Monday, January 30, 2012

paneer jalfrezi

This recipe is fantastic!  I do not prepare many dishes with paneer but after trying out this one from the Sinfully Spicy blog, I think I'm hooked!  I followed the recipe exactly, although it was a bit spicy I would not change a thing.  Try it out and let me know what you think! 

paneer jalfrezi
straight from sinfully spicy

Ingredients  (Serves 2):

3 tbsp canola/olive/sunflower oil

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1" fresh gingershoot, minced
2 Thai green chilies, chopped
2 medium roma tomatoes, quartered & sliced
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp red chili flakes (adjust to tolerance)
1 cup sliced bell peppers (use any colored peppers of choice)
7 oz / (200gm) paneer (Indian cheese), sliced into 2” batons
Salt to taste
½ tsp garam masala
1.5 tbsp white vinegar / fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or pan /wok/kadhai on high. Once smoking, add cumin & coriander seeds and fry for 30 seconds or so till they crackle.

Next, add the minced ginger & garlic along with green chilies and cook for another 30 seconds till you smell the aroma.
Reduce heat to medium and add sliced onions next to the pan and fry till soft and translucent. About 2-3 minutes.
Add sliced tomatoes, turmeric powder & red chili flakes to the pan next and fry for 5-7 minutes till tomatoes begin to sweat & soften but do not turn mushy. You will see oil separating on sides of the pan. Stir frequently to prevent tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the sliced peppers next, stir and fry them for 5-8 minutes so that they cook slightly but still hold their shape & are crunchy.
Add the paneer next along with salt, increase heat to high and cook for 2-3 minutes with gentle tossing so as not to break the cheese.
Remove from heat, sprinkle the garam masala, sugar & top up with vinegar. Combine well. Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with steamed rice or Indian breads.  (VegOutGirl note: I served with plain quinoa and greek yogurt)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

mugh daal + quinoa (curried moong dal)

To this day, one of my favorite indian comfort meals is this recipe.  I can eat it any time of day or any time of year.  The combination of amazing spices and pure protein heartiness makes it an A+ in my book :)  I've added a few things to my mom's original recipe like extra onions and garlic. 

mugh daal
adapted from my mom

1.5 cups of dried green moong dal (available at indian grocery stores), rinsed and soaked for 8 hours
1 small onion, finely diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
2 tsp vegetable oil
1.25 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 tsp dhanajeeru (cumin)
1 tsp marchu (red chili powder)
1.5 tsp hardar (tumeric)
1 tsp garam masalo
pinch of hing (asoefetida)
1 tsp salt

In a medium sized sauce pot, add 2 tsp oil and mustard seeds on medium heat. Once fragrant, add the hing, onions, garlic and ginger.  Saute for 1 minute.   Add all spices except for salt.  Mix well and then add the soaked moong daal with enough water to cover the daal.  Place on medium high heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Add salt and let simmer until the moong has reached desired texture. Continue adding water for a more soupy dish.

Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly until all debris has been discarded.  Place on high heat with 2.5 cups of water.  Once it begins to boil, place on low heat and add cover.  Cook for 15 minutes and turn off heat.  Let sit for a few minutes and serve with mugh daal.

A, had this recipe with his favorite gunda pickle and a side of greek yogurt.

Monday, January 23, 2012

tempeh coconut curry

I adapted this recipe from my Cooking Light cookbook.  A, was definitely a fan but I'm not sure I particularly enjoyed the tangy-ness (is that a word?) of the tamarind...or I think I added too much!  This is why you should always use your measuring cups and spoons! 

tempeh coconut curry
adapted from Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian cookbook

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
1 tsp salt
2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
1.5 tsp cumin powder 
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder 
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 sweet potato, chopped and peeled  
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped with stems
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice 2 teaspoons Bragg's liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)

To prepare curry, heat oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt. Cook 2 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tamarind; cook 2 minutes until tamarind is evenly distributed.Add ginger and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, potato, water, milk, and tempeh; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Uncover; stir in juice, Bragg's and broccoli. Simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard cinnamon stick. I served the curry with fluffed brown rice and sriracha.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

pineapple tofu stir-fry

pineapple tofu stir-fry
adapted from Eating Well

Any thai/chinese dish with pineapples is fine by us!  I enjoyed this recipe as it's light, healthy and perfect for shedding some of those holiday pounds!  I doubled this recipe, used agave nectar instead of brown sugar and used 1 whole green pepper and one half of a red pepper.  Of course, A added a good bit of Sriracha for an extra kick.  Overall a really tasty dish and I definitely will be making this again.  I served with brown rice but next time will try it with quinoa.

Serves 3-4 people

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

tuesday night tostadas

tuesday night tostadas

4 baked tostada shells
1 cup homemade refried beans
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato, finely diced
1/4 onion, finely diced
fresh guacamole
pickled jalapenos, to taste
salsa, to taste

Spread a large spoonful of beans over the tostada shell. Sprinkle on the toppings and eat!

refried pinto beans, homemade


I love the idea of spending less than $1 for a pound of beans which will last us at least 4-5 meals versus spending $1.29 for 1 can of beans which lasts us one meal!  Try this recipe and you'll be hooked too!

refried pinto beans, homemade

1 lb pinto beans, rinsed and picked for debris
1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 green chile, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup bottled salsa

In a pressure cooker, place rinsed pinto beans with water measuring 2 inches above the beans and 1 tsp of olive oil.  Place on high heat for 30 minutes.  Turn off, wait for pressure to release.

Once release, open the cooker and add onions, green chile, garlic and salsa.

Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Wait for the pressure to release and then mash the beans.  You can also use an immersion blender for a creamier texture.  Then place the mashed beans into a heavy bottom pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil to "refry" the beans.  This is not necessary but I wanted to be authentic :)  Saute for a 2-3 minutes and then turn off heat and wait until cool before filling into containers.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ocho rios, jamaica

A and I whisked away to Jamaica for a week of sun, good food and even better drinks!  We stayed at the Jewel's Dunn in Ocho Rios which is an hour and half bus ride from the MBJ airport.  It was an all-inclusive resort which was exactly what we enjoy to truly relax and have no worries about food what the doctor ordered :)  We left from IAH airport and luckily A, and I both got upgraded to first class!

Amazing view during breakfast each day:

After breakfast I usually lounged and read my books/magazines while A, played several games of beach volleyball.
Best pizza served poolside!

One of our favorite dinners was at the hotel's japanese hibachi grill where the chef who referred to himself as "blackanese"

After dinner we usually went to the hotel's nightly scheduled entertainment.  It ranged from local bands playing, karoake, games, beach bonfires, "dive-in" movies and clubbing.

As part of our stay, the hotel takes guests to the James Bond beach via mini Hobiecats.  There, our sailorman did a complete photoshoot for us.  Most of the pics are quite cheesy but here's one good one.

Enjoying more fun in the sun :)

Until next time Jamaica :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

spicy black bean chili


spicy black bean chili
adapted from eat live run

We're having a very mild winter in Houston but if you've been reading my blog for awhile you know about my love of soups and chili so there's no way some 70 degree weather was going to stop me!  I bookmarked this recipe a few months ago, bought all the ingredients a last week but was waiting for the right day as it takes a few hours to cook.  The only changes I made were to add 1 tsp garam masala and added 1/2 cup of corn the last 10 minutes of simmering.

Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and crumbled tortilla chips.  Serves 3-4 people.