Veggetarian


I love a good home fried potato.  Many restaurants can do them right.  But not all.  I really needed to make them myself.   I get tired of simple roasted, baked, or boiled potatoes. Now I have another way to cook them.

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Basically what you have are 1 1/2 lbs boiled new potatoes in their skin which are then quartered and cooked in a skillet with about 1 Tbl veggie oil (I used Canola), 2 medium chopped shallots, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary,  and salt.  Simple.  Good with just about anything.

Most of the time home fries are cooked in lots of butter so this is a healthier version.  Of course, I LIKE the all butter, but…..

104 calories, 0 cholesterol, 2.5 gm fat in a serving (6 servings)

Recipe is from Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking from the American Heart Association {page 251} my book for January’s Cookbook Countdown.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 13 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

I have never been a big veggie eater.  As a child I ate, and still do, cauliflower and broccoli which was strange for a small child.  Corn of course.  FROZEN peas. But other veggies – no thanks.

Over the years I have learned to eat and love raw spinach, okra, cabbage, squash, and lentils.  In fact lentils are now one of my favorite veggies.

My goal this year – try more and eat more veggies?  This lentil soup from Heidi fit right into that.  And since it’s pretty chilly outside it was the perfect lunch.

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Red Lentil Soup

 

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 shallots, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

    6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
    1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed
    as much fine grain sea salt as you need

    slivered almonds, toasted black oil cured olives, chopped feta, crumbled for toppings

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil .

Add broth,  lentils, and rice and bring to a boil. Simmer  until the rice is very tender.The lentils will “dissolve”. You may need to add more water/broth to get the soup to the consistency that you want.  Salt to taste.

Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, and a slight drizzle of olive oil if you like.

I made 1/2 of the recipe (three nice servings).  Even with salt I found it to be a little bland so I added 1 1/2 tsp of curry powder.  That added a really nice flavor and a little heat.  I topped it with yogurt because that is used quite a bit in Indian cuisine.  The yogurt added a little thickening and enhanced the flavor even more. LOVED IT!!  I will definitely make this again.  Definitely!

You can find her recipe at 101 Cookbooks

Want more Heidi.  Visit IHCC for this week’s Food Goals.

IT’s potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  That means we can cook from any chef that the group has used in the past.  This month I chose Yotam Ottolenghi because I haven’t cooked with him very much.  He was the chef back in 2013.  At that time I didn’t have any of his cookbooks.  Now, however, is a different story.  I have PLENTY, on my Kindle, and I am really taking a good look at his recipes.

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I chose the Lemon and Eggplant Risotto because this eggplant was begging to be used and I was lusting after some good risotto.

This is not a quick dish to make so don’t start it when you start the rest of your meal.  Start it before.  There are several steps you have to take before you actually start the risotto.

  1. ‘Burn’ an eggplant and then scoop out the pulp.
  2. Dice an eggplant and brown it until it is crispy.
  3. Sautee some onion and garlic.

After the onion and garlic are done then you can add in the wine, rice, and start making the risotto.  But let me tell you, it is worth every step and every dirty pan in the sink.  The sweetness of the eggplant mixed with the tart of the lemon zest and the semi sweetness of the basil is very mouth satisfying.  VERY!!!

Since I don’t have the book I cannot give you a page number in PLENTY, but I found it on The Hungry Goddess.

Visit with IHCC to see what else is on the Potluck table this week.

I will admit that I am NOT a big fan of legumes.  Peanuts, yes, but legumes also include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, and tamarind. Some of these aren’t really for human consumption. But I am not a big fan of the beans or peas. I have just learned to like lentils. I had the choice of two different recipes to fit this week’s theme from Gaye – Lovely Legumes – Peanut Butter Cookies or this pilaf.

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This Garden Lentil Pilaf includes shallots, spinach, grape tomatoes,  {I used a small tomato from the garden} basil, mint, parsley, and green lentils {although I used yellow because that is what I keep.}  Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice it was good.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it, cause I am not a big veggie eater, but I did.  And I will make it again.

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy (page 186).  You can also find it HERE!

What else did the Eaters make to go with Lovely Legumes.  Check it out!

Behind the house we dug a pond.  Two actually.  One is full of catfish.  One is, supposedly, full of crawfish.  We have them just for fun.  Just so we can spend some lazy time fishing.  Just so we can have fresh fish when we want it.  Or crawfish.  The catfish are getting big.  When we stocked the pond two years ago they were fingerlings.  Now they are close to and some are over 2 pounds.  It is like fighting a 40 pound monster when they bite.

And they are delicious. Usually we fry them.  With fries.  With hushpuppies.  But we got tired of hushpuppies so I tried something new.

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Fritters filled with fresh corn and okra.

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MUCH better than plain hushpuppies.

I found them in the July/August 2014 issue of “Louisiana Cookin'” on page 55. But they are also on the magazine’s website.

I have had fun cooking so many recipes from this magazine.  Plenty more marked.  Most of the recipes from the past issues are on the Louisiana Cookin’ website. So, if yo want some GOOD Southern or Louisiana recipes this is the place to go.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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This is my last recipe for March’s Cookbook Countdown. I managed to do seven!   Now all I have to do is figure out which cookbook to use for April!  So many cookbooks, so few years!!

I love a good salad.  Especially with spinach and mushrooms.  So when I saw Chaya’s pick for this week I just knew it would be good.

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It’s a very simple salad.  Just three ingredients: spinach, red onion, and mushrooms.  While that might not seem like much it’s the dressing that is the star of the show here.  A drizzle of olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard along with some salt and pepper added just the right tang to the sweetness of the mushrooms and the bite of the onion.

You can see more salads over at Eating with Ellie.  Drop by and enjoy.

And if you would like to join us just visit the ABOUT page and leave us a comment.

I like tabouli. I would not have believed that until a few months ago when I finally had some GOOD tabouli. I had had many dishes of BAD tabouli. And by bad I mean no flavor at all. I have even made it before but it wasn’t very good. This time it was different.

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I was Donna Hay’s good tabouli. And it was easy to make. Especially since I actually had all the FRESH ingredients in the house: bulghul wheat, fresh mint, fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, fresh onions, fresh tomatoes. Easy to put together. All you have to do is soak the wheat until it is hydrated and then all all the other ingredients. Perfect with just some pita bread or as part of a Mediterranean Feast.

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Served with some nuts, dates, pita, olives, humus, and feta it was a filling meal. Donna’s recipe is on page 46 of modern classics and my pick for this week’s Wednesday’s with Donna Hay. Check out the other’s tabouli while you are there.

I used to think that I would never find ANYTHING on a Vegetarian Blog because I don’t eat a lot of veggies. I have my fave few – brocolli, cauliflower, eggplant, corn, asparagus, lentils – but there are many I don’t eat – well, yet anyway. Asparagus and lentils are new to me, eggplant almost as new. So when the word vegetarian comes up I tend to shy away.

No more! Not since I joined the Secret Recipe club and have been ‘assigned’ several over the past couple of years!! YAY Veggies!!

And April brought me another foray into delicious veggies – I still mainly stick to my faves but I am learning new ways to cook them all the time. And cooking with Nayna at Simply Foods was such fun! Nayna lives in the United Kingdom where she creates all kinds of lovely dishes – including 44 curries. Yes, FORTY-FOUR!! I was in heaven.

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I started with her Aubergine and Pidgeon Peas Curry which I adapted only slightly. I could not find Pidgeon Peas so I used frozen green peas instead. Now I want to make it with yellow lentils!!

    6 baby aubergines {I had one large so I used that.}
    120 grams frozen or fresh pidgeon green peas
    1 teaspoon tumeric
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon chilli powder {I doubled all the spices except for the salt}
    1 teaspoon cumin powder
    1 teaspoon coriander powder
    2 medium tomatoes1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, drained
    1 teaspoon tomato paste
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 teaspoon garlic paste, diced
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander for garnish.


Chop the tomatoes and puree them in blender
.
Peel the eggplant and cut into large dice.
Add the oil to a large skillet and when hot, add in the mustard seeds and garlic. Sautee until garlic is tender.
Add the eggplant pieces and peas and saute until tender.
Thoroughly mix in the salt, chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and turmeric and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Mix 1/2 cup of water {I used the liquid from the drained canned tomatoes} with the tomato paste and add to the eggplant mixture.
Cover and cook the curry till peas and eggplants are tender and cooked and most of the water is absorbed. (approx 15 minutes)
Transfer to serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander. (Original Recipe)

Or what about Nanya’s Sweet Potato Halwa

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    1 large sweet potato
    3 tablespoons Splenda {only because we are cutting back on our sugar.}
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 tablespoon ghee butter
    Pinch saffron
    Pinch nutmeg
    Chopped Almonds

Cook the sweet potato in a microwaveable dish with until completely cooked – about 5 minutes.
Let cool slightly, peel, and process the sweet potato until smooth.
Heat the milk and add a few strands of saffron and set aside until the saffron flavor has infused the milk.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the mashed sweet potato and milk. Stir.
Add the Splenda and nutmeg and cook about 3 minutes. Keep stirring the halwa at all times.
Spoon into small bowls. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and a few strands of Saffron. Original Recipe


This is listed as a sweet treat, but it makes a nice mid-afternoon snack that is high in protein and low in calories.

Not all of Nayna’s recipes are Indian. On my list to try: Greek Baklava ROLLS (easy roll recipe), Watermelon pops this summer when we harvest ours, Greek Phyllo Triangles Mexican Quesadilla..oh, wait I had that for lunch! And the only thing I changed was to add a little spicy chicken to the mix.

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– just to name a few of the 31 recipes I have pinned. So much good food, so little time!!!

If you want to get to know Nayna just read the poem she wrote:

    Cinnamon clove and star anise
    Fragrant aromas to tantalise and please
    Cooking, baking, mixing with a whizz
    Desserts, cakes, and ice creams that you can freeze please.
    Sweet and sour with a hint of bite
    Maybe a salad for that something lite light?
    Flour, eggs, and buttermilk
    Chocolate soufflés that fall down and sink turn out like silk.
    A savoury touch with some special spice
    Something that gives a kick and goes with rice
    Eastern, Western or a European dish
    Culinary delights to earn you a kiss fulfil your every wish.
    Day and night I think dream of food
    I know for my waistline this is no good
    So instead I write my creations in a blog

      ….and then go visit her blog!! You won’t be sorry!!

And to visit the other MEMBER’s Treats and Goodies :

Which translates into darn good fresh veggie quiche!! Lots of leeks {first time fresh from MY garden}, sweet peppers, celery, carrots, and very, very little custard.

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One of my favorite things to make is quiche. But I don’t make them as often as I would like because they usually call for TONS of eggs. Not this one – one whole egg and one yolk. {I used two whole eggs instead.} That’s it!! And some cream. I am wondering if I can use this little bit of custard in some other quiches!

While the veggies and custard were VERY tasty, the star of the show was the Gruyère sprinkled on top. The smoky flavor just took the quiche to a much higher level!! I will be very sad when this one is gone….oh, wait, I can make another. Maybe with some squash this summer from the garden, or eggplant, or Romas, or…shoot, the possibilities are endless.

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More quiche can be found on French Fridays with Dorie and the recipe is on page 158 in Dorie’s around my French table.

So here we are. Potluck for I Heart Cooking Club. One more time to experiment with Jaffrey’s recipes. Something simple this week.

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I usually steam my cauliflower and serve it wit a simple cheese sauce. Or eat it raw. So this time I have a nice spiced side dish. Easy to make. Tasty.

    Large head cauliflower
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    Generous pinch of ground asafetida
    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1/2 medium onion, peeled and cut into very fine rings
    1/2-1 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped .
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    I/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
    3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1 1/2 cup water
    2 teaspoons lemon juice

Break the cauliflower into florets
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot put in the asafetida. followed quickly by the cumin seeds. Quickly add the onion and fry for about 2 minutes while stirring until the onion slices brown. Add in the cauliflower and green chili. Reduce heat to medium and toss. Add the remaining spices and salt. Toss for another minute. Add the water and lemon juice, toss. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender.

This recipe is from Madjur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking and on page 1465

I am anxious to see what the other members of IHCC made this week. Click on over there and find out with me.

IHCC

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