Hash-Browned Golden Beets and Yams

Hash-Browned Golden Beets and Yams

Hash browns are a favorite weekend breakfast staple for many people across North America, but there's no reason just to use potatoes — beets, sweet potatoes, yams and squash are delicious hashed and browned as well. Because of the high sugar content of sweet potatoes, yams or squash, they must be stirred constantly to avoid burning and and they don't crisp up as well as potatoes. But used side by side with potatoes or beets in a hash, they provide a wonderful contrast in not only flavor but texture as well.

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Butter Paneer Masala


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Butter Paneer Masala

Fans of paneer cheese are sure to love this butter paneer masala that I found at Sailu's Kitchen. A vegetarian version of the classic butter chicken, this dish of tender pieces of fried paneer cheese simmered in a rich, thick, creamy and buttery spiced tomato, onion and cashew gravy is a tremendously popular item in Indian restaurants. If I don't order matar paneer — my absolute favorite — my next choice is always a paneer masala. I've made a few minor modifications on Sailu's recipe, but essentially followed her instructions. Prior to starting up this blog, I rarely took the time to browse through food blogs, but now I know what I was missing. I look forward to many tasty meals in future inspired by food bloggers.

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Jalapeño Cornbread Wedges

Jalapeño Cornbread Wedges

In the interest of variety and spiciness, I prepared a different cornbread recipe than the one I usually make. I certainly wasn't disappointed with the result and it was very easy to prepare besides. I used a large jalapeño for the extra kick, but if you can't take the heat, use a small one instead. This cornbread makes for a nice light lunch or snack but could also be served with dinner.

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Azuki Beans Cooked with Garlic and Ginger


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Azuki Beans Cooked with Garlic and Ginger

I was delighted to find a few Indian recipes calling for azuki beans in my newly acquired copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, including this one. Azuki beans were cultivated in Asia where they continue to be very popular, usually served sweetened. Though I own a few shelves of cookbooks, I don't have many azuki bean recipes that are more suitable to serve as a dinner dish. I sometimes use them in recipes calling for mung beans, so if you don't have azuki beans on hand, whole mung beans would be a very good alternative.

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Mushroom and Jalapeño Breakfast Hash

Mushroom and Jalapeño Breakfast Hash

This is my favorite fast-and-easy breakfast hash for weekend mornings when I'm getting up later than I had meant to. Flash-fried mushrooms and jalapeño peppers complement the traditional potato-and-onion hash beautifully and add very little extra time to the preparation and cooking, especially if the potato has been cooked and cooled the night before. The secret to good browned hash is to maximize the vegetables' contact with very hot olive oil — and it's important to use olive oil instead of other vegetable oils because, when hot enough, the vegetables will absorb very little of it.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

One of my favorite treats is homemade roasted pumpkin seeds. The store-bought variety simply do not compare, so I took the time to separate the seeds from the pumpkin I bought to make pumpkin pie. This recipe can easily be increased if you have more seeds on hand.

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Beet and Tomato Soup


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Beet and Tomato Soup

My photograph doesn't begin to capture the unique elegance of this beet and tomato soup, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. Combining the typically strong flavors of beet and tomato results in a perfect balance of flavors and a surprisingly subtle soup that can only be tasted to be appreciated. This is an ideal soup to be served as a first course.

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Rice with Paneer and Peas


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Rice with Paneer and Peas

I've been terribly busy of late meaning I currently have less time to experiment in the kitchen, but today I worked a shorter shift and took advantage of the extra time to explore my newly acquired copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. As I am a huge fan of green peas and paneer cheese, I decided to make a slightly modified version of Ms. Jaffrey's Rice with Paneer and Peas. This easy-to-prepare dish would serve as a fine compliment to any Indian meal.

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Indian Mushroom and Scallion Scrambled Eggs


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Indian Mushroom and Scallion Scrambled Eggs

Here is another Indian scrambled egg breakfast that is much less piquant than the Punjabi-style scrambled eggs that I made last week, but has the warm, earthy fragrance of fried mushrooms and scallions that makes it a nourishing, delicious and colorful plate on a cold autumn morning, wonderful with buttered toast and some fresh fruit. Like many of the simple dishes that I like to make, this recipe — called "khumbi wala khichri unda" — is taken with only minor modifications from Madhur Jaffrey's wonderful World Vegetarian Cookbook.

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Five-Dal Spinach Soup


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Five-Dal Spinach Soup

It was a gift of Yamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine years ago that got me started on Indian cuisine, and it's still by far the finest Indian vegetarian cookbook I've ever come across. One of my favorite sections is her dal soups, which are always so simple to prepare, easily digestible, and exotically fragrant and delicious. This "panch dal shorba" made with spinach and five different split dals is an especially lovely and nutritious soup for a light lunch or dinner served with rice and a green salad with a mango dressing. And despite the quantity of spices, this soup is more aromatic than hot — the piquancy of the cumin, chilies and cayenne linger pleasantly rather than painfully on the tongue, although the chilies and cayenne can be reduced slightly for sensitive palettes.

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Chickpeas and Béchamel Sauce

Chickpeas and Béchamel Sauce

This is an especially good recipe to make if you are rushed for time. There is very little preparation to do, all of which can be done while the chickpeas are cooking. For a satisfying and balanced meal, serve over a bed of basmati rice. If you prefer, substitute mint for the dill.

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The Power of Food

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first written review of Lisa's Kitchen since I went live back in March. My efforts are truly rewarded when I find out that fellow cooks are inspired by my food offerings.

I'm too lazy to write a review, but I recommend Whirled Soup for some nourishing and tasty soup recipes.

Simple Chana Dal and Dill Khichri


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Simple Chana Dal and Dill Khichri

I've made such good use over the years of recipes from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Cookbook that I was delighted to finally obtain a copy of her older book, World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. Both are filled with astonishingly fast and simple recipes for delicious and exotic dishes of all varieties.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Despite my general aversion to autumn — chiefly as a precursor to winter — I am an enormous fan of the many vegetables and fruits that come in season right now. This includes pumpkins, of course. One of the favorite fall treats for many North Americans is sweet pumpkin pie, served at many a family get-together and especially at Thanksgiving. Store-bought pumpkin pies and pumpkin pie fillings are always easy to find, but these really can't compare to the extraordinary flavor of pie filling made from fresh cooked pumpkin. Besides, the huge bins and shelves of large bright orange pumpkins are hard to resist, and cooking your own pie filling from a fresh pumpkin gives you the opportunity to roast the seeds later for an extra yummy treat.

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Staple Corner: Quinoa-Oat Croquettes

Quinoa-Oat Croquettes

Cooking quinoa and oats together combines the best of both of these astonishingly healthy foods for a high-protein, high-fat meal rich in calcium, iron, B-vitamins, vitamin E, phosphorus for nerve tissues, and silicon for bones and connective tissues. And frying the cooled porridge really brings out the unbeatable nutty flavor and crunchy texture of quinoa in little croquettes that are deliciously satisfying and wholesome just on their own or with a dash of tamari sauce added. But they're also so simple to make that you'll have time to cook up some best-ever mushroom sauce to pour over them for one of my all-time favorite combinations of tastes.

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Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms

If you are looking for an vegetarian entrée perfect for esteemed dinner guests, I would highly recommend this easy-to-prepare pasta dish loaded with fresh and dried mushrooms baked in a creamy goat cheese sauce. It's quite similar to and equally delightful as my famous pasta and Feta cheese casserole, only creamier and earthier and also very rich and filling.

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Best-Ever Mushroom Sauce

Best-Ever Mushroom Sauce

I've been making this best-ever mushroom sauce for years now and I'd never get sick of it even if I had to eat it everyday. It's an absolutely delicious dressing to put on mashed potatoes, lightly-steamed vegetables, or any grain, just as long as you can stop yourself from eating it right out of the pan, but my favorite way to eat it is as a topping for quinoa-oat croquettes.

Update: Several readers have asked me how to avoid the yogurt curdling. The simplest way is to use whole fat yogurt at room temperature! Cold yogurt will curdle in response to an abrupt increase in temperature, while fat-free or low-fat yogurts curdle much more easily than whole fat yogurts. If using a fat-free or low-fat yogurt, whisk in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or flour before adding to the pan.

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Rosemary Parmesan Drop Biscuits

Rosemary Parmesan Drop Biscuits

Visitors to my kitchen will know that I am a great fan of quick and easy savory biscuits. Not only do they fill out a meal, they are a tasty treat in their own right. Though I have no shortage of biscuit recipes on hand, I can never resist new ideas. I found this recipe in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated.

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Creamy Beet Borscht

Creamy Beet Borscht

Borscht is a vegetable soup from Eastern Europe that is now enjoyed throughout the world. Any variety of vegetables can be used, but beets are essential. My friend Mike has been requesting a homemade borscht soup for a long time now. It was an especially good time to fulfill his wish as beets are currently in season and also one of my current favorites. I've come across a few recipes that I liked but this creamy beet borscht modified from James McNair's Soups seemed to have the perfect balance of flavors. It turned out to be a success. I served it hot, but it can also be chilled and served cold if desired.

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Punjabi-Style Scrambled Eggs


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Punjabi-Style Scrambled Eggs

There are countless ways of preparing fried or scrambled breakfast eggs in India, but one thing they almost all have in common is cooking the eggs well until they are almost hard. These eggs, scrambled with a Punjabi-style infusion of ginger, hot pepper and north Indian spice flavors, go deliciously with buttered toast and fruit for a fast and tasty breakfast. They also make for a delightful dinner.

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Polenta with Mushroom Ragout

Polenta with Mushroom Ragout

Two of my favorite foods are cornmeal and mushrooms, so I can't resist combining the two. This rich and savory mushroom ragout, which is essentially a thick sauce or gravy, would also go nicely with rice or any other grain of your choosing, including pasta.

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