Curried Butternut Kale Stew

This is one of my favourite types of meals this time of year.  I love kale, as do many foodies, because it’s really delicious and kind of amazing for you.  I feel like a responsible adult when I’m chowing down on kale, you know?

It’s warming, creamy, a bit smoky from the fire roasted tomatoes, and excellent with a dash of hot sauce on top (I say that about everything, though) and served over some brown rice.

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can light coconut milk
couple huge handfuls washed and torn kale, or a small bunch
salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and sautée the onion until translucent.  Add the garlic and sautée for 1 minute longer.  Add the diced butternut squash, stirring to coat in the oil, and cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened.  Add all the spices and a pinch of salt, plus the broth, tomatoes and chickpeas, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the butternut squash is soft.  Lower heat and add the coconut milk and the kale.  Cover again and let the kale wilt for about 10 minutes, or until it has reduced in size and is bright green but not mushy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Chana Masala and Tamarind Quinoa

Sometimes the only thing that will do is a plate of chana masala (Indian chickpeas with tomato).  Today was a relatively cool and rainy day, which is a nice break from how insanely hot it’s been in our neck of the woods.  We jumped on the opportunity to use the kitchen to its fullest capacity, which is a total chore on hot days.  I worked on the tamarind quinoa while Trevor made the chana masala.  We had onions, ginger, garlic, spices, cans of coconut milk and tomatoes everywhere!  It was worth it, though; this flavourful curry over creamy coconut milk laced quinoa was so nice this evening.  Not pictured, but I gave myself a good dose of Indian lime pickle, which is eaten along side and gives a wonderful zippy bite that I just can’t do without.

I always use this recipe for chana masala, and the tamarind quinoa (featuring peas and raisins, who are quite the dynamic duo) is from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction.
– Crystal

Eggplant Chickpea Stew and Spiced Carrot Salad

We’ve posted this stew on the blog before with a link to the original recipe.  It’s so easy and so good!  It’s even good at room temperature.  Yum yum yum.  
The carrot salad is really lovely as well.  The carrots are boiled until delicately tender and ready to absorb the flavours of the marinade.  
Serve everything with a squirt of lemon and you’re ready to eat!

Khizou Harra (Spiced Carrot Salad)

About 1 lb. of carrots, peeled and cut into large-ish sticks

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Boil carrots in salted water for 5-8 minutes or until just tender. Drain well.
Toss carrots with remaining ingredients and let sit for 2 hours to develop flavors. Adjust seasoning with salt as needed.
Serve at room temperature.

– Crystal

Chickpea & Eggplant Kibbeh (with a Humm-ish Dressing)

I shouldn’t even call this a Kibbeh. It’s rather inauthentic, but I share it now because it was delicious. Like, really really good. I’ll admit that before making this dish I had never had Kibbeh, and knew not what it was. Of course, having now done my research, a Kibbeh is typically a non-vegetarian dish. Often something of a pie, or sometimes a bit like a corndog, this is a popular dish in the Arab world. The bulgar provides a nice crunch to the outside, while the inside is a delectable mash with a hint of North African spice (cinnamon, cumin, allspice, etc.). Mine was filled with caramelized onions and sauteed eggplant. 
To start with, I made a sauce for this by blending all of the ingredients for hummus, and then adding some peanut butter and agave syrup. Sounds odd, I’m sure, but it was quite nice.
Humm-ish Dressing

Blend the following until smooth:
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp garlic powder
Squirt of lemon juice
Dash of salt
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp agave syrup
The dish itself was derived from a recipe I found in the book Vegan Planet, with a few minor adjustments. Instead of pine nuts, which are crucial if you’re going for authenticity but which I didn’t have on hand, I used a combination of walnuts and pistachios. This substitution worked very well. Everything else was done according to the instructions. The recipe makes enough for about 4 servings, which means we get two meals out of it. Now if you’ll excuse me, leftovers are calling.

Chickpea Piccata

Every recipe I try from Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz just blows me away in how easy, healthy and amazingly tasty it is.  This recipe is just totally wow.  I love the fact that it comes together so easily and tastes amazing.  Isa recommends pairing it with the Caulipots (Cauliflower/Potato mash) recipe from the same cookbook, and you can see some of that peaking out from underneath the heap of piccata in the photo.  It is so good!  I totally didn’t feel like buying arugula to serve the piccata over as the recipe suggests (I had no plans to make anything else with arugula on my weekly shopping list), so I just served it over baby spinach.

The recipe can be found online here.

– Crystal

Mediterranean Inspired

We had a lot of running around to do today so we made a pretty simple dinner.  Roasted broccoli and peppers (trying to use up what we had in the fridge), roasted asparagus with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, chickpeas tossed with olive oil, dill and salt and pepper, olives, and fresh pitas and hummus.

– Crystal