Hello Friends! Where do I start? Let’s begin with last week. After weeks of working and waiting, working and waiting, I’ve finally launched my first e-book(let) – my Moody Food Photography Guide with tips and trick on how to achieve those dark, matte and moody images.
And that’s not it. I have also teamed up with Filtergrade.com to finally offer a huuuuge (for my standards) Lightroom preset bundle that I use myself every day to edit my photos.
I’m so happy that I finally took the time to work on these two things and although it’s just a start (and we all need to start somewhere, right?), I’m a little proud of myself. You know there are always these little self doubts weather or not you are good enough to do something. And there are these envious looks at others who in your opinion have it all figured out and already do a much much better job. So why would people care about your Moody Food Photography e-guide or Matte and Moody Food Photography Lightroom presets?
Well, to my own surprise some people do. And so far the feedback has been great. So if you’d like to know what I have learned about moody and dark food photography so far and are curious to read all about it, you can download my guide for free. If not and you care more about this delicious looking pasta with yoghurt, that’s totally fine too. Really! Right now I honestly think it’s slightly more relevant because it’s seriously good. But before I dive into this scrumptious bowl and tell you all about it, there are a few other things I have on my mind.
So, speaking of food photography. This week I will hit yet again another personal milestone. It’s much more scary than publishing an e-guide but I’m also very excited about it. On Friday I’ll be flying to Zagreb in Croatia to hold my very first food styling and photography workshop. I was invited by the lovely team of Slatki gušti, Zagreb’s infamous and popular Sweet Delights festival. This year will be the first time that the organiser hosts a Food Blogging Conference and I’m super happy to be talking a little about my experience and knowledge with food photography. I’ve always wanted to host a travel and food photography workshop myself and this will be the first small baby step towards my goal.
Another goal or better said vision of my work and my blog is to bring you delicious plant-based recipes from around the world that you would have never thought can be vegan. Middle Eastern Pasta with Yoghurt, Peas and Herb Salad is such a dish. When I moved to Turkey I quickly realised that Turkish people love two things (apart from their kebab), herbs and yoghurt. It was here that I discovered my love for dill in and on everything and mint in savory dishes. But what seemed very strange at first, was their relationship to plain yoghurt. Turkish people are slightly obsessed with yoghurt but not in a dessert-kind of way. More in a with meat and on pasta kind of way.
However it took me one bite of vegetarian Manti (Turkish ravioli filled with potato) topped with a huge dollop of Greek yoghurt to understand. In my pre-Turkey life I always thought tomato sauce or maybe some pesto is all you need for your pasta. But cold yoghurt? Yap, that’s next level and so amazing. After my trip to Israel I bought the cookbook “Jerusalem” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. It has quickly become one of my favorite cookbook even though it’s not vegan or vegetarian. But the flavours and Middle Eastern ingredients used in their recipes are very inspiring. So the other day I flipped through it again and stopped at their recipe for Conchiglie with yoghurt, peas, feta and chilli. Challenge accepted.
Except for veganizing the recipe I also changed some other ingredients. I added a mixed herb salad instead of basil leaves. I also swapped the Greek yoghurt with a lemony soy yoghurt and I replaced the feta with cumin covered tofu. The taste is surprising but the flavours are complimenting and delicious. Even if this is the first time you try pasta with yoghurt.
Middle Eastern Pasta with Yoghurt, Peas and Herb Salad
- 200 g / 2 cups Shell, Orecchiette or Conchiglie pasta
- 150 g firm tofu, crumbled
- ¼ tsp cumin
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 200 g plant based, sugar-free yoghurt
- *optional 1 tsp lemon juice for the plant based yoghurt to make its taste a little sour
- 100 g / 1 cup peas, steamed
- 60 ml / ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 50 g arugula
- 2 stems mint
- 2 stems parsley
- 4 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the package
- In a blender, add yoghurt, garlic, 50 g of steamed peas and olive oil. Add 1 tsp of lemon if your plant-based yoghurt has a sweet-ish taste. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Combine tofu, lemon juice and cumin in a mixing bowl and stir well until all ingredients are combined.
- Wash arugula and herbs, remove leaves from stems and divide everything between two bowls.
- In hot pan, roast pine nuts and chilli flakes for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
- Drain pasta and divide between the two bowls. Add cumin tofu, remaining warm peas and drizzle with yoghurt sauce. Top with pine nuts and serve immediately.