Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Turmeric, Tandoori and Tofu Oh My

Last week I spent a little extra time in the kitchen with the goal of putting together a few new dishes to try out. We've definitely been in a major rut with cooking. I thought it would be fun to try out a few new ideas.

First up was to use up some cauliflower. I love roasting cauliflower and using that for lunches throughout the week. I decided to kick it up a notch though. Usually I just toss with salt and olive oil.

This time I broke out some other spices. I have been using more and more turmeric in my cooking because it has some pretty fantastic health benefits to include acting as a liver detoxifier and as an anti-inflammatory.

Spicy Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
Olive oil
To taste: salt, powdered red pepper, garlic powder, turmeric

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower, oil and seasonings.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake approximately 15 minutes, flip the cauliflower and continue to bake an additional 15-20 minutes. 

I loved everything about how this cauliflower turned out. It's great for just snacking on, as a side, or on a salad.

The next meal was inspired by a jar of tandoori spice mix that Jason and I had picked up once upon a time at TJ Maxx. We have a tendency to buy random spice blends and marinades, especially if they sound particularly interesting.

I loved the earthy fragrance of this blend, which includes spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika to name a few. One of the suggestions on the container was to mix the spice with yogurt and marinate chicken. I decided to take that idea and apply it to tofu for a Tandoori Spiced Tofu.

Tandoori Spiced Tofu
Ingredients:
1 package tofu, well pressed
5 oz greek yogurt or a vegan yogurt
Tandoori spice, to taste (you can make definitely your own)
Lemon juice, to desired consistency
Freshly minced garlic, to taste
Freshly grated ginger, to taste
Zest of lemon or orange (optional)

Directions:
Cut your tofu lengthwise then in half to allow the marinade to better penetrate the tofu.

In a bowl, all ingredients (minus tofu) and whisk well. Pour mixture over tofu and allow to marinate at least 1 hour, preferably over night.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Bake tofu approximately 20 minutes, flip and continue to bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until golden and firm.

Because I had some kale on hand, I decided to use kale as one of the sides to the Tandoori Spiced Tofu. Jason had wanted some rice on the side, but was wanting jasmine or basmati, which we didn't have on hand.

I did, however, have quinoa. So I thought that would work well as a mild flavor to accompany the tofu and kale. I thought I would try to carry on some of the tandoori spice flavors into the kale. I also decided to reach for the coconut oil to infuse additional flavor into the kale.

Indian Inspired Kale 
Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
Freshly grated ginger, to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
To taste: salt, coriander

Directions:
In a large, non-stick skillet, melt coconut oil and add in the garlic. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes then add in the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat the kale then cover with a lid to allow to simmer until kale is wilted.

Tandoori Spiced Quinoa
Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
2 carrots, small dice
Tandoori seasoning, to taste
To taste: salt, onion powder, garlic powder
1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions:
In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa, water, orange juice, carrots and spices, cover with a lid and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes until the liquid has cooked out. Turn off the heat and toss in the peas, cover and allow to sit for approximately 3-4 minutes while peas thaw.


I was pleased with how this entire meal turned out. The yogurt left sort of a coating on the tofu, so I actually think that it would be fantastic to dredge it in some panko crumbs or perhaps ground almonds. The only downfall was that I didn't have more of the kale.