Basic Indian Curry

I love curry when it's cold.  Warm, aromatic and full of flavorful spices:  it really is the best thing.  Here's a simple one you can whip up for a delicious vegetarian dinner on the fly.  

Garam masala is an indian spice blend.  I use one from Simply Organics brand.  It's a blend of peppers, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves...  

Ghee is a nutty, aromatic clarified butter commonly used in indian cooking.  It's great for cooking because of its high smoke point and buttery taste.  It can be found in well stocked grocery stores or substituted with a high heat oil.  

serves 2.

Basic Indian Curry

 bit of ghee or splash high heat oil, like grape seed, safflower, canola

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 cup water

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

10 oz diced, canned tomatoes

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Heat a saute pan over medium to medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add onion and saute until browned.  Add ginger, garlic, toasted cumin seeds and garam masala.  Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add water and cook off.  Add chickpeas and tomatoes.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and lime before serving.  

 

AM Breakfast Smoothie

Another quick breakfast.  The flax and almond meal make this smoothie a bit more substantial.  I use whatever fruit looks good and ripe.  The more ripe the fruit, the naturally sweeter the smoothie.  Peaches, nectarines, plums, blueberries, strawberries, melons, raspberries and bananas are all great for this. I like to mix it up.  The pictured smoothie has peaches and raspberries.  

A note on the flax seeds.  I store mine whole and always grind freshly to order in a clean coffee grinder.  This extends their shelf life and grinding makes them digestible.  

Feel free to adjust this one as you see fit.  Use any type of yogurt and milk.  Easily made dairy free.  And any sweetener you prefer:  sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup... do you have a sweetener you like?  I'm still hooked on agave.  

Makes 1 smoothie.

AM Breakfast Shake

1/2 teaspoon whole flax seeds

2 teaspoons almond meal

1/2 cup plain yogurt  (any kind)

1/2 cup chopped fruit (peeled, pitted as necessary) 

sweetener, to taste

splash of milk, to taste (any type of milk)

Grind the flax seeds to a powder.  Blend with almond meal, yogurt and fruit.  Adjust sweetness and consistency as needed with the sweetener and milk of your choice.  

 

 

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust

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What's better than pie?  Lots of things, but pie is pretty great.  Even better when it's served as a miniature/individually sized portion that you can eat all by yourself.  Just make a little dent in the middle, ad ice cream and it's perfect.  

Coconut oil pie crust is great if you're vegan.  It's tender and has a mild taste of coconut.  

Recipe makes 4 mini pies but portion will also make 1 normal sized pie.  

Makes 4 mini pies.

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust

for the crust

 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut oil, cold and solid

ice cold water

for the filling

2 lb ripe apricots, pitted, sliced

1 tablespoon grated ginger  

3 tablespoons flour

2 pinches salt

12 scrapes of whole nutmeg

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

In a bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar and salt to evenly combine.  Add cold coconut oil with a pastry cutter.  Use your hands if necessary.  Combine just enough so pea sized pieces of coconut oil remain and the rest looks like sand.  Add cold water tablespoon at a time until dough feels very hydrated and sticks together as a ball.  Cut dough into 8 pieces or 2 pieces.  Flatten each piece into a disc.  Wrap securely in plastic and let rest in fridge 20 minutes.  

While dough is resting in the fridge, heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease pie tins and set aside.  Toss apricot slices, ginger, flour, salt, nutmeg and light brown sugar.  Set aside.  

Roll out 4 discs for bottom crusts:  place a dough disc between two sheets of parchment paper and roll with rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet, invert over tin and peel away remaining piece of paper.  Gently press into tin.  Fill each tin with apricot mixture.  

Roll out remaining 4 pieces of dough for top crusts between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet and use a pastry decortaing tip or straw to poke out holes.  Invert polka dotted dough sheet over filled tin with paper side up.  Carefully, peel back paper, seal and trim edges.  

If you're not vegan you can use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash of 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon of milk.  To keep things vegan, use soy milk. 

Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown and pies fragrant.  

Cool and serve. 

 

 

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

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Crispy and nutty bite size tofu snacks.  Best part is that they're baked, not fried.  Would be a great as part of a dim sum style dinner.  

makes 16 pieces.  

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

1 block extra firm tofu

1 cup lite coconut milk

s + p

3/4 cup black and white sesame seeds

for the sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Drain tofu and place on a towel.  Place something heavy on top of tofu block, like a fry pan with a tin can of something in it, to press any water out of it.  This will help make it crispy.  While tofu is draining, heat oven to 500 degrees.  Line a pan with parchment paper, set aside.  

Place coconut milk in a shallow bowl, next to a shallow bowl of sesame seeds.  Slice tofu into 16 squares and season with salt and pepper.   One by one dip each square in coconut milk and then coat with sesame seeds.  Arrange on parchment paper lined pan and bake 6 minutes.  Flip tofu squares and bake 4 minutes more.  

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelok and sesame oil together.  Serve on the side of squares.

Vegetarian Split Pea

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I know, I know, I know.  I just made a split pea soup about a month ago.  That one wasn't vegetarian.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat like one most of the week.  

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled, diced

2 cups dried green peas (or yellow) 

8 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika  

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot 5 minutes.  Add dried peas and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  

Add stock, majoram, thyme, cumin and paprika.  Boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.  Add potatoes, simmer 30 to 45 minutes more, mostly covered.  When it's done, the peas will be very tender and with a good stirring will fall apart. 

Add cider vinegar.  Season with s + p.  

 

 

Simple Root Vegetable Side

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I'm new to baby turnips.  They are delicious and now I can;t get enough of them.  This root vegetable medley is easy and full of flavor and pleasing textures.  And it satisfies my new turnip needs.  

Makes 1 large pan.

Simple Root Vegetable Side

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 lb baby turnips, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

3 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

splash olive oil

s + p

Heat oven to 375.  Toss carrots, red onion, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and thyme in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over large baking sheet.  Roast in oven 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  

A Classic Lentil Soup

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Aka Cam's favorite lentil soup.  (It's so easy having a food blog when your husband is a brilliant cook.)  Our weekend routine includes plenty of of time in the kitchen.  Part of it is developing and shooting recipes for Meats + Sweets and the other part Cameron making delicious soups and salads for us to eat during the week.  They are always excellent and healthy, and I'm pleased to share this one.  It is one of our personal favorites.  

For a heartier meal, serve over rice, grains or whole grain pasta.  We usually eat it over a pile of farro.  (Have you tried Kamut pasta? I have a box of it in the pantry that I'm pondering what to do with.)

Makes 8 servings. 

Cameron's Favorite Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

3 medium carrots, peeled, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups french green lentils

4 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

2 cups cremini or shitake mushrooms, chopped

s + p

lime juice or red wine vinegar (optional + to taste)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot and add carrots, onion, celery, poblano and garlic.  Stew over medium high heat, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  

Add stock, lentils, thyme, cumin, coriander, curry, chile flakes and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add mushrooms.  Let simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  

Season with salt, pepper and lime juice/vinegar.  

Kale + Potato Salad

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A new salad from Cameron.  It's delicious and makes great use of seasonal ingredients.   Also, how often do you eat potatoes and pomegranate seeds together?  Probably not enough, right?

Kale + Potato Salad

1 large sweet potato, chopped

2 white potatoes, chopped

olive oil

1 bunch kale leaves, stems discarded

juice of 1/2 lemon

s + p

seeds from 1 small pomegranate

1 cup pecans

splash basalmic vinegar

Heat oven to 425.  Toss sweet potato and white potatoes in a splash of olive oil.  Place onto a baking sheet and roast 45 minutes until done, tossing once. 

While the potatoes are roasting, saute kale in a splash of olive oil, for 5 minutes until wilted.  Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  

Toss roasted potatoes, kale, pomegranate seeds and pecans together in a large bowl and drizzle with a tiny amount of basalmic vinegar.

 

Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk

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Cashew milk is easy to make.  This one is sweet, rich and also would be great served warm, after dinner with a splash of brandy.  Also perfectly delicious on as is.   

Makes about 2 cups. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk

1 cup raw cashews, split

2 cups water

pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons agave

Soak cashews in water 8 hours.  Blend cashews and soaking water in a blender or food processor until super smooth, about 8 minutes.  Strain.  Discard anything that was strained out.  Shake or stir in vanilla, cinnamon and agave.  Chill and serve.   

 

Ginger Lime Noodle Bowl

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Noodles!  I'm frequently making demands or dreaming about noodles.   I love them.    This noodle bowl is great for lunch as it is served cold and most of the veggies are fresh and not cooked.    

Serves 4.

Noodle Bowl + Ginger Lime Sauce 

6 oz lo mein noodles  

1 broccoli, chopped

1 cup snow peas, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 carrots, match-sticked or thinly sliced

1 package brown tofu, sliced

sesame seeds

for the ginger lime sauce

juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons agave syrup

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, diced

2 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoon soy sauce

Cook noodles using package instructions, usually a few minutes in boiling water.  Drain and set aside. 

Blanche broccoli and snow peas 1 minute in boiling water, drain and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking.   

Divide cooked noodles, broccoli, snow peas, peppers, carrots and tofu in 4 portions.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  

In a blender, blend lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce.   Strain and spoon onto noodles and veggies.  Toss if you like and eat. 

Veggie Burgers

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I love a veggie burger.  These are very healthy and full of plant based protein from the beans and quinoa.  They are vegetarian, gluten free and vegan if you omit the egg.  (I made these without the egg and they are lighter but tend to fall apart a little bit which is why I consider it optional.)  

Serves 6. 

Veggie Burgers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 large portobello mushroom

splash of olive oil

1 red fresno chile, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 large shallot, diced

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

several turns fresh black pepper

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon siracha

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 egg, optional

Cook quinoa in small pot with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Water will have evaporated and quinoa will be tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.   

Cut portobello into quarters and run through food processor until chopped.  Set aside.  

Heat a skillet with splash of olive oil to medium high heat and saute processed mushrooms, chile, garlic, shallot and ginger until tender, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl.  

Run kidney beans, quinoa and carrots through food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add to bowl with mushroom mix.  Add mustard powder, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, siracha, lime juice and egg, if using.  Stir to combine.   

Chill mixture in fridge 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge, form into patties and cook in  oiled skillet 3 minutes on each side,   Serve with red onions, pickled anything, lettuce, mayo, siracha, fresh cilantro leaves, tomatoes and carrot matchsticks.  

Roasted Garlic

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These are great for casual dinners or anytime there is crusty warm bread to smear the roasted cloves all over.  Also put to good use on pizza or in sauces or salsas.  I love garlic and it is always on my shopping list.  I put it in everything I cook and would even eat these little things as is if no one was looking. 

Roasted Garlic 

Whole heads of garlic (as many as you need)

olive oil, about 1 tablespoon per head

s + p

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove outer layers of papery covering, leaving individual cloves in their skins and chop off tops of the garlic to expose the cloves.  Place garlic heads each on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap up in foil and roast/bake for 30-40 minutes.  Head will feel soft when pressed and will have become very fragrant.  

Chickpea Salad

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My husband, Cameron, is very good at making smart, healthy things to eat and I wanted to share this tasty chickpea salad he made. 

I wouldn't tell anyone else to do this but after the chickpeas were cooked I went through and removed what I call the 'pants' off almost each individual chickpea.  The 'pants' are the soft, clear skins.  I hate them so I remove them (do you do this?)  but feel free to leave them with their pants on.  

Chickpea Salad

12 oz dried chickpeas

several sprigs fresh thyme

zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1 bay leaf

2 shallots - one, peeled, ends trimmed and one diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, lightly crushed

1 carrot, peeled, halved

small bunch fresh mint, chopped

small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

drizzle olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 carrot, blanched, peeled, diced

s + p

Soak dried chickpeas over night in plenty of water.  Drain and transfer to a large pot.  Create a bouquet garni by tying thyme, orange zest, mustard, caraway and bay up into a cheese cloth pouch.  Place in pot along with peeled shallot with ends trimmed, garlic cloves, and carrot halves.  Cover with lots of water (chickpeas will soak up a lot of water while cooking.  Bring to a boil and simmer mostly cover with lid slightly ajar for about 1 hour until cooked through and soft but still with some firmness.  Drain and discard everything but chickpeas.

Toss chickpeas with mint, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, shallot, bell pepper and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.