Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts

Aug 30, 2012

roasted corn bisque

A bounty of corn was to be had in my CSA box a few weeks ago. We love this sweet taste of summer, roasted, barely cooked, slathered with butter and a dash of salt. In its simplicity, nothing really says summer more than an ear of corn. Unless it is a ripe tomato or juicy nectarine or decadent eggplant... 

I had a mushroom bisque slated for the menu on this day, but as soon as the new box arrived, it was time for a change of plans. Roasting corn brings out the sweetness in it, so let's talk roasting. 

Whenever a restaurant dish specifies "roasted" on the menu, the dish gets special attention from the customers. That is because the word 'roasted' evokes a sort of nostalgia, even though it is probably evoking a misconception. Most folks consider roasting to be done in the oven, but technically, and preferably, roasting should take place on the stove top where the cook can see, smell and hear the food cooking to perfection. It is the best way to maintain the proper heat in the pan and adjust seasoning and timing appropriately. Were we to be cooking animal flesh, we would need to finish it in the oven (under ideal conditions), but we have no such restrictions and can easily finish the cooking on the stove top. Roasting is not killer-high-heat cooking, but medium heat cooking. It gives you an opportunity to coerce the food to release its sweetness, its flavor, its aroma. It prevents burning the food (which makes it bitter) and leaves you with the best possible dish. This of course takes time, around 20 minutes, so patience is a must for success.

This bisque utilized the roasting process of corn. Since the corn releases its own 'cream' once blended, there is no need to add vegan milk or cream. After the soup is cooked properly, blend to pulverize it. At this point it is ready to serve as a rustic bisque. If you want a silky, smooth, velvety soup, one you would be able to order at a fancy restaurant, use a very fine sieve, a very fine cheesecloth, or nut bag, to remove the pulp. 

This is a little messy and takes a bit more time, but the resulting texture is worthy of a holiday table or a weekend-night dinner when you want to pamper yourself and your guest(s).

Cost Breakdown

corn: $3

onion, celery, carrot: $.75
herbs, garlic, tomato paste: $.75
flour, wine: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

Jun 26, 2012

creamy summer chowder + camping

I am not one to indulge in fancy camping food, but I will say that camping food should not be boring. Camping food is doubly challenging in that while it should be delicious, it should also be easy and quick. The two are not necessarily always the same thing. Not sure if others have the same problem, but my teenagers are not thrilled to go camping, so the only card I have up my sleeve is the food one. At times, their stomach is the only reason they feel it is even bearable to go camping. I know family outings will give them some great memories, even if those feelings won't manifest until they are grown up and moved out.

A great way to make sure you have great food and easy prep at camping (after all who wants to be chopping vegetables on a rickety table?) is to prep everything that is practical and possible at home. 

One of the meals we had this trip was a Creamy Summer Chowder. It has a little almond milk, but the bulk of the creaminess is derived from blended corn and the cooked potatoes releasing some starch into the dish. Prepping this meal involved cutting all the vegetables in your nice clean kitchen. Separating the onion, pepper, celery and tomatoes allows the cook to saute them before adding the content of the second prepped bag - blended corn, potatoes and seasonings. After cooking the chowder over the fire for about 20 minutes, the dish is ready. It is a sweet-tasting summer-flavored smoky soup that involves very little prep time at camp and an abundance of flavor. 

We served the chowder with  grilled sandwiches. Anyone remember Pie Irons? Loads of fun and easy to use. The kids loved it and they cooked great sandwiches.. as well as pies. 

Feb 1, 2012

enchitaco + enchinacho

Enchiladas are another one of those meals that everyone always wants at our house. I know if they get it as often as they wish for it, they'll get tired of it - and then there goes a tried-and-true.

So I put another spin on the enchilada, while making it easier to make, to boot. For some reason my family has not been so hot about tacos; another of those over-made meals, I suppose. Or maybe I just haven't jazzed it up enough. I blame this on them, too. Whenever I have the slightest variation in an old favorite, I get called on the carpet, "It's not the same!"

Not that that ever stops me.

This variation of the enchilada is to make it into a taco, hence Enchitaco. I cooked the beans with the enchilada sauce, melted some cheese (Daiya) into it at the end, layered it into a hard taco shell, added lettuce, tomato, olives, sour cream (Tofutti) and a bit more sauce.

This was so well received that when we ran out of hard shells, we made Enchinachos - same idea, but layered onto warmed tortilla chips. By the time I got the camera set up again to take a pic of it, it was all gone. I should have photographed the empty plate, but that would have been just plain mean.
 Oh! man was this good!
 Isn't there some football thing coming up? This is a great version of the nachos if you're thinking of feeding anyone. 

Cost Breakdown

oil, onion, flour, spices: $1
tomato sauce: $2
beans, corn: $5
Daiya, tofutti: $3
nacho chips or shells: $3
olives, lettuce, peppers: $2
Total to make 16 tacos:

Mar 4, 2011

21st century tacos

Continuing with the American Vegan Kitchen and PPK cookbook challenge, today's dinner was 21st Century Tacos.

These are made with TVP granules, tomato sauce and spices.

Yeah, well, who does not know how to make a simple taco? and what is so special about this taco recipe? I was thinking the same thing when I was perusing her recipes. Luckily, I needed something pretty simple and quick to make and so I thought a taco recipe was ideal.

Like most of Tami's recipes, this one delivered with ease, simplicity and flavor. These surprised me. I thought I was going to make your old run-of-the-mill tacos, and instead I made a spicy (to taste), flavorful and totally gourmet taco filling. The toppings, of course, are up to you. I put lettuce, tomato, sour cream (vegan), olives and onions on mine. Fabulous!

I sauteed the reconstituted TVP before I added the tomato sauce to enhance the flavor more.

A note about Tami's recipes: while the list of ingredients are longer, most of the ingredients are spices and flavorings that need to be added at the same time. Just measure them into a small container and add them when needed.
When 7 out of the 10 ingredients are spices, the list only seems long.

Cost Breakdown

taco shells: $3
TVP: $1
tomato sauce, spices and flavorings: $3
toppings:  $2
onion, garlic, peppers: $1
Total to make 12 tacos;

Feb 23, 2011

polenta with braised squash and porcini

I was intensely craving creamy polenta and porcini mushrooms. I came up with this dish, Polenta with Braised Squash and Porcini, which incorporated both and butternut squash.

Polenta can be cooked so it has a crispy surface (after it has been cooked and cooled), or it can have a very creamy consistency, which is what I was going for here. This is intensely creamy and not at all thick - I used 5 cups of almond milk to 1 cup of polenta.

The squash is braised with porcini mushrooms and a little truffle oil. Truffle oil has a very distinct flavor so use it according to your taste, although using it is totally optional. What is not optional is to make sure your porcini is completely clean of grit after rehydration. There is not much less appealing than having a mouth full of dirt.

This turned out to be a surprisingly delicious meal. 

Cost Breakdown

butternut squash: $2
polenta: $.75
porcini: $2
onion, garlic, spices: $1
truffle oil: $.50
vegan milk: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Jan 29, 2011

southwest wheat-meatloaf

This recipe, Southwestern Wheat-Meat Loaf, is out of American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes. This was terrific, held together and the flavors were wonderful, but the gravy she recommends you serve with it, Jalapeno Gravy, is worth its price in gold. I exaggerate not when I say we were all licking our plates. Just make sure to toast your flour with the nutritional yeast when making the roux. A golden roux (cooked for about 5 minutes) with the nutritional yeast and the adobo sauce combination gives this gravy such a unique and lovely smoky flavor.

I served it with garlicky Swiss chard and mashed potatoes. There was hardly anything left over to put away. Saved fridge space.

Cost Breakdown

TVP, gluten, seitan, flour: $4
oil, veg. broth, nutritional yeast: $2
potato, chard: $6
spices, chipotle: $1
onion, pepper, jalapeno,garlic: $2
tamari, corn, ketchup: $1
Total to make 5 servings:

Jan 16, 2011

quinoa-corn chowder

This recipe was from Viva Vegan! by Teri Hope Romero. It has been a little while since I've hit this cookbook, and the idea of quinoa in a chowder was appealing. Quinoa "grain" is not really a grain, since it is not a grass, but in fact is the seed of the plant that has been cultivated for over 4,000 years in South America. While the greens of the quinoa plant are also edible, the seeds are what is most available to us.

Quinoa also happens to be a complete protein.

While quinoa can be intimidating to cook the first few times, get yourself a bag and start cooking with it. The ratio of water to quinoa is easy:
1 part quinoa, 2 parts water, cook 20 minutes.
Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before cooking it.

If the quinoa is added to a stew or a soup, it is even simpler since I've yet to overcook quinoa, unlike rice, which is too easy to overcook.

The Quinoa-Corn 'Chowder' I made from Teri's book was very easy to make and delicious. To top it all off, she recommended I add avocado to it.
It's like she read my mind...

Cost Breakdown

garlic, onion, spices: $1
red quinoa: $.75
aji (pepper paste, homemade): $.50
potato, corn: $1.50
beans: $2
tomatoes: $1
non-dairy milk: $1
Total to make 6 servings:

Nov 20, 2010

suma veggie cafe (MoFo 12)

Mongolian TVP

I will start by saying that this one is for Veg Spinz, who recommended Chinese Take-Out. While I wholeheartedly wanted to do as she suggested - little Chinese take-out boxes and almond cookies - time caught up with me and the props fell through the cracks. I thank her for the idea and apologize for my lack of follow through. So, do me a favor and go see her site. It is worth it - she is one creative woman!

Where to go for veg Chinese food, you may wonder, since they are in about every city I've lived in (excluding maybe this one, but I haven't look well enough, yet). The one I shall highlight is our favorite in the country, and I think we've been to at least 20 vegetarian Chinese places: Veggie Heaven in Austin, Enjoy in San Fran, Loving Hut (does this qualify) in Orlando, Lucky Creation in San Fran, Shangri-La in San Fran, veg places in D.C. area whose names I can't recall, Veggie Garden in Dallas, etc.

By far our favorite is Suma in Richardson, TX, near Dallas. People who eat here, even die-hard omnivores, love the food. Unfortunately, the criticism by far is toward the owners. They are an old couple. The husband is a little tough, but our family never had any problems with them. In fact, we totally love them! The hubby reminds me of my mom who got very irate if you came in and sat at a dirty table - or didn't tip appropriately. I remember a time when she gave back a tip someone left. It was a quarter and my mom told the woman that she probably needed it more since she couldn't seem to give appropriately.  

This is a great point. As vegetarians and vegans, we need to tip well. Not only do we represent a group of people who need to be seen in a good light, but vegetarian food costs less so if we tip according to the 15% rule, our servers are left with a worse tip and a bad taste in their mouths about veg folks. 

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. 

Which is a great segue for my Make at Home meal from a Chinese restaurant.

Lo Mein. Not much to say about this. Noodles. Vegetables. Mouth watering flavor.

General Tso's Chicken is an invention of Americans, whether they were Chinese-Americans or not, it simply does not exist in China. Nonetheless, it is one of the most popular dishes on Chinese menus. They are deep fried chicken pieces with a spicy sauce. At Suma the sauce is very garlicky, too, which we instantly fell in love with. 

Mongolian Beef is also deep-fried, but it can be stir fried. It is thin pieces of beef coated with cornstarch and is stir fried with green onions. This also has a sauce, but it isn't as thick as the Tso's one. I made a How-To Breakdown for this dish.

I made the Tso's with Tender Seitan and the Mongolian Beef with Dixie Diner's Club TVP, but they are interchangeable.

Both meat-style dishes turned out excellent. It was great to have a little piece of Suma to consume today.

Cost Breakdown:

lo mein:
noodles: $3
vegetables: $4
tamari, sauce ingredients: $1.50
Total to make 8 servings:

seitan, cashew, milk, oil: $4
garlic: $1
sauce, ginger, chillies: $2
Total to make 6 servings:

TVP: $4
cornstarch: $1
sauce: $2
green onions: $2
Total to make 4 servings:

Lo Mein

General Tso's Seitan

Nov 8, 2010

native foods (MoFo 5)

Native Foods is the brain child of Tanya Petrovna, who opened the first Native Foods in 1994. She will be opening the seventh very soon! That is impressive; a vegan restaurant that will be celebrating another grand opening. What is more impressive, though, is the food. I am literally licking the plate that I served the Azteca Ensalada on - that Mango-Lime Dressing rocks!

Another impressive feat is the preparation of her tempeh. While she actually makes the tempeh on the premises, my store-bought version did not suffer any using her technique. Delicious! If you are one of those tempeh-phobes this is the recipe for you. If after having tempeh this way you don't like it, then you never will and you may fearlessly throw in the proverbial towel. 

To the recipes...

Let's face it, nachos are good. Most any nachos. But these Native Nachos are great! Chef Tanya shares her Native Chi's recipe that go on this and the taco 'meat' is TVP. You can freely use seitan ground, however, or omit it at will and double the beans. Nothing processed. Even the cashew sour cream I have on there is very easy to make. THIS is one loaded nacho plate and go ahead and customize it to your palate.

Now for that salad I was drooling over in the beginning - assorted greens with tomato, onion, jicama or apple or asian pear, cucumbers, cilantro, mango, raisin, pumpkin seeds, quinoa (superfood!) and that outrageous Mango-Lime Dressing and you not only have a complete meal but a little piece of heaven.

The last item on our tasting menu is the Gandhi Bowl - two kinds of rice, steamed greens, curry sauce and that tempeh of hers - blackened. Cajun-meets-Asian. Another out-of-the-park dish. She is batting a thousand.

The only real criticism I have is that she is inundating the east coast with her restaurants and is leaving the mid and west coast to suffer without her culinary contributions. Pure selfishness.

Cost Breakdown:

chips: $3 
cheeze, cashew sour cream: $3
TVP, beans: $4
tomato, onion, olive, pepper: $3
Total to make apps for 8:

greens: $4
Asian pear, tomato, cuke, mango: $4
mango, lime, oil, cilantro: $2
raisin, pumpkin: $1
quinoa: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

rice: $1.50
curry, coconut milk: $2
tempeh: $3
greens, cauliflower: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Native Nachos

Ensalada Azteca

Gandhi Bowl

Nov 6, 2010

cafe flora (MoFo 4)

Cafe Flora is a Seattle  based vegetarian restaurant that opened in 1991. They built their restaurant environmentally minded, to reduce the their impact on the world community as well as their neighbors. They claim that part of their job is to help shift the consumption of animals to a more plant-based diet. They do not want, or expect, everyone to switch to vegetarianism, they do want more people to make it a viable and a more frequent choice to include plant-based meals into their meals. This is logical and very doable. Think about it: if everyone ate meatless meals on, say, ...Monday, how many animals would not have to be in the great animal husbandry industry?  How many less animals would have to be killed weekly? How many people would be so much better off with just one day a week of meatless meals? How would the earth be impacted by this one simple action?

If you haven't included Meatless Mondays into your week, I encourage you to do so this very coming Monday. Breakfast is a no-brainer. Lunch is very easy - soup, salad, sandwich - and for dinner come back here and pick something to make. Recipes are posted, pictures can help you decide and the food is good. Walking to work, changing your light bulbs and recycling are not the only things you can do to help the environment. And a Meatless Monday helps you as well as the animals. A triple whammy!

To help you get started, I am giving away a new copy of a Vegan Cookbook - Joanne Stepaniak's Vegan Vittles. This was one of the first cookbook I picked up ten years ago and it is one of the simplest, easiest to follow, containing very tasty recipes and a great way to introduce yourself to vegetarianism. Leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on Meatless Mondays. Contest is open to North American and UK residence and no, you do not have to be an omnivore to enter. Please enter by the end of Monday, Nov. 8. Winner will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 9.

On to today's recipes.

A signature appetizer of Cafe Flora's is the Coconut Tofu with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. This was nice and coconuty, but not quite as flavorful as I was hoping. The tofu was a little bland, but the crust was great. I think making this with seitan would add more to the flavor. The breading is flour, coconut milk and ground coconut flakes.

Another more successful one was the Lentil Pecan Pate Platter. I know that as a vegan it is not likely that a Liver Pate would be on your Top 100 list of foods to recreate, but I am Hungarian and my dad was a great one for mixing together a chicken liver pate or beef get the gist. We had pig feet in aspic as the New Year meal... yeah.

So forgive me that I have been looking to make liver pate vegan. If you are one of the other dozen or so people in the known universe who is vying for this very thing, look no further than this recipe. You will need red lentils, mirin (rice wine), umeboshi paste (sour plum paste) light miso (Japanese fermented bean paste) and pecans. This is the real thing without liver.

As their signature dish, Cafe Flora presents Oaxaca Tacos with Black Bean Stew. They only make this veg so I adapted it to vegan. It is incredible how some mashed potatoes and black beans can be transformed to this delectable dish. They use real cheese, but I used a recipe adapted from Stepaniak's Uncheese Cookbook to make this soy-free and processed-free. This meal has many components, but they can all be done separately: Black Bean Stew, Smoky Muenster Cheeze, Mashed Potatoes, Salsa, optional feta adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Feta recipe.

Cost Breakdown:

Coconut Tofu
ginger, seaweed, tamari, rice vinegar, miso: $1.50
flour, coconut: $1
coconut milk: $.50
oil: $2
chili, sugar:$1
Total to make apps for 5:

lentil: $1
onion, garlic, spice: $1
mirin, umeboshi, miso: $2
pecan: $1.50
onion, garlic, balsamic, sugar: $2
crackers: $2
Total to make apps for 8:

tortillas: $2
potato: $2
cheeze (cashew, agar): $3
black beans, corn, garlic, spices: $3.50
tomato, pepper, lime: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Coconut Tofu with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Lentil Pecan Pate Platter with Onion Confit

Oaxaca Tacos with Black Bean Stew

Nov 3, 2010

soup nazi (MoFo 3)

Hopefully everyone has seen the Seinfeld episode with The Soup Nazi (or was that more than one?) otherwise my play on this restaurant is useless. You remember, the soup guy who won't give you the soup unless you follow proper protocal for ordering? Well, the soup guy actually exists, but not as Soup Nazi - but, as the Soup Man - and he is still selling his soups in Manhattan, and takes great offense at any refernce to being called you-know-who.

I couldn't really tell you if any of his soups are vegan or even vegetarian, but it seems to me that unless you live close by or have the mula to ship it, you and I are out of luck anyway.

Not only that, but I am darn certain he does not make Mexican Chicken Chili or Crab Bisque vegan. Luckily, making the Chili vegan is doable, but the crab thing is a little more challenging. I am, however, willing to wager that his is not any better than my version: Golden Beet Bisque

Both soups require 4 hours of cooking. Let me say that again: 4 hours of simmering. Yeah, I know. BUT, so worth it! Just make one and let it hang out on the back of the stove on a lazy Sunday afternoon and by dinner you will be thanking me.

I used Tender Seitan in my Chili, but you can use tofu that you have wrapped or pressed and marinated in some nutritional yeast and sage and salt. Or use another can of beans.

The Bisque has some Earth Balance and a cup of cashew milk and is blended. This was so good! It tasted like beets but not overwhelmingly so - I didn't think I was digging in the garden after having a bowl - but, it certainly was rich.

To accompany the soups, I baked a lovely loaf of whole wheat bread. It is 100% whole wheat and tastes great, not to mention not costing $5.

And don't forget about the cookbook contest staring tomorrow. And if I forget, remind me!

Cost Breakdown:

beets: $3
onion, celery, garlic, tomato, spices: $3 
cashew: $1
Earth Balance: $.25
Total to make 5 serivngs:

seitan: $1
carrot, onion, celery, pepper, tomato: $2   
spices, herb: $1
beans, corn: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

flour: $1
maple syrup: $.50
olive oil: $.25
salt, yeast: $.25
Total to make one large loaf:

Oct 2, 2010

soft polenta with lentil ragu

Italian Night

We haven't had polenta for a little while, so we did tonight. It was a quick, simple meal to make.

The polenta I cooked in almond milk to give it richness. The ragu is made with tomatoes, lentils, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley. Lentils cook very fast, in about 30 minutes, and are very tasty and healthy. No brainer there.

I served this meal with a broccoli 'salad' with garlic and red chili flakes. Salad because I cooled it to room temp after I steamed them and added a clove of minced garlic. The garlic 'cooks' while the broccoli is still hot and the color is still vibrant because I cooked the broccoli just until tender crisp and removed them from the heat promptly.

Cost Breakdown:
lentils: $1
tomatoes: $2
onions, garlic, carrots: $1.50
parsley, broccoli: $3
polenta, almond milk: $2
Total to feed a family of 6:

Sep 6, 2010

thai noodle salad

I made a lite lunch pasta salad. I grilled a bunch of vegetables and cooked up some pasta. 

I am trying to make different dressings that do not need oil, so for the Thai influence I blended the meat of a young coconut with some fresh lime juice, and added a diced chili pepper. 

It all came together very nicely. It was fresh and still crisp tender. The only change I would make is the eggplant. While it is delicious fresh off the grill, the eggplant doesn't have quite the flavor after it sits for a bit. 

Cost Breakdown:
corn, green beans: $1
eggplant: $1
zucchini: $1
onion: $.50
peppers: $1
tomato: $1
pasta: $2
young coconut, sunflower seeds: $2
lime: $.25
Total to feed a family of 5:

Sep 4, 2010

achiote rubbed zucchini tacos

Rick Bayless says that achiote-seed-marinated pork is very popular in a certain region of Mexico - forgot exactly where. He makes a taco with pork marinated in ground achiote seeds and garlic. It sounded good to me - except for the pig, of course, so I decided that zucchini would be the ideal sub. Why? Because my CSA says so!

I put about a bulb of peeled garlic, 1 T of ground achiote seeds (a.k.a. annatto), 1 t of ground allspice, 1 t ground pepper, 2 t Mexican oregano, 1 t salt, and 3 T of cider vinegar, in the food processor and ground everything together. I marinated my zucchini slices in the mixture for an hour and grilled them until tender. 

I made a great roasted corn sauce (again because my CSA says so - I have about 10 ears of corn), by roasting them in a cast-iron skillet and blending them with 2 dried yellow peppers and some lime and orange juice (just a little orange), adding a bit of water as needed.

The picture is of the zucchini in corn tortillas, but both David and I found the corn to be overkill and had another taco in flour tortillas and this is what we recommend. This was great in the flour tortilla with a little hot sauce!

Wonderful summer flavors! 

Cost Breakdown:
corn: $1.50
zucchini: $2
tortillas: $2
lime, orange, onion (pickled): $1.50
spices, herbs: $1
rice: $1
Total to feed a family of 5:

Aug 22, 2010

potato-chickpea enchilada

Wrapping up Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan! Cook-athon is a Potato-Chickpea Enchilada with Tomatillo Sauce and Mango-Jicama Salad.

Stu-unning. Awesome flavors in the enchilada filling! We only had one dissenter in the family, everyone else loved it. The Tomatillo Sauce recipe has you boiling the tomatillos to remove the skin, but I roasted them instead and blended everything very well so the skins did not become an issue.

The Pine Crema recipe calls for silken tofu, which I do not care for, so instead I made a Cashew Crema for which I will be posting the recipe. This made the entire meal soy free! Love that! 

In conclusion, while some of the flavors of this cookbook need a little getting used to, don't all ethnic cuisines require some adjustment? If they didn't, honestly, what would be the point of eating them? 

Terry has written a great book, full of practical and needful advice regarding Latin fare. She has written creative recipes that my week of cooking has barely scrapped the surface of - 200 recipes is nothing to sneeze at. This is one cookbook that is needed on the shelf because ethnic cuisines are something we should all try to make at home and when it is written by someone who has lived it, then it becomes a treasure trove of yet-untasted flavors and experiences. 

Cost Breakdown:
chickpeas: $2
potatoes: $1
tortillas: $1
mango, jicama: $3
cilantro, lime: $1
peppers, onions, garlic: $1
cashews: $1
Total to make 5 servings:

Aug 8, 2010

sofrito crusted corn on the cob over red couscous

I made this light lunch today of Corn on the Cob and Couscous. I slow cooked onions, garlic and parsley and coated the corn with it. I let it marinade while I cooked the beets and peppers for the couscous.

I roasted fresh peppers and boiled small beets. I made the couscous using tomato juice for the liquid, added the veggies and sprinkled the done couscous with roasted slivered almonds. The almonds gave the couscous such a wonderful taste and crunch. Really excellent.

Grilling corn is imperative summer food. If you haven't had grilled corn, yet, you a depriving yourself.

Very tasty and colorful lunch. We were very pleased with the flavors and textures.

Cost Breakdown:
corn $2
couscous: $.50
beets: $2
peppers" $2
almonds: $1
parsley, onion, garlic: $2
Total to feed a family of 5:

Aug 5, 2010

indian-spiced rice

Another fridge cleaner! When you have freshly roasted and ground spices, fresh stir-fried vegetables and gremolata, you can't really go wrong.

I don't usually make Indian food at home because we live so close to a great Indian restaurant, and one of the best things about going to Indian restaurants is the variety. Realistically, am I going to cook four different curries and make 2 different breads as well as a whole bunch of other wonderful Indian dishes for a weeknight meal? And it is the variety I love - as well as the food, naturally. 

But today I felt the need to make something Indian inspired (maybe it's because of Top Chef last night). It had to be fast though, I'm still cleaning. I am hosting a couple of Literature Groups for my kids over the next year and I need it to be spic and span, otherwise I can feel my Mom shaking her head.

So I toasted some fenugreek seeds, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and ground them up. I cooked the rice with this spice mixture, adding a chopped tomato, turmeric and paprika. 

When the rice was almost done cooking (and brown rice takes a while), I stir-fried sunflower seeds (remove from pan and set aside), 1/2 onion, 1 corn (kernels removed) and zucchini, diced (these takes longer to get color so make sure it has before adding...), a 1/4 of a red cabbage, chopped. Quickly stir-fry after adding the cabbage so it stays crisp tender.

Add the rice to the veggies and sunflower seeds, squirt it with thejuice of 1/2 lime, adjust seasoning and serve with the gremolata.

1/2 c cilantro, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
zest of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and mince everything together or process all in a machine. 

Cost Breakdown:
zucchini: $1
cabbage: $1
corn, onion, garlic: $1
brown basmati rice: $1
tomato: $1
cilantro, lime, spices: $2
Total to feed a family of 5: