Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rogan Josh Cauliflower

Inspired by today's Chipotle Honey-Roasted Cauliflower at Lunchimal.  Nice over jasmine rice.

Cut 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower (the purple and orange kinds are sure pretty) into florets.  Toss in a large bowl with:

1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup raisins
2 TB melted ghee
4 TB rogan josh spice mix (paprika, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom and a few other things...).

Move onto a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 45 minutes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Roasted Eggplant Soup

Compliments to Deb, whom we all try not to rip off TOO often around here.  Lovely rich savory veggie flavor in this soup; can't wait to make it with fresh tomatoes.

Brush 1 eggplant (peeled & halved), 3 large meaty tomatoes (halved), 6 cloves garlic (peeled), and one medium onion (halved) with oil and bake on broiler pan at 400 for 45 minutes, until eggplant is thoroughly soft and brown.  (Check garlic periodically so it doesn't burn, it may need removing sooner.)

Heat 4 cups of your preferred soup stock.  When the veggies are done, plop them in wholesale along with 2 tsp each of thyme and cumin.  (You might peel the tomatoes at this point if you're up for it.)  Simmer for 45 minutes or until onion is soft, then blend with immersion blender or in batches, and top with a crumbly white cheese (my choice: ricotta salata).  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wild Rice, Asparagus, and Hollandaise

.... I guess that's self explanatory, eh?  Wild rice, topped with thin tender steamed asparagus spears, topped with a poached egg, topped with hollandaise and, if you like, sriracha.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mashed Avocado Sandwiches

Mash two avocados (for two sandwiches) and mix in some reduced balsamic vinegar and salt.  Slice 2 thick pieces (each) of crusty white bread.  Top one slice with mashed avo and roasted tomatoes (from deli or homemade).  Top the other slice with thin slices of nutty white cheese (eg Piave).  Toast well.  Add some bitter leafy lettuce and fresh dill, top avo slice with cheese slice, and gobble.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gin for Wimps (aka Lemon Honey Fizz!)

So, I don't think anyone will be upset if I let slip that we are not known for holding our liquor in this family.  (One of the best voicemails I ever got was from a certain sister who shall go unnamed, smashed to the point of helpless laughter on... a single margarita.)

Anyhoo, the reason I am telling you all this:  Our mom (whose birthday is today!  <3 ) made her way down to Denver to visit me for Easter weekend, and she came bearing a drink recipe.  The ingredients were lovely, but I could tell at a glance that I was gonna be adjusting the ratios.  So here are two versions:  The recipe she brought, for normal folk, and the one we made, for people who are related to us, former nuns who have recently gone civilian, and so forth.

Normal People:

4 oz gin (about 1/2 cup)
1.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon
1 oz honey sauce

(To make honey sauce:  Bring equal parts honey & water to a simmer, stir till honey is dissolved.)

Mix over ice in cocktail mixer; strain; serve.

Nuns Etc.:

4 oz gin
3 oz freshly squeezed lemon
3 oz honey sauce

Mix over ice in cocktail mixer; strain; fill glass to brim with fizzy water just to make SURE you don't taste that gin.  ;-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mezze Quinoa Salad with Lentils

Last week was really rough. I messed up an important talk, had something rather sad happen in the context of my dissertation, barely slept, and let it all send me into a deeply anxious tailspin. None of this was aided by the fact that besides that delicious thai soup I really didn't eat anything besides rice cakes, lemon cake, chocolate, popcorn, pineapple, and coffee. Fail.

After recovering over the weekend with help from my sweet P, who made me fresh carrot juice and took me out for a lovely birthday dinner on Saturday, I'm hoping this week can go better. And I'll be well-armed with a delicious mezze quinoa salad with lentils to help with that whole nutrition thing.

This is basically my version of tabbouleh (gluten-free), beefed up with lentils. So tasty, so healthy.

1.5 cups dried quinoa
1/2 to 1 cup cooked lentils
1 shallot
1 bunch green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, de-seeded
1 container grape or baby heirloom tomatoes
3 lemons
Red Pepper flakes
Black Pepper

To Make
Cook quinoa and lentils. I actually used pre-cooked lentils that I bought on sale at Safeway. Yes that is embarrassing, but it's also the truth. I cook quinoa with equal parts water over medium-high, with a glug of olive oil added in. You are supposed to soak and rinse it beforehand, but I never do and I have never tasted anything off. Up to you!

Meanwhile, thinly slice your shallots and add them to a big bowl. Squeeze the juice of all 3 lemons over the shallots and add a generous pinch of salt and another pinch of pepper. Let marinade. Chop your garlic, add to bowl. Clean and slice your jalapeno, add to bowl. Thinly slice your green onions, add to...ok you get it. Finish up with the tomatoes, the parsley, and the cilantro. Mix all together with quinoa and lentils, and add cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.

Serve with feta crumbled on top. I scooped it up with some delicious gluten-free crackers.

Considerations for food allergies and ethics: This is gluten-free, vegetarian, and unless you serve it with feta, vegan.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thai(ish) Indian(ish) Soup with Chicken and Mushrooms

After attending three academic conferences spread out over 9 days in London, I came home in need of serious nutrition. Having eaten some amazing Thai and Indian food while away, I had a combination of chickpeas, coriander, coconut milk, and ginger on my mind. These are all incorporated here along with my new favorite broth combination of coconut milk and fire-roasted tomatoes.

As a bit of an aside, P and I have basically turned into functional vegetarians. We prepare meat at home only about once a month, I would say, but do eat it while out. For some reason today I really wanted some chicken, but you could easily omit the meat and add more veggies for a nice vegan soup.

Glug of olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1 large bell pepper (I chose a mild yellow here)
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cans fire-roasted tomatoes (BPA and all. I wish I could find fire-roasted tomatoes in a glass jar)
2 cans chickpeas (much better to use dried, but I was all out)
1/2 can coconut milk (some places you can get this in a box now...avoid the BPA if you can)
1-2 chicken breasts, pre-cooked (optional, replace with more beans if you are veg)
4 large handfuls baby portabella mushrooms
1 lemon
Red pepper flakes
Black Pepper

To make
Pour a glug of olive oil into a large pot and turn the burner on to medium. Chop 1 large onion and 5 cloves garlic and add to your olive oil. Next, chop 1 large yellow pepper. Add this to the onion and garlic mixture. Season it all very liberally with salt, pepper, ginger, coriander, curry, and red pepper flakes. Now, add 3 or so cups of broth and let simmer while you chop 4 large handfuls of baby portabellas or another meaty mushroom into medium-sized pieces.

After adding mushrooms, stir in your fire-roasted tomatoes and chickpeas. Shred your chicken (I recommend cooking beforehand). Finally, pour 1/2 can coconut milk into the broth. Add more ginger, curry, coriander, salt and pepper to taste (I had to add a lot more!). Finally, squeeze the juice of one large lemon into the soup and stir. Let simmer for 30 minutes, then enjoy.

Considerations for food allergies & ethics: If you omit the chicken, this soup could be vegan. It is dairy free and gluten free, so long as you use a gluten free broth. Pacific brand is my brand of choice for broth.

Ed.: Photo by Sarah of her version of this soup - which, in her opinion, is a particularly amazing Katelyn concoction!