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Archive for January, 2010

Green Dal

Dal is easy, tasty and healthy.  What more could you want?  Eat it with some veggies, and rice or chapati for a quick delicious meal.

Ingredients:

2 C dry split green peas

4 C water

3/4 C unsweetened milk substitute (I use So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage)

1/2 small onion

1 TBS canola oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp anardana

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

1.  Rinse the split peas, and then simmer over medium heat in 4 C water for 30 minutes, or until tender, but not falling apart.

2.  While the peas are simmering, heat the canola oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, cumin seeds and anardana.  Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions turn clear.

3.  Add the garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add the curry powder and salt, stir to distribute and remove from heat.

5.  When the peas are done cooking, stir in the onion mixture and the milk substitute.  Lower heat to med-low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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Whole Wheat Chapati

In India, bread and rice are not eaten at the same meal, it’s an either/or relationship.  If you’ve never tried to eat your curry or dal with just some chapati (aka roti) or naan, believe me, you won’t be disappointed!  I admit, I was a little skeptical at first, since I could not imagine having Indian food without rice, but just having a couple of chapatis makes a light, satisfying meal.

Ingredients:

2 C Whole Wheat Flour

1 tsp salt

1 TBS olive oil

1 C warm water +/- 1/4 C

Instructions:

1.  In medium mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.  Then stir in the olive oil and 3/4 C of the warm water.

2.  Turn out onto a flat surface to kneed the dough.  Kneed a few times.  If there is a lot of flour hanging around, drizzle some of the extra water onto it.  Continue to kneed for a minute or two, adding enough water to create a soft, but not sticky dough.

3.  Cover with a towel and let sit for up to 2 hours, but at least half an hour.

4.  Heat griddle, or cast iron skillet to medium low.

5.  Cut dough into 12 sections and roll each into a ball.

6.  Roll out two pieces of dough, as thin as you can.  Let them rest for a minute.  Then give one piece another turn with your rolling pin to flatten out a little more.  Take that dough and place it bottom side down in the skillet.  Take another ball and roll it out.  Flip the chapati in the skillet (you should see brown freckles on the cooked side).  Give a second rolling to the dough you rolled out at the beginning.  Flip the chapati again (again, once you see some brown freckles), but leave only for 10 seconds or so.  Remove from heat.  Repeat this process of cooking, rolling, flipping, re-rolling, flipping, remove, until all chapatis have been cooked.

Serve with your favorite dal or curry!

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Vegetable Biryani

This is certainly not the most traditional biryani recipe (I just cannot replicate the flavor you get in restaurants, they must have some mystery spice), but after much trial and error, I’ve managed a tasty flavor mixture.  But if anybody knows what the secret ingredient to authentic flavor is, please let me know!

Ingredients:

Rice

1.5 C brown basmati rice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 1/4 C water

Veggies

1 small gold potato

canola oil, as needed

1/2 small yellow onion

1/2 tsp each:  cumin seeds, coriander seeds, anardana

2 cloves garlic

1 serrano chili (optional)

1/2 tsp each: garam masala, curry powder

1 tsp ground each: cumin, ground coriander, salt

1 medium carrot

1/2 head of broccoli

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 C green peas, thawed

1/2 C chopped cilantro

Instructions:

1.  Soak the rice in a large bowl of cold water for at least an hour.  Pour out the water and refill with fresh water, and then drain completely.

2.  In a large skillet, heat the rice, water, olive oil, turmeric and salt over high heat until the water just begins to simmer.  Then turn heat down to medium or medium-low (just enough to maintain a simmer, but not boil) and cook covered for 18-20 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.

3.  Set aside and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

4.  While the rice is cooking, heat a spoonful or two of canola oil to medium in a non-stick skillet.  Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes without stirring.

5.  Then stir them up, add the onion, garlic, chili and cumin and coriander seeds, and cook another 4 minutes.

6.  Add the ground spices and salt and stir to mix.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add the carrots, and more oil if needed.  Cook for 3 minutes.

7.  Add the lemon zest, broccoli and bell pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes.

8.  Add the thawed green peas.  Cook for 3 minutes.

9.  Fluff the rice with a fork and combine it with the veggies.  Stir in the cilantro and serve!

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Coconut Potatoes

These coconut potatoes are a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and have a shot of lime juice to slice through the richness.  They are great accompaniment to some curried chickpeas and steamed veg.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 C water, or veggie broth

1 thai green chili, diced (optional)

1 tsp salt

canola oil, as needed

2 TBS shredded coconut

juice from 1/2 a lime

1/2 C cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Instructions:

1.  Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat.  Add the potatoes, salt, and water (or broth).  Cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove cover, stir and cook 3-4 minutes longer.

2.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add the diced chili.

3.  Add 1-2 tsp canola oil, to coat the bottom of the pan.  Cook uncovered for 4 minutes.  Stir, add more oil if needed and cook 4 minutes more.  Repeat again, for a total of 12 minutes.

4.  Add coconut, stir and cook for a final 3 minutes.

5.  Remove from heat.  Squeeze half of a lime over potatoes.  Add cilantro, and serve.

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Pierogis

I used to love the pierogis at Veselka in NYC, but of course most pierogis have egg or sour cream in the dough.  It only occurred to me recently that I could attempt to make them vegan.  The filling can be pretty much anything mixed into mashed potatoes, but the dough is the tricky vegan part.  I used some plain coconut milk yogurt for the first batch of dough I tried, and at first I thought it tasted a little weird.  But after making other doughs without the yogurt, I appreciated the richness it brought to the flavor profile.  This is definitely one of my “work in progress” recipes, so I would love to hear suggestions for it!  These freeze great (raw or cooked), so make a bunch and keep them for later!

Ingredients: makes 2-3 dozen, depending on dough thickness

Dough

3 C All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 oz plain vegan yogurt

1/2 – 3/4 C water

Filling

2.5 lbs baked golden potatoes

2 tsp canola oil

1/2 small onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 medium head broccoli, diced

2 TBS Earth Balance buttery sticks

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Scrub potatoes, prick with a fork, wrap in foil and bake for 60-75 minutes (depending on size), or until easier pierced with a fork.

2.  While potatoes are baking, prepare dough.  Add all dough ingredients to a large bowl, starting with 1/4 C water.  Stir until liquids are absorbed, and add more water as needed.

3.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and kneed for 1 minute, until you have a smooth dough.  Avoid overworking.  Wrap in plastic and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat canola oil over medium.  Cook onions until they turn clear.  Add the garlic.  Continue sauteing until onions are slightly browned.  Add broccoli, Earth Balance, salt and pepper.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until broccoli turns bright green.

5.  Once potatoes are fully cooked, mash them in a large bowl.  Add broccoli mixture and blend thoroughly.

6.  Divide dough into quarters.  Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thick, or less.  Cut with a round 3-4 inch cookie cutter.  Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each round.  Dab a small amount of water along the edge of the dough.  Pull two sides of the dough up, and pinch together to seal the pierogi. (The dough in these pictures will look different than yours, because I experimented with the dough recipe a couple of times, but only took pics once.)

7.  Cook the pierogis either by boiling for approximately 4 minutes, or fried.  To fry, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook pierogis on one side for 4-5, or until golden brown, with the pan covered.  Then turn to cook on the other side, again with the pan covered.

Serve warm with caramelized onions, or freeze to eat later!

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This week’s granola features pecans richly baked in brown rice syrup, deliciously reminiscent of pecan pie.  With a shot of ground chocolate added to the mix, I’ve got a granola that might be a little too addictive, but a few spoonfuls in your coconut milk yogurt will be a great way to start the day!

Ingredients:

4 TBS melted Earth Balance

3 C thick oats

1/2 C ground dark chocolate

1 C pecan halves

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 C brown rice syrup

1 TBS turbinado sugar

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

2.  Melt the Earth Balance in a small bowl in the microwave.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients.

4.  Spread mixture in the prepared pan.  Bake for 40 minutes, stirring two or three times.

5.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool.  After about 10 minutes, while it’s still warm, break the granola up into pieces, because once it’s totally cool, it will be stuck in whatever size chunks you make.

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Tex-Mex meets New-Mex Fiesta

Here’s a menu I created for Jo’s post-dissertation defense (“Dark Matter”) party Spring 2008. It was a huge hit for both the vegans and omni’s alike. It served about 40 people buffet-style, with plenty for morning-after leftovers. I used about 3 doz tamales and made about 2 dry C of the quinoa. I didn’t scale up any of the recipes (except for the quinoa and the margaritas). It was BYOB, and we had a house Sangria for the guests, but naturally some wanted my wonderful margaritas. So we went through about 2-3 full pitchers, which used a total of a full bottle of tequila and about 1.5 bottles of triple sec.

This menu would also serve nicely as a buffet at a big Super Bowl Party this coming February! 🙂

Main Munchers:

Basic Roasted Vegetables (Roasted Red Bell, Corn, Zucchini, Red Onion) served with tortilla chips
Black Bean tamales with Tomatillo Salsa and Pico de Gallo
New Mexican Veg & Quinoa (with Tomatillos, Green Chilies, Black Beans, Corn, and Spinach)
Spicy nuts and seeds
Jo’s Favorite Roasted Potatoes
Zucchini fritters – my secret recipe, sorry folks – maybe I’ll let it go one day when we put out a Primate cookbook 😉
Fresh fruit salad

Dessert and Drinks:

Sugar Cookies (in drop form, not specially shaped)
House Sangria
Margaritas (Pitcher)

Happy Hosting!

On This Day In History: Classic 3-Bean Salad

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