Tag Archives: cauliflower

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sam and I are running the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot 5K this morning- I hope everyone has a great run or walk!  I can’t wait to find out what you all are having on your Thanksgiving tables!

As I’m getting older, I’ve been able to appreciate holidays more- concentrate on what matters: time with family and friends, delicious food, and a whole day focused on gratitude!  Have a great holiday!

If you’re in search of any last minute Thanksgiving ideas, here are some of our favorites we’ve posted in the past:

Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Deep Fried Turkey
Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad
Cauliflower Soup with Croutons
Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Panzanella Salad
Leafy Brussels Sprouts with Nuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with Cranberries
Cranberry Cake

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

Food Matters Project #7: Curry with Vegetables

I thought this post was very fitting for our household today. The chosen dish for the The Food Matters Project was a curry, and today, Sam is leaving for a work trip to India.  What a coincidence!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Joanne of Eats Well With Others.  Joanne had chosen the Curried Tomato Soup with Hard-Boiled Eggs from Mark Bittman’s book, The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out the comments section of this post to see how everyone else’s dishes turned out.

I actually wasn’t a fan of Indian food until Sam made me dinner when we first started dating.  At that time he wasn’t eating meat, so the dish was full of veggies, chickpeas and a spicy sauce.  I fell in love (not only with the dish)!  Since then, Indian has definitely been one of our rotating flavors.  The best part is that Indian dishes are very versatile, without meat it tastes even better.  My favorite veggies to add are cauliflower and carrots, definitely try those if you haven’t already.  Add some fresh naan and basmati rice, and you’ve got yourself a great dinner.  Or even better leftovers.

This dish was light, airy and had a silky sauce with the vegetables and the coconut milk.  It’s something all of us can put together after work, or a couple of days in advance for a mid-week dinner.  Mark Bittman even suggests freezing this, for future dinners.

Curry with Vegetables
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 107)
I realize that Mark Bittman’s recipe called for hard boiled or poached eggs, and other bloggers had also tried a fried egg on top.  This weekends festivities included a giant omelet, and therefore eggs were not calling my name this evening.  But if you do try this version, please let me know how it tastes!  I served this over some basmati rice, but it can also be enjoyed with some naan.

1 large onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, shredded
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
3 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces (about 3 cups)
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cilantro, chopped

In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil.  When it’s hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño.  Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft for about 5 minutes.  Then stir in the curry, chili powder, cinnamon and garam masala.  Once the colors of the spices are stirred in, add the potatoes, carrots and cauliflower into the skillet.  Cook them for about 2-3 minutes, then add the coconut milk and water.

Mix all of these ingredients and allow them to cook for about 25 minutes on low heat.  Once the carrots and potatoes are soft, sprinkle in the salt and pepper.

When plating this dish, sprinkle cilantro on top.

Orzo with Brie & Cauliflower

I apologize for the disappearing act (again!), but this past weekend I ran the Marine Corps Marathon!  So this week was a bit of a recovery week, and it allowed me to catch up on my social life- yes, Saturday long runs don’t allow for many crazy Friday nights!

But since I was running the marathon, the week prior I was looking for savory, carb-filled dishes.  I came across this recipe during the summer, but kept this little gem hidden until the weather allowed for it.  Yes, it’s coat weather here in DC.  This recipe satisfied us with its rich, warm taste on a chilly Wednesday night.

The orzo with Brie and cauliflower not only made us want seconds, but we wished we had made more of it!  And as many cheesy recipes, this was even better the next day.  I wish the picture came out a little better- it does look a bit color bland- but you can’t judge a book by its cover, right?

One change I did make from the original recipe was add mushroom bouillons, if you don’t have those on hand you can do this with a veggie broth (or beef).  If you would like the mushroom flavor, just sauté mushrooms and toss them into the dish when adding the cauliflower.  But that could be another recipe post!

Orzo with Brie & Cauliflower
Adapted from: Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures

1 1/2 cups orzo
6 cups of water
2 mushroom bouillons
4 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 head of cauliflower, florets cut
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup of white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
5 oz creamy Brie, chopped
1 tsp salt (depending on taste)
1 tsp pepper (depending on taste)
2 tbsp chives, minced

Heat a small non-stick pan, then add the orzo.  Toast the orzo and roast for about 3 minutes  This will give the orzo a roasted, nutty smell and taste.  Turn off the heat once the orzo is lightly browned.

Bring water, bouillon cubes and 2 tbsps of thyme leaves to a simmer in a saucepan.  Keep this liquid at a simmer until you use it all up.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat up 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the cauliflower  and sauté it for about 5 minutes or until the florets start to get golden brown.  For the last minute add the garlic and 2 tbsp of chopped thyme.  Transfer all of the ingredients to a bowl.

Add the rest of the butter and olive oil (1 tbsp of each) into the saucepan.  Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes- the onion should become translucent.  Then add the orzo, stir the mixture for about 30 seconds.  Then add the wine, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed.

From the broth/thyme liquid, take out 2 ladles (about 1/2 cup) and pour it into the saucepan which has the onion and orzo.  Stir it slowly until the broth has been absorbed.  Continue simmering, stirring and adding the hot broth until you have used up all of the broth.  Allow for the broth to be absorbed before adding another ladle.

Lastly, stir in the cauliflower/garlic mixture into the saucepan with orzo.  Then add the Brie pieces- keep stirring so the cheese can melt into the orzo.  Add salt and pepper to taste (we only had about 1 tsp of each- the bouillons and cheese were salty).

You can sprinkle the top with some leftover Brie pieces and chives.