Tempeh is the result of a process of fermentation of yellow soya beans. Very important in the vegan cuisine, tempeh is a healthy and proteic food which can well substitute meat, specially when served together with sauces, vegetables and dips. In this case, I am suggesting a recipe which mimics more than vaguely a classic Italian dish, stew with artichokes.
- 300 gr tempeh
- 2 large artichokes
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
Clean and trim the artichokes (if you are wondering how, look at this good video tutorial https://www.finecooking.com/article/how-to-trim-artichokes), halve and reduce to thin slices, in the meantime keeping them in cold water acidulated with the lemon juice so that they don’t turn black.
Let the onion simmer with 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil and a little water until white but tender, add the artichokes, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and brown off.
Add the parsley and salt to taste. Cube the tempeh and marinate with the soya sauce and chilli powder for 10 minutes.
Sautée the tempeh in a clean pan with 1 tbsp extravirgin olive oil, mix with the artichokes and serve hot.
Feeling a little heavy after Christmas? Let’s have a soft detox with this warm, creamy and healthy veggie-vegan soup: if you want to go vegan, simply omit the feta cheese.
- 350 fresh or frozen peas (they are not in season!)
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
- 1 red chilli pepper, thinly chopped
- 100 gr feta cheese
- 30 gr almonds, skin on, coarsely chopped
Fry the onion in a heavy-based pan with the extravirgin olive oil and the red chilli pepper. Add the potato cubes and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas, mix thoroughly and pour in the pan 500 ml of vegetable stock or boiling water: you might need more, depending on the quality of the potato you chose. Let simmer for further 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste and the mint leaves as well (washed and drained). Place in a food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.
Dice the feta cheese, transfer the soup in 4 bowls and scatter with the feta or almonds, if you fancy the vegan option.
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Posted in Starters
, First course
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The traditional tabbouleh, a largely known Arabic recipe, is a sort of salad based on bulgur and parsley, enriched by other vegetables in varying proportions. It originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria and was an essential part of people’s diet in the Middle Ages. In the Libanese version the quantity of parsley is much more than the quantity of bulgur, or the same. In this case I substituted bulgur with quinoa and I did not use the same proportion between quinoa and parsley because I find it a little overwhelming on other more delicate flavours. The result is an unusual formula which hopefully won’t disappoint you!
- 150 gr red quinoa, cooked according to the instructions on the box
- 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 spooons duqqah (see below)
- 8 spoons good extravirgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 140 gr pink radish sprouts (or broccoli or whatever sprouts you can find, except bean sprouts)
- 20 gr parsley, chopped
- 10 gr fresh coriander, washed and drained
- juice of 1 lemon
for the duqqah:
- 50 gr raw hazelnuts, skin on
- 25 gr white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
Separately toast the hazelnuts and sesame, let them cool and then reduce to a powder with a food processor. Incorporate the cumin and coriander, stir well and place in a little jar. .
Sprinkle the chickpeas with the dukkah and add 2 spoons extravirgin olive oil, mix well in order to completely coat the chickpeas, place in a baking tray and bake in the oven, still, at 180°C for 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crunchy.
Let the chickpeas cool to room temperature, then in a bowl place the sprouts, parsley, shallots, chickpeas and quinoa. Season with the oil and lemon juice, add salt to taste and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves.
This recipe is from Alain, the loving husband of my best friend, whose French family has Algerian origines.
- 1 kg carrots (better if organic)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 spoon spicy paprika
- 4 spoons extravirgin olive oil of very good quality
- half a glass white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Steam the carrots and finely crush the cumin seeds with a mortar and pestel.
In a large, heavy based pan sautee the garlic until golden, paprika and cumin. Add the carrots, sliced not too thin, pour in the vinegar and let evaporate.
Before serving, let rest for 12 hours at room temperature, add salt to taste and eliminate the garlic.
Cacciatora in Italian is a word connected to the sport of hunting; the recipe is largely diffused but has Tuscan origins and normally includes meat, chicken or rabbit.
- 400 gr seitan
- 400 gr tomato sauce
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 150 ml red wine
- 2 spoons extravirgin olive oil
- 1 bunch of parsley
Dice the vegetables into small cubes. Pour the oil in a pan, heat well, and thoroughly roast the seitan.
Add vegetables to the seitan. Let cook for 10 minutes, add the garlic and rosemary too, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring every now and then.
Pour the wine, let the alcohol completely evaporate, remove the garlic and rosempary and add the tomato sauce; cook for 10 minutes further and serve scattering with chopped parsley.