Chana dal with spinach and rice. 11/16/20

Chana dal with spinach and rice

John and I made this Chana dal in the Instant Pot on Sunday because I was having an out-patient surgical procedure on Monday and knew that a dinner that was pre-made would work best. Plus, I think Chana dal tastes even better the second day! We made a double recipe so it will be our dinner on Saturday’s leftovers night.

Here is the recipe that we use. The canned tomatoes with chiles lends a nice mild spiciness.

Chana Dal


1 cup Split Chickpeas 

2 cups Water for soaking

2 tsp. Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds 

3/4 cup Onion diced

1/2 tbsp Ginger minced

3 cloves Garlic minced

1 can petite diced tomatoes with jalapeños (or plain)

1.5 cups Water for cooking

1 tbsp Lime juice


  1 tsp Salt

  1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)

  1/2 tsp Red Chili powder (Mirchi powder)

  1 tsp Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)




Soak split chickpeas in the water for soaking for 30 minutes. 

Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds.

Once the cumin seeds start to change color, add the onions, garlic, ginger and saute for 2 minutes. 

Add tomatoes and spices and stir them well. Drain split chickpeas and add along with water for cooking. Stir it all up. Set to pressure cook for 15 minutes and close the lid with vent in sealing position.

After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Add lime juice and give a good stir. If you are using greens (spinach, kale, etc,) stir them in now, cover the pot, and wait 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Here is the recipe we use. The tomatoes with chiles give it a nice mild spiciness.


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

Weekly Menu November 16 – November 22, 2020

Lots of healthy, tasty ideas for dinner this week!

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BFD Scrambled eggs, veggie patty, English muffin 11/15/20

Easy but satisfying Breakfast For Dinner tonight.

Scrambled eggs,, veg patty, English muffin, cherry tomattes

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Sea bass, rutabagas, broccoli. 11/14/20

Roasted Chilean sea bass, Instant Pot mashed rutabaga, sautéed broccoli

As you can see we are back on our healthy eating regimen. I do not want to call it a diet because that connotes deprivation. And if there is one thing that our diet stresses it is healthy eating of the things you like. I certainly really like everything on my dinner plate tonight!

John cooks the sea bass in the oven at 400F and has to stagger the fish cooking times since one piece is thick and takes about 16 minutes and the other is thin and takes about 2-3 minutes less. Starting before the fish, I cooked the rutabaga which I peeled and cut into small chunks in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes. I used a delayed pressure release and then mashed it up with a tablespoon of light butter. The broccoli had a quick steam/sauté and was finished with the light butter as well.

This dinner was delicious and satisfying. It was definitely not “diet” food. I will be sending out this week’s healthy menu later today. Eat these meals with John and me this week and you are sure to have a pleasant experience with your scale in a week!

Posted in American, Easy, Fish, Healthy tips, Instant Pot, Kitchen tips, pescatarian, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment

Catching up. 11/ 13/20

I got behind in my posting due to having fun on my vacation and being exhausted from the long trip home yesterday. Plus I ate completely off my healthy plan and am a bit embarrassed to admit it. I gained a few pounds and now I must adhere strictly to my regimen lest I start on the upward trail back to being overweight and unhealthy. Fingers crossed that I do the right thing!

Now a brief pictorial recap of my folly.

11/11/20 Lamb chops, roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts

11/12/20 Grilled hamburger, garden salad and tater tots

11/13/20 Chickpea stew which we froze before leaving is our saner choice when we got home last night. I added some additional broth and 2 oz. of turkey sausage

Mea culpa. I enjoyed my vacation from eating so strictly but it is done and now I move forward!

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Kenwood shrimp. 11/10/20

Kenwood shrimp comes from the now defunct Kenwood Restaurant in Sonoma Wine Co9untry, California. We and our friends often ordered this really yummy shrimp dish in a light Pernod cream sauce.  One time we asked for the recipe and received a copied piece of menu lore. It was really a barebones recipe which did not even mention the shrimp. If you do not mind cutting a bunch of vegetables, buying some white wine, saffron, and Pernod, and adding a cup of heavy cream, this recipe can turn into one of your “fancy” dinners!

Kenwood shrimp served over white rice

 Kenwood’s Shrimp in Saffron Pernod Sauce

The Mixture 

1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (if using canned add 1 tsp sugar)

¼ cup finely chopped celery

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup finely chopped fennel

¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup white wine

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch of thyme

Pinch of oregano

2 bay leaves

Healthy pinch of saffron

Salt and cayenne to taste. 

The Rest

2 tablespoons Pernod

1 cup heavy (double) cream

24 shrimp (31-40 count)

Fennel fronds or cilantro for garnish

The Method

Cook “the mixture” until nearly dry. Add 2 T Pernod and cook briefly to get rid of the alcohol. Add the cream. Add shrimp and continue to cook for 2 minutes (until done.)

Serve with rice and garnish with fennel fronds or cilantro.


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Seared scallops. 11/8/20

With me doing prep and our son cooking, we put together a fine meal on our first cooking night in Utah. Since eating at home is so much more economical as compared to eating out, splurging on scallops was a delicious way to kick off our home-cooked meals.

Pan-seared scallops, roasted potatoes, and kale with corn

Our son, Jon, uses a lot more oil and butter than we do. It surely makes everything delicious!

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Ethiopian dinner. 11/9/20

Our son has offered to make an Ethiopian dinner. Everyone in the family has been trying to duplicate dishes from one of our favorite restaurants, Zeni, in San Jose. Their food is so delicious and the atmosphere seems authentic. We love to go there and often take out-of-town guests there to sample their wonderful dishes.

Ethiopian lentils, flank steak, kale, and white rice

Tonight we are having lentils in a berbere sauce, Ethiopian spiced flank steak, and kale. I think I like the lentils the best. I cannot post the recipes because while my son cooked, I was busy chopping up vegetables and so do not know the exact ingredients that went into each dish. The spices, though, were warm and inviting. I would suggest you try some recipes from the internet. Since injera, the bread of Ethiopia, is hard to procure, I would suggest serving everything with rice.

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Chickpea stew. 11/6/20

We had this dinner on Friday night before our trip to Utah on Saturday. It takes about 10 driving hours to get to St. George and all we did was get some sushi for dinner on Saturday.  It is much colder here than we expected and we have experienced a little rain as well. At least it makes for some beautiful vistas!

View towards Snow Canyon

Before we left, though, we made a wonderful chickpea stew. It was full of vegetables, chickpeas, spinach, and small pasta. Totally vegan, I would be happy to eat this any night.

Chickpea stew

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Orecchiette with broccolini and mushrooms 11/5/20

We are still embroiled in the vote count so we just made a quick pasta dinner. As long as you do not eat too much pasta, orecchiette is a fine food plan dinner to have. The sauce which is made up of onions, mushrooms, garlic, and broccolini stems and florets, is tossed with the pasta and about half of a cup of pasta water.

Orecchiette with mushrooms and broccolini

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