Adventures in Cooking 2/28/10

February 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

A month has gone by already and it’s time to update you on my Indian cooking adventures. After some consideration, I’ve decided that these monthly posts will be an update on all my cooking adventures. I try so many new things on a constant basis that I thought something other than Indian cooking would appeal to more people.

Because there was so much going on this month and it was a short month, I was only able to try two recipes from “Quick and Easy Indian Cooking”, by Madhur Jaffrey.

The first dish I tried was, “Whole Green Lentils with Cilantro and Mint”. This dish had cumin seed, black mustard seed, ground coriander, and lots of fresh cilantro and mint. I only used fresh cilantro in the dish because I didn’t have time to run to the store to pick up the mint. It was delicious and easy to prepare. Very little prep work but it takes 50 – 60 minutes on the stove top unless you have a pressure cooker. This actually works out for me. I set it up while my daughter was napping, and when it was done, I let it sit on the stove until dinner. This gave it enough time to cool down a bit. Warm and hearty for a cold winter day. I would definitely make this again. Next time I’ll try it with the mint. Here’s a photo of the finished dish:

The next dish I tried was “Ground Chicken or Turkey with Peas”. I chose to use ground chicken. I made this dish twice this month. ūüôā The first time with ground chicken that had dark meat in it, the second time with ground chicken breast. My preference? The ground chicken with dark meat. It’s tastier and not as dry. When I made it with the ground chicken breast, I had to add chicken broth to the finished dish so it wasn’t so dry. The spices used in the dish were¬†cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Both times, I served it over fresh steamed white rice. Here’s a picture of it with ground chicken with dark meat.

Here’s a picture of it with ground chicken breast. I added organic green beans to this one.

A few weeks ago, I caught the end of an episode of the Rachel Ray talk show where she made a Ranch-Syle Chicken Chili. The first thing that caught my eye was the use of fresh herbs, parsley and dill, I love dill and will find any way to use it. I had to make some changes to the recipe based on what I had. I could not find decent looking poblano peppers at my supermarket, so I substituted a diced green bell pepper. Also, I used organic low-fat buttermilk instead of the sour cream in the recipe. It was a nice break from regular chili with beans in it. I served it with a handful of organic blue corn tortilla chips.

Here’s a picture of the pot. Nothing special to look at but it was great!

Next up, something yummy for the kids. Whenever I take the kids to the library, I always check out the cook book section and get one or two books. A book that I’ve heard about but haven’t read, is “Deceptively Delicious”, by Jessica Seinfeld. The premise of the book is getting your kids to eat healthier by hiding vegetables (and fruits) in their foods. Of course, I’d rather my kids eat the actual vegetables, but this offers another alternative when I don’t want dinner to be a battle of wills. I can feel good that they are still getting lots of nutrients, and in my opinion, you can never have enough vegetables. My daughter is a great eater, but my son needs some work.

I am going to try a few recipes in the book but first up, “Tofu Nuggets”. This recipes uses extra firm tofu cubed up.¬† I am not a fan of soy products, but I do want my children to eat a variety of foods.¬† Basically, you mix a pureed¬†vegetable (I used pureed¬†carrot) with the egg, as part of the breading¬†process. The breading¬†is a combination of traditional breadcrumbs (I like 4C¬†seasoned panko because it has no artificial ingredients), parmesan cheese, and flax meal. She uses cooking spray to fry up the nuggets, but I used a light coating of olive oil and drained them after cooking. I was in SHOCK that my kids ate it up! It seems my kids just like anything breaded and fried. I told my son they were cheese cubes. ūüôā I served them with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.

Here’s a picture of those nuggets:

Just like anything else, you find the time for the things that are important to you. Eating well, and serving my family real foods are a top priority for me.¬† I already have my eye on a few recipes for March.¬† Stay tuned!¬† ūüôā

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