Tag Archives: Winter 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

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

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

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Crunchy Cranberry Relish, Pie Filling or Simply Scrumptious Snack!

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Crunchy Cranberry Relish, Pie Filling or Simply Scrumptious Snack!

Crunchy Cranberry Relish

Every year at Thanksgiving whether we are cooking for a home celebration or for a communal celebratory pot-luck, our favorite and most-requested recipe cards come out of their safe places tocreate specialties that grace our tables, dazzle our eyes and tickle our taste-buds. But really, why only at the holiday? There are some foods that are so delicious, so healthful and nutritious that we might consider NOT filing the recipes away in that for-holidays-only envelope.  Some are more than worthy to keep front and center and to have ready as a condiment, snack or “wellness-while-eating” food throughout the year.

This recipe for my Crunchy Cranberry Relish is requested each holiday and it is simply splendid! This year I have purchased and frozen a number of bags of fresh cranberries to be able to make this on a regular basis as a treat, a side, a pie filling AND for the wonderful healthful benefits that cranberries offer us, along with the orange, orange peel, cinnamon and nuts, even though it does require a fair amount of sugar to sweeten the tartness of the cranberry, which is significant. In my recipe, I do not give andexact amount for the sugar, for I add it cautiously, tasting along the way until I get the proper balance of sweet and tart that pleases me, which is WAY less than standard recipes for cranberry relish  ie TWO cups of sugar per 1 12-oz bag of cranberries! NO WAY!  Taste, taste, taste  as you prepare to counteract the tartness of the fruit but you don’t need to overdo the sweetness.

I also do not cook this relish, but use the berries raw (after a good rinse, picking over and spin-drying) and chopped fine in my little cuisinart chopper/grinder which works beautifully.IMG_7026  Raw cranberries are exceeding healthy and full of nutrients (articles below), and the nuts, if they are not forbidden to you, raisins and cinnamon as well are nutrient rich as well.

Make this as a crunchy relish to eat alongside other foods, either with meat or vegetarian. I will include a recipe in another post about using it as a pie filling, or keep a bowl of it in the fridge, snacking on a tablespoon or two of it when you get a craving to eat something sweet or crunchy that are full of empty nutrients and calories. I do believe your will LOVE this!!

Ingredients: 1-12oz bag cranberries, rinsed, picked over and dried, 1 large seedless navel orange, cut into 1 large wedge with rind and the rest without rind in small chunks to fit in the chopper, golden raisins, chopped pecans or walnuts, cinnamon, 1 cup (more or less to taste) of sugar to taste (I use an organic sugar that has a light tan color) and for a special sparkle, a dash of cointreau or triple sec, if desired. I ask forgiveness for the lack of definitive measurements, as I prepare and cook as I go along..rather like an art project..creating as I taste. So far in my long cooking career, what tastes good to me, taste good to others.. The best I can do, is to encourage you to experiment..add things with a VERY light hand and taste along the way always until you are pleased with the result. You can always add, but you CANNOT subtract…just remember that! Creative and cautious all along the way!

Preparation: Chop washed and dried cranberries somewhat fine in the chopper. Set aside. Chop one large wedge of the navel orange finely, add to the cranberries, and chop the rest of the orange wedges fine and a little soupy in the chopper  There shouldn’t be mushy orange chunks) and add to the cranberries. Stir..slowly sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar into the mixture…stir and taste…add slowly…stir and taste , add more sugar until it is a right balance of sweet and tart that pleases you…add a handful of raisins, sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices (start with 1 teasp), stir, taste adjust..add a small pouch chopped nuts (I prefer pecans) stir gently, taste…adjust. Add a dash of cointreau or triple sec..careful, they are VERY sweet.

I prepare this a day in advance of eating to let the flavors blend and mellow. I cover it and keep it in the fridge. Before serving, stir, taste and adjust ingredients again if necessary. Serve  cold or at room temperature. ENJOY! SAVOR! AND BE HEALTHY! (links for cranberries and nutrition below the picture)

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http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=226

 

 

Snow Forecast! Need Heat! Get out the CURRY!

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Snow Forecast! Need Heat! Get out the CURRY!

 

 

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Last night the forecast was for our first snow showers of the season and COLD and whoa! Not quite ready with beautiful multi-color Autumn leaves still on the trees, but the cold and the chill was arriving making the impending approach of winter very clear to the senses.

I was still so busy last night after facilitating a centering meditation circle in the afternoon and preparing for an all-day retreat (having nothing to do with cooking) coming up this Sunday. Things to do here at the computer but you can’t concentrate when tired, hungry and chilled. I needed sustenance, comfort and it had to be fairly quick and easy!

Bring out the CURRY! And a most delicious supper of pure sensual delight and deep-healing comfort! Diced chicken breast, a jar of prepared mild curry sauce, white or basmati rice, 1 package of frozen mixed veggies, honey, unsweetened coconut flakes (optional), a splash of cream or half n’ half and you have a feast!

Instructions:

Dice chicken into small-ish pieces. Saute unttil lightly golden in a combination of olive oil and butter. (I find that a pad of butter rounds our the flavors).

When golden, add the box of mixed veggies, which have been un-frozen by running cool water over them in a colander. Shake to drain. Stir with the chicken  a bit to warm them.

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Place the chicken and veggie mixture in a baking dish, being sure to include the sauteeing juices in the frying pan to the baking dish mixture.

IMG_8601Pour your preferred jar of curry sauce over the mixture. Stir. Sprinkle with about 2 teasp of  shredded coconut, sweetend or unsweetened.

I have used “Kashmiri Curry (Indian Sumer Sauce) by Maya Kaimal…”MILD”.  There are so many brands and one must experiment with what is available where you live.  NOTE: It is important to know that Indian Curries are warm to hot even if “mild” so I recommend that you always start with “mild”. I have had to toss away meals that were simply too fiery to eat. You can always add a little more dried cayenne pepper powder to your “mild” curry if you need more heat for your adventurous taste…but you can never backtrack the heat of “too hot”!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.

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  When finished, add to taste 2 teasp-1 tablesp honey…stir into to mix…taste and adjust. Add a touch…just a touch!… of cream or half n’ half to lighten..stir…

 

 

 

Serve over cooked white, basmati or whole-grain rice.

I am told that this Sanskrit word  “AsvAdavat” means “delicious”.  If I need to be corrected, don’t hesitate to do so!

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This is very comforting and SENSUOUS food with the elegant and exotic spices that make up varieties of curry powder: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cloves, fennel seed, fenukreek, nutmeg, black and cayenne pepper. The most wonderful thing is that all of these spices and herbs are powerful healing herbs and strengthen the body’s immune system, cardiovascular system, especially during the cold season.

Sensuous,  Fragrant, Warm and Healthy is the way we go with CURRY!

Be daring and enjoy!

From Christine, The Cook

220727_10151282433958396_866733424_o  Want some good reading material when captive inside the house during bad weather?  (or any kind of weather actually!) Check out my other blogs:

For positive thinking, talking and positive life experiences:  http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

For inspiration, beauty and lovely photos: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

For love of music and music memoirs: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Sensuous Spicy Indian Stew: cold weather heat!

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It is cold and damp here on the New England coast..the kind of cold and damp that gets up under your clothes and makes your nose feel chilled, even when indoors! Altho I use spices in my cooking all year long (sprinkling cayenne on many things for inner heat and good digestion), in this season certain spices used judiciously and consciously in cooking have the added benefits of increasing circulation,  stimulating good digestion, and protecting you from colds and winter-related maladies.

We are lucky where I live to be home to the the ORIGINAL Job Lot store and New England has a number of them now with wonderful good food products not found in market chains, and priced less than if found in specialty food shops. One of the culinary treasures I have found at Job Lot is this line of Indian cooking sauces, and this one, “Rich Cashew and Cumin” is one of my favorites. I have created a delicious warming, grounding SENSUOUS chicken stew and am loving to share it here with you. Mind you, Indian foods are often HOT and this is quite spicy…but it is wonderful and certainly a nourishing source of energy and comfort on a cold night!

Ingredients:

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1 lb. organic chicken breast, 1 jar Kitchens of India Rich Cashew and Cumin Cooking Sauce, 2-3 organic carrots, peeled and sliced thin, 1-2 parsnips peel/sliced thin, 1/2 -1 med onion, preferably sweet, chopped, 1-2 stalks celery sliced, 1 cup medium brown rice,  ( condiment toppings, optional as desired one or all: golden rasins/shredded coconut/mango chutney)

Preparation:

Dice chicken in cubes.  Sir and lighly brown in olive oil and butter. IMG_7030

Add sliced vegetables, stir and saute with chicken for several minutes till vegetables are just slightly softened, add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes to release flavours..IMG_7031

Add a small amount of golden raisins.

Add cooking sauce over all, and a little water or chicken broth if necessary. Cover, cook gently until vegetables are softened (not mushy). Taste..adjust for salt (you will NOT need pepper).

Serve: Serve this over cooked brown (or white) rice, top with one or all: golden raisins, shredded coconut, a good chutney. For a beverage: Indian lassi or kefir.

ENJOY!  (Tastes even better a day or two later!)

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NOTE: You are invited to check my latest post on the Greening Spirit Site: “Oak Maiden” http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/oak-maiden/

Blizzard Bread!

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SNOWWell up here in New England, winter nor’easters, snow and blizzards are part of our heritage so you’d think we would be kind of used to it. Well, maybe we are and so that is why there are preparations always,  some of which are having at the ready: ice melt, snow shovels, a good broom,  insulated winter boots and gloves etc and for those lucky ones,  tuned-up up generators and snow blowers  once again. That isn’t usually newsworthy. What is whimsically newsworthy however are pictures of empty shelves at the markets, cleaned out in a panic, of bread and milk…two staples which would not, on their own,  sustain and comfort me in a day or two or three of hunkering down in captivity until the storm passes.

Bread and milk will stave off starvation. But they, on their own are hardly “sensuous” or soul food. (And actually, personally, I either use whole grain breads, artisan breads or now gluten free breads..and never have milk in the house anyway except for my coffee’s half and half). BUT in a blizzard, especially with the anxiety that it could last absolutely forever, one has to give in to pleasure in these enclosed moments…you know, “Carpe Diem”, just in case. So..I did shop several days ago for a loaf of white bread, evaporated milk and more half and half. But those in themselves would not sustain me emotionally or tempt my appetite so it absolutely required kitchen creativity once again. Perusing refrigerator and cabinets for other supplies to supplement this duo of simplicity, I gathered some culinary supports and VOILA..with some additions, I came up with a new thing for me which I have named “BLIZZARD BREAD!”

Actually, in fact it is another variation on bread pudding, which I include here as sensuous “supper” fare, because when we are captive for those long hours within the cabin walls while the snow and wind rages outside, we eat supper or breakfast or snacks all off schedule anyway while reading books, snoozing, watching the weather channel to see what the weather is, talking on the phone, playing around on FB and perhaps, altho not likely, cleaning the closets.

So before you lose electricity, here we go : BLIZZARD BREAD!     IMG_4418

Ingredients:  

4 slices day old white bread, broken in small pieces,  1 tablespoon plus 1 teasp melted butter, 1/3 cup golden raisins (OR chopped dried apricots OR dried cranberries), 3 eggs-beaten, 1 and 1/3 cup of milk (I used  a mix of evaporated milk because of its thickness and richness and part half and half), 1/3 cup of turbinado sugar, 3/4 teasp vanilla extract, and 3/4 teasp of cinnamon.

Instructions:  

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Place bread pieces in a 8×8 inch baking dish slightly sprayed with a non-stick butter. Drizzle melted butter over bread. Sprinkle raisins or chopped dried fruit over the top of bread.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with sugar, add the milk, the vanilla extract, and the cinnamon. Mix together, and pour over the bread, pressing down so the bread absorbs the liquid evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the baking pan you are using. Top should be slightly brown, springing back when touched and testing with a knife should come out mostly clean when done.

To eat for breakfast or lunch or snack, it may be topped with whipped cream or a little additional half and half. For a sensuous “supper” all by itself, it may be dazzled up a notch by sprinkling drops of Frangelica,  or Irish Mist over it (I have heard these liquers might also be used to “saturate” the bread, but then it would be “Blitz Bread” instead). You choose! IMG_4420

Stay warm!