Wednesday, January 26

Spinach and chickpea sabzi

One of my new year's resolutions is to make at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.

Erik and I discovered the concept of Indian burritos when we lived in the Bay Area in 2000-2001, at Avatar's Punjabi Burritos in Mill Valley. The combination of savory curry, delicately spiced rice, crisp sour pickles, and sweet chutney... it's divine.

Usually we make them at home with channa masala, fresh spinach, and plain rice. Tonight I thought I'd branch out and use a curry recipe from 30-Minute Indian. I bought the book a year or two ago after reading raves about it on someone's blog.

Spinach and chickpea sabzi

The spinach and chickpea sabzi was nice and simple-- mostly just cumin and coriander, with a bit of chili powder, lime juice, sugar, and amchur powder. I also mixed up a quick raita with plain soy yogurt, paprika, cumin, salt, green onions and cilantro. With a richly spiced rice (steamed with a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods and saffron) and mango chutney (made and canned by my mom) it was a delicious, complex combination.

Unfortunately the brown rice tortillas fell apart and had a terrible texture, so they had to be ditched. The sabzi was good in combination with the condiments, but a bit plain on its own. I'll try a few more recipes from the book, though, since they really are quick to make.

Thursday, January 20

Chickpea and leek soup

One of my new year's resolutions is to make at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.

I was in a soup mood and needed something quick. The copy of Jaime Oliver's The Naked Chef that Erik bought me when it came out in 2000-- never used-- stared at me, producing much guilt on my part.

I had already flipped through and made note of several promising recipes, but the chickpea and leek soup really stood out. With its simple handful of ingredients and a pair of leeks barely clinging to life in my fridge, I knew this was it.

Chickpea and leek soup

And it turned out great. I only had two leeks instead of the recipe's five, and I added some faux ham for heartiness. That's it. Chickpeas, leeks and potatoes are indeed a winning combination.

Earlier in the week I also made the more-involved green pozole from Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan. I had made the simpler red pozole previously and was ready for the challenge. The perfect reason was my ladies book club, which is really just an excuse to get together, chat (usually not about the book) and eat. Too bad I never got a photo of it. Just as well, really, since I completely forgot all of the garnishes (salt, avocados, cilantro) I had for the soup and just served it out plain and ugly. Sorry ladies!

Wednesday, January 5

Tamarind BBQ tempeh and sweet potatoes

One of my new year's resolutions is to make at least one recipe from every cookbook I own. Hopefully reading through and trying so many new recipes will inspire my cooking creativity and expand my go-to recipe repertoire.

First up: Isa Chandrea Moskowitz's latest book, Appetite for Reduction. I made the Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes and added chopped raw kale before baking. It turned out really well and was easy to make.

My one complaint is my own fault-- when reading the recipe I saw the numerical "25 minutes" and skimmed right over the additional, written-out "half an hour," so we ended up eating dinner way too late. What I love about the cookbook is that just about every recipe that isn't inherently gluten-free offers suggestions at the top to make it so. Lovely touch!

Tamarind BBQ

Photos, original recipes and text © Susan Kelley 2012. All rights reserved. Please credit me and link back to this site, or ask first.

Always read ingredient labels carefully (and re-read periodically) to make sure that products actually are vegan and/or gluten-free.