Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini Bowl

Another recipe . . . excited to try this one as well!

1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

3 large eggs

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside.

Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.

While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters.

Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. I serve this family-style, but you could do individual platings.

Orange Pan-glazed tempeh

I stumbled across this on the absolutely lovely (whose author took it from chef Jude Blereau and her book "Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family"). With a few changes here and there, it's officially become my new favorite tempeh recipe. Yum.

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (or ginger pressed in a garlic press)
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lime
a handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves

Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then add the ginger pieces as well.. Add the tamari, mirin, and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over it from time to time.

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grilled Greek Eggplant Rolls (a la Heather)

As the name suggests, Heather whipped these up at her impromptu Memorial Day barbeque, and they were a-ma-zing! No exact measurements, but you can tweak things to taste :)

1 large eggplant -- sliced lengthwise into broad 1/4-inch slices
olive oil
about 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
about 1/4 cup mint, minced
a squeeze of lemon juice
1 chili pepper, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the slices of eggplant with olive oil. Grill (or roast in the oven, if you're lacking in grill) until they're soft/roasted.

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. When the eggplants are done, place about two tablespoons of the feta mixture towards the end of each slice, and roll it all up.

Seriously tasty :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spicy (or not) Yogurt Dip

Another swipe from, with tweaks :). I made this to go with the Zucchini Pancakes (below), and the pairing turned out amazingly. Would also be great as a dip for veggies/crackers/bread.

2 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup loosely packed fresh sprigs cilantro
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 (3-inch) fresh serrano chile, including seeds, chopped -- this can be omitted if you don't like spicy things :)
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

Lightly crush cardamom pods with your thumb, then remove seeds, discarding husks. Toast cardamom and peppercorns in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, then cool. Grind spice mixture to a powder in grinder or mortar and pestle. Purée cilantro with spice mixture, garlic, chile, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon oil in a blender until smooth. Stir purée into yogurt and season with salt.

Springtime Asparagus Soup

This soup is deceptively simple, but really amazing and super-quick to make. I found the recipe on and tweaked it a bit. This recipe makes enough for 6 folks.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup sliced shallots (about 6 large)
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and coriander; stir 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Stir yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl. Divide soup among bowls. Top with dollop of lemon yogurt and serve.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Texas Flour Tortillas

Amanda whipped these up as an accompaniment to guacamole and spicy fried tofu last night . . . and they were met with universal acclaim and then silence as we couldn't stop eating them. They are So. Frikkin'. Good.

This recipe was taken from, whose author adapted them from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. It'll make 8 tortillas.

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.

Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil. While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crunchy Palak Paneer

Also courtesy of A-Dash . . . I need to try this one soon!

For the sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 whole red or green chilli
1 tsp salt
14oz can tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp sugar
1lb 2oz fresh spinach, washed
2 tbsp water

For the paneer:
2 tsp garam masala
1¾oz semolina
7oz paneer, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
vegetable oil, for shallow frying

small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
1 tsp lemon juice

1. For the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about three minutes until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute.
2. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, whole chilli and salt. Stir over the heat to release the flavours of the spices.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar and simmer for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for the paneer, place the garam masala and semolina in a large bowl and mix well.
5. Place the cubed paneer into the bowl and coat well with the spiced semolina.
6. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep frying pan to a depth of about 0.5cm/½in. When hot, add the coated paneer and fry until crisp and golden.
7. Add the washed spinach and two tablespoons of water to the tomato sauce, stir in and cook until the spinach wilts.
8. Fold the paneer into the sauce.
9. To serve, garnish with the coriander and squeeze over the lemon juice.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Zucchini Pancakes

So I haven't actually gotten to try this yet, but I just found it on and it looks seriously tasty. It's hovering near the top of my "to cook" list this week . . .

1 pound zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated

2 cups chopped green onions
4 eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dillweed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 3 ounces)
Olive oil

Place zucchini in colander. Sprinkle zucchini with salt and let stand 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze zucchini between hands to remove liquid, then squeeze dry in several layers of paper towels.

Combine zucchini, chopped green onions, 4 eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix well. Fold in crumbled feta cheese. (Zucchini mixture can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Stir to blend before continuing.) Fold chopped walnuts into zucchini mixture.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Cover bottom of large nonstick skillet with olive oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop zucchini mixture into skillet by heaping tablespoonfuls. Fry until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer each batch of pancakes to baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes hot.