Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Occasional Vegetarian Gets a New Oven

So, the self-cleaning oven with flat-top range that Steve found on sale on Home Depot's website last week arrived while I was at work Friday morning.  Thankfully, Steve was here to let them in and make sure they leveled it right.

Check it out - it even has that new oven smell!

So guess what I did to christen it, even though I still had three turkey and stuffing leftover meals in the freezer?

Chickpea Soondal and Kale Pitas

The chickpea soondal recipe is in Healthy South Indian Cooking, and I reheated the last of the kale from the other night to fill out the pitas with some greenery.  I've only made the soondal once or twice before (in the four years I've had this cookbook) and usually served it with rice and one other veggie side dish, but this was the quickest and easiest thing to whip up, since nothing needed to be chopped for it and the kale and pita were there and ready to go.

1 can chickpeas
1 tbsp canola or corn oil
1 dried red chili pepper
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chutney powder
1 tsp minced fresh ginger root (I used ginger paste from the Indian grocery store)
1/4 cup powdered unsweetened coconut (also from the Indian grocery store, along with all the spices)

Drain the chickpeas, rinse and set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  When oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in red chili pepper, black mustard seeds and urad dal.  Fry until mustard seeds burst (listen for popping sound) and urad dal is golden.  (The cookbook says to cover the pot at this point, but I often forget to check things while I'm chopping and end up burning the urad dal and whatever else is in there.  Better to leave it uncovered where I can see that the urad dal are browning.)

Immediately add chickpeas, turmeric, salt and chutney powder and mix well.  Add ginger and cook for another minute or two.

Add coconut and stir.  Remove from heat and serve.

The kale went in the microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, sliced the pita in half and then filled the pita pockets in layers starting with the soondal, since it was dryer and would help retain any liquid from the kale.

As you can see, I was so hungry by the time it was ready (oven/range photos taken at 1:03, before I started cooking) I almost forget to take the picture.

I also made this on the slow-cooker, so I'd have it when I got home from yoga.  The yoga didn't happen and this took longer than I expected, but it still made a nice, warm lunch today:

North African-Inspired Stew

They used to make this one soup sometimes at Smith, called North African Vegetable Stew, that had chickpeas, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions and a ton of spices.  Well, I had the chickpeas, onions and carrots, but I had to substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes and frozen yellow squash for the zucchini.  I was hell-bent on clearing out the cupboards and some of the produce that didn't become part of Thanksgiving dinner, so although I would have preferred it the usual way, this at least cleared out some ingredients with nothing better to do and, I hope, improved my chi a bit.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced

2 cans chickpeas, drained
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 bag (8 oz?) frozen yellow squash
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent.  Add to the crock pot with the remaining ingredients and 8 cups of water.  Cover and simmer on low for 12 hours.

I enjoyed a bowl of this while Steve was outside raking pine straw, and he came in later and enjoyed some too.  Since he picked up some more spinach at Food Lion today, I'm thinking that at least one near-future lunch or dinner will be of the soup-and-salad variety.

Dinner will probably be out of the town tonight.  More later about fun with my new appliance.  Thanks, as always, for reading, and "Go Gamecocks!"

No comments:

Post a Comment