Archive for the ‘vegetables’ Category

Spiced Apple Cider Carrot Tzimmes

September 17, 2015

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This year, I made tzimmes by simmering carrots with apple cider, spiced with cinnamon, ginger and a pinch of nutmeg. As it bubbled away on the stove, the tzimmes filled the air with the intoxicating aroma of mulled cider. (more…)

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Leeks, Spinach, Tomatoes & Beans

September 11, 2015

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If you like to serve leeks, spinach and black-eyed peas on Rosh HaShana, here is an easy recipe that combines all three.

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African Vegetable Stew

July 14, 2015

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Originally called “Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew,” this recipe is really more about the vegetables than the peanuts. The flavor of peanuts is actually pretty subtle. There is so much else going on: chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and lots of spice.

I know . . . the right name is African Peanut Stew . . . and the concept is based on a real West African dish (Maafe or Domodah).

This comes from a cookbook that my sister-in-law has been steadily working her way through: The Oh She Glows Cookbook by blogger Angela Liddon. Everything my sister-in-law has made from this book has been fantastic, and she has made a lot of the recipes from the book. My sister-in-law makes this stew for company and it has become her most requested recipe.

Given the above, you would think I would just faithfully follow the recipe instead of changing it around. But, I changed it just a little bit. Just a little.

I added eggplant, increased the amount of spinach and reduced the amount of broth. Plus, I replaced the jalapeno pepper with a poblano pepper.

You can use my changes, or follow the recipe as originally written, but do try it. The combination of peanut butter and vegetables sounds improbable, but the end result is fantastic.

 

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Applesauce and Raisins

September 21, 2014

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This is so easy, you don’t really need a recipe, just an explanation. To make this, cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Fill the cavities with applesauce and raisins and sprinkle over some cinnamon. If you like, you can drizzle over some honey. Roast the acorn squash until tender. Done.

This is most charming when made with really tiny acorn squash, so that each person gets a half acorn squash.

This goes perfectly with string beans and rice pilaf.

Other simanin recipes:
Fish: Sesame Salmon (Norene Gilletz)

Leeks: Leek Fritters (Poopa Dweck)

Beets: Golden Beets (Marion Burros, but leave out the vinegar and add a little honey and a cup of mandarin orange segments)

Black-eyed peas:  this salad (I added a little minced ginger, which was nice) or this recipe

Spinach/Dates:  Spinach and Date Salad (leave out the nuts)

Swiss Chard/Squash: Swiss Chard and Zucchini
(other Swiss Chard recipes include Morshan   and Swiss Chard Chips)

Carrots: Tzimmes or Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots or Einat Admony’s Carrot Salad (instead of following the directions for cooking the carrots, microwave them and then toss them while still warm with the spices, one minced clove garlic, the olive oil and a big squoosh of ketchup instead of the vinegar and tomato paste).

Lidia’s Baked Rigatoni and Zucchini

August 12, 2014

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Zucchini, tomatoes and basil tossed with rigatoni–this pasta dish makes excellent use of later summer produce. I have made this pasta  a few times over the past several weeks and have come to prefer it without the cheese (or with less cheese) and with less pasta in relation to the vegetables. Don’t leave out the fresh basil–that is key to the flavor. If you want to replace the fontina with another cheese, you can.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils and Dates

July 30, 2014

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If you want a main dish for the Nine Days that is hearty and filling, but not laden with dairy products, consider this salad. It is packed with super nutritious ingredients like lentils, spinach, tahina, dates, almonds and cauliflower.  It has a small amount of olive oil and only a teaspoon of honey. It feels light because it is a salad, but the lentils, coated with a tahina dressing, give it an almost meaty heft that will leave you completely sated.

It is the kind of unusual and exciting combination of ingredients that I usually associate with an Ottolenghi recipe, but this salad comes from Food and Wine Magazine contributors David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl. David and Luise are a Stockholm-based couple that have a beautiful vegetarian blog called Green Kitchen Stories.

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Swiss Chard, Chickpea and Tamarind Stew

May 2, 2014

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This recipe, adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is very much like the Tunisian ragout of Swiss chard and chickpeas called Morshan. The Swiss chard gets meltingly soft and gets infused, along with the chickpeas, with tangy, hearty flavors that are completely unexpected.  Morshan is heavy on the garlic and coriander. Here, coriander is still dominant, but caramelized onion replaces garlic; caraway and tamarind form an intriguing undertone.

The caraway most surprised me because I associate it with rye bread, but it is a spice used in the Middle East. Ottolenghi calls for caraway in a few of his recipes, including his barley risotto (Jerusalem).

 

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Paula Wolfert’s Pan Roasted Cauliflower

March 19, 2014

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I love Paula Wolfert and I love cauliflower. Here is a recipe from Paula for cauliflower. What could be better?

As a cookbook writer, Paula has been a visionary, an innovator who was exploring and writing about authentic Mediterranean cuisine long before it was trendy. Her classic book on Moroccan food was published in 1973, and she has promoted the food of the region ever since with a series of acclaimed books such as The Cooking of Southwest France, The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Mediterranean Grains and Greens, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking and, most recently, The Cooking of Morocco (2012 James Beard Award winner for best international cookbook).

Recently, Wolfert was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Well, actually, to be precise, she was diagnosed by two different neurologists with either early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or “mild cognitive impairment, a form of dementia that can progress to Alzheimer’s.” In addition to changing her diet by adding in more super foods, she has become an Alzheimer’s activist. This April, she is behind a fundraiser dinner for the cause. The Mediterranean Feast menu will include her pan roasted cauliflower.

As she explained in a PBS segment with Judy Woodruff, Wolfert learned this cauliflower recipe from a well-known chef and cookbook author, Arto der Haroutunian (born in Syria to Armenian parents and then transplanted to England). She likes it because “it is so simple to make.”

This is the basic idea: cook cauliflower in oil in a pot until it gets soft and caramelized. Then add garlic, tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts. After that, put in in the oven in an oven-proof casserole. Finally, sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley. It is a nice change of pace from the usual oven-roasted cauliflower and the texture is superior, I think.

Bonus: Here is my version of Wolfert’s recipe for Morshan, chickpeas and greens.

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Multi-Grain Spinach Balls

January 20, 2014

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Everyone loves spinach balls. I thought this classic appetizer could use a little makeover to be a little more healthful, though. The usual spinach ball recipe calls for spinach to be bound together with butter, cheese, eggs and either stuffing mix or seasoned bread crumbs.

Here are my substitutions:
1/4 cup olive oil instead of lots of butter;
quinoa and brown rice instead of stuffing mix/seasoned bread crumbs;
ground flax instead of eggs; and
ground seeds or nuts and nutritional yeast instead of cheese.

Ground flax seeds combine with the excess moisture in drained spinach to make an egg substitute. As you mix the flax seeds and spinach, you can see the moisture around the spinach turn slightly viscous, as if the spinach were bound together with egg whites. When the spinach/flax mixture is combined with cooked whole grains, the mixture becomes firm enough to shape into balls. Lots of well cooked onion and garlic, plus generous seasoning give the spinach balls the flavor boost that they need in the absence of lots of butter and cheese.

With all the changes, the spinach balls are also gluten-free and dairy-free.

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Garlicy Cashew Green Beans or Broccoli

October 14, 2013

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There is a popular recipe for Spicy, Garlicy Cashew Chicken that appeared in the NYT.  Basically, the recipe calls for marinating and then grilling chicken in a paste of cashews, lime, jalapeno pepper, oil, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. I made the recipe (using boneless dark meat chicken), and the cashew paste very much reminded me of coated kale chips.

I got the idea of using the sauce to make vegetable skewers using broccoli and red pepper. I parboiled broccoli, tossed it with olive oil and salt and pepper and then coated it with the cashew paste. The broccoli was then grilled (I used a George Foreman grill). The results were fantastic. The nut mixture got crisp in spots and remained soft in spots. It added the kind of varied texture and savory intensity to the broccoli that a cheese topping usually does.

Anyway . . . . fast forward to this week. I ask my husband if he would like the cashew sauce on grilled green beans and he said “YES!” before I could even finish my sentence. This cashew sauce inspires that kind of enthusiasm.

Note: I grilled the green beans, but I think roasting the green beans would also work.

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