Tag Archives: chili powder

Saag’s the Way We Do It

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c ricotta cheese
  • 2 lbs turnip greens, washed stems cut
  • 3 c baby spinach/arugula blend, washed
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 c vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
saag3

vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, and K plus many more all-stars

This was worth the day’s adventure in making this from scratch recipe as “from scratch” as possible. I’d remark in a more witty and urbane fashion, but I admit that from this and from about thirty unrelated other things I am wiped out. For the first five hours of my day, however, I was on point.

saag4

don’t pa’sneer

Start first with the low rent paneer. Obviously, this is the one non-vegan aspect of the recipe. Preheat the oven to 350° and spread an even layer of ricotta cheese over a [I used an 8×8″ and the paneer was too thin so go with something a little smaller] baking dish and bake for 45-60m until the edges of the pan begin to brown. Let cool then slice into cubes or crumble into a topping.

carte blanching all 3lbs of 3 greens at once

Meanwhile your oil/ghee should be warming to ML. Add diced onions, garlic, mustard and cumin seeds. Let cook over ML heat until onions begin peeking translucent. While they’re warming up to the notion, trim and blanch your greens (well, boil them for about 10m if you don’t care for chewing your saag). Drain well and set aside. Turn heat up closer to M in the pan; when you hear a mustard seed or two crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste and other dry seasonings. Mix together until one gelatinous mass then add in the flour. Use the juice from the diced tomatoes if liquid is needed. Scrape all the seasonings off the bottom of the pan and mix until a paste-like consistency. 

saag2

just prior to pasting

Add in the greens slowly, mixing all the while. Then plop the entire mix in your food processor, add milk and spin until the creaminess you desire is reached. Serve with paneer over Basmati rice. This is a 5 spoon dish of healthy delight (well, 4 if’n you count my too-thin paneer but let’s not do that) and was commemorated by having half its contents frozen for later revisitation.

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Hot [Crock] Pot Chili

In my pantry today:

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 56oz/7c/3.5lb petite diced tomato
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

This ended up being the finest batch of chili I have made to date — and it’s completely vegan. I say that because not only should it surprise you, but because it does so for me as well. It’s a tribute, really, to how little meat needs to do with flavor.

Start out with your onion and garlic pieces with oil in the crock pot on H. Walk away and halve your peppers, taking care to leave seeds out or in depending on your spice palate. Put them open-side down on a baking sheet and put them closely under the broiler until their skins begin to char, then remove them from the oven, remove the skins from their shoulders, and dice. Throw those into the crock pot with the garlic and onion, stir and leave on H for a few more minutes. Following enough of a break to begin some dishes or some such nonsense, add canned tomatoes with liquid and cooked beans, reduce crock pot to L and let simmer for several hours. Stir in all your seasonings a little while before dinner — it tasted so flavorful before I did any of that that I nearly didn’t add a single thing; the taco seasoning will get it from “a little too liquidy,” though, into proper chili territory. Despite — or maybe because of? — the lack of meat, this chili deserves 5 spoons.

The Burritotal Package

In my pantry today:

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 large zucchini
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1″ of a leek, minced
  • 1/4 c cream cheese
  • 2 c shredded cheddar
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 4 0z can tomato sauce
  • 1 4 oz can chipotle salsa
  • 1/2 tsp Fiesta chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 diced tomato (garnish)
  • 1/4 c minced cilantro (garnish)
  • 1/2 c sour cream (garnish)

This spent an extra day not getting written, but only because I’ve got other stuff to do and not because it’s been, like, sitting out on the counter waiting. I don’t have a whole lotta time for soliloquy now either, though, so this is gonna be a quick and dirty recipe rundown:

– Slice leeks and mince roasted garlic. Warm on ML in olive oil for 10m. Increase heat to M. When at full M,

– Add small slices of zucchini and stir fry for 2m. Then,

– Stir in beans. Reduce heat to L and cover.

– Prep garnishes; set aside.

– Mix chipolte salsa and can of tomato sauce together. Heat.

– Make a thick cheese sauce on ML with: cream cheese, cheddar and milk.

– Drizzle some of the salsa/tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of a glass baking dish.

– Smear the inside of a tortilla with cheese. Put in some beanzchini. Fold, place in baking dish.

– Repeat three more times.

– Cover burritos with remainder of cheese sauce and drizzle more red sauce on. Put in a 350° oven for 10m. Serve hot with tomato, cilantro and sour cream to garnish

5 spoons!

Comfort in Chaos (or, “When CAN’T Potatoes Fix the World?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 2 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

I can’t find my camera. This is taken using a cell phone. Don’t you judge me.

There is a heckuvalot going on right now. The new floors make our entire downstairs feel like a new house into which we are moving fresh, and moving into anywhere requires a great deal of work. Meals have been consisting largely of prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery, sweet potatoes roasted in advance, bananas and coffee. Lots of coffee. I’ve gone a week without any episodes (of my MS exacerbation) and I’ve gotten a new prescription called in for more Neurontin (eyeball seizures cannot prevent me from editing css style sheets!). So there, life. Suck on that.

Start this meal in your most favoritest way — mincing fresh garlic and onion. Put in pan heating to M with oil and ghee and let it come to and stay at full heat for  and seasonings; stir. 2-3m with vigorous spatula attention. Add 1/4″ slices of potato and all of your seasonings; stir. Let come to a boil on MH then reduce heat to M and walk away for 15m. Upon return, add another can of broth mixed with corn starch. Fold in cooked beans, bring everything back to a boil on M. Stir in 1/2 c quinoa then reduce heat to L and let simmer until eatin’ time. 5 spoons!

Black Eyes in Butternut Cashew Sauce

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c finely cubed butternut squash
  • 2 c cooked black eyed peas
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 2.5 c water
  • 2 packets Swanson Flavor Thingys (Vegetable)
  • 2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dice your onion and garlic as chunky or fine as you see fit and start them in cold pan of safflower oil; turn your stove-knob to M. While that’s warming, finish tidying your counter and pulsing your cashew butter to the creamiest possible consistency. Take 1/4 c out of the food processor or whatever jar you may have and add 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder. Set aside. Return to your pan and stir contents; after about seven minutes of sizzling add squash and toss everything so that your tiny orange cubes gleam with flavor. Let that sizzle some more while you empty those flavor packet thingies into 1.5 c  water. Stir in seasonings, add it to pan and cover. Let cook until squash is tender.

Once everything is at an affable consistency in the pan, push contents to one side and add your cashew butter. Stir in 1/2 c water and once it’s all of a mostly liquid consistency, push the squash back into it and fold everything together. Add the salt to make up for the second flavor packet thingy you’d like to add but didn’t for the sodium content. Finally, gently fold in your lonely beans and let everything sit together for a few minutes. Serve over rice and/or with naan.

Li’l Matpe Cakes, or “U Rad!”

 

In my pantry today:

  • 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
  • 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
  • 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Leftover Basmati rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
  • Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing

First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.

It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size.  Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.

Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.

Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?

[UPDATE]

I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!