Spiced Mango Lassi

I’m on a tight schedule this week as I head off to DC tomorrow morning for a women’s equality rally, so I perused my collection of recipes looking for something quick and easy to make, and voilà – mango lassi. I’ve written about my love of Indian food, and particularly mango lassi, before and figured I’d give it a try. This recipe results in quite a bit of spice flavor; if that’s not your thing just cut back on the spices or eliminate them entirely.

Spiced Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups diced, peeled, pitted mango (about 1 to 1 1/2 fruits)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. For best results serve immediately, but you can also freeze this if you want to save some for later.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, as cited in Pioneer Press “Eat” section, 8/14/2014

Rice, Lentils, and Greens – Oh My!

Going on week three of the job hunt, and trying to do more cooking, even if it’s just throwing some stuff together for a quick dinner. That’s pretty much what I did last night, using some basic pantry staples and a few other ingredients to whip up a quick and delicious meal. You can sub other grains, protein, and/or greens in this recipe, adjusting cooking times as needed.

Quick Meal: Rice, Lentils, and Greens

Rice, Lentils, Greens

Yield: Approximately two servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice (I used the instant kind)
  • 1/2 cup pink lentils
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided use
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp garlic scapes, minced
  • one large handful of baby spinach ( or other leafy greens)

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice as directed on box/bag, using vegetable broth in place of water. Set aside.
  2. Rinse and sort lentils, removing any rocks or debris. Pour lentils into a medium saucepan and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes,or until lentils have reached desired consistency.
  3. When lentils have about 5 minutes of cook time left, pour olive oil into small skillet. Add garlic scapes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  4. Combine rice, lentils, and spinach, and enjoy.

Source: My own culinary genius ; )

Whole Wheat Banana Chapatis

And this is the other recipe for the weekend… not what I intended to make, but the recipe I was going to make called for buttermilk and I was too lazy to get some this morning and don’t want to buy something like that right before going out of town. These are made with whole wheat flour, which certainly makes me feel better about eating them.

Whole Wheat Banana Chapatis

Chapatis

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups plus 3 tbsp whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling, divided use
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • melted butter for brushing (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add the vegetable oil, and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mash the bananas. Spray your hands with some nonstick cooking spray and knead the bananas into the flour mixture.
  3. Lightly flour whatever work surface you’ll be using to knead and roll out the dough. Stir the bowling water into the dough, and let cool slightly. Knead the mixture into a sticky dough and then turn it out onto the work surface. Work the remaining flour into the dough, and knead until it’s soft. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat (or in my case, medium-ish, as my stove is a bit overzealous).
  5. Divide the dough into eight equal parts and roll each into a ball. Cover with the damp cloth again.
  6. Take one ball of dough and coat it in flour. Roll it out into about a 7-inch round. Place in the skillet and watch for bubbles to form on the surface. When you see bubbles turn over the chapati  and cook for another minute or so. Repeat the process with the other dough balls, cleaning out the skillet as needed. If you want to eat these right away you can brush them with the melted butter, and stack them on a plate under a dish towel to keep them warm.

I ate one chapati with peanut butter (yum) and the other with some banana slices that I cooked in a skillet with some water and brown sugar for a few minutes (and I added peanut butter – I love the stuff!). The banana flavor in these is pretty subtle but they are a tad sweet which makes them ideal for breakfast/snack/dessert.

Source: Adapted from a recipe in the Washington Post, via the Pioneer Press

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

I’m going out of town this week (NYC and Duluth, MN) and thought I’d aim for posting two recipes this weekend as I don’t think I’ll have time to make and post one next weekend.

This is another autumn-y recipe that I’m making in the spring because 1) I like apple chips and 2) I’m always looking for healthy, portable snacks that I can take with me to work or when I’m out and about. I made my first batch a few weeks ago and they didn’t turn out well – they were still really chewy. This batch turned out much better – light and crispy. In fact, I’ve eaten almost half of them already and they only came out of the oven a few hours ago.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple ChipsApple Chip Close Up

Ingredients

  • 2-4 apples
  • cinnamon
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F.
  2. Line baking sheets (one sheet will hold approximately one average-sized  apple) with parchment paper.
  3. Rinse and core the apples. Thinly slice the apples with a mandolin or a sharp knife.
  4. Place the apple slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, the turn the apple slices ad bake for another 1.5 hours. You can sprinkle them with more cinnamon and sugar after turning if you wish.
  6. Turn the oven off and let the apple slices sit in the oven for 1 hour to crisp up.

I used two types of apples, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, and found that I liked the tart flavor of the Granny Smith better. The Golden Delicious apples don’t have a ton of flavor to begin with, and they seem to have even less after they’ve been baked. You can make this healthier by omitting the cinnamon and sugar, but I think they add a nice complementary flavor, especially if you use tart apples.

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cauliflower Steaks with Farro and Raisins

When I first saw this recipe I was a bit skeptical. Having eaten cauliflower since I was a child I didn’t really believe that it could ever be tasty and/or attractive enough to be eaten as a main dish. My experience making this dish has convinced me otherwise. In fact, in slightly overcooking (ahem, burning) one of the steaks I discovered a tasty new favorite.

If you’ve never eaten farro before I recommend trying it. It’s kind of a cross between rice and barley. I bought a small microwaveable pouch so I could try it out, and I really liked it. The farro adds some great texture to the dish, and the raisins add a pop of sweetness that pairs well with the spices used on the cauliflower. One of those spices is turmeric, which supposedly has some great health benefits, but is really good at turning things a bright shade of yellow, so beware of that as you’re preparing and cooking the dish.

Cauliflower Steaks with Farro and Raisins

Cauliflower Steak 1

 

Cauliflower Steaks 2

Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups prepared farro
  • 1 cup raisins (use more or less depending on how much you like them, or omit completely)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut the stem off, leaving the core intact. Cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 1 -inch thick steaks, starting an inch or two from one side so you get a nice long piece that holds together. Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Set the rest of the cauliflower aside for another use.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Sear each steak until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Use a large spatula to transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.
  4. Whisk together the rest of the olive oil, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Brush the mixture onto both sides of the steaks.
  5. Roast the steaks in the over until they’re tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Mix the farro with the raisins, scoop out how much you want, and top with a cauliflower steak. Enjoy!

To kick up the flavor you can cook the farro in low-sodium vegetable broth, and/or add some greens to the mix.

Source: Adapted from The Kitchn

Indian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

This weekend was quite a busy one… Friday night was my mom’s retirement party and a friend’s 30th birthday party. I had a meeting Saturday morning and then spent a good chunk of the day hanging out with a college friend in Red Wing before heading over to another friend’s house for movie night. Today I had a four hour long feminist activist meeting. It’s been an enjoyable and productive weekend, but I didn’t have a ton of time to cook, so I was glad to have bookmarked this lentil spread some time  ago – it’s perfect for busy days/weekends because it takes very little time to prepare.

Indian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

Inidian Spiced Lentil Sandwich Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked lentils, mashed (pink lentils cook very quickly; brown and green take a bit longer)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add as much vegetable stock/broth as you need to get it all to stick together so you can use it on a sandwich. You can eat this warm or chill it. This was delicious with a bit of spicy mustard and spinach on top, but feel free to use whatever suits your fancy.

Source: Adapted from Food.com

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

I’m not a huge football fan, but I do enjoy watching the Super Bowl – the game’s usually a bit more exciting than the regular season, there are often one or two great commercials, and the half time show is entertaining. I also enjoy eating all the snacks that typically go along with Super Bowl parties, but they’re not usually very healthy. This year I decided to hunt down some healthier snack ideas for the Super Bowl, and found a few that were pretty easy to make (though a bit tough with one oven and three recipes that needed to be baked/broiled) and ended up being quite tasty.

Herb-Roasted Sweet Potato Skins

Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Skins

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce potatoes with a fork and then place on greased,  foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Move oven rack so it’s about 6 inches from the heating unit and preheat the broiler.
  3. Scoop out the sweet potatoes, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh around the edges. Cut each sweet potato half lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips, and place back onto the baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and spices and brush over the sweet potato strips. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes.

My sweet potato skins were a little burnt, but they tasted like the burnt marshmallows that I like in my s’mores,  so I was okay with it. Watch ’em closely when they’re broiling if you don’t want them to burn.

You can change up the herb mixture and add other spices if you like.

Source: Slightly adapted from Whole Foods Market

Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, and Garlic

IMGP4514

Ingredients

  • 16 oz frozen shelled edamame
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  •  freshly-cracked black pepper
  • garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Put edamame in a strainer and run under warm water for a few seconds. Spread on clean towel and pat dry.
  3. Pour the edamame onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix the edamame with the seasonings by stirring around a bit on the pan.
  4. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Edamame will get nice and golden brown – that’s essentially when you know they’re done. (Don’t be alarmed if some of them jump out of the pan – a few did that while I was roasting them.)

Source: Slightly adapted from The Kitchn

Turkey Meatballs*

Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs

* With a tasty yet unexpected ingredient

Ingredients

  • 1  pound of ground turkey
  • 2.5 to 3 oz bread crumbs (2 to 2 1/2 slices of bread; can add more if desired)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and knead until everything is mixed well.
  3. Form into meatballs of whatever size you desire. Place the meatballs at least one inch apart on the baking sheet, flattening them a bit so they don’t roll around. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the meatballs start to brown. Flip meatballs over and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so.

These are lighter and softer than other meatballs I’ve had, but they’re super tasty.

Source: Adapted from  Kath Eats Real Food