A Vegan Bowl For Your Garbage Soul
I just got back from a trip to both San Fran and Sonoma County---a wedding weekend in which I drank no less than 36 bottles of wine a night, until my body itself became a wine barrel, leaking CAB and SYRAH like it was the factory they make The Real Housewives. And what goes best with wine? Cheese! The food that makes me as bloated as a Thanksgiving Parade balloon, but one of the boring lazy ones like Garfield. And while I will talk a little more about that trip some other time, I want to talk about what happened after the trip. My body craves a few things after vacation: more vacation, healthy food, and moisturizer, and that IV that gets rid of hangovers. But this is more about what I ATE. I had a craving for either Indian food or Asian food, because I find those to be filled with greens and rice and things that make me feel alive. But takeout costs money, all of which I spent on vacation. So I took some staples and invented my own fusion-y, completely inauthentic meal that was warm and comforting and made me feel not so much like an old sock. Think of it as chana saag’s kaley distant relative, if foods were sentient. Um. That description is OKAY. It’s basically a fragrant stew of kale and chickpeas, made creamy and a little rich with the addition of coconut dairy-free yogurt, which I have become obsessed with in my quest to find dairy-free alternatives. Oh, and it's topped with fried tofu. Because even healthy food needs to be made just a little unhealthy by me, the Sodium Queen.
Alida’s Vegan Healthy-ish Bowl For When She Eats and Drinks like Shit
Ingredients (serves 3-4 or 1-2 hungry bulldozers):
-one can of low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-5-6 cups of kale, shredded with your hands! YOUR HANDS!!!!!
-2 cups low-sodium or unsalted vegetable broth (plus more on hand, just in case)
-8 oz can of tomato sauce
-half a chopped white or Spanish onion
-two cloves of garlic
-one inch cube of ginger
-1 cup of unsweetened dairy-free coconut yogurt (I use So Delicious, and if you're not worried about dairy, unsweetened plain greek yogurt will do)
-1/2 tablespoon turmeric
-1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
-1/2 tablespoon of paprika
-salt/pepper to taste
The Fried Tofu
-one block of extra-firm tofu
-2 tablespoons of cornstarch
-2 teaspoons of garlic powder
-1 teaspoon paprika
-pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
-salt/pepper to taste
NOW What? I AM HUNGOVER
-Take the tofu out of container, wrap and place on the cutting board. Place a heavy pan on top to let the liquid drain from the tofu (I use a cast iron skillet).
-add around a spoonful of coconut oil to a medium-high pan. Add the onion and spices (except salt and pepper) to the onion and cook around 4 minutes until translucent. I used the spices I had on hand, but feel free to use the ones you like.
-grate the garlic and ginger over the pan and stir until fragrant, around 1-2 minutes.
-stir in vegetable broth and tomato sauce until combined, then add in chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
-add the kale and cover with lid for a minute to let the kale wilt.
-Turn up heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to lowest setting and let simmer while you prepare other ingredients, around 30 minutes to an hour. Splash vegetable broth to your taste if you find the broth has thickened down too much. You want it to be a little bit broth-y at the end, as the coconut yogurt will thicken it up a bit.
WHILE STEW IS SIMMERING
-if desired, make some brown or jasmine rice
-15 minutes before rice is done, remove the tofu from it’s Giles Corey more weight situation and chop it into cubes.
-Toss with the cornstarch and spices.
-Heat some coconut oil in a skillet (or any oil, really) on medium-high and add the cubes of tofu, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
-Cook on each side until crispy, around 3 minutes each side.
NOW YOU SERVE:
-IMPORTANT: JUST before serving, turn off the heat on the stew and stir in the cup of coconut yogurt until heated through. You want to do this at the very end! Don't cook yogurt!
-You know how to serve bowls, right? Rice and stew and some tofu. If you want to be like me, you’ll top this with my favorite easy pickled spring onions by Smitten Kitchen (from her potato salad recipe) and some Sriracha. If you’re not like me at all, you can top with cilantro and a wedge of lime.
-Eat in front of the tv catching up on tv and ALSO LOL SERVE IT WITH BEER.