Vibrant Balti paste, traditionally used for tangy curries, gives amazing flavour to chickpeas in a lettuce bowl. In this dish, tomato and cucumber temper the heat, but Balti paste can be tossed with any vegetable, or even cooked meat such as chicken.
Balti Paste Dry Curry
1 in (2.5 cm) cinnamon stick
2 tsp (10 mL) cumin seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) fenugreek seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) turmeric
1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 large garlic cloves
1 Tbsp (15 mL) peeled and minced fresh ginger root
1 fresh red Thai chili, end removed
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups (500 mL) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 large curly leaf lettuce leaves
4 firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 cup (250 mL) finely diced unpeeled English cucumber
1/2 cup (125 mL) thick plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped cilantro
6 fresh lime wedges
For Balti Paste Dry Curry, combine cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and yellow mustard seeds in dry frying pan. Toast over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring steadily, until they begin to release an aroma. Transfer to bowl to cool.
Place in spice grinder and grind to fine powder. Move to bowl and stir in turmeric and paprika. Set aside.
For Balti Paste, heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and whole Thai chili, and sauté over medium heat until soft but not golden. Transfer to blender along with lime zest and juice, and process to a paste. Stir in Balti Dry Curry spice mixture. Set aside to cool. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For Lettuce Bowls, place drained chickpeas in mixing bowl. Spoon half the Balti Paste overtop, using a spatula to gently fold it in so chickpeas are lightly coated. Store extra in tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week for another use.
Line 4 serving plates with lettuce leaves. Place scoop of curried chickpeas in lettuce bowl. Scatter with diced tomato and cucumber. Top with generous dollop of yogurt and chopped cilantro. Serve each with lime wedge.
Each serving contains: 226 calories; 9 g protein; 6 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 304 mg sodium
source: "Celebrate Diwali", alive #373, November 2013
This riff on everyone’s favourite childhood sandwich is a delicious snack on a sultry summer day. It’s like ice cream but with fewer calories and a more advantageous nutrition profile. And there’s no ice cream maker required! Easy freeze To freeze bananas for “nice cream” or smoothies, peel and chop ripe fruit into 1 in (2.5 cm) chunks. Spread out on baking sheet and place in freezer until solid, 2 or more hours. Transfer to airtight container for storage in freezer.
Make no mistake, meaty grilled tofu, sweet flame-licked salsa, and chunks of crispy sweet potato make for a meal prepared in the great outdoors that puts the yum in plant-based eating. A master’s touch Perfect spuds: Crispy potatoes on the grill are a revelation. But it’s best to give them a head start on the stovetop, so the potatoes heat through before the exteriors grill to a burnt crisp. Flavourful tofu: Giving tofu a 90-degree turn on the grill halfway through cooking each side will produce a nice crosshatch pattern that makes you look like a grill master. Plus, those overlapping grill marks give tofu even better flavour.
Combine pizza and taco night by firing up the grill. Sweet flame-licked onions, melty cheese, fiery salsa, hearty beans, and crispy flatbread crust all marry well in a no-fuss pizza that comes together fast enough to work within the confines of the weekday time crunch. Set up a work area near the grill so you have all your toppings within easy reach and ready to go. You can also use large Middle Eastern-style pitas for your base. Using store-bought pizza dough? If you want to go more traditional and use pizza dough, you can certainly stick with the grill. Stretch or roll pizza dough (about 1 lb/450 g) to roughly 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick. It need not be perfectly round or square; it just has to be even thickness. Preheat grill to medium using indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one burner off; for a charcoal grill, shovel coals onto one side of the grill) and lightly oil grill grates. Brush one side of dough with oil, then place on grill in an area not directly over the heat, oil side down. Once dough is lightly charred and just barely set, about 1 to 2 minutes, use pizza peel or big, flat spatula to transfer it to a work surface, grilled side up. Apply toppings and return pizza to indirect heat. Close grill lid, and heat until edges of crust are crispy and cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula. Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased. Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.