Indian Flavors Spiced Sweet Potatoes

 

 

When theRecipeRedux came up with a challenge to do something with spices, I knew it had to be something with sweet potatoes. Fall is the season when it feels right to be eating sweet potatoes. These spuds are dense in both texture and flavor which makes them especially satisfying; and topped with a winning combo of spices you just can’t go wrong. Another equally delicious dish I’ve made is Indian spiced Cauliflower. While these cooked dishes can be a little time consuming, they are definitely worth the wait—all good things are worth the wait. Aren’t they?

The fun thing about cooking is that sometimes you can sometimes discover a great combination. Today for example, I was thinking that Mexican and East Indian food fuse together well. Both of the cuisines use similar spices and flavorings like onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, and coriander. And while Indian food is often served with yogurt, Mexican food is often topped with sour cream, which is similar in taste and texture to yogurt minus the fat. And a type of food common to both Mexican and Indian cuisines is the flat bread; the Mexican tortilla, and the Indian chapatti.

Go ahead and make these flavorful spiced sweet potatoes, spoon the spuds up inside a tortilla or chapatti, top it with yogurt, guacamole, and cilantro leaves and enjoy. The dish is vegan and vegetarian friendly, and without the tortilla is gluten free. For added protein add some cooked beans, tofu or tempeh. . . . → Read More: Indian Flavors Spiced Sweet Potatoes

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Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini

 

 

 

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Have you every noticed that there seems to be a day or a month for just about every thing? There’s Take Your Kid to Work Day, Secretary’s Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day. There are also month long celebrations, too. October happens to be National Pasta Month, so along with the Recipe Redux I am ready to cook up some pasta.

Let’s face it, pasta has been getting a bad rap lately. With the craze of the Paleo diet that eliminates starch, the new CDC diet recommendations calling for more vegetables, and more people eating a gluten free diet, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there is less space for carbs like pasta. Well, pasta is great! Why give up something that is so enjoyable to eat? Really. Whole grain pasta is a good source of tryptophan that helps convert to seritonin, which is key to fighting insomnia, depression, and irritability. And whole grains help a person to feel full longer.

My solution is to have the pasta and eat it too. Add some vegetables into the mix for a more balanced diet. In this way you still get the wonderful taste pasta, with all the of benefits of whole grains and vegetables.

This recipe for Spaghetti Puttanesca . . . → Read More: Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini

Chai Tea Biryani

 

 

 

It’s National Vegetarian Week, and I’m doing my bit to create awareness about the benefits of eating less meat by sharing my recipe for vegan chai tea biryani rice.

There are many reasons why people become vegetarians, but probably the 3 most common reasons are: for better health, compassion for the animals, and to better the health of the planet.

According to USVegWeek.com “Nine billion land animals (and billions more aquatic animals) are raised and killed for food each year in the United States—that’s more than 1 million animals every hour.” There are several things wrong with this figure: It’s an unnecessary waste animal life, water resources, and land, and it’s unsustainable.

One book that I can recommend you to read about the unsustainability of the current practice of harvesting animals is Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman. This book is written for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Whether we eat meat or not, by making a few changes in our diet, in the direction of eating less meat, we will be doing better for our own health, the well-being of animals and for the health of the planet.

This week the friendly women at theRecipeReDux challenged the group members to come up with a recipe that uses tea–like that was really a challenge. For me it had to be something with chai tea, or a variation of it. This biryani rice dish uses chai tea as the base liquid and it’s delicious! . . . → Read More: Chai Tea Biryani

Vegetable Shu Mai – #SundaySupper

 

Happy Mother’s Day! When I signed up to take part in the Supper Sunday Movement’s Mother’s Day event, I knew right away that I wanted to make Shu Mai! And it gets better because I’m making vegetable shu mai!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for my favorite pork shu mai and I believe that some of my vegetarian and vegan readers were disappointed with that choice. Beef, pork, and poultry do occasionally appear on my plate, but I prefer with vegetable dishes most often. So today’s recipe is for all you veggie lovers out there. This recipe is also to celebrate my mother on Mother’s Day. Years ago my mother and I signed up and took cooking lessons together at Montana Mercantile, in Brentwood, California. It was a lot of fun taking the classes together and even more fun getting into the kitchen and trying out all the recipes we learned. We learned French cuisine, Italian, and Chinese. My favorite at the time was Chinese—I loved making and eating spring rolls and dumplings, soups and stir-fries. I still do, but not as often.

My Mom is an excellent cook too! Both she and my dad loved having the whole family—eight of us including my grandmother—sit down for long drawn out Sunday evening meal. She’d spend all day in the kitchen making the meal with all the trimmings, she’d put out the special china and crystal glasses and we have memorable meal. The food . . . → Read More: Vegetable Shu Mai – #SundaySupper

Mediterranean Garden Lasagna

 

Last week we had family in town and I felt inspired to make a vegetarian dish that my husband appropriately named Mediterranean Garden lasagna due to of all the vegetables in the dish that are typically used in the Mediterranean region. Winter is not the same if I don’t make at least one lasagna, and this year, despite the warm weather we’re having in AZ, I managed to make two of them. This because the men in my family were calling out for la-sa-gna! la-sa-gna! La-sa-gna!

The thing about lasagna is that if you have a really really big pan, say 11.5 x 16, you can make a meal for about 16 people. Depending on how many times the relatives go back for a seconds you may have leftovers for another one or two meals. I know it’s time consuming to make a good lasagna. That’s true. But, consider that you won’t have to cook at least one other day, you’ll enjoy a wonderful meal, and you’ll get to reap the rewards of praise for the extra tasty dish you made. And if you have more lasagna left-over than you can eat you can just freeze it until a day comes along when you don’t feel like cooking—(yay, reserves!)

Some of my readers like to know the nutritional fact about the recipes that I make and post, so I have started to use the calculators on caloriecount.com and WeightWatchers.com to help my readers know if a dish is . . . → Read More: Mediterranean Garden Lasagna

Gourmet Pizza with Ahh …mazing Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

Today’s recipe is for a gourmet pizza with an ahh …mazing cauliflower pizza crust. A few weeks ago after I posted Coca—a Healthy Pizza, one of my Facebook friends sent me a this link for cauliflower crust pizza. I’d never even heard that you could do that, but I thought it might be worth looking into. It turns out that this vegetable crust isn’t such a big secret. It seems like everyone is making this crust and someone just forgot to tell me about it. That’s why I’m telling you about it, in case someone also forgot to tell you about it, too. But look at the list of bloggers and cooks who are in on the secret: TheLuckyPennyBlog, SavoryLotus, Hungry Girl, Detoxinista, Recipe Girl, Paula Deen, and many others.

Cauliflower pizza crust is also much faster to make than regular pizza crust. My Tex-Mex pie takes about 3 hours with a regular crust. With this vegetable crust I can get the whole thing done start to finish in just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Now that’s what call progress. And talk about healthy. This pizza earns 5 stars for My Healthy Eating Habits. This recipe is vegetarian/vegan, diary-free, grain-free, great for weight watchers, and other dieters, and the taste is excellent. And if you like meat you can have your pizza and eat it too. Just like traditional pizzas you can top top it with tomato sauce and pepperoni, ham, sausage, whatever you like, knowing you’re doing . . . → Read More: Gourmet Pizza with Ahh …mazing Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Whole Wheat Penne with Vodka Sauce

 

It’s hard to believe we’re already a week into February. This calls for whole wheat penne with vodka sauce. I don’t know—any excuse will do, right? It’s also Ina Friday and that’s the real reason I chose to make this recipe.

Ina Friday falls on the first Friday of the month when a group of bloggers come together to blog about one of Ina’s recipes and make the food from the original recipe. Another option we have is to create or modify one of her recipes after being inspired by it. I’m taking the second road and developing a healthier recipe based on one of Ina’s, that she got from Chef Joe Realmuto, of Nick and Toni’s restaurant in East Hampton. It’s called penne alla vecchia bettola, but I call it whole wheat penne with vodka sauce, a vegetarian meal. Find the original recipe in Ina’s book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust.

Some of my friends have asked me to come up with dishes that taste like you’re cheating, but have less calories and fat. What did I do with this recipe to make it healthier? I cut out the cream, and reduced the Parmesan cheese by 75%, used fresh vegetables instead of canned, reduced the olive oil by 50 percent, and used whole grain pasta instead of white. You might be wondering it if a dish could still taste good after all the cuts—believe me it does. The freshly cooked vegetables add a lot of . . . → Read More: Whole Wheat Penne with Vodka Sauce

My Healthy Black Bean Burger

 

This morning I was in the kitchen making my healthy black bean burgers, enjoying the company of my son Gabriel, and reflecting on how different things will be once he goes into the Coast Guard. As a student, he was able to come home during summer and over the winter holiday break. I’m afraid that being in the service will make it more difficult for him to get home. At least I can enjoy his presence until March… and there is always Skype. What a great invention!

It’s been a big week for us, and my healthy black bean burger was just a small part of it. My brother, sister-in-law Mary, and nephew Brandon came out from California to see their daughter and sister, Miley, graduate from the Phoenix Fire Academy and officially join the ranks of the Scottsdale Fire Department. This is no small feat, especially considering that Miley just turned 20-years old in October, and she and 9 males were chosen from the 1400 who applied. You can imagine how happy we all are for her. She is focused and determined and she earned her place.

So what did I make for dinner graduation night? Black Bean Burgers? No. It was jambalaya—a great party food because it’s simple to make and it everyone loves it. Black bean burgers are easy too, but you would probably want to make them ahead of time and then just re-heat the patties. But I did enjoy a burger for lunch . . . → Read More: My Healthy Black Bean Burger

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza is the second post I’ve come up with for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA). Together with theRecipeRedux they are sponsoring a contest to come up with great recipes with wild blueberries. In my last post for Wild Blueberry Polenta with Grilled Onions and Sausage, I explained some of the health benefits of eating wild blueberries. It’s easy to forget all the specific reasons, I know. So what I remember best about them, even more than their being good for cancer prevention, the eyes, type 2 diabetes, and lowering inflammation, is that this superfood has more antioxidants than any other berry, including cranberries. So if I’m thinking in terms of health and what is the best berry I can add to my oatmeal, I’ll go for the wild blueberry; it tastes so good, too!

Now, lets talk food. I call the dish I made a pizza, but it’s flavor is closer to a focaccia. Like a pizza the shape is round, but it has little cheese and no sauce, making it taste more like a foccacia. Wild Blueberries are not traditionally used on pizza, or focaccia, but I went for it and liked the result, and so did the men in my family. And rather than eating . . . → Read More: Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza

Vegetarian Pad Thai

 

On Wikipedia I read that CNN conducted a reader poll and Pad Thai listed at number 5 on World’s 50 most delicious foods. So when Jess asked if she could do a guest post featuring Pad Thai, I said “Of course!”

Guest Post by Jess Collins

Pad Thai is easily made vegetarian by not adding meat and swapping fish sauce with soy sauce. This dish is great for people on the go as it is quick and easy to make. It takes just under 30 minutes to prepare. The main mistake people make is to over-cook the noodles but with this step-by-step recipe, hopefully you can make a tasty dish with noodles that have that perfect chewy texture.

 

Servings: 2

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Thin Thai style rice noodles, around 200 grams (to feed 2 people)

Pad Thai

4 crushed cloves of garlic

3 cups bean sprouts

3 spring onions, finely sliced

1/2 cup coriander

1/3 cup peanuts (or cashews), crushed

1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

1-2 minced red chilies (optional)

Vegetable oil

2 Lime wedges

Sauce

2 tablespoons of warm water with 3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in it

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce (increase depending on your taste)

1-3 teaspoons of Chilli sauce (increase depending on level of spiciness)

Preparation

Begin by putting the noodles in a large pot of pre-boiled water. Leave them to soak until they are soft enough to be eaten. Drain away the water and . . . → Read More: Vegetarian Pad Thai