Posts Tagged ‘Rice’

Tofu Saag Paneer

November 7th, 2011

Okay, so I know that this isn’t technically a proper saag paneer, what with the complete lack of paneer.  But for the sake of searchability and easy naming, I’m sticking with the title.

Tofu saag paneer

This is a veggie version of one of my favourite Indian dishes.  I came across this tofu version in a great new seasonal veg cookbook, Eat Greens. I’ve become a big fan of tofu in the past few years, grilling it on the barbecue, giving it a quick stir fry with some ginger and hot sauce, but I had yet to try baking it. Turns out it’s a great way to get puffy, crisp squares of spiced tofu, perfect for tossing with a pile of greens for a winter veggie dinner.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp salt
1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp hot chili sauce (or more to taste)
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup plain yogurt

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the olive oil and spices.  Toss with the tofu cubes until completely coated.
Spread the tofu cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer, with some space between all the cubes.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350, until slightly crisp and puffy.

When the tofu has almost finished baking, heat the garlic, ginger and chili sauce in a large frying pan or wok over medium-low heat.
Once the garlic has softened, add the spinach.  Stir gently until wilted.
Stir in the tomatoes and yogurt and cook for another 5 minutes.
When the tofu comes out of the oven, stir it and any extra spiced oil through the spinach mixture.
Serve over rice – I like this with brown rice, but Basmati would be a more traditional fit.

Things That Are Awesome

November 7th, 2010

Wonton soup

1. A steamy bowl of soup made with vegetarian wontons from my local Asian supermarket.

Brown rice casserole

2. Finding inspiration for the coziest of November casseroles.

Cranberry shortbread square

3. The perfect use for a crapload of cranberries.

Tomato Risotto

July 11th, 2010

Tomato risotto with asparagus

All last week I was craving risotto.  Yet I didn’t want the traditional creamy, white risotto – I wanted something a little different.  Something bolder, more summery.  Adding a cup of tomato sauce with basil was a simple change, but one that had quite the impact.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 white onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cups hot vegetable broth
1 cup tomato sauce
salt & pepper
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup Grana Padano cheese, shredded

1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced

In a large sauce pan, cook the onion in the olive oil and butter until just translucent.
Add the rice and garlic, stirring while toasting until the rice is a teensy bit golden.
Dump in the white wine and stir until absorbed.
Add the hot broth a half cup at a time, stirring gently until it absorbs.
While the risotto is cooking, cook the chicken in a frying pan until it is golden and cooked through.
When the risotto is almost finished cooking (pre-al dente) add the tomato sauce, asparagus, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Keep stirring the risotto until the tomato sauce is mostly absorbed and the rice is tender yet firm.  (Stirring is especially important once the cheese and tomato sauce is added, as it will stick and burn easily.)
Stir in the cooked chicken and serve with additional cheese on top.

Note:  I used Italissima tomato sauce with basil in this dish.  It’s a beautifully simple tomato sauce – just tomatoes, basil and a bit of salt.  Nothing else to change the flavour of your cooking, and lovely even on its own over a bit of pasta.

Risotto for dinner

Spring Veggie Risotto with Spot Prawns and Scallops

May 25th, 2010

Fresh seafood

I love markets.  I especially love springtime farmers’ markets – something that has been lacking in my life since I moved back to Southern Alberta.  While there are plenty of bakers, canners and meat producers who have things to sell in the winter, the Lethbridge market closes between October and May due to a perceived lack of shoppers.  No fresh produce seems to equal no market in these parts.

Appetizer board

When I got out to Vancouver, I spent an afternoon at the Granville Public Market, shopping for ingredients for a “thank you” supper for my sister and her boy.  After a preliminary cruise around the stalls, I settled on a nice springtime risotto with seafood to reflect my stay in the city.  Dinner was preceded by an appetizer board featuring olives, cheese, beer sausage, bread, fiddleheads and smoked mackerel from various stalls around the market.

Spring green risotto with scallops and spot prawns

(the following is the risotto recipe for 3 people)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
1 handful broccolini, tops separated from stems
1 handful asparagus, tops separated from stems
3 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil
9 scallops, patted dry
6 spot prawns, rinsed and patted dry

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter in the olive oil until it melts.
Add the rice and stir until it toasts and turns a light brown.
Add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned.
Pour in the white wine, stirring until absorbed.
Add the first cup of vegetable stock, stirring slowly while it absorbs.
Stir the vegetable stems into the rice with with the second cup of stock.
At this point, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, and arrange the seafood in a single layer.
Add the veggie tops and basil to the risotto with the last cup of stock, stirring while keeping an eye on the seafood.
Turn the seafood once after 2-3 minutes – that’s all it should take per side to get a nice sear on the scallops and to make sure the prawns are cooked through but not rubbery.
Plate everything up and serve with the rest of the bottle of white wine.  (I think we went with a bottle of Naked Grape Pinot Grigio.)

Red Lentils on Brown Rice

March 20th, 2010

Red lentils on brown rice

My friends Megan and Niall are quite the globey couple.  Earlier in the year, they sent me a recipe for an Ethiopian lentil dish made with red lentils and lots of ginger.  I finally got around to making it, and it was a perfect dinner for a cold Canadian March night.  In combination with the brown rice, it’s a healthy, easy meal – one that makes you feel a bit better about yourself, diet-wise.

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp hot sauce of your choice
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper

2 servings cooked brown rice

In a small saucepan, boil the lentils in the water for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft.
While the lentils are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small frying pan and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
Once both elements are cooked, stir them together in the saucepan, adding a bit of warm water if they look too thick.
Spoon the lentils over brown rice, eat, and listen to your body saying thanks for the healthy meal.  ;)

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