Friday, August 31, 2018

Blended Chickpea and Potato (No Added Fat)

I had in mind cooking some chickpeas and potatoes with cumin, garlic powder, a little turmeric, and salt, and then mashing or blending, making patties, then air frying. It turns out we ended up in a big rush, so I skipped the air frying and just served the chickpea-lentil mash (which I had blended) on its own.


My daughter quite liked the main course; I thought it was good. My wife found it lacking a bit in spice.

Ideas for the future

I should try this again but with my original idea of air frying.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Vegan "Sausage" Ravioli with Homemade Tomato Sauce, Cauliflower and Baby Lima Bean Melange

We have a new store that opened near our house last week called Sprouts; we visited and found it doesn't have the variety and quality of coops or Whole Foods Market, but it's nice that it's nearby so we may occasionally visit. They had a few products we've not seen elsewhere, such as Lightlife brand vegan "sausage" ravioli that I picked up and decided to make today. It's not particularly healthy as it has 16g of fat and a long list of ingredients, but I thought we'd try it. (It turns out it had soy which my wife is a bit intolerant of, so I prepared some pasta instead for her but used the same sauce, side dish, and salad for her.)

I made a homemade sauce by sauteeing chunks of just-ripe but firm tomato, bell pepper, garlic, and onion, and mixing in oregano, salt, and black pepper when off the heat. I don't often make tomato sauces - this one was good!

I put, in this order, onion, garlic, frozen cauliflower, and frozen baby lima beans into a large Saladmaster stock pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 15 minutes, then I mixed in a little salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.


My daughter loved the ravioli. We all loved the sauce. The side dish was fun - it was soft and seemed to melt in the mouth, and had nice flavor.

Ideas for the future

I don't know why I don't cook with cauliflower more often. It's versatile and cooks down nicely to serve as a "supporting character" for other ingredients.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Thai Red Curry Tempeh and Pepper w Jasmine Rice and Avocado (No Added Fat)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Root Vegetable Hash Brown, Baby Lima Beans (No Added Fat)

I made a Yukon Gold-sweet potato-carrot hash cooked on a cast iron pan, plus a waterless baby lima bean and greens dish, along with a mixed tomato and olive salad. Dinner was good!

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Air Fried Tofu, Waterlessly Cooked Kale and Vegetables (No Added Fat)

My wife ate on her own but I waited till after midnight to enjoy dinner with her cousin, visiting with us for a few days. I made air fried tofu by cutting tofu into approximately 3/8" x 1" x 2" pieces, dredging in a mixture of nutritional yeast + salt + jerk seasoning, and air frying first for 6m at 375°F, then for 4m more at 425°F. I served the tofu with a waterlessly cooked mix of kale, bell pepper, and onion, as well as brown rice that I had made in the pressure cooker (1 part rice to 1 3/4 parts water cooked with a touch of salt for 20m).

Fried tofu (with no oil!) always comes out well in the air fryer, and my wife's cousin quite enjoyed it. I thought that the vegetables were a bit "flat" but my wife's cousin liked them.

Ideas for the future

Waterless cooking is nice, but I should be sure to use more vegetables. Having some cauliflower or broccoli might have been nice.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

India's Independence Day Dinner - Split Red Lentil with Roasted Red Pepper, Basmati Rice, and Blistered Fushimi Chile Peppers (No Added Fat)

Today is Indian's Independence Day! My wife had the suggestion of putting a dinner together that has orange, white, and green from the Indian flag and I agreed that it was a good idea. (The Indian flag picture here is from and is in the public domain.)

I thought that I'd make a "striped" plate with white Basmati rice in the center (we prefer the taste and nutrition of whole grain rice, but white Basmati is also tasty and welcome for an occasional change). I chose split red lentils to form the basis of the leftmost stripe and some Fushimi chile peppers that I found at the local farmers' market a few hours earlier.

The farmers' market visit was quite productive. Among my purchases were these three interesting items, including two that were new (to me):

  • Fushimi frying pepper or chile pepper, said to be like the shishito pepper that I enjoy but with less heat and more flavor,
  • Petit Mersaillais pepper, a sweet yellow pepper
  • Habanada pepper, looking and tasting like Habaneros but with no heat (I have have had these before)

  • Split red lentils cook in a 1:2.25-2.5 ratio of lentils to water for 13-18m; I went with a ratio of about 1:2.25 and 18m cook time. To make the dish more orange than yellow, I blended some roasted red peppers in. Here is what I did:

    • 1 1/2 cup lentils
    • 3 1/2 cups water
    • (optional) 1 -  1 1/2 cups green tomato cut into 3/8" cubes (I used a small tomato which yielded a cup)
    • 1T ginger, finely (1/8") grated
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") chopped
    • 1t turmeric
    • 1/2 t cumin seeds
    • 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 1/4"x3/4" slivers
    • 2T lemon juice
    • 1/4 t garlic powder
    • 3/4 t salt
    • 4 roasted red bell peppers (about 1/2 of a 16 ounce bottle)
    • (optional) 6 Habanada peppers cut into quarters lengthwise
    1. I put the lentils, water, green tomato, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cumin into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 18m.
    2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt.
    3. It looked good but needed to be more orange, so I blended the dish with the roasted red peppers.
    4. Finally, I mixed in the Habanada peppers which were surprisingly close in color to the lentil dish.
    I also made white basmati rice (1: 1.5 ratio of rice to water simmered for 15-20 minutes (I used 1 1/4 cups rice and approximately 2 cups water). Finally, I cooked on cast iron over medium heat Fushimi peppers till slightly blistered.

    Wow, dinner came out better than I had expected! I've tried for some time to get a thick dhal and today's dish was just right - any less water and I'd get some sticking. I was surprised how nicely yellow the red peppers made the main dish. We all enjoyed the taste and colors.

    Ideas for the future

    I should experiment with more color tuning in general, using foods and not coloring to harmonize my plates even more than I usually do. More rice would have been welcome. An option with the Habanada peppers could be to blend, taking away the chunk they contributed.

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    Tuesday, August 07, 2018

    Beans with Sungold Tomato atop Bagel, Squash and Purple Potatoes, Corn-off-the-Cob (No Added Fat)

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    Friday, August 03, 2018

    Udon Noodles with Air Fried Vegetables and Tofu/Vegan Sausage, Tomato and Olive Salad, Sweet Potato (No Added Fat)

    With my daughter's help (she loves udon noodles, and so do my wife and I), I made an udon noodle dish tonight. We chopped golden zucchini, shallot, and broccoli into small 3/8" chunks and air fried at 350°F for 6 minutes. I also had my daughter include some tofu pieces dredged in nutritional yeast/sesame seeds/salt, and a Field Roast brand vegan sausage cut into 1/4" pieces and halved; the tofu went with her meal and some with mine, and the sausage went with my wife's meal and some with mine.

    The noodles took 7m to cook on a low boil. I put the vegetables/tofu/sausage atop the noodles. My wife got some hot sauce and my daughter and I got soy sauce. A tomato and olive salad with ume plum vinegar, salt, and pepper, as well as sweet potato (cooked in the Instant Pot), completed the meal.

    We all loved dinner!

    Ideas for the future

    I had forgotten, but wanted to include ginger with the noodles; I should cook with udon noodles more often and remember to pair them with a good sauce and ginger.

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    Thursday, August 02, 2018

    Golden Zucchini with Seitan and Baby Arugula, Charred Shishito Peppers (No Added Fat)

    I made a simple dinner tonight in two cast iron pans over medium heat. The side dish was easy - I just sauteed shishito peppers, turning occasionally until mostly blackened. I served with salt as a nice side dish.

    For my main course, I made a saute starting with onion and garlic. As they started clarifying in color, I then added two chopped golden zucchinis. A minute or so later, I added seitan chunks. When everything was reasonably well cooked after another 4 or 5 minutes, I added a little ginger and baby arugula. The arugula quickly cooked down, and I repeated with two more handfuls of the greens. I served with leftover rice.


    Ideas for the future


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