Thursday, 5 July 2012
Speaking of dinner, tonight I decided I'd try a variation on my mother in-law's recipe for poha (pressed rice). We had some Israeli couscous lying around (it was the Trader Joe's harvest blend), and I thought, "Huh. I bet this could work."
I fried 1 1/2 t of black mustard seeds in 1 1/2 T of canola oil in a large frying pan until they started to splutter; then I added the chopped onion and let it cook for about a minute on medium heat.
To that I added 1 1/2 t of salt, 1 1/2 t turmeric, and about a half teaspoon of red pepper and sauteed until the onions were translucent and absorbed the spices.
Then I added the couscous and mixed everything. To that I added, 2/3rds of a cup of frozen spinach and 1/2 a cup or so of peas and cooked everything through.
I turned off the burner, sprinkled the whole mixture with 1 T of vinegar and 1 T sugar, mixed it again, checked for salt and voila.
It was so good!
Posted by Leona at 17:46
Saturday, 9 June 2012
So, yes, as I was saying, I decided to combine all the winter greens together, so this isn't a true sarson sabzi. But, you'd do everything the same way if you were using all mustard greens. Here are the lovely greens before they went into the food processor:
Anyway, onto happier topics, I chopped down the greens, put them aside and turned my attention here:
With turnips in the steamer and the carrots in the oven, it was time to turn my attention back to the greens. I chopped up 1 onion, three cloves of garlic and two inches of ginger.
And here it is, the whole meal, much of it straight from the garden:
Posted by Leona at 14:40
Thursday, 7 June 2012
2 cucumbers, peeled
2 roma tomatoes
1 T vinegar
1/2 T sugar
1/2 t salt (or to taste)
Ground roasted peanuts (to garnish--about 1/3rd of a cup)
1/2 t cumin (optional)
1/2 t red pepper (optional)
1/2 t amchur powder (optional)
Once you have the cucumbers sliced, put them in a bowl and slice the tomatoes. I find this works best if I slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise, cut thin, julienne strips, and then dice them. The trick is to make sure the tomato pieces are about the same size as the cucumber pieces.
Posted by Leona at 19:42
Friday, 1 June 2012
Another thing adding to my busy-ness is a faculty institute I've helped to moderate over the last few days. It's been fun and I've learned a lot, but I've also been crazy busy (and grades from spring semester were due yesterday). I did make a great sarson (mustard greens) sabzi with greens from my garden on Wednesday--but again, no pictures. One thing I noticed about that was that it was waayyy better the second day. I have one last batch of greens to harvest, so I'm going to make it again (and blog about it), and maybe I'll figure out why the sabzi was so much better on day 2.
Anyway, the faculty institute. There is a tradition of bringing food to share at my campus for this event. I went straight from our graduation to Vons to pick up ingredients for my definitely-not-vegan chocolate chip cookies that I had been asked/told to bring for the institute the next morning. Total hit. As one of my colleagues said, "Really, all of the other ingredients in this cookie are just a vehicle for the butter." Bingo.
My parents also came up for the long weekend and bought us (among other things) a huge flat of yummy-but-so-ripe-they-had-to-be-eaten-immediately strawberries. Some of them went into the strawberry basil sorbet (recipe from my brother) at our dinner party. Mega-hit. Others of them went straight to the tummy, and many of them ended up in the gigantic carafe of strawberry lemonade my husband made. Even after all of that, Monday morning we still had a large basket of strawberries left. I decided, "What the heck? I love baking, I have an audience in the faculty at the institute, I will make my grandma's legendary coffee cake (also so not vegan), and instead of cinnamon and sugar baked in layers, I'll do strawberries."
That went amazingly well. But no pictures.
The next day I was spent, so I brought flowers from the garden.
But the next day I made a vegan almond and banana layercake which was truly inspiring and deserved pictures, but didn't get any. I will make it again. It was beautiful. Low sugar, whole wheat flour, just amazing. My own recipe...but no pictures. Must make it again...after I get the better camera, that is.
So last night I made mini cinnamon rolls, vegan, whole wheat mini cinammon rolls. My husband says making them mini interferes with the fluffy texture he loves, but I was feeding five dozen people. Sacrifices must be made. I started with my favorite roll recipe, doubled and slightly modified to include more sugar:
4 cups of whole wheat flour plus about 1 extra cup for kneading
4 packets of yeast
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
two cups of warm almond milk (I microwave it for a minute)
2 T warm water
2/3rds cup of canola oil (I use olive for dinner rolls, but canola for this kind of baking)
Mix the dry ingredients except the extra cup of flour and pour the wet ingredients on top, then with an electric mixer blend everything together.
Then, using the extra cup of flour, knead the dough for about eight minutes and let it rise for at least an hour.
Okay, divide the dough into four parts, and then take one of the parts and roll it long and fairly wide...like absolute widest, six inches.
You are going to spread a mixture of softened vegan spread (like Earth Balance), sugar and cinnamon on it. Try 1/3 cup spread, 3/4 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 T of cinnamon:
Then you are going to roll it up from the top to to the bottom so you have a very long, narrow tube, cut little sections (about 3/4rts of an inch thick) and place them very close together in a 9x13).
They will come out of the oven (preheated to 350) after about fifteen minutes (they don't take long), looking like this:
I like to put glaze on them, so I use about three tablespoons of earth balance, two teaspoons of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a ton of powdered sugar. (I never measure, but it would be upwards of a cup and a half.)
Posted by Leona at 20:08
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
So last week I celebrated a rather big birthday. I turned twenty-nine for the second time. To celebrate, we went on a little culinary walkabout around Los Angeles, and we ended up at Huckleberry, an establishment I adore.
As my husband and I were admiring their roasted carrot and avocado salad, I thought to myself, "I should try something like this." I used different spices, and I didn't use the avocado (because I didn't have any on hand), but here is what I did.
I took four carrots and introduced them to my mandoline slicer. This is what happened to them:
I put them straight into my casserole pan. Then I seasoned them with the following:
3 cloves of pressed garlic
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of oregano
and some ground sea salt (to taste)
Oh, so pretty! (I love the color orange.) I popped them in the oven, which had been pre-heated to 400 degrees and kept my eye on them. Can I just say they made the whole house smell wonderful?
I think it was twenty-ish minutes or so before they looked like the carrots at the top of the post and the ones pictured here:
Posted by Leona at 18:35
Sunday, 20 May 2012
You start by cutting up a large yellow onion. I don't usually put any garlic in my dal, but you can do that, too (a couple of cloves in the garlic press usually does the trick).
Set your pressure cooker to saute and pour in 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add in a teaspoon of black mustard seeds and a teaspoon of cumin seeds and wait a bit until they start to crackle.
Then add in the onion. Add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of turmeric, a half teaspoon of cumin powder and a half teaspoon of red pepper and saute until the onions are translucent. Then add in one cup of dal and one tablespoon of coriander powder and toss a bit.
Cover the mixture with 2 and 3/4 cups of water, seal the cooker. Cook for 20 minutes on high.
Dal is most often eaten as a side, but I frequently make a light meal out of this dal, rice, and a salad.
Posted by Leona at 16:18
I take it back. This creation is a cross between a muffin and a scone (scuffin?) and contains no added sugar. I know that sounds gross, but it isn't. See, the bananas and raspberries contribute all the sweetness these muffins need. Here's what you do.
Cook 1/3 of a cup of steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt in 1 cup of water, preheat the oven to 375, then pour the hot oats over three ripe bananas and mash the mixture together.
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup of canola oil
2/3rds cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix the batter until everything is well-blended:
Then, go ahead and add your raspberries. I use just over a 1/2 cup. Spoon mixture into well-greased muffin tins. I fill each tin a little over half full. This recipe will make a dozen scones.
Bake the scones in the oven at 375 for about twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Posted by Leona at 10:25
Saturday, 19 May 2012
Above the sweet potato are the masalas I am about to enhance it with.
Now, this evil-looking thing is my mandoline slicer, and I freely admit to both loving and fearing it in a way that would make Niccolo Machiavelli himself deem it fit to rule a small principality.
Posted by Leona at 21:42
Friday, 18 May 2012
But then I put my Indian housewife thinking cap on. See, before I was married, I thought pickling was only for cucumbers. Not so! Radishes make DELICIOUS pickles. This one is ridiculously easy. I pulse the radishes in the food processor first, but you can pickle them whole, too.
Get yourself a clean, dry canning jar (jars). I use the little ones so I can give 'em away as gifts.
Put the washed and dried radishes (diced or not) into the canning jar.
Boil some apple cider vinegar, and pour it over the radishes, leaving a little bit of room at the top of the jar.
Then, you can either follow good canning practices (you know, the whole boiling water, turn upsidedown, flip, make sure the jar goes "ping" thing), or store them in the fridge (which is what I do). The pickled radish pieces taste great and look colorful sprinkled over dal, or as a side with most Indian entres. I've even put them on my veggie burgers. Yum!
Posted by Leona at 20:16
We have had a lot of requests for blueberries and flaxseeds over here. They are, I know, very healthy. Still, I promise to change things up. I make no pretense that waffles are in any way Indian. My Indian husband eats them and loves them, and they are delicious, so I thought I'd share.
Add to a bix mixing bowl:
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon of broan sugar
1/2 tablepoon of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
and 1/2 cup olive oil (Yes, olive oil. Trust me.)
Mash everything together. I like to use a potato masher for this part.
Next, add 1 and 1/2 cups almond milk and mix until smooth.
Gently mix in about 3/4 of a cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Spray your wafflemaker with nonstick spray (this is important as these guys tend to stick).
Cook until the wafflemaker tells you it's done. I like to leave mine in just a minute or so longer. I serve mine with powdered sugar, blanched almonds and extra blueberries. My husband likes maple syrup on his.
Posted by Leona at 12:25