Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

If I learned one thing from tonight's experiment, it's that I should ALWAYS trust my instincts. I found this recipe for potato cauliflower curry and was interested. You know I love a good curry! However, the site didn't give a listed recipe, so it was only as I was reading down through the post that I noticed something odd--no garlic, onions, or ginger. I thought this was supposed to be curry? Allen voted to try it like it was written the first time, and it turned out pretty much like I thought it would. Not bad, but would have been better with garlic, onions, and ginger! I'll go ahead and post the ingredients so I have a place to start when we try this again.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (or 2 bags frozen cauliflower)
6 medium potatoes, cubed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1 small can tomato paste

The method is pretty straightforward.

1. Boil the potatoes about 5 minutes (they will finish cooking in the pan later).
2. Heat a skillet with olive oil. Brown the spices in the oil for a few minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste.
4. Add cauliflower to skillet, stirring well to make sure all the pieces are coated with the spices.
5. Add 1.5-2 cups water (to cover cauliflower). Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
6. Simmer until cauliflower is done, adding potatoes towards the end of cooking to heat them up.

Serve over basmati or jasmine rice.

We will definitely be trying this again, with modifications. For one thing, I'll be adding some cayenne, lemon juice, and probably more of all the spices. And of course, GARLIC, GINGER, and ONIONS.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cranberry Apple Casserole

I first tasted this dish last year, when my boss made it and brought some to work. It's fair to say I've been thinking of it since then, but fresh cranberries are sadly not available year-round. But low and behold, I got two big bags Friday at Sam's!

3 c peeled, chopped apples
2 c fresh cranberries
2 T. flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c melted butter

*Note: The sugar can be reduced by half without any problem. It really allows the tartness of the cranberries to shine!

1. Combine apples and cranberries. Toss with 2T flour to coat fruit.
2. Add sugar and stir.
3. In a separate bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, 1/2 c flour, brown sugar, and butter.
4. Place fruit in a 2 qt casserole dish. Spoon oatmeal over fruit.

Bake uncovered @ 350 for 45 minutes.

All I can say is--I'm glad I have 6 lbs of cranberries! Allen said he wants this regularly, until he gets sick of it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Penne with Broccoli and Chickpeas

Man, we had some yummy pasta tonight! And it was quick, cheap, and healthy to boot! What could be better?

6 oz whole wheat penne (or whatever noodle you like)
1.5 cups broccoli
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chickpeas (or 1 can, drained)
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp crushed red peppers

1. Boiled the pasta, adding the broccoli halfway through cooking.

2. In a separate pan, cook garlic in a little olive oil. Add crushed red peppers, chickpeas, and tomatoes.

3. Drained pasta and broccoli. Mixed with tomatoes and chickpeas.

At this point, the pasta was good. But it wasn't GREAT. It just needed a little something extra. So, I got a little half and half, some butter, and some Parmigiano Reggiano and made a little alfredo-type sauce (not much! half a cup, max) to mix in. Wow! That really did the trick. This one's a keeper!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Special Request--Pumpkin Bread (or muffins)

I was so excited to get my first request for a post! Yesterday my teacher asked me if I had a good recipe for pumpkin bread, and it just so happens that I do! This is only slightly modified from the recipe I got from a dear friend (thanks, Erin!). That's one of the beautiful things about this recipe. It's so versatile!

1 large can of pumpkin (I always use Libby's)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour (you can use all whole wheat for a more nutritious, but slightly less fluffy muffin)
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil (or applesauce if you're trying to lighten it up a bit)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
(you can add raisins or nuts if you like...we prefer it plain)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a smaller bowl.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring well.
5. Scoop into muffin tins (or loaf pans, bundt pan, etc.)
6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (for loaf or bundt, cooking time will be longer. Start with about 30-35 minutes and check every 5 min for doneness).

Makes about 2 dozen muffins, 1 bundt, or 2 loaves.

These muffins are awesome. I look forward to them every fall!