Tag Archives: recipe

meatless albondigas (i.e. vegetable soup)

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Meatless Albondigas

It’s nothing against the meatballs, I just don’t tend to buy or cook meat. But I wanted to pursue the taste, sort of, of albondigas.

Another note – I didn’t put amounts as it depends on how much you’d like to make. I used 1 onion, carrot, celery, garlic clove, tomato, half a pepper, quarter cabbage, and one packet of tomato sauce with a half cup of rice. 

This is what I wound up creating: 

Ingredients: 

  • oil
  • white or brown onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • garlic
  • oregano (Mexican, if you’ve got it)
  • salt
  • tomato
  • pepper
  • cabbage
  • green pepper
  • rice
  • tomato sauce

Instructions:

  1. Slice or chop all vegetable ingredients to the size you’d like. 
  2. Sauté onions in the oil until slightly browned. Add carrots, celery, garlic. Make sure it doesn’t burn. If you need to, add a bit of water. 
  3. Add salt, pepper, oregano
  4. Add tomato, pepper, cabbage
  5. Add water to almost cover veggies. 
  6. Add tomato sauce
  7. Add rice
  8. Bring to a boil, then simmer until rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). 
  9. Serve with a slice of lime. 

*If you like spicy, add a jalapeño or other chili when you are sautéing the vegetables. 

spicy asparagus with tofu and chili

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© erin dunigan 2013

Ingredients:

  • Oil (a bit of sesame is good)
  • green onions
  • garlic – pressed or minced
  • ginger – pressed or minced
  • chili- i used part of a jalapeno
  • tofu, crumbled
  • soy sauce
  • chili sauce (sweet or spicy – I used spicy Vietnamese chili sauce)
  • asparagus, cut in half

Heat oil in a pan or wok. Add green onions and stir fry for a few minutes. Add garlic. Add ginger. Add chili.

Keep stirring so that items get cooked but not burned.

After a few minutes, add tofu. Then add soy sauce and chili sauce.

After a few minutes, add asparagus. Cook until desired ‘doneness.’

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice, with more chili sauce on the side.

*This recipe is based on one I found (pictured above)  in enjoy: new veg with dash, by nadine abensur

recipe: spicy kale soup (with potato, lentil and tomato)

Granted, the term winter, in Northern Baja, should really be called ‘winter’ compared with many parts of the northern hemisphere during this time. That acknowledged, it is still the time for growing ‘winter vegetables’ – among them, kale, which seems to do quite well amidst the challenges of my rocky, nutrient-deprived soil.

kalesoup

 

So, I’m often looking for new ways to use said kale, since I tend to have an abundance of it. With a bit of help from my good friend google, I came across this recipe for Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup, which I modified somewhat. It was, I have to say, surprisingly delicious.

Spicy Kale Soup (with potato and tomato)

1 onion, thinly sliced4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
A bit of oil
A bit of red wine
1 stalk of celery, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 small bowl full of sun dried tomatoes, re hydrated, with their juice (I did not have a can of tomatoes as the original recipe called for, so I used the sundried garden tomatoes that I had, soaked in boiling water – they added a nice flavor. But, if you have actual tomatoes, or a can of tomatoes, use what you’ve got.)
A bit of chipolte salsa (I used Herdez)
2-3 cups of vegetable broth, or, lacking vegetable broth, water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup diced potatoes
1 big bunch of kale, thinly sliced – use amounts to your taste

Saute the onion in the oil, adding garlic after about 5-6 minutes. If it begins to dry, add some red wine so that it doesn’t stick. After the onions and garlic become soft, add all the spices, and a bit more wine, to keep it from sticking. Add the celery. Add the salsa, to taste.
After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, lentils, potatoes and water/broth. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until the potatoes and lentils soften – about 20-25 minutes.
When it is just about ready, add the kale, stirring it in to soften it.

Serve in a bowl with grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese. It is also nice over rice.

Enjoy.

 

recipe: bread soup

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Last night, after watching what was another beautiful sunset (but no green flash, that I could see at least) I began to ponder, and ponder was what it was, what I might make for dinner. I happen to have a fridge full of interesting veggies at the moment – Brussels sprouts, leeks, fennel, cauliflower and eggplant, among them. I’m trying to use those things first that need to be eaten before they go bad, so I was sort of focusing on the eggplant and the fennel.

So, as I do when pondering what to make for dinner, and having a few ingredients in mind, I began to peruse my cookbooks. I recently got two new cookbooks from the River Cottage genre and came upon a nice one for a fennel rocket (arugula) pasta.

Having settled upon this, I began to get up, when another of my new favorite books about food (it is, sort of, a cookbook. But it is really more accurately a book celebrating the splendor of food) caught my eye. An Everlasting Meal by Tamar E Adler. It is a glorious celebration of food – and reads more like a memoir of meals than a cookbook. I recalled that in it she has a wonderful section on what to do with old bread (not what you typically expect of the average cookbook) and that I happened to have a Mexican/French baguette on the counter which I had been allowing to ‘age’ for just such a purpose.

So the fennel rocket pasta got moved to the back burner (metaphorically speaking) and the stale bread came to the forefront. Bread soup, that is.

So, here is my slightly modified recipe for ‘bread soup’ with a significant nod in the direction of An Everlasting Meal:

Easy, Frugal, and Delicious Bread Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup any combination of leeks, onions, celery, garlic (I used them all)
1/2 cup of parsley and rosemary
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup dried mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water (reserve water for use in broth)
4 cups (more or less) of stale breadBroth or other cooking liquid

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add leeks, onions, garlic and celery. Saute until soft. Adler suggests adding salt to keep them from browning, which I did.

Meanwhile, rehydrate dried mushrooms – I had a variety, but use something flavorful – in a small bowl with boiling water.

Back to the soup. Add parsley  and rosemary. Stir, let wilt a bit. If anything begins to stick, pour in a bit of beer (I used Victoria, as that’s what I had) or wine.

Add stale bread. Adler says to remove the crusts. I didn’t, since on my Mexican/French baguette, removing the crusts would have removed much of the bread. Stir to coat the bread with the olive oil, onion, herby mixture.

Let it cook just a bit, then add your broth or other cooking liquid. Adler recommends saving pasta water, water that you use to boil veggies, or other ‘cooking liquid’ that one might, unthinkingly, throw out. I happened to have some pasta water which I used, as well as the re-hydrated mushroom water, and then some beer, white wine, and a bit more water (since I had no stock thawed) to make it so the liquid just covered over the bread mixture.

Let it simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Serve, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy.

Recipe: glorious (but simple) sautéed mushrooms

I was given some mushrooms that we’re about to go ‘off’ so I decided to sauté them.

Normally I would use white onion, but happened to have a bunch of diced red onion (from vegetarian pozole two nights ago – recipe soon) so decoded to try that. Also normally would use beer, but had an (old) open bottle of white wine. Finally, I decided to try adding turmeric and cumin instead of my customary garlic. So, here you go:

Sliced white mushrooms
White wine (I used Sauvignon blanc)
Red onion, diced
Butter
Turmeric
Cumin

Melt butter (to taste – I used about 1T for an almost full small tub of mushrooms.
Add sliced mushrooms.
Add diced red onion – about 1-2T
Sauté
Once the butter begins to cook down, add a glug or two of wine.
Add spices – about two shakes of each, and a bit of salt.
Continue to sauté until the mushrooms soften.

Enjoy!

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jabulani: pap and sheba

Are you around? I’ve made some traditional Zulu food and you’ve got to try it. 

It’s not exactly the kind of message you expect to get, living in Baja.

But with South African, Thai, and Spanish neighbors, in addition to the plentiful Mexicans and Americans, even in this small town it is not entirely out of the realm of the possible.

Turns out the ‘Zulu food’ is called Pap and Sheba. It’s ‘traditional’ food in South Africa–never something you’d go to a restaurant for, but something you’d eat at home, according to my host and impromptu cooking jefe, Ron.

He made it because his first foray into home gardening has gifted him with an abundance of tomatoes–tomatoes that were delicious in the sauce of the dish, called ‘Sheba.’

Pap, the ‘starch’ of the dish, is a corn meal substance, like a polenta, over which the Sheba–saucy with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices to taste–is poured.

It was delicious.

So delicious, in fact, that I had to go home and try to make it myself. That same night. After eating an entire bowl full.

I too, have been gifted with a garden full of tomatoes, many of which I’ve sun-dried on the dashboard of my car (that will have to be another post) but with the cooler temps that have come in, sautéing them seemed to be a good option.

Though my attempt was not nearly as tasty as the real deal (taught to Ron by a lovely African woman named Violet) it is good enough to keep the leftovers and marks my first entrance into adding a South African flair to the cooking repertoire.

jubulani! (which, I learned, is a zulu word for ‘rejoice’)

red lentil coconut dahl with sautéed greens

I happen to have a bumper crop, at the moment, of greens (chard, arugula, heirloom leaf lettuce) so I am looking for ways of using said greens in pretty much every meal. I also happened to have some coconut milk that I needed to use, so thus was born this combo.

For the dahl: 

Cook the red lentils according to instructions–I cooked about a half a cup in about two cups of water. Bring them to a boil, add turmeric and salt, then simmer until they break down, about 15 to 20 minutes. I added a bit of the coconut milk to the dahl, as it was cooking–don’t let it boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add one sliced onion to the oil and stir until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, (I use the already ready in a jar kind, since it’s easy to have on hand) about a teaspoon of each, more or less. Sautee a bit more.

Add cumin seeds and stir. Add curry powder–I happen to have a number of them from a recent trip to London. Use a good one–not just the kind that is called ‘curry powder’ in most US (white) grocery stores. You could use garam masala if you’ve got that.

Add diced carrot and sliced celery (about a handful of each) and stir, making sure everything is coated in the spices. I added a bit of coconut milk to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan and to give it a bit more moisture–not too much, you don’t want it soupy. Just sort of lightly covered.

Pour the onion mixture on top of the cooked lentils, cover, and let sit. Do not yet stir.

For the greens:

In the pan where you cooked the onions, which still should be full of the spice flavor, add a bit more oil and some garlic, and sautée the sliced greens–I used chard, but you could also use spinach. Slice more than you think you will need, as they cook down. Stir the greens around in the pan, getting all the leftover spices on them. After a few minutes, when they have barely begun to wilt, turn off the heat.

Stir the lentil mixture into the onion mixture.

Serve with rice. You can garnish with some plain yogurt and mint or cilantro/coriander if you’d like.