Saturday, September 15, 2007

Spice of life


This is one of my favorite dishes to throw together. Totally healthy and simple to prepare, they are great to keep in the fridge for a quick dinner. You can serve them over rice with a side salad, inside a burrito, or add a smidge of curry paste and fresh ginger for great indian flavor.

Spiced Lentils
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c dry lentils
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 4 c water
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t umeboshi vinegar, rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
METHOD:
  1. In a 12 inch non-stick skillet, place olive oil, red pepper flakes, cumin seeds and salt. Turn heat to medium-low, and slowly bring the ingredients up to temperature. This will take around 20 minutes. The garlic should caramelize. Do not rush this step, as this is VERY important to build the base flavors of the dish. Now, wash the lentils and add them to the skillet. Turn heat up to medium (5 on my electric stove. This is as high as I go with my non-stick skillet. ) and toast the lentils for several minutes. Add the bouillon cube and water and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, or until the lentils are cooked. Turn off heat and add cilantro, tomato, pepper and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonins if need be.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. Serves 3-4 as a main dish over rice

This was a delicious tofu fish style sandwich. At Cafe Indigo, they served a "Tofishy" sandiwch. This was inspired by that. I cut out the fat and added a lot of flavor. I keep these tofu 'fish' filets in the fridge all the time. I served it on a 60 calorie, whole grain pita with homemade tartar sauce. I used half vegenaise and half tofu, capers, roasted garlic, onion powder, fresh dill, relish, mustard, lemon juice and zest.
I've been making tofu chicken style cutlets like this for a while... which I use in sandwiches and tofu "parm", but I think I'm partial to these fishy morsels for the time being.

I just LOVE salsa verde. It is a staple in our house all the time. It may not photograph well, but it sure does taste good!

Salsa Verde
  • 6 tomatillos cut into quarters
  • 1 large onion cut into thick slices
  • 5 serrano chiles
  • pinch salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 t cumin seed
  • 1/2 t coriander (ground)
  • 2-3 cups water (enough to reach the tops of the veggies)
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 t umeboshi vinegar
  • salt/pepper to taste
Method:
  • In a large cast iron over medium-high heat, place tomatillos, onions, chiles and a pinch of salt. Allow the vegetables to blister and turn brown. This will take several minutes. Toss the pan several times or turn with a spatula so all sides of the veggies get some color. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander. Stir or toss several more times for 3 minutes. Add the water and bouillon and cover. Bring to a strong simmer/boil for around 15 minutes. Uncover and add the contents of the pan into a large blender or food processor along with the lime juice, cilantro and vinegar. Process or blend until smooth. Allow to cool, then taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper or lime juice if necessary.
Yield 3-4 cups

Simple and easy fried rice with leftover brown rice, leftover baked tofu and broccoli.

I think I'm addicted to the sweet potato/adzukin bean and beet green combo. This had lite tofu as well, along with teriyaki glaze, cilantro, black sesame seeds, cilantro and lots of fresh ginger, served over soba noodles.

This morning, I pressure cooked a pound of organic black beans ($1.00) and used half of them to make 10 burgers. The other half was mashed and mixed with the salsa verde for a delicious refried bean mixture to use in recipes later in the week. I just LOVE frugal cooking. The beans were mixed with homemade chipotle citrus bbq sauce, fresh cilatnro, onions, garlic, oats and flax meal. They held together perfectly and are delicous and healthy.

Mark's lunch. Forgive the cheese in the pic.

Chipotle Fudge Brownies.... omg.. these are soo amzing. I am going to try my brownie recipe without the chipolte one more time and then it's off to my testers! I think I may have done it.. managed to create the perfect vegan brownie! .. and while it's not low calorie or low fat, it is somewhat healthy.

33 comments:

  1. Those lentils sound fabulous--can't wait to try them! Everything looks great, as always!

    Courtney

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  2. Adzuki Beans and Sweet Potatoes make great veggie burgers when paired together! It's one of my favorite combos.

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  3. I always forget about how awesome sweet potatoes are. It looks great, as always.

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  4. Oooh, everything looks so good! I need to get more into salsa verde, since I've never made it at home. And just the thought that I'll get the chance to test those brownies is making me giddy!

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  5. oh my goodness, i don't know where to start... everything looks *so* good!

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  6. Salsa verde is my favorite salsa -- thanks for posting a recipe. I love frugal cooking too -- 10 burgers for 50 cents worth of beans, way to go! They look quite yummy -- I hope that's going to be a test recipe?

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  7. Everything looks amazing- but those sure don't look like lentils!

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  8. Ok literally every single thing you posted looks absolutely delicious. And I don't know why I still haven't made those black bean patties.

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  9. Dearest Melody, I can't afford to sponsor your restaurant, but if you manage to get it going despite the lack of my $1.98 in excess cash, I'll make a special point of trying to visit it. Seriously. Your "cheese" shots intrigue me.

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  10. I also love frugal cooking--and I like the idea of batch cooking and then cruising through the week on great food (but I am not hald as organized as you!)

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  11. I've been catching up on your blog today, and I have to tell you that everything you make looks really, really, unbelieveably good. Wow! You've got one cookbook customer for sure!

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  12. oooh, I LOVE spiced lentils - and wow, those chipotle brownies sound quite enticing!! I've never had a spicy brownie before :0)

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  13. Such a wonderful combination of food. The idea of chipotle brownies has my heart swooning! I just got my bulk order in today so I have to large bags of organic dutch cocoa powder just waiting to be turned into deightful chocolate goodies!

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  14. Oh my goodness... The lentil recipe looks so good. ---I like spicy.

    Salsa verde also look great. It is one of my favorites. Though when I tried to make it at home, it tasted awful. Maybe it is time to try again.

    Chipotle brownies...I can't wait to try them!

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  15. Another perfect brownie - I can't handle it! I really love the look of the noodles and burgers too.

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  16. You've been tagged...

    http://judyspages.blogspot.com/?

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  17. Melody, I have not been around for a while and just been catching up on your blog today. Everything, as always, looks so fantastic! Chipotle brownies sound fab, as does everything else!!

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  18. Thanks for sharing the lentil recipe. I'm really intrigued by the tofishy. I've made the tofu "fish" sticks from Vegan Lunchbox and thought they were pretty good. Yours look amazing!

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  19. The chocolate fudge brownies have won me. It looks delicious.

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  20. The spiced lentils look so good. Your photos are great.

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