In an attempt to get my kitchen mojo back, I’ve once again joined the /52weeksofcooking group in the hopes that their weekly challenge would get me going again. They are now on week 10 while I’m just now doing my second post – needless to say I’m still a work in progress! This week the challenge was Japanese and while I debated doing a tempura I couldn’t get over the idea of trying a Japanese curry similar to one I had in Pittsburgh a few summers ago. Luckily the internet provided me with lots of ideas, so I took the common ingredients from all of them and then winged the rest of it!
I could say this was a huge hit but that doesn’t begin to cover it – this is one of the only curries where husband has wanted seconds! He couldn’t get over how savory it was – all the flavors working together. So good he didn’t believe it was vegan, BIG bonus there.
Make sure to come back Monday for February’s BONUS Secret REcipe Club post. It’s the 5th Monday of the month and this time the special theme is Spring & Bunnies.
Acorn Squash Quinoa
Happy Holidays! A bit late but things have been a little insane around here. In non-food news, we had our first donor IVF cycle a week ago and will be finding out the results later this week/early next. It’s amazing how in some ways time has flown since then but yet in other ways time has stopped – or in the very least is dragging on. I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, and working on new recipes, but very little time in the kitchen. It hasn’t helped that my oven broke, but figuring out ways around it. Primarily that means lots of stove top cooking and very few baked treats but that’s okay! If anything it gives me a jump start on my New Years Resolution to cut back on sweets, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Today’s recipe is actually one I made right before my transfer, and one that I started working with at the start of fall. Since my house is mostly a nut free zone, I have to find other ways of recreating nutty flavors, usually in the form of sesame seeds. However I’ve become slightly addicted to acorn squash – nutty and sweet and meaty all in one awesomely healthy gourd. I’ve started adding it to everything to see what it does, and does not go with, and so far everything has worked! This dish was one of those cabinet/fridge clearing exercises where a bunch of stuff had to go before it was too late – so into the pan it went!
This dish was a creamy curry success – the acorn squash goes fantastically with the spices and the heat without becoming a mushy mess. I served these with some sesame greens, as some habits are hard to break.
Mustard Potatoes with Chickpeas
It’s September!!! That awesome month filled with birthdays, cooler temperatures, and Renaissance Festivals. Since today is the first Monday in September, in addition to being the 1st of September, that means the month is starting on a high note with September’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned Easily Good Eats, which is stuffed to the brim with delicious recipes – ranging from the sweet to the savory. I had a rather difficult time figuring out what recipe to pick, at one point I had “narrowed” it down to 10 before realizing that two of the recipes I was drooling over would not be well received by the other member of this house (silly people who don’t like coconut!). This left me with lots of bean recipes, which isn’t so surprising cuz vegetarians do love their beans. I debated back and forth between her tomato chickpea pilaf and her spiced mustard potatoes with chickpeas before deciding on the mustard – it was so different from anything else I had tried that I had to give it a whirl. Since the recipe is already vegan all I wound up doing was adding a bit more curry powder, which could be due to the variety used in her version vs. mine. I also double the recipe since this was for two instead of one – which still resulted in enough for two dinners and two packed lunches!
This recipe was fantastic! Not that I had any doubts as anyone who has over a dozen polenta (!!!!) recipes obviously has fantastic taste. For more fantastically delicious treats be sure to check out the rest of the recipes featured in this month’s Secret Recipe Club!
For my regular readers, I’m in the process of writing up a post to go with my vagueblogging from last week – and it should be up shortly. I’ve also been busy in the kitchen, so hopefully that will prevent any more 3 weeks absences. August was a rough month but (fingers crossed) September will be better.
Twice Baked Potatoes – Samosa Style
This recipe is probably one of the first ones I ever wrote down as a MUST DO and I’m finally getting to it – four years later! The original recipe that I saw oh so long ago featured a standard russet potato, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to try a sweet potato. While regular potatoes are rather awesome, sweet potatoes are the definition of perfection in my opinion. Previous curry experience gave me the confidence needed to start experimenting which is why this recipe went from a standard baked potato to a glorious twice-baked potato. Twice baking gave all the ingredients time to get acquainted with each other, something I was worried wouldn’t happen in just making a topping and pouring it on top.
The real trick with this dish is cutting up the cauliflower as close to the same size as the peas as possible. Not only does it insure everything fits inside the potato skin, it helps keep an even cooking time. I’m also sending this potato-tastic dish over to /52weeksofcooking for their potato challenge – for while it’s a bit late it’s the perfect dish as it’s all about the potato!
Curry Cauliflower Soup
Finally reaching the end of hot soup season – time to put away the stock pot and the dutch oven and get ready for fresh vegetables and cool dishes. However Mother Nature seems to be wishy-washy right now, and a few of these rainy days have been downright cold! So brought out my reliable pot and got to work creating a dish that would warm us up, while taking advantage of the early spring produce. Early spring is the only time I ever get cauliflower, as much as I enjoy the stuff the price is more than a bit insane the rest of the year. So for these few weeks I will enjoy this pale beauty and figure out how many different ways I can prepare it.
For those of you that do “normal” dairy I still recommend using the coconut yogurt as it really adds something to the soup. While the coconut yogurt isn’t as strong as standard coconut milk (or creme) it still adds enough of a hint to really make the curry POP. I enjoyed this along with some crusty bread so as to insure that no soup was left behind.
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!
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.