As a vegan, I often get asked where I get my calcium from. I must admit that getting the recommended amount of Calcium takes a bit more mindfulness than I would like to let on, but I have come to realize that this applies to everyone, no matter what their dietary restrictions. Mindfulness in eating healthfully is key, no matter what the diet. Of course I have a bottle of Calcium supplements and I drink a lot of fortified non dairy milk, but I feel most satisfied when I get my Calcium through leafy greens. I had bought of bunch of Collards after reading Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Collard greens in her book World-of-the-east Vegetarian, which is really a delightful book. Its vegetarian, but nearly every recipe is adaptable to be vegan.
The collard greens (or Haak as its called in the book) is very simply cooked – stir fried with mustard oil and then cooked until tender with nothing but salt, asafetida, hot red chillis and green chillis to add to its flavor. The recipe calls for ½ cup of oil, while I only used 1 tbsp for about 4 loosely packed cups of chopped collards. I appreciated the simplicity of the dish as I could detect each and every ingredient.
Based on a quick research, I cooked one average sized bunch of collards and it has about a 5 cup pre-cook yield, so at least 300mg of Calcium to estimate conservatively.
And the protein for the day was a very simple and really quick dal that came together in under 30 minutes. A simple search will result in a million variations for making dal, but here is my go-to recipe when I need it really quick. My super easy version, which is really perfect after a long day’s work!
Ingredients and Directions For Ridiculously Easy Dal:
- Pressure cook a cup of dal – I used ½ masoor dal and ½ mung dal (both skinned and split) with salt and turmeric. These cook really really fast, and hence my lentils of choice.
- In the meanwhile, chop ½ an onion, ½ a tomato and 1-2 green chilies very finely & do something else while dal cooks.
- After dal is cooked, heat 2 tsp of oil and add 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp mustard seeds when the oil is hot (med-high heat).
- Add chopped onion, green chilies and 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste and let it brown a bit. 3-5 minutes
- Add tomato and stir another minute.
- Now add dal + 1 cup of water or more if you like it a thinner consistency.
- Here is where you go all out with spices: I used cayenne to taste, 1 tsp amchoor powder, ½ tsp cumin and ½ tsp coriander powder.
- Close the pot, bring to a boil, garnish generously with finely chopped cilantro and done!
We had this with store-bought rotis and an evening of Netflix and quickly called it a night!