Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saffron Bean Salad

This is soooooo easy, and tasted so good. I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow, after the flavors have melded together a bit more. See tips (below) for hints on serving with chicken or shrimp.

from The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb

1 package (10 oz) saffron-flavored yellow rice
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
6 plum tomatoes (or 4 regular ones), diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped (we used just over half of an onion, and that was plenty for us)
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
1/8 cup olive oil, or more to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (we forgot this, and it still tasted good, though I think it would have been better with it)

Cook the rice according to the package directions. While the rice cooks, put the beans, tomatoes, and onions in a large serving bowl. Add the warm rice to the bowl and top it with the vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro. Toss it thoroughly.

Tips from Goldfarb:
- You can make this salad up to a day ahead of when you plan to eat it.

- A meal in itself, it's also great served with chicken or shrimp or wrapped in a tortilla and topped with salsa or sour cream. We have found that this is a popular dish at showers, potlucks, and picnics.

Monday, March 26, 2007

curried wheatberries and apple supper salad

"The cool thing about this recipe is that it was the grand prize-winner in a contest sponsored by the Kansas City Star for tailgate recipes," says this recipe I found online.

3/4 cup non-fat yogurt, soy yogurt, or other substitute
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. curry powder (I substituted paste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 TB. Dijon mustard (I left this out -- the mixture seemed like it would be sort of gross)

1 cup cooked wheatberries (directions follow)
1 cup cooked brown rice (I omitted and doubled the wheatberries)
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh green beans, steamed until crisp-tender
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
4-5 green onions, chopped (I omitted)
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
4 TB. cilantro or parsley, chopped (I omitted)

Mix yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and spices together well; set aside.

Combine rice, wheatberries, garbanzo beans, onion, green beans, cucumber, pepper, apple and cilantro in another bowl. Mix with dressing.
The creator of this salad says that it's best to mix it together and let it
sit in the refrigerator at least overnight, to let the flavors mix and meld.

To cook wheatberries: They should be soaked for at least half an hour before
cooking them. To cook, cover them with water in a saucepan, bring to a boil,
lower the heat, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. If you don't care for
wheatberries, you can substitute fresh corn off the cob instead.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chana Dal

I started with the recipe found here, and since I'm never content to not tinker with things, I adapted it a little.

2 cups (uncooked) chana dal (dried, split chick peas)
6 cups water
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 box frozen spinach
2 tablespoons garam masala1
salt to taste


Simmer dal until tender (it took me about 45 minutes). Purée part of it (I used my immersion blender here). Carmelize onion in a bit of olive oil. Add garam masala and simmer a bit more. Add onions to dal.
I plan to eat it over couscous and basmati rice.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lemon Bars

This recipe is from a co-worker's mom. They turned out well, but be sure to keep an eye on them while you're baking a second time. I over-baked mine, and though they tasted fine, they look more brown than yellow.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably from a fresh lemon)

Turn oven on to 350 degrees and preheat.

Mix flour, butter, and confectioner's sugar. Press evenly into bottom of ungreased 8x8 or 9x9 square pan. Bake 20 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Bake 25 mintues longer or until no imprint remains when you lightly touch top. Let cool then cut into squares.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tri-berry muffins

from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home

3 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 c. milk
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. raspberries
1/2 c. diced strawberries
1 1/2 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix the milk, eggs and melted butter. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, then pour the wet mixture into the well and stir until just combined. Don't overmix the batter! Add the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and the sugar and stir gently to combine.
Using a scoop, spoon the batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.


(a vegetarian recipe from Angola published in CRS' Operation Rice Bowl Lenten reflection materials)

1 Tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb collard greens, kale or spinach
3/4 C toasted sesame seeds or unsalted peanuts [I used 2 palmfuls of sesame seed and 1Tsp of natural peanut butter]
garlic, minced, to taste
[ginger, minced]
vegetable broth (optional)
3 tomatoes, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

In a large saucepan, cook the greens in boiling water until tender and drain. Vegetable broth may be added for flavor. Set aside.

In frying pan, saute onions in oil for 3-4 minutes before adding garlic. Add garlic & ginger and saute until soft and aromatic. Add tomatoes and cook until tender. Then add peanuts or seeds (or peanut butter) Continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

Add greens to the mixture and season with salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook together for a few minutes. Serve with hot rice.

(cheater) Palak Paneer

(adapted from

1-2 bags of prewashed spinach, roughly chopped
1 box paneer, cubed
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lobe minced ginger or 1/4 tsp ginger
salt to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp green chili paste (I didn't have this, nor can of green chiles in the house, so I used a Tbsp of salsa verde - I know it's a weird choice, but the spices were pretty complementary with the Indian flavors)
1 tsp garam masala
vegetable oil

Steam spinach until tender. (The recipe says to put it in the blender after steaming which I will do next time because I used my stick blender on the whole mixture at the end and it was ok, but the texture wasn't quite smooth enough for me.)

In one frying pan, heat oil and fry cheese cubes until just golden on one or two sides. When done, remove from heat and place on paper towel to drain.

In another pan, melt butter, then add cumin seeds and bay leaf. After 2-3 minutes, add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and saute 1-2 more minutes. Add salsa, salt, pepper and garam masala.

Fold cooked spinach into mixture. Stir in paneer cubes.

Serve hot with rice.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pork Adobo

Adapted from Filipino Cuisine -- Recipes from the Islands

1/3 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tspo. salt
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces

Combine all the ingredients except the meat and oil in a medium saucepan that is not aluminum. Add the meat to the sauce and marinate at least 30 minutes.
Simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
Serve over rice.

Chicken and green papaya stew

from Filipino Cuisine -- Recipes from the Islands

2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
2 Tbsp. ginger, julienned
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
3 lbs. chicken, cut up into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (you can probably substitute soy sauce)
1 tsp. salt
5 c. water
2 c. green (unripe) papaya, peeled and sliced (substitute zucchini or chayote)
1/2 c. spinach or bok choy

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the ginger, garlic and onions for 1 minute. Add the chicken and lightly brown all the pieces.
Add the fish sauce, salt and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Add the papaya and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the spinach, cover and simmer for 3 more minutes. Makes 5-6 servings.