Delicious veggie recipes and stories of vegetable and marital bliss.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

You'll be happy to know that we've come out of hibernation. Our cottage in Mill Valley is surrounded by blooms and we've turned off the gas "wood" stove in favor of opening windows.
Spring means artichokes, asparagus, and other foods that start with A.

Thanks to the advice of my wonderful ayurvedic practioner, I've been starting the day with a mug of boiling hot water with fresh ginger and lime and sometimes a little raw honey. I'm a total convert and while I've always loved ginger, now I'm a fresh ginger evangelical. Go on, try it...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Moroccan-esque Quinoa with Chickpeas

This dish is adapted from a wonderful recipe that my sister-in-law made for Passover. She is a spectacular cook who posts detailed dinner menus each night on Facebook, which makes everyone wish that they were having dinner at her house. Especially my husband, who looks for any excuse to avoid doing the dishes. This is tasty and healthy and a pretty easy weeknight dinner.

You will need:
1 cup of quinoa (that's a grain, for those of you who don't live in California)
1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or one small can, rinsed well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced in half lengthwise and then into rounds
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped and rehydrated
1/4 cup golden raisins, rehydrated
2 teaspoons of curry powder
3/4 tsp. of tumeric
3/4 tsp. of ground coriander
1/2 tsp. of cardamon
1 big bunch of chard (I like rainbow chard), remove the ribs and chop
salt to taste
juice of one lemon

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and a little salt, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Leave the lid on and set aside until you are ready to add it.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the onions, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 10 minutes more, lowering the heat if the onions begin to brown. Add the spices and stir for one minute, add the raisins, the apricots and the chickpeas. Stir well. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chopped chard. Once the chard is cooked (about 5 minutes), add the cooked quinoa and stir well until everything is nice and hot. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and salt to taste, and serve.
This also makes a nice room temperature picnic salad.
I've never been to Morocco, so I can't vouch for the authenticity of the dish, but it's a good way to get your greens, legumes, and grain in one bowl.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reasons to Party: The Dalai Lama's 75th Birthday

"If you think that one is funny, you should hear the one about the Rabbi!"

Today marks His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday. If you don't know who the Dalai Lama is, you need to get out more.

Happy birthday to one of the world's most compassionate people!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dial M for Murder-Free Memorial Day

Like most Americans, I like a good Memorial Day BBQ. There's nothing quite like cracking open a cold one (for my husband, a diet caffeine free coke, because we know how to party) and chowing down on potato chips and burgers (veggie burgers, of course). I've never actually hosted one of these ritual gatherings; usually we are invited to someone's party, where we arrive armed with Gardenburgers and search for the most unused space on the grill.
But this year, I'd like to invite other sentient beings for a BBQ, and I have a sneaking suspicion that not everyone loves Tofurky sausage the way I do.
So, what can I make on the grill?
Veggie Kabobs and Grilled Polenta? Delicious, but it doesn't really say "Memorial Day" to me, unless you drive a Range Rover.
Grilled Poblano Chilies stuffed with beans and rice and cheese sounds yummy, but it's not Cinco de Mayo, people.
Of course I can make all the requisite carbohydrate salads (nothing with mayo though, which is possibly the most dreaded food in my household), but what about that main dish?
It's not Memorial Day if you don't fire up the old grill.
I'd love to hear from my devoted readers (yes, that's you, Dad) about what they like to grill that isn't made out of animal. Keep in mind that my darling husband's family will not eat mushrooms, so portobellos are out of the picture.
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys Memorial Day and takes a moment to remember the importance of happiness and peace for ALL sentient beings, but especially our soldiers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Middle Eastern Chickpeas and Couscous

Last night I was determined to make dinner from ingredients in my pantry. The goal was to create something vegan, healthy, and yummy in one pot. My sweet husband had seconds, and took the leftovers to work today.

In a 4 quart pot with a cover, heat
2 Tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat
1 onion, chopped finely, and several minced cloves of garlic (or one shallot)
stir until translucent.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (seeds should pop and crackle)
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne powder

stir well, let cook for one or two minutes.
Add 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed well and drained)
and 3/4 cup of water.
Add 6-8 dried (unsulfured) apricots, finely chopped. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and then lower heat...simmering for at least 15 minutes, or as long as you'd like, just make sure the mixture doesn't dry out completely.

10 minutes before you are ready to eat, add 1 cup water, 1 cup couscous, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down very low (or off), and let couscous steam with the pot covered.

Sprinkle with fresh squeezed lemon juice before serving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

New cookie recipe, how do I love thee? Or more accurately, why do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
Reason 1: These cookies aren't flat.
Reason 2: The texture of the cookies is perfect. A little crunchy, mostly chewy, not at all cakey.
Reason 3. The recipe made 22 cookies, which I thought was a very reasonable batch.
Reason 4: The cookies stay soft for days.
Reason 5: These cookies endear me to my father-in-law, who has a weak spot for anything chocolate.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but a hand mixer will probably do.

Cream together
1 cold stick of butter (cut into small chunks)
1/2 cup sugar and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
add two teaspoons of vanilla, mix, add one egg (best at room temp), and mix again.

Add in
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
by pulsing the mixer...mix as little as possible, just until the flour is mixed in.

Add a half bag of chocolate chips, mix by pulsing the mixer as little as possible.

Put the bowl of dough in the fridge for an hour.

Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spoon the cold batter onto cookie sheets (a tablespoon or so per cookie, leaving about 2 inches between each blob of dough), bake cookies one batch at a time in the middle of the oven for 11-12 minutes.
Cool on a rack.
Beware of roving Labradors who counter-surf.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pizza Night

Growing up, Friday night we always ate Chinese food. Religiously. One family favorite was the Golden Temple restaurant, leading to all kinds of bad jokes from my father about going to "Temple" on Friday night. Mmmm, bring on the pork fried rice. Thanks Dad. I think I may have inherited your sense of humor.

For my husband, Friday meant pizza. I've been making a lot of homemade pizza lately (inspired by my mother-in-law's acquisition of a pizza stone, or one of my mother-in-laws, I should say, as I'm blessed with no less than three! Keep your snarky comments to yourself, people. They read this blog on a semi-regular basis.), pizza! Everyone loves pizza. Homemade crust is easy as crust with my kitchen-aid mixer (thinking about my mixer makes me burst into song and dance around the kitchen), and then it's fun to experiment with toppings. Tonight's creation is a pesto pizza with artichoke hearts, garlicky sauteed spinach, Parmesan, mozzarella, a light sprinkle of feta, and of course, olive oil.

I'll take some pictures when it comes out of the oven. You know it's done when the smoke alarm goes off.