Friday, June 3, 2011

Tanzania

If you frequent my blog or just happened to come across it in a google search, you may have noticed the lack of posts over the course of the last two months.  My husband and I quit our jobs and took a road trip across America.  As you can imagine, during this time, we did not cook often.  In less than two weeks, we depart for Tanzania with the Peace Corps.  I hope that I can continue blogging about vegetarianism and provide you with some vegetarian Tanzanian recipes.  I heard that the Peace Corps gives us cook books when we arrive into country.  I am so happy because I hear that it's a predominantly vegetarian country.  I don't know if I will have internet access often, but if I do, I will be continuing to update this blog.  However, it will be infrequent, if at all.  Thanks for your continued interest in my blog and check back every now and then to see if I can get a Tanzanian vegetarian recipe up here and there!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mujadarrah

This is another one of the recipes that I received from my wedding shower from Erin, my lovely college roommate.  This is a middle-eastern comfort food.  Lentils are always a hit at our home, so we're very excited to eat it!

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 1/3 cups lentils (uncooked)
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
Method:
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat
  2. Cook onions until browned and set aside
  3. Place lentils in lightly salted water and cover (bring them to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes)
  4. Stir in rice and extra water to cover.  Add salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer until tender (about 25 minutes)
  5. Mix in onions and serve with yogurt or sour cream

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butter Tofu Curry

This is a "cheat" recipe.  You see, we buy this butter chicken curry paste out of a box and make it into butter tofu curry by adding tofu, not chicken.  It's cheating because it's out of the box.   My ex-boss told me about this paste and it's such a wonderful taste and so quick to make!

I don't know what the recipe on the back of the box actually tells you to do, but all we do is follow the directions for water and use the ingredient list below:

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons butter only (about half of the recommended butter)
  • 1/2 bag frozen green peas
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu
  • rice to serve (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 boxes of the butter chicken curry paste
Method:
  1. Begin cooking the rice according to instructions 
  2. In a large saucepan, stir together the butter chicken curry paste, recommended water on the back of the box, and butter.  Wait until it boils.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into small pieces (like cubes)
  4. Add peas and tofu
  5. Cook together for approximately 8-10 minutes
  6. Serve over rice
This is what the box looks like:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Ziti

This is a great and easy recipe that I got from my lovely college roommate.  She got it from her mom or grandma and made it for me one evening for a dinner party.  Of course, I asked for the recipe!

Ingredients:  
  • 1 box of ziti pasta (plain-no ridges)
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 package of mozzarella cheese cut in half 
  • 1  16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Method:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Shred 1/2 of the mozzarella and set aside
3.  Cube other 1/2 of mozzarella and set aside.
4.  Cook ziti according to directions on box (el dente) and drain
5.  Pour all of sauce jar into pasta and mix well
6.  Next, add in whole container of ricotta, the cubed mozzarella, & the parmesan cheese.  Mix until well combined.
7.  Transfer mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish & top with the shredded mozzerella
8.  If desired, sprinkle the top with some parmesan cheese
9.  Cook for 30-45 minutes or until top starts to brown & inside is bubbly.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tomato Basil Fettuccine

As with most people who are trying to save money, we buy our food in bulk when it's on sale.  So, our cabinets and food pantry are usually pretty stock full of vegetarian staples: vegetarian broth, crushed tomatoes, pasta, beans, lentils, bread crumbs, you name it.  Well, the time has come where Jon and I are moving.  We're moving permanently.  We have a new challenge on our hand.  Trying to get rid of all of these staples in our cabinets.  

I invited a friend to dinner who is more traditional in her eating and so Italian food was the way to go.  I found this great recipes to get rid of the pack of fettuccine we've had in our cabinet for a long while now.  The recipe ended up really amazing and I'd love to share it with you now!

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. fettuccine noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Method:
  1. Cook fettuccine according to directions on package
  2. Meanwhile, saute the onions and red pepper flakes in butter until onion is tender.  Add tomato and salt, cook and stir over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand for one minute.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk
  5. Drain fettuccine and place in a large bowl.  
  6. Add the basil and parmesan cheese and the tomato mixture
  7. Toss to coat
Kudos to the original recipe here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Mom's Sauce"

There is nothing better than anything homemade.  This recipe comes from my friend Marisa who gave it to me at my wedding shower.  We met over the weekend for some girl's fun and we had it together.  I forgot how good it is!  It's Marisa's Italian family's homemade pasta sauce.  As a vegetarian, I often get very sick of pasta dishes, but this sauce leaves me wanting to eat pasta every day.  It was even double good because I have so many canned crushed tomatoes sitting around from a sale.

Ingredients:

  • One large can of crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
Method:
  1. In a large sauce pan, saute garlic and olive oil
  2. Add tomatoes to can plus one can of water
  3. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for a few hours on low, covered
  4. Taste, add more salt if necessary 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stuffed Shells

My friend Shelli is always so kind and thoughtful when I go to her house for dinner.  She always considers my vegetarianism and what I might enjoy.  This dish is an old classic that I would not have remembered except she made it for me.  It can easily be made low-fat since she uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese.  She gave me the recipe and it's super easy and yummy!

Ingredients:
  • Large shell pasta (approximately 18 shells)
  • 1 24 oz. vat of cottage cheese (can use low-fat)
  • 1 16 oz. bag of mozzarella cheese (can use low-fat)
  • One jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 egg
  • Parsley to sprinkle
Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Boil water and add the large shell pasta, cook until soft. 

2.  In the meantime, combine the cottage cheese, almost all of the mozzarella cheese, egg, and parsley into a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.

3.  After pasta is soft, drain and run under cold water to cool down shells. 

4.  While waiting for shells to cool down, cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with the pasta sauce.

5.  Once cool enough to touch, stuff the shells with the cheese combination and begin placing into the pan.

6.  You should be able to fill and fit about 18 shells with a 9x13 pan and with this much cheese mixture.

7.  Once the pan is full, place the remaining pasta over the shells.

8.  Bake the shells in the oven for 40-45 minutes.  About 5 minutes before removing from the oven, place remaining mozzarella cheese over the shells.

9.  When finished baking, allow to cool for about 15 minutes so the cheese cool back together.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Palak Paneer

I looooveee mutter paneer.  I pretty much order this everytime I go to an Indian restaurant.  We bought a lot of paneer (cheese) in Ottawa.  It's a special Indian cheese and can't be found in small towns around the USA.  If you live in a larger area, you will definitely be able to find it, especially in Indian specialty food shops.  Well, I bought it to make mutter paneer, but all the recipes I found on the internet never made a really good mutter paneer.  I was trying to find another recipe to use all this paneer with.  I found this awesome website and found the best recipe called palak paneer.  It uses spinach.   I also learned the secret to cooking with paneer.  They taught me that you should soak the cheese in cold water AFTER cooking it.  It worked like a charm . I was shocked.  So, without further ado, please check out the recipe AND the site below:

Ingredients:
Spinach - 1, 16oz pkt chopped, frozen
Paneer - 7 oz or 200 g
Oil – 3 tbsp
Onions – 2 med, minced
Ginger – 1″ pc, minced
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Water – 1/2 cup
14oz can pureed tomatoes
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt - to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Heavy Whipping Cream – 8 tbsp or to taste

Method:
1. Cook frozen Spinach with 1/2 cup Water in a microwave safe dish for 7-8 minutes stirring in between.
2. Blend cooked Spinach to desired texture (avoid over-blending).
3. Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a medium non-stick pan on high heat.
4. Once Oil is hot, add in the minced Onions, stir, cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Add in the Ginger and Garlic and mix. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
6. Add in the Tomates, cover and cook till the oil seperates from the mixture.
7. Keep stirring frequently as the Masala (Onion, Tomato, Ginger & Garlic mixture) tends to burn very fast.
8. While the Masala is cooking, cube the paneer to desired size…1/2″ cubes work well.
9. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp Oil.
10. Once Oil is hot, add in the paneer cubes and let them cook till they are golden brown on all sides.
11. Remove from the pan into a plate with paper towel to soak the excess oil.
12. In a couple of minutes, pour the Paneer into a bowl of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
13. Meanwhile, once the Masala is prepared, add in the mashed Spinach.
14. Mix and add the Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chili Powder & Turmeric Powder.
15. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes.
16. Add in the desired amount of Cream and /or Milk. Mix and cook for another few minutes.
17. Gently squeeze the water out of the paneer and add to mixture.
18.  When thoroughly heated through, serve over rice!

The most awesome website that helped make this delicious dish!


http://showmethecurry.com/subzis-vegetables/palak-paneerpanir.html

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yakisoba

Yakisoba is another one of those foods that I never had until I went to Japan.  It was also one of few foods that I was able to get to be vegetarian!  Usually there is beef in it, but it's very easy to leave out.  It was well known in many restaurants and especially during festivals.  You can usually find this on restaurant menus in America, too.  On Friday, I was invited into a third grade classroom to do a presentation about Japan.  As a thank you gift, the class gave me a little cookbook.  In it was yakisoba.  Although it doesn't taste exactly like that of Japan, it's still super good!

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. soba or ramen noodles
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, minced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups green cabbage leaves, chopped
Method:
  1.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Drain the cooked noodles
  3. Combine the soy sauce and sugar in a saucepan.  Cook on low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.
  4. Put the oil in a deep frying pan or wok.  Heat over medium heat.
  5. Add the green onions, bean sprouts, ginger  and cabbage to the pan.  Stir fry for one minute.
  6. Add the noodles and soy sauce mixture.  Stir-fry for one minute.
  7. Turn off the heat.  Cover the pot and let it sit for two minutes.
Serves 2 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry

One of the perks of my job is getting recipes from my students.  This recipe came from a student who I have had over several times for dinner.  This is his mom's recipe!  It's not too spicy and has amazing flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 green chilies cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of coconut milk (1 can)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • Sticky rice (make enough for yourself)
Method:
  1. Make lentils per instruction on package, taking care not to burn the ones on the bottom 
  2. Meanwhile, caramelize onions in oil until soft
  3. When lentils and onions are done, add all ingredients together
  4. Cook covered for about 10-15 minutes until the curry becomes a little thicker (not too runny from the coconut milk)
  5. Serve over rice
This amount makes approximately 2-4 servings.

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