Five Spice Veg

5 spice veg

This was one of the first things I tried from my coveted Indian Vegetarian cookbook. I absolutely adore it, but I don’t make it very often. It takes a little more prep time than I’m accustom to lately. Lots of ingredients and spices that have to be prepped and ready to go before starting. That being said….it’s totally worth it. It’s even better with garden fresh tomatoes in the summer, but canned is more than ok to accommodate having this as a winter treat.

Five Spice Veg
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 TB mustard oil
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • ½ small cauliflower broken into small florets
  • ½ small cabbage sliced thin
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (or two tomatoes cut into chunks)
  • 1 jalapeno or thai chili pepper minced
  • ½ bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add 2 TB mustard oil to large pan heated to medium. Wait for oil to smoke. Reduce heat to medium low. Add potatoes and carrots. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add a small amount of water, approximately ¼-1/2 cup, cover and cook around 5 minutes. Remove potatoes and carrots to separate bowl. Add cauliflower to pan and cook for a few minutes until beginning to be tender. (Don't overcook.) Remove cauliflower from pan. Add remainder of mustard oil, 2 TB. Wait until smoking at medium heat. Add all seeds. Cook and stir until sizzling and beginning to pop, just a minute or so. Add all other spices and minced pepper. Stir and cook for a minute. Add potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are desired tenderness. Add cabbage and peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes until peas are heated through. Serve topped with cilantro.

The reason this was one of the first recipes I tried was that I was intrigued to try the mustard oil. Good stuff! When it reaches the smoke point it smells like dry English mustard. Tasty. Any plain oil could be substituted, but the mustard oil is well worth trying. I never could find nigella seeds. I had to ask someone at the Indian grocer. I’m still learning words for things, and my helpful grocer pointed me to Kalonji seeds, another word for nigella.

This dish makes really tasty pot liquor. (Yes, I’m southern!) Definitely a requirement to have bread for sopping up that goodness.

This one also leaves me with leftover ingredients like the half cabbage and half cauliflower. Usually not an issue, but something to plan for. This time I used the cabbage for a mint salad. I threw the cauliflower into a kind of bubbles and squeak with potatoes and carrots. Easy tasty single meal when Dizzle was traveling.

Kid Food – Peas & Cabbage Salad

peas cabbage

The peas were leftover from our traditional New Year’s Day meal, basic black eyed peas. He really likes this crunchy tangy cabbage salad.

indian peas mint salad

Then for yet another (maybe 3rd?) New Year’s Day leftover meal he had the Indian flare peas again with cabbage salad. There aren’t many things he is picky about, but the kid thinks he doesn’t like cornbread. Not sure how that happened. I obliged by subbing a piece of baguette.

Menu Board – International

menu indian thai

This menu board is all over the place, and that’s just how we like it. Indian, Mediterranean, Thai, homestyle goodness.

Loving having falafel on a regular basis around here. So easy and so much less of a gut bomb than the deep fried restaurant option.  Bonus…the little guy loves this too!

falafel waffle

Drunken noodles is one of our favorite Thai noodle dishes. I actually use whole grain lasagne noodles because I haven’t yet found any legit whole grain options. Oh well. Delicious! (Yes, it’s a cheat item when it comes to eating totally plant based vegan style because of the oyster and fish sauce. )

Spiced potato soup is one of those that is so super tasty we always love it. That being said I have a hard time getting motivated to make it because it somehow seems boring. I’m fickle that way. It’s just potatoes, stock, some Indian spices, a little coconut milk, and green peas. Samosa flavors. Yum

Spiced Potato Soup
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large potatoes diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pan on medium. Cook onion and garlic until tender. Add all other ingredients except peas. Bring to bubble. Reduce heat and add lid. Cook approximately 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. If desired, mash some or all of the potatoes for a thicker creamier soup. Add peas and cook until warmed. Add a few splashes of lemon juice. Adjust seasoning to taste.

There was a butternut squash waiting to be eaten, and yellow curry was the winning recipe that day. I love curry as a way to use random ingredients. Simple comfort food for us. I made this one with carrot instead of potato and without the hot pepper paste.

Dali Ambat is officially a regular around here. Can’t say enough about the absolute goodness of this creamy tangy lentil dish.

red lentils

Kid Food – Pizza Recipes

pizzaThe kid has always loved pizza. He has phases of what is his go-to meal, and lately it has definitely been pizza. Ask him what is for dinner, and he’ll probably look confused and say “You know I ALWAYS have pizza”.

When we get into the pizza zone I prepare by having dough, sauce, and a variety of toppings ready to go. Sometimes I’ll pre-cook dough, and that makes it even faster. Some of the favorite toppings are tofu (cooked or fresh out the package), olives, kale, and peppers. It seems like almost everything has made an appearance on his pizzas at some point. Carrots, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, mangos, nuts, pineapple…anything goes.

pizza

Most often we do a quick cook in a pan on the stove top. I divide the dough into portions equivalent to about 2 slices.

Pizza Dough
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add warm water and yeast to mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients. Mix and knead on low for 5 minutes. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise about an hour.
  2. Divide dough into 8 portions for "personal pan" sized pizzas. Roll or stretch each piece as needed. Heat pan to medium. Add dough to pan. Top with sauce and toppings. Cook until dough is "done" and browned on bottom.

The dough can be stored in the fridge or freezer, cooked or uncooked. It can be divided however you like. I’ll often use half for a baguette and the other half for a few pizzas. All portions can be pre-cooked, stacked, and stored in a ziploc bag ready to go.

pizza

Pizza Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to pot. Bring to bubble. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Cook 30 minutes to an hour until garlic is tender. Add mixture to food processor and whiz until smooth.

This makes quite a bit of sauce, but we always use it somehow. Pizza, bread, curry, soup, something. It can also be frozen. This is the sauce I make most often, but really anything goes. I’ve opened a can of  tomato sauce and used it straight with a pinch of dried herbs. Yesterday I had mild salsa, so I mixed it with a TB of tomato paste and used that.

So, now that I’ve posted this naturally the 4 year old will move on to something else, right?

 

New Year – Indian Recipes

vegetarian new years day recipes

We did the traditional New Years Day meal with the inlaws, southern style black eyed peas, sauteed greens (kale), and cornbread. I had plans to do a similar meal with cornbread waffle, but since we had almost the same thing with them I decided to go a different direction using vegetarian Indian recipes. I really like all the components of this Indian meal. Dizzle turned me on to the mint cabbage salad after having it at a restaurant. Super simple for a quick side for lots of meals. It’s just sliced cabbage, a couple green onions, some chopped mint, and a little olive oil and lemon juice. I’ve always been a fan of black eyed peas, but I love them even more now that I have different flavor options including this Indian creamy tangy dish, Feijoada. I really thought I’d posted it before, but I guess not. Here goes…

Indian Black Eyed Peas (Feijoada)
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and grated or minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 TB tamarind concentrate or 2 TB lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 TB olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat pot to medium. Add oil and onion. Saute until onion beginning to brown. Add water or stock if needed to prevent sticking. (You can also periodically lower the temperature and add a lid to promote "sweating".)
  2. Add dry spices, ginger, garlic, and salt. Stir. Add coconut milk and tamarind. Heat and stir until incorporated. Add peas. Cook until heated through. Adjust salt as needed.

The bread is adapted from a spiced greens flatbread recipe. I wanted to somewhat stick to tradition and have “cornbread”, so I substituted half the wheat flour for cornmeal. I’ll admit it was a little dry, so I’ll stick with flour in the future. I used mustard greens instead of spinach, and that worked just fine. This is the first year I’ve had mustard greens, and I’m loving them. This was a version that included aniseed. I did add some turmeric. I think my favorite is another one I make that is more highly spiced with turmeric, chili powder, and lots of fenugreek. Greens could easily be added to that one too.
Spiced Naan Style Bread
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 TB fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Add yeast and water to mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients. Mix and knead on low for 5 minutes. Allow to rise. Divide into 16 pieces. Stretch and/or roll into flat pieces. Heat pan or griddle to medium/high. Spray lightly with oil. Cook dough pieces a couple minutes on each side until there are browned spots.

This can be done as a flat bread by omitting the yeast.

Those red and not-so-attractive green blobs on the plate? Chutneys. I’m hooked. I make a tasty tomato chutney sometimes with cinnamon and other spices. I haven’t yet perfected some others, but the jar versions are SO GOOD. Red chili chutney and a spicy mint chutney are regulars on the plate for Indian meals lately. The ingredients are pure, so I don’t mind so much. Inexpensive and tasty from the Indian grocer.

Curious George Makes Pancakes

george pancakes

I’ve got lots of catching up to do! What better way to start than with pancakes, a monkey, and my little monkey chef? Fun!

If I’m remembering correctly this was our New Year’s Day breakfast. I love that he gets excited about this project and insists on having the book by his side as his cookbook. (The book doesn’t actually have a recipe, but it’s a fun story about George making pancakes at a fundraiser.) Dizzle and Gbear really like blueberries in the pancakes, but we have quite a while to wait on those from the garden. Chocolate chips were a totally acceptable substitute.

Pancakes
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 TB baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 TB coconut oil
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (or blueberries, dried fruit, nuts, any desired addition)
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil briefly in microwave. Add oil and milk to dry ingredients. Gently mix just until incorporated. Heat pan or griddle to medium heat. Add pancake batter by ¼ cup scoops. Cook until beginning to brown on bottom, a couple minutes. Add any desired goodies like a few chocolate chips or blueberries. Flip. Cook another couple minutes until golden brown.

For anyone non-vegan I’m sure substituting dairy milk and using butter instead of coconut oil would be just fine. I’ve used this recipe for quite a while. I think I adapted it from the one we once used from the Joy of Cooking that also included an egg?

Our first project like this was a couple years ago when we made granola from a Peter Rabbit cookbook. (Was just looking at those photos. Oh my goodness! Those sweet 2 yr old cheeks!)

granola

Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Indian vegetarian recipes - red lentils w/ kale Dali Ambat

It’s almost guaranteed that each week’s menu will include an Indian dish these days. It’s such a no-brainer because it’s always delicious and reasonably easy. Dali Ambat is another one of the Indian vegetarian recipes adapted from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Vegetarian Indian Food. I like tinkering with recipes, but honestly if you make anything from this book as-is it is no-fail absolutely delicious.

I find red lentils at our Indian Grocer. Green lentils are easier to find at any grocery store, but I’m not sure it’s an appropriate substitute for this one. The reds cook into a mash that is almost the texture of mashed potatoes or something equally as tasty, and the flavor is much different than green lentils. Another somewhat specialty item that is absolutely worth finding is tamarind. Lime juice is an ok substitute but there is something about tamarind that is unique.

This one is especially good now that I’ve got it just the way I want it. Warm Indian spices, kale, creamy coconut milk, tangy tamarind. Fenugreek is the star in this one. Love the stuff. It just screams Indian food when you smell it hit the pan.

How about I stop rambling and post the recipe already?!

Dali Ambat Recipe (Red Lentils and Greens)
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 9 oz spinach, or 1 bunch kale torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 jalepeno chopped
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 TB tamarind juice (or 3 TB lime juice)
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring lentils and water to a boil. Allow to bubble for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate pan to medium. Add fenugreek seeds and onion. Toss and cook until onion is tender and translucent, around 10 minutes until almost beginning to brown. Add coconut milk, turmeric, and kale to lentils. Gently toss until kale begins to wilt. Cover and cook on low for around 5 minutes until greens are desired texture. Add onion mixture and tamarind to lentils along with 1 tsp salt. Adjust salt to taste.

I usually prefer kale over spinach. I love spinach too, but kale tends to hold its texture better for leftovers. We had this with flavored flat bread. I had dough leftover from taking these bread offerings to a potluck, and it was the perfect addition to this Indian meal. Full disclosure…these doughs were really my standard dough recipe with flavorings added. For a true flat bread simply omit the yeast. No rise time needed, but allow the dough to rest for around 30 minutes before working with it.

For one of the doughs I grabbed a couple things off the olive bar at Kroger, a few sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves. I whizzed those in the mini chopper and added to the other ingredients while mixing/kneading the dough. The other was spiced with 3 tablespoons fenugreek leaves, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1 tsp cumin.

After each dough had risen I dumped it out on a cutting sheet lightly sprayed with oil. I cut it into single serving portions, 16 pieces. Roll or press/stretch each piece into a thin pizza thickness. Heat a pan or griddle to medium high. Cook pieces quickly on each side until browned. I break out the griddle for this one so I can keep it going like an assembly line. Extra dough can be stored in the fridge for a few days before cooking. Extra dough or breads can also be frozen.

 

Falafel Waffle Recipe

falafel waffle

Time to catch up on my waffle phase with a falafel waffle recipe….

What a mess of a photo! That means it’s good, right? I have a thing for falafel. I love the stuff. We rarely go out because we like our own food. When we do go out to lunch we often go to the local riverfront food court. Dizzle and I almost always go for the falafel. I’ve always  considered falafel a junk food treat. Delicious, but anything deep fried is pretty much junk food. NO MORE! I’m so excited this worked. Falafel at home! Not junk! Take away the deep fry, and it’s actually super healthy. Winner.

I don’t even remember how I quite stumbled onto this one. Somehow I was over at Food Republic when I made the momentous discovery that they have named the Fawaffle. I only made ever so slight adjustments, but I’ll post it here just so I always have it for reference.

Falafel Waffle
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried chick peas
  • ½ onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Cover chick peas with plenty of water and allow to soak overnight. Drain chick peas. Cut onion into large pieces and add to a food processor along with chick peas. Whiz until chopped and mealy. Add all other ingredients. Whiz until everything is incorporated.
  2. Preheat waffle iron. Add falafel mixture by ¼ cup scoops to waffle iron. Cook approximately 5 minutes until golden brown. (or use pre-set timer)

We went old school St Louis Mediterranean Oasis and served these with hummus, tatziki, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I doused mine with sriracha. I think next time it would be awesome with fries or tabbouleh. I like my falafel extra crispy, so I like to follow up with putting mine in the toaster for a bit. That also works great for heating and crisping leftover waffles.

By the way…if you really dig deep fry you could scoop this into golf ball size and go for it.

Stuffing Waffle Recipe and Meal

stuffing waffle thanksgiving

This was our Thanksgiving! (Well, this was our Thanksgiving before it was drowned in delicious but tragically brown and unattractive mushroom gravy.) Definitely a success. This meal was soooo good and bonus…pretty too! It was actually fairly easy, and that might have been because I’d made most of the components at least once before. I think the whole meal was done in about an hour and a half.

The little one has decided he is not a waffle person, or a gravy person for that matter, so here is his meal sans waffle. The kid LOVES kale!

kale salad roasted veg

So, back to the waffle. The stuffing waffle recipe is exactly the same as the previous post, Dressing Waffle. I just can’t decide what to call it!

The veg was the same carrots, potatoes, and parsnips roasted at 425 for about 30 minutes or so until beginning to brown.

The kale salad was a find over at the taste space. I didn’t use an entire butternut squash, and I omitted the lemon zest out of necessity. Love the dressing and mix of flavors in this! I didn’t take care to really massage the kale, so I didn’t get the wilted affect. We adored it anyway, but I’ll give it a little more attention next time. Have I mentioned the kid loves kale? I do too, so this will fo sho be repeated.

The mushroom sauce is a work on progress. I’m almost positive I wrote down the measurements, but it’s been a few days. Know how that goes? Anyway… I can’t be totally sure. I’ll try it again soon and post.

So…back to the waffle. The next creation I tried after the stuffing waffle (and cornbread waffle and falafel waffle) was a HUSH PUPPY WAFFLE! Shut yo mouth. It was so incredibly tasty I can’t even stand it. (and no deep frying!) Again, it’s been a few days and a few family sicknesses, so I’m not even sure if I have a photo. I do have a written recipe, so I won’t mind at all repeating that one again soon. 🙂

Dressing Waffle Recipe

Stuffing Waffle Vegan Take on Diners Drive-ins & Dives

Oh goodness. Did I mention I’m in a waffle phase? I have never used our waffle maker, but it is now making regular appearances on the counter. It’s just too easy and way too delicious. This all started when Dizzle was traveling and doing the hotel tv thing when he encountered a stuffing waffle featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. Say what?? We knew it would be a winner. The MIL already does stuffing in individual bundt pans to increase the crust factor, so this just takes it to a whole new level. The first time I tried it I used a traditional stuffing approach. It was really tasty. Dizzle loved it. I thought it was a little dry and didn’t hold together quite like I wanted. It was obviously the lack of eggs because we eat plant based vegan-style, so I was back at it to perfect this idea before Thanksgiving. This southern gal was raised on cornbread dressing. SO GOOD! The first waffle success was a plain cornbread waffle. (coming soon) So…I combined the stuffing bread with cornbread and veg for a more dressing flavor. Success!!

Dressing Waffle Recipe
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ baguette torn into small bite sized pieces (2 cups)
  • ½ cup veg stock
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any personal milk choice)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB olive oil + 1 tsp for saute
  • 1 TB chopped fresh sage
  • 1 TB chopped fresh rosemary
  • oil spray
Instructions
  1. Spread bread pieces on a baking sheet and leave overnight to dry. This can also be done by turning on the oven to the lowest temp for a few minutes. Turn the oven off. Leave the baking sheet with bread for a few hours in the oven. The chunks should be dry and almost crisp
  2. Heat a pan to medium on the stove. Cook onion, celery, and garlic until tender and translucent.
  3. Add bread chunks to a bowl. Pour veg stock over bread to moisten. Add onion mixture and herbs to bread. Toss to incorporate. Leave to "soak" while completing the recipe.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt. Stir. Add vinegar to milk. Add milk mixture, and oil to dry ingredients. Stir just to combine and break up any lumps.
  5. Add the cornbread mixture to the bread chunk bowl. Stir to combine.
  6. Preheat waffle iron according to instructions. Spoon ¼ cup of waffle mixture onto each waffle section and cook until done, approximately 5 minutes. Repeat until all are done.

Our waffle iron has 2 sections that are about 4 inch squares. It has an automatic timer, so it’s a no-brainer. It seems to take about 5 minutes for each round. I know nothing about other waffle makers, temps, sizes and such.

We served this tasty creation with roasted root veg (parsnip, carrot, and potato), green beans, and mushroom gravy. The mushroom gravy was  phenomenal but a throw-together that was tinkered along the way. I’m hoping to perfect that this week. Yum.