Pea, Paneer, and Cauliflower Chapattis

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Hello from New Zealand!  I arrived in New Zealand in October for a 9 month work holiday as they call it here.  I am working at an urgent care and also traveling on my time off to explore the country.  So far the hiking and scenery have been incredible, I’ll share some pictures after the recipe.  The pace of life is definitely slower than America, I am living in Christchurch which is a modest city, quieter than my home in Seattle.  I have a lot more time to read novels and start practicing yoga regularly with free videos on line.  At the same time I’ve been exploring Indian cooking.

I checked out a few cookbooks from the library (again one of my favorite ways to try out recipes).  This recipe is from Anna Jones and her cookbook aimed to get fast, fresh, health filled food on the table easily.  While this recipe was billed in the 15 minute section, I would estimate it took me about 45 minutes to get this to come together.  I made chapattis from scratch which added time but is optional, I will share in the next post!

I ended up combining all the toppings together for my leftovers and reheating it worked brilliantly.  Just as delicious on day 3 as on day 1.  I hope you enjoy!  (side note, also super excited to be in a townhouse that has natural lighting so my pictures look a bit more appetizing)

Pea, Paneer and Cauliflower Chapattis

Adapted from Anna Jones: A Modern Way to Cook

Ingredients:

  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2Tbsp oil, separated (canola or coconut)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • half head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 6 curry leaves (fresh or dried ones placed in water for a few minutes)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, juice divided
  • 1 green chili, chopped (add more if you like things spicy)
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro, stems separated from leaves, both chopped
  • 1/2-1cup paneer, crumbled
  • salt and pepper
  • Chapattis (recipe soon to come!)

Directions:

  1. Boil water in a kettle or on the stove, place the frozen peas into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the frozen peas and leave for 5 minutes, then strain.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the green onions in the heated oil until they begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower, curry leaves, mustard seeds and turmeric to the pan with the onions.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the juice of 1 lemon and continue cooking until the juice has evaporated.
  5. Taste a cauliflower, if still too raw, add a few tablespoons of water (1-3) to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until the cauliflower is tender to your liking (5-15 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate bowl.
  6. Mash the peas and then mix in the green chili, cilantro stalks, zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat a tablespoon of canola or coconut oil in the pan on medium high, then add the crumbled paneer.  Toss after a minute or two when it begins to turn golden. Remove from heat when sufficiently golden to your liking.
  8. Assemble by placed mashed peas over chapattis, then top with cauliflower and paneer. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

And here are some favorite pictures from New Zealand including crumbled blue cod (aka best fish and chips of my life):

Tomatoes

Hello everyone, this is my first post in my new special category of vegetable basics!  I’m going to start placing what I know about certain vegetables and fruits in regards to their storage and preparation methods as I continue cooking.  Hopefully this will be a helpful place to turn when figuring out how to work with different ingredients!

Tomatoes

Storage: keep tomatoes at room temperature or in a cool spot, they keep in a single layer best to prevent bruising.

Preparation:

  • How to Peel Tomatoes: Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Bring a pot of water to a gentle rolling boil.  Slice a small “X” in the bottom of the desired number of tomatoes.  Drop several tomatoes into the boiling water and wait 10-90 seconds for the skins to start to wrinkle.  Then scoop out with a slotted spoon and place into the ice bath.  When the tomatoes are cool peel the skin off the tomatoes!
  • **the amount of time your tomatoes will need in the boiling water will vary based on how fresh your tomato is, about 10 seconds for a super ripe farmers market tomato almost about to be overripe to around 60 seconds for your average grocery store tomato that is not quite as fresh

Guacamole

 

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I absolutely love fresh guacamole.  I was excited to check out the Food 52 Genius cookbook from the library and decided to give this recipe a whirl.  Finely chopping the ingredients and using a mortar and pestle are the main differences that help to elevate this guacamole.  I never had jalapeno as called for in the original recipe, it was tasty without but if you have jalapeno on hand then I would add it in!

The method I learned here for removing the avocado in chunks it my new favorite way to quickly add avocado to my favorite salads, sandwiches etc in addition to using it in this guacamole.

Food 52’s Guacamole

Adapted slightly from Food 52

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • squeeze of lime
  • optional** 1 Tbsp minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile (including seeds if you want your guacamole more spicy)

Directions

  1. Mash the onion,salt and half of the cilantro to a paste in a mortar (and chile if using).
  2. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (do not go through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the cilantro and lime juice and mash the avocados, leaving some larger pieces with a fork.
  4. Add additional salt and/or chile to taste.

April Bloomfield’s Kale Polenta

heApril Bloomfield Kale Polenta 3

I was browsing the cookbooks in my favorite technical bookstore in Seattle when I ran across A Girl and Her Greens by April Bloomfield.  I was intrigued by the wonderful colors and recipes featuring vegetables.  I went home and reserved the cookbook from the library and ultimately decided to try out the kale polenta.  This was my first time making polenta and it was delightfully warm and creamy.

April Bloomfield Kale Polenta 1

Treat yourself to something special and try this out tonight!

Kale Polenta Recipe

April Bloomfield’s Website

 

Mascarpone Hazelnut Meyer Lemon Pasta

Kitchn Mascarpone Cheese Pasta 2

I had extra mascarpone cheese from polenta I made earlier in the week so I began searching for other savory ways to use it.  I came across this recipe on The Kitchn and decided it was a great way to try out meyer lemons for the first time.  I have never cooked with meyer lemon before but this recipe made me eager to try it out more often!
I also splurged and bought fresh pasta in the refrigerator section and would say that it elevated this dish to transcendent.  If you have never branched away from boxed pasta let this be an excuse to do so.  Fresh pasta cooks in about 2-3 minutes and is soft, tender, and well worth the extra price.
*I used fresh pasta instead of boxed spaghetti

Banana Oat Muffins

All Recipes Banana Oatmeal Muffins 5

I love baking with banana.  When I have an extra banana that is overripe I put it in the freezer until I get to 3 bananas and then I let them thaw and use them to make delicious cakes and muffins.

All Recipes Banana Oatmeal Muffins 1

I wanted to go for a slightly healthier take on banana bread so I tried this recipe with oats.  It was moist, light and had a great banana flavor.

Banana Oat Muffin Recipe

Wheatberry Salad

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I’ve come across Dorie Greenspan’s name a few times while looking at other food blogs.  Last year I finally checked out her cookbook Around My French Table which I found to be full of delightful recipes.  I found myself with celery on hand and that is what inspired me to make this salad.  I am absolutely in love with grain based salads.  In fact, I just had the most incredible farro salad at Wondering Goose.

This was my first time using wheatberries and I was pleasantly surprised.  They are a little chewy while also light in texture.  Give yourself a hearty salad treat this weekend!

Wheatberry Salad

adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tsp more for tossing)
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red apple, cored and diced
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • optional add-ins: chopped avocado, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped swiss chard

Directions

  1. Cooking the wheatberries: Start a few hours before you want to eat the salad by cooking the wheatberries. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the wheatberries.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook the wheatberries stirring occasionally until they are tender but not mushy (1-1 1/4 hours). Drain and rinse the wheatberries in cold water.  (Can refrigerate up to 24 hours before using, bring to room temperature before assembling salad)
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together in a small bowl the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Make the salad: Place wheatberries in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. If time allows, let the wheatberries soak in the vinaigrette for 1 hour.  Add the celery, onion, apple, and pepper and toss gently.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.  Mix in a few additional add-ins if desired (I did fresh parsley and chopped raw chard). Enjoy!

**Note: when I make this to have for lunch multiple days in a row, I keep the dressing separate until the day of eating and mix a small portion in before having lunch!

 

 

Jerusalem’s Kohlrabi Salad

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My advisor recommended that I check out Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem.  I checked out the cookbook from the library to take a look.  Checking out books from the library has been my new go to in order to try not to fill my entire house with cookbooks.  There are so many beautiful new cookbook’s and it is so difficult to choose, thus I began checking them out at the library and trying out a recipe or two.

This cookbook was absolutely gorgeous to flip through and I loved all the different Mediterranean flavors.  This recipe calls for ground sumac which was a first for me.  The sumac bush produces red berries and is one of the main components of za-atar. When in doubt, I venture over the The Kitchn to learn about various ingredients or cooking tips.  Check out their blurb on sumac!

I had some beautiful kohlrabi and purple carrots so I altered the recipe to be mostly carrot based with a little chopped kohlrabi and I think you will find that this combination is refreshing and delightful!

Carrot and Kohlrabi Salad

adapted from Jerusalem

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch rectangles)
  • 1/3 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 tsp ground sumac
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Mix together the shredded carrots and chopped kohlrabi in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, place the yogurt, sour cream, mascarpone cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.  Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Stir the dressing into the kohlrabi and carrot mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint and sprinkle the top of the salad with sumac.