The past few weekends Joe and I have been taking advantage of the awesome weather and getting out of town and just enjoying life. While I love every moment of this it means that most Thursdays I’m trying to figure out how to use up as many leftovers as possible in order to avoid coming home to a science experiment gone wrong. The other week we were left with paneer, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and a bit of rice. Normally this combination has me going to my wok for a stir fry but I wanted to try something different and see if I could make a dry curry. I searched the web to see what spices would work best and found tons of recipes for Paneer Do Pyaza which is essentially a paneer and onion curry featuring tomatoes. While I didn’t have enough tomatoes or onion to recreate any of the dishes I found I did have enough total vegetables and so I set off to my kitchen. Since everything was pre-chopped from the earlier meals this dinner came together in record time – from the time I turned the burner on to when we were sitting down to eat maybe 20 minutes past most of which was waiting for the spices to wake up and the paneer to brown.
There are few things as amazing as a quick and easy dinner – one of which is a quick and easy dinner that also tastes out of this world! If I had more time, and wasn’t trying to get things out of my fridge, I would have made some fresh naan to go with this yummy curry.
Vegetable Stuffed Chapathi
Greetings and welcome to the June installment of Secret Recipe Club! I can’t believe it’s already June – this year is just flying by filled with all sorts of delicious treats and fabulous adventures. This month I was assigned Veenas Veg Nation marking the first time I’ve been partnered with another vegetarian cooking blog! She has so many incredibly delicious Indian specialties, I think I wound up with seven on my final list of recipes. This list included dal, curries, wraps, and one of my favorite Indian dishes: Paneer Butter Masala. After much debate and deliberation, as well as consulting with the hubby, I decided on her Vegetable Stuffed Chapathi. I love the idea of making a new-to-me flatbread and then filling it with all sorts of delicious vegetables and paneer. So I got to work chopping away at all the veggies needed for this tasty dinner.
I love that this dish allows for flexibility with the vegetables, can easily switch things up based on what’s in season. I can easily see myself making stuffed chapathi over and over again, trying out as many vegetable combinations as possible.
Time for the April installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!!! This month I was assigned the incredible Ilona’s Kitchen blog which is packed to the brim with delicious treats – both sweet and savory! As always I had a hard time finding the perfect recipe, something that would be different than the normal and showcase the delicious recipes on her blog. After much debate I decided to go with one of her two (!!!) recipes for Sloppy Joe’s, figuring if they were such a hit with her munchkin they would also go over well with my husband. In honor of the vegan twist on this recipe I’m renaming them Sloppy Joey’s, and my Joey seems to have no issue sharing his name with this incredible dinner! Other than the vegan twist most of the recipe is as you will find it on Ilona’s Kitchen, as long as your overlook my avoidance of celery in this dish in favor of more peppers.
These came together in record time, the only trick was finding a vegetarian friendly Worcestershire sauce. In the end I wound up making my own using this guide from the incredible Martha Stewart. I have to say this homemade version was far better than any I had before, and used the extra sauce as a topping for the mashed potatoes that I served with my Sloppy Joey’s . Thanks Ilona’s Kitchen for an incredible dinner idea!
Green Bean Salad
After my delicious pizza earlier this week it was time to get healthy again, and with that back to the basics. I’ve never been too big on salads, they are the easy option for vegetarians and vegans which is why most restaurants think they can saw they have vegetarian entrees if they have salads on the menu. However salads can be more than just greens and random wilted vegetables or in this case have no lettuce in them. Beans are always on my must have list and with that something I always have in my pantry. This salad was the perfect excuse to clean out the pantry of some beans since I tend to open multiple bags and forget about them. The only thing I had to add to my grocery list were the green beans which are always in abundance thanks to a local hothouse, gotta love easy dinners!
For the dressing I decided to use some of the leftover garlic feta dip from my Downton Abbey Viewing party, but any Greek Yogurt based dressing would go great with these beans. To add more healthy and delicious stuff to the salad serve over a bed of kale or spinach or wrapped up in cabbage.
Create a meal inspired by music – that was the assignment this week from /food52 and one I was perfectly comfortable with. Music has always been a big part of my life, from my dancing days to singing in the choir to singing along with the radio. Some of my earliest memories are of making up dances with sisters – complete with a doll audience and re-purposed dance costumes. Since starting my blog I have picked song titles to go along with my recipes and occasionally have decided to cook something based on hearing a certain song. For this challenge I wanted to do something BIG, something that would push me in some way while still remaining true to the challenge. So I started thinking about my favorite songs, eliminating those that had already been used, and focusing on ones that really have meaning. In the end I decided to go with a song that I first heard when I was in elementary school watching the Today show with my mom.
The 10th Anniversary cast of Les Miserables was being interviewed and while I was originally completely transfixed by Lea Salgona’s Eponine the tall, dark, and handsome (curly hair!!!) gentleman next to her was extremely distracted. During the interview he gave a quick demo of Marius’s solo and I was sold – from that point on I was a Les Miserable fanatic. While I have featured lyrics from On My Own before, which I was convinced was my “theme song” during High School, I decided to focus on the song that sold me on the musical. Marius sings “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” after realizing he is the lone survivor of his friends. I wanted to create the type of meal that might have been served in the cafe, at that table in the corner…if the guys were vegetarian.
I served this with some left over noodles and crusty bread since I didn’t want any of the sauce to escape. This might not be the most traditional ratatouille recipe out there, but it was warm, comforting, and perfect for sharing with friends.
Thai Green Beans and Tofu
Time for another installment of Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned two (2!!!) SRC blogs, so double the fun and double the cooking. To read my other entry for secret recipe club please go here for an awesome sweet potato side dish. My first assignment brought me to Sara’s Cupcake Muffin blog. Originally I planned to go for one of the many delicious desserts Sara has, but in the end I kept going back to her savory dishes. For the longest time I thought I was going to attempt her French Onion Tart, but since I’m suppose to be avoiding rich cheeses I decided to be a good girl and avoid the dairy temptation. I checked out a few more recipes before finally deciding to try her Thai Green Beans with Tofu, which wound up being the PERFECT choice. I had to make a few changes to the recipe for dietary purposed, so be sure to check out Sara’s blog for her original recipe.
I plan on trying this recipe again with the red curry paste that Sara used, but that will have to wait until my husband is out for the evening since I could not find a peanut free version. I debated adding a yellow curry paste instead, but decided to just skip that step since I wasn’t sure what yellow curry would do to the profile. These green beans reminded both of us of our favorite take out place, except much crispier which is a huge bonus. I have a feeling these green beans are going to make frequent appearances on our menu, since they could easily be adapted to go with soba noodles or pad thai.
Would also like to take this time to wish Sara a happy birthday, though I’m not sure if I’m early or late.
Slow Cooker Eggplant Korma
First off, not planning to go on any breaks from blogging anytime soon. However I am thinking about changing the blog titles in order to make DancingVeggies slightly easier to navigate. Currently I pick song lyrics that are bouncing around in my head, sometimes they relate to the recipe I’m featuring and sometimes they are nothing more than an ear worm. However it’s been two years (!!!) and now that I have almost 200 (!!!) recipes I want to make sure people can easily see what I’m cooking and when. This line of thought also motivated the changes to the Recipe page, adding categories and updating links. The issue with making the change as I see it relate more to existing entries, do I go back and change them so that everything “fits” or do I leave those as they are as a way of remembering where I started. What do you think? What can I do to make DancingVeggies more accessible?
Now that the business is out-of-the-way, today’s recipe is perfect for that summer garden that is going crazy. I also worked with it a bit to make it slow cooker friendly, since a hot stove top is never a welcome thing this late in July in Virginia. I have been told that as written this recipe is rather spicy, to cut back on the heat leave out the pepper or use half.
I don’t think I have repeated the vegetables from one korma to another, aside from the eggplant. Carrots, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and peas have all been tossed in this dish at one point or another and I don’t know if I have a true favorite. Generally I try to include one crunchy vegetable and one meaty item in order to give the dish dimension.