Tofu Tikka Masala

INGREDIENTS:
Marinade
1 block of tofu
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 clove of garlic crushed
½” piece of ginger crushed
Salt and pepper to season

Gravy
1 medium onion preferably red, chopped
½ a can of crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch piece of ginger minced
1 small stick cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
½ cup almond milk (plain)
2 tbsp almond butter (optional)
Lemon juice to make the gravy tart
Salt and pepper (if necessary)

DIRECTIONS:
Drain tofu and chop into squares. Combine spices and lemon juice in a bowl. Add tofu, stir around and let marinate. I let it sit for about 20 minutes and warmed the oven to 350. Transfer the tofu to a cooking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Move them around after about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

In a skillet, heat water. Next add the whole spices and warm for a few minutes. I made it a bit more than paste by adding a bit more water. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook till the onions are translucent.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes. Cooking the tomatoes is the KEY step in this gravy. If the tomatoes stay undercooked, the taste of the final product will suffer. So how do you know, well add the tomatoes and the spices and cook till you see the edges of the tomatoes separating from the pan (never saw this with my tomatoes).

Next add the almond butter, ½ cup of water and almond milk. Mix and let it come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add lemon juice and season to taste. Finally add the tofu and let it go for another 5 minutes, so that the tofu can soak the liquid and spices.

NOTES: I omitted ALL of the olive oil, it wasn’t needed to saute the onion and didn’t want to load the dish with unnecessary fat. I might use the juice of 1 lemon for the marinade since I omitted the olive oil. All the tofu was well coated when it went into the oven.

I also wish I had used some more crushed tomatoes in the recipe, possibly a 1/4 cup more would have made for a more consistent gravy.

SOURCE: The Healthy Diary

Cooking Middle Eastern

Cooking Middle Eastern

Can I cook tikka masala?

I just posted on the McDougall Friends group on Facebook, I am getting tired of cooking the same old thing, week after week. Thankfully this IS something I have complete control over as I do a majority of the cooking. I am still open to preparing potato enchiladas for my wife, since she loves the flavor of them. Scouring the many websites I have collected and the few vegan/vegetarian cookbooks I have purchased, I am still at somewhat of a loss when it comes to cooking Middle Eastern recipes

Recently I was turned on to a Middle Eastern market called International Foods in Concord, CA (that is how Yelp lists it). I had been searching for chickpea flour and fava beans at a reasonable price. This small nondescript market had a wide variety of freshly cook foods, breads and ingredients for many Middle Eastern/Indian recipes. I was able to purchase chana besan and fava beans, as an added bonus, freshly cooked naan bread. The best part of this bread, it’s fat free, egg free (dairy), cholesterol free and contains no preservatives! It seems to be “McDougall Approved!”

Since changing my diet I have made a few different batches of hummus, all oil free. Some have told me it’s not hummus without oil. To each their own I guess I don’t use the “heart healthy” *sarcasm* olive oil since I don’t want the added fat and have done away with adding oil to my recipes. Another dish I am preparing better, baked falafel either in patty or ball form. Patties seem to bake better with a subtle crunch revealing a warm, moist inside. One dish I failed with, but will prepare better next time, dal palak.With this sudden find of naan bread I have been looking for dishes to accompany this wonderful tasting bread. I will also mention tabbouleh, but that was a box mix I purchased at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

Today I found a tofu tikka masala recipe that I hope to add to my list of favorites. While the original recipe includes 2 1/2 tablespoons of EVOO (thanks Rachel!), 1/2 a tablespoon to bake the tofu with and 2 tablespoons for the gravy that will be slathered over the dish. I don’t think this recipe will miss that amount of oil and definitely won’t add to the flavor. While I am not sure I an sell my wife on the tofu, I will still give it a shot. I will serve it over rice and if she isn’t into the tofu, then mixed veggies might work.