Tag Archives: vegan

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

For a long time now, my good friend and I have been planning on having a cooking day where he would show me how to make some of his amazing authentic Indian recipes. When I say a long time, I mean we’ve been talking about this for close to 2 years now, but haven’t set aside a day to make it happen…..until now. This past week we finally got together and cooked up an incredible Indian feast. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the recipes we used, starting with this one for Chana Masala.

Before I really delve into the recipe, it’s important to point out that a lot of the measurements give you a range to work with and a lot of the instructions give you an estimate of time. This is because with authentic dishes like this, there really is no recipe. There’s only a general idea of the steps involved and the ingredients used. From there you create your own dish.

The term masala refers to the base of the cooking method, which is onions, ginger and garlic, cooked beyond the caramelization point until it almost becomes a paste. This method forms the base of many Indian dishes. If you’re familiar with French or Italian cooking, masala could be considered India’s answer to mirepoix and sofritto, respectively.

This dish is incredibly healthy, full of flavour and at this time of year, it makes for some serious comfort food. Enjoy!

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 onions, finely chopped

2″ piece of ginger, minced

8 – 10 cloves of garlic, minced

2 –  3 tbsp tumeric

4 tbsp coriander

4 tbsp garam masala

4 – 398mL cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

water to cover

2 bay leaves

salt to taste

cayenne to add some heat (optional)

Start by heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and begin to saute, adding a splash of water when the onions start to stick. Keep cooking and deglazing with water until the onions are very soft and brown, at least 15 – 20 minutes. It’s important during this phase to keep an eye on the pot to prevent the onions from drying out and to be stirring fairly often.

Once the onions are ready, add the ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, again, adding a little splash of water if it gets to dry. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, before adding the tumeric, coriander and garam masala. Stir the spices into the onion mixture and allow to cook for another minute, until fragrant.

Stir in the chickpeas and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add the bay leaves and a little salt. If you’re adding cayenne, you can add that now, as well. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the water is reduced to a “stew”like consistancy. This is a great time to taste the dish and add more salt if necessary.

Using the back of a spoon, mash up some of the chickpeas in the pot to help thicken the dish. Continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes, until thickened. Serve with rice or naan.

Serves 4 – 6

I’ll be sharing this dish at the Fiesta Friday blog party. Pop by if you’re interested in finding other delicious recipes.

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Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This year all the berries and cherries are coming to the market ahead of their usual schedule. From strawberries in May, cherries at the beginning of June and blueberries this past week, it seems like everything is loving the early summer weather. I’ve got to say, I’m loving it to. I’m definitely a sun seeker and am usually more than ready for summer when it arrives. I get pretty excited about all the new produce in the market and find that the change of season brings new inspiration into my cooking. Kind of an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality when it comes to recipes. This recipe came about last week while I was trying to figure out a way to use up what was left of the cherries I had, as usual, over bought. I wanted something light and refreshing and remembered a time I had a roasted grape salad at a restaurant in town that, sadly, closed down a year or so ago. I was curious to see what would happen if I applied a similar idea to cherries. I expected them to taste a little bit sweeter, if anything, which didn’t really happen. They just developed a deeper flavour and tasted a little like red wine. Obviously, I didn’t need much more convincing to carry on with this recipe for roasted cherry salad with maple vinaigrette. I’m just surprised were enough cherries to make the salad after all the sampling I did. I hope you enjoy it!

 

1 Cup cherries

3 Cups mixed greens

1/4 Cup fresh sage, chopped

2 tbsp chives, sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Cut the cherries in half and remove the pit. Then place the cherries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the oven and roast them for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the cherries are cooling, add the greens, sage, chives and almonds to a large salad bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Set aside.

Add the cooled cherries to the greens mixture and toss with the maple dressing right before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Firstly, please excuse the picture. It’s not my best. My husband and I had a ball game that night and I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want a bad picture preventing me from posting a delicious recipe, so I’ve decided to go ahead, unflattering picture and all.

After making a delicious chocolate tart last week and then eating far too much of it, I’ve decided to try and eat a bit healthier this week. Actually, I’m usually a pretty healthy eater throughout the week, it’s the weekend that I struggle with. We seem to be on the go a lot or just in the mood for over indulging. Come Monday I always feel like healthier fare. Keeping that in mind, I decided to start this week off with home made falafel and tzatziki sauce, served along with a salad. If you’ve never or had falafel before, they’re definitely worth trying. They’re full of flavour and loaded with nutrition, plus, “falafel” is just a really fun word to say. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

Falafel are a traditional middle eastern food, though where they originated in the middle east is still debated. Made from mashed chickpeas (or fava beans in Egypt), the mixture is formed into a ball or patty and then served in a pita. They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, which is my preferred way of eating them. While you can find these little gems pre-made at the grocery store, I prefer to make them myself. Mostly because I’m a pretty big fan of knowing what exactly is in my food. Even though the ingredient list for this recipe is long, it comes together quite quickly.

I served the falafel with tzatziki because I love how it’s tangyness (I don’t think that’s a word, but you know what I mean) off sets the savoury flavour of the falafel. Enjoy!

Falafel:

398 mL chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 Cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 Cup carrot, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 Cup mint, chopped

1/4 Cup italian flat leaf parsely, chopped

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground cardammom

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

salt and pepper

2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil

Remove the skins from the chickpeas and then mash them in a bowl using a potato masher. You could also use a food processor. I just find that by the time I assemble mine, I could have already mashed the chickpeas by hand. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 2″ balls. Heat the vegetable or coconut oil in a frying pan. A few at a time, add the falafel to the pan and cook until golden on all sides and heated through.

*Another option for cooking the falafel is to place them in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for  15-20 minutes.

Tzatziki:

3/4 Cup full fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 Cup cucumber, grated

2 tbsp mint, chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until ready to serve.

 

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Once a month, I contribute a recipe to quicktastymeals.com. In support of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, this months post was for two kid-friendly smoothie recipes. If you’d like to see the recipes, you can check them out here. If you’re interested in finding out more about Food Revolution Day, you can click on the link here.

Now for this weeks recipe:

I’m a super big fan of recipes that come together with very little effort and require very few ingredients. Recipes that, despite their simplicity, still pack a ton of flavour into every bite. Attempting to eat healthfully and squeeze extra veggies into my day, I’ve been making veggie sandwiches for lunch lately. They’re super healthy, satisfying, and can be super delicious if you add a delicious spread or sauce. My usual favourite additions are hummus or mashed avocados, so the other day I thought “what would happen if I combined the two?”. What happened was complete deliciousness and a new favourite sandwich spread. The bonus is that the leftovers make a fantastic veggie or cracker dip. With only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes, you really can’t go wrong.

1/2 Cup chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 avocado

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp mint, finely chopped

salt to taste

Mash together the chickpeas and avocado. Stir in the lemon juice, mint and salt until well combined. Spread on sandwiches or use as a dip for veggies and crackers.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars

If you’re like me and hate sending your kids to school with store bought granola bars, here’s a way healthier alternative. These can be mixed together in less than 5 minutes and are completely nut free. They’re also incredibly yummy and dangerously addictive. Enjoy!

#Easy #Homemade #Chocolate Granola Bars: Nut-free for the kiddies.

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