Tag Archives: vegetarian recipes

Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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It is COLD in the Northeast USA now and I find that cooking with the WARM spices like curries, turmeric, cayenne keep the bodily  “fires” burning from the inside out for a feeling of warmth and comfort. One of my favorite fast and easy recipes for inner heat and delicious eating is this one. There are many variations on this with an added ingredient here or there but this one so far is the one that works for me, allowing for culinary creativity as I am so inspired.

The price of cauliflower varies widely. Yesterday at Belmont’s it was $4.99 for a head, and $2.99 a head at Shaw’s. Both beautifully fresh and white. Shop wisely and economically!

Although a white vegetable, cauliflower is nutrient rich and the powerful brown/red/orange spices in curry (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne etc) are warming to the body and digestion, protective and anti-tumor as well. This recipe is a winner…good to prepare ahead and take to a potluck also, serving warm or hot.

Basic ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerettes, olive oil, curry powder and preferred extra spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cumin. IMG_8742

Extra ingredients as desired:

tahini, honey, a good chutney (I use Major Grey’s)

Preparation:

1. Cut cauliflower into flowerettes, place in a large bowl and drizzle with  a tablespoon + of olive oil, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with curry powder to coat as desired and add a sprinkle of one of the extra spices if preferred. I do ot have a measurement here but go by eye, to color the vegetable. Just remember: you can always ADD but you cannot SUBTRACT an ingredient…be discerning…a little at a time. Sprinkle with a little salt (fingertip-taste…do not overdo!) Toss to coat everything evenly.

IMG_87412. Place on a cooking pan. Bake/Roast at 400 degrees for 15 -20 minutes depending on your oven… turn the flowerettes after that time and bake/roast until done…I like them to turn a slight golden color but do not burn!

3. Serve as is, adjusting for flavor   OR….

4. MY Special touches:

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of honey to taste

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of tahini to coat very lightly

~ when in the personal dish, I add a little bit of mango/raisin chutney if desired

This recipe is open for adjusting to your personal taste and preferences but I assure you, it is delicious and won’t last long in the serving bowl.

Stay warm, inside and out!

From Christine, The Cook

Cranberyy 2

A delicious life has many ingredients! Check my other blogs..

For inspiration: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

For music/the arts: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For the power to create a good life: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

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Can a Simple Supper Be Sensuous? YES!

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I cook (2)There  are so many extraordinary and beautifully photographed food blogs online these day that are so inspiring and tempting and truly I love them because I love good food…one of the truly earthly delights!  I celebrate all the good cooks and writers who so generously share their culinary inspirations and secrets! Thank you, thank you, all you good, adventurous and tasty people!

My own blog here entitled Sensuous Soups and Suppers is not extremely sophisticated and shares simpler, easy to prepare suppers that I cook for family, friends or myself on a daily basis. However, I pair the word Sensuous  with the concept of “simple”  because for me,  if what is on the cutting board, in the pan and ultimately on the dish is not full of color, shapes, scents, textures and flavours..all the qualities that trigger our SENSES… it will never appear at supper time again. Simple does not mean boring, or without daring or imagination.

A quick but flat, tasteless, mushy, colorless dinner is a true disappointment at the end of a day, after “paying our dues” to the larger world of work ..and especially so if the one dining is also the cook who spent a lot of time hoping and planning to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour (and play) in the kitchen preparing a tasty reward at mealtime.

So what is Simple and Sensuous Cooking?

#1. Simple for me means not too many ingredients, and an immediate hands-on experience with them to appreciate their uniqueness in their natural state. I am talking vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices here. Meat and seafood are other categories and not eaten raw.

#2. Simple usually means that food preparation is not a major project taking up lots of time except for the cooking and seasoning tasting and adjustings in things like soups, sauces and stews that require longer cooking times. I recently attended a wonderful lecture by Dr. Ed Iannuccilli who wrote a wonderful book entitled “What Ever Happened to Sunday Dinners?” in which he told wonderful stories of growing up in an immigrant Italian family with a Grandmother who cooked sauces and a variety of delicious courses of meats, pastas and vegetables all week long in preparation and anticipation for the large family gathering of kids and adults who would gather for Sunday dinners every week at her home. What happened was that that was her role in the family and therefore her good vocation and work in the world but  done at home. Wow have times changed! We no longer have that kind of time, and other roles..many of them all at the same time..make up the hours and days of our lives now for the average family or single person. Simple here therefore means..”it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare at the end of the day”.

#3. Simple means also that for the most part, a meal has only 2-4 different things on a plate…and simpler still..everything is cooked and eaten layered in one deep dish or bowl..a little salad, or a little bread and a glass of wine as well rounds it all out.

NOW, about  SENSUOUS, the Power and Teaser Word of this blog! Let me explain. I also happen to be an astrologer, so I will use that terminology as a frame of reference for the qualities of cooking and eating that I share here.

I am a Taurus, with a Cancer Rising. Both of these signs are very connected to gardening  for beauty, for food, and nourishment, for natural healing, rest and pleasure . Both of these signs are very indulgent when it comes to food from the garden but for slightly different reasons. Taurus grows things, and when eating , eats for sensual pleasure, celebration and delight, and can be quite extravagant. Because Taurus is an earth sign, earthly pleasures like color, shapes and designs, scents, flavours… eartlhly “temptations” therefore ensuing!.. are primary motivations. Cancer grows things in the garden as well, but as the sign of the “Mother”,  food must provide optimal nourishment, satisfaction, and community around the table, family/community-style. Therefore, a Cancerian cook, want the food to be appealing and serve the purpose of keeping family around the table, hearth and home and to never miss a meal!

The purpose of this blog therefore is to serve  Pleasure, Culinary Temptations and Celebration with  color, texture, scent and flavor on your plate and into your body, as well as to be delicious enough to bring you, family and loved ones back to the table on a regular basis for nourishment of body and the continuation of community.

So ending with this so I can go forth and start to prepare my own dinner tonight..I leave you with this example of a very simple but sensuous dinner from several nights ago. Yes, I usually make everything myself, but on a hot and tired evening, I will bring home from our local prepared foods shop which specializes in delicious vegetarian offerings to help me out when even “simple” on some nights, takes too much time. I’m not at all adverse to having some other cook tempt and satisfy me with their culinary artistry and expertise as well!

Simple Sensuous Supper

One Simple and Sensuous Supper in July 2013 on a very hot night

~Gently sauteed (in a little butter) portabello mushroom slices until a little golden, seasoned with salt and pepper and shredded basil, two sweet organic carrots cut in strips, a scoop of prepared Turkish Farro (with farro, chick peas, slivered almonds and slivered green and red peppers, feta cheese and a mild dressing of olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

~A glass of Casal Garcia rose’ wine (well two, actually)

~And for desert,  fresh plump blueberries and one square of dark chocolate.Simply Sensuous Supper 2

The textures were varied, the colors interesting, the flavours absolutely delicious and the comfort and satisfaction 100% ! A lovely meal

. A Simple and Sensuous Supper indeed!

Breakfast Brussels Sprouts!

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Veggies for Breakfast! Why Not?

There are times when I do not necessarily want scrambled eggs, fruit, oatmeal or cereal grains for breakfast. And since I am in the process of eliminating or at least limiting wheat and wheat products in my diet, that leaves out pancakes or toast. These are the times when..hey..I just long for something “green” to start the day. And why not? I LOVE vegetables and starting the day with them is a light, bright and tasty way for me to go. This morning was one of those mornings, and oddly enough, what I longed for was the slightly crunchy, mildly bitter taste of brussels sprouts.

Alone, they would not have been enough of an energy source with which to start my day. But with a little grated cheddar, and a hard boiled egg…it was just terrific. And incredibly simple. Here it is!

Ingredients

6-7 brussels sprout rinsed and cut in half, a small wedge of cheddar cheese, dried garlic powder, 1-2 small cocktail tomatoes seeded and chopped, butter, salt and pepper and if desired, 1 hard-boiled egg.

Preparation

Simmer the halved brussels sprouts in water until tender. Drain well, and add a  small pad of butter while still hot, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste, add chopped tomato, mix, and grate cheddar cheese over the top. A hard boiled egg, cut in wedges add extra protein (and grounding).

Simple, delicious…light but sustaining as you rush out the door.

We are talking  REAL FOOD here!

***Note: I am at this time, in the processing of “lightening up” to loose some weight and maintain a healthy blood sugar and energy level. Over a period of time, I am finding success with this by limiting my intake of wheat (mostly genetically modified in this country USA), corn products (also genetically modified in this country) and of course all processed and packaged foods (except certain canned items like tomatoes and broths). I wish you success in maintaining excellent health as well by cooking with the freshest foods you can find and in their whole and natural state before cooking..in your own kitchen and at your own stove. And of course…with creativity and imagination, which is what SENSUOUS and delicious cooking is all about!

Bella Brussel Sprouts and Pasta (Gluten-free)

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Bella Brussels Sprouts and Pasta SupperNo. I am not Italian. But the ingredients I love to use for many of my quickie suppers are connected to the Mediterranean cuisines, using greens of some sort, garlic, onions, basil, marjoram, olive oil and/or tomatoes. Last night I was starving after being out all day and when I am starving, I often want a simple (and sensuous/flavorful) pasta meal with healthy greens..something I can whip together with minimal fuss..a quickie of sorts with whatever is in the refrigerator.

I also have recently given up (or at least minimized) wheat in my diet as new information comes forth about the kind of genetically engineered wheat that has become our national staple and has significant health and dietary risks.  Thankfully, I have found a wonderful non-gluten pasta made from brown rice that in flavor, and even more importantly in TEXTURE,  is an excellent substitution for the wheat. (Made by a company named TINKYADA,  it can be found in health food stores and in many markets in the U.S.)

My refrigerator holds many treasures but for some reason last night I was really craving some sort of green vegetable and was delighted that I had hand-picked a small supply of loose Brussels Sprouts from the market the day before; An odd and amusing vegetable with its unique growth habit ( no it does grow in those little round carboard cellophane wrapped boxes on the shelves)  and in its musky/dusky flavor with a surprise hint of sweetness if prepared carefully.Brussels Sprouts on the vine My kitchen counter and herb cabinet als0 is well stocked with other tasty supplies as well to be creatively sprinkled, chopped, or carefully tossed into, poured over or stirred into my evening fare. So here we are! Last night’s very delicious dinner…it was SOOOO good.

I describe here a portion for one person..please just double or triple ingredients by your own good calculations and careful hand.

Ingredients

6-8 small/medium Brussels Sprouts, rinsed,…2-3 slices of sweet (or regular) onion, diced…1 or 2  large cloves of garlic diced…olive oil and butter...3 -4 small sweet cocktail tomatoes, seeded and quarted (may use 2 smallish plum tomatoes)..a small slab of a soft mozzarella,  chopped or diced)…dried basil and marjoram…a pinch of slivered almonds..salt and pepper to taste… a sprinkle of cayenne if desired..several tablespoons of a canned chicken broth as desired… a  single portion of gluten-free pasta ( I used spirals), cooked in advance and set aside, warmed.  (Regular wheat pasta may be used if you are not fussy about “gluten-free.)

Preparation

Cook pasta al dente, drain and set aside keeping it warm. Rinse Brussels Sprouts, discarding bruised outer leaves, cut off dried bottom and cut in half. Boil gently in  lightly salted water until tender and drain. In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic  in a mixture of olive oil and butter (1-2 tablespoons) until translucent and just beginning to color golden (do not burn). Add cooked brussels sprouts and stir.. Add chopped tomatoes, and cook a little longer for them to soften. Add a little chicken broth to moisten and make a little “juice”…sprinkle with a pinch of  the dried basil and sweet marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. It is important always to taste and adjust seasonings as you go along for “sensous” suppers. ( warning! Season with a light touch..and then increase as necessary…it is NOT possible to decrease an ingredient once you have over-added it…!)

Put the warm pasta in a bowl. Add diced/chopped mozzarella on top of the pasta and then put the hot sprouts mixture over those. (There should be a little broth). Add a good pinch of the slivered almonds and a sprinkle of cayenne if desired. Stir lightly to mix ingredients. The cheese should melt a bit and be slightly chewy, the slivered almonds add a crunch, the pasta al-dente, the brussels sprouts rich and flavourful, the tomatoes add a nice red in contrast to the green. Totally delicious.

Vinho VerdeWith this I had a chilled glass of a light, mineral-y vinho verde rose wine (well actually, I must admit..I had two chilled glasses). About $6.99 a bottle. A happy meal! See you again soon!