vegetarian

Baby Okra and Peanut Stir Fry

Like okra, but not a fan of slime? Here are my three tips to keep slime to a minimum: 1) Stir fry over as high a temperature as possible. 2) Use tender baby okra (if you can find them). 3) Keep the okra whole instead of slicing them.

This recipe uses all three tips :) It goes well  with pretty much any Indian meal. But I like it best with rice flavored with fried onions and cumin and a big bowl of dhal (lentils). I’ll post my quick InstantPot recipes of both next week.

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1/4 cup oil (more or less)
6-8 curry leaves (optional)
2 packets of frozen baby okra*
1 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or dry)
1–2 tsp sambhar powder, depending on how spicy you want it (there are many brands; I use Sakthi or MTR)
salt to taste

In a heavy bottomed or non stick dutch oven, heat the oil till almost smoking hot. Add curry leaves, frozen okra, and salt. Stir till all of the okra is well coated with oil and salt. Cover. (Using a dutch oven provides the steam needed to zap the slime without making the okra mushy.)

Reduce heat to medium high. Stir every two or three minutes. Cook till water from frozen okra is evaporated. (The more oil you use, the quicker the process).

Add rest of the ingredients and cook uncovered, stirring every few minutes, till okra turns dark green and is slime-free.

* You may use mature, sliced okra that’s frozen–it just takes a bit longer to de-slime. If using fresh okra, begin with medium high heat and reduce to medium heat heat, and add rest of the ingredients when the fresh okra is half-cooked.

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Chickpea Croquettes

I usually make my croquettes with leftovers–rice, beans, soy meat and whatever else I can find in the refrigerator. I also usually bake my croquettes. But this evening I didn’t have the time to bake; besides, my leftovers had disappeared.

So, I created this new recipe. I deep-fried these to save time–which means ten times the calories,  but also means at least triple the deliciousness.chick-pea-croquettes

 

2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and coarsely processed with 1/2 cup water
1  1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup veggie burger (Sanitarium Casserole Mince or Worthington Vegeburger*)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix together. Shape into 3-inch logs. Deep fry till golden. I served mine with garlic stir-fried asparagus,  mashed potatoes, and  gravy.

*Morningstar Crumbles work well too. But they contain some egg white

stir-fried green beans

3 cups chopped green beans, chopped in thin slices
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 Tbsp sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds
1 cups nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews work well)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated coconut
a pinch of baking soda
salt to taste

Heat oil in skillet. Add all the ingredients to the oil together. Stir fry over medium-high heat, stirring continuously until beans are tender.

tomato and egg sandwich spread

This tastes much better than it sounds. Really! This is how my mom and I make the traditional egg sandwich that’s common in parts of Southeast Asia.

Note: You need a really good non-stick pan for this to turn out right

2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped firm, ripe tomatoes
1 green chili (also finely chopped)–optional
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger (finely chopped is essential to this recipe)
1 T bsp finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp oil
2 to 3 Tbsp chunky peanut butter

Heat 1/3 cup oil. Saute onions till translucent. Add everything but remaining oil, eggs and peanut butter. Cover and cook over med-low heat till tomatoes are well cooked and all the water has evaporated and you’re left with a thick chunky paste. Add salt to taste. Make a well. Into it pour remaining oil. When oil is hot, scramble the two eggs in it. Mix eggs into the tomato/onion mixture. Cook on low heat for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter. Cool.

(Another variation is to use mayonnaise instead of peanut butter. When using mayo, allow the onion-tomato-egg mixture to cool completely before adding it)

potato and corn chowder

This was originally my friend, Cynthia’s, recipe. But I’ve tweaked it enough to call it my recipe . . . . or at least my version of her recipe.

2 cans Campbell’s cream of potato soup + 3 cans of milk
1 can cream style corn
1 baked potato, peeled and mashed to lumps
1 tsp Marmite or Vegemite (optional)
1 cube Chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp chopped chives
6 cloves garlic, roasted and mashed
1/2 whipping cream (optional)
1 tsp pepper
8 oz cream cheese, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

In a heavy-bottomed pot, stir together everything but the cream cheese. Bring to a soft boil. Add cream cheese. Simmer for another minute. Serve immediately. (You’re supposed to have cream cheese floaties in it) I like sprinkling my bowl with Baco Bits.

deep fried green beans

Over the past few weeks I’ve had fried green beans at two different restaurants. And now I need a fix every couple of days, but I’m too cheap to pay for them. So, when I found fresh, tender green beans at a farm stand yesterday, it was like the skies opened up and the ghost of Julia Child challenged me to create my own recipe for deep fried green beans.

So Sky and I came up with this one. And, I say, in all truth and no modesty, our green beans are better than theirs. (I’m too much of an honorable cook to identify the restaurants I’ve slam dunked with my recipe!)

1 pound fresh green beans, whole
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornbread mix (We used Marie Callender)
3  tsp seasoned salt (We used Johnny’s)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp (more or less) red chili powder
a pinch of MSG (optional for a lot of you out there, but we’re risk taker!)
oil to deep fry.

Shake together all the dry ingredients in a large Ziplock bag. Drench green beans in buttermilk, place in bag by the handful. Shake till well coated. Deep fry till coating is light brown but beans are tender and crunchy. Repeat with rest of the beans

fyl’s unmeatloaf

Here’s our starch and protein coming out of the oven for dinner tonight: Scalloped Potatoes and my new creation–an unmeatloaf.  With a big green salad, it makes a great meal that’s so easy to fix.

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1 roll Ritz crackers, crushed
12 oz Morningstar crumbles, thawed
2 cups Special K cereal
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce

Mix together everything except spaghetti sauce. Pour into greased 9 x 12 pan. Bake 40 minutes in 350 degrees. Spread spaghetti sauce on top. Bake for another 5 minutes.