Summer time and the vegetables are going crazy! Perfect time for a Clean Eating challenge thanks to /52weeksofcooking. For the most part I try to avoid highly processed foods, including fake meats, but there is something to be said about the convenience that comes with those items. However, this week I wanted to go all out, so I decided to all incorporate elements of raw eating in my recipe which is what lead me to making a buddha bowl. A budha bowl is a (traditionally) vegan dish featuring raw fruits and veggies with a whole grain. I decided to use brown rice, but quinoa and barley were also debated.
I was lucky enough to have tomatoes from my garden, along with all the herbs, while the corn comes from the Eastern Shore. I tried to use all local ingredients but I couldn’t pass by the avocados at the store without grabbing a few. I could easily eat one, or more, of those each day – they are simply fantastic! At some point I want to try the fried egg in an avocado dish but a bit terrified of having raw egg and overcooked avocado. Anyone ever tried it before? Any tips???
In gardening news – I have no idea where I am tomato wise! Every day I go out I grab another handful and they are amazing. I’ve also harvested four jalapenos, with another 4 on the vine. However no eggplants yet – three stopped growing while a few more of showing some promise. They are a smaller variety so not expecting massive veggies but thought they would be a bit bigger than their current state. Fingers crossed the random chilly weather last week didn’t stunt them or something.
Sweet Potato Falafels
with Garlic Hummus
Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club Post! It’s a little strange how excited I get when I find out what blog I’ve been assigned, and this month was no different. This month I was given Isabelle’s Crumb Blog and I was hooked from the moment I saw her intro. This “coffee-chugging, booty-shaking, bargain-shopping, cookbook-collecting, photo-snapping, trucker-swearing, farmers-market-loving self-taught cook with a Mister and two cats to feed” chick has a blog chock full of recipes, for which I can overlook her being a cat person. I want to say I pinned close to 30 recipes are my first go thru, before finally narrowing things down to the top 5. In the end it became a battle between Saag Paneer and Sweet Potato Falafels, with the inability to find any paneer being the deciding factor. I loved that the falafel recipe was really three recipes in one, though in the end I only did two of the three. I have attempted, and failed, at making falafels before but these held together amazingly well making it super easy to fry them up.
I served these without the pita per husband’s request along with some vinegar carrots, cucumber, greek yogurt, and (of course) the garlic hummus from the original post. They were delicious and as a bonus heated up rather well the next day for lunch! Needless to say another awesome recipe thanks to SRC.
More than a few years ago, my sister and I went to an Indian restaurant with my dad and enjoyed some delicious chana masala – only to find out a few hours later that the chickpeas had been presoaked in lemon juice which neither of us can handle in large amounts. Since then I’ve been more than a little scared of this delicious chickpea dish, until Joe’s cousin made a lemon-free batch last summer. That incredible dinner gave me the boost I needed to try making chana masala at home, and based on my husband’s reaction I have a feeling it will be happening pretty regularly. Not only does it come together in record time, it features ingredients that I almost always have in my pantry – making it perfect for those oh so crazy weekday nights!
I served this with some curry spinach, not quite palak but a bit more than the standard creamed spinach as well, and some brown rice. My spinach recipe still needs a bit of work but I hope to share it shortly, assuming I figure out the perfect ratio of spinach to everything else!
When I saw that /52weeksofcooking was heading to Spain for their weekly challenge, I knew I would have a hard time picking one recipe. I toyed with the idea of making a vegetarian paella, but in the end decided to go with that similar yet slightly less well know (at least to me) dish known as Fideua. Many sites refer to this as “pasta paella” instead of rice, which made the Italian in me very happy. As with paella, this is normally not a vegetarian friendly dish but it is one that can be converted over rather easily! I decided to use chickpeas as the protein, along with a variety of mushrooms, but soy chorizo or tofurkey would also work.
This dish requires a bit of attention at first, but once the pasta is added there is plenty of time to enjoy some wine – or let the dogs out! I enjoyed mine naked while Joey topped his with some fresh Parmesan cheese
Curried Chickpeas and Kale
Greetings and welcome to the June installation of Random Recipes! This month we were challenged to randomly select a happy and healthy recipe – something rather easy for me since I only have a few cookbooks dedicated to the sweeter side of life. Once randomly selecting a cookbook, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes, I then selected a section, Entrees, which lead me to the Grains and Beans section and a delicious recipe for Curry Chickpeas and Kale. I did make a few edits to the recipe, fresh ginger for ground and some cayenne powder to add a bit more heat to the dish as well as using red onions.
I served mine topped with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt, but regular yogurt or sour cream would also work – as would some naked beans and kale which is how I had lunch the next day. I also added some couscous to make it a full meal but bulgar or quinoa would also work, or even some brown rice. However you decide to top it this is a great and quick dinner that is packed full of vitamins, nothing like a good tasting good for you meal! Thanks again Dom for hosting another awesome month of Random Recipes.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
Have to be honest that this month has been rather rough, and I’m still trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully I have an amazing husband and wonderful family (of the blood, friend, and in-law variety) who have all been incredibly supportive. Which is why my recipes lately have been of the simple variety lately – more often then not I just don’t have the energy to cook the way I used to. I’m hoping the summer sun will recharge me and that this not-so-fun season will change over to something brighter. So with simple in mind I set off to attempt carrot hummus after seeing it in a Washington Post chat section. I liked their idea of roasting the carrots first, but decided to switch up everything else.
I loved how this still had a simple chickpea taste with the extra pop of the carrots – in color and taste. I was tempted to add more heat to this dish but in the end settled on simple perfection for fear of overpowering the chickpeas with additional seasonings. I served this over some spinach along with radishes and tomatoes for a simple and healthy dinner.
I’m also sending this over to r/52weeksofcooking for their twist on a classic challenge – marking the halfway point for Challenge 2013!!!
Double Onion & Chickpea Tagine
Finally home and (mostly) recovered from the jet lag – just in time for another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking. This week onions are the secret ingredients, which are something I use in most of my recipes in one form or another. For awhile I debated doing a French Onion Soup Sandwich before remembering a tagine recipe in one of my cookbooks that called for onions cooked two ways. After some vegetarian doctoring to the recipe, swapping chickpeas for the lamb and doubling the spinach, it wound up being a rather simple dish filled with every day ingredients making it perfect for crazy summer nights. While I cooked mine in a tagine it could also be prepared in a wok or a deep saucepan, either way make sure the dish has a tight fitting lid.
I topped mine with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt (yes I’m an addict – but that’s okay) along with a sprig of fresh cilantro while Joe went for regular sour cream and fresh mint. I also made up some garlic couscous to help soak up all the juices, can’t let anything go to waste!