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 White Sauce Alternative (White Beans and Cauliflower)


I have made some soup dishes with White beans and vegetables. I found them both on this site.

1. Carrot Ginger White Bean Soup (delicious!)

2. Broccoli and White Bean Soup (With Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers is thebomb.com)

What if I tried to make a white soup just like the recipes above, using cauliflower and white beans? After finding some good music, QueenEarth performs ”Super Model” @ Across Words 2011, here is what I tried:

 

 

IMG 21731 300x219   Healthy White Sauce Alternative (White Beans and Cauliflower)
White beans, cooked, drained, and rinsed.

 

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • I bag of white cannellini beans (cooked and boiled)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock (substitute with vegetable stock)
  • 2 cups water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • oregano
  • basil
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Steam cauliflower  florets and stems until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute leek and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower, beans, and liquid
  4. Puree cauliflower in batches in a blender until smooth. IMG 21841 300x225   Healthy White Sauce Alternative (White Beans and Cauliflower)
  5. After the food processor, I put my mixture back into a large soup pot.
  6. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and herbs and season to taste.
  7. Add almond milk
  8. Simmer 15 minutes and serve.  I have a theory that I can “mute” this sauce by taking out the herbs. In large batches, I can easily store my white sauce, and use it as a substitute. I could do a curry variety, stick with the Italian version, or use it as a gravy. I’ll be posting my concoctions, but here is what I’m imagining:

Seafood Alfredo?
Warm Caesar Dressing Over Leafy Greens?
Replacing Cheese in Lasagna (A friend at the farmer’s mentioned that he adds white beans to his lasagna to get more protein)?
Instead of mayonnaise in cold summer salad?
As a sauce over homemade Egg Foo Young instead of gravy?

IMG 21721 231x300   Healthy White Sauce Alternative (White Beans and Cauliflower)

Cauliflower

I don’t know what will happen, but the feel free to try and add your thoughts and creations!

 

 

 

June 14, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers


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After my deliciously successful first attempt at homemade black bean burgers based off a whole foods recipe, I decided to put homemade bean burgers into my regular rotation of easy meals.

Selling points:

  • Super quick to make!
  • Bean Burgers are made with common and easily stocked ingredients, like canned or dried beans, bread, eggs, and spices
  • You can make a large batch of burgers for a couple dollars!  Take that, fast food!
  • You can freeze extra burger patties for a quick meal
  • They taste great on a bed of fresh greens or mixed into a salad.  You can also crumble one up and use it as taco ‘meat’ in a pinch!


Homemade Bread Crumbs:

Toast several pieces of bread (your choice), optionally topped with some herbs or seasoning, until crisp and dry.  I did this by baking at 300 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Crumble cooled toast into fine pieces or use a food processor.

Part 1: 12 Bean Party Burgers:

For a party I was having, I decided to try a 12-bean burger.  I had a bag of mixed beans, including navy, great northern, kidney, pinto, chick pea, black beans, and more.

I followed the same basic recipe as before except that I made my own bread crumbs.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag of mixed beans, prepared (I cooked mine in a pressure cooker with 6-8 cups of water at pressure for 15-20 minutes, then drained.  You can also soak or quick cook them on the stove, but it will take longer than 30 minutes overall)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c diced leek
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs  (you can do these homemade by toasting and food processing your bread)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a handful of fresh chopped basil
  • 1 jalepeno, diced, and/or hot sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve on greens/in a salad, on a roll, or however you prefer!

12 bean burger mix1 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger mix

 

Instructions

Prepare your beans if they were dried (pressure cooker/soaking/etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Partially mash beans with a fork in a large bowl.
Separately saute garlic, leek, and jalapeno until leek is tender, in a little oil.
Toast bread for 10 minutes or so in the oven with various herb/garlic seasonings to make bread crumbs.  Crumble.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic/leek/jalapeno, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
Mix well to combine then shape into approximately 30 sliders, or 8-10 larger bean burgers.
Lightly oil the bottom of a baking pan
Arrange patties and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through, depending on size
Serve as desired.

12 bean burger sliders baking 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger sliders baking

12 bean burger sliders 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger sliders

12 bean burgers1 300x266   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

Party burgers! Served with greens, cherry tomatoes, baguette slices, and salsa!

 

Part 2: Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

This is the remix.

I highly recommend starting with this recipe, though it’s changes were minor (homemade bread crumbs, fresh herbs, sauteed mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce), they made a significant difference in the burgers.  These were amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag of black beans, prepared (I cooked mine in a pressure cooker with 6-8 cups of water at pressure for 15-20 minutes, then drained.  You can also soak or quick cook them on the stove, but it will take longer than 30 minutes overall)  You can also use 2-3 15 oz cans of low sodium black beans.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c diced leek
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs  (you can do these homemade by toasting and food processing your bread)
  • a handful of fresh oregano

    fresh picked oregano 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

    fresh picked oregano

  • a handful of fresh chopped basil
  • a handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, diced (as many as you like, really.. you can play with the ratio of beans to mushrooms here!)
  • hot sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
black bean burger ingredients 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger ingredients: Egg, bread crumbs, leek, mushrooms, garlic, black beans

Instructions

Prepare your beans if they were dried (pressure cooker/soaking/etc.)

Drained rinsed black beans 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

Drained rinsed black beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Partially mash beans with a fork in a large bowl.
Separately saute garlic, leek, and mushrooms in a little oil.

Toast bread for 10 minutes or so in the oven with various herb/garlic seasonings to make bread crumbs.  Crumble.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic/leek/mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
Mix well to combine then shape into approximately 10 larger bean burgers.

black bean burger patties1 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger patties

Lightly oil the bottom of a baking pan
Arrange patties and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through, depending on size.

black bean burger patties cooking 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger patties cooking

Serve as desired.

black bean burger on toast 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger on toast with avocado and cherry tomatoes

 

May 24, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Snack! Wasabi soy edamame


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This one is just too easy.. I had some leftover sushi for lunch which would never have possibly been enough to fill me up, so I went for my go-to snack of edamame.    I buy bags of frozen raw edamame in the pod from H-Mart in catonsville for $1 a bag.  They say it is 5.5 servings with 100 calories per serving.  I can chow through a whole bag in 3 servings.  I don’t see this as a problem because it’s a filling and healthy snack, especially compared to many alternatives.

You can make edamame at your office if you have a) a freezer and b) a microwave.  You also need water, but I’m hoping you have that.

1) Pour as much as you want (in pods) into a microwave-safe bowl, and at least cover that amount with water.  I mostly-cover the bowl with another plate and pop the whole thing in the microwave for 4 minutes on high.  You might need 5 depending on your microwave.

2) Carefully drain the edamame because the steam can burn you (STEAM BURNS HURT 🙁 🙁 )

3) (two choices)

  • OPTION A:  Usually I toss the pods with sea salt and then squeeze the beans out with my teeth for salty deliciousness.  However, someone in my office went to town on my salt stash and failed to replace it, so I tried something different:
  • OPTION B (shown below):  Take wasabi powder/paste/leftover wasabi already mixed from the sushi you are about to eat, and combine it with a little soy sauce.  Squeeze the beans out of the pods into the sauce, and eat with a spoon or fork.  YUM.  Good sushi leftover side dish and/or random midday snack.
wpid 1302111765797   Snack! Wasabi soy edamame

Snack size.. about 1.5 servings of edamame probably, according to the packaging

 

wpid 1302111847254   Snack! Wasabi soy edamame

ZOOMED IN wasabi soy edamame.

April 6, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Carrot ginger white bean soup


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This soup was a mashup of the broccoli and white bean soup and a carrot/ginger soup seen at Atwater’s in Catonsville.

Ingredients:

10 large carrots, peeled or scrubbed and sectioned into large pieces
1-2 carrots grated or peeled (see picture) for garnish
5+ mushroom, chopped (for garnish)
1/2 C diced leek
5 cloves garlic
1/4-1/2 C chopped fresh ginger (you don’t really need to chop it too much, because it will be blended)
1 large or 2 x 15 oz cans of Canellini or other white beans (low sodium/drained)
Chicken stock or Vegetable stock – low sodium  (about 16 oz)
1 Tbsp oil (olive oil/grapeseed/whatever)

Seasoning:
Salt, pepper, ground cloves, turmeric, paprika
Handful of fresh basil/Thai basil (or any other fresh herb)

Method:
Add leek and garlic to a large pot with the oil and saute for several minutes.
Add carrot, ginger, and stock.
Add as much water as needed to cover the carrots.
Cook until carrots are soft, adding the beans at some point and seasoning to taste.

Once carrots are soft, transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender, blending until mostly smooth.
Transfer the soup back to the pot.

In a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and shredded carrot for a few minutes in butter or oil.

IMG 0836 300x225   Carrot ginger white bean soup

Mushrooms and shredded carrot garnish

Dish soup into bowls and garnish with mushrooms, shredded carrots, and fresh herbs (here: Thai basil)

Don’t ever underestimate the power of fresh herbs in adding flavor to your dishes.  It really makes a difference!

IMG 0842 300x225   Carrot ginger white bean soup

Ginger carrot white bean soup garnished with Thai basil and mushroom

Goes great as a soup-and-sandwich lunch or dinner!

IMG 0839 225x300   Carrot ginger white bean soup

soup with a tuna salad and roasted veggie and tuna salad sandwich

March 30, 2011
Food, Recipe