Tag Archives: safflower oil

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!

 

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Not Yo Mama’s Ramen [5 Spoons!]

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package extra firm, pre-cubed tofu
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 1/3 package Hakubaku ramen
  • 1/4 c dumpling sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 c water
  • 1 cube vegetable boullion
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

(blurred only by the steam of deliciousness)

This meal requires a full day and night of preparation, so plan accordingly and make sure your Big Girl Britches are on. The early afternoon before, drain your tofu and instead place it to soak in your own marinade overnight. Put your dumpling sauce, vinegar, garlic paste and 1 tbsp of soy sauce together and pour over the tofu and let set in an airtight container until the morrow. Take special care to occasionally rotate the container at intervals to fully soak each cube.

The next day, you can go ahead and slice your cabbage while the mustard seeds warm in ghee on M. Add cabbage when the mustard seeds begin to pop and stir to coat thoroughly. Stir fry the cabbage for about two minutes, adding 2 tsp – 1 tbsp of soy sauce, turmeric and asafoetida. Add .5 c  water, cover and turn the burner to L. Cabbage should be wilted and tender, not sloppy country-kitchen style. Unless you’d really like that or have no teeth.

Start safflower oil out on M, then turn to MH. When hot, add your drained tofu cubes and begin frying with impunity. This took longer to do than I thought it might, so when they’re beginning to show signs of crispy edges, do this:

Mix vegetable boullion and remainder of the tofu marinade with 2 c water and bring to a boil. Put in ramen.

Move back to your tofu pan and keep the spatula twirling. Squirt in about 2 tsp of soy sauce and stir vigorously to coat. When they begin to share the same medium shade of brown, remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towels while you prepare the bowls. Put some ramen and a little broth in the bottom of your bowl. Top with cabbage, then top the cabbage with tofu.

I have never fried tofu — in fact, this is only my second time cooking with tofu at all. I certainly did not quite expect its ensuing deliciousness! This got to be one of those rare dinners where I enjoyed everything on my plate instead of acting my own critic. Plus I was rather proud of myself for ensuring the tofu did not become part of an incongruous meal where animal products were also involved. To be fair to the ‘fu ‘n all. I am very obviously not a vegetarian simply an admirer of its health benefits — as someone who just months ago was nearly bed-bound I absolutely cannot refute the differences it makes to eliminate a lot of those quintessentially American food choices.

Of course, a 5 spoon meal is reason to dancey-dance all its own.


Asparagus: Worth the Funny Pee Smell!

In my pantry today:

  • 3/4 c cooked Central American white beans
  • 2 c cooked Kashi® multigrain pilaf
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dumpling sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp salt

So my experience with leeks do not include saving or cooking the top green sprouts. I changed all that today. Start your sliced leek and diced garlic cloves out in a cold pan of ghee and 2 tsp safflower oil on M. Add mustard seeds and let it all festively fester until the leeks are translucent and the edges of the garlic pieces begin to turn a golden color. Turn heat to L, cover and turn back to your cutting board.

Cut just the tips of your asparagus stalks off for this. With the leftover stalks, remove the tough ends and reserve in a plastic bag for the next smoothie experiment you’ll have. Return pan to MH and add 1 tsp additional safflower oil. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle add your asparagus tips and toss to coat. Add water then spray with lemon juice from one of those plastic fruit-shaped squeeze bottles you find on wayward racks in the produce section and cover. Let it steam for about thirty seconds then uncover, remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner. Add cooked white beans, asafoetida, a touch more lemon and your dumpling sauce; coat. Add Kashi® multigrain pilaf and repeat the tossing to coat thing. Cover and return to cooling burner for a few minutes of togetherness before you decimate it with your mouth. 4 of 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.

Garleeky Black Beans

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked black beans
  • 1 leek
  • 2/3 head fresh garlic
  • 1/3 c safflower oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c water
  • 1 packet of Vegetable Broth concentrate (or a bullion cube)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Basmati rice

First, thinly slice the bulb off your leek and crush/mince your garlic. Add to safflower oil and turn heat to M. Let them cook together in a deep frying pan for 10m. Add your tomatoes in fist-fulls, squeezing each fist ‘o ‘maters ever so gently over their bowl to weed out extraneous tomato snot. Fold the tomatoes into the garleek mixture, pressing them down with a spatula after they’re completely coated with oil. The stove should remain on M so that everything in the pan is in a constant state of agitation.

Add your spices — put in the turmeric first just to enjoy the bright and cheery color change your dish will have for just a moment. Then add your packet of omavegetable bullion and c of water. Stir with emphasis on flattening your tomatoes, for when the beans come into the picture there will be no more fruit-smashing. And when you feel you have smashed enough, fold in the beans and stir. Let it all boil down together into a slightly less watery nonsense, then reduce heat to L with a lid and let it ruminate for an hour. Serve serve over rice.

Chappli Kale-bab

In my pantry today:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 c soaked matpe beans
  • 1 package Shan® Spice Mix for Chappli Kabab
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 medium slicing tomato
  • 5 slices of crystallized ginger
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemonaise®
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 c safflower oil

Boil your soaked beans for thirty to forty-five minutes. While that’s going on, chop onion into large chunks and throw into food processor; blend until paste-like. Then unload the dishwasher or something. Be patient, the beans will thank your digestive system later. Once soft enough to chew without making a face, drain the matpe and add it to the food processor.

Not burned, just made of black beans and shadows.

Add the spice mix, sesame oil and asafoetida and let it process itself for a minute or two. It should be a nice paste-like consistency. Put it in the fridge while you do this next here thing:

Wash your kale and begin stripping the veins. Tear or cut leaves into bite-size pieces and put in a large bowl. Mix Lemonaise™ with oil and vinegar then massage dressing into kale. Let sit for 15 minutes while you get back to this:

Take food processor bowl out of fridge and begin making nuggets. Your oil should be warming in a deep sauce pan on M-MH, for when it reaches sizzle-upon-tossed-droplet-of-water status, it is time to fry your balls. Flatten each ball slightly as you put it in the pan; after about 60 seconds, flip one to see its color. Once a satisfactory dark amber brown is reached on both sides, remove them from the pan onto a paper towel for a couple minutes of draining.

Arrange kale and sliced tomato on two plates, sprinkling each dish with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Top with your fried, protein-and-fiber-rich goodness. It will be spicy, and in fact was spicier than I anticipated. But in a good way. And I am proud that, egg notwithstanding for some, this is an entirely vegetarian meal. I am dutifully trying to add more kale into the culinary repertoire; right now I am trying to follow The Wahls Diet as closely as finances allow, and kale is an easy sell both for its price and nutritional value.

Now I am going to go collect that poster-child paycheck from the Kale Commission. ‘Night!

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!