Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Split Pea Dal with Cauliflower and Spinach

One of the great things about getting K. in the kitchen to expand her cooking repertoire is that I just supervise!  This meal is easy, inexpensive, and flavorful.  Serve it with rice and nann bread, slice up a mango for dessert, and Bob's your uncle!

Split Pea Dal with Cauliflower and Spinach

1 cup dried yellow split peas
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopper cauliflower
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups torn fresh spinach, or one package frozen, chopped spinach

Wash the peas and put in a large pot.  Cover with 2 and 1/2 cups water, add bay leaf.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, with lid slightly ajar, for 50 minutes to an hour, until peas are tender.  Add cauliflower, 1 cup water, and salt.  Simmer 15 minutes.  While cauliflower is cooking, saute the onions, garlic, and ginger in the butter in a small frying pan.  When onions are translucent, add the curry powder to the pan.  Cook for another minute or two, then add onion mixture to peas.  Simmer, uncovered 15 minutes until thickened.  (Side note: start the rice, set the table, make ice tea, heat the nann bread.) Stir in fresh spinach and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, you may need to add more curry powder or salt.  If using frozen spinach, add block of spinach when you add the cauliflower, omitting the added water.  Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine, trying to make it simpler and more suited to a limited spice cabinet.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Kielbasa

K. will be living off campus in the fall for the first time, and she will be cooking some for herself instead of depending on a meal plan.  This is easy to prepare, will provide lots of meals, and it is a dish she loves (and knows how to make!), so I am posting this especially for her!

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Kielbasa

1 pound dry red kidney beans
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic
32 ounce carton chicken broth (low sodium)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 package (14 to 16 ounces) turkey kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch chunks
Salt to taste

Rinse beans.  Place them in a large pot and add water to 2 inches above beans.  Cover and bring to a boil and boil for two minutes.  Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse beans.  Return to large pot, cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Chop vegetables.   Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add vegetables to beans, along with the seasonings and tomato paste.  Using the same skillet, brown the kielbasa over medium high heat.  Cook beans for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  After 1 hour and 15 minutes,  add kielbasa to beans and start the rice.  When rice is done, taste test a bean to check for tenderness.  Add salt to taste.  Serve beans over rice, with hot sauce on the side.  Enjoy!