Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Enfrijoladas (Stuffed Tortillas In Bean Sauce)

Kidney bean Enfrijoladas

Tortillas in Bean Sauce might sound so bland and bleak - but Enfrijoladas are nothing of the kind - they are amazingly flavorful and tasty food. They belong to the homey, comfort food category and utilize leftover beans, tortillas, etc. Once tasted, they are sure to become a family favorite - they have become ours.

Beans and tortillas provide great nutrition without impacting your food budget. Enfrijoladas make a hearty meal but the tortillas may be served simply dipped in the enfrijoladas sauce (see picture above) without any stuffing. We love this sauce over chips, Mexican rice, and Kidney bean cakes.

Note: Assemble the enfrijoladas just before serving as they taste best served right away; they get soggy if kept waiting too long.

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 medium Onion, chopped
1-2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 small green Bell Pepper (capsicum)
1 or 2 Jalapeno/Serrano OR Chipotle Chile (optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp ground Cumin seeds
2 tsp ground Fennel seeds
1 tsp dried Oregano
2 cups Cooked Pinto, Black, or Kidney Beans
3 cups Vegetable Broth 

1 Recipe Scrambled Tofu
4 oz. grated Vegan "Cheese"
12 Corn Tortillas
2 thin slices Red Onion, separated into rings
1 Avocado, peeled and diced to serve
A Handful of fresh Cilantro, chopped for garnishing

Heat oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft with a pinch of salt and the turmeric.

Add the tomatoes and bell pepper/chiles; cook until soft.
Add the spices, herbs, and 1 cup of the broth to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Turn off heat.

Process the beans and the onion/tomato mixture using a blender; be careful to make sure the lid is on tight so as to avoid the hot liquids splashing.

Add the blended contents to the cooking pot. Swirl the rest of the broth in the blender container to collect all of the bean mixture and add to the pot.
Heat the bean sauce until very hot; keep hot. Stir often to make sure it does not burn.

Wrap the tortillas in a clean, damp tea towel and warm in the microwave oven for about a minute or until the tortillas are hot. Let rest for a couple of minutes undisturbed.

Have all the ingredients to assemble the enfrijoladas.

Dip the tortillas one at a time in the bean sauce and place on a plate; fill with one or two Tbsp of the scramble tofu and a little cheese. Fold in half or quarters and place on the baking pan. Continue with the rest of the tortillas and place on the baking pan slightly overlapping them.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the enfrijoladas, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, and place the onion rings over them.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes until piping hot.

Serve immediately on warm plates topped with the avocado and cilantro. Enjoy!!


Enfrijoladas with Mexican Rice in Bell Pepper, Baked Zucchini

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kidney Bean Cakes (Bean & Veg Burgers)

Kidney bean burgers are wonderful - on its own or on a bun piled with all the traditional additions of lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, etc for a very satisfying meal. Or, they may be tucked inside the pockets of pita breads with your favorite fixings. I like serving these burgers with salsa, tomato chutney or  a simple tomato sauce.

The burgers may be made a day or two ahead and grilled with a little barbecue sauce to warm them. These burgers are not as tough as the store-bought ones and hence need to be handled gently while grilling. I made these with only the ingredients allowed on Paji's Ayurvedic anti-inflammatory diet and he really enjoyed his special treat topped with peperonata :).  But really, one does not have to be on a special diet to enjoy these!

I used matzo meal since bread crumbs were a no-no; crushed or coarsely powdered dried chapatis or any plain unleavened whole wheat bread or crackers may also be used. Matzo are plain unleavened whole wheat crackers prepared without any yeast or other additives. Regular bread crumbs may be used also if you wish.  You may use all oats/oat bran instead of matzo or bread crumbs. If you use canned beans, you may not need too much salt as they typically have lots of it already.

 Kidney Bean Cake/Burger

12 burgers

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Kidney beans
1 Carrot, grated
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 small bunch Cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped
2 tsp ground Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 clove Garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup Oats or oat bran
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Matzo Meal
A little Whole Wheat flour, as needed

A little Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other oil to cook
Whole Wheat Buns to serve
Lettuce, Tomato, etc to serve
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, prepared Mustard, etc to serve

Method:

Mash the drained beans in a large bowl or use a food processor to mash them coarsely.

Add the other ingredients except the whole wheat flour and mix or pulse just until combined.  If the mixture is too soft, add the whole wheat flour and mix well.

Chill the bean mixture for about one or two hours or overnight.

Form the cold bean mixture into twelve patties and cook them in a lightly oiled skillet or griddle over low-medium heat on both sides until browned - about 2 - 3 minutes per side.

Kidney Bean Cake/Burger cooking

Kidney Bean Burger ready to serve

Serve hot with your favorite accompaniments or on their own. Enjoy!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mung Dal Cheela I (Mung Bean Dosas/Crepes)

Easy to make, delicious to eat, nutritious and easy to digest, what's not to love about Mung Dal Cheelas?! When made thin, these delicate crepe-like pancakes are very similar to the classic Dosas. The batter can be whipped up quickly using Mung bean flour readily available for purchase from Indian markets. Make it simply or with the added veggies and herbs such as onions, chiles, fresh fenugreek or other greens and cilantro, and you will have an amazing meal. Serve the cheelas with Mulagai Podi, your favorite chutneys, pickles or raitas.

Stuffed Cheelas

About 8 -12 Cheelas

Ingredients:

1 cup Mung Flour
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 pinch Turmeric
1 generous pinch Crushed Cumin seeds
1 1/3 cup water

Tadka/Thalippu: (optional)
1 - 2 tsp Oil
1 pinch Brown Mustard seeds
Asafetida (Hing)
1 or 2 Minced Green Chiles

Oil for cooking the cheelas
Coconut Chutney and/or Raita for serving

Method:

Combine the flour, salt, turmeric and cumin in a bowl; add the water and mix with a wire whisk until well mixed. The batter should be thin.

Prepare the optional tadka by heating the oil in a small pan; add the seeds and when they start popping, add the asafetida and green chiles. Stir and shake until chiles are softened. Cool slightly.

Stir the tadka into the batter and mix well.

Heat a seasoned griddle or a non-stick skillet; lightly oil it with a paper towel smeared with oil.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot pan and quickly swirl the pan to coat the bottom. If you like, add a few drops of oil around the edges of the cheela. Cover and cook for about a minute on low-medium heat.

Loosen the edges of the cheela with a thin spatula and flip over to cook the other side.

Cook just for a few seconds until a few small brown spots appear; it will not get very brown. Do not overcook - the cheelas will dry out and will not be soft. Remove from heat and place on a plate. 

Continue with the rest of the batter; any extra batter or leftover cheelas may be chilled in the fridge.

I also like to serve the cheelas stuffed with one of our favorite curries - Yum! For stuffed cheelas, place a couple of spoons of the filling on one edge and roll up.

Serve hot. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kadai Tofu (Stir-fried Tofu With Onions and Bell Peppers)

This quick tofu dish is so beautiful, it is hard to resist snacking directly from the pan; I have had to swat eager hands away many a time trying to sneak a bite or two while still cooking :). It is that amazingly delicious for such a simple dish with few ingredients!

Do use the fragrant dried fenugreek leaves as they add an awesome taste to this dish; fresh methi leaves may be substituted for the dry if you wish. If you like more sauce, puree two more tomatoes (for a total of 4) and add along with about 1/4 cup of hot water. You might need a bit more salt; adjust it to your taste.

Dried fenugreek leaves are readily available at Indian markets; fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves are available in Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

 Kadai Tofu

5 - 6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 lb block Tofu (firm or extra firm), cubed
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp ground Coriander seeds
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
3 Bell Peppers, assorted colors
2 medium Tomatoes, cut into thick slivers
2 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasoori Methi)

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a kadai/non-stick skillet and cook the tofu with a pinch of turmeric, coriander, and a generous pinch of salt over medium-low heat.  Shake and stir the tofu often with a spatula and cook until all sides are slightly browned; be careful and stir gently so the tofu does not crumble. Remove to a plate or bowl.

Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan and add the onions, salt and turmeric;  cook stirring until onions soften and begin to color.

Stir in the peppers and cook for about two minutes.

Add the cooked tofu cubes and the tomatoes and cook until hot and tomatoes begin to soften.

Sprinkle the dried fenugreek leaves, cover and cook for about a minute.

Turn off heat and let sit undisturbed until time to serve; stir well before serving.

Serve hot with roti, rice, or other grains.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bruschetta With Spinach-Bell Pepper Medley

Spinach, Onion, and Bell Pepper Medley is a fabulous topping for not only bruschetta, but pasta or any grains such as rice, quinoa, couscous, etc. This simple, quick, and delicious veggie dish may be served with roti and dal too!

For a sweet/sour variation, stir in one tablespoon of raisins and a finely chopped tomato before adding the spinach.

Bruschetta With Spinach-Pepper Medley
4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pinch Crushed hot red pepper (optional)
1 Red Onion, sliced into thin slivers or half moons
1 clove fresh Garlic, minced
1 pinch Turmeric
2 Red/Orange/Yellow Bell Peppers, cut into strips
1/2 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
8 oz. clean Fresh Spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh Basil leaves, torn
1-2 Tbsp Pine Nuts, walnuts, or slivered almonds, toasted
8 Whole grain bread slices, toasted
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Heat a wok/kadai/skillet and add oil, crushed hot pepper if using, onions, garlic, and a pinch of the salt. Cook covered on low heat until softened.

Stir in the peppers with the turmeric and cook until soft - about 4 - 5 minutes.

Add the spinach with the rest of the salt and cook until wilted and heated through, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the basil leaves and mix well.

Pile on warm toasted bread, sprinkle with the nuts and serve immediately.  Enjoy!!

Our lunch today, Yummy!