This was my first time making the classic Indian appetizer paneer tikka masala, and it certainly won't be my last! Delicious chunks of paneer cheese are marinated in a spicy yogurt mixture and then fried, roasted or broiled. I made these in preparation for paneer tikka pizza on naan bread, but the serving possibilities are endless. Serve with a tomato based gravy, on a bed of rice, with some stir-fried vegetables, or eat as is for a tasty snack. This would also be a good vegetarian barbeque choice.
India's street food is famous for its tasty and savory snacks and meals, and one of these days I'd like to eat myself right across the sub-continent. But in the meantime, even if I've never actually been to India, I can still bring the Indian street to my kitchen. Egg pakoras, also known as egg bhajis, are batter-fried hard-boiled eggs that are one of those fabled Indian street snacks, and they're also very simple to make if you don't mind cleaning up a little splattered oil mess afterwards. They're great at any time of day, on their own or with a fresh green chutney, but I have to confess that I like to eat them for breakfast on a Sunday morning when I'm feeling indulgent.
After reading Johanna's post on the biscuit / scone "controversy," I wasn't sure what to call these savory little quick breads. Probably they are best described as scones, but depending on where you live, they could also be dubbed a biscuit. Regardless of what you call them, if you love Feta cheese and olives as much as I do, you'll want to try these Turkish pastries that I was inspired to make after finding a recipe for Dill-Feta Poğaças at Almost Turkish.
My habit of collecting recipes is becoming an addiction of sorts, but I never forget my treasured copy of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. I've had this book for years, but there remain many culinary delights I have yet to explore. I was browsing through what I like to call the bible of Indian cuisine last week, looking for something warming and as-yet unexplored. Ms. Devi's recipe for golden pumpkin toovar dal soup seemed like an ideal soup to ease the Canadian January blues. The tartness of the lemon compliments the sweetness of the pumpkin perfectly in this soup. Yellow split peas or chana dal can be substituted for the toor dal though you may need to cook the soup for a little longer. This soup is even better and spicier when eaten the day after it's cooked.
This Indian lentil curry is incredibly easy to prepare and a good one for cooks just learning about Indian spicing. All of the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocer and made up of staple ingredients that many of us usually have on hand. Feel free to experiment with the quantity of spices used to come up with different flavour profiles and heat levels. It’s a healthy and economical dish that won’t have you sweating over a hot stove, freeing up time to spend outdoors or simply to relax in your favorite recliner.
If you’re like me and stick to dried legumes instead of buying canned ones, this is also an ideal dish because if you forget to soak your beans the night before, lentils are a good meal solution as typically they don’t need soaking. Try this earthy and slightly tangy curry for your next meatless meal. I suggest serving it with some hot rice and Indian flatbreads, such as Dosas or Fenugreek Chapatis for a most satisfying dining experience.
Mansi's request for simple and tasty treats seemed like a good excuse to make these baked cheese puffs. As simple as they are delicious, if you have the munchies, then these are the perfect cure. I'm almost ashamed to admit I ate these for dinner.
Gruyère cheese is used for these yummy puffs. An ideal cheese for baking, Gruyère is a hard cheese made from cows milk, rather like a softer variety of Parmesan cheese coupled with the "holey" loveliness of Swiss Cheese.
A few weeks back, I decided to go out for an early dinner after bottling some top quality wine at Danny's Wine and Beer Supplies. My husband and I agreed to go to Mykonos Restaurant. The atmosphere is warming and cozy, the prices very reasonable, the staff friendly and attentive without being intrusive, and their extensive Greek menu has a number of tasty options for vegetarians. In addition to the fresh crusty bread you are served while you mull over what to order, the entrée are generous and filling, especially when served with a big bowl of lentil soup.
This visit, we opted to split the vegetarian platter that includes a sampling of phyllo-wrapped appetizers, some Greek salad, a stuffed vegetable with rice, and a tomato gigantes bean dish. Inspired by the meal, I resolved to make my own Greek meal.
The earthy, starchy flavor of black-eyed peas makes these easy-to-grow and versatile legumes a favorite staple of Southern American kitchens, where they're often cooked with a little hot seasoning and served with collard greens. Easily digestible, these attractive beans are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, and vitamin A. This very simple soup is a healthy elaboration of traditional Southern black-eyed pea dishes, and makes a warming and hearty part of almost any meal.
This green spinach curry with omelette pieces is a very healthy side dish for almost any Indian meal, or a tasty and nutritious lunch when served on a bed of rice or even by itself. The spinach tempers the spices just enough that the curry is warming and comforting, instead of overwhelming the palette.
|Spinach and Omelette Curry|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on January 21, 2008
Gently spiced, warming and comforting green spinach curry with pieces of seasoned fried egg — a healthy and delicious side dish or light lunch, or even an attractive and unique breakfast
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If you're ever looking for a super-quick, healthy and delicious pick-me-up for breakfast — or any other time of the day, for that matter — oat and fruit smoothies are the way to go, as my good friend Holler from Tinned Tomatoes has discovered. The mild flavor of oats provides just a hint of nuttiness without overcoming the tang of yogurt and the sweetness of fruit that makes these drinks so appealing, while providing an especially good source of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and soluble fat and fiber. Together with the vitamins from mangoes and blackberries, notably C, B6, B9 and A, and the easily digestible milk protein in fermented yogurt, what's not good about this smoothie?
Like many others, turning to a vegetarian diet for me meant, among other things, looking to take advantage of the apparent protein benefits of soy in products like tofu to replace proteins from meat consumption and provide a handy substitute for meats in familiar recipes. Fortunately it wasn't long before I learned that the benefits of soy have been greatly exaggerated by soy marketers looking to reap windfalls from a very cheap crop. Soybeans are in fact probably the most indigestible of all legumes, which means their proteins are not easily accessible without long and thorough natural fermentation — a process that is completely ignored in most modern soy production methods. The very high content of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids in soybeans actually block the absorption of essential minerals and cause potential intestinal problems — most soy products, including tofu and bean curds, are made with a process called precipitation instead of fermentation. This process removes only some of the inhibitors and hardly any of the phytates, and denatures the proteins that are supposed to be of benefit in the first place. Moreover, even when fermentation is applied, modern hygienic standards actually inhibit the growth of beneficial cultures that would otherwise remove those enzyme inhibitors and phytates.
As a rule, then, processed soy products should be avoided for the most part to prevent even more demands on the body to acquire proteins and minerals. The exception to the rule is in just a few products, like miso, tamari sauce and tempeh that are made through the process of fermentation — and even then only when produced by reputable companies that don't use fast or cheap end-arounds to expedite the process. Tempeh, for example, is a very malleable food of which I like to take advantage from time to time not only for its protein but for its ease of use and versatility. A traditional Indonesian food made by fermenting partially cooked soybeans with a Rhizopus fungal culture that binds the beans into firm, chewy cakes, it has a nice nutty flavor on its own, but also absorbs and adapts to almost any flavors you would like to add to it. But please make sure to find tempeh that's been properly fermented with the necessary fungal culture — as always, I can recommend to my Ontario readers at least the tempeh products from the Noble Bean.
I like to make these extraordinarily easy and tasty tempeh patties for a simple and filling breakfast with scrambled eggs and toast — almost like I might use breakfast sausages if I weren't a vegetarian. But they can also be used as burgers for summer picnics and barbecues, and can be prepared ahead of time and frozen by separating each shaped and uncooked patty with wax paper and storing in a freezer bag.
Whenever I need a really quick and easy idea for dinner I consult my well-used copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, filled with hundreds of astonishingly simple and delicious recipes for grains, beans and vegetables that range from basic to exotic. This very simple brown and wild rice side dish is an old favorite of mine, combining the taste and texture of wild rice with the wholesome goodness of brown rice to go with almost any kind of meal.
Though I have enjoyed cooking for many years, not all that long ago I would sometimes refrain from eating when faced with emotional stresses. Needless to say, this was counter-productive and not a very healthy approach to stress. One of the most important lessons I have learned this past year is the therapeutic nature of cooking. If you like to cook, producing delicious nourishing food is an excellent way to channel negative energy — we all must eat after all. 2007 was a challenging year for me, the most serious trial being the death of my mother back in June. To this day, I am thankful that my Mom taught me the joy of baking and cooking because it has helped me deal with the blues on many occasions.
It is now January, a rather cheerless time of year for those of us who do not enjoy the short days and cold temperatures we get in Canada over the winter months. That means it's time for some serious comfort food. Two of my favorite foods are chickpeas and paneer cheese, so I made this warming spicy Indian chickpea and paneer cheese dish just for that reason.
Although my specialty is Indian cuisine, I very much enjoy experimenting with various ethnic dishes. When I came across Peter's recipe for Greek Lentil soup, I realized that I have only posted one Greek dish to Lisa's Kitchen so far, which is odd, as I very much enjoy Greek food. Peter's soup looked and sounded so good I decided to make my own version that is closely based on his. Serve with crusty bread and a grain for a complete and comforting vegetarian meal.
As a general rule, I like to include vegetables with my dinners. This carrot rice dish is an easy way to incorporate the goodness of carrots without having to make a vegetable side dish in addition to the starch. The carrots add a bit of earthy sweetness to this gently flavored and wonderfully fragrant rice. I served it with Chickpea Vindaloo.
Who could resist a colorful and fragrant mung bean dish cooked with spinach and tomatoes and spiced with sautéed onion, garlic and lime? And who could especially resist making it if it's called "Mongo?"
This Filipino bean and vegetable medley was adapted by Madhur Jaffrey to accommodate ingredients that are easy to find, and I've made a few other changes to enhance the color and flavor. It is not only easy to prepare, it also cooks very quickly and makes a lovely and healthy supper when served with rice.
When talking to other people I find that chickpeas are almost universally the most popular of all legumes. And it's little wonder — not only are they pleasantly mild enough to marry well with almost any kind of vegetable and hot or sour spicing, but their buttery and slightly sweet flavor are a delight by all by themselves. I know I always find myself snacking on them before combining my cooked chickpeas with other ingredients, and a friend of mine frequently cooks them up just to eat by themselves with a little salt.
For those unfamiliar with the term, tapas is a Spanish name for a wide variety of cold and warm appetizers that are often combined to make a meal unto themselves. According to the wikipedia entry for tapas, it is believed the first tapas were simply slices of bread placed over glasses of sherry to prevent fruit flies from getting into the glasses between sips. I'll have to try this in the summer on those occasions when I enjoy a glass of red wine outdoors.
I was in the mood for a treat the other day and, not wanting anything sugary, I decided to make these delicate, buttery and savory jalapeño and Cheddar cheese shortbreads. Serve as an evening snack with wine, or as an appetizer for any occasion.
Within an hour of finding this recipe for Beet Red Salad at Gourmet Green Giraffe, I was in the kitchen using up the lone beet I've been meaning to do something with. Though it's summer where Johanna is, and it's winter here, this salad is perfect for any time of year. Include some finely chopped green onions if desired. Thank you Johanna for this easy and tasty recipe that I have modified only slightly.
Literally "green soup," this simple and tasty potato and kale soup is served everywhere in Portugal from the meanest taverns to the fanciest restaurants, and it's a delicious and warming comforter on a cold winter evening served with crusty or Portuguese bread. Much like a potato and leek soup but with the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals that are packed in kale, it's also a great soup to nourish a loved one who's feeling under the weather.
I was flipping through my giant binder of recipes I've collected and drafted over the years and found a recipe for Chickpea Vindaloo that used to be one of my very favorite ways to enjoy chickpeas. Somehow or other, I haven't made it for at least a year but the cold temperatures here made this a perfect choice for dinner — hearty and filling, the buttery chickpeas are simmered with potatoes in a wonderful warming, spicy and fragrant broth with Vindaloo seasonings. It was every bit as yummy as I remembered it. In the past, I have also replaced the potatoes with fried cubes of paneer cheese cubes, if you want to try that instead.
I gladly shared the cooking duties over the holidays, but not wanting to spend all of my time in the kitchen, I sometimes made biscuits to fill out the meal. These olive oil biscuits are incredibly easy to make and pleased both vegetarians and carnivores alike. If desired, you can add a 1/2 cup of raisins or blueberries to the dough. Feel free to substitute a sharp Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan cheese.
This blueberry bundt cake recipe from Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecakes is one of the tastiest cakes I have ever eaten, and it's one of my favorites for entertaining guests if I have the time to bake. I've been meaning to share this recipe since starting this blog, but I say better late than never and here it is. Moist with just a hint of dryness, every blueberry filled bite will have you craving for more. It's surprisingly easy to make too, but it's so good you would think it must have cost the baker hours in the kitchen.