Posts tagged ‘spinach’

February 24, 2012

Chickpea, Spinach and Cauliflower Curry

I was craving a hearty vegetarian meal last night, so I decided to tinker with a few chickpea and spinach curry recipes. Both my kids like Indian food (But I want them to like it more!), so I thought this was a good way to get them used to more spices, without setting their lips and tongue on fire. Some of the recipes called for tomatoes, while others relied on a cucumber yogurt accompaniment for acidity. I decided to go with the tomatoes, since I’m a big fan of one-pot meals.

Somewhat to my surprise, the kids loved it. S had three servings and asked for it for lunch today. Everyone agreed it was a dish I should make again. Yay! Simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, I didn’t measure any of the ingredients or spices last night, so I’m not sure I can replicate the dish. I basically kept adding spices until I felt that it had enough flavor. I started by sautéing one large chopped onion with a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger. Then I added roughly 2 to 3 teaspoons of ground cumin and ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons curry powder and a fat pinch of salt. What I wish I had was some garam masala. But last night I had to make do without it. Once the spices became fragrant, I added a can of drained chickpeas, florets from a small head of cauliflower, a 16 oz. bag of thawed frozen spinach and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes. I let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until all the flavors blended and there was a nice thick consistency. Serve it over rice with a little chopped cilantro over the top.

This is a great recipe when you’re low on fresh produce. All you need is an onion and cauliflower. You could also make it without the cauliflower.

Note to reader and self:  Indian food really does not photograph well.

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February 3, 2012

Five Under 5: Turkey and Pesto Sandwich

Remember the pesto from earlier this week? It’s making its appearance again—but in a sandwich, as a flavorful spread. I topped it with smoked turkey, spinach leaves and little grape tomatoes. In the blink of an eye, I used up my five ingredients. I think it’ll be yummy, but it did not photograph well. Toppings kept falling out while I was trying to get a good shot of the sorry-looking sandwich. Then, the sun kept rising with every shot I took, changing the light. Ack! In any case, lunch is done. With the sandwich, I included a banana and some seaweed.

I’m providing links to two interesting articles, one from last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal and the other from Wednesday’s issue of the New York Times. The first is about disgust and food, and how your rules for and responses to different foods can teach and trigger the emotion of disgust in your children. The author takes the reader on a fascinating trip around the world exploring foods that elicit the most visceral of reactions. I found out about the second article from one of my readers (also my father-in-law!). It’s a fun read on how one mom got her 10- and 14-year-olds to cook dinner. I think I’ll try some of her approaches at my house. Happy February!

You Eat That? – WSJ

My Sons, the Sous-Chefs – NY Times

January 9, 2012

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Okay, I did not pack this for S’s lunch. She hates mushrooms. If she thinks she sees so much as a sliver of one in her food, it stops her cold in her tracks. However, C loves, loves mushrooms. And he’s not picky about the variety, and whether they’re raw or cooked, so he happily eats plain button mushrooms (which he piles high on his plate at a salad bar), shitakes, creminis or big fat portobellos. I love that he loves them because mushrooms are packed with vitamin B-2 and D, copper and potassium.

After picking C up from preschool today, I decided we’d head home for lunch. I knew there were two portobello mushrooms waiting for us in the fridge. They were left over from a vegetarian craving I had the other night. I didn’t want meat, but I still needed something hearty. Portobellos were the answer. I first made the stuffed mushrooms a couple years ago for my book club, and they were so good I bookmarked the recipe.

The portobellos are first marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Then, they’re roasted gill-side down in the oven for 15 minutes. After that, you flip them over and stuff them with a mixture of spinach, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, onions, chopped mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Simply leave out the breadcrumbs if you’re on a gluten-free diet. It won’t change the consistency much. Put them back into the oven for another 15 minutes. The result? A perfect umami flavor.

As strange as this might seem, I’ve been eating the leftover portobellos for breakfast. I top each with an over-easy egg for a dense, low-carb meal.

As for S, she got turkey and avocado on an everything bagel.

Here’s the link to the recipe at Epicurious:

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese

December 17, 2011

Spinach Patties Everyone Loves

I discovered these spinach patties early last year when we were on a grain-free diet. The original recipe from Epicurious.com calls for breadcrumbs, but at the time I replaced it with more eggs, pine nuts and grated Pecorino Romano. I’ve made these almost half a dozen times and this was the first time I used breadcrumbs. The patties did hold together better, but I don’t think they added much to their taste. Next time, I may try corn meal. It’s a great recipe to experiment with—just don’t leave out the nutmeg.

My kids like these for snack time, breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. S prefers to have wrap her patty with a piece of ham. Meanwhile, C sees it as yummy finger food that he runs around the backyard with. I like them best for a quick, nutritious breakfast. I just pop them in the toaster oven to warm them up and give them a little crispiness.

Happy holidays! Enjoy your two-week break from packing lunches. I know I will 🙂  It may be my favorite Christmas gift this year.

Sephardic Spinach Patties (from Epicurious.com)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed, cooked, chopped, and squeezed dry, or 20 ounces thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
About 1 cup matza meal or fine dried bread crumbs
About 3/4 teaspoon table salt or1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for serving
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and, if using, the garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the spinach, matza meal, salt, pepper, and, if using, the nutmeg. Stir in the eggs. If the mixture is too loose, add a little more matza meal. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for a day.
2. Shape the spinach mixture into patties 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, with tapered ends. In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat. In batches, fry the patties, turning, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm, accompanied with lemon wedges.

Sephardic Spinach Patties with Cheese (Keftes de Espinaca con Queso):
Add 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Muenster, Swiss, Gouda, or Cheddar cheese; or 1/4 cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese.

Sephardic Spinach Patties with Walnuts (Keftes de Espinaca con Muez):
Substitute 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts for the matza meal.

Italian Spinach Patties (Polpettine di Spinaci):
Add 3/4 cup raisins soaked in white wine for 30 minutes, then drained, and 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts.

 

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