Tag Archives: cilantro

Samosa Potato Salad

"This is the best potato salad I have ever had."

Everyone who tries it

samosa potato salad

This is what happens when a favorite Indian street food and a favorite picnic dish collide in my thoughts at 3 a.m. The amount of cayenne can be varied to alter the spiciness, but the 1/4 teaspoon called for in the recipe adds just enough for most tastes, while keeping the other flavors balanced. Use a good quality curry powder.

 

Ingredients:
3 lbs. small yellow potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 C yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium onion)
4 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 3/4 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/4 C mayonnaise (use Vegenaise to make it vegan)
3/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C green peas, cooked

Directions:
In a large pot, boil potatoes in lightly salted water just until tender. Drain and set aside.

Return pan to medium heat; add olive oil. Add onions, ginger, curry, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Saute until onions are tender and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat. Add lime juice, mayonnaise, and cilantro.

Combine peas, potatoes, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Chill for an hour before serving.

Smoky Mexican Chickpeas and Cranberry Chimichurri Grilled Tofu

smoky mexican chickpeas and cranberry chimichurri tofu

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodSometimes I’m in the mood for channa masala, but I’m out of canned (and fresh) plain tomatoes. So I grab whatever tomatoes I have – in this case, Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Adobo flavor. They said “NEW” on the label, yet were on clearance at the grocery store. Go figure, but I stocked up. I’m glad I did, because I think they have been discontinued. Boo! If you can’t find them, you could probably use their regular fire-roasted tomatoes, and add two or three tablespoons of adobo sauce.

For the tofu marinade, I had some cilantro and jalapeños that needed to be used. The immersion blender was already out from blending the tomatoes (nobody around here likes tomato chunks except me). So I decided to throw some fresh cranberries in the blending cup with the cilantro and jalapeño and make a tart and spicy chimichurri sauce to marinate the tofu. I left the seeds and ribs in the jalapeño, and the resulting sauce was quite spicy. You can de-seed your pepper if you want less heat.

I love how this marinade worked. Some parts of the tofu immediately took on a pink color from the cranberries, and other parts were dyed green with cilantro. Pretty tofu!

 

Smoky Mexican Chickpeas

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 14.5 oz cans Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Adobo flavor
1 15 oz can chickpeas, or your own fresh-cooked chickpeas
1 cup water
salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:
In a heavy pan, heat olive oil and saute onions until translucent. Add oregano, cumin, and garlic. Saute until fragrant.

Add paprika, tomatoes, chickpeas, and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or longer, until chickpeas are tender. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve over hot basmati rice.

 

cranberry chimichurri tofu

Cranberry Chimichurri Grilled Tofu

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 pound extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into squares or triangles
3/4 cup cilantro, leaves and stems, packed tightly
1/2 jalapeño pepper, chopped (de-seeded if you want it less spicy)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except tofu in a blender, food processor, or cup for an immersion blender. Blend thoroughly until smooth.

Pour sauce over tofu and marinate for at least a half hour.

Grill tofu on a oiled indoor grill or outdoor grill until browned on each side.

 

Indian Lentils + Coconut Makhani Sauce – Failed Ravioli = Soup

makhani lentil soup

There’s a best practice in debugging computer programs that recommends changing only one variable at a time in order to isolate the problem. I’ve also found this to be true when trying new ingredients, techniques, and combinations in cooking: try only one new thing at a time!

Failure to follow this rule resulted in some really bad ravioli last weekend. My vision was to combine Indian flavors in an Italian preparation: Indian-spiced lentils and carrots, stuffed into a chickpea flour ravioli, topped with a creamy makhani sauce made with coconut milk.

I’ve never made fresh pasta, or worked with chickpea flour. The result? Gummy, chewy, too-thick pasta with an odd, beany flavor. Not good.

At least the other components of the dish worked well on their own. These Indian-spiced French green lentils were simple to make and worked well as a side dish later in the week. The Coconut Makhani Sauce tasted like a warmly-spiced, slightly creamy tomato soup. They worked well together, too!

French lentilsLentils are fantastic. These are French green lentils, prior to cooking.

I’m offering the lentils and sauce as separate recipes. If you have other uses for one of the recipes, please share them!

Indian Spiced French Lentils

Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup french lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 medium white onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 black cardamom pods

Instructions:
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cardamom pods and sauté until tender. Add lentils and broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Do not overcook lentils, or they will become mushy. Cooking time will depend on the age of your lentils. Older lentils are generally more dry and may take longer to cook, or require a bit more water.

Serve with rice, or add to Coconut Makhani Sauce to create a soup.

Coconut Makhani Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup ginger, finely minced
6-7 garlic cloves, pressed
2 black cardamom pods
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seed, crushed
5  cups tomato sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt to taste
1 14 oz can coconut milk

Instructions:
Heat Earth Balance in a saucepan. Add cinnamon, cardamom pods, and mustard seed.

Once the seeds start to sizzle, add ginger, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Cook until small bubbles form on surface of the mixture.

Add tomato paste or tomato puree, cinnamon powder and celery seed.

Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes, until reduced by about one third.

Just before serving, whisk in coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Cilantro Cumin Slaw

Cilantro Cumin Slaw

Two of my favorite flavors – cilantro and cumin – combined with Reduced Fat Vegenaise. A creamy and relatively healthy side dish. Now with nutrition information! It’s easy to calculate your own nutrition information for recipes at SparkRecipes.com.

Cilantro Cumin Slaw

Makes 3 servings.

Ingredients:
2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Reduced Fat Vegenaise
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
salt to taste

Directions:
Combine cabbage, bell pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, combine Vegenaise, lime juice, cumin, vinegar, agave nectar, onion powder, pepper, and salt. Pour over salad ingredients and toss well to coat.

Let stand for at least an hour before serving, or overnight, to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 74.3
  • Total Fat: 5.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 130.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 7.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g

Quick Polenta with Black Beans and Mole

polenta with black beans and mole

Today’s lunch is brought to you by the secret word: drool.

Here we have a few slices of prepared polenta and black beans, topped with Doña Maria Mole. This prepared mole comes as a sauce that you can use right out of a little square Tetra-Pak, about the size of a juice box. It’s convenient for our family, because I can serve the omni-people their chicken with mole, and save some sauce for topping my veg protein of choice. (I should try it with tempeh.) It all comes together in under 5 minutes, minus cooking the Mexican Rice on the side (which takes about 25 minutes).

I packed up two lunch portions in these Pyrex “frozen dinner”-sized containers. They’re about the same size as one of those overpriced meals you buy out of the freezer. I’ve eaten my share of Healthy Choice, and they never compared to my own leftovers. I’m trying to phase out plastic containers and use more glass for reheating. These containers come with plastic lids which do an adequate job of sealing, except for really juicy foods. When I’m concerned about leakage, I seal the container with plastic wrap under the lid.

Pyrex lunch containers

And… check out my new To-Go Ware utensil set! It’s made from bamboo, and includes chopsticks and a fabric carrying case (not pictured). It fits in my small purse, so it can go to restaurants, or wherever I eat my packed lunches. The sets retail for $12.95 each at the manufacturer’s web site, but Common Ground Food Co-Op has them for only $9.99.

 

Samosas with Cilantro Chutney

samosas with cilantro chutney

These Vegetable Samosas from VegWeb.com were the first item to be devoured at Potluck #1 (of 3) this weekend. I made a large batch of filling, with curry powder instead of Korma sauce, so I might have to make some more dough.

The cilantro chutney (sometimes labeled coriander chutney if you’re looking for a pre-made version), is a quick recipe I created. Like many of the things I come up with, it’s a combination of 2 or 3 recipes I’ve seen on the web, adapted to whatever I have on hand, and rarely measured accurately since I always adjust things to our tastes.

Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients:
1/4 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped, including seeds and ribs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 large bunch cilantro, ends of stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a food processor, combine onion, jalapeño, cumin, mustard seed, and lime juice. Pulse until chopped finely. Be careful not to breathe the aerated jalapeño juice!

Wash and dry cilantro, then chop into about 4 sections, breaking up stems so it will fit into your food processor. Don’t be afraid the use the stems… they have a lot of flavor. Add to food processor, and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Crock Pot Channa Masala

PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart begins tomorrow. I’m going to give it a try. I don’t feel like I’m “giving up” all the things I can’t have (or more accurately, that I choose not to have). I see it as an opportunity – for better health, to reduce my footprint on the world, and to discover new tastes. Many of the dishes I already love are vegan. Like this one, a family-favorite Indian dish. It’s easy to prepare in a slow cooker, and the chickpeas turn out perfectly.

If your slow cooker has a removable stoneware crock like mine does, you can even assemble it the night before and store the crock in the fridge, then pull it out in the morning and plug it in. Dinner will be waiting for you, and your house will smell amazing.

Crock Pot Channa Masala

1 29 oz (large) can chickpeas, undrained
1 28 oz (large) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamom pods
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 tbsp garam masala
few dashes cayenne (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours, with the lid off for the last hour so it can thicken. Serve with hot cooked basmati rice or naan, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.