Monday, October 8, 2012

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

Recipe #95:

Well, the weather out here is mostly fall-like these days: 5 degrees and drizzling this morning ... although I was walking outside in the sun wearing capris and a tank top yesterday ... welcome to Calgary.

I can't quite remember why I chose to try this recipe aside from the fact that I had an excess of curry and cauliflower to use up. The Charmer won't touch chick peas, curry or sweet potatoes so I'll be eating all of this one solo.

I used regular cucumber dressing (store brand) and an entire white onion. I think it was a medium size although it did add up to about 1 1/4 cups when chopped. I have no idea if my sweet potatoes were "medium" - I bought them about a week ago and can't recall what the rest of the ones in the display looked like for comparison. I didn't measure them after chopping, either, but there is a lot of sweet potato in my pot... The rice is a nice one that we made last night. It's a mix of red rice, hulless barley, rye berries, black barley, whole oats, quinoa, and Himalayan long grain red rice. It's called Ancient Grains by Great Valley. I think we bought it at Costco? The Charmer added a can of cream of celery soup to it for flavour.

I'd say that this recipe was pretty easy to make, especially if you choose a big enough pot from the beginning and don't end up having to transfer ingredients partway through the cooking. Not the first time I've made that mistake. I ended up vigorously simmering the goods for about 25 minutes in total. The sweet potatoes weren't quite done by the 20 minute mark.

I didn't have any cilantro or toasted cashews to serve with this, but it sure makes for a strangely tasty dish when mixed with the rice dish from yesterday. Although this recipe might scare away those of the meat persuasion, it's really filling, probably due to all of the fibre. My favourite part is that it's not too heavy on any strong flavours - I had feared the curry would dominate. Om nom nom!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crispy Topped Vegetable Bake

Recipe #94:

Oh, hello there again! Yes, I've fallen off the blogging (and cooking) wagon recently, but now I am back.

For those of us in Canada, it's Thanksgiving weekend as I write. As always, I am thankful for many things in my life, but, in particular, I am thankful for the bonds of family and friendship that exist across the miles that separate me from most of mine. This is the 3rd Thanksgiving in a row that I have missed with my family, and I miss them very much.

As with most holidays, The Meatatarian and I don't really do much to celebrate them unless we have guests or are guests elsewhere at the time. I bought some turkey pepperettes yesterday as my nod to the occasion, but we're mostly just eating random food. I did have some broccoli and cauliflower hulking in the fridge this week so I decided to try this recipe to use it up.

In addition to the 4 cups of each called for, I added about 1 1/2 cups of baby red potatoes. I cut them small so that they were approximately the same size as the cut broccoli and cauliflower. We did not have skim milk on hand so I used 1%, and I used regular mozzarella cheese since I find the light  or fat-free versions rather disgusting. I went with the microwave instructions for the sauce (bottom of Kraft page), but found that it was not nearly thickened enough after 4 minutes. I think I nuked it for about 8 minutes in total - 1 or 2 minutes, stir, repeat until satisfied. Somehow, I ended up with sauce all over my sweatshirt, oven mitt, forearm and even in my nose. Don't ask.

I found the end product to be rather tasty although some of my potato pieces are slightly undercooked. Next time, I'll boil them for an extra few minutes before adding the cauliflower and broccoli. The stuffing on my version is a bit like hard clumps of crust in a few places - you might want to take the time (I lack the patience) to spread it more carefully before it goes in the oven. Regardless, we'll both eat this recipe so it's a way to get more vegetables into our bellies. That's what I consider to be success.