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vegan spinach or collard callaloo

January 17, 2015

Callaloo is a soup. Or is it a sauce? Thin, or thick? It’s as thick as you want it to be! Play with the amount of water you add for your favorite consistency. Okra has a bad reputation because of its texture, but here it holds together the greens.

Callaloo is made in Jamaica, Trinidad, and all over the Caribbean! It is traditionally made with dasheen (taro) leaves. Go with any leafy green that’s fresh!

Easiest method ever. Boil everything. For an hour. Then eat it. That’s it!

I haven’t tried this yet, so let me know if you do!

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about 2 lbs of chopped collard, torn spinach, lamb’s quarter, kale, or whatever dark leafy greens you have (remove the toughest ribs if you’re using thick greens like collard)
1/4 cup pumpkin or other winter squash, peeled and chopped
8 okra, trimmed (fresh if you can)
1 – 2 cans of coconut milk, then fill the cans with water and add those
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional – just a deseeded piece if you like it mild, or whole if you like it extra hot)
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
stock, broth, or water and bouillon (as needed)
Salt to taste

Add everything to a soup pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes (with baby spinach or other young greens) or an hour (for collards or tough older greens), or until the greens are tender. Leave the heat fairly low and stir often – coconut milk will burn. You will have to add extra liquid if it gets thick, so keep an eye on it. You can add stock or broth if you have it, or even just water.

When it’s done, add a teaspoon or two of butter or margarine.

Simply Trini shows it over rice with avocado slices and chunks of meat. It’s just as good with rice and beans!

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adapted from simply trini cooking and caribbean pot

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my favorite gujarati dal

January 2, 2015

I know, I know… there’s already been a Gujarati dal featured here.

It’s just that I started using a modified version of tarladalal’s dal, and can’t stop eating it.

It’s super healthy, and very quick and easy!

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Cook a cup of lentils, 2 cups of water, 2 T of peanuts, and half a grated sweet potato. I like red (masoor dal) or yellow (tooval dal) lentils for this, but you can use whatever’s available or whatever you have. All the recipes say to use a pressure cooker, but I don’t have one and it comes out just fine on the stove.

In a pot on your stove, combine the cooked lentils with water and two cups of water.

Separately, in a pan, add ghee, oil, or a combination of both, to 1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson). (I usually use about a tablespoon, but recipes say to use 2 tablespoons. You can cut it even more if you want.) When the seeds start to pop, add:

1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
6 to 7 curry leaves (kadi patta)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
25 mm (1″) piece cinnamon (dalchini)
1 bay leaf (tejpatta)
2 small round red chillies (boriya mirch)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

If you don’t have the whole seeds, just leave them out and add powdered spices directly to the dal. (Don’t skip the curry leaves or mustard seeds, though!)

Saute until it smells roasted. Add to dal. Also add an inch of grated ginger, a chopped plum tomato (a plop of tomato sauce or tinned tomato is fine,) a dash of turmeric, a slit green chili or two, and, if you like it sweet, grated jaggery or a pinch of brown sugar. Simmer for 10-15 min. Remove from heat and add fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste.

Serve with rice and veggies, or whatever you like. You can top with fresh cilantro leaves, plain yogurt, fried onions, or sour cream.

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adapted from tarladalal

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abdoogh khiar (5-minute cold cucumber yogurt soup)

January 1, 2015

Looking for a very healthy and very fast snack to add to a healthy meal? Maybe you have the heat cranked up and you’re pretending it’s summer. Maybe you just have something summery to celebrate. Maybe you worked up a sweat shoveling snow, and you want to cool off. Or maybe you need something cold and refreshing to enjoy with a spicy, hearty stew.

This Persian cold soup, from aashpazi, looks like a delicious variation of an Indian raita!

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Just dice 2 cucumbers into 1/2 cup shredded walnuts, a ton of fresh herbs (they recommend tarragon, mint, basil, and chives, but whatever you have in the house will be good,) and 1/4 c raisins. Stir in 2 cups of yogurt and 6-8 ice cubes, with water if you prefer. Season with salt and pepper. Top with dried mint and rose leaves.

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adapted from aashpazi… check out the photos of the rose petals on top!

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ghalieh kadoo (easy one-pot persian lentil & butternut squash stew)

December 30, 2014

Fast, easy, vegetarian, cooked in one pot, super healthy, and just a few ingredients! This is a traditional Persian recipe.

an onion, minced
oil
1 medium butternut squash, skin & seeds removed, cut into 2 in. chunks
150g lentils (3/4 c.)
3 c water
salt & pepper
1 T lemon juice

Fry an onion in oil until golden. Add everything but the lemon juice and simmer on med-low, covered, until water is mostly absorbed. Turn off heat and add lemon juice before serving.

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modified from cooking and cooking

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quick recipes

December 3, 2014

Added a new tag – “quick” – for quick recipes!

When hunger pounces, fast food is a temptation! Why pay out the nose for food that will make you feel sick when you can grab a quick 5 minute warm chickpea and feta salad and feel like a superhero? Not all these recipes will be healthy – but they’re all a million times more delicious (and healthier) than drive-thru or frozen meals!

Check out quick recipes here!

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gluten-free gingersnaps

November 30, 2014

Perfect for eating, gift-giving, or making a sauerbraten sauce. This was modified from the baking beauties.

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1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil, butter, or margarine
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour (i had none, so subbed a combination of coconut flour, buckwheat flour, and white rice flour)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (i left it out, and they were great)
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar, oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until fully combined.
DOUGH WILL SEEM TOO WET AND STICKY AND WEIRD, BUT THEY WILL COME OUT WELL!
Leave 2 inches between cookies.
Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to remain on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store cookies in an airtight container.

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modified by me from the baking beauties

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I made mine big, and they came out a great texture – soft and fluffier than many gluten free recipes, and not super gluten-free tasting. Good!

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five-minute hot and sour soup

November 18, 2014

Another reason to keep homemade stock around.

Feels great for the winter blahs.

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Add bone broth (or veggie stock) and water to a pot.

Bring to a simmer with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil (fry for a minute in a medium hot pan,) and salt.

Optional: If you like it restaurant-style and thick, add a corn starch slurry. Start with a half-teaspoon of starch to a teaspoon of water. A little goes a long way, but go as thick as you like.

Also optional: If you have them around, you can add dried or fresh mushrooms, bamboo shoots, lily buds, cilantro, extra-firm tofu, slivers of pork shoulder or chicken, or whatever you like in soup.

About 30 seconds before serving, beat an egg with a pinch of starch like potato or corn starch. Drizzle forkfuls of egg into the simmering soup.

Take off heat. Add tons of white pepper and either chinkiang vinegar or a combination of red wine, rice, and apple cider vinegars. Top with cilantro, or sesame seeds, or just sip it and keep warm.

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modified from serious eats

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