Chickpea Salad

A very simple salad, and very healthy.

You need: 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can, washed and drained; 2 medium-sized tomatoes; 1 small onion; 1/2 cup diced cucumber; salt and red chili powder (cayenne) to taste; 1 tsp lemon juice; 1 tsp olive or canola oil.

How to:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and onion.
  2. Mix the chickpeas and vegetables in a bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Eat chilled.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

I love vegetable stock. I especially love to heat it and drink it as is. The store-bought stocks tend to be very high sodium, even the low-sodium ones, so I prefer to make my own. It’s very easy, and if you have a slow cooker (e.g. Crock Pot), you can leave it to cook while you do other things, like work. There are a number of vegetables you can put into your stock, and people often use odd ends and trimmings of vegetables, but I don’t use anything I would ordinarily feed to my worms (yes, we have a worm bin in our kitchen).

You need:

1 leek, 1 bulb fennel, 3-4 sticks celery, 1 large onion, 1-2 chili peppers of  your choice, 2 bay leaves, 5-6 leaves basil

How to:

  1. Prepare the vegetables and chop them into large pieces. (Click HERE for how to prepare various vegetables)
  2. Add them to your slow cooker.
  3. Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
  4. Add the herbs and chili peppers.
  5. Cover and turn on high for 5-6 hours.
  6. Pour broth into a container.
  7. Place the vegetables in a food processor and blend well.
  8. Pour into the container through a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to rub it in to get it all.
  9. Refrigerate immediately and use within 3-4 days.

If you want to store the stock, cool it in the fridge for a couple of hours, then pour into ice trays. When it is frozen, put the broth ice cubes into a Ziploc bag and return to the freezer. Use within 3-4 months.

Fresh Spaghetti Sauce!

Onions, peppers, and oregano from my CSA + fresh tomatoes from my garden = fresh spaghetti sauce!

I chopped up the onions and peppers, added much chopped fresh garlic, cooked it in olive oil, added fresh chopped oregano, chopped tomatoes, salt, and red chili flakes. Then I  gave it some thyme, love, and tenderness 😛

And ate it over whole wheat spaghetti. Mmmm.

Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower with Potato) and Aloo Mattar (Potato with Peas)

Another old favorite!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

You need: 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled or not, cut into 1/4″ cubes; 1 medium-sized cauliflower cut into florets (or 1/2 packet frozen florets); 1/2 tsp each of haldi (turmeric powder) and lal mirch (red chili powder); 1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder; 3-5 curry leaves (kadipatta); 1-2 sabut lal mirch (dried red chilies, optional); salt to taste

How to: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the jeera, curry leaves, and dried red chilies to it. Turn the heat down to medium-high. When the jeera starts to sputter, add the powdered spices and stir quickly to prevent them from burning. Immediately add the potatoes and salt and stir well. Add the cauliflower and stir again. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and let it cook until done (potatoes should be soft all the way through and cauliflower should be easy to cut with a spoon). Turn off the heat. Eat with rice or roti, or with yogurt for a really nice flavor.

Variation: Aloo Mattar: replace the cauliflower with one cup fresh or frozen peas.

Gobi Mattar (Cauliflower with Peas)

Quick, easy, and an old favorite!

Preparation time: 2 minutes if using frozen, 30 minutes if using fresh vegetables

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

You need: 1 medium-sized cauliflower, cut into florets (or one bag frozen); 1 cup fresh or frozen peas; 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds); 1/2 tsp each of haldi (turmeric) and lal mirch (red chili powder); salt to taste.

How to: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. When it is hot, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the jeera, haldi, and lal mirch. When the jeera starts to sputter, add the cauliflower, peas, and salt. Stir well, until coated with the turmeric (it will turn yellow). Add upto 1/4 cup water, stir briefly, and cover (Add a little water, let it cook covered for about 3-4 minutes, see if it is “catching” on the bottom, if so, add a little more, and so on). Let it cook for about 10 minutes, and check to see if it is done. (Try to cut a piece off the cauliflower with the spoon. If it is easily done, your vegetables are cooked). Once it is cooked, let any remaining water cook off.

Serve with rice or roti.