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Posts Tagged ‘Bal Arneson’

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes

cauliflower and sweet potatoes

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Living in New York City, it’s easy to get lazy about cooking at home. Most people I know live on takeout (when they’re not dining out). It’s so tempting though; I have easy access to amazing food to suit any craving. I can get standard American fare, Mexican and Italian, of course, but more exotic options like Ethiopian or Peruvian are just as easy to come by. Takeout isn’t always indulgent or expensive either; there are plenty of healthy places (smoothie/juice bars, vegan cafes, raw food restaurants, or restaurants that serve variations on oatmeal or yogurt) within walking distance from my office and apartment, and most are really affordable or have plenty of cheaper options.

So why cook at home at all? My kitchen is ridiculously tiny, it’s a pain to carry loads of grocery bags home and cleanup isn’t exactly a breeze (I have a dishwasher but it only opens halfway because the fridge is in the way). But the answer is simple: I cook at home because I like to. After a long day at work, cooking a meal actually helps me decompress. And there’s no better feeling than making a meal that tastes better than something I would have picked up at a favorite restaurant.

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Meatless Monday: Saag and Paneer

sag and paneer

I’ve been craving Indian food all weekend. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sick to death of stuffing and green bean casserole, or because I saw Life of Pi over the weekend (it was the dinner-at-home-in-India scenes, not the marooned-on-a-life-raft-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean that did it), but I can’t stop thinking about vegetable curry. And naan. And dal. And mango lassis.

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Meatless Monday: Red Lentil Salad

lentil salad

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Dried beans can take a long time to cook (dried black beans, chick peas, kidney, etc.), but lentils are a surprisingly quick-cooking legume. They’re also a great, healthy addition to a vegetarian’s pantry; lentils provide protein and complex carbohydrates, and they’re full of fiber to keep you satisfied longer. Plus they’re super inexpensive, so you get major bang for your buck (less than a buck in most cases.)

A cheap, healthy, filling, vegetarian protein source? Sounds like a dream come true, right? But how do they taste? Lentils taste bean-like, but are pretty mild and take on the flavor of the sauce or spices they’re cooked in. Their texture is pretty bean-y but they hold their disc-like shape well (unless they’re cooked for a long time, like in lentil soup). They’re a staple in Indian and Mediterranean cooking and work well in stews, soups, curries and salads made with grains, vegetables or just lentils.

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetables With Tofu

grilled vegetables

Faster than fast-food.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

You’re busy. And hungry. You have 15 minutes to get dinner on the table because you have loads of other stuff to do. Here’s how it could go down:

Scenario 1: You drive on over to Taco Bell on your way home. You shout your order into the speaker, pay and wait 6 minutes for your giant bag of chalupas and gorditas to appear, drive back home, arrange the paper-wrapped tacos and such on the table with paper napkins and packets of hot sauce, and viola, dinner is served.

Scenario 2: You preheat the grill, and while you’re waiting, mix together a quick marinade of garlic, cumin, coriander, oil, vinegar and honey. Toss asparagus, peppers, mushrooms and sliced firm tofu in the marinade and grill them for a few minutes, till they’re tender.

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Meatless Monday: Stuffed Peppers

Bal Arneson's potato-and-rice stuffed peppers.

American stuffed peppers are usually packed with ground meat and rice or breadcrumbs, sometimes covered in tomato sauce, and baked till they’re tender. But the American way isn’t the only way; stuffed peppers are common across the globe — in Mexico, Chiles Rellenos are poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, then battered and fried. The Spanish stuff their peppers too, often the piquillo variety, filling them with rice, manchego cheese, cod or beef, and in India, peppers are stuffed with mashed potatoes, onions and spices. Spice Goddess Bal Arneson adds brown rice to mashed potatoes in her Indian-spiced stuffed peppers, making them a filling meal and a great way to use up leftover rice or mashed potatoes.

The recipe calls for pomegranate powder — you can find that in Indian markets, health and specialty foods stores or online. If you can’t find pomegranate powder, use a squeeze of lime juice instead, but if you do buy it, also try it in Bal’s Vegetarian Burgers, or add a teaspoon to a fruit smoothie.

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Sifted: Musical Pairings, Indian Food Palooza and Boozy Foods

Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes, Things Worth Fighting For

Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes-- Turntable Kitchen

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Mushroom-leek mini pizzas + hot hypnotic beats = new level of kitchen inspiration. –Turntable Kitchen
  2. #IndianFoodPalooza? We so want in. –Indian Simmer
  3. Boozy Foods: Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day by working a little into your food. These twice-baked potatoes are shamelessly delicious. –Dana Treat
  4. Technique to Try: Chopsticks to scramble your eggs. –theKitchn
  5. Copycat Recipe Crazy — Can you actually tell the difference? — Food.com

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Meatless Monday: Kidney Bean Stew With Sweet Potatoes and Oranges

kidney bean stew

Bal Arneson's Kidney Bean Stew

I cleaned out my kitchen this weekend — the ‘fridge and cabinets and everything. When I did, I discovered that I had about 100 pounds of dried beans. Some I bought in bulk and stored in glass jars because I like the way they look, and I assumed I’d use them up quickly. And more still came from a bean share I get through my CSA; we’re able to order grains, beans and flour from a small organic farm in western New York called Cayuga Pure Organics. My intentions were good when I placed the order, but when I received the beans, I got lazy and stashed them instead of cooking them. So now I’m faced with enough beans to run me out of my apartment. I’ve vowed to cook every last one.

Last night I made a giant pot of Bal Arneson’s Kidney Bean Stew (1 bag of beans down, about 45 to go). The recipe calls for canned beans and you can well use those, but since I possess so many dried beans, I used those and added them after the spices but before the sweet potatoes (I simmered the stew for about 40 minutes to cook the beans before adding in the sweet potatoes, then followed the rest of the recipe as written). My plan was to make a big pot of beans and eat some for dinner over rice (I’m a huge fan of this Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley), then bring the rest for lunch on (Meatless) Monday, and Tuesday, too. So far, the plan is working well.

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Meatless Monday: Green Beans with Paneer in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Indian food is surprisingly easy to make at home.

Indian food is known for being pretty vegetarian-friendly (though it’s friendly to meat-lovers too, with dishes like goat curry and chicken tikka masala). There are always warmly spiced vegetable curries, lentil soups and plenty of meat-free appetizers on the menu at an Indian restaurant. Whenever I order Indian food (which is as much as possible), I order something with paneer, a firm Indian cheese. Paneer is similar in texture to firm tofu or conventional (not fresh) mozzarella, but very mildly-flavored; it’s slightly nutty. It takes on the flavors of the spices in the dish its being used in, and it doesn’t really melt so stays firm in the dish. Basically, it’s great.

Here’s the thing about Indian food — there’s a common misconception that it’s something to be eaten in restaurants, only. Not true at all. It’s pretty easy to make at home, and to start, you’ll only need a few basic spices.

Bal Arneson’s Green Beans With Paneer in Tomato Sauce is one of the simplest, meat-free recipes out there, Indian or otherwise. The only slightly exotic spices involved are coriander, mustard seeds and cumin, and those should all be available in a large supermarket. As for the paneer, you can find that in an Asian or Indian grocery store, or regular supermarket with a robust international section. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own.

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Meatless Monday: Veggie Burgers

A million times better than beef: Kelsey Nixon's Stuffed Cheesy Portobello Burger.

The truth is, this blogger goes meatless every day, not just Monday. I have nothing against meat, or meat-eaters, but what I do have a problem with is frozen veggie burgers. They are a sorry excuse for a burger and getting handed a gray, faux-meat patty is just about the worst thing that can happen to a vegetarian at a picnic. I’d much rather eat a plateful of picnic sides than a pretend burger. But burgers are the quintessential picnic food, and sometimes, when everyone’s piling the toppings onto their toasted bun, I want in too. Vegetable patties come in all forms — they can be elaborate and include different grains, spices, vegetables and beans packed into a burger shape, or be as simple as throwing a portobello mushroom cap on the grill.

So for Meatless Monday, Labor Day and neglected vegetarians everywhere, here’s a round-up of our best-ever meat-free burgers. Make one this weekend — you (and your guests) will be glad you skipped the frozen aisle.

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Top Blog Posts of 2010

Help us celebrate the end of 2010 with a round-up of all your Cooking Channel favorites. This week we’re looking back at the shows, recipes, foods and photos you loved the most.

#1 Blog Post of 2010:  “Loving Two Fat Ladies”
When Cooking Channel announced it was bringing back the wry, dry and sly ladies of the kitchen, Two Fat Ladies fans went nuts. We couldn’t be happier to watch them every Saturday night, and chuckle along at their saucy antics.
Read the Post
Catch the Two Fat Ladies Marathon on New Year’s Day
Make their Original Recipes
More Two Fat Ladies on the Blog

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