Chana dal with rice and kale 5/20/22

Dried split chickpea stew with kale and rice

Chana dal are dried split chickpeas and this stew is a snap to make in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. We make ours with spicy Original Rotel plus sriracha on top for even more zing. I love the whole cumin seeds in it plus ginger, garlic, onion, and an array of spices, yum! My rice mixture is half cauliflower and half white rice and the raw kale I use is Trader Joe’s shredded kale. This is my favorite Indian dinner!

Posted in Easy, Indian, Instant Pot, Legumes, rice, stew, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fusilli with mushrooms and asparagus 5/19/22

Fusilli with mushrooms and asparagus

This is a delicious and filling pasta dinner that I make every week. It always includes some shape or strand of pasta, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a vegetable. This week I used asparagus. It is one of my favorites. The sauce is a combination of juices from the vegetables, pasta water, and olive oil.

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Fish taco with spicy black beans and rice 5/18/22

Talapia on a corn tortilla with condiments plus spicy beans and rice

Underneath the cabbage, tomatoes, onion, and salsa verde there is a fish fillet and a corn tortilla. This is my version of a taco, a whole bunch of things piled on a tortilla. Folding a tortilla up and eating it out of hand means that the whole experience happens too quickly. I like my dinners to last longer than a few minutes!

The fish we used was talapia that John roasted in the oven. I sauteed some red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and onions and then put half of that mixture in a can of black beans and the other half in cauliflower rice and white rice. The rices and beans also had half of a can of Rotel, a healthy dose of cumin, and some cilantro. This was an easy and fun dinner with everyone choosing the toppings they liked best.

Posted in American, Easy, Fish, Legumes, Methods, pescatarian, rice, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment

Leftover red lentils with kale and cauliflower rice 5/17/22

Red lentils with kale and cauliflower rice

We had some leftover lentils from the other night so we heated them up in the microwave. I always have cauliflower rice in the freezer and the microwave is good for heating that up too. The kale was served raw. I added a dollop of yogurt which you would omit for a vegan preparation unless you have some plant-based yogurt. I finished my plate with some spicy sriracha.

Posted in Afghan, Easy, leftovers, Leftovers For Dinner, Legumes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Salmon bowl 5/16/22

Salmon over rice with cucumber, edamame, snow peas, cabbage, and avocado

For a vegan or vegetarian preparation see note below.

This salmon bowl is half hot entree, half salad, and one hundred percent delicious. John cooks our salmon on one side after a 20 minute brine starting in a cold pan over low heat. When the fish is cooked to around 125F, he turns off the heat and flips the fish over so that the top surface has a little sear from the still warm pan. He removes the skin at this point.

My job is to prepare the vegetables and make the dressing. The snow peas were a new addition so I had to blanch them before adding them to the salad. Everything else is merely sliced up although I did have to get the edamame out of the shells.

The dressing is what really makes this dish especially yummy. We also dust the top with furikake which is a Japanese condiment.

NOTE: We also make this dish with shrimp but it would be delicious with no fish or with tofu that you could marinate in the dressing. Also no fish sauce in the dressing.

Salmon bowl dressing

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Stir together. The dressing does not emulsify. Sometimes I use a touch fish sauce to correct. I also use a little Splends instead of sugar and I do not like things sweet so you may need more sugar.

Posted in Asian, Easy, Fish, Legumes, pescatarian, Recipes, rice, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Scrambled eggs and Caprese salad 5/15/22

Scrambled eggs and Caprese salad

Sunday night is a day of rest for the cooks at our house. We always make Breakfast for Dinner for ourselves. John makes a ham, cheese, mushroom, and scallion omelet and I make an egg dish which varies a lot from week to week. This week I had some compari tomatoes and our backyard basil had some nice leaves ready to use so I made a Caprese salad. I used feta rather than mozzarella because it is what I had.

I have been using the Mark Bittman method for my soft scrambled eggs. You put your already whipped up eggs in a pan over relatively high heat and continue to move them around. When they start to set you take them off the heat and continue to scramble in the residual heat of the pan. Then if they are not done enough you give them another brief heating and then take them off again continuing to scramble. I have found that two shots of heat will usually be enough for my eggs to get to the consistency I like..

Posted in American, Breakfast For Dinner (BFD), Easy, Eggs, Methods, Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Weekly Menu May 16 – 22, 2022

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Afghani nachos and dal 5/14/22

I have been making this red lentil dish for a long time but since our son was coming over for dinner I wanted some kind of appetizer as well. Looking on the same site where I found Afghani dal I came across a recipe for Afghani nachos. Since even the recipe writer’s children suggested that the nachos be separated to make eating them less messy, I went along with that suggestion and made deconstructed Afghani nachos.

Deconstructed Afghani nachos – salty, garlicky Greek yogurt, spiced chickpeas, pita chips

The yogurt component is Greek yogurt, minced garlic, and salt. The chickpeas and green onions are spiced with cumin and paprika. We did not find that spicy enough so I added ground red pepper as well as lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Since the family still did not think it was spicy enough, after dipping a chip in the yogurt and adding some chickpeas, they gave their nacho a squirt of sriracha. As adapted, everyone thought it was a good appetizer. This is the site for the recipes for the nachos and also the dal. https://www.afghancultureunveiled.com/humaira-ghilzai/2015/10/21/afghan-nachoschickpeas-creamy-greek-yogurt-and-pita-chips, https://www.afghancultureunveiled.com/humaira-ghilzai/afghancooking/2010/01/dal-afghan-soul-food.html-san92

Afghani dal (red lentils) and rice

Our son really liked the red lentils. I think he will be making it at his house too!

Posted in Afghan, Legumes, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Grilled portobello with 2-bean vegetable salad 5/13/22

Grilled portobello mushroom with sauteed onions on a sesame hard roll and 2-bean vegetable salad

If you are trying to eat more plant-based meals, grilling a portobello mushroom instead of a meat burger is a great substitution. John marinated the mushrooms in no fat Italian salad dressing and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled on some garlic powder, salt, oregano. They took about 12 minutes on the pre-heated grill.

I made my 2-bean salad with a drained can each of black beans, black eyed peas, and petite diced tomatoes. Other vegetables are onion, scallion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, garlic, red bell pepper, and cilantro. The dressing was made from no fat Italian dressing, balsamic and cider vinegars, cumin, Tabasco sauce, sriracha, and lime zest and juice. Plus salt, this salad needs a lot of salt. I think I ate a quarter of it testing it for the right levels of salt, acid, and spiciness.

As summer approaches, we will be making more of these types of dinners. When it gets really hot out (90-105F) we will be cooking outside more and eating salads to keep the house cool and our tummies happy.

Posted in American, Grilling, Healthy tips, Legumes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Shrimp with broccoli and zucchini over polenta 5/12/22

Shrimp with broccoli and zucchini over polenta

Shrimp with vegetables over polenta is our version of shrimp and grits. John uses Bob’s Red Mill polenta and makes it in a ratio of six parts water to one part polenta. One half cup of polenta turns into quite a lot. He adds salt and a tablespoon of faux butter so these are pretty healthy grits. He also cooked the shrimp in a touch of olive oil and olive oil spray until they were brown and just cooked through.

I sautéed a quarter of a large onion and two cloves of garlic in some butter spray and salt and then added broccoli and zucchini to the pan with a quarter cup of water and two teaspoons of butter. By the time the water had mostly evaporated the vegetables were done and had a hint of butter. It is amazing how a little bit of butter really improves the taste.

Except for having to use three pans that increased clean-up, this was an easy prep and cook meal that was super filling, tasty, and easy to prepare.

Posted in American, Easy, Grains, Healthy tips, Methods, pescatarian, Shellfish, Vegetables | Tagged , | 1 Comment