Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recipe: Black Eyed Peas Curry

This recipe comes from the Post Punk Kitchen, modified slightly by my wife.  I love how this dish feels both hearty (from the coconut milk) and light (from the black eyed peas). I feel it's perfect this time of year as we're just coming out of Winter and into Spring.

We didn't have any plantains as the original recipe calls for, although I am sure they would be a great addition. You can also substitute your favorite curry powder with the curry leaves, cumin and coriander. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 finely chopped small onion
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 bay leaves
6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
2 cups cooked black eyed peas (from 1 cup dry beans or 1 can)
3 stalks kale, chopped, stems removed
1 tsp honey
juice from 1/2 lime
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped (optional for garnish)

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion, red pepper and jalapeno pepper in the oil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and bay leaf. Saute for two more minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, curry leaves, cinnamon and thyme, with a splash of water. Mix for another minute.

Add the salt, coconut milk, water and black eyed peas. Mix well and then add the kale. Lower heat and cover, cooking for ten minutes. Turn off heat. Add honey and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over brown rice.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recipe: Chai Pistachio Granola

I can't get enough of this granola. Swati was inspired to create a batch after we both discovered an upstate New York bakery, Bread Alone, that makes a highly addictive granola by the same name.

I am beginning to think my wife has a future career in food science. She did an amazing job at re-creating this product, even going a step further with the addition of Indian chai spice (a blend of ground cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon). Now you must try it!

Makes about 12-15 servings

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried coconut
5/8 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Indian chai spice (or ground cardamom)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and spices. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and well toasted. Remove from oven.

Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

It's always a challenge to find inspiration this time of year. So many of the fresh vegetables I love to cook with won't be available until a few months from now. Fortunately, when I run out of ideas, I can always turn to friends who are busy cooking up some amazing stuff on their own. This vegetarian shepherd's pie recipe comes from my dear friend Sacha (aka Stiggly) and is one of my favorite things that her and her husband Mike make. Instead of the traditional beef and potatoes used to make this dish, Sacha uses sweet potatoes and lentils.

I was at first intimidated when I saw the lengthy recipe on her site, but decided to give it a shot anyway, and am glad I did. It was less complicated than I thought, and I made a delicious dinner not only for one night but several. And it was so tasty!

Makes 6-8 servings

3/4 cup french lentils
2 bay leaves
3 large sweet potatoes, cut into quarters
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil1 clove garlic
1 leek, diced, white parts only
1 zuchinni, sliced
1 carrot, diced
14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 green pepper, diced1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed)
5-6 crimini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 leaves of collards, thinly sliced (as side dish, optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, add lentils and 3 cups of water. Toss in a bay leaf, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked and water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, you can start to cook the sweet potatoes. In a large pot add quartered pieces and immerse in water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes or so until sweet potatoes are soft. Use a fork to test whether they are done (should be able to easily pierce the potato). Drain water and peel potatoes by hands after cooling for a few minutes. The peels should come right off! Then add back into the original pot, and mash potatoes using a masher or fork. Mix in butter and milk until texture is creamy. Set aside.

While your potatoes are cooking, you can also start the third step. In another large pot, over medium heat saute garlic and leek in olive oil for a minute or so. Then add the sliced zucchini, carrot and let cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add can of fire roasted tomatoes and spices (cumin, paprika, oregano). Let cook for another five minutes and then add green pepper and jalapeno peppers. Cook another five minutes and then fold in the cooked lentils. Cover pot and let everything simmer for a bit. Check for salt and pepper.

You're shepherd's pie is almost ready for assembly! If you desire you can also add mushroom and collard greens to it. Highly recommended! Just saute them in olive oil in a small pan. I chose to serve the collards on the side, but you could easily put them in the pie and it would be great too.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x12 baking pan, you will then start to assemble your pie. The first layer should be the lentils/vegetable mixture. It should take up about two-thirds of the baking dish. Next, you will layer in the sauteed mushrooms and the collard greens if you desire. The last layer is the sweet potato mash. Make sure to spread it out evenly so it looks beautiful. Your pie is now ready to bake. Insert in oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. 


Integrative Nutrition