Archive for the ‘Beans, Legumes, & Grains’ Category

For our retreat to Mala Duba, we decided to make a few casseroles ahead of time and cook them once in Mala Duba.  This was a yummy, comforting casserole that did great being frozen and then baked a few days later.  I combined a few different recipes to create this dish.  The ground turkey was an unexpected and delicious change from the normal ground beef, and it’s less expensive here than beef is. 

Tamale Pie with Cornbread Crust

Adapted from this and this recipe

500 g ground turkey                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 28 oz can tomatoes, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning, plus additional cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1 can kidney beans (rinsed)
1 small can green chilis
1 can corn
2-3 cups shredded cheese
1 box jiffy corn bread mix or one recipe cornbread crust (below)

– In large pot, brown turkey with chopped onions. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. – Add all other ingredients up to cheese. Simmer for a few minutes, adjusting seasonings as needed. Meanwhile, prepare cornbread crust.  Pour meat filling into 9×13 pan. Top with shredded cheese.  Spread cornbread onto top of casserole. Bake at 375 uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until cornbread is browned and filling is bubbly, or cover with foil and freeze.  To freeze frozen casserole, defrost for 30 minutes at room temperature, bake covered with foil for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until crust is done, about 30-45 minutes.

Cornbread Crust

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk

1 egg

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and stir to mix.


Read Full Post »

“Mouthwatering” and “lentil” in the same soup? I wouldn’t have thought so until this week. I’ve come to realize that brown lentils taste and look a little too much like dirt to be palatable to me. Red lentils, however, are a different beast. These tiny salmon-colored disks cook down into lovely, soft golden layers of mellow goodness. The red lentil soup I made previously was delicious. But this soup – this last lentil soup was divine. And really, really filling. And would have been really frugal, if not for the rich, creamy coconut milk the recipe called for. It wasn’t too bad for me this go-around: I used up another 1/3 of a can of coconut milk I had bought in Austria for only a euro…so about 50 cents for the coconut? Not bad. However, it would be a little more decadent if the coconut had been purchased here, as the only store I know of that carries it charges about 35 kn ($7) for a can. Now I know what to stock up on when I visit Austria again! I’m also interested in trying to make coconut milk…one option I saw called for equal parts unsweetened dried coconut and boiling water, allowing them to steep for 20 minutes and then straining the pulp out.

Garam Masala Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
adapted from The Nourishing Gourmet

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
4 cups water
1 carrot
1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tbsp coconut oil
3/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

Saute onions and turmeric in coconut oil until soft and translucent; add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the water, lentils and rice. Grate the carrot with a fine grater into the soup, and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, on a low simmer until the lentils and rice are soft.
Add the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Blend to desired consistency using an immersion blender.
In another pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat. Add the spices and stir, cooking until fragrant. Stir into the soup, and season with salt and additional pepper as desired.

Makes 3 servings. Serve with fresh naan bread for a delicious and fragrant meal!

Read Full Post »

Very quick. Very cheap.  Very yummy.

Adapted from 101cookbooks.com

1-2 chicken breasts, cut into tiny cubes
1 apple, cut into small chunks
4 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped, or 3 green onions
1 cup couscous
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of cinnamon

In pan, melt 3 tbsp butter. Add curry powder and stir for a minute until mixture gets fragrant. Add the apples and stir to coat, cooking for about a minute. Add the chicken chunks, a couple of pinches of salt, and stir to mix well with the apples. Cook, covered, for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Sprinkle with cayenne and cinnamon to taste, and remove to a plate, cover, and keep warm. In the same pan, add the remaining tbsp butter and the onions, and cook until soft. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt, bring to a boil, and add the couscous. Cover and remove from heat. After about 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and then scoop into a bowl, topping with the apple and chicken mixture. Season to taste with cinnamon and cayenne.

Optional: top with toasted walnuts, mint leaves, or fresh cilantro.

Read Full Post »

The last lentil soup I made tasted like….well, like lentils. Not my favorite flavor. But the lentil’s cheapness and healthiness was alluring, so I decided to give them another try. But this time, it would be the pretty little red lentils that would be utilized, and that would win me over.

This soup is delicious. I threw it together in about 10 minutes, and then let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes while I was getting ready for the day. I reheated it for lunch, and it was fabulous. Altogether, it probably cost about $1.50, and I’ll eat it again for lunches the rest of the week. I can’t wait to make it again, perhaps next time with curry instead of or in addition to the cumin.

Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from Epicurious.com

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few good sprinkles of ground cinnamon
juice of one lemon wedge

Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, tomato, cumin, cayenne, and salt and sauté, stirring, 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and cinnamon, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
Squeeze in lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

Read Full Post »

After a disastrous Monday evening that included cooking a vegetable lasagna that gagged me, I wasn’t anxious to run out and spend more money on food, but knew that I would need something filling to get me by for the next couple of days. Chicken wasn’t an option, since Suzana and I ate my remaining chicken breast with some homemade Caesar salad dressing and lettuce. But I did have a jar of dried chickpeas, begging to be turned into something more creative than hummus. And the new mint plant I bought at the market this week was calling out to me as well. And surely there had to be another use for the cheesecloth I spent the better part of Monday afternoon trying to locate (three stores, two bus fares, and a pharmacy later, I had the cheesecloth needed to make ricotta cheese). So from these inspirations, this recipe was born. And the best part: not only did I not gag on it, but I actually really enjoyed it, and would definitely make it again. It was filling, tasty, and cheap. And it was assembled in just a few minutes!

Minted Pea Salad

1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small carton solid yogurt or Greek yogurt
zest of one lemon
1 scallion, chopped
5 mint leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste

Place yogurt in cheesecloth, put in a sieve over a bowl, and let drain for 15 minutes. Toss in remaining ingredients, season to taste, and enjoy.

Read Full Post »

I’m absolutely addicted to hummus! I’ve eaten for lunch numerous times, and always have to stop myself from eating the entire batch in one sitting. Most recently, I ate it with Olive Oil Crakers from http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/olive-oil-crackers-recipe.html. They were delicious, but took a while to bake. I ended up getting tired and freezing three of the dough balls. I pulled them out of the freezer on Monday, let them defrost, and then rolled them out and baked them up. There were just as good as the first time I made them. I also tried mixing garlic powder into some of them, and that was also delicious. Other varieties I made included parsley, red pepper flakes, and Dalmatian herb mix. I loved them all.

But back to the hummus. My first batch was just a simple hummus, made from a can of chickpeas, a few squeezes of lemon juice, salt, a little cumin, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and a clove or two of garlic. It was delicious. But I decided to branch out and try some more varieties. In retrospect, I can’t decide which variety I liked best. The Hummus En Fuego may take the prize…

Basic Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained, juice reserved
1 clove garlic, peeled (or two)
salt, to taste
pinch of cumin
few good squirts of lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse. Add reserved bean juice or hot water as needed, and season as desired.

Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper:
Cut 1/4 of a red pepper in strips, toss in olive oil, and roast until tender. Add to the hummus, puree, and enjoy!

Hummus En Fuego (see www.101cookbooks.com/archives/hummus-en-fuego-recipe.html)
I toasted about 1/2 walnuts, ground them in the food processor, then added the fire oil and some extra red pepper flakes. I left out the cumin and the lemon juice (I think?) and only used one clove of garlic.

Spinach Hummus
This time, I toasted about 1/4 cup of almonds and ground them first. Then I added in the rest of the ingredients (sans cumin), about 1 cup spinach leaves(?) and pureed. I’d like to try it with a little lime juice next time…

Read Full Post »

I was a little overly-zealous in my quest for a pumpkin, and ended up with two pumpkins to roast and make pumpkin puree out of. The two pumpkins produced about 8 cups of puree to work with, and I made a pie, two batches of pumpkin bread, and still had more puree left over. So I thought a soup would be a nice way to use up some of the pumpkin, and would be a culinary adventure for me, since I’ve neither made nor ever eaten pumpkin soup. I found this Rachael Ray recipe on the Food Network website, and made a few changes.

The original recipe called for two cans of pumpkin, but I just used two cups (about one can), based on reviews suggested by other people who had tried the soup. I also used about two and a half cups of black beans instead of just one can’s worth reduced the curry powder from 2 tbsp. and a palm full, to just one teaspoon; used half cream and half milk instead of a full cup of cream; used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth; and added the apple cider vinegar and garlic powder, which I think added a nice kick to the soup.

I ate it with the corn bread that the bakeries sell here (similar to a loaf of French bread, but more dense, with a slightly softer crust, and made with corn flour instead of wheat flour), and the combo was delightful. I think a regular cornbread (like the kind served with chili) would be great with this soup as well. The best part of the soup was how quickly it came together (or would have, if I had used canned black beans instead of having to soak and cook my own).

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
adapted from Rachael Ray, via Food Network

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 turn of the pan 1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »