Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

Roasted Carrots Ingredients

 

  • 3 bunches of baby carrots (grown by JBG Organic Farm in East Austin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • served with center cut gorgonzola on the side

Prep:

Roated Carrots Prep

  • Coat the carrots with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle with my Italian Spice Mix
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Toss to coat the carrots evenly

Cook:  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Place the carrots in an oven proof baking dish and roast in oven until tender and brown (about 15 minutes.)

I have kept this recipe very simple so that the flavor of the beautiful carrots shines.

Serve as an appetizer with the center cut gorgonzola and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Roasted Carrots Instagram

 

 

 

Roasted Radishes

Ingredients:

Roasted Radish Ingredients

  • 3 bunches of radishes with their leaves
  • 3 table spoons of pomegranate molasses (may substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • 5 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Prep:

Roasted Radish Prep

  • Use a paring knife separate the radishes from their greens
  • Wash the radishes and the greens
  • Roughly cut the radishes into large pieces
  • Using a paring knife, separate the greens from the tough stems and julienne them.  Soak them in water and let the sand fall to the bottom.  Remove the greens from the water.  You may have to soak several times until there is no more sand in the water you are using to wash the greens.
  • Dice the onion
  • Mince the garlic

Cook:

  • Place radishes in an oven proof dish with 2 table spoons of olive oil and 2 grinds of pink Himalayan salt.
  • Roast in a 400 F oven until radishes are tender (about 12 minutes.)

 

  • Place a pan on medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add 3 grinds of pink Himalayan sea salt

Radish Greens Cook 1

  • Cook the onion mixture till brown (about 8 minutes.)

Radish Greens Cook 2

  • Add the pomegranate molasses

Radish Greens Cook 3

  • Add the radish greens.  Stir together and cover with a lid.

Radish Greens Cook 4

  • Let greens wilt for 2 minutes and add the roasted radishes

Roasted Radish Feautue

 

ENJOY.  The radishes get tender and their sharp flavor mellows out.  I served this as one of our Thanksgiving sides.  My family loved it.

Pumpkin Pot de Crème (Photo by Leilani Kulkarni)

Pumpkin Pot de Crème topped with Cranberry Cardamom Cream

Ingredients:  Serves 8

 

  • 3 cups heavy cream (plus 1/2 a cup reserved for making the whipped topping)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chai masala (optional)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 inches of ginger, cut into coins
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

Garnish:

  • Agave-candied cranberries (cook fresh cranberries in a little agave syrup)
  • Whole, raw, shelled pistachios
  • Cranberry Cardamom Cream:  1/2 cup heavy cream, a tablespoon of agave nectar, a tablespoon of the cranberry syrup from the agave-candied cranberries, and a pinch of chai masala whipped together to soft peaks

Cranberry Cardomom Creme

Prep:

  • Preheat oven to 300 F
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk and spices over medium heat.  Stirring occasionally, heat the milk until it just comes to a boil.  Set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Pot Du Creme Prep 2

  • Gradually add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
  • Once the cream mixture has cooled, strain it into a large measuring cup with a spout to make it easier to pour.
  • Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the cream mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  • Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
  • Using a small ladle, pour the mixture into 8 oven proof ramekins.  Place the filled ramekins into an ovenproof glass container.

Punmpkin Pot Du Creme in oven

Cook:

  • Place the custard into the center of the pre-heated oven.
  • Carefully add water to the glass containers the ramekins are sitting in.  The water should come half way up the side of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  The custard should jiggle a bit when you shake the pan.  It will firm up more as it cools.
  • Remove from the water bath and let cool for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pot Du Creme out of oven

  • Tightly cover each ramekin.  I have a lid for each ramekin.  If you don’t have a lid use plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Overnight works.  I make it the day before serving.

When ready to serve garnish with the Cranberry Cardamom Cream, top with a candied cranberry and pistachios.

My family really enjoyed this for our Thanksgiving Dessert.  It was sublime, creamy, very flavorful and not too sweet.  ENJOY!!!

 

Stuffed Tromboncino Squash

Ingredient Source:

Trombocino Squash

Tromboncino Squash grown by Sunset Hill Farms in Smithville, Texas.  I used the long part to make Roasted Tromboncino Squash Medallions.  Now I am using the bottom part.

Ingredients:

  • The bottom part of the squash cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • Olive oil, enough to coat the squash
  • Paneer stuffing, enough to fill the squash cavity.  I used the same stuffing that I used in my Stuffed Peppers.  You can use any stuffing you like.

Prep:

  • Cut the bottom part of the squash in half and scoop out the seeds
  • Put the squash on a baking sheet cavity side up
  • Combine the Italian Spice Mix with the smoked paprika
  • Sprinkle the squash cavity with the spice mix and drizzle on olive oil to coat
  • Roast at 400 F for 10 minutes

Fill with the stuffing and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes:  This a great main dish for a vegetarian.  You can par bake the squash and stuff it ahead of time.  Then, just before serving you can do the final baking step and serve it hot out of the oven.

Roasted Tromboncino Squash Medallions

Ingredient Source:

Trombocino Squash

Tromboncino Squash grown by Sunset Hill Farms in Smithville, Texas.  I bought the beautiful, longest one at the farmer’s market in downtown Bastrop, Texas.  I was very excited to see this squash because it is an Heirloom vegetable originally from Liguria, Italy.  It tastes halfway between butternut squash and spaghetti squash.  I used the long part to make roasted medallions topped with pesto.  I used the bottom part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.

Ingredients:

Trombocino Squash Ingredients

  • The long part of the squash cut into one inch medallions (use any squash you like)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • Olive oil, enough to coat the squash medallions

Prep:

Trombocino Roasted

  • Cut the long part of the squash into one inch medallions.  Set aside the fat part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.
  • Put the medallions on a lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
  • Combine the Italian Spice Mix with the smoked paprika.
  • Sprinkle the first side of the medallions with the spice mix and drizzle on olive oil to coat.  Gently rub in the spice mix and olive oil into each medallion.  Flip the medallions and repeat on the second side.

Cook:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Place sheet tray of medallions in the middle of the oven.
  • Let roast until you see the moisture in the medallions bubbling.  About 7 minutes.
  • Remove the sheet tray from the oven and flip the medallions over.  Roast until tender.  About 5 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave in for another 5 minutes.  This will allow the side resting on the sheet tray to get nicely caramelized without burning.
  • Place medallions on a platter caramelized side up.  Top with pesto sauce (optional.)

Enjoy with a glass of red wine (not optional, HA!! HA!!, LOL:)

Autumn Dal (split mung beans with kale)

My neighbor, Billy, brought me the first greens of the season from his garden this morning.  These fresh greens inspired me to make a version of my dad’s favorite Dal.  The traditional version of this dish is made with spinach or mustard greens.  Autumn Dal 0

Ingredients:  Serves 6Autumn Dal 1

  • 1 cup of dried split mung beans
  • 8 large Tuscan kale leave
  • 8 large curly kale leaves
  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup in volume)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small chilies, minced
  • 3 inches of ginger, minced
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)

Prep:

Autumn Dal 2

Prep the kale by cutting out the stems with a paring knife.  Then roll up the leaves and julienne them.  This is called a “Brazil” cut.Autumn Dal 3

Cooking the mung beans:

  • While you prep the vegetables soak the mung beans in enough water to cover
  • When you are done prepping the vegetables pour off the water the mung beans are soaking in
  • Add the mung beans to a crock pot with 4 cups of fresh water, a bay leaf and a dash of salt

Autumn Dal 4

  • Turn the crock pot on high and and cook the mung beans until a white foam forms on top

Autumn Dal 5

  • Use a spoon to scoop off the foam.  Discard the foam.

Autumn Dal 6

  • Continue cooking the mung beans until they become tender but not mushy.  When this stage is reached, the beans will have expanded and will look like the photo below.

Autumn Dal 7

Cooking the vegetable mixture:

  • Coat a medium saucepan with 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil.  Add the onion, ginger, chili, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds.Autumn Dal 8
  • Turn the stove to medium and saute until brown (about 8 minutes)Autumn Dal 9
  • Add the powdered spices (garam masala, turmeric and smoked paprika) along with the tomato paste. Autumn Dal 10
  • Turn the stove to low and continue to cook until the powdered spices have bloomed. This should take about 4 minutes.Autumn Dal 11
  • Then deglaze the pan with the lime juice and add the greens along with a dash of salt.Autumn Dal 12
  • Cook the greens until they wilt.  This will only take 2-3 minutes.Autumn Dal 13

Remove the bay leaf from the cooked mung beans and stir in the cooked vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Autumn Dal 14

ENJOY!!!

Stuffed Peppers

These peppers are stuffed with Paneer (Indian Cheese) and organic red kale.

Ingredients:  Serves 6

Stuffed Peppers 1

  • 32 ounces Paneer (Indian Cheese) (Ricotta can be used as a substitute)
  • 1 large bunch of organic red kale
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 inches of ginger, minced
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, minced (leave the seeds in if you want it extra spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (Indian clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Kalonji (black onion seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep:Stuffed Peppers 2

The onion and tomatoes are diced.  The garlic, jalapenos and ginger are minced.  The kale is removed from it stem and chopped.

Prepping the peppers:

Stuffed Peppers 3
Using a serrated knife cut the top off of each pepper
  • Using a paring knife remove the seeds and the pith 

  • Place the top back on the pepper and place in a small baking dish

Stuffed Peppers 6

  • Rub each pepper with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in for 15 minutes in a 350 F ovenStuffed Peppers 7

 

Cook:

  1. Place the onion, ginger, garlic, jalapenos, chili flakes, all three seeds and the ghee in a large skillet.  Turn stove to medium and brown (about 10 minutes) 

  2. Add tomato paste and cook for two minutesStuffed Peppers 10
  3. Add tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt.  Cook for another two minutesStuffed Peppers 11
  4. Add the kale and  1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cook until the kale is soft (about 5 minutes) 

  5. Add the paneer, break it up with a wooden spoon and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to mix well and prevent sticking.  Taste and add salt or black pepper as needed. 

  6. Stuff each pepper and replace the top.  At this point you can store it in the refrigerator.  Just before serving, preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 15 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers Instagram

 

The stuffed peppers can be served as side dish or a main dish for a vegetarian option.  If you have any stuffing left over, it can be used to make hors d’oeuvres such as stuffed tomatoes or mushrooms.

Stuffed Peppers 20

I also enjoy placing it on a small papadum (lentil wafer.)

Stuffed Peppers 17

For a Vegan option, the stuffing can be made with vegetables like sweet potatoes.

 

Traditionally, the peppers are either stuffed with paneer or potatoes and peas.

Buckwheat Pilaf

Ingredients:  Serves 6-8

20160723_163718

  • 1 cup roasted buckwheat (commonly called Kasha in Russian)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium onion (this one I got from our local farmer’s market)
  • 2 chili peppers ( I used one red and one green given to me by my neighbor, Linda)
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic (this also came from our local farmer’s market)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds (must use black, don’t use the yellow ones for this recipe because they have a different flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil ( you can also use any other neutral flavored oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep:

20160723_170038

  1. Mince the ginger (wash well if you want to leave the skin on), garlic and chilies
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Cover the buckwheat with water.  Let it sit while you are sauteing the onions, ginger, garlic and chilies.

Cook:

  1. Place the grape seed oil in a deep pan.  Turn the stove to a medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, chilies, black mustard seeds and cumin.20160723_170749
  2. Saute until light brown (about 5 minutes)20160723_172742
  3. Drain off the water that the buckwheat that has been soaking in.  Add the drained buckwheat to the sauteed onion mixture.

     

  4. Add one cup of water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir.  Taste a bit of the water.  You know you have enough salt when the taste of the salt in the water is to your liking.  Cover and turn the heat to low.  Cook for about 10 minutes.20160723_173153
  5. Remove the lid.  The water should be almost gone. Add the peas.

     

  6. Stir and replace the cover.  Cook for another five minutes.  Turn the heat off and let sit until you are ready to serve.

Recipe Note:

This is a twist on my mom’s classic Indian Recipe made with white Basmati Rice

20150222_182427

I was introduced to roasted buckwheat by my husband.  I tried this recipe with the roasted buckwheat and loved its nutty flavor.  Upon doing some research, I found out that buckwheat is a low glycemic index food.  Meaning that it releases very little insulin into your body.  Its tastes like a grain but it acts like a vegetable.  It does not spike your blood sugar levels.  Thus it is good for diabetics and won’t cause you to gain weight.  It is very delicious, nutritious and happens to be gluten free.  It also cooks a lot faster than rice.

You can also use almost any other grain (farro, brown rice, pearl barley, quinoa, etc…) to make this recipe.  The amount of water  and cooking times will vary depending on the grain you use.