Friday Fluff

I think I am falling into a pattern; by the time Friday rolls around I am either too worn out from the work week or too excited about the weekend (usually a combo of both) to write anything of value. This week has been exceptionally disappointing in the career department, I started a post on it but just couldn’t get it to come together so I saved it for another time, and I just don’t have the focus I need to write anything substantial. Since today’s post is following suit on previous Friday’s posts I now dub all future Friday’s as fluff days. 😉

Today I would like to share with you a couple of recipes I really enjoy; one I tweaked to make it a quasi-vegetarian dish (fish sauce is made from fish, so omit if you want to make this vegetarian) and the other is a vegan recipe. I am not a vegetarian but I do try to limit my meat intake. It’s just a personal preference and is something I have incorporated into my lifestyle even prior to dieting. Since my readers are both meat eaters and vegetarians I thought this would be something fun to share that would satisfy both groups.

 Veggie Curry

I love, love, love curry but eating out at a good quality Thai restaurant can be expensive. I have a handful of curry recipes that I rely on when I make it at home and this one is perfect because I can make it with chicken and chicken stock or sub in some additional veggies (I use cauliflower instead of chicken) and veggie stock or water and make it a vegetarian dish.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in pieces, pre-cooked
3-4 carrots, cut in bite-size pieces, pre-cooked
2-3 cups fresh veggies- I like red bell peppers and zucchini but you can use any you like
1-2 T veg. oil
1 T red curry paste
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk (I use light coconut milk sometimes and taste is the same)
3 T fish sauce (omit if you are a vegetarian)
dash salt
1 T sugar
1 T yellow curry powder (add more if you like spicy, just make sure you add in small amounts)
1/2 c  water or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf

Instructions:
————-
1A.  Pre-cook potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower.  * Don’t cook them to done, since
they will simmer with the main dish later. Boil for 5-7 minutes checking doneness at five minutes and then every minute after. Drain and set aside until ready to add them to the curry.

1.  Wash and cut fresh vegetables into bite-size pieces.

2.  In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat the vegetable oil, red curry
paste, and about one third of the coconut milk.  Heat for about 5 minutes,
stirring, until it forms a thin gravy.

3.  Add the fish sauce, sugar, salt, and rest of the coconut milk, and
mix well.

6.  Stir in the curry powder, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and water/stock.  If desired, add 1 bay leaf.  Let simmer just a minute or two.

7.  Add the fresh vegetables and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until fresh veggies are just done.

I serve as is or over jasmine rice

Beet, Barley, and Black Soybean Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks Vegan with a Vengeance by Chandra Moskowitz. It is one of the tastiest soups I have ever had. A close second is her recipe for curried split pea soup which might make an appearance at a later date. I love to have soup or soup and salad for lunch so I made this up one Sunday and had plenty for both Paul and I to eat for like three days. Just keep the croutons on the side until you are ready to eat.

 For the soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

A few dashes fresh black pepper

8 cups water

4 medium-sized beets, peeled, cut in half, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup pearl barley

1/4 cup tamari

1 (15 ounce) can black soybeans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tarragon, and pepper; sauté until fragrant (about a minute).
  2. Add 8 cups of water, the beets, barley, and tamari, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the barley from sticking together, or until the barley is tender. Add the balsamic vinegar and fresh dill.
  4. Serve with pumpernickel croutons (see below)  and garnish with more fresh dill.

For the pumpernickel croutons:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 slices from pumpernickel bread cut into 1/4-inch dice

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a wide shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, tarragon, and salt. Add the diced bread and toss gently to coat. Spread the bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, toast for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and let cool.

Thanks for reading! Bon Appétit!

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March 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Food.

2 Comments

  1. hookerchick replied:

    There’s nothing wrong with fluff on Friday! These recipes sound delish, but way too much work for me. LOL

    • Dacia replied:

      They sound harder than they are. They are really are simple and you can make a batch split it up and freeze some portions. They both reheat well.

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