In the name of getting a full time job I have decided to keep my posts short and sweet; and to do away with perfectionism. That way, I still get to inspire and uplift through plant based foods – a great passion of mine. Further, readers have brought my attention to the fact that while my recipes are great and all, some of the would be vegans and vegetarians, want more tips and tricks on other aspects of the plant-based world; such as:
- How to effectively stock your pantry – this enables you to throw together quick plant-based meals at any given time.
- How to introduce superfoods to one’s daily intake – to support your plant-based lifestyle.
The changeover will not only benefit you, but also the beautiful environment we cohabit. Stay tuned for more on that!
The dish of the day: is like so many of the dishes that preceded it – a family favourite. Lagaan is traditionally a casserole in Indian cookery usually of the savoury variety, but there are no rules.
It’s no wonder that another family favourite is an Indian inspired dish. I have referenced India before in a post dedicated to my grandpa and his famous Dahl. If you’re a curry lover, go check it out –
The original recipe calls for chicken which as you know has long since left my shopping basket. Therefore, it became a matter of keeping the bulk of the dish by replacing the chicken with mushrooms and olives. Flavour was never going to be the issue (obviously!) 😉
Traditionally, we would add ½ a cup of chilli-bite mix to this recipe which I always thought gave this dish its incredible and unique flavour. However, upon experimentation this dish remains a winner with just a few little recipe tweaks. Some chickpea flour and a few home gown chillies did the trick. Now, the dish is free from gluten, flavourants, coulourants, and the like (So long, chilli-bite- mix!)
What I love about this dish: it involves simply mixing some ingredients in a large bowl and then baking it for 45 minutes. Secondly, it’s got a slight chilli bite that goes seriously well with the sweet and nutty chickpea flour. The red, yellow, and green colours of this dish make it as attractive to the eyes as it is to the taste buds. Lastly, it keeps well making it a most delicious left-over.
A note on corn:
Corn is one of the top genetically modified foods available in our food market today. Whenever, I find organically grown corn at my local market I go wild and buy loads of it. In South Africa, it is not mandatory to label food products containing GMO ingredients, and so, your safest bet is to purchase corn from a supplier that you trust and who values the principles of organic farming.
Corn is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and especially in antioxidants namely the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are yellow and orange plant pigments known for their association in the prevention of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.
Corn is high in fiber but unfortunately not a complete protein. It is missing the two essential amino acids lysine and tryptophan. Luckily, the eggs in this recipe provide the lysine, and the pumpkin seeds give us the tryptophan… Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Let’s get stuck in…
There are quite a few ingredients in this dish, so try not to be alarmed. There are only 6 fresh ingredients and the rest should be great additions to your pantry. For example, the tahini, organic baking powder (aluminium free), olive oil, and a few organic (non-irradiated) spices. Organic eggs, olives, and at least one type of nut are almost always available in my kitchen, and so, they should be in yours too (that was a pantry tip by the way…).
Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
250 g Mushrooms, sliced (regular mushrooms work just fine)
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 handful coriander, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
3 green chilies (2 if you feel less bold)
4 ears of corns, husks and silks removed
15 olives, chopped
From the pantry
½ C chickpea flour
¼ C Olive oil
¼ C Tahini
2 t baking powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp thyme
½ C nut milk (nut, quinoa, hemp or rice)
3 eggs, beaten
¾ t salt
½ t pepper
Note: I don’t use eggs in excess, but I do enjoy them from time to time. They also can do wonders for a dish in terms of their binding potential. However, if you are a strict no-egger you can try 1 tablespoon chia mixed with three tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Prepare your vegetables. Mix in the olive oil, tahini, baking powder, and spices. Sift the chickpea flour into your bowl and then mix a few times until well combined.
Beat the eggs and add your nut milk, followed by the salt and pepper. Mix into your vegetables and then press firmly into a coconut oil greased ceramic dish.
Place your dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the Legaan when you think it is ready.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and garnish with coriander, lemon juice and pumpkin seeds.