into an even layer, then drizzle ¼ cup of butter over it. repeat three times with the rest of the rice and butter, then top with the saffron infusion.
3. poke some holes in the surface of the rice with a chopstick or the handle of a spoon to vent. cover and cook on low heat for an hour.
1. plate the pilaf in a large dish and top with the remaining fruit.
2. cut out flour tortillas into shapes as desired (triangles are popular) and fry them in a lightly oiled pain over medium heat, flipping once, until golden brown. use tortillas for topping and keep more on the side, for serving.