If you love plant-based food, are partial to moody flatlays and adore scrolling through instagram, chances are you’ve come across Rakhee Yadav AKA @boxofspice’s super pretty feed and if you haven’t you’re in for a very special treat. Rakhee, a food blogger and food photographer living in The Netherlands, but originally from India, is known for her plant-based Indian food that she’s adapted to the herbs, spices and flavours available to her in The Netherlands. As a result, her plant-forward Indian recipes are less traditional and more rebellious than what you may be used to!
After years of sharing her recipes and photos online, Rakhee has worked with Page Street Publishing to bring us a gorgeous collection of her recipes and images in book form called Heavenly Vegan - Dals & Curries. And as luck would have it, Rakhee kindly sent me two copies of her debut vegan cookbook - one to keep and one to gift to YOU! Want to find out what the book is like and how you can win a copy? Then please read on…..
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PLANT-BASED COOKBOOK INCLUDE...
There were a lot of unexpectedly interesting and utterly delicious looking dishes in the book that got me intrigued about delving deeper into Indian cooking. My most favourite ones were the sweet chilli coconut pineapple curry, the broccolini stir-fry with cashew sauce, the sprouted beans with roasted beetroot and beet-infused coconut yogurt, as well as the green pea and chalk moong dal soup. In fact, I found it super hard to choose which recipe to share on the blog, so much so that I asked my community on instagram stories what I should make. With an overwhelming majority, the date syrup sesame tofu bowl from the ‘Enticing Vegan Power Bowls’ chapter was chosen. To be precise, the recipe is called spinach curry with date syrup sesame tofu and ginger green beans in the book, however I really wanted to take the key element that spoke to me the most - the date syrup sesame tofu - and share it here on the blog in a way that would be easily adaptable to any pantry, season and taste!
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE MINDFUL OF
Though this is a vegan Indian cookbook with a modern, Western twist, in order to make most of the recipes, you’ll still need to have key Indian staples in your pantry such as curry powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder etc. as well as an array of different legumes. This however isn’t a bad thing if you’re keen to make vegan food play a bigger role in your life ;). Just sayin’!
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY OF THE COOKBOOK
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED! All you need to do for a chance to win is tell me: What’s your favourite vegan protein rich dish or food source? Please be quick with your answers, entry to this giveaway closes at midnight (British Summer Time) on Friday, August 2nd, 2019. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date. THE WINNER IS VERONICA. CONGRATULATIONS.
Please note that this competition is open to UK and EU residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK/EU or not. And even if you don't, please still feel free to let me know what your favourite vegan protein source is. I'd love to know. Good luck.
VEGAN DATE SYRUP SESAME TOFU BOWL RECIPE
Want to know how to put together a nourishing, plant-protein rich and super delicious vegan tofu power bowl? Cool, because I’m sharing a blue print you can adapt and adjust to your liking and your pantry’s content.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: Ideally 2 hours
Cooking time: 60 minutes
YOUR PLANT-BASED PROTEIN:
340g (12oz) firm tofu
75ml (5tbs) date syrup
10ml (2tsp) rice vinegar
10ml (2tsp) sesame oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup (35g) sesame seeds
pinch of black pepper
1 cup quinoa (washed and drained) + 1 3/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
Alternatives: rice, rice noodles, buckwheat or cauliflower rice
YOUR PLANT-BASED FAT:
2 ripe and ready avocados, skin and stone removed, cut in half
Alternatives: a small handful of peanuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds per bowl
1/2 cucumber, washed and cut into slices
200g leafy greens, washed (I chose lamb’s lettuce, beetroot leaves and mixed chard)
A small head of broccoli, stem removed, washed and boiled until just cooked
Alternatives: green beans, finely chopped celery, green herbs, finely chopped green peppers
1 candy beetroot, peeled, washed and slices + 1 cup apple cider vinegar for quick pickling
micro greens for garnishing
1-2 tbs sesame seeds for crunch
Alternatives: finely chopped spring onions or chopped seasonal fruit
Drain all the liquid from the tofu by gently pressing on it, using kitchen towels to absorb the moisture.
Make the tofu marinade by combing the date syrup, vinegar, oil, salt and back pepper. Stir well.
Cut the drained tofu into rectangles and coat it with the marinade, setting aside about 2-4 tablespoons as a dressing for later. Leave the tofu to marinade for about 2 hours.
When the tofu is almost ready, pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F.
Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper and place the marinated tofu on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tofu and bake for another 15 minutes.
Whilst the tofu is in the oven, cook your grains (see package for cooking times) and prep all other bowl ingredients. Once the tofu is done, assemble the bowls by evenly distributing the grains, greens, avocado and any other ingredients, serving the tofu warm from the oven and drizzling over some marinade. Enjoy!