Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Curried Mustard Greens with Kidney Beans

Apart from time involved prepping the mustard greens (I'm guessing you could buy these pre-cut/washed if you're willing to pay for the convenience) this is a great fast weeknight dinner.
I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of the tomato sauce this time and didn't like it quite as much, so stick to the can of tomato sauce due to the short cook time.
The mustard green bunches that the Monster picked up at the store were huuuuge, so I ended up using a whole can of coconut milk instead of just a half, to make the final dish saucy enough. The original recipe from used 1/2 and 1/2, but for us, the coconut milk is a great alternative.
Served the greens n' beans over a striking mix of white and black quinoa last night for more protein, but we usually just eat it over brown rice.

Curried Mustard Greens with Kidney Beans:
(adapted from

1 Tbs ghee (clarified butter)
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 bunches mustard greens, de-stemmed, chopped and washed
enough broth or water to braise greens...about 1/2 cup
Kosher salt
1.5 Tbs mild curry powder
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1/2+ can of coconut milk (can use lite)
1 tsp garam masala

Melt ghee in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add shallots and cook until lightly brown.
Stir in ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds more.
Add mustard greens and toss to wilt.
Once greens have cooked down, add about 1/2 cup broth or water to pot, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer greens for about 10 minutes.
Add curry powder, stir, then add tomato sauce.
Simmer uncovered for about 2-3 minutes.
Add kidney beans and coconut milk and continue simmering until heated through.
Remove from heat and stir in garam masala.
Serve over rice, or other grain.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pureed Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic

This mash used to be a house standard and I'm surprised it's been so long since I've made it. Monster requested it specifically the other night, and since I'd seemingly forgotten about it, I'm super glad he did! The recipe has morphed a lot from the way I found it originally, changes here and there until I ended up with the simple goodness below. If you do try it, just feel your way through the recipe and alter at will until it suits your specific palette.

I thought we had a reasonable sized cauli last night, but it only fed the two of us with a tiny snack leftover for the next day. Get the largest head of cauliflower you can find and just use two sheet pans to roast, so you won't be sad like I was when you don't have a whole slew of leftovers. :-)
Try serving the cauliflower with Salmon with French Lentils and Mustard Dressing, or just the lentils if you don't eat's a great combo!

Pureed Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic:

1 head of cauliflower (If you have a super huge head of cauli, just split it between two baking sheets, so you don't overcrowd one pan)
3+ cloves of garlic depending on the size of the clove and your cauliflower, cut into 2-3 chunks ea.
~2 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
optional: more olive oil, or a pat of Earth Balance, or butter (I didn't use any this time)
warmed liquid for pureeing to your liking (I used warmed [nuked] unsweetened soymilk, but you can use a light veggie broth, or chicken broth, etc.)
pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400.
Cut cauliflower into florettes then slice about 1/8-1/4" thick. The more small bits you have the more carmelization you'll get on them...a good thing!
Place on a jelly roll pan and toss with garlic and olive oil.
Sprinkle with Kosher salt to taste.
Roast for about 12 minutes, then stir.
Return to oven and roast about 12-14 minutes more, rotating your pans if using 2.
I bumped the heat up to 425 for the second leg of cooking since I wasn't getting much browning (everything was on one sheet pan).
Once the cauliflower is tender and you have some good browning (browning, not burning), transfer cauliflower and garlic to a food processor, add butter if using and start adding warmed liquid as you puree. Once you've got a texture and consistency you're happy with, taste and adjust seasoning. Add pepper, pulse it in and you're done.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Slaw with Tangy Cashew Dressing and Marinated Baked Tempeh

Ok, this is officially the best slaw I've ever eaten. Very few ingredients, comes together in a flash, and the cashew butter dressing happens to be vegan. I only had regular green cabbage (unlike C&Q's two-tone plate of beauty) to use tonight, which only served to make it simpler to make.

Coconut and Quinoa's blog never fails to inspire me and both the slaw and tempeh are her recipes. I think I'll try the marinade from the tempeh recipe out on tofu next time...baking it the same way.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chana Masala

I'd cooked up a pound of chickpeas in the pressure cooker the other day and froze most of them without any plan as to how I was going to use them. Enter Smitten Kitchen's fine, fine recipe adapted from one by Madhur Jaffrey. Comes together really quickly once you've got your mis-en-place and tastes delicious. Makes great leftovers too. I cooked it the morning of the day we'd be eating it just to give the flavors a chance to marry a bit in the fridge, but that's not really necessary. I served it with a recipe for mustard greens found on and it was a wonderful pairing. Our raita was missing a cucumber, but yogurt and chopped fresh mint worked just fine for us. I'll be making this recipe again and again.

Smitten Kitchen didn't have the amchur powder (dried green mango powder) that the original recipe called for, so she added the juice of a whole lemon rather than just the half.
If you have an Indian grocery near you, do try to get some. This is the first time I've used it and I can see adding it to many other dishes in the future.

Chana Masala:
(Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of Madhur Jaffrey's recipe)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced (leave the seeds in, and just chop the whole thing up)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground (I toasted them for about 4-5 minutes...careful not to burn them)
1 tablespoon amchur powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchur (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.