Saturday, July 25, 2009

101 Salads

The Minimalist column in the New York Times this week features 101 Simple Salads for the Season. V pasted them into a Word document and deleted the very few that had meat -- I'm sure she'll email it to you if you ask her. We've tried a few and so far, DELICIOUS! All are easy and fresh, and most are a tad unusual. Definitely worth a look.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Major kitchen upgrade & some Indian food

I can't seem to manage to take photos of any food (I guess we just eat it too fast)...  So instead, I will show you my very exciting new kitchen.  But I think to fully appreciate it, you have to know what my old kitchen looked like.   So here goes...

Old kitchen:
As you can see, the only counter space is on the little island there that we bought.  We had 3 burners on the stove (who has only 3 burners?).  The oven wasn't big enough to fit a large cookie sheet.  The refrigerator is 3/4 size.  And the sink is kind of small too.  But it worked.  And I did a lot of cooking anyway.

But now, I have this lovely kitchen. With a DISHWASHER, and a relative abundance of counter space, and a large sink, and an oven that could probably fit 4 big cookie sheets.  Plus many new gadgets, pots, knife block:

And so, what have I been up to in this new kitchen?  

Well last night I adapted a Manjula's Kitchen recipe to make my own low-fat vegan zucchini koftas.  (Her recipe is deep-fried and cooked with cabbage rather than zucchini.)  They were delicious.  I highly recommend them.

Here's how it works:
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup besan (chickpea/gram) flour
1 tbsp ww flour
2 tsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp shredded ginger
1 green chili pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp salt

TO fry:
canola oil
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1 tbsp sesame seed

Set up your steaming basket, bring water to a boil.  THEN, mix kofta ingredients together to form a soft dough, and drop the dough into the steamer by the tablespoon-full.  (If you let the batter sit too long, the dough gets soggy and you will need to add more besan flour.)  Cover the pot and steam on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the dumpling comes clean.

Then remove dumplings from pot.  Heat canola oil for frying in a skillet.  Once hot, add the mustard and sesame seeds and stir fry for 30 seconds or so.  Add the kofta to the skillet.  Fry for a few minutes until golden.

3 medium tomatoes or 1 can 15 oz of tomatoes
1 tbsp or so of ginger (or 1/2 inch minced)
1 chili pepper
canola oil for frying
pinch asfetida (hing)
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbsp besan/gram/chickpea flour
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp (soy) yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp sugar (if using unsweetened yogurt--soy yogurt is usually a bit sweet, so I omitted this)
2 tbsp cilantro chopped

NOTE: if you don't have asfetida, you could try to substitute 1-2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 an onion or so, panfried before adding the tomato mixture.  You may want to also slightly reduce the coriander in this case. 

In a blender, puree the tomato, ginger, and chili.  Heat oil and pan fry the asfetida, cumin, and besan for a minute or two, until fragrant and golden.  Add tomato mixture, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cook until mixture reduces by half.  Add yogurt.  Cook another 2 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low, and cook for several minutes until thick and reduced.  Add sugar to taste.

Add kofta dumplings to the gravy and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add cilantro.  Serve with yogurt and rice or chapati.  (We made chapati.)

And for dessert?  This low-fat chocolate beet cake, because we got beets in our farm share and neither Josh nor I are crazy for them.  This wasn't the best cake ever, but it hit the spot.  Next time I would either add more sugar or mix in some chocolate chips.  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cauliflower hummus

Yum! This was really good -- lighter tasting than regular hummus, but flavorful and satisfying. The recipe is on page 68 of Veganomicon. I'll definitely make this again.

I made a few changes to the recipe. First, I roasted the cauliflower and used half as much cauliflower as called for (that's all I had); it fit perfectly on the little pan that goes in the toaster oven. I bet this would be good with the full amount of cauliflower, but it might take more seasoning than the recipe calls for (I didn't adjust that down at all).
The other change I made was to substitute cilantro for the parsley. I've made hummus with parsley before and it's delicious, but I didn't have any and I love cilantro. So there you go -- it was really good in this dish!
Here it is with all the fixings. We dipped the veggies in it, too.

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