Tag Archives: recipe

Lentil salad

I saw this lentil salad on Choosing Raw, and it turned out to be such a good idea. So quick and really good! I made a whole bag of brown lentils last weekend, used a few cups for a salad and froze the rest. We’re short lunches this week, so I just whipped up another batch using the frozen lentils and I can’t wait to eat it!



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Recipe: Indian cauliflower and peas

For a while, my father-in-law would make me some of his cauliflower whenever we’d visit. It’s good stuff and impossible to replicate. I think his method requires more oil than I’d be able to pour into the pan, but the end result is delicious.

This is our version we made at home tonight. It doesn’t do the real version justice, but it’s pretty darned good.


Yellow Cauliflower
cooking oil
1 med onion; diced
1 tb ginger; minced
1 ts cumin seed
1/2 ts cayenne
2 small heads of cauliflower; chopped into bite sized pieces
1 ts tumeric
1 c tiny petit peas
salt and toasted coriander seeds to taste

Heat the oil in a  large (14″) skillet, and cook the onions until soft. Add the ginger for a minute, then the cumin seed for a minute, then the cayenne for a few seconds.

Add the cauliflower and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. You want the cauliflower florets to brown. It will stick, but shouldn’t burn. When in doubt, add more oil.

When the cauliflower is almost tender and browned in spots, clear a space in the middle of the skillet and add a little more oil. Sprinkle the tumeric in the oil and stir for a few seconds. Stir it into the dish with 1/2 c water, scraping up the bottom.

Add the peas, and let simmer until the cauliflower is cooked to your liking. Add more water if it gets too dry. Mix in some salt and toasted coriander seed.

Serve with yogurt, pickle, and naan or rice.


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Recipe: olive oil granola

I’ve been making granola for a some time. The recipe I normally use is from Better Homes and Garden, and while it’s a fine base, I needed a change.

At Wegmans, I used to buy an upstate New York granola that was so delicious – but I can’t find it now. I remember it had these wonderful clusters – almost flour-based instead of oat-based. Maybe remembering this was what prompted my search for a new recipe.

In my search, I stumbled on a New York Times recipe via the Kitchn for olive oil granola. Compared to my normal recipe, it has 50% more seeds and 100% more nuts. It also uses maple syrup, which I refuse to do (way too expensive). I did add in some cinnamon and cardamom seeds (I don’t have it ground).

It certainly doesn’t produce the kind of granola I remember from Wegmans, but the result is a nice change of pace. The sugar, salt, and spices definitely creates a more layered taste, and I like the extra nuts and cooking time.

Here is my version of the recipe:

Olive Oil Granola
3 c rolled oats
1 c seeds (I used sunflower with a touch of flax)
1 1/2 c pecans broken up
3/4 c honey
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 ts salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon
4 cardamom seeds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil and honey. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir very well. Spread onto the sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Be sure to stir up the oats on the very bottom so they don’t brown too much.

Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet until completely cold. Break up and mix in 1 c of dried cherries.

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Recipe: Enfrijoladas

Efrijoladas are like reverse black bean tacos. Instead of tortillas on the outside with beans and toppings on the inside, a black bean puree coats tortillas and toppings are sprinkled over the top.

I first made it because I was trying to use some epazote from the farmers market, and enfrijoladas came up in an internet search (put a pinch in with the black beans while they’re cooking). We’ve made it a few times because it’s easy (even for a weeknight, with caveat*), vegetarian, and inexpensive. 

*Obviously cooking dried beans on a weeknight stinks. I mean that it’s only great for weeknights if you have cooked black beans on hand. For me that means they’re pre-cooked over the weekend, or defrosted from the freezer.

The epazote is a funny herb. We bought it fresh and dried it, and it has such a strange smell… very petroleum-based, kind of like the waiting room in a tire store. That doesn’t sound very appealing, and I can’t even vouch that it alters the flavor (or gassiness) of the beans, but we like interesting smells around here, so that’s enough for us. (S will stick his nose in anything and take a big sniff, I think it’s an occupational hazard.)


Place a platter in the oven to warm (turn on the lowest setting if your pilot isn’t hot enough). Prepare garnishes: chop something oniony (scallions or red onion) and something herby (cilantro or parsely), crumble some mild cheese like queso, thin out some sour cream with water or milk (or use crema). Apparently boiled eggs are good garnishes, too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

In a blender, puree 2 cups of cooked black beans in their cooking juices. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet, then add the bean puree and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer until it starts to thicken (5 mins). Keep warm on the lowest heat setting.

Heat 1/2″ veggie oil in another skillet until hot (not at all smoking, but hot enough for a tortilla to sizzle gently upon contact). Using tongs, dip a tortilla in the oil and fry for 10 seconds, then flipping once for another 10 seconds. Alternatively, I’ve seen instructions to steam the tortillas wrapped in towels. I think the point is that the tortillas need to be warm so that they are pliable for the next step.

Coat the tortilla in the bean puree, then fold onto the warmed platter.

Repeat with as many tortillas as you’d like (I think 2 cups of beans makes about 12).

Sprinkle/drizzle toppings including hot sauce or salsa or whatever else you have on hand over the platter (I got a little carried away in the picture).

It will get cold in a nanosecond, so eat quickly!

If there’s any bean puree leftover, I turn it into a soup. Saute onions and garlic, then add carrot/tomatoes/celery/potatoes/whatever and bean puree. Thin out with water to your liking and enjoy!


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Iron cheffing in Austin

In December I was alone at my brother’s house while he was at work. After waking up, the second thing I did (after saying good morning to Buck the dog and Beans the cat) was look through his kitchen cupboards. Whipping up something tasty out of whatever is on hand is really fun for me, and working out of someone else’s kitchen doubles the excitement.

With a bag of dried kidney beans, I decided to make a kidney bean curry and kidney bean croquettes. The kidney bean curry didn’t photograph quite as good as Buck, but I wanted to share it anyway!

Kidney Bean Curry

Cook 1 bag of dried kidney beans . First cover with water, bring to a boil, and let soak for an hour. Drain, fill again with water, and simmer gently for another hour or two.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Cook a chopped onion in veggie oil over medium-low until very dark brown. This will take about 1/2 an hour. Stir constantly, and turn down the heat if the onions brown too quickly.

Next, add spices. I found curry powder, ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Use a couple palm-fulls of spices, keeping heavy on the cumin and curry powder. Fry with the onions for a minute, then add a can of diced tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the onions and tomatoes dissolve together into a sauce. Add some water along the way to keep it at a medium-thick consistency.

When kidney beans are cooked, drain, then add to the sauce. I also added some frozen peas and carrots. Mix to combine and heat through. It can be enjoyed right away, or simmer covered on low for 1/2 an hour or more. Flavors will get better the longer it sits.

I like to serve over rice, but Buck prefers his Beans in a box.


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Recipe: bulgur, lentil, walnut salad

We had this bulgur salad tonight with a small steak. It’s a tabbouleh, heavy on the parsley, but with better texture than a couscous version.

Bulgur, lentil, and walnut salad
Cook lentils:
Cover 1/2 c French green lentils (I used some unlabeled whole Indian dal) with water, add a bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender.

Cook bulgur:
Cover 3/4 c bulgur with water, bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until bulgur is cooked.

Whisk together dressing:
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
6 tb lemon juice
1/4 c walnut oil
1/4 c olive oil
1 ts paprika

Add lentils, bulgur, and a can of chickpeas to the dressing. Chop 2 c parsley and mix in salad with 2 tb dried mint. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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New Years Day

On New Years Day this year I wasn’t really in the mood for the usual black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. I cooked up the beans anyway, so that we could each have a spoonful for good luck in the new year.

As we were eating the full meal on Sunday, I realized that I need a fool-proof recipe for black-eyed peas. Simmering them with onion, garlic, peppercorn, and some sort of pork isn’t cutting it. Anyone have a good recipe?

My recipe for collard greens, on the other hand, is pretty good. This comes from a Wegmans magazine before they turned semi-homemade.

Collard Greens
16 oz package chopped collard greens
1 tb vegetable oil
1 c chopped onions
1 c chicken broth (or whatever)
1 minced jalapeno
2 tb sugar
2 tb cider vinegar
pinch of red pepper flakes

Blanch collard greens in boiling water for 2 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Shock and let drain.

Heat oil in a saute pan and cook onions until translucent.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add jalapeno and greens. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Stir together sugar and vinegar until dissolved. Stir into greens along with red pepper flakes.


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