I like football and I was sad to see college football season come to a close. But I’m glad that the Superbowl is coming up! Not because I care about any of the teams that might be playing (the ones I cared about are out of it now) but because of the food. Oh, Superbowl food. Few things are better. Am I right? I think I am.
The Fine Cooking magazine from October/November has a nice feature on cauliflower. It includes ways to prep and prepare it along with a few recipes. This tart is one of those recipes. This curry is another. I have a thing for coconut and curry, and so I was drawn to this recipe immediately. I also love to find satisfying vegetarian dishes that we can work in to our meal schedule. My husband didn’t miss the meat at all. This one is a keeper.
There is quite a bit of chopping to be done, but it can all be done in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to cook. Once that is taken care of, this dish comes together easily. You’re looking at 45 minutes cooking time in all, but more than half of that is simply simmering time. Thanks to that simmering time your house will smell amazing. The only downside there is that it will smell that way for hours, and waking up to the smells of curry you ate the night before isn’t amazing. But it is worth it!
This reheats really well, so it’s a good choice for those of you cooking for one or two. This will feed you for a couple of meals, and that’s definitely something I look for in a recipe these days. I love leftover night.
The spices are warm and subtle. The first taste is sweet and then the heat hits you at the end but is still more warm than spicy. I didn’t have black mustard seed, so I didn’t use them and I thought this was still wonderful. The coconut milk tones down the heat and adds sweetness as well as welcomed creaminess. I used a whole jalapeno with a few seeds and it wasn’t overwhelming at all. If you want it spicy make sure to use more of the seeds and membrane or even add a second jalapeno.
The garnishes are necessary, in my opinion. The yogurt is a nice cool contrast to the warm curry, the cilantro is the perfect herb to compliment the spices and the cashews add richness and crunch. We ate this with warm naan which is perfect for soaking up the sauce. Serving this on top of rice would also be delicious (and stretch it a bit). I hope you try this dish! My mouth is watering right now as I think about it and I’m considering getting some out of the fridge…and it’s 8 in the morning. So you know it’s good.
2 tablespoons of butter + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use ghee if you have it)
1 onion, cut into large dice
2 red bell peppers (you could also use orange or yellow)
1 jalapeno, chopped fine (as many or as few seeds as you’d like)
1 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)
1 teaspoon salt
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raisins
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets
fresh chopped cilantro
naan or rice for serving
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, jalapeno, ginger, curry, cumin, cinnamon stick and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften and brown a bit.
Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, water and raisins. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
Add in the cauliflower and mix together. Cover. keep the heat on low and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Season with salt and lemon juice. Serve with yogurt, cashews and cilantro.
I get one cooking magazine in the mail. Fine Cooking. I’ve mentioned it more than once (at least a dozen times probably) on the blog. It’s most definitely my favorite cooking magazine. It doesn’t have loads of content, but what it does have is good content and not a lot of ads. Anyway, buy a copy sometime and check it out.
This recipe for chickpea and spinach curry is from the latest issue. While doing meal planning for this past week I was at a loss for Tuesday’s dinner. So I grabbed the magazine and started flipping through it. This one stood out to me right away. I love the flavors in Indian food, but it often takes a lot of time and ingredients to make good Indian food at home. This recipe allows you to take some short cuts but still wind up with a very flavorful and satisfying meal with just enough spice.
Our Tuesday nights get a little crazy, no matter how hard I try I always feel like I am rushing to get dinner ready or the house picked up. This meal fit in perfectly with our busy night (although I failed in some ways this past week and we were still rushed!). It comes together incredibly quickly and cooks up in a flash. It’s full of good-for-you vegetables and fills you up without being heavy. But your house will smell like curry for a few days. That’s the only downside. Ben came home the next day from work and said, “Indian again?” to which I replied “No, spaghetti and meatballs.” which I’d spent all day cooking. I was sure it would’ve masked the curry, but no.
You can serve this as a side dish or as a vegetarian main, which is what I did. The recipe below serves 4 as a side and 2 as a main. It’s easily doubled or tripled, so can suit whatever your needs are.
I skipped out on the yogurt the first time around, but ate it with leftovers and loved the creamy, coolness of it next to the spice. Definitely serve this with naan if you can, but I am sure it would also be nice on a bed of white rice.
If you don’t like cilantro or are serving this to people who don’t, leave it out of the dish. You can serve fresh cilantro separately and let people decide how much, if any, they want.
Quick Chickpea and Spinach Curry
From Fine Cooking
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional, I left it out)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
6-7 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional, mix in or on the side)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (optional for serving)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add in the onion, ginger, curry powder and garam masala and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is softened. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute more.
Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon and add no more than 1 teaspoon)
Add in the spinach, a cup or so at a time, letting is cook down just a bit before adding more to keep you pan from getting overloaded.
Once the spinach has cooked down and is wilted, season with more salt if needed, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
You can stir in the cilantro to the dish now if desired or serve it on the side.
Last week I made pulled chicken BBQ sandwiches and made cole slaw as a side dish. The cole slaw used mostly plain yogurt and just a few tablespoons of mayo. I had to buy a big container of plain yogurt since everything in the small containers was flavored. What to do with an entire pint of plain yogurt? I ate some of it for breakfast with granola, but after 2 days of this I went in search of something I could make to use up the yogurt. I found this recipe for banana bread on The Fresh Loaf.
I made two batches of the bread; one with chocolate chips and one without. The bread is much more moist than other banana breads I’ve made, and not as dense. The plain bread is just sweet enough, and is delicious toasted with a little spread of butter. I would add some toasted pecans or walnuts next time. The chocolate chip version was also tasty, but I prefer my banana bread without chocolate. Call me crazy.
Yogurt Banana Bread
1/2 stick (4-5 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt (fat free is fine)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and sugar a 9×5 loaf pan.
Cream together butter and sugar until creamy.
Add in eggs, one at a time and mix well.
Mix in yogurt and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and powder and cinnamon if using.
Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients a little a time, then stir in chocolate chips if using.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.