Chickpea and Kale Curry

We grew a garden this year and our kale has been doing really well.  Now we are faced with the problem of how in the world to use it all…

 

This is a nice and easy vegetarian meal if you like yellow curry and you have kale you need/want to use.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 T plus 1/2 tsp curry powder

1 c. onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 c. kale, stems removed and chopped

1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained (you may use just one can if you prefer- I actually cooked mine from dry beans in the crockpot the day before but cans work just fine)

1/2 c. tomato sauce

1 tsp sugar

dash salt

4 tsp lemon juice

Rice for serving

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a skillet on medium/medium high.  Add curry powder and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.  Add onions, garlic and kale and cook until onions are clear (about 2-3 minutes).  After that, add the coconut milk, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce, salt, and sugar.    Stir it all together and then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes or so.  I served mine over brown rice.

 

Original recipe:  http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2015/12/29/chickpea-curry-with-kale

Advertisements

Dominican Beans and Rice

This recipe is from some old friends who learned it in the Dominican Republic.  It’s cheap and way easier than I thought it was.  I finally made it on my own and here it is!

Ingredients:

1-2 cans pinto beans or 2 c. dry beans

1/8 c. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 pepper, diced (optional- I didn’t use)

1/2 can tomato paste

1 1/2 c. uncooked white rice*

2 c. water

1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz) (or vegetable broth)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp oregano

handful of fresh cilantro

1-2 cans pinto or navy beans or 2 c. dry beans

 

Directions:

Prepare and cook pinto beans if not using canned beans.  Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent.  Add tomato paste and allow to caramelize (about 5 minutes).  Add in rice, stir, and let them toast together, another 5 minutes or so.  Add 2 c. water and the chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, oregano, cilantro, and beans.  Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and cover.  Allow to simmer for about 35 minutes.

 

*I think next time I may try this with brown rice.  I am assuming it will need to cook a little longer and may need a little bit more liquid, but I don’t know.  I’ll update this recipe if I actually try it!

 

Original recipe from:  Megan and Lesley

 

 

 

IMG_7130.JPG

Cilantro Hummus (no sesame)

So, for awhile I was avoiding sesame.  Hummus has a lot of sesame, so I found an alternate recipe.  This one is very easy and tasty.  I recently discovered Rudi’s Spinach Wraps (frozen section) and I enjoyed spreading the hummus on the wrap for a tasty snack.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 cloves garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained (~19 oz)

2 T. lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 c. cilantro, washed

optional: add 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Directions:

Blend garlic in the food processor.  Add beans, lime, and salt, and blend.  Add olive oil and blend.  Add cilantro and blend.  I didn’t add jalapeño but you can.

 

Serving:

Take one Rudi’s Spinach Wrap out of the freezer.  Lightly toast grill it in a pan and flip until it is flexible but not crispy.  Spread a few spoonfuls of hummus on the wrap.  Top with lettuce and whatever else you want in there.  Roll up your wrap and eat!

Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Squash:

1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Sauce:

1 c. yellow tomatoes, sliced in half

1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp red pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3 T. fresh basil

4-5 fresh sprigs of thyme

1 T. fresh oregano

 

1 handful of spinach

 

Directions:

Squash: Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.

Sauce:

Pour olive oil into a pan and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and garlic and allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, black pepper, red pepper, and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Add spinach and cook until it’s wilted.  Serve over spaghetti squash.

img_6845

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Green Curry and Vegetables

Curry is an interesting thing.  I used to think that curry was curry but now I realize that there are lots of varieties and mixtures.  Some are spicier, some are more bland.  Some have the consistency of tomato paste and others are the consistency of a restaurant salsa. Yellow curry powder is completely different from green or red curry paste.  So, when I saw a new type of curry paste on sale at the store, I decided to give it a try.  This one is called World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste.  It is more saucelike than pastelike in its consistency and it is fairly mild.  We found that the dish needed a few splashes of fish sauce to give it the right taste.  If you like Thai food but can’t handle spice, this may be the “paste” for you.  As always, you can mix and match the vegetables used.  I was cleaning out my vegetable drawer :-).  I recommend chopping most if not all of your vegetables before you start as it will speed up the cooking process.

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 lb. cubed chicken- omit or replace with tofu for vegetarian

6 T. green curry paste (World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste)

2 cans coconut milk

1 onion, chopped

1/2 c. chopped carrots

1/2 c. chopped celery

2 zucchinis, chopped

2 yellow squashes, chopped

4 green onions, sliced

1-2 T. fish sauce or to taste- omit if vegetarian

Rice or Thai noodles

 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add cubed chicken and curry paste and cook until chicken is cooked.  Remove chicken to a bowl.  Add coconut milk and onion, carrots, and celery and cook on medium high for 5-10 minutes.  Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are to your preferred softness.  Add green onions and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Add fish sauce at the end and serve over rice or Thai noodles (some stores have gluten free ones- our HEB does).

img_6470

 

 

Strawberry Smoothie

For those looking for an alternative to cereal for breakfast, an alternative to dessert, or a healthy snack, this is a good option.  You could add in other things to help it stick with you longer.

 

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana

1 to 1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries

6-7 pieces frozen pineapple

20 frozen blueberries

1 c. orange juice

Optional add-ins: oatmeal, walnuts, flaxseed, chia, etc. for a heartier smoothie

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in blender.  Put lid on blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 2 tall glasses of smoothie.

Pasta Fagioli

One of my friends gave me a copy of this recipe a long time ago and I finally tried it.  I don’t think I’ve actually tried this at Olive Garden and I couldn’t now, but it was a nice and easy soup that warmed us up on cold days.  You have the option of using canned or dried beans.  I couldn’t find navy beans in a can and I have two crockpots, so I used dried beans.   I hope you take time to enjoy this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 c. dry kidney beans (or 1 can, drained)

3/4 c. dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained)

2 lbs ground beef, cooked- leave out beef if you want it to be vegetarian

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

32 oz beef broth (I used a carton of HEB Beef Broth but you could also use Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

3 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp pepper

5 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a 24-oz can of Del Monte Traditional)

8-12 oz pasta (I used HEB gluten free)

 

Directions:

If making beans from scratch, soak overnight and then drain and cover with water again in a crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft.  You may add them to the soup whenever they are soft enough.   Pre-cook the ground beef.  Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the pasta.  Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  The original recipe says you can add pasta straight to the crockpot 30 minutes before you want to serve it, but I was nervous the gluten free pasta wouldn’t cook well that way.  Instead, I cooked it separately as per the package directions and then added it to the soup right before serving.

Note: I had two crockpots going at once- one for the beans and one for the soup.  When the beans were cooked, I added them to the soup.  If you only have one crockpot, you could cook the beans overnight and then use the same crockpot to do the soup during the day.

Original recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/pasta-fagioli-in-the-crockpot-just-like-olive-garden-52984961

Basil Parsley Pesto

I bought parsley for something but I only needed part of it.  I went on a search for a recipe that could use it up as well as some of the excess basil in my garden, and this is what I found.

 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh basil

1/4 c. fresh parsley

1/3 c. pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (sunflower seeds or pinenuts work too)

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

5 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2/3 c. olive oil (I used extra virgin since this recipe doesn’t get cooked)

 

Directions:

Lightly toast pumpkin seeds.  Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until everything is pureed.  Serve over penne pasta (this is HEB brand gluten free) with baked chicken and diced tomatoes. You can omit the chicken if you want it to be vegetarian :-).  This could also be used in most other recipes that call for pesto.  Be creative and let me know if you find an interesting use for it!

 

Inspired by:

http://chowhound.com/recipes/basil-parsley-pesto-29521

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/yummy-vegan-pesto-classico

Beef and Vegetable Red Curry

I make this curry quite frequently, but this time it was extra good.  I followed the directions on the back of the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste jar with a lot of changes (does that count as following them?) and I used up all the leftover vegetables in my fridge. It was the best one I’ve made so far!  I think the main difference was the fish sauce.  Once upon a time I bought a big bottle of the cheap stuff but it just smelled weird so I never used it.  Then I bought a bottle of the Thai Kitchen fish sauce and used it a few times but I think I left it at my old house when I moved.  The next several times I made this recipe, I didn’t have the fish sauce and then I finally broke down and bought a bottle the next time I went to the store.  It made all the difference!  My recommendation is not to skip it!  Also, I recommend storing it in the fridge :-).

 

Ingredients:

1- 13 oz. can coconut milk

1/2 jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste (or more if you want it hotter)

1 T. brown sugar

2-3 zucchini, sliced into half coins

1 onion, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 small head of broccoli, chopped

1 pound ground beef, cooked- omit for vegetarian

1-2 T. Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce (I used 2 T. and I recommend this brand.  It’s gluten free and the taste is right.)- omit for vegetarian and replace with salt

extra coconut milk from a carton if you need more liquid or just another can of coconut milk (I usually end up adding a cup or two if I have lots of vegetables.)

optional: splash of lime juice

Cooked rice for serving.

 

Directions:

Heat coconut milk in a large pan.  Add curry paste and brown sugar and stir, allowing to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add in vegetables and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  At this point I usually add in some extra coconut milk to make sure there’s enough to make a sauce.  Add in cooked ground beef and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked to desired softness.  Pour in fish sauce and lime juice to taste.  Add extra salt if desired, but the fish sauce is salty.  Serve over rice.

Note:  The beauty of curry is you can put most vegetables in it.  Good options are: potatoes, green beans, carrots, celery, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, mixed frozen Asian veggies, etc.

 

Original recipe can be found on the back of the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste jar.