Saturday, April 23, 2016

Chickpea and Green Tomato (No Added Fat)

I had about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas from a few days ago that were not quite fully cooked. I put them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker with a little bit of water, maybe 1/4 cup, half of an unripe green tomato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 3/4 cup), and about 1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach. I cooked for 6 minutes. When I was ready to serve, I carefully let out any remaining pressure, opened the pot, and mixed in a little salt (maybe 1/2 t), turmeric (maybe 1/4 t), and ground cumin (maybe 1/2 t), as well as a teaspoon or so of fresh lime juice. It was good!

I also shredded some cabbage, mixed in chopped olive, freshly ground black pepper, and ume plum vinegar. It was better than I had expected. As a side dish, I served some roasted corn kernels; I started with frozen and put them in a small Saladmaster pan with no water, and cooked on low heat for about 20 minutes, covered. I served the corn with lime juice and salt; my wife and I also got a little jerk seasoning in our servings. All three of us quite enjoyed dinner overall.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Lentil Stew with Fresh Tomato (No Added Fat)

I've been wanting to make a thick lentil stew, not really a soup-like dhal, but the liquid usually seems too much. Today, I wanted to try again and had the idea of serving ample cubes of fresh tomato on top for a fresh version.

Green (or brown) lentils cook in 15-20m in my Instant Pot pressure cooker with a ratio of 1 part lentils to 1.5-2 parts water. I decided to try 1.5 parts and go with 17m of pressure cooking. Here is what I did.

  • 4 leaves kale, stems excepted (composted), and hand torn into approximately 3/4" squares (compressed, about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups carrot cut into large 1/2" slices (I used 3 small-medium carrots)
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1T ginger, finely (1/8") diced
  • 2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1T fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes cut into 1/2" cubes
  1. I put the kale, carrot, lentil, water, bouillon cube, garlic, and ginger into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 17m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then opened the pot. The lentils were done but still firm, as I had hoped, though perhaps could have used a little more cooking.
  3. I added the onion, turmeric, salt, and lime juice.
  4. I served with the tomato on top (and had about twice as much tomato as I needed).
I also made some Jade Pearl rice (1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water and a vegan bouillon cube, plus a bit of salt, simmered for 20m).

Dinner was great! It was a good idea to mix the fresh tomato in with the lentils.

Ideas for the future

I thought that the lentils could have been cooked a bit more, but both my wife and daughter liked them. It may be a good idea to try just a bit longer cook time, perhaps 18 or 19m. I should try other fresh vegetables, such as arugula, zucchini, or sunflower sprouts, atop cooked lentils. I'll bet some fruits like papaya, cut into small cubes, would be interesting, as well!

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