Thursday, February 28, 2019

Masoor Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes (Red/PinkLentil Stew/Soup With Greens)

Masoor Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes, Rice
Masoor/Red/Pink Lentils are actually neither red nor pink but a peachy salmon color! They are a common and popular ingredient in many cuisines. Quick cooking  and chockful of nutrition, they can fill the bill no matter which cuisine. They are the quickest cooking member of legume world (takes only 20 minutes!).

The combination of rice, dal, and greens never loses its charm for me; so simple yet wholesome and delicious. Serve Dal With Spinach and Tomatoes over rice, other grains, or with roti in the Indian Style or as a stew/soup. Either way it is hearty comfort fare and a delicious winner regardless of the season.

The perfect side for Dal With Spinach and Tomatoes is a fresh chopped salad. Toasted papadams, pickles, roasted veggies, etc. are other delicious sides.

Notes:

I like to add the tomatoes (lots of it too - love the combination of tomatoes with the spinach) at the end so remain quite discernible without turning too soft and mushy. If you have tomatoes languishing in the kitchen ready to be used up, put them to use them here.

Frozen spinach works well in this recipe; 8 - 16 oz package should do it depending on the amount of spinach you like.

6-8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Masoor/Red/Pink Lentils
1 medium yellow Onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeno/Serrano Chile, cored and minced
1 one-inch piece fresh Ginger, finely grated 
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp ground Coriander
1-1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1-2 pinch Cayenne
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric 
1 cup Water
2 Stems fresh Curry Leaves
Sea salt
1 large bunch OR 8 oz bag fresh Spinach, coarsely chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, diced
4 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro

Lime/Lemon Wedges for serving
Hot cooked grains/breads for serving

METHOD:

Sort, wash, and soak the lentils for 30 minutes if possible. Drain, rinse and drain well. Place lentils in a 2-quart pan, add enough fresh water to cover the lentils, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover partially and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes or so. Stir ocassionally and make sure to add a little water if needed to keep dal from burning.

In a 3-4 quart heavy-duty pot, cook the onion with a pinch of salt and a spritz of water over medium-low heat stirring occasionally, until beginning to color and caramelize, 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle a little water as necessary to keep the onion from burning. 

Add the chile, garlic and ginger to the onions; cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until they soften.

If using frozen spinach, add it now and cook until it is no longer frozen simmering gently.

Add the curry leaves and the cooked dal and bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

If using fresh spinach, add it now. Stir in the fresh spinach and simmer just until wilted. Remove from heat.

Heat a small pan and add the cumin seeds; stir and shake until they start to puff and pop a bit and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne; stir for a few seconds to toast the spices. Tip the spices into the dal and stir well.

Stir in the  tomatoes.

Cover and let the dal rest for about 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and serve hot as a soup/stew or with your favorite grains and/or breads. Pass the lime/lemon wedges.

Enjoy!!

Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes, Rice

Creamed Power Greens With Crisp & Toasty Toppings

Creamed Greens & Spaghetti Carbonara
I love to use assorted baby greens like kale, chard, beet/radish greens, spinach, etc for this very tasty and easy Creamed Power Greens With Crisp & Toasty Toppings; choose one type or a mixture. The cooked greens are so delicious, that they get gobbled up before getting creamed!

Creamed greens are naturally gluten/dairy-free.

Notes:

The recipe can be easily halved, doubled, etc; use 1/2 lb of the fresh greens per serving. After cooking, I use clean kitchen scissors to chop the greens a few times right in the pot, easy-peasy! 

The greens maybe prepared a day or two ahead and reserved in the fridge until ready to proceed with the rest of the recipe directions.

Roux Variation: a roux maybe used to make the cream: Roast 1 Tbsp brown rice flour until  lightly browned and fragrant. Stir in half the milk given in the recipe and cook stirring/whisking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Add cashew cream and proceed to finish following the recipe.

2-3 Servings

Ingredients:

1 lb Greens - Spinch or a combination of baby greens
1 pinch Turmeric
Kosher Salt to taste
1/4 cup Cashews, raw or roasted, soak in hot water for 1-2 hours
1-2 pinches (~1/8 tsp) freshly grated/ground Nutmeg
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk

Optional Toppings

1/4 cup Toasted Nuts/Seeds, coarsely chopped or ground
1/4 cup Toasted (gluten-free) Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Method:

Heat a large pot with about 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Sprinkle turmeric and a big pinch of salt and add the greens. Keep the greens turning by moving the cooked ones to one side while pushing the unwilted ones to the bottom. 

When the greens are just wilted, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain into a colander set over a bowl to catch the delicious broth. The cooking broth maybe used in making the cashew cream, enjoyed in a soup or on its own.

While the greens are drraining, prepare cashew cream: drain and rinse soaked cashews. Place in a blender carafe with the nutmeg. Process using a little of the milk/broth from greens into a silky cream.

Heat the cashew cream (the pan for cooking the greens would be fine); swirl the blender with a little of the greens cooking broth or water and add to pot along with any remaining milk. Cook until slightly thickened.

Press the greens gently to remove excess fluids, chop coarsely, and add to the hot cream. Mix well and heat thrpough until steaming hot. Remove from heat.

Season the creamed greens with salt to taste (go easy on salt as greens already has a little from pre-cooking and do not usually need much anyway) and freshly ground pepper.

Serve hot with a spinkle of one or a mixture of the following: toasted nuts/seeds, breadcrumbs, and nutritional yeast. 

Enjoy!!
Creamed Greens & Spaghetti Carbonara

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Spaghetti Carbonara With a Kick (Gluten Free & Vegan )


Spaghetti Carbonara & Creamed Greens
Gluten Free Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara is comforting as well as satisfying; the sinuous noodles bathed in the dreamy, creamy sauce is to live for!

Brown Rice Spaghetti works wonderfully to make fabulous carbonara! I had given up spaghetti but brown rice spaghetti made my day; it cooks up firm and al dente just like its gluten counterpart! 

Aqua Faba (garbanzo bean cooking broth) is amazing as a substitute for eggs! In this recipe, it helps to makes the sauce rich and creamy! The cooking broth from garbanzos can be frozen so I always have a supply stashed in the freezer.

Crushed red pepper flakes maybe substituted for the fresh jalapeño chile.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 ounce Brown Rice Spaghetti
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño chile, cored and minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup Aqua Faba (garbanzo bean cooking broth)
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:
1/4 cup Toasted Nuts/Seeds, coarsely chopped or ground
1/4 cup Toasted (gluten-free) Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Method:

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add salt if desired. Cook pasta according to the package instructions.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together the aqua faba and nutritional yeast. Set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic, jalapeño, and rosemary in the oil over medium-low heat until the garilic is soft and pale gold. Turn off heat.

Just before draining the pasta, remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and set aside to use later.

Warm the garlic mixture with about 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid on medium heat about a minute, then add the pasta to the skillet.

Tip in the aqua faba and nutritional yeast mixture along with the freshly cracked black pepper to taste and toss and mix until evenly coated. Add more of the pasta cooking liquid if needed to make the pasta moist. Remove from heat.

Transfer the pasta to the serving bowl and serve hot topped with one or more of the optional toppings.

Enjoy!!
Spaghetti Carbonara & Creamed Greens

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Easy Vegetable Korma With Coconut Milk (Vegetable Curry South Indian Style)

Easy Veg Korma 
Easy Vegetable Korma With Coconut Milk is a mild, naturally sweet curry that can be tweaked with an extra chile or another pinch or two of cayenne to give a bit more kick. This is a redo of a recipe from a friend (not sure of the origins of the original recipe); by the time I was done with the changes, it turned out absolutely scrumptious! 

This Veg Korma is a hearty curry and maybe served as a stew on its own or over your favorite hot cooked grains, with breads, etc. It maybe accompanied with a dal, salad, etc also if desired.

There are no added fats other than what is in the coconut milk; light coconut milk maybe used if preferred. 

Notes:

Other veggies maybe used to make Veg Korma. Use brown, yellow, or white skinned onions for this dish.

For best flavor, I usually grind the coriander and cumin seeds rather than use the store-brought ground spices.

Coring the chiles makes for a mild stew; if a spicy curry is desired, include the core and/or add more chiles.

If using canned chickpeas, chickpeas, drain and rinse before adding to the Korma.

Ingredients:

1 large Onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeño/Serrano Chile, cored and minced
1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated 
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp ground Coriander seeds
2 tsp ground Cumin seeds
1-2 pinch Cayenne
1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
1 1/2 cups water
1 can Coconut Milk
2-3 pieces of 1-inch Cinnamon sticks
2 Stems fresh Curry Leaves
Sea Salt
2 large Carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick chunks
2 cups freshly cooked Chickpeas OR One 15-1/2-oz. can
1 small cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets (about 4 cups)
4-5 Sweet Potatoes, cut into chunks (about 1 lb)
2 medium tomatoes, diced medium
1 -2 cups freshly shelled Peas
4 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

Nuts/Seeds for garnish
Hot cooked Grains/Breads for serving

Method:

In a 5-6 quart Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, cook the onion with a pinch of salt over medium-low heat stirring occasionally, until beginning to color and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle a little water as necessary to keep the onion from burning. 

Add the chile, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until they soften. 

While the onion mixture is cooking, heat a small pan and add the cumin seeds; stir and shake until they start to puff and pop a bit and become fragrant, about 30 seconds or so. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne; stir for a few seconds to toast the spices. Tip the spices into the onion mixture.

Add the water, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, and 1 tsp salt to the pot; bring to a boil. 

Stir in carrots along with the curry leaves and continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, bring back to a boil, and place the cauliflower and chickpeas on top. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes or so. 

Stir in the tomatoes and peas along with the curry leaves and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add a little boiling water if the Korma is too thick. Remove from heat.

Allow Korma/curry to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro. Taste and correct seasonings; add a little salt and/or cayenne if needed.

Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.

Serve hot garnished with nuts/seeds if you wish.

Enjoy!!

Easy Veg Korma