Tag Archives: vegan

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

I get excited when a fresh issue of a cooking magazine shows up in our mailbox- so much inspiration, so many recipes to try out!  Check out which magazines we like to flip through on our “Blogs, Books & Magazines” page.  I also like it when I have ingredients to make particular recipes, without having to break the bank- or keep visiting the grocery store.

When I was flipping through the January issue of Food and Wine, I spotted a recipe for Almond-Milk Rice Pudding.  Knowing that I had about the exact amount of sushi rice in our pantry I’ve been wanting to use up, I thought this would be the perfect dessert, or snack, throughout the week.

Almond & Coconut Milk

The week prior, we had access to a car (thanks Carrie!) and I had bought various (delicious) items at Trader Joe’s.  Two of them were almond and coconut milk.  Not too familiar with these liquids?  Almond milk is made from ground almonds, and a great substitute if you have dairy allergies.  Coconut milk is made from grated coconut, also a great milk substitute, and used in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.  I recommend using the unsweetened versions, making this a little healthier, and not overly sweet.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 2

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding
Adapted from: Food & Wine (January 2013)

1 1/2 cups of sushi rice, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 cups of almond milk
4 cups of coconut milk

In a large bowl, or pitcher, combine the almond and coconut milks together.

In a large saucepan, combine the sushi rice, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the milk mixture.  Cook the ingredients over low heat, stirring, until the milk is absorbed- about 5 minutes.  Then add in another cup of milk, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.  Gradually, every 5-10 minutes add another cup of milk and keep stirring, until you use all but 1 cup.  By then, the rice mixture should be thickened, and the rice will be cooked.  Lastly, turn off the heat, pour in the last cup of milk, stir, and allow it to cool.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

Serve with preserves, defrosted fruit, or fresh fruit (berries would be best).

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 3

An Edible Mosaic Virtual Book Launch

A fellow blogger, Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic, just had her first cookbook released!  With the release of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, I’m excited to participate in her virtual book launch party, and share a recipe from her book!

About 2 years ago I came across Faith’s blog when searching for a Middle Eastern dish for my book club.  With her help I made the Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini, and the Golden Red Lentil Soup.  Since then, I have continued to read her blog and have had many opportunities to try out her recipes.  Many of them are inspired from when she lived and visited the Middle East right after she got married, and from her mother-in-law Sahar.

Faith’s book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, which focus mainly on dishes from the Levant.  Throughout the blog and in her book, Faith explains complicated dishes and approaches them in a modern way.  Her book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble! (so if you’re looking for a good holiday gift, definitely check this one out!)

Head over to her blog to check out the virtual book launch party to see other bloggers who are participating!  She is also hosting a giveaway- be sure to check it out all of the items up for grabs!

Below is one of Faith’s recipes, which I’ve made a few small changes to, based on what I had on hand in my kitchen.   The original recipe is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  This recipe is vegan, so it can easily be incorporated into a vegetarian meal, but will be just as delicious served with some beef, chicken, lamb or seafood.

Fifth Floor Kitchen Recipe Changes: When making this dish I used vegetable broth, rather than water, when cooking the rice to give it some extra flavor.  If you’ll be pairing this with beef/chicken/lamb then you can also use that specific broth as well.  Also, I did not have any raisins on hand, instead I used dried pomegranate seeds- it was a great variation!  Another tasty alternative would be dried cherries or cranberries.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
ROZ MLOW’WAN

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

  1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
  4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

Corn & Black Bean Burger with a Fresh Carrot Salad

As I’ve mentioned (probably numerous times) we don’t have a grill here.  I like burgers.  There is something amazing about a fresh bun, tomato and an onion.  Although it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a grill, it is fantastic that it forces us to make different kinds of burgers.  There are so many to choose from, and there are different variations.  Some might not be very pretty to look at, but they are all full of flavor.

Now, when you think of a burger, the side that goes with it is usually fries.  Trying to be healthy, and take advantage of all of the fresh vegetables that are around, I try to find other options.  This was very colorful and light carrot salad, so perfect to go with a filling burger!

And remember, this is great for any friends that are vegetarians!

Corn & Black Bean Burger
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1-2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp flaxseeds
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup of frozen corn, defrosted
2 tbsp olive oil
4-6 burger buns
4-6 slices of onion
4-6 tomato slices
1 avocado, sliced
burger condiments of your choice

Add the jalapeños and garlic to a food processor and mince finely.  Add 1 can of beans, cumin, salt, chili powder and ground pepper, pulse the processor some more until the mixture looks like a bean dip.

Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl, then add: flaxseeds, Panko breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, corn and the second can of beans.  Stir everything until it is well blended.  Make patties out of the mixture, we made 4 (very) large one’s.  I think 6 is actually the more appropriate size.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the burgers (we had 2 at a time) and fry for about 5 minutes on each side.

We served the burgers on a fresh bun, with onion slices, tomato slices avocado slices.  Feel free to add ketchup, mustard or other condiments.

Fresh Carrot Salad
Adapted from: So Good and Tasty

4-6 carrots, peeled and shaved
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cilantro, minced
3 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients, but the carrots.  Whisk together.  Then pour over the shaved carrots.  Toss well, and then put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy when chilled.

Chipotle Sausage & Bean Stew

I like trying out different types of vegan and vegetarian sausages.  When I came across the Field Roast sausage at Whole Foods, I wanted to try it out.  When the June issue of Vegetarian Times appeared in our mailbox, I noticed this recipe and thought it would be a great way to try out a new brand.

The Field Roast Grain Meat Company was founded in 1997 in Seattle, and they have been producing artisan, vegan meat.  They have various products such as: cutlets, sausages, pâtés, gravy and meatloaf.  The website is very informative with recipes and information about the products (so check it out!).

The meat which I had purchased for this meal was the Mexican Chipotle sausage.  It is blended with smoked chipotle and chili de arbol pepper flavors.  It was a great way to add some “meat” into our stew.  If you’d like to add real meat, or another type of vegan meat- feel free, this will work well with different flavors.

Chipotle Sausage and Bean Stew
Adapted by: Vegetarian Times (June 2011)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of chorizo/chipotle-flavored meat sausages
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup of water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and chopped sausage and sauté for 5 minutes.  Then stir in the tomatoes and beans.  Season with salt, pepper, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Finally, add 1 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve, and garnish with cilantro.