Double Onion & Chickpea Tagine
Finally home and (mostly) recovered from the jet lag – just in time for another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking. This week onions are the secret ingredients, which are something I use in most of my recipes in one form or another. For awhile I debated doing a French Onion Soup Sandwich before remembering a tagine recipe in one of my cookbooks that called for onions cooked two ways. After some vegetarian doctoring to the recipe, swapping chickpeas for the lamb and doubling the spinach, it wound up being a rather simple dish filled with every day ingredients making it perfect for crazy summer nights. While I cooked mine in a tagine it could also be prepared in a wok or a deep saucepan, either way make sure the dish has a tight fitting lid.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Ras El Hanout, divided
- 1 onion, diced and divided
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 can chickpeas or 3 cups presoaked fresh chickpeas, well washed
- 1/2 lb carrots, cut into 2 in pieces
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat the oil in a tagine over medium heat and add half of the Ras El Hanout spice mixture along with half of the onion. Cook for 15 minutes or until the onion starts to caramelize, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add the chickpeas, carrots, spinach, and water along with remaining spice and onion. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more liquid if needed halfway. Dish is ready when carrots are tender but not soft. Serve over couscous and enjoy!
I topped mine with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt (yes I’m an addict – but that’s okay) along with a sprig of fresh cilantro while Joe went for regular sour cream and fresh mint. I also made up some garlic couscous to help soak up all the juices, can’t let anything go to waste!
Well my UK adventure is drawing to a close – but that’s okay because I have so many recipes to try out once I get home plus some great Vegetarian on Vacation posts to work on. Today’s dish is a vegan treat that Joe and I had on our honeymoon in London last year but so far hasn’t popped up on this journey. Of all the Indian dishes out there this is probably one of the easiest to recreate at home as the primary ingredients are ones most people have at all times: potatoes and frozen peas. While some of the spices are a little more out there, most grocery stores stateside seem to be increasing their foreign food sections making it easier and easier to locate these goodies.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder)
- 1 tsp ginger, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 shallots, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, quartered
- 4 butter potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/4 cup water (or vegetable stock)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saute pan or sauce pan, add the cumin and cook for 30 seconds before adding the remaining spices along with the ginger, garlic, and shallots. Cook for 5-7 minutes, the shallots should be lightly golden.
- Add the tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and water. Bring to a strong simmer before turning heat to low and covering. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and help the tomatoes break down.
- Remove lid and add the garam masala along with the cayenne powder. Turn heat back up to medium and cook the sauce down, stirring frequently to fully mix all the flavors for about 7 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
This dish can also be easily adapted for the slow cooker with just a bit of precooking. After toasting the seeds, garlic, and shallots just toss everything in to the slow cooker on low heat for 6 hours. I like to serve my aloo matar over coconut rice with poori but dal and/or naan would also be great options. Next post should be made stateside – can’t wait to be home again!!!!
Sesame Green Beans
Good morning from gorgeous sunny (seriously!!!) London! Our trip has reached it’s halfway point and so far everything has been amazing. There are so many recipes I can’t wait to test out when I get home, from sweet to savory all things I’m sure my hubby will love. Today is another packed day on the agenda, starting with Hampton Court Palace (Henry VIII) and ending with a show at The Globe. I still can’t believe how many things we have been able to do, and being just halfway there are still so many things to look forward to.
Today’s recipe is one of my favorite Asian-inspired sides – and perfect for spring when green beans are starting to pop up in large amounts. Seeing the local produce, especially that in Cardiff, has me eager to go home to tend to my garden in hopes of producing similarly enticing.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, divided
- 1/2 tsp garlic, shredded
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lb green beans, tipped and halved
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large wok over medium heat. Once hot add 1 tsp of the sesame seeds and begin to toast stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning. After 3 minutes add the ginger and garlic and continue to stir regularly.
- Once the garlic has started to turn golden, about 5 minutes add the green beans, soy sauce, remaining sesame seeds, and sesame sauce. Bring to a rapid simmer then cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring halfway. Dish is ready when beans are slightly tender and malleable. Enjoy!
To turn this simple side in to a vegan feast simply add some tofu to the pan after the sesame seeds have finished toasting and double the sauce. Eggplant and broccoli also go great in place of, or with, the green beans. I’m sending this quick dish over to the Fabulous Ren and her awesome Simple and in Season challenge – hello May and welcome Spring!
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Good morning (evening?) from Dublin! In theory while you are reading this I’m attempting to cross the Carrick-a-Rede bridge – my bestie in threatening to film this experience so there might be a video with some colorful language on the way once I return. While I’m out of the country, I decided to prep a bunch of meals for Joey to make things as easy as possible. One such prepped dish is this delicious, nut-free, pesto that comes together in record time! I just make up a huge batch and freeze the extra in ice cube trays – popping the frozen treats in to Ziploc bags when the time is right.
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 tbsp fresh basil (around 6 leaves), diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup quartered red onion
- Place everything in to a large food processor and puree - adding more olive oil as needed.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, salad, steamed vegetables, or pizza and enjoy!
With the fresh pesto just toss it right into the hot pasta and stir well. When using the frozen pasta, you will still add it to the finished (drained and hot pasta) but add about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to compensate and stir for at least 3 minutes to make sure the cube has full melted. Top with cheese (optional) and enjoy!
Tostadas con Mole
One final blog challenge before my BIG trip, this time heading to Mexico for /r/52weeksofcooking. Mexican food is a regular in our household, normally enchiladas or tacos but occasionally fajitas. I am trying to push myself with these challenges so I decided to attempt a mole sauce, with enough ingredients on hand to make enchiladas suizas just in case. I checked out more than a few recipes online in order to get idea of the basic ingredients, knowing that I would have to make more than a few changes in order to keep the mole peanut free and vegetarian friendly. I also decided to use my slow cooker in order to keep the heat in my kitchen at a manageable level.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tomatillos, well washed
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 serrano pepper
- 6 dried ancho chilies
- 4 dried mulato chilies
- 5 dried pasilla chilies
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp peppercorn
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp cashews
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 stick Mexican cinnamon
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 14 oz can roasted tomatoes (or 2 roasted plum tomatoes)
- 3 oz mexican style chocolate
- 1 plantain
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 stale corn tortillas
- (can do this the night before)
- Heat oven to 450 and use the vegetable oil to grease the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the poblano and serrano peppers along with the tomatillos. Roast for 40 minutes, turning once halfway thru.
- Once the peppers are roasted add to slow cooker along with remaining ingredients minus the stale tortilla. Cook on low for 6 hours, then use immersion blender to break up the ingredients adding the stale tortilla in pieces along the way. Turn heat to high and cook for an additional hour.
- Serve over crispy tostadas, nachos, or any other treat!
I decided to make my own tortillas, which is why this dish wound up being tostadas instead of enchiladas. I also cooked up some squash and zucchini, which were originally going to go in the enchiladas but worked just fine on top of the tostadas. In the end everything was delicious and I have ton saved in my freezer for nachos, enchiladas, and maybe more tostadas.