The “V” Word continues its celebration of VeganMoFo, the month of vegan food, with its theme, “If TV Celebrity Chefs Went Vegan.” Today we come full circle and end where we began – with Rachael Ray.
And since I’ve already written about my favorite TV celebrity chef, we can get right to the recipe. Before I was vegan, I had ALL of Rachael’s cookbooks. One of the books had a recipe for Casablanca Chicken which is a Moroccan dish. I made it when I was first learning to cook and it was delicious. When I became vegan, I thought about that dish and decided I would veganize it. The problem was I had sold most of my cookbooks and this recipe was not available online. What to do?
One day I was in a bookstore persuing the cookbooks when I saw the Rachael Ray cookbook on the shelf. I took it down, brought it to the cafe and proceeded to write down the recipe while I sipped on my coffee. When I got home, I veganized it which was no big challenge – just swapped out the chicken for tofu and the chicken broth for vegetable broth. It’s SO easy to take the cruelty out of a recipe!! Why doesn’t everyone do it??
I love Moroccan food. It is so flavorful and exotic – the spice of the curry and cayenne pepper, the heat of the cumin and paprika, the brightness of the coriander and mint, the sweetness of the cinnamon and the raisins, the saltiness of the olives and the perfect combination of onion, ginger and garlic. The crispy tofu and carrots cook in all this deliciousness and get served over beautiful yellow rice.
This dish is gorgeous to look at, amazing to eat and will definitely impress your guests or that special date. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “Come with me to the Casbah” and share this delectable vegan and gluten-free meal with me. Enjoy!
Casbah Tofu with Yellow Rice
1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
½ cup chickpea flour
2 Tbs. curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, cut on the diagonal
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup green olives, sliced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Zest of one lemon
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
Cut the tofu into cubes. In a shallow dish combine the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Toss the tofu cubes into the flour mix to coat. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan (that has a lid) over medium high heat. Cook the tofu cubes in the oil until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Set the tofu cubes aside and try not to snack on too many while you make the rest of the dish.
In the same pan, add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, ginger and garlic and cook 4-6 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. You can add more oil, broth or water if the pan is dry. Add the spices and mix them in thoroughly. Mix in the raisins and the olives. Add the vegetable broth and cover the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the tofu cubes (what’s left of them) into the pan and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest, parsley and mint to garnish. Serve with yellow rice.
2 tsp. canola oil
¼ cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. turmeric
1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 ½ cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
Kosher salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and turmeric for about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute until it gets a bit toasty. Add the water or broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender. Add salt to taste. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the Casbah Tofu.
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.