This dal is made with split pigeon peas or Toor dal. It has the usual spices plus peanuts, chile, and tomatoes. After sautéing the tempering and spices the rest of the ingredients go into the Instant Pot for five minutes under pressure. I used this recipe – https://pipingpotcurry.com/gujarati-dal/ With the exception of the peanuts, I thought this was a lot like Chana dal. We served it with baby kale and white rice and a garnish of lime and cilantro.
A while ago I came across a recipe by the chef, Gabriel Hamilton, for a clam chowder that you serve over toast. It was way more complicated and full of fat than anything I normally make but the idea appealed to me. Last night we adapted that recipe to one that meets our requirements without, I think, sacrificing flavor. Remember John and I are in the midst of a weight loss/healthy eating journey where I have lost over 45 lbs. and John over 40 lbs. eating exactly the plates of food pictured on my blog. I also made the recipe much easier by using canned chopped clams and bottled clam juice. We really, really liked the results and I have posted the recipe following the picture.
CLAM CHOWDER WITH CROUTON. Serves 3-4
Adapted from a recipe by Gabrielle Hamilton
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 ribs of celery, minced
2 leeks, dark, woody green parts removed, ¼” coins
10 ounces golden new potatoes, medium dice
2 sprigs thyme, picked
2 sprigs tarragon
6 ounces dry white wine
2 bottles/16 ounces clam juice
Juice from 2 cans chopped clams (~8 oz.)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
12 ounces chopped clams (2 cans, reserved liquid, see above)
3-4 slices hearty bread, toasted
In the Dutch oven, heat the olive oil, and add onion, celery, leeks, potatoes, tarragon, and thyme, stirring to coat. Season with salt, and cook over low heat until the vegetables have just started to soften, taking care not to brown, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and then add the clam juice and reserved clam liquid. Simmer until potatoes are al dente.
Stir in the cream, and simmer until vegetables are cooked through, taking care not to boil. Add the chopped clams, and season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
Toast the bread until golden, and place each piece in a bowl. Add a ladleful of chowder around the toast. Add another ladleful partially covering toast.
There is no recipe for this dinner. John cooks and I chop up vegetables. First John marinates the shrimp briefly in soy sauce, garlic powder, and ginger powder. Then he sautes them, cuts them in half and sets them aside. Next he microwaves the mushrooms briefly to get excess water out of them. Then they get sauteed followed by onions. I am madly chopping all this time. Carrots, celery, broccoli, scallions, cabbage, garlic and fresh ginger are sauteed. Everything is seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. At the end of cooking he puts the shrimp back in to warm them through. Our stir-fry is served on rice. It is so great to eat a delicious giant bowl of food!
My classic chicken dinner features a sous vide chicken breast, rutabagas made in the Instant Pot, and sautéed broccoli and zucchini. Using our immersion circulator gives us a lot of flexibility for the chicken to wait while I finish off mashing the rutabagas and sautéing the vegetables. The chicken can be enhanced with a variety of sauces. Tonight I used BBQ sauce but I often make chicken gravy with mushrooms or even a lemony butter sauce.
Details: sous vide was set at 160F and the Instant Pot at 12 minutes high pressure with instant release.
This is one of John’s favorite things to eat. If I ask him what vegetarian dish he would like to have, he invariably chooses this chickpea stew. We load up our stew with lots of vegetables to make it even hardier. There are onions, carrots, Lacinato kale, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms in this rendition. The pasta is really just a bit player with only 2 ounces in the whole dish. If we were regular eaters we would probably get between 4-6 servings out of a potful. But since we are big eaters we end up with enough left over for one lunch.
Note: For a vegan meal omit parmesan cheese.
Tonight we used up part of the leftover flank steak from Sunday. I fixed a hearty greens salad and laid the strips of meat over it. I sliced up the one remaining roasted beet I had and dressed the plate with my super secret salad dressing. (Great taste, almost no calories. Secret ingredient-xanthan gum) John in the meantime grilled cauliflower on a grill pan on top of our BBQ grill. I have to admit I liked the cauliflower better when it was grilled to a crisp right on the rack. The problem with that technique is that a lot of cauliflower falls through the spaces between the grill spokes. I should get a vegetable grill basket if I don’t already have one….somewhere.
Tonight was a fun eating night. We started with popcorn and cocktails, Negronis made with champagne rather than gin. We do not usually have drinks before or with dinner but the news is so bleak that we decided on cocktails and tapas as a way of ignoring the news and enjoying ourselves.
Our first tapa was supposed to be a vegetarian sushi roll. Unfortunately our leftover rice did not want to stick together so we had a vegetarian sushi pile instead-not really sushi but not bad. On our pile of rice we had cucumber, carrot, and avocado sticks. I made a sort of nuoc cham sauce from fish sauce, lime juice, sweetener, water, garlic powder, hot chile, and a few drops each of sesame oil and soy sauce. Very tasty!
Next we had sautéed shrimp ala John and served them with the same sauce.
Next we were supposed to have grilled cauliflower but we were too full from our first two courses to eat any more. All in all our tapas night was successful and fun.
Over the past several weeks our son has been joining us for some tennis playing (non-competitive) and lunch (also non-competitive.) At first we just had burgers and salads but this week I decided to change things up. John and I shopped for some flank steak which is a fairly lean cut of beef and John put a rub on it on Saturday in preparation for grilling the steak on Sunday. (See rub ingredients below the picture. It really makes the meat tasty!) If there is anything that will make my grown kids feel like kids again, tacos does the trick.
I cut up all the toppings, cabbage, tomatoes, cheese, onions, cilantro, chiles, and bought some salsa. Our daughter made guacamole and we had some chips besides. I cooked up some spicy black beans and John grilled the steak. The nice thing about this lunch is that they could fashion their tacos to their likings and I could put a bed of spinach on my plate and top it with some of the toppings and none of the high caloric items such as tortillas, cheese, and guacamole. We sat around the table for quite a long time talking and laughing. It was a great day!
Flank steak rub for tacos
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Finely grated zest of 1 lime (rest of lime can be cut in wedges for serving)
About 2 lbs. of skirt or flank steak
Rub on the steak. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or preferably overnight.