Coconut Rice

Yum. This rice is rich, *and* has hidden veggies – I’m calling that a win-win.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Coconut Rice

1 c basmati rice

1 can coconut milk

2 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

Juice + zest of 1 lime

2 tsp neutral oil

2 tsp mirin (optional)

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

1 c zucchini, grated

Combine and cook how you normally cook rice – I did mine on the “rice” setting of my electric cooker. Mix in the raw grated zucchini and serve.

Serves 4 – 6 and goes great with next week’s recipe

Mediterranean Spiced Hash

This deeply-spiced potato hash is great for a quick weeknight dinner – or as the centerpiece of a nice brunch. Serve with eggs, chicken, sausages, or leftover shawarma meat for a nice protein boost.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Mediterranean Spiced Hash

3 small yellow potatoes, chopped fine

2 big hand fulls okra (or asparagus, or green beans – whichever you can find), sliced into rounds

Big hand full cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small cucumber, chopped fine

Big hand parsley, chopped fine

1 red onion, diced (about 1/3 c)

Neutral oil

Stock or water + chicken flavoring (I used Magic Sarap)

4 Tbsp zaatar

2 tsp sumac or lemon powder

2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp smoked or sweet paprika

1 Tbsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper

Squeeze lemon juice

In a large pan over medium/medium-high, heat a couple turns oil. Add the potatoes and onion once chopped and sauté until beginning to soften, cutting the heat down if things start to get too brown.

Add the okra (or other veg) and stir a minute or so.

Add 1/4 c of the stock or seasoned water. Stir.

Add all the spices + generous lashes of salt and pepper.

Stir frequently, adding more water if your mix dries out and starts to burn, until the potatoes are cooked through and your okra de-slimes. Your potatoes will look super spiced and a sort of gravy will form. This is what you want.

To finish, toss with the cucumber, parsley and tomato. Taste and hit with a little lemon juice, salt or pepper if needed.

Serves 3 – 4, depending upon what you pair it with

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

This is a fantastically versatile couscous dish popular at Eid (fortuitous since I made it on what turned out to be the first day of the holiday celebration).

My version is vegetarian and much simpler than the original – a version of which can be found here. I served mine topped with last week’s tfaya dressing as written the first night and added a splash of lemon zest the next for an even brighter taste.

vegetarian, vegan

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

The Cous

1 cup couscous

2 cups good broth (I used a nice veggie broth)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp ghee or butter

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 cup chopped parsley

The Veggies

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

4 Roma tomatoes, quartered

2 large carrots, chopped

1/2 small butternut squash

4 small zucchini, chopped

Spice Mix

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cayenne

Topper

Tfaya dressing

Slivered almonds

Preheat your oven to 400C/345F and prepare a baking sheet.

Chop your veggies into large pieces and set on the sheet. For the butternut, scoop the seeds and slice into thick half moons.

Sprinkle the spice mix over all, hit with generous salt & pepper and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.

Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until your desired brownness is reached.

Scoop the butternut out of the peels and chop. Set all aside while you make the couscous.

Put the couscous in a large bowl, add the turmeric and butter and pour the boiling stock over top. Let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, and parsley.

To serve, top the couscous with the roasted veggies and sprinkle all with slivered almonds & last week’s Tfaya dressing.

Serves 4 – 6

Carrot Salad with Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

This dressing tastes surprisingly just like that served at hibachi restaurants.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

2 large carrots

5 Tbsp your favorite oil

2 scallions

1 date

3 Tbsp your favorite fruity vinegar (I used ume plum)

2 Tbsp pineapple juice (I suspect orange would work well, too)

1/3 c Kewpie mayo

1 inch ginger

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Generous pinch salt & pepper

Water to thin if needed

Blitz all dressing ingredients together, thinning out with a little water if necessary.

A Salad To Go With It

1 – 2 carrots, ribboned

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 huge hand full green beans, chopped

3 smallish Persian cucumbers, diced

2 scallions, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Toppers: sesame seeds, flaky salt, pepper, sambal or other spice

The dressing serves 6 or so; the salad makes enough for 3 – 4 dinners when supplemented with a protein

Mango Chive Salad

Although it is not, regrettably, high mango season where I live – I just couldn’t resist some particularly tantalizing ruby red beauties in the grocery last week. Here, we are starting to dread the summer heat – while hanging on to every last shred of cool weather (and the winds they bring). I thought a nice, refreshing salad was just the thing to combat those spring ‘I’m not ready for surface of the sun temps’ blues.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Mango Chive Salad

1 large mango (if you’ve got a big boy, or 2 smaller), skinned and chopped

3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English variety

1/4 c chives, snipped

1 jalapeño, seeded

1/4 c pepitas

2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp your favorite mustard (I used Dijon, but my love – grainy Maille – would also be great here)

2 tsp honey, agave or date molasses

2 Tbsp your favorite neutral oil (or neutral-ish; I used olive)

2 tsp any fruit vinegar (I used ume plum)

1 red bell pepper

Optional add-ins for bulk: Hand full simply stir-fried snow peas, 1/4 – 1/2 avocado per serving

Optional add-ins for protein: rotisserie chicken, shrimp or sesame tofu

Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.

Chop and add the red pepper & half the jalapeño and add to the bowl.

Snip the chives into small bits and add.

Add half the mango (I had a big boy so I added about a cup and a half, reserving about half a cup of mango for the dressing).

Toss all and set aside.

In the carafe of your blender, add: the other 1/2 cup or so of mango, the second half of the jalapeño, garlic, pepitas, lemon juice, mustard, sweetener, oil, and vinegar. Whiz to combine. Salt to taste.

Toss the salad with the dressing and any add-ins. Whack with a sprinkle flaky salt & black pepper to finish.

Serves 2 as a big meal-sized salad; 4 if you’re adding in the proteins & bulk items

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

Yaaaaaaas. I love fried eggplant cubes but hate actually frying things. The air fryer makes quick work of eggplant, turning it into crisp little nuggets in 10 minutes. Delicious!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

1 large purple eggplant

Salt

Curry powder

Spritz or spray oil

2 Tbsp Skyr-style soy yogurt

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp pomegranate molasses

1 Tbsp tahini

Generous sprinkle salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Cube your eggplant into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to a large bowl and toss with a generous sprinkle salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes.

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 3 minutes.

Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, tahini and garlic powder in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Toss your salted eggplant with a generous amount of curry powder, add to the basket of your air fryer, and hit with a spritz or two of oil. Fry, shaking occasionally, 10 minutes or until your desired level of crispness is achieved.

Serve with the yogurt sauce and your protein of choice.

Serves 2

Zucchini Ranch Air Fryer Fries

I am a sucker for a good alternative fry, and this simple side fits that bill perfectly. Every time I’ve made this, I’ve eaten an embarrassing number of zucchini.

Note: Mine are a little pale in the picture because in this batch I forgot to spritz with oil. They were still yummy, though.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan (check your labels)

Zucchini Ranch Air Fryer Fries

3-4 small zucchini

2 Tbsp. ranch seasoning (check your labels if you need this to fit into your specific dietary requirements)

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Generous sprinkle salt

Fry Sauce

2 Tbsp. mayo

1 Tbsp. ketchup

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. pickle relish

Oil for brushing

Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes (200C/400F).

While your air fryer is preheating, slice the zucchini into fry shapes. Salt generously and let sit in a bowl while you make the fry sauce.

Whisk the fry sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

When the air fryer is heated, add the Ranch seasoning and cornstarch to the bowl and toss well to coat.

Add to the bowl of the fryer in a single layer. Spritz lightly with a little oil or brush a little on top.

Fry 8 minutes, shaking a couple times and hitting with a little more oil if needed.

Serves ? If you’re not me, probably 2 or 3

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

This is a satisfying side to pretty much any protein. It’s sweet, rich, a little sticky, with a nice warm flavor.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

2-3 large carrots

Generous sprinkle cumin

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

1 tsp. oil

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. yogurt (I used a Skyr-style vegan variety)

1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

1 tsp. date molasses or other sweetener

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes.

While the air fryer is warming, cut your carrots into roughly fry shape.

Toss in a large bowl with the cumin, curry, salt, pepper & oil.

Air fry on 200C for 7-10 minutes or until your desired level of brown and crispness, pulling to toss every couple minutes.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to form a sauce. Thin with water if desired.

To serve, toss the carrot fries with the sauce.

Serves 4

Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl

This is a satisfying sweet and spicy bowl that makes great use of a pantry staple – the humble chickpea. While it’s not as high protein as a dish including meat, 100g of tofu gives you 8-10g and the chickpeas give another 5. Not too bad, and if you know of a good vegan protein powder to add you can bulk it even more.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl

1 can chickpeas

1 block extra firm tofu

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch broccolini, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 thumb ginger, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp. tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos, divided

4 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided

1/3 c. broth (I used mushroom onion; faux-chicken or any other stock would work just as well, you just want something with a little extra flavor to layer)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 tsp. nut butter (I used peanut, but any nut butter would do)

2 Tbsp. sweetener (I had date molasses on hand but your favorite sweetener will do – if you go for something sweeter than molasses, consider halving to 2/3-ing the amount

2 tsp. heat (don’t be like me and use ghost pepper garlic sauce unless you want a punch in the mouth – go for something saner like a nice sambal olek for the same spicy garlic without the shock)

1 tsp. + sesame oil

1 tsp. grainy mustard (y’all know I love my Maille)

2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder +

Generous grinds pepper

Toppers: thinly sliced scallions, sesame seeds

Drain the chickpeas, add to a bowl and marinate in 1 Tbsp. soy + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar for half an hour – a couple hours.

Press the tofu, chop into half-inch cubes, and add to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. soy & 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar. Let marinate alongside the chickpeas.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining Tbsp. soy & Tbsp. vinegar, broth, tomato paste, nut butter, sweetener, heat, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, grainy mustard, 2 tsp. cornstarch and a few grinds pepper.

Chop the veggies and get everything ready.

Add a couple Tablespoons cornstarch to the tofu mix and toss vigorously to coat. Air fry 7-8 minutes, tossing often to ensure even crispiness.

While the tofu is crisping, sauté the onion over medium heat in a couple teaspoons sesame oil until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and broccolini and continue sautéing 2-3 minutes or until the broccolini looks like it’s beginning to soften a touch.

Add the peppers and let go another 2-3 minutes until those begin to soften, stirring often to avoid burning.

Add the bowl of sauce and the chickpeas. Stir well and sauté until the sauce is nice and thick and everything is well incorporated.

Add the tofu to each bowl individually (100g gives you 8g; 1c. of the chickpeas gives you 5), top with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 3-4

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

This is a quick little salad that is easy to scale up to feed a crowd.

As written, this dressing recipe makes extras. I drizzled some on a fruit salad (kinda crappy mango & persimmon), and swirled a dollop into a quinoa brown rice mix for an extra creamy kick. Delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

250g baby potatoes

Big hand baby spinach

1 clove minced garlic

Big hand cherry tomatoes

2Tbsp. tahini

2tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1tsp. white miso

1tsp. date molasses or maple syrup

2tsp. citrus juice

Oil, salt & pepper

Optional topper: feta (mine was vegan feta)

Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and parboil the potatoes 7 minutes or until almost done.

Halve the potatoes (or quarter if they’re a bit large) and add to the sheet. Drizzle with oil and season liberally with salt, pepper and any other spice you love (I used a chicken spice mix). Spread potatoes out into a single layer.

Lightly smush with the bottom of the pot or something heavy.

Bake 15 mins or until desired crispness is reached.

In a small bowl, whisk the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, miso & citrus juice to make dressing. Thin with a little water to your desired consistency.

Add the potatoes, spinach, garlic & tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss with dressing.

Serves 2 for dinner