This is an updated version of a recipe from my old blog, one that evolves and changes as often as I make it. I adapted it to make in the Instant Pot after a couple of requests on Instagram. A good instant pot dal is valuable for those days when you need seriously flavorful comfort food without putting in much work. However, I’ve included a stovetop version in the recipe notes if you’re interested in making it the old-fashioned way.
When I first received my IP, I was intimidated by all its buttons. Then when I finally used it, I was annoyed by how not *instant* it was. Let go of the idea that it will save you a significant amount of time and you’ll save yourself this same frustration. For me, the pressure cooker is valuable because it is hands-off and because it infuses so much flavor into anything you cook in it. It does save some time when cooking dried beans, but don’t forget to account for the pressure building time (which can take up to 20 minutes) when planning your meal.
Once you get comfy with using a pressure cooker, it is such a great kitchen tool for lazy meal prep (which is basically the only kind of meal prep that happens around here). I like to use my Instant Pot to make a big batch of a hearty bean or lentil based stew like this. While it’s cooking, I cook a simple grain and gather up some herbs, sauces, or other toppings to round out my meal. It takes a little faith and patience to lock your dinner in a pressure cooker and wait for it to finish cooking, but the payoff is so worth it!
This hearty and creamy Instant Pot dal is packed with warming Indian spices. Made with pantry staples and fresh vegetables, it’s a perfect family meal or meal prep option ready in under an hour.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:55 minutes
Yield:8 servings 1x
for the dal:
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garam masala spice blend
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 1/4 cups dry lentils (I used a mix of split red and yellow lentils)
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup of canned coconut milk
3 cups finely chopped kale (or sub a few generous handfuls of baby spinach)
the juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
for the bowls:
cooked rice or other grain
sauerkraut or pickled onions
vegan yogurt (or sub the rest of the can of coconut milk)
Gather and prepare all ingredients. Plug in your Instant Pot and turn it to the saute setting (lid off) with a glug of oil or splash of water in the pot. Give it a couple minutes to heat up.
Saute the onions and carrots until they’re softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes until fragrant, then add the sweet potato cubes and lentils and stir well to combine.
Add the water or broth to the pot, stir well once again, and put the lid on, making sure the knob on the top is pointed to “sealing.” Change the setting to manual, high pressure, 20 minutes. The display will turn to “ON” while the appliance builds pressure, then it will count down from 20. After that, it will turn to “LO” pressure mode. Give it 5 minutes to depressurize on its own, then carefully flick the knob on the top of the lid toward you to “venting” and release the remaining pressure.
Carefully remove the lid and stir well. The sweet potatoes will be soft and start to mash into the lentils. Taste to adjust the spices. I like to add more grated ginger and a little salt and pepper at this point, keeping in mind I’ll be adding lime juice and coconut milk to deepen the flavor.
Stir in the chopped kale and the coconut milk, then place the lid back on to wilt the kale for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and serve over rice with desired toppings.
For a stovetop version, follow the recipe as instructed, but simply cook for 30-40 minutes when directed to pressurize the instant pot. Stir in kale, coconut milk, and lime juice at the end.
Thanks for stopping by to check out this recipe. If you try it, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your creation. Cheers!
I have suffered through so many raw kale salads since I went vegan. I’ve tried cutting it into fine ribbons and massaging it with oil, avocado, salt, and lemon. I’ve doused it in tahini dressing and vegan ranch. I just don’t have time for the endless chewing and bitterness of a kale salad, or the bloating that comes later.
Does this make me a bad vegan? I feel like I have to stand up for kale. But it’s gotta be cooked if I’m going to eat enough of it to actually enjoy its nutritional benefits, so I like to eat it in a warm salad with some plant-based protein and flavorful toppings.
My Warm Kale Salad with Maple-Mustard Tempeh and Ruby Kraut packs serious flavor while being incredibly nutritious. Maple syrup and Dijon mustard come together in a naturally-sweetened sweet and tangy sauce to coat the tempeh. A simple creamy tahini dressing adds healthy fat, contrasting with the sour fermented cabbage. And an entire bunch of raw kale steams down into a few generous but manageable servings that will make you feel so virtuously healthy. This salad can serve 2 or it can make 4 smaller servings to go along with some grains and roasted vegetables.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
This warm salad is gut-friendly because it contains prebiotic rich foods as well as sources of probiotics, ensuring a thriving internal microbiome. The fiber in kale makes it an excellent prebiotic food, meaning it helps feed your gut’s bacteria colonies. Fermented foods such as tempeh and sauerkraut also encourage gut health since they contain probiotics. While prebiotics feed gut bacteria, probiotics replenish the colonies of bacteria you need for healthy digestion- they work together to make sure you’re getting everything you need from the food you eat before it passes through you. I’ve linked below a few sources on plant-based microbiome health if you’d like to learn more about this topic!
Warm Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Tempeh and Ruby Kraut
A seasonal warm kale salad with tangy maple mustard tempeh and sauerkraut. Rich in plant-based protein and gut-friendly fermented foods, an easy and flavorful vegan lunch or dinner.
Cook Time:35 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
Yield:2-4 servings 1x
for the tempeh:
1 8-oz block of tempeh
2 cups of boiling water
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable broth
for the salad and dressing:
1 bunch of kale (about 10 stalks), washed and chopped
1/4 cup tahini
pinch of sea salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3–4 tbsp of warm water
sauerkraut, homemade or storebought*
roasted vegetables, avocado, or other add-ins, optional
Place the block of tempeh in a shallow dish or bowl and pour 2 cups of boiling water over it. Cover with a lid or plate so the tempeh can steam for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the tamari, dijon, maple syrup, and broth. Set aside. Take this time to prepare your salad dressing as well by whisking together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, and warm water. Set aside.
After the tempeh is finished steaming, pat it dry. Cut it into 8 slices and then cut those slices diagonally to make a total of 16 triangles.
Heat a large skillet over medium with 1 tbsp of oil. Add the pieces of tempeh to the pan, trying not to overlap them. Let them cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, then flip each piece and cook for another 5 minutes.
At this point, your tempeh should be browned and slightly crispy. Now add the maple dijon sauce to the pan and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Spoon the marinade over the tempeh to help saturate it while it cooks. The sauce will thicken up and caramelize- stop cooking before it burns and sticks to the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan you cooked the tempeh in, add the kale along with a splash of water. Cover and steam until slightly wilted.
To assemble, divide the steamed kale between 2 or 3 dishes. Top with the tempeh, roasted veggies, and sauerkraut or raw cabbage. Drizzle the tahini dressing over each serving and enjoy!
I am so excited to share this 10-ingredient peanut butter curry sauce with you! It’s easy, full of flavor, and can be used in a number of ways if you make it as part of your weekly meal prep. I paired this sauce with brown rice and crispy tofu, but here are other ways you could use it:
with rice noodles and veggies in a unique noodle bowl
with chickpeas and rice in a quick chickpea curry
as a tempeh marinade
as a dipping sauce for roasted potatoes
as a sauce for cauliflower “wings”
as a soup or stew with vegetable broth or more tomatoes
I hope you enjoy this delicious peanut butter curry sauce however you choose to serve it! I think a good sauce goes a long way in making plant-based eating appealing, whether you’re trying to incorporate more vegan meals or keep your long-term vegan diet interesting.
Vegan Peanut Butter Curry Sauce with Crispy Tofu and Rice
A 10-ingredient peanut butter curry sauce with crispy baked tofu and cooked brown rice. Spicy, creamy, and perfect for incorporating into your weekly meal prep.
Total Time:45 minutes
for the curry sauce:
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3–4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2-inch chunk of ginger, peeled
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
pinch of cayenne, optional (depending on how hot your curry powder is)
1/2 cup peanut butter
the juice of 1 lime
for the bowls:
crispy baked tofu
Start cooking your rice and tofu. See notes for quick baked tofu recipe.
In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice. Blend on high until completely smooth.
Pour the sauce into a large pot (it might splatter while it cooks, so use a larger pot than you think you’ll need) and turn to medium-high heat. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently while the tofu and rice cook, about 20-30 minutes. Just before serving, turn off the heat and add lime juice and salt to taste.
Divide the rice and tofu into bowls and top with lots of sauce, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.
Store leftover sauce for a week in the fridge or a month or two in the freezer.
to make crispy baked tofu, cut a block of extra firm tofu into cubes, spray or brush lightly with oil, season with a little salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
Thanks for stopping by today! If you try this or any of my recipes, I’d love it if you tagged me on Instagram so I can see your creation. Cheers!
I cook almost exclusively savory foods because baking is simply not my forte unless I’m following someone else’s recipe precisely. This freezer fudge is too easy not to share, though. It’s simple, requiring only 6 ingredients aside from water and salt. It’s also made without any refined sugar, sweetened only with dates. Get your food processor out and whip up a treat to keep in the freezer for sweet tooth emergencies.
Easy vegan cardamom cacao freezer fudge. Naturally sweetened with dates and oil-free, this is the perfect treat to keep on hand for chocolate cravings.
2 cups of pitted dates, lightly packed
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup softened coconut butter
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
optional: more salt + cacao nibs or chocolate chips sprinkled on top
Pour hot water over the dates in a large bowl and let them soak for 10 minutes to soften. If your coconut butter is really hard, stick the jar into the bowl with the dates and hot water to soften the butter.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside
Drain the dates, reserving the water.
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the reserved water. Process until a dough ball forms, drizzling in the water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to get things moving. Stop to scrape down the sides if necesssary.
Press the dough into the lined loaf pan and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Cut into squares and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
I hope you enjoy this quick little recipe. Tag me on Instagram if you make this or any of my recipes so I can see your creations!