Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

It’s been ages since either my sister or I posted a recipe, and there’s nothing like spending a week in the springtime on a hops farm to inspire fresh and new creations. A vegetable that, for reasons unknown, always fails to grab my attention when I’m deciding what to prepare is the carrot. I grow them in my garden and end up eating them raw right from the dirt (washed, of course), and yet when I think of dishes, they only ever make it into a medley of roasted veg. So here’s a fresh idea for summer picnics and gatherings, or to accompany other salads in a crudité-style plate. This recipe takes no time at all to put together. I didn’t time it, but maybe 10-15 minutes…



4 large carrots, shredded (roughly 4 C)

Juice from 1/2 large lemon (lime might also be nice)

1-2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch cilantro (or parsley)

Salt and Pepper to taste



  1. Grate the carrots with a box grater or Salad Master. You want about a medium grate – not too small, not too large.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, lemon juice, oil, cilantro (or parsley), salt, and pepper.
  3. Enjoy.

Inspiration for your Memorial Day Weekend: Memorial Day Munchies

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I *heart* hummus.. and I *heart* green chiles from New Mexico. After Jo’s inspiring Jalapeño & Cilantro hummus, and after not finding any green chile hummus in the Co-Op in Santa Fe on my trip home from Lake Tahoe.. I decided to make my own green chile hummus using green chiles from El Patio de Albuquerque (the source of our green chiles in such recipes as Green Chile Potatoes and Green Chile Rice). I think at this recipe, it’s a good medium heat — mellow enough for dad, but enough to tell there’s some heat present. If I were making it solely for myself (or Jo), I’d probably add another 2 TBSP of green chile sauce. If that’s the case, you’d probably also have to add in more chickpeas so it doesn’t get too runny of a consistency. Without further ado.. here’s Green Chile Hummus! 🙂


2 C cooked chickpeas

3 small (or 1 medium-large) garlic clove

4 TBSP Green Chile Sauce – I used El Patio de Albuquerque’s house-made sauce..but you may use any green chile sauce of choice

3 TBSP fresh lime juice

3 TBSP olive or safflower oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C fresh cilantro


1.  Put chickpeas, garlic, green chile sauce, salt, olive oil and lime juice in food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

2.  Add cilantro and pulse the food processor a few times, until cilantro is mixed in.

3.  Remove from food processor and serve, or store in refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

Happy Blending!

On this day in History: Blueberries & Cream Ice Cream

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Kale!  It’s so good.  I pretty much love it in everything, but this is probably the best thing done with kale, ever.  You get the crunchy, toasted flavor of a snack food, but the glorious nutrition of a dark leafy green.  When I made these this afternoon, I intended to wait and have them as part of my dinner, but alas… they lasted for approximately 47 seconds after I took them out of the oven.


1 bunch kale

1 TBS olive oil

1/4 teaspoon spicy curry powder (optional)

salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Rinse kale and remove center stem.  Thoroughly dry the leaves (best to use a salad spinner), and tear into segments about 2 inches wide.

3.  Throw the kale on to the cookie sheet and massage it with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with curry powder, if using.

4.   Spread the pieces evenly over the cookie sheet, trying not to overlap.  You will probably need two sheets, or can cook them in two batches, depending on the size of the batch.

5.  Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes. I know that’s a big range, but it really varies quite a bit depending on densely packed they are. Until you get to know your oven/cookie sheet/kale bunch size, it’s best to start at 12 minutes, and then continue to check every two minutes.  Chips should be very crispy, but still a vibrant green color.

6.  Salt to taste, and serve!

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green chili riceA quick and easy recipe.. It’s no secret Jo and I love our spicy goodness, and it’s certainly no secret that we LOVE green chile. Ever since Jo lived in Albuquerque, green chili has become a new sensation, new obsession, new greatness to our spicy repertoire. And when I made this a few weeks back, I was surprised we hadn’t posted something this simple and delicious already! So here it is..without further ado, a spicy, green chili rice that will serve nicely along any Tex-Mex dish we have posted here 🙂


2 C brown rice
3.25 C water
3/4 C green chile sauce (you can adjust the spicy level by using more green chili and less water; you want a total of 4 C liquid to 2 C rice)
2 TBSP canola or safflower oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper, to taste


green chili rice1. In a skillet, heat 2 TBSP canola oil over medium heat. Add in brown rice and lightly saute, a few minutes.

2. Add water, spices, and green chile sauce. Let simmer 45 minutes (or until rice is al dente).

3. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve up! You can sprinkle with some green onion, or even add some onion in at the beginning..depending on your green chile sauce and what’s in it. Another tasty option would be to squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top! 🙂

Happy Cooking!

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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.


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


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.


2 C Whole Wheat Flour

1 tsp salt

1 TBS olive oil

1 C warm water +/- 1/4 C


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!



1.5 C brown basmati rice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 1/4 C water


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


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.


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


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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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


3 C All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 oz plain vegan yogurt

1/2 – 3/4 C water


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


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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I like to use roasted veg quite often in various recipes – enchiladas, fajitas, soft tacos, topping for salads or nachos, pizzas, paninis, etc. But when I was searching to see if I posted anything about the SOP for roasting vegetables, the Primate contained no such post! *Gasp* So here is the Standard Operating Procedure for roasting veg as a base for any recipe you like! Here I show then served on a bed of fresh baby spinach and warm quinoa… Enjoy!


Red bell pepper
Red onion
Yellow onion
Garlic cloves
Corn kernels
…any other veg you can think of to julienne (summer squash, zucchini, etc)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 TBSP olive or canola oil (depending on how much veg you use – with 2 Red bells, 1 small yellow onion, 1/2 large red onion, ~5-6 cloves garlic, I used 1 TBSP olive)


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Julienne veg, separate garlic into their individual cloves but leave them in their peel.
3. In a large bowl, sprinkle the veg somewhat generously with salt, and some black pepper. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil. Toss to distribute evenly.
4. Spread veggies flat on a baking/cookie sheet covered with parchment or Silpat.
5. Roast for about 25-30 minutes. Remove peels from garlic, toss, and serve as you please.

*Use these veggies in just about anything you desire. They will keep in the fridge a few days, so they’d be perfect to roast up on a Sunday to keep for lunches or additions to dinners during the week.

Happy Roasting!


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