Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lots to share...

I meant to post this last night, but I was far too tired to get it done. Cooking has been going on in our kitchen since the weekend, and I am ready to share.

I was looking at Kati's blog post on smoothies, and I asked myself, Why do I never have a smoothie for breakfast? So, here is my breakfast smoothie, which successfully kept me going until lunchtime on Saturday. I used (roughly):

1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup soy milk
Splash vanilla
Several dashes ground cinnamon
Dash ground ginger
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Splash agave nectar

This is my favorite smoothie recipe--it's just so satisfying and delicious. I don't drink smoothies that often, but this made a much better breakfast than I would have imagined. I'll have to remember to do it more often.

Lunch on Saturday was extremely simple--I had some leftover brown rice, to which I added 1/2 cup of steamed edamame and some of the tahini-tamari sauce I made last week to go with the falafel. I also had some veggies on the side. It was light and filling, and used up some leftovers.

Dinner was excellent. I tried my hand at making aloo matar and roti. After reading several different recipes online, I meshed together my own recipe, which follows. This was super spicy, but the roti helps level out the heat. I have really begun to love Indian food recently, and I plan to practice it much more in the near future.

Aloo Matar

2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used 2, but next time I will use one more)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2-1 cup water
Fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat, and add the cumin seeds. Temper for a few minutes, then add onion and cook until it begins to brown. Add apices, potatoes, and peas, and mix well. Turn heat down, add 1/2 cup water, and cover. Allow to cook until potatoes are tender. If you need to add more water as you go along to keep it from sticking, go ahead. When the potatoes are done, take out about 1/4 cup and mash them well; stir them back into the pan with some extra water to make a thick "gravy." Turn the heat off, add the lemon juice and cilantro, and allow to sit, covered, for several minutes to let the flavors blend a little more.


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
Water, as needed

Combine the flour and salt. Add water slowly, working it together to form a stiff ball of dough. Cover dough with a wet towel for 20 minutes, then knead it for 5-10 minutes until smooth and workable. Divide into 6 balls. Roll each ball out until it is 6 inches in diameter. Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Cook the roti in the pan on each side, pressing down in the center with a dry towel. Wrap roti in a dry towel until ready to serve.

Sunday, my friend came over to bake cupcakes from VCTOTW with me! We picked out the Chai Latte Cupcakes, and we had a great time messing up the kitchen with these... But these were probably the best cupcakes I've ever tasted. Mary took six home with her, and Bob and I kept the other six--and they are gone already. I had fun creating this stencil to decorate the tops with--and I like the way the topping looks. It reminds me of those henna tattoos that I used to love to get when I was in high school. These are lovely little creations, and I never would have thought you could get a cupcake to taste so much like a chai latte!

Last night was homemade pizza. This is a Greek-inspired pizza, with olives and mushrooms and broccoli and onion and a tofu ricotta... and some of Bryanna Clark Grogan's quick tofu feta, which I made over the weekend. The feta was really simple to make, but Bob and I are not necessarily crazy about it. In fact, we couldn't even taste it on the pizza. It is not much like feta, to tell you the truth. But that's okay--who really needs feta anyway? This pizza was fantastic. Nothing like homemade pizza on a whole grain crust!

Have a good week, and I will be dropping in on you all soon!


aTxVegn said...

I am crazy for indian food and edamame at the moment myself, and I love all your dishes. I love the color edamame adds.

Your cupcakes look perfect and the stencil top is so creative!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I used to not eat too many smoothies but now I have one almost every day. It's a great way for me to get my daily fruit requirement (which I seem to have a difficult time doing in the winter otherwise). I like to add 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed so that I'm getting my Omega 3's also. I've never tried your combo before with the spices and the peanut butter so I'm going to give it a whirl tonight.

Dori said...

I've never tried animal milk feta before, so I am a fan of the tofu feta. As I look at your picture I think I use more of it at a time than you did for flavor. The smoothie look wonderful. I been thinking smoothies for breakfast, but the last two mornings have been to cold so I did soymilk hot cocoa's.

Midwest Vegan said...

I love Indian food and have been really missing it since we moved. Your recipe looks great and reminds me of the filling in the samosas at my fave Indian place in Orlando. I'm definitely going to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

laura jesser said...

Diann, I think the vibrant greenness of edamame is one of the most appealing things about it--second to its flavor, of course.

Crystal, I actually meant to put flax meal in my smoothie too, but I was too lazy to grind the seeds. Oops...

Dori, you are probably right that I could have used more feta on the pizza. I didn't want to overwhelm Bob with it, just in case he didn't end up liking it. When I use it again I'll try more.

Midwest, I bet this would be excellent as a filling for samosas--thanks for the idea! You'll have to tell me about your fave Indian place in Orlando sometime--I'm planning another trip down there before too long.

Melissa West said...

You are amazing! Look at all this fantastic food! I have been wanting to make those chai latte cupcakes for a long time. I need to get a good chai tea to make those first. Love all the cooking. The pizza looks amazing. I LOVE PIZZA! I love smoothies too, but not in the winter... too cold to eat frozen smoothies in such cold weather for me.

springsandwells said...

Such a sweet post, Laura!
I love when you say "but who really needs feta anyway?" :)

I've also been inspired by our fellow bloggers to have more smoothies lately... although I just ran out of my frozen banana stash.

Also, the indian food looks great. We went to India a couple of years ago and I ate like a fiend!!! Oh, I'm just nuts for Indian food and I've got it in mind for some upcoming meals...


Johanna3 said...

The smoothie look wonderful. i really never try Indian food in a restaurant , we dont have any here. so i never try to make one indians recipe in my home but this looks too good, i may try it :)

Celine said...

I'm "stealing" your roti recipe and will try it asap. I also need to put up links on my blogger so that I can come visit you and other people I really enjoy reading about MORE OFTEN than I do right now. pah.

Celine said...

PS: I love the color of the smoothie! I wonder if it'd keep me full until lunchtime? I work out in the morning, so can't be sure. [eek, I'm making it all about memememe, I shut up now!]

laura jesser said...

Melissa, I know it's CRAZY to have smoothies when I'm sitting in my apartment freezing already... I'm sure I have it easy compared to my Canadian friends. :) I definitely enjoy smoothies more often in the summer.

Amey, how cool that you went to India! I would eat like crazy there too... I would love to know how "authentic" the Indian food I get around here is--I always like tasting the "real" thing.

Johanna, it's not too difficult to make at all, assuming you can assemble all the ingredients. You should give it a try!

Celine, I hope you like the roti. :) I think if I were working out in the mornings, I would either need a bigger smoothie, or something to go along with it. I doubt the smoothie I posted would keep me going through a morning workout.

Linda said...

i NEED to step up my indian cooking skills. i appreciate the recipes, and my boyfriend thanks you twice over :)

bazu said...

Mmmm, I am loving that edamame/brown rice lunch- I bet it was so satisfying! And you made your own roti- wow! You are way ahead of me there. Isn't it such fun to make different types of bread? And those cupcakes look beautiful. I have to try those next (with so many recipes, it's hard to decide!)

Oh, by the way, I just read your comment and wanted to say, of course you can visit me! You are welcome any time =)

laura jesser said...

Linda, I hope you enjoy the recipes. It's so fun to learn to cook new things! After I get Indian down, I'm moving on to Chinese. :)

Bazu, making bread of ALL kinds is a passion of mine. I love all the different ethnic variations on the basic flat bread--tortillas, pita, roti, crepes, etc. I wish I could hop on a plane right now so I wouldn't miss all that beautiful snow!

Kati said...

Your breakfast smoothie looks delicious! I never put berries in when I use nut butter, but I'll have to try it - it sounds good. All your meals look great - I love edamame, Indian food, and homemade pizza. Oh yes, and you did a super job with your cuppies - very cute!

laura jesser said...

Kati, thanks for your comments! At first I didn't know if nut butter and blueberries would work, but once I tried it I LOVED it! I guess it's not that different from the old PB&J, really.