Just in Time for Fall: Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

Wowza, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new recipe. Work has been keeping me busy and my outside-of-work life has been pretty packed as well. Now that I have a bit more free time I’m planning to get back on track with my one recipe per week deal.

I’ve mentioned before that I love fall, and all of the food/beverages that go along with it (hello sweet potatoes and apple cider!). This stew recipe is perfect for the crisp fall days here in Minnesota.

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

IMG_2732

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small carrots (4-5 inches long), peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups peeled butternut squash
  • 1 large unpeeled apple, diced
  • 1 cup kale (mine was already cooked)
  • Optional: 3-4 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook until they start to turn soft.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, and salt and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Stir in the lentils, vegetable broth, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and let the mixture simmer for about 25 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and apples, cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes or so.
  5. Stir in the kale and brown rice. Serve immediately.

I wanted a bit more texture so I decided to add brown rice to the mix. I love how the sweetness of the apples and squash balance out the curry in this recipe. SO. GOOD.

Source: Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen (I checked this book out from the library and it’s AMAZING. I got a gift card for my birthday last week and went and ordered it from Amazon.)

Advertisements

Corn Pudding

Work has been keeping me busy (and leaving me quite exhausted at the end of the week), so I haven’t had time or motivation to post anything for a while. I’ve been looking for another vegetable side to pair with my regular dinner rotation of beans/greens/grains/vegan protein, and this one seemed like a great addition.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding 1

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed, divided
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (or use green pepper for less heat)
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • cayenne powder, salt, and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish/pan and set aside.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup corn, tofu, and non-dairy milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water. Add the onion, jalapeño, and ginger and cook until the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add the onion/jalapeño mixture and all remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl that contains your corn/tofu/milk mixture. Stir together and pour into the pie dish/pan, spreading with a spatula as needed.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pudding is fully cooked and bright yellow.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Using whole wheat flour in this recipe resulted in a browner colored pudding (and slightly different flavor) than you’d get if you used another type of flour. If you want a brighter yellow color try using a lighter colored flour. The original recipe suggests using quinoa or chickpea flour.

The jalapeño really provides a lot of the flavor in this dish, but it was just too darn spicy for me. Next time I’ll opt for green pepper and some additional seasoning to kick the flavor up a bit.

Source: Adapted from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with rhubarb, but I saw some at the grocery store the other day and decided to cook something with it before it’s out of season. I’ve been busy with a new job (yay employment!) so it’s been sitting in my fridge for a few days. I bought some strawberries today and was excited to make a strawberry rhubarb pie (one of my favs!), but realized I didn’t have enough of either ingredient for a full-size pie. I was able to cobble a few recipes together to make these mini pies.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

Mini Pies 1

Ingredients

Crust (Note: This only made enough dough for bottom crusts so if you want a top crust or lattice you’ll need to make more)

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (more as necessary) coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cups ice water

Filling

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the oil to the bowl and cut it into the flour mixture (like you would butter). Work the oil in with your hands as needed until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it. Add 1/3 cup water and knead the dough until you can form it into a large ball, adding more water as needed.
  3. Roll the dough out on a clean surface dusted with flour. You’ll want it pretty thin. Tear the dough into pieces and press into the muffin cups. Prick the bottoms with a fork and pop in the oven. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is set and the edges are starting to brown. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350° F.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine the water, tapioca starch, rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture gets bubbly and gooey. Remove from the heat and mix in the strawberries.
  5. Scoop the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the mini pie crusts. Return to the oven and bake until the fruit mixture is bubbly and the edges of the crust are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan a bit before digging in.

These would probably be great with some coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar.

Source: An amalgam of recipes from Food52, EatingWell, and Sun Diego Eats

Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Weather in Minnesota, particularly in the spring, is somewhat unpredictable. We’ve been on a weather rollercoaster of sorts over the past few weeks, with highs ranging from low 50s to low 80s. Today it’s hot, humid, and breezy as we’re expecting storms later, but a cold front moves in tomorrow and we’re only supposed to have highs in the mid- to upper-40s. I might have to get my wool coat out again…On the positive side, tomorrow is the perfect day for soup, and this one uses one of my favorite spring vegetables, asparagus.

Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 (1-pound) bunch asparagus, woody stems snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp round cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • a sprinkling of chives (optional topping)

Instructions

  1. Cut the leek in half and pull back and rinse the outer layers. Put the layers back together as best you can and slice the leek. Place into a large soup pot with 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth. Simmer on medium heat until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, potatoes, and the remainder of the broth. Bring to a boil and then add the broccoli, asparagus, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil again, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the vegetables are tender remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into bowls, sprinkle with chives if desired, and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Homemade Coconut Yogurt

I’ve been itching to try this yogurt recipe since I found packets of non-dairy yogurt starter at my local natural foods store. You can use whatever milk you choose for this recipe but keep in mind that the taste and texture may be different.

Coconut Yogurt

Coconut yogurt 1

Coconut yogurt 4

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 packet non-dairy yogurt starter or 4 tbsp store-bought coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar, optional

Instructions

  1. If you’re going to store the yogurt in glass jars sterilize them first by pouring boiling water in them and letting them sit for 5 minutes. Pour the water out and you’re all set.
  2. Turn the oven light on and heat the oven to about 100° F, then turn off the heat.
  3. Shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the two cans of coconut milk until smooth.
  4. Remove about 1/3 cup of the milk from the pan and add to the tapioca flour. Whisk until the mixture is smooth, then pour it back into the pan and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Warm the coconut milk over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Once the mixture has thickened remove from the heat and let cool to approximately 100° F (it should be warm to the touch).
  6. Once the milk has cooled add the yogurt starter and the sweetener and whisk to combine.
  7. Pour the yogurt into the jar(s) and set in the oven. You can also use a yogurt maker if you have one. Let the yogurt sit for 12 to 24 hours, then cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

After sitting for about 12 hours my yogurt tasted pretty coconut-y and sweet. For tangier yogurt you can let it sit in the oven longer. I added blueberry puree to one of the jars just to mix things up and it’s really good.

Source: Adapted from the kitchn

Chickpea Fries

While I’ve started incorporating some animal products back into my diet, I still try to eat vegan most days. Vegan appetizer recipes are hard enough to find, but add in other dietary restrictions (nightshades, etc) and it’s even tougher. While they don’t taste like traditional potato french fries, these fries are pretty tasty; you can add additional flavor with seasonings and/or dipping sauces of your choice.

Chickpea Fries

Chickpea fries

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chickpea flour (learn how to make your own here)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a sheet pan (or two) with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot combine the water, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then slowly add the chickpea flour, whisking as you go. Be careful not to let it boil or you’ll have hot batter flying at you (I’m speaking from experience, here).
  3. When the batter is a little thicker than pancake batter remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
  4. Pour the batter onto a greased sheet pan and spread with a spatula until you’ve filled about half the pan.
  5. Chill the batter for at least an hour. When the batter has firmed up, cut into desired size and shape.
  6. Place the fries on the lined sheet pan(s) and sprinkle some seasoning on top (garlic powder is a tasty option).
  7. The baking time depends on the size of your fries and how crispy you want them, so keep that in mind as you go. I baked my fries for about 30 minutes, flipped ’em, sprayed them with more cooking spray, and baked them for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or enjoy them just as they are.

My fries turned out to be a bit on the dry side (though crispy), so I’ll probably cut back on the cooking time in the future.

You can certainly pan or deep fry these if you want, but I prefer baking them because it’s a bit healthier and a little less mess to clean up.

Source: Adapted from The Brazen Kitchen

Molasses Crinkles

We did some spring cleaning at my house yesterday, and I found a cute gingerbread man cookie cutter that I wanted to use. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough molasses to make gingerbread cookies, but a recipe on the previous page sounded tasty and used less molasses. Ironically, the recipe was submitted to the cookbook by my late great-aunt, who attended St. John Church and died a few years ago.

Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Krinkles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • egg replacer to equal one egg (I used flax eggs)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • granulated sugar to dip cookies in

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream the sugar and shortening. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Smoosh and roll into balls, and dip the tops in the granulated sugar.
  4. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes, switching cookie sheets around halfway through.

Source: Adapted from Heartwarming Recipes, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and School