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Posts Tagged ‘Rice’

We love chickpeas at our house! So I am always looking for new flavor combinations to try with them. I spotted an inspirational recipe a few months ago and it has been sitting here on the desk to try. And finally we did this last week. I switched things up a bit to fit our tastes and dietary needs and it was still delicious.

Chickpeas with Sausage and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Adapted from Dishing Up Delights

Makes 4-6 servings

1 Tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz soy chorizo, crumbled *

2 – 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

2-3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped *

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Sour cream or plain yogurt

Cooked rice or pasta

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions have softened. Add the sausage and chickpeas and cook until heated through (this vegetarian sausage was pre-cooked). Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and oregano. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn off heat and add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

We served this over brown rice. You could toss with cooked pasta as well. The soy chorizo made this quite spicy so I topped mine with a bit of plain yogurt to cool it off.

Notes:

* I used Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. It is quite spicy. Also, the texture is more like crumbled ground beef instead of pork sausage.

* We still have fresh oregano growing in the garden but you could just as easily used dried. I would start with about 1 Tbsp and see what you think.

I apologize for the photos over the next few month in advance. Since I have a day job, and the days are much shorter, most of my photos will be taken after dark, under my kitchen lighting, which isn’t very flattering and is pretty orangey, but it will have to do for now. No fancy equipment here…

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Do you like sushi? We sure do! I wish we could go out for sushi more often. Unfortunately we don’t have a sushi place very close to our house. Plenty of New Mexican food, but not a lot of Asian options available, let alone gluten free Asian options.

Of course since my husband is vegetarian we like a lot of vegetarian sushi; cucumber rolls, avocado rolls and before I became intolerant to eggs, tamago nigiri (sweet egg omelet). (I also learned that the tamago often have soy sauce in them, which typically isn’t gluten free.) Now I have branched out from only eating the vegetarian rolls and I like Spicy Tuna and Philadelphia rolls too. My husband will also often get the Green Chile Tempura rolls (only in New Mexico!), which unfortunately are not gluten free.

But simple sushi at home? Yes you can! A few months ago I saw a recipe for sushi rice salad on Dana Treat’s blog, Treat Yourself, and knew I had to try it. We have made sushi rolls before but they are quite a bit of work so I thought this might be easier. And it was! These ‘scattered sushi bowls’ do have an actual name, they are called Chirashizushi.

Below I have adapted her recipe to better suit our tastes. One particular change I made was to broil the tofu. I like tofu fairly dry and chewy. You could also try dry-frying it. We also felt like there was too much of the vinegar-sugar sauce for the amount of rice, so we upped the rice quite a bit.

Sushi Rice Bowls

Adapted from Dana Treat, Treat Yourself

Serves 4-6

2 cups long grain rice or brown rice, uncooked

8 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

finely chopped pickled ginger

green onions, thinly sliced

shredded carrots

cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut with kitchen shears into small pieces

avocado, chopped

toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

1 tsp. wasabi paste

3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. soy sauce, gluten free

2 tsp. pickled ginger juice

Start cooking the rice in your rice cooker or on the stove.

Turn on broiler. Cut tofu slabs into small 1/4-1/2″ cubes. Place in a greased, foil-lined baking dish. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, stir and broil for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool. (Don’t place your rack too close to the broiler as you don’t want the tofu to burn but instead dry out and firm up. Your oven may be different from mine. Check your tofu frequently until you know how it does under your broiler. My oven is feisty. Also, I cooked up the entire pound of tofu and put half in the frig for something else. Pictures below.)

When the rice is finished cooking, transfer to a large, shallow bowl and spread out to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir rice vinegar into sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour over cooled rice, drizzle oil over rice and stir gently to mix.

Mix together dressing ingredients. Add more wasabi if you wish. (My husband does not like too much wasabi, just a tad so you taste it. This is surprising coming from He-Who-Loves-to-Sweat-While-Eating.)

Spoon rice into bowls. Top with remaining ingredients and a couple spoonfuls of the dressing. Enjoy!

Notes:

* Rice vinegar, pickled ginger, nori and wasabi can be found in the Asian food section of most large supermarkets. Also, toasted sesame seeds can often be found there in large containers for a cheaper price than in the regular spice section.

* I have also made a Philadelphia Roll version of this before by adding tiny bits of cream cheese, cucumber and chopped smoked salmon instead of the cucumber, carrots, green onions, avocado and tofu. I have also been known to add chopped tomato. Yum!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Thanks, Amy! And also, Gluten Free Wednesdays over at The Gluten Free Homemaker.

 

Tofu cubes before they went under the broiler.

 

 

Broiled tofu cubes.

 

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Mattar paneer, muttar paneer, mutter paneer, matar paneer…however you spell it, it is wonderful! Paneer is a fresh, ‘homemade’ cheese typically used in Indian cuisine. Cook it up with some tomatoes, spices and green peas and you have heaven.

Last month we took a trip to the international market and I bought a pound of frozen paneer. Then the search was on for just the right recipe in which to use it. When I came to the Matar Paneer recipe in one of our favorite cookbooks, Indian Vegetarian Cooking From An American Kitchen, I knew I had to make it. It was really quite a simple recipe. With absolutely delicious results!! My husband said this meal was ‘restaurant quality’ and that the flavor was right on. And then he asked where I found the recipe and when I told him, he asked “Why did we wait so long to make this?” We have had this cookbook for years but I had just never searched out the paneer. But now we know.

I also had a box of Dosa mix that I had picked up at a local Indian restaurant and so we served it with these. Dosas are essentially crepes made from rice and dal (lentils and beans). I like the flavor of dosas but this particular mix was heavy on the spice (I think it was fenugreek) and it was overpowering in contrast to the flavors of the paneer. Next time I would try a more neutral flavored bread like naan (if it was gluten free) or some idlis. Or if I made my own dosas (haha!) I could spice them however I desire. But I won’t. Fermenting the rice and dal seems like more work than I want to engage in. So the box mixes work for me.

Do you have a favorite vegetarian Indian meal? Please share!

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This past month I haven’t been blogging so much about each of the individual meals I have been making, although most meals have been photographed. So I thought I would do a little round-up of photos of the meals and a brief yea or nay vote on some of them.

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad from In My Box

I enjoyed this salad, although my husband, who is not a big fan of spinach, did not. The oil in the avocado and then the tang of the grapefruit is all the dressing this needs. The leftovers even held up and made it into my lunch the next day. Yea for me.

Gingered Skirt Steak with Snow Peas from goodLife{eats}

Instead of steak, we used tofu ‘steaks’. We also omitted the oyster sauce and added 1/2 Tbsp more of both the hoisin and soy sauces. We served this over rice vermicelli noodles which I had attempted to pan-fry. (They didn’t turn out so great.) The stir fry was delicious and next time I will serve it over rice instead of the noodles. The noodles didn’t have much flavor and actually detracted from the rest of the dish. Snow peas were fresh from our garden. Yea for us both.

Baked Salmon (me) and Baked Tofu (husband), Stir-Fried Snow Peas with Scallions and brown rice

I baked the tofu in Book of Yum’s Yummy Grilled Tofu marinade. And the snow peas and carrots were sautéed in sesame oil with green onions. I baked my salmon with a red pepper/five spice powder rub and a rice vinegar/honey marinade. It was very tasty. Yea for us both. And yea for using up the rest of the snow peas we had from our garden this year.

Sichuan Tofu with Garlic Sauce from Fat Free Vegan

We’ve made this dish before and really enjoy it. We used canned, sliced water chestnuts instead of fresh ones. On the side we had some brown rice and steamed broccoli. I follow Susan’s recipe for the most part except I have found that we like a little more sauce in the final dish and so I double the marinade. Yea for us both.

That’s it for now. More to come this week…

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A couple weeks ago we ventured to the international market to get just a couple things. Uh-huh. As always we bought more than we went in for, but it was worth it! One of the items we bought was frozen lotus root. Whenever we see lotus root, my husband asks me to make him some just like ate in China. Since I haven’t tasted what he ate in China, I had to go looking for some ideas on what to do with it.

My first stop was Book of Yum. Sea always has great ethnic and vegetarian recipes on her blog. I found her recipe for Lotus Root Sesame Stir-Fry and decided it was the one to try.

We had the lotus root with some brown rice, fried tofu and a small salad with a sesame-soy dressing. The whole meal got full approval from the hubby. Although he did say that he would like the lotus root to have more of a vinegar flavor. But he really likes vinegar. And all of his food memories of China involve vinegar. So next time we will have to try our own recipe – with vinegar!

The lotus root that we bought was frozen. I thawed it slightly under cold water and then left it to drain and thaw in the colander for a bit. It was also pre-sliced and the slices seemed thick, about 3/8″, so I sliced each of them in half so that they would crisp up better. This seemed to work out well.

We only used half of the bag of lotus root for this meal so I have been finding other ways to use it. I did make Sea’s Lotus Root Chips and they weren’t bad but I think I may not have baked them long enough or the slices were too thick; they didn’t crisp up as well as I thought they should. We may try again in the future. I did add them to a recent stir-fry and they were tasty in there.

Our garden has been producing a lot of lettuce and we are trying to keep up with it, so I added a salad to this meal. Also to have a bit of green vegetables with our meal. I have been trying to make more of our own salad dressings lately so that we can better control the ingredients and the fat and sugar content. But most traditional vinaigrette recipes I find are the standard 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar and this feels too heavy on the oil for me. So I have been playing around with less oil.

I have found that I like to use a small (pint or less) glass Mason jar with a lid to make and store the dressing in, that way you can shake it up well when you are ready to use. But this time I only wanted to make a little bit of dressing, specific to this meal and didn’t want a lot of leftovers. Below is what I came up with. It swings wide from the traditional ratio but it was tasty and complemented the meal well.

Sesame – Soy Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce, gluten free

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

ground ginger

garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar or whisk in a small bowl.

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This is another of our tried and true recipes; the recipe card is well splattered. It also garnered a “very good” written on the top of the card. I am not sure where I originally found this recipe as I wrote it on a 3×5 card and did not note the source. I searched the internet for the same recipe and only found a few similar recipes but none that matched this exactly. The original recipe calls for more curry paste and fewer chickpeas than what I use. Below is my adaptation of this tasty recipe. We like to serve this over white basmati rice.

Creamy Chickpea Curry

1 Tbsp oil

2 tsp red curry paste *

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic. minced

1 – 14 oz can lite coconut milk *

1 Tbsp soy sauce *

1-2 Tbsp sugar

2 – 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved)

1 cup fresh basil, torn

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add curry paste and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Shake the can of coconut milk and pour into pan. Add soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the sugar, chickpeas and tomatoes. Heat until it is simmering once more. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serve over rice.

Notes:

* Red curry paste can be found in small jars in the Asian section of a large supermarket. I use Thai Kitchen brand. Two teaspoons makes us sweat, but comfortably so. If you don’t like things too spicy, start with 1 teaspoon the first time.

* I prefer to use lite coconut milk when cooking and I can’t tell a difference in flavor.

* Use a gluten free soy sauce if you are cooking gluten free. LaChoy and San-J Wheat Free Tamari are both gluten free.

This recipe was a part of Meal Plan Monday, check it out for more ideas.

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This is a simple, quick, go-to recipe of ours. Be sure to turn on the rice cooker before you start chopping up the onions and peppers. You can dice the onions and peppers as finely as you wish but I like them chopped fairly coarse, like a 1/2″ chop. This is a good dish to use up bell peppers that have been sitting a little too long in the refrigerator and it uses some basic pantry staples that I try to keep around in case I need something quick. Tonight I served it with a simple tossed salad with lettuce from the garden and homemade Italian salad dressing – the recipe in the good old, red and white Betty Crocker classic cookbook.


Red Beans and Rice

1 tbsp oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt added if you can find it)

1/2 – 1 cup water

hot sauce to taste

2-15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooked rice – we prefer white rice with this meal

Sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until the onions are getting soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and paprika and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in beans and tomato sauce. Stir in enough water to make the sauce liquid enough to simmer the beans in; start with about a half cup. Add the hot sauce (if desired) and simmer about 10 minutes. Serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream.

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