Tag Archives: tomatoes

and Dance

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

southwestern_shepards_pie

Welcome to May’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club  and what I hope is the start of a lot of new blog posts.  I wound up taking the last month off in order to deal with our kitchen renovation and a fantastic little stomach bug.  Now I’m back – with an awesome new kitchen that can’t wait to be used!  Today’s recipes is one of the first I did in the new kitchen, and was a great way to “break it in” since it required the stovetop as well as the oven.  The interesting part is that the recipe I wound up using from BCmom’s kitchen was not one on my original list.  My first plan was to make her delicious sounding Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup but then the weather decided to warm up, so I needed a new plan.  It was in my second search that I saw her Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie.   I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian, essentially dropping the meat and doubling the vegetables!

and Dance

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green jalapeño
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can Rotel Diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and jalapeno, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste along with the spices to the onion and pepper mixture. Stir well and cook until the paste has mostly dissolved then add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the final ingredients and continue simmering for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Drain the sweet potatoes, and return to pot. Mash with the sour cream.
  7. Pour the tomatoes and pepper mixture in to a 9x9 baking dish (or 2 qt casserole dish) and top with the sweet potatoes.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) then bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/05/and-dance.html

There are more ingredients, and steps, to this than most of my recipes but it still comes together rather quickly.  I served this with some avocado,  a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips in order to ensure every last drop was enjoyed.  Another fantastic dish thanks to the SRC!

Manic Monday

 Chana Dal with Spinach

Welcome to April Group A edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I got to go Down Under, as I was partnered with the incredible Claire of My Hobbie Lobbie.   Seems rather fitting to get an Australian blog when just a week ago my littlest sister moved to Australia, tho she is currently in Melbourne while Claire is in Sydney.  Claire’s blog is stuffed with delicious Indian treats along with more traditional fare, but my stomach only had eyes for the Indian goodies.   Palak Paneer, Aloo Bhaji, Chana Dal with Spinach, the list just goes on and on and on!  In the end it was the story that went with the Chana Dal, as I loved the idea of taking a bland mash and turning it back in to the incredible dish that her husband remembered his mom making.    I wasn’t able to find ghee, so instead I used some brown butter – otherwise recipe is actually as Claire wrote it (converted to US measurements).

Manic Monday

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chana dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp brown butter (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, torn
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the chana dal a couple of times in water and drain then soak the chana dal for about an hour and drain.
  2. Boil the chana dal in 3 cups of water and a tsp of salt. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cook the dal until al dente - you DO NOT want a mush!
  3. Drain and reserve some of the liquids.
  4. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat and add the curry leaves, garlic and cumin.
  5. Once the cumin sputters, add the ginger, chilli and turmeric and stir to mix well, cook for one minute then add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook for a 3-5 minutes or until the tomato has broken down a bit.
  6. Add the baby spinach and stir until just wilted.
  7. Add the drained chana dal and stir through, adding a tbsp or two of the reserved liquid, if you think it is too dry. Slowly add the liquid as the dish is meant to be dry and not soupy.
  8. Check the seasoning and Serve hot!

Notes

Chana Dal might also be advertised as split chickpeas if you are shopping in the bulk section.

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/04/manic-monday.html

This dish was fantastic!  I have a feeling it could also be converted to a slow cooker or done in parts in order to speed up the beginning with the chana dal.  Regardless, the taste was incredible and was very well received!  Another SRC success that leaves me counting down the days til the May reveal.


Rain Starts

Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese

seitan_mac_cheese

When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was.  With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium).  It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science!   Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot.  The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).

Rain Starts

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 cup seitan crumbles
  • 1/2 lb elbow pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, then add the Italian seasonings and cook for an additional 5 minutes - stirring to prevent sticking/burning.
  2. Add the seitan along with the pasta and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn heat to low add the tomatoes and the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts. Add a bit of milk if too dry, give a final stir and keep on low heat for a final 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

Vegan Option: sub the cheddar cheese with Daiya meltables

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/rain-starts.html

For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale!  To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red.  I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be.  All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!

Hold at Night

Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice

I though fall had arrived – last week the air had that familiar crispness to it and the humidity was starting to drop to a more tolerable level.  However it appears that Mother Nature isn’t quite ready to say good-bye to the warmer temperatures making me glad I was lazy in leaving my tomato plants outside “just in case”.   This resulted in a few more cherry tomatoes, and another jalapeno – all of which joined together to make today’s delicious dinner.   The other ingredients are all pantry staples, which means the dish came together in record time which was another bonus since things were a bit insane towards the end of last week (eek Holiday cleaning!!!!).   I was able to toss everything together and let it cook while I attempted to knock a few more rooms off my seemingly never ending cleaning list.

Hold at Night

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups black beans, presoaked and well rinsed
  • 1 cup brown rice (presoaked and well rinsed if needed)
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely torn
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, then add the spices. Toss well and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the black beans, rice, and vegetable stock - bring to a quick boil then cover and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  3. Stir in the basil leaves along with the tomatoes then season to taste with salt, pepper, or more chili powder!
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/09/hold-at-night.html

Just another meal justifying my love for beans and rice – such basic ingredients that can be tweaked in so many different way to create the perfect meal.  We both topped ours with some “pico de guac”, recipe for which will be up later this week!  Joe also grabbed some chips to go with his while I decided to go with some extra tomatoes, either option being perfectly acceptable!

Break of Dawn

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

 Sweet Potato Corn Stew

I mentioned in a post last week that I recently received a LARGE amount of tomatoes from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm.  Today’s post shows were the vast majority of those tomatoes wound up – in a delicious stew perfect for /52weeksofcooking’s stew theme.  Since the tomatoes were all seconds I knew that I had very limited time to use them, and while the sauce took care of a fair amount, I still had a few pounds left.  With the clock ticking I decided to improvise and figure out what I could make with the little produce left in my fridge.  A sweet potato, the last of our Eastern Shore Corn, and a bunch of fresh herbs – perfect for a hardy soup.  Plus the weather has taken a clear turn for the cold so no worries of overheating the kitchen!  I debated roasting the tomatoes before hand, but decided that one-pot clean up was the right answer.

 

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 lbs tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh corn off the cob
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 cups no salt added vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes, or until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to help break down the tomatoes.
  2. Add the corn along with the diced potatoes and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, still stirring the tomatoes but allowing the sweet potato to slightly roast.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a quick boil. Stir, then cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer the stew for 20 minutes, then use a hand immersion to blend the ingredients until desired thickness. For those with a stand blender, move the soup a 1/4 at a time, leaving at least 1/4 of the soup unblended.
  4. Cook for a final 10 minutes, adding pepper if needed. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/09/break_of_dawn.html

I served this stew with some French Honey bread, which is staple this time of year – along with my favorite Apple Cider Bread.   This stew also included a variety of tomatoes, including the green zebra variety I mentioned the other day!

Note: For all my Jewish friends (and family), L’shannah Tovah!