Tag Archives: entree

Cabberole the Dice (or, “Say What You Will About Redheads…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 small head red cabbage
  • 1/2 c chopped asparagus tips
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium orange sweet pepper
  • 4 eggs, mixed in small bowl
  • 1/3 c mozzerella, shredded
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp red hot chili powder
  • dash asafoetida 

Cabberole.

I have made a huge mess in this kitchen. Wait, don’t run away — I promise this need not happen to you! It is nearly assured that proper prep will negate it. This wasn’t difficult, really — just a matter of finding synchronicity between the ingredients.

P1100214Chop and set to steaming the cabbage. Let steam until dark purple and still hosting its shape (8-15m depending on how crunchy you like to keep things). While steaming, start onions on ML in oil and melted butter then move to chopping/shredding anything else that needs it. Drain tomatoes and stir in both pastes; set aside. When onions begin to turn translucent add in the other vegetables and season. Add the tomatoes to that; stir.

Layer the bottom of an 8×8 glass pan with half of your cabbage. Top that with half of the tomato/vegetable mixture. Repeat one more time, then pour over that the eggs and top with cheese. Bake in 35o° oven for approximately 40m.

P1100216For serious, you guys. This was mostly an experiment and it ended up being 5 spoons of pretty durn delicious and fulfillingly filling. Vegetarians might already be drooling (I hope) but if you’re trying out some meatless Mondays I’d recommend this. Take it from one redhead who just mastered another.

Stuffed Cauliflower

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lg head cauliflower
  • 1 c quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 c finely shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, in thin spears
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

stuffedcauliflowerSo this one is a doozy of a dish that I both went into suspecting and came out knowing with which I can do better. I will master this. It might not have helped that I decided to go my own way with the stuffing (as opposed to the scant every recipe online). I don’t blame myself, of course, I blame my cupboards. Regardless, the fundamentals won’t change. Start out by getting the bottom greenery off of and core out of your cauliflower, then wash it before submerging it for 15m or so in a large pot of boiling water laced with all of the above slated turmeric. Take it out and let it cool for another 10 or however long it takes you to complete the following:

Mix together 3/4 c quinoa with all the cheese and above-listed seasonings then set it aside. There will be time, too, to make the sauce to top it before baking.

  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 2/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2/3 c tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Chunk up your onion and garlic and let cook in ghee over ML heat for 5-10 minutes. Puree like hell in the food processor. In the pan from which they came, heat the olive oil and pour the pureed contents back in. Cook over ML (erring on the side of M), scraping off the bottom as you go and adding in the coriander and cumin. Make it into a cohesive paste and begin adding your liquids while heating, now, to full M. Add the cayenne last then let sit until the big white head gets  turned upside down then stuffed gently and lovingly with the mixture from a couple paragraphs back. This is a little more difficult than it sounds like it might be — you see from the picture up there that a full stuff will take some training. Put in glass baking dish right-side up, cover with sauce and remaining quinoa and bake at 425° for 1 hour. 4 spoons for taste and aesthetics — when I figure out how to better stuff this thing, we’ll see about making it 5.

7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

From the Land of Produce Sales and Pantry (Or, “Vegan Chili”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 c diced Roma tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, largely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, small chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, diced/seeds removed
  • 1 pitiful, small bell pepper from the plant outside
  • 2/3 c corn
  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 12oz can red beans
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (we use 90,000 BTU powder, so use your own noggin on this too. Yeah. That’s not a typo. 90,000.)

This was an entirely vegan dish until I put the cheese on it. Apologies.

So I got really excited about a big sale on Roma tomatoes at the store. Some might venture to use the word “overzealous.” And seeing as how it’s now a little too chilly for tomato salads to be fully enjoyed and one can only have so many salad caprese dinners, the answer choices to the sudden conundrum of a kitchen full-o-maters boil down to (ha!): 1. blanch or 2. just cut them all up and make chili.

Put your onion, garlic, chili pepper and mustard seeds in olive oil warming to M on the stove. When the seeds begin to crackle and pop, stir and reduce heat to L while you finish dicing all those now-godforsaken tomatoes. Dump them all into a crock pot and use a spatula to clean all the oiled up pan contents in with them. Add corn, beans and seasonings with broth and set the timer for 4 hours (I now now that essentially translates to “high”). Four spoon alarm!

Aloo(ve Affair) Gobi

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cauliflower florets
  • 3 c cubed potatoes
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium green chile
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

I forgot to get a prettier picture before this was all there was left in the pan. My bad.

After recently falling in love with this dish from my favorite local spot, I have had the usual seemingly-never ending infatuation with all of the reasons beyond its deliciousness why I am in love with it:

meatless! dairy-less!
cauliflower! potatoes!

Because though I am not a staunch vegetarian, I have been cutting back on meat enough to know what a difference it makes in my health to do so. To naysayers who decry vegetarians for that lack of essential dietary elements (protein! calcium!) I posit that you either click the links above, or research on your own what’s actually available as nutrients in all the stuff that grows outta the ground.

That being said, let me continue into this current love affair.

Ok, so prep is gonna take a bit over the skinny minute. Finely mince your onion, garlic, cilantro, chile (I just used a jalapeno) and tomato. Put oil in a pan on ML with chile, garlic and onions. Let cook until the onions are translucent; stir in turmeric so that everything begins to glow like the sun. Add mustard seeds, tomato and cilantro and dial it up to M until you hear the seeds crackling. Turn the heat back down to ML and stir in the ginger-garlic paste, cumin and coriander. Add tsp by tsp of water to this process if at any point you begin sticking to the pan (well, not YOU. You know what I mean.).

This is what my dish wants to resemble when it looks in the mirror.

So in the 15-20 minutes or so it takes for those onions to get translucent, get the stars of your show ready. Disarticulate a medium head of cauliflower, set aside. Peel potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces (I tried to strive for cubes, but I am also realistic about my fine motor skills).  Stir them into the (assumed ready) almost paste-like mixture in the pan. Once coated, it’s the florets’ turn. Stir in about 1/3c water to make their union more pleasurable. Add another 1/3c water and let the pan come to a gentle boil on M, then stir and reduce heat to ML until everything is fork-tender. Even were you to make some of the grievous missteps which I did not mention here (I am still learning you, potato.), this dish will garner silent smiles and 4 spoons!

 

Broccotta Casserole (Or, “Where DID I put my camera?!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • 1/4 c rice (cooked)
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 c shredded cheese (jack/colby/mozzarella blend)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Broccoli, you say? With ricotta cheese, you say?And while there is rice in the dish, there is little and this isn’t just one of those “sauce over rice’ numbers you’re all so used to seeing from me. Actually, I’ve never made a broccoli casserole before (did I say that out loud?) so this was largely an effort in adventure. There was a head of broccoli in the fridge, and ricotta cheese that’d been sitting on the top shelf unopened for two weeks. There was (ass usual) onion and garlic. There was leftover quinoa and rice. Really, didn’t this build itself?

Start your finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil on ML then turn to dicing the broccoli into whatever sizes your palate dictates; set aside. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, beaten egg, garlic paste and a pinch of salt; set aside. Now that the onion and garlic are becoming soft, stir in the turmeric for that fun bright yellow color for which I would like to become the poster child. Stir in dill and let sit for a minute while you begin building within the pan’s walls.

Lay broccoli florets across the bottom and layer in the quinoa/rice mix. Go to the stove, fetch the garlic and onion and gently fold everything together. Sprinkle 1/4 c of shredded cheese on that. Layer the ricotta/egg blend over it all and sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese, black pepper and breadcrumbs like some kind of otherworldly pot pie crust. This is a good vegetarian fall dish that’s hearty, filling and feels decadent. 4 spoons!

Now, about fitting into something for that wedding I’m having in two weeks./squee

 

 

 

Engaging in Other Activities

So I never did write out the recipe for that Dal Makhani I made the other night (how could blogging not be priority #1 in a person’s life!?), and then I used then leftovers of that to smother roasted zucchini boats stuffed with a garlic and kala jeera Basmati pilaf. I wrote recipes for neither of these dishes, which is a damn shame. I’m going to blame a lot of my absentmindedness on the fact that my mind is bamboozled by one new ring on my finger. I am engaged to the amazing woman who changed my life for the better in more ways than I know could be counted; yes, you should be so lucky — she is a yoga instructor who, from the beginning, began improving my health and accompanying me on the dietary forays on which I have jaunted. In addition that and knowing the longest word in the English language,* she’s an actress and singer. Not kidding. #ftw

*pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Happy Salad (or, “Salad But With Bacon, Potatoes, a Jalapeno and Homemade Dressing.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 small yellow potatoes
  • 1 c kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 c baby red lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tbsp leek, sliced
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder

Wow, was my mind all over a delicious map tonight. Start out by massaging 1/2 tsp olive oil into your kale and setting it back in the fridge. Wash, stab a little, wrap in paper towels and microwave potatoes for three minutes (ignore the beep of the microwave for a while). Halve that jalapeno you picked from the generous container plant outside, remove the seeds and inner fuzz. Set halve the seeds aside, then flatten and delicately julienne the remaining pepper flesh.

Take a breath, start a new paragraph. Keep truckin.

Smash and mince your garlic. Put it and the reserved jalapeno seeds in 1/4 c olive oil in a mini saucepan on the stove. Let that cook slowly on ML until the garlic juuuuuust begins showing golden edges. Set aside for a few minutes.

Pan fry your bacon to your preferred consistency (I like mine dead as dead can be). Slice potatoes into large pieces and place in a baking dish with 1 tbsp bacon drippings spread in its bottom. Drizzle a little more on top, then sprinkle some Greek seasoning and red hot chili powder on. Place in 350° oven for 10-20 m, then:

[innnnnnnnnnnnhaaaaaaaaaaaaale]

Mix lettuce and kale and place in the bottom of a salad bowl. Rim the greens with spicy bacon-roasted potatoes. Top with leeks, tomatoes and julienned jalapeno… oh, and big-ass chunks of bacon. Serve with the garlapeno vinaigrette you just created with the sauteed garlic/seeds, 1/3 c red wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning. Be happy — very happy — tonight with a salad for dinner. 5 spoons!

 

 

This One Goes Both Ways

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c cooked moong dal
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 medium-large carrot
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 packet Swanson® Flavor Boost (vegetable)
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 2-4 spritzes apple cider vinegar

Mince garlic and onion coarsely and add to ghee that’s melting on it’s way to M. Coat with turmeric and when translucency happens, spritz with vinegar and remove from heat. Pour contents into food processor and add diced pepper, carrot,  Flavor Boost, and remaining seasonings. Whir until there are as few chunks as plausible. Add back to pan with corn starch and water; bring contents back to a boil on M then reduce to L and let simmer, covered, for 15-20m. Whether or not you want to add dal and serve over rice, or withhold it and instead serve what you’ve got over a roasted bird, this dish can work for vegetarians or carnivores — 5 spoons!

Some Kind of Alfredo (or, “In Very Few Ways Actually a True Alfredo”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cooked ziti
  • 1 c chana dal
  • 1 c kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 leek
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c pine nuts, mostly toasted
  • 1/2 can your favorite “cream of” soup
  • 2/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  •  1 Swanson® Flavor Boost packet (vegetable)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil

I made 1/2 this dish yesterday as the base for something I had not yet fully recognized. What I made was exquisite, and I did not know where the end of it’s journey would lie. Here’s how it all started:

  • 1 c chana dal
  • 1 c kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 leek
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c pine nuts, mostly toasted
  •  1 Swanson® Flavor Boost packet (vegetable)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Start the thinly-sliced leeks and minced garlic in olive oil warming to ML, and let them rest for about 5 more minutes before you re-address their situation. Meanwhile, flash-blanch your kale, drain it in a colander then transfer to a cutting board to mince well. Stir pine nuts into pan and let sit another minute or three before adding the kale and dal. Stir everything together along with the Flavor Boost and let rest on L. Then turn off the stove. Then put it in the fridge when you don’t have time to keep cooking.

Fast-forward to the next afternoon. I’ll let you do the math up there on which ingredients haven’t yet been utilized; the only meat, then, involved in this recipe is: BRAINMEATS! Slice a little zucchini and pan sear it in 1 tsp of olive oil on MH until the edges brown. Set aside. Add a can of “Cream Of” soup in your choice of conciliatory flavor, some almond milk, Parmesan and cayenne pepper. Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to L and let set while you boil that pasta. Drain it then put it back in its now-waterless pot. Add pan of deliciousness; stir and let set for a few minutes on L. Serve topped with zucchini and Parmesan. 5 spoons!