Chana Masala


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I absolutely LOVE this simple dish!  I’ve adapted it from Rabbit Food, Dan’s favorite vegetarian cookbook.

Note two important things:

–  Canned beans and tomato paste have a LOT of salt in them.  If you have time to rehydrate your own chickpeas or can find a no-salt-added variety, that would be a good idea.

–  All spice amounts are subjective.  I use the amounts given in Rabbit Food to get an idea of proportion (a little of this, a lot of that), but I don’t really measure anything.  The flavor I go for is bold but not painful, whereas Dan prefers to sweat when he eats.

Ingredients

2 cans chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved

1 in. piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3-6 garlic cloves

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 small can tomato paste

2 Tbs olive oil

Spices: 1tsp garam masala, 2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp amchur (optional)

photo 11 300x225   Chana Masala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

Heat the EVOO with the spices (adjusted to taste), ginger, and garlic.

photo 13 300x225   Chana Masala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the onion, 2-3Tbs of the tomato paste, lemon juice, and about 1 cup of the leftover bean liquid.  You could probably substitute the liquid with something less salty like water or low sodium broth.  If I’m going to add in other things to this dish, which I often do, I’ll add in more tomato paste and more liquid.  I’d suggest adding peas, potatoes, or any veggies you really like but adjust the cooking times accordingly.

photo 14 300x225   Chana Masala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let this simmer briefly.

Next, add the chickpeas.  Cook covered about 20 minutes.  Add in your ad-libbed veggies as appropriate.  The chickpeas will be soft and have soaked in the flavor of the sauce when they are done.

photo 15 300x225   Chana Masala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You probably want to cook some rice to go with this.  I like to garnish it with tomatoes (today, kumatos) and cilantro.

 

July 12, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Healthy Seafood ‘Alfredo’ with Vegetable Noodles


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I’m not a huge fan of pasta or alfredo sauce
, but I know more than a few people who are.

To me, pasta is filler–lots of carbs with very little nutritional value. I end up uncomfortably full after most pasta dishes, and wishing there were more substance to the meal. Alfredo sauce is painfully unhealthy, with so much cheese, cream, and butter, I wonder why I’m not just eating a whole pan of brownies.

IMG 2201 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Healthy seafood alfredo with vegetable noodles

This dish suits those who love OR hate pasta and Alfredo sauce. There are multiple takes on how to make it, but the basic concept is the same. It’s delicious AND healthy, and I personally rank this seafood ‘pasta’ dinner in my top five meals

ever made.

Pasta:
The ‘pasta’ in this dish is made up of squash and zucchini.

2-4 squash or zucchini (or some of each, preferably large)
Large Carrots (optional–adds color and tastes good, but is a bit tougher than squash and zucchini)

Peel the squash/zucchini/carrots with a peeler, and if the skin is tough you can discard the outer layer, but this isn’t totally necessary. Use a peeler to create wide, long, ‘noodles’ from the vegetables. These noodles will only need to be sauteed for a couple minutes at the end of the cooking process. Set aside.

IMG 2186 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Peeling zucchini and squash to make noodles

IMG 2193 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

squash, zucchini, and carrot noodles

Sauce:

In this case, the sauce was made from cauliflower and white beans, boiled and pureed and combined with a chicken or vegetable broth, and a little almond milk (or milk of your choice).

See recipe for the healthy white sauce alternative.

IMG 2177 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

white beans for sauce

To turn this pasta and sauce recipe into a seafood/vegetable dish, here’s what I did:

IMG 2185 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Zucchini, Asparagus, Mushrooms

Other Ingredients:

Basil
Zucchini
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Garlic
Leek

Combine all the above ingredients (chopped) in a frying pan and saute until tender in a little oil or butter, with garlic, leek, basil, salt and pepper for seasoning.

IMG 2196 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Sauteed veggies: zucchini, basil, asparagus, mushrooms

Seafood:

1 tilapia filet, crumbled (did this on its own..)
Scallops
1/2 C White wine
Butter
Garlic
Leek
Basil

In a separate pan, sear scallops in butter with garlic and leek.  Add tilapia.  Add white wine, salt, pepper, and basil, and cook for another 5 or so minutes.

IMG 2200 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Scallops and tilapia in white wine, garlic, leek, and basil

Combine:

Add vegetable ‘noodles’ to the veggies (mushrooms/asparagus/whatever you made) in the fry pan and cook for 2-4 minutes to heat through.

IMG 2199 300x231   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Vegetable noodles in the pan

Serve noodles and veggies in a bowl, topped with seafood and white wine, and as much ‘alfredo’ sauce as desired.  Garnish with fresh basil.  DELICIOUS!

IMG 2203 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Healthy seafood alfredo with vegetable noodles!

July 7, 2011
Food, Recipe