Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kale and Chickpea Stir Fry

1 bunch kale
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cans chickpeas
2 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. butter

Chop kale into 2 inch strips. Sautee in olive oil w/ garlic, add a pinch of salt. When kale becomes slightly crunchy, remove.
Caramelize onion by cooking w/ butter over medium heat until translucent. Add chickpeas to pan and stir occasionally until chickpeas are warm. Mix in kale and season w/ salt.

If you have freshly grated parmesan on hand, it makes a great garnish. Salad can be served warm or cold.

This stir fry is a delicious way to serve kale!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

I had plenty of lemons on hand, and found this recipe for raspberry lemon ricotta cupcakes. I decided to omit the raspberries but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I was disappointed in the texture of the cupcakes. They had lots of tunnels and air pockets, and tasted very chewy. I think they were overmixed and overdone. Bummer! The flavor was fantastic, but I just need to get the texture right.

Rating: 1 Star

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roast Beet Salad

4 large beets, peeled and cut into sixths or eights
2 Tb. goat cheese, crumbled
4-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
dash sea salt
dash olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 35-40 mins, stirring every 10 mins so they don't burn. Allow beets to cool completely. Mix in goat cheese and fresh mint. Serve chilled. (Serves 2 as a side salad)

Easy Potato Salad

1 lb. baby red potatoes
3 Tb. mayo
1 Tb. mustard
1 Tb. minced red onion
1 Tb. chopped chives
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in water for 15-20mins. Potatoes are done when fork can be easily inserted into potato. Strain and rinse potatoes with cool water. When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut into halves or fourths depending on size of potato. Place in a bowl and add the onion, chives, and eggs. Mix. Add mustard, mayo, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until potatoes are well coated. Chill before serving.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ginger Chutney

2" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 dried red chili, seeded
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
1 Tb. tamarind paste
2 tomatoes, chopped
handful cilantro
1/4c. shredded coconut

Sautee red chili, ginger, and tamarind in oil. When ginger is cooked (light brown), remove from pan. Sautee tomato and coriander leaves together for a few minutes. Add ginger mixture and tomato mixture together in a food processor, add coconut. Add salt and blend until smooth, adding water as needed.

Enjoy with dosa or iddly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tofu with Oyster Mushrooms and Spinach


I bought oyster mushrooms from the farmer's market this weekend, and I found this great recipe while I was browsing my fave food site, Tastespotting. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but I did cook the mushrooms in butter instead of oil. I also cooked the tofu longer than called for, until it was turning dark brown and a little crunchy. The stir-fry was fabulous. The flavors were just amazing, and I could have eaten seconds....and thirds! I served it with brown rice instead of white.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 pint strawberries with stems/leaves, washed and dried
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. (If you don't have a double boiler, see tip below) Hold each strawberry by the stem, and swirl in melted chocolate until bottom half of strawberry is coated. After swirling, set strawberry on its side on waxed paper and allow chocolate to set (about 30-60mins). Enjoy!

Tips: I don't have a double boiler, so I took a small pot and found a bowl that would fit on top of it. I filled the bottom 2" of the pot with water, and brought it to a boil. Then I turned off the heat and set the bowl (with chocolate in it) on top of the pot. The heat from the steam slowly melted the chocolate.

I think these will only keep for about a day in the fridge. Between three of us, we had no problem finishing them in a day! I'm already craving more!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This recipe is my favorite Tex-Mex version of an omelet or scrambler. The key ingredient is crispy, fried corn tortilla strips. Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

2 corn tortillas, cut thin strips
5 eggs
2 tb. milk
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 ripe avocado
handful pepper jack cheese (shredded)
handful cilantro
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a skillet, heat 2 Tb. olive oil over med-hi heat and stir in tortilla strips. Add a pinch of salt and fry tortillas until they become slightly crispy. Remove from skillet. In hot skillet combine olive oil, jalapenos, and onion. Fry until onion is translucent and fully cooked. Beat eggs and milk together and add to skillet, stirring frequently. When eggs are still cooking, but almost ready, stir in the tortillas and cook another minute or so, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove from skillet and serve garnished with pepper jack cheese, diced avocado, cilantro, and salsa.

My husband became addicted to migas the first time we had them at a brunch in Austin. He has been looking for them in restaurants everywhere we go, and usually ends up disappointed that the migas in Wisconsin are nothing like the migas we had in Austin. I tried to recreate that wonderful meal in Austin and my husband finally gave me the "oooh, these are soooo good" look (It took three different attempts to get it right!). Well, this is my celebration of Cinco de Mayo....Tex-Mex style.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spinach Lentil Salad

2 c. green or brown lentils, soaked for a few hours
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tb. capers
3 c. raw spinach
1 Tb. chopped scallion or red onion
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
cilantro garnish (optional)
asiago or parmesan cheese to crumble on top

Cook lentils in water (about 1" above lentils in pot), add a few dashes salt and the garlic. Cook lentils approx 25 mins until tender. Drain. While lentils are cooking, wash spinach and cook in microwave with a dash of salt until wilted (about 2 mins). After lentils have finished cooking, combine them with the tomatoes, capers, spinach, scallion in a large mixing bowl. Add a few glugs of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. When serving, grate or crumble cheese over the top. I used asiago, but parmesan would be delicious too.

I try to incorporate lots of lentils and beans into my diet since I don't eat meat. This salad was quick to prepare (as long as you soak the lentils ahead of time) and tasty. It serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Curry

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil (a few glugs)
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp. hot chili powder
1/4 tsp. curry powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour a few glugs of olive oil (a few tablespoons) over the cauliflower and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle cumin seeds, sea salt, chili powder, and curry powder over cauliflower and toss again to coat cauliflower with spices. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 40 mins, stirring once to prevent burning. The vegetables will start to stick to the bottom of the pan at some point (unless you use a whole bottle of olive oil!). Although it might not look very pretty, it will taste amazing!

I bought a jar of bell pepper and herb sea salt, and I've been using it on all of my roasted veggies in place of coarse sea salt. If you can find it, herb sea salt adds a lot of flavor. You can also add potato (cubed) and onion (cut into strips). I love any roasted vegetables, but cauliflower is definitely my favorite. I could eat this every day and never get tired of it. I am looking forward to roasting spring vegetables and posting a recipe, but it's still to cold in Wisconsin. The asparagus hasn't even made an appearance yet! Maybe next month...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tangy Lemon Bars

Tangy Lemon Bars
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
2 c. flour
1 (10 oz) jar lemon curd
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter, sugar, and flour until mixture is crumbly. Press 2/3 of mixture into bottom of 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 10 mins. Remove bars and reduce oven temperature to 350. Once bars are cool, spread lemon curd over bars. Mix coconut with remaining 1/3 of crumbs and then sprinkle mixture to cover lemon curd. Bake another 25 mins at 350 degrees until top crust begins to turn golden. Allow bars to cool before cutting into pieces.

These lemon bars are a bit tangier than traditional lemon bars. That's why I love this recipe. Warning: they are addicting. My husband ate two bars last night and was practically begging for a third! I hate to admit it but I ate one for breakfast this morning. Yum!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Decadent Chocolate Truffles

Decadent Chocolate Truffles
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tb. unsalted butter

First, decide how many types of truffles you'd like to make. I made three types: coffee, raspberry, and chocolate flavors. (See below for other suggestions) Divide your chocolate evenly between the bowls (I used three separate bowls). In a small saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a boil. Remove the boiling mixture and pour evenly over your bowls of chocolate (one third of the mixture into each bowl). Stir chocolate and cream until smooth and melted. Add the flavoring to each bowl. I added 1 Tb. raspberry jam to the first bowl, 1 tsp. instant coffee to the second, and I left the third bowl alone. Now place the bowls in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until chocolate is firm.

Here comes the fun and beautiful part. You are going to form your truffles into small, bite-sized balls and then roll them in a coating. I think the best options are cocoa powder, crushed nuts, and coconut flakes. Set up your countertop with each "coating" in a separate small bowl. Remove the chocolate from the refrigerator. Using a spoon or melon scoop, form the chocolate into small balls and roll each ball in the desired coating. Arrange on a tray and refrigerate again another 30 minutes or more. Serve chilled.

Other suggestions for ganache flavors include orange (add 1 Tb. orange zest), peanut butter (2 Tb.), or grand marnier. Get creative and add whatever you'd like. I've tried truffles with cheese, olive oil, wasabi, sea salt, cardamom, and the list goes on!

I rated it 4 stars because my family and I loved them, but I don't have any experience making truffles. They were very, very rich which can be good or bad depending on your taste. My 5 star standard in chocolate is anything from Vosges Haut Chocolate in NYC. If I can ever make something that tastes as good as Vosges, I'll give it 5 stars!

Makes 20-25 truffles.

Amma's Mango Pickle

south indian mango pickle home made with curd/yogurt rice
1 unripe (green) mango, peeled and diced
2 tsp. oil ( olive oil or sesame oil)
1/4 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder (the spicy variety, not American chili powder)
pinch turmeric
pinch asafoetida (optional-I skip this step)

Heat sesame oil on medium-high heat in frying pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and fry until seeds start to pop and splutter. Reduce heat to med-low. Add in salt, chili powder, turmeric, and asafoetida. Stir in mango and sautee for 5 mins. If mango starts to brown or stick to pan, you can add a few tablespoons of water and stir more frequently.

From my mother-in-law's kitchen in India, this is a fresh version of the traditional Indian canned pickle, a spicy condiment. Fresh pickle is best eaten as a side dish with "curd rice" (rice, plain yogurt, and salt mixed) and you can vary the chili powder according to your spice tolerance. I don't like the "mouth on fire" feeling, so I went easy on the chili powder. While the mango should be "green", not ripe yet, I think it would also taste good with a ripe mango. My husband is South Indian and said "yuck" to that idea. Maybe I'll be making ripe mango pickle for ONE next week!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Onion Chutney

Onion Chutney
1 large onion (I prefer red)
1 green chili
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. urad or channa dal (optional)
1 Tb. dry tamarind
1 tsp. brown sugar

Coarsely chop the onion. In a frying pan heat oil to medium-hi heat. Add mustard seeds, urad/channa dal, and green chili. Fry until dal turns light brown and mustard seeds start to pop. Add onion and salt, cook until onion becomes translucent and the raw onion smell is gone.

Add onion mixture into a blender or food processor, and add tamarind and brown sugar. Puree and serve with delicious Indian dishes like dosa or uttapam. Be sure to have gum and breath mints handy if you're going to indulge in onion chutney!!

Lightning Fast Flatbread

I was planning a dinner of pita, hummus, and veggie sandwiches. Before I knew it we were all famished and it was 7pm. I hadn't even started cooking. So much for the fresh-baked pita plan. I came up with this recipe as a quick flatbread alternative. It only took me 15 mins and was actually a bigger hit than my fluffy (wait till it rises) pita bread!

1 1/2 c. white flour
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix ingredients in a bowl, dough should be a little on the sticky side. Add flour until you can knead the dough and it doesn't continuously stick to your hands. Knead for 5 mins, then divide the dough into 6 equal parts. On a well floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a 6" flat circle. Dust off the excess flour. Lightly oil a frying pan and heat on med-high. Roast each circle of dough in the frying pan for 60-90 seconds on each side. Flip when dough becomes bubbly and puffy, remove from heat when flatbread is starting to brown. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt (optional).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Amma's Lemon Rice

1 c. cooked basmati rice
1 T. lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. channa dal
1 green chili (diced)
pinch mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida
pinch turmeric powder
5-10 curry leaves
salt to taste

In skillet heat oil over med-high heat. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter (pop) add channa dal and roast until dal turns red. Stir in green chili and curry leaves and immediately turn stove off. Add in turmeric powder and asafoetida. Combine with cooked rice and stir in lemon juice. Additional sesame oil can be added for flavor. Salt to taste.

Lemon rice is one of my favorite dishes made by my mother-in-law. The fresh flavor is amazing. Often served as a light main dish, pairs well with crunchy potato chips or papad.

Rating: Not rated yet

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jane's Olive Dip

2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each)
1 can black olives
1 1/2 c. green olives plus 1 Tb. olive juice
1 Tb. minced garlic

Whip the cream cheese with a mixer. Add in finely chopped black and green olives and the olive juice. Mix in minced garlic and serve chilled with crackers.

My step-mom always has delicious food in the house, ready to serve on a moment's notice. I stopped over for an impromptu visit, and she whipped up this appetizer in five minutes. We tried it with wheat crackers, triscuits, and tortilla chips. Triscuits were my fave. Yum.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rustic French Baguette

I have always equated good homemade bread with impossibility. My mom had a bread machine when I was a kid, and maybe I just got the impression that you have to be a goddess in the kitchen to make a good loaf of bread by hand. Since I recently had success with sushi (what, you can make that at home???), I decided to break the bread barrier! I baked a French baguette. And I liked it. And my husband and I ate it all in one sitting. Mmmm. It didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, but the texture was soft and fluffy, and the flavors were surprisingly complex for a simple bread recipe. I'm already thinking about sourdough next!

The recipe I used is a fusion of two recipes I found that looked relatively simple. Here it is:
Rustic French Baguette
1 tsp yeast
1 c. warm water
1 tsp salt
2 c. white flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set in warm, draft free place (I put it in the sun on the countertop) and allow to dissolve for 10 mins. You should notice a few bubbles on the surface of the water. In a large bowl, mix the yeast water and the salt. Slowly stir in the wheat flour, then 1 c. of the white flour. Turn dough onto well floured surface and begin to knead, adding flour until the dough is slightly sticky but doesn't cling to your hands (I ended up using 1 c. flour). When the dough is the right consistency, knead an additional 8-10 mins. Oil a glass or ceramic bowl and place the dough ball in the center. Make sure the dough is also coated with oil so it doesn't stick to the bowl. Cover with cloth and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place approximately 1 hour, or until dough doubles in size (I waited 1.5 or 2 hours). Punch down dough and divide in two equal parts. Form each lump of dough into a long baguette shape, and place on a baking sheet (preferably a baking stone).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cover baguette dough with cloth and allow to rise another 20 mins on the baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg (this will give a brown, crunchy crust).

Baguettes need moisture to bake in the oven, so I recommend taking a metal 13x9 pan (glass may break) and filling with 1" water. Now place the water pan in the bottom rack of the oven, and put the baking sheet with baguettes on the middle rack. Bake for 20-25mins until the crust is golden brown.

My baguettes were golden and crispy when I removed them from the oven, but an hour later they had softened considerably. Now the crust is soft and golden but still tasty. One recipe suggested removing the baking dish with water after 15 mins. Maybe I'll try that next time, or I'll just bake the bread a little longer. I was hoping to make bruschetta with the baguettes, but discovered that these are better for sandwiches, soups, or just to be eaten warm with butter and honey. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Joni's Tomato Vegetable Casserole

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 yam, peeled, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2" pieces
5 Tb. olive oil
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4" pieces
salt and pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4" thick slices
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. dried Italian-style bread crumbs
Fresh basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss potato, yam, bell pepper, carrots and 2 Tb. olive oil into 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly in the pan.

Arrange onion slices evenly over the vegetables. Arrange zucchini over the onion and drizzle with 2 Tb. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then arrange tomato slices on top.

In a small bowl, mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the vegetable mix in the baking dish. Drizzle with another Tb. of olive oil.

Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil springs.

My aunt Joni shared this recipe with me. I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I love roasted vegetables, so this should be a big hit!

Swedish Cardamom Cookies

2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter
1 c. sugar
1 Tb. karo syrup (I substituted 1 Tb. agave nectar)
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cardamom (fresh or powdered)
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in syrup and egg yolk. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, cardamom. Combine with wet ingredients. Roll into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten with fork. Bake for 10-12 mins. Makes 4 doz cookies.

Using fresh cardamom gives these cookies a little punch. I peeled the cardamom pods open and crushed the seeds instead of using the powdered cardamom spice. These cookies are quite rich, so the smaller the better. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.

Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb. ground cinnamon
3 c. grated carrots
1 c. chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x13 inch pan.

In a bowl beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and then stir in carrots and pecans. Pour into pan. Bake for 40-50 mins, until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is smooth. Frost cake once it is cooled.

This carrot cake is rich and moist. I like the carrot cake lightly frosted, but my husband raves about the cake without frosting. Either way, its addicting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Peanut Avocado Rolls

Peanut Avocado Sushi Rolls

2 sheets nori (roasted seaweed)
2 c. cooked sushi rice
1 avocado
1/2 c. roasted, salted peanuts
2 Tb. wasabi (horseradish paste)
1 Tb. soy sauce
2 Tb. sushi vinegar (see recipe below)

for rolling sushi: bamboo mat or waxed paper/plastic wrap
Serves 2

Cook sushi rice according to instructions on package. Add soy sauce to peanuts and marinate. On a cutting board or countertop, spread bamboo mat or waxed paper. Lay one sheet nori on top of mat with the longest side of the nori closest to you. Spread 1 c. cooked rice all over the nori, leaving 1/2" around the edges free of rice. Spread thin layer of wasabi (if you like a kick!) over one third of rice closest to you. Place the sliced avocado filling across the longest length of the nori, leaving about 3" of rice closest to you free of filling. Spread the peanuts next to the avocado lengthwise across nori. With assistance of bamboo mat, roll sushi tightly starting at the edge closest to you, covering the "filling" on your first roll. With a very sharp knife, cut the ends off of the sushi roll (about 1/2" on each end) and cut the roll into 1" slices. Repeat process with second sheet of nori I usually manage 6 slices per roll. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

open peanut avocado sushi roll before rolling

Sushi Vinegar Recipe:

In a saucepan, combine 1/3c. vinegar with 2 Tb. sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Mix 1 Tb. sushi vinegar per 1c.cooked sushi rice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Bi Bim Bap

Simple Bi Bim Bap Korean
2c. cooked sushi rice
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1c. bean sprouts
1/2 c. cooked spinach (optional)
2 Tb. chopped chives or green onions
2 eggs, fried or soft boiled (optional)
2 Tb. soy sauce
Hot Chili Sauce (optional)
2 Tb. sesame oil
pinch salt

Serves 2

Heat 1 Tb. sesame oil over medium heat, sautee zucchini and shiitake mushrooms (separately) for 3-5 mins until well cooked, adding a pinch of salt to each during cooking. While sauteeing, bring 1c. water to boil and add in bean sprouts with a pinch of salt. Boil for 2-3 mins and drain. Cook the eggs either over-easy or fried, depending on your preference.

Spoon 1 c. warm sushi rice into a serving bowl, arrange carrot, zucchini, mushroom, bean sprouts, and spinach over the top of the rice. Place fried egg over the top of everything, sprinkle with chives to garnish. Serve warm. Using chopsticks, mix all ingredients and add soy sauce and chili sauce to taste.

This Korean dish is an easy, healthy dinner for two. It is traditionally served in a hot stone pot which crisps and browns the rice a bit. Delicious! I don't have a hot stone pot, so I used a soup bowl and it turned out great anyway. The first time I made Bi Bim Bap, we loved it so much that we ate it three nights in a row!

Cold Oven Popovers

Link to Recipe

I was missing popovers from my favorite breakfast place in NYC, so I decided to try making them at home. I used muffin tins and followed the recipe exactly. Unfortunately, by the time the tops were golden brown, the bottom of the popovers were black. My husband and I cut off the tops and ate them with cinnamon-honey butter. At least the butter was a hit! Next time I will try a traditional popover recipe which involves reducing the oven temperature halfway through baking.

Rating: 1 star
Makes 1 doz small popovers



1 can chickpeas, drained
2 Tb fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4c. Tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 Tb. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth (a little lumpy is fine), adding salt to taste.
You may need to add 1/4c. water if the hummus is very thick during blending.
Garnish with olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita chips or use in hummus sandwich pictured below.

Hummus makes a great snack or a healthy part of a light meal. I usually serve it on a platter with cucumber, tomato, falafel, and pita bread.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Moroccan Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (4 inch) cinnamon stick
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 large carrots, sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can canned diced/crushed/stewed tomatoes with their juice
1 cup pitted green olives
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 (10 ounce) box uncooked couscous
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil with cumin and cinnamon stick. When onion is well cooked and clear, add squash, carrots, vegetable broth, water, beans, tomatoes. Simmer for 30-40 mins until squash is tender. Cook couscous according to directions on the box. When stew is ready, remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and olives. Garnish with salt, pepper, and cilantro. Serve over couscous.

I adapted this from an Allrecipes post and it turned out to be delicious. I think adding raisins would be a nice authentic Moroccan touch, but my husband doesn't like sweet and savory mixed, so I left them out this time.

Rating: 5 stars

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thai Tofu Curry

Thai Tofu Curry

1 (12oz) package extra firm tofu
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 small potatoes
1 Tb. hot curry powder
1 can coconut milk
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tb. olive oil
black pepper

Serves 3-4

Drain tofu, lay cube on side and slice in half to make cube thinner.  Cover tofu with cheesecloth and place on plate or cutting board, then place heavy board or pot on top of tofu.  Allow to dry for 15 mins, then slice into small (1/2") cubes.  Sautee in olive oil and add sea salt until light brown and crispy.  Remove from pan.

Cook sliced onion and pepper in microwave 3 mins, then cook potatoes in microwave 5 mins.  Peel skin from potatoes and dice.  Sautee onion, pepper, garlic, potato in olive oil.  Add coconut milk, water, curry powder, cilantro, salt, pepper and reduce heat to low-med, simmer for 5-10 mins and serve over rice.

Rating: 5 stars
Love this delicious curry!  Its flavorful but not too spicy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 package dry yeast
1 c. warm water
2.5 c. white flour
1 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine dry yeast and warm water, allow to stand for 10 mins, then add salt and flour, knead for 5 mins and allow dough to rise in warm place, covered with cloth, for 30 mins. Punch dough and knead another minute or two, then roll out on floured surface to cover pizza pan. Place dough on pizza pan and brush olive oil over dough. Add toppings listed below.

2 oz goat cheese
1 red onion, sliced
6 dried figs
2 Tb. butter
1 Tb. olive oil
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat 1 c. water in a bowl, add figs and soak for 15 mins, then remove figs and slice into quarters.
In saucepan, heat butter over med heat, add red onion and stir occasionally until onion is throughly cooked and beginning to brown (carmelize). Remove from heat.

Sprinkle toppings over pizza crust (onion, crumble goat cheese, figs, mozzarella). I added some oregano and thyme to the toppings before I finished with mozzarella.

Rating: 3 stars

The combination of toppings on the pizza was delicious. I love the sweet figs and savory onion together. This pizza really has no sauce, which is why it is only 3 stars. Next time I would make a pesto sauce or an olive oil/garlic sauce.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 T. parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
sprinkle oregano and basil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper

Serves 3-4
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, and balsamic vinegar, add dash salt and pepper.  Coat bottom of roasting pan (I used glass 9x13 pan) with olive oil, place mushrooms in pan gill side up.  Spoon tomato mixture into mushrooms.  Bake for 20-25 mins or until mixture turns golden brown on top of mushrooms. 

These portobellos are very rich in flavor.  I served them as a main dish with fried eggplant on the side, and I could barely finish one mushroom.  Portobellos are a good source of B vitamins for vegetarians!

Rating: 4 stars
The filling flavors were perfect; however, I found that when the mushroom tops were golden brown, the mushrooms were still a bit undercooked.  I would suggest baking the mushrooms a little longer (25-30 mins) with foil covering the pan.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lentil Soup

1 red onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 potato diced
1 large carrot thinly sliced
1 c. spinach (optional)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 or 1.5 cups lentils (I used green)
chili powder to taste
cumin powder to taste
1/2 tsp. salt to taste
vegetable broth 1-2 cups
water- 2 cups
olive oil
fresh ground pepper

Sautee onion, bell pepper in olive oil, add potato and carrot. Add chili
and cumin powder, and salt (I like an herb and sea salt mix). Stir in lentils, veg
broth, tomato paste, water and spinach. Make sure liquids generously cover all of the lentils (you may need to add more water as soup boils down). Simmer on low-med heat for approx 45 mins or until lentils are tender. Salt and pepper can be added at the end according to taste.

I created with recipe with vegetables and spices we had in the fridge. Spinach is optional, but a great source of iron and my family loved the flavor. Perfect soup for a cold winter night.

Rating: 5 stars

Amma's Tomato Rice

1 c. cooked basmati rice
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 T. channa dal
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. masala powder
pinch mustard seeds
pinch turmeric
pinch asafoetida
salt to taste
mustard seed
channa dal
onion- sautee

In a skillet, heat sesame oil over med-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until spluttering (popping), then add channa dal and roast until red. Add diced onion and cook for 1 min then add tomato. Reduce heat a bit and simmer until tomato begins to turn into a thick paste. Mix in turmeric powder, asafoetida, masala powder, and salt. Turn heat off. Combine with cooked rice. 1 or 2 tsp sesame oil can be added for flavor.

Similar to lemon rice, this light main dish pairs well with papad or potato chips. Another favorite from amma's kitchen!

Rating: not rated yet

Peanut Butter- Chocolate Chip- Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter- Chocolate Chip- Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a great combo of sweet and salty.  I substituted sunflower seeds for peanuts.  The cookies are best served the next day with a cold glass of milk!  Enjoy, but just don't look at the nutrition information. Yikes!

Rating 4 stars

Monday, February 9, 2009

Potato Curry

Indian Potato Curry

4 medium potatoes (cook them in microwave first, approx 8 mins)
3-4 Tb. olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
dash cayenne pepper
dash salt

Cube potatoes (I leave skin on) after they have been cooked in
Heat olive oil. Add mustard and cumin seeds, cook until they splutter
(crackle and pop) then add potato and stir.
Add chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and stir well. Extra oil may
be needed to prevent burning and add to flavor.
Cook over medium-high heat until potatoes begin to brown and crisp on
the outside. I cook them as long as possible without burning it!

This yummy side dish pairs well with sambar, rasam, and dal rice.

Rating: 5 stars

South Indian Curries

South Indian Curries can be made with a variety of vegetables. My
favorites include:

Capsicum (Pepper)
Cabbage (I prefer red cabbage)
Green Beans

You need:
3-4 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder (if using mexican or indian chili powder, just a
pinch or it will be too spicy!)
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
salt to taste (1/2 tsp?)
pinch cumin seeds (optional
mustard seeds (1/2 tsp)

Chop vegetables into small pieces. If necessary (cauliflower, okra,
green beans) cook vegetable for a few minutes in microwave.
Heat 1Tb olive oil (or sesame oil) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp
mustard seeds and pinch of cumin seeds. When the seeds start to
crackle and pop in the pan, add the chopped vegetable and stir.
Add the salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and mix well. Continue
cooking over med-high heat, you may need to add another few
tablespoons of olive oil so it doesn't burn. Curry is ready when
vegetables begin to brown or get a little crispy.

Serve warm as a side dish with rasam, sambar, or dal.

Gourmet Rice Recipes

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