Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegetables Paprikash with Poppy Seeds and Kasha

When we were growing up, my mother would sometimes make Kasha Varnishkes, a traditional Eastern European Jewish dish of kasha (buckwheat groats) with bow-tie pasta and slow-cooked onions. I loved it, so when I saw this recipe that uses kasha as a bed for creamy, paprika-laced vegetables, I knew I had to try it. It may not make for a beautiful photograph, but with a salad and some bread it made for a warming, filling meal on this first night of winter.

Vegetables Paprikash with Poppy Seeds and Kasha
The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes, Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay

The Kasha:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green cabbage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups dry kasha (buckwheat groats)
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
Several grinds pepper

The Vegetables:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons paprika
1 medium cauliflower, cut into medium florets
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 cup firmly packed minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the cabbage and garlic for about 2 minutes, then stir in the kasha and toast it, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Stir in the water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.

Put the water in a large dutch oven or stockpot and stir in the paprika. Add the onion and celery and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Stir the cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrot into the onions so that everything is coated with the paprika. Stir in the salt, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the sour cream with the yogurt, horseradish, and parsley. When the vegetables are done, whisk a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid into the sour cream mixture to warm it a bit, then gently stir the sour cream into the pot to coat the vegetables. heat over a tiny flame for 1 minute only.

Arrange the kasha in a ring around the edge of a large platter, drizzling it with a little sauce. Spoon the creamed vegetables into the center and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Serve immediately.

6 servings

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

South of the Border Pizza

I made this pizza for the first time in a few years, and it is still as great as I remember!

South of the Border Pizza
The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes, Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay

Dough for 1 pizza
1 cup black beans (I use whole 15-ounce can)
1/4 cup water or bean cooking liquid
1 minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt (I did not use)
A few grinds of black pepper
1 1/4 cups monterey jack cheese (I used mozzarella)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 (4 1/2-ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 medium avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 5ooF.

Roll out pizza dough into a 12-inch circle.

Place beans and water in bowl of food processor, along with the green onions, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

Spread Bean mixture over prepared crust. evenly distribute cheese, cilantro, chilies, and olives. Arrange the tomato slices over everything.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

Arrange avocado slices on the pizza.

6 servings

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Curried Vegetables with Dahl

This was a nice and healthy meal, full of those Indian flavors that I love. Although I don't have a picture of it, I am going to include the recipe for the rice that I served with it - it was sooo good!

Curried Vegetables with Dahl
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, The Moosewood Collective

1 1/2 cups red lentils or yellow split peas
4 or 5 cups water
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 fresh green chile, minced (I used a jalapeno, seeded)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
2 cups water
1/2 head cauliflower (about 4 cups florets)
2 green or red bell peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)
10 ounces fresh spinach
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Rinse the lentils or split peas. Lentils cook faster and absorb less water than split peas, so use 4 cups of water for lentils, 5 cups of water for split peas. In a covered saucepan, bring the water and lentils or peas to a boil. reduce heat, uncover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until tender.
In a large soup pot, saute the onion and chile in the oil for several minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, curry powder, cumin, and ginger and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the 2 cups of water. Cut the cauliflower into florets and add to the pot. Add the bell peppers, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
While the vegetables simmer, rinse, stem, and coarsely chop the spinach. Pour the lentils or peas and their cooking liquid into a blender or food processor, and puree for 2 to 3 minutes to make a smooth dahl. When the cauliflower is tender, stir in the spinach, the dahl and the lemon juice. Simmer just until the spinach has wilted. Add salt to taste, and serve immediately.

4 to 6 servings

Coconut Basmati Rice
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, The Moosewood Collective

1 1/4 cups water
1 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 piece cinnamon stick (1-1 1/2 inches)
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1 dried chile (optional) (I didn't use)

In a heavy saucepan with a tightly fitting lid, bring the water to a boil. While the water heats, rinse the rice well. When the water boils, stir in the rice and all of the remaining ingredients. Return to a boil. Stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and the optional chile, stir to fluff the rice, and serve.

3 to 4 servings