Sunday, October 30, 2011

Root-Veggie Chocolate Chili

- 2 pounds root vegetables (turnips, beets, rutabagas, etc), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp each cumin, ground coriander, and oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup lentils (I use red lentils because they don't need to soak)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp agave or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I use more than this)
- cliantro for garnish

1. Preheat a soup pot over medium high heat, and saute onion and bell pepper in oil until translucent. And garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for another minute. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder; cook for another minute will stirring to dissolve the cocoa.
2. Add lentils, the remaining vegetable broth, the diced tomatoes, and the root veggies. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 min, until the lentils are tender and root veggies are soft.
3. Mix in agave or syrup. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Adapted from recipe in Bust Magazine, p. 24, Feb/March 2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chickpea and fetta patties

These are like falafel, only more delicious.

1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (don't skip this step!!)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
2 Tbs plain flour
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbs chopped fresh coriander (I leave this out because I never have it)
200 g fetta crumbled (I estimate this)
salt and pepper
olive oil, for sauteing

For the sauce:
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs lemon juice

For the sauce: combine the yogurt and lemon juice and refrigerate until needed.

For the patties:
1. Place chickpeas, spices, egg, flour and spring onions in a blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth.
2. Spoon into a bowl, add fresh coriander, salt and pepper, and fetta and stir to combine.
3. Form the mixture into small patties. Heat olive in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and saute the patties for 2-3 min on each side. Don't worry if the mixture is sticky; the egg will bind it together.
4. Top the patties with lemon yogurt sauce. We usually eat this with couscous.

- Recipe adapted from Margaret Barca's Vegetarian Bible, Penguin Books.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Indonesian Sweet Potato and Cabbage Stew

This recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant's cookbook, Simple Suppers (page 122). I made it last night, and then I ate it again for lunch today. It's really good!


  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger root
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cabbage (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 1/2 cups diced sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth [I looked this up and learned that 1 qt is 4 cups!]
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • mung bean sprouts (optional) [I did not use this]
  • chopped cilantro, scallions, mint, and/or thai basil (optional) [I used cilantro and scallions -aka green onions- because that's what we had]

  1. In a soup pot on medium heat, cook the ginger, garlic, and cayenne in the oil for a minute before adding the onions and salt. [Tip: do not heat the pan up first, as that is how I burned most of this stuff]. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cabbage and sweet potatoes. Add about 3 1/2 cups of the broth. Cover and increase the the heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of broth until smooth. Add the peanut butter mixture to the soup with the tomatoes and soy sauce. Simmer covered until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve each bowl topped with bean sprouts and cilantro, scallions, mint, and/or basil.
Moosewood Collective, Simple Suppers, p 122 (2005).

Spicy Dal

This dal is easy to make and delicious. It's good winter comfort food. We serve it with rice, and recently we've been having spicy mango pickle on the side.

This is mostly the recipe for "Red Lentils with Chiles/ Mirchi Waale Massor Ki Dal" on page 397 of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. I've made a few very minor changes and rewrote the recipe in my own words for maximum clarity. (By the way, I cannot recommend this cook book enough. It's not all vegetarian but there is plenty of vegetarian dishes and it's easy to adapt his recipes if you don't have all the ingredients).

This recipe makes 3 cups of dal.

  • 1 cup of lentils (masoor dal, the orangey pink ones)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped very small
  • a tablespoon or so of grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 10 dried chiles (stems removed) or a combination of half dried and half fresh chiles depending on what you have the cookbook calls for serrano, thai or cayanne chiles, I use those little red dried ones but I am not sure what kind they are, and some fresh serranos if I have them)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime (2 tablespoons?)
  1. Wash the lentils (fill pan with water and lentils, swish lentils around, drain water out, repeat until water doesn't get too cloudy)
  2. Add 4 cups of water to lentils and cook on medium heat, uncovered until boiling. As it heats up, try to skim off the foam that forms on the surface with a spoon or spatula (this is kind of a pain, sorry).
  3. Stir in ginger, garlic and turmeric. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender (18 to 20 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, in another pan, heat oil on medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds until they sizzle, turn reddish brown and smell "nutty" (5 to 10 seconds).
  5. Add onion and chiles, stir fry until the onion browns and chiles smell "pungent" (3 to 5 minutes).
  6. When lentils are tender, stir in salt and the onions, cumin seeds and chiles from the other pan.
  7. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice right before serving.
Recipe taken from Iyer, Raghavan, 660 Curries, pp 397-398 (2008)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vegan Red Lentil Soup

A bit complicated, but totally worth it. :)

Vegan Red Lentil Soup


1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 pinch fenugreek seeds

1 cup dry red lentils

1 cup butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups water

1/2 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and fenugreek until onion is tender.

2. Mix the lentils, squash, and cilantro into the pot. Stir in the water, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils and squash are tender.