Friday, January 25, 2013

Potato, Tomato, and Pea curry

My Dad's recipe. Perfect with chapatis-recipe to follow. I am still a chapati novice but have a huge bag of the flour in my freezer (it is prone to rancidity), so I have no excuse not to practice. For some reason the Indian stores only sell chapati flour in quantities large enough to feed a small village. This curry is so warm and comforting on a cold night. It's really good if you add cauliflower to it too! 

2 medium onions chopped 
6 cloves of garlic crushed 
1 inch piece of ginger minced
 6 medium tomatoes chopped 
2 fresh green chilies slit 
4 Potatoes cut in half and cut the halves lengthwise into 4 pieces 
3 cups of green peas-frozen is fine 
1 handful of fresh mint leaves - finely chopped 
1 handful of cilantro - finely chopped

Whole spices: 
6 cloves 
6 cardamom pods 
1 dried red chili 
1 small stick of cinnamon 
6 black peppercorns 
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

 Ground spices: 
1 teaspoon coriander seeds 
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 
1 pinch of fennel seeds -grind the above to a fine powder 
1 teaspoon Gram Masala powder 

Method: Peel and boild the potatoes in salted water with a teaspoon of turmeric. When the potatoes are almost cooked drain and set aside. In a large flat bottomed pan heat the oil with the red chili in it. When the. Chili starts to brown add all of the other whole spices except the cumin seeds and fry till aromatic. Add the cumin seeds and fry till they brown. To the scented oil add the ginger and fry for a little while. Add the crushed garlic and fry a little longer. Add the onions and fry till they are golden. Add the ground spices and fry till you can smell the flavor develop. Add the green chilies, mint and chopped tomatoes and simmer till the sauce thickens. Add the boiled potatoes and peas and simmer till the peas are cooked. Add the chopped cilantro and serve.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Avocado Smoothie (2 versions)

1/2 Avocado 1 Handful of spinach (washed/trimmed) 1/4 cup of greek yogourt 1/2 cup of skim milk 3 tablespoons of honey (or to taste) This smoothie is rich and buttery. 2nd Version 1/2 Avocado 1/2 cup of Frozen Mango 1 frozen banana (or unfrozen) 1/4 cup of Greek Yogourt 1/2 cup of skim milk I used a hand blender for both of these -but you can use a blender too. Olivia and I had the first one for dinner and the second one for dessert. :)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Caulifower Cheddar Soup with Garam Masala

This is the prime example of what Lorne and I joke about what vegetarian cuisine is thoughtto be. Grey thin vegetable gruel. But this is great gruel! Cauliflower and cheddar are natural friends, so are cauliflower and garam masala. So why not involve everyone and have fun? I've never realized this before but curry and cheese DO go together. The results were delicious, eaten with buttery crisp slices of garlic toasted baguette.

2 tbsp butter
1/2 to 3/4 of a large cauliflower head, coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 potato diced
5-6 cups veggie stock
about 2-3 tsp garam masala (curry powder)
some fresh nutmeg
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup light cream
about 100g old cheddar, grated.
salt and pepper

Melt butter in a soup pan, add chopped onions. Saute on medium heat until the onions are translucent, don't let them color. Add garlic and fry for a few minutes, then add the cauliflower and potato. Fry for about 10 minutes, then add the curry powder, letting it cook for another ten minutes. Add the stock, the bay leaves and the thyme. Let it simmer uncovered for about 30 mins, until the potato and cauliflower are tender. Let your soup cool a bit then add the cream and cheese. Let it heat just before boiling temp before serving. Serve with garlic toast and garnished with Italian parsley.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Squah/Zucchini blossom fritters

These are hard to come by, but if you know someone with a garden you can always pick a handful or basketful. Be sure to pick the male flowers (the one without the little baby zucchini or squash at its base)

As many blossoms as you can get your hands on-usually I try for about 15 to 20.
garlic-finely chopped
fresh basil
fresh parsely
4 or 5 eggs
1/2 cup of flour-(approx)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese- you can also use feta.
(if you use feta change the fresh herbs to dill)
Sometimes I add yogourt, just depends on what I have around.

Wash and rough chop the blossoms, remove the stamin from inside the blossom before you chop them.

Chop up basil, parsely and garlic-put all fresh ingredients in a bowl.
Add the eggs and the flour.

The whole mixture should be about the consistency of crepe batter-runny.

Add parmesan cheese and yogourt (if you like). stir well.

Fry the pancakes in olive oil-use medium high heat as olive oil tends to smoke really easily.
I always do a test pancake first to see if I made the batter thick enough or too thin...add flour (too thin) or some yogourt (too thick) to adjust the consistency.

Cook until the edges get golden and then flip.
Serve pipping hot.

I usually serve these with a salad.

Monday, August 01, 2011

red sauce

This is a great multi purpose sauce for mexican dishes. I used to make it without the tomatillos and fresh tomatoes, which is still really good, but the tangy freshness of the tomatoes and tomatillos takes it to a whole new level! I find that it's best to always freshly grind your cumin, either with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. The flavor is incomparable to the already ground powder. It's even better if you roast the seeds a bit in the toaster oven before grinding it, but not too much as burnt cumin is no good either. It goes great with enchiladas, chiles rellenos, burritos, whatever your heart desires. The awesome thing about this sauce is that you can improvise with the ingredients to make it your own by adding fresh cilantro, more chilis for heat, etc. This recipe is actually just an approximation of what I usually do as I tend to vary it depending on what I can find at the store/my fridge,

I large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili, diced (optional for extra heat)
2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp honey or sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 diced ripe tomatoes
3 diced tomatillos, husked
1 cup vegetable broth (less or more depending on how thich you want the sauce)
1 tsp masa harina (optional to help thicken the sauce)
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
salt to taste

Roast the cumin for a few minutes in your toaster oven until just lightly browned, grind them to a powder with the coriander seeds. Fry the onion, garlic, and jalapeno if using until the onion is transluscent the add the spices. You will smell the most wonderful aroma as the spices release their goodness. Add the masa harina, cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium low heat until the tomatoes and tomatillos are cooked down into the sauce for about a half an hour, help them out by breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add some fresh chopped coriander if you wish. If you want a smooth sauce, you can blend the sauce with an immersion blender. Deeelish!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Green Beans

1 lb green beans (washed and ends snaped off)
1 red pepper
2 tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
olive oil

Wash and snap ends off the beans. Rough chop all the other ingredients.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add the tomatoes and red peppers. Cook for 5 or 10 minutes, add garlic and green beans.

Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes and then lower heat to medium and put a lid on the pan. Cook until beans are bright green and tender. Stir occasionally.

Add salt and fresh basil and a sprinkle of feta or parmesan cheese

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kung Pao Tofu Burgers

Adapted from vegetarian times...

I was camping in Quebec last week and after eating one too many hot dogs I started craving a nice fresh vegetarian meal. I was especially jonesing for these tofu burgers, a recipe in vegetarian times I had read but had never tried. When I got home, after showering and nursing my black fly and mosquito bites this was the first thing I made. And they were good, damn good. I added ginger and garlic to the tofu marinade of course. The vegetable slaw that goes on the burgers adds a great crunch and the kung pao inspired dressing is really a great combination with the tofu. I've decided I love slaw, so slaw it to me baby. Oh yeah.

For the tofu:

1 block of extra firm tofu, drained
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

For the slaw:
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp mayo
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
5 tsp honey
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
ground black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
3 medium carrots, grated
1 zucchini, grated
About one cup grated red cabbage
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the tofu into 6 burger friendly pieces. Whisk together the marinade and pour it over the tofu, marinate one hour.
Grate the the vegetables, then whisk together the dressing. Add the dressing then chill the slaw while you're baking the tofu.

Transfer the tofu to a lightly oiled baking dish then bake for 25 minutes each side until crispy (you can baste a little with the marinade as you bake).

Fill buns with 1 tofu slice and slaw. Serve with sweet potato fries and spicy mayo. YUMMMMM!!

Sorry I didn't get a picture of the finished product - we were too hungry so we ate them all.