Category Archives: comfort food

Speedy Curried Coconut Lentils

adapted from Alexandra Stafford’s delicious recipe at Food52

Serves: 4
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced (I use the fresh stuff in a tube)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds PLUS ½ tsp ground cumin (or 1tsp of either)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup split red lentils (they’re orange prior to cooking, then turn yellow-ish when cooked)
  • 1 398ml can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • the empty coconut can filled with water
  • 1 tsp salt (or use 2 tsp kosher)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

[to serve, see below, after step 3]

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, slowly sauté the ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, and turmeric for about 10 minutes, or when all of the onion is softened, and the spices are very fragrant.
  2. Add the lentils, coconut milk, salt, and the emptied coconut can full of water. Stir together.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are completely soft, about 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Turn off heat. This will be quite loose, or soupy.
  4. Add the cilantro and stir gently until incorporated. Check for salt, and adjust, if necessary.

*To serve:

  • Ladle on top of hot brown rice, then top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a tiny sprinkle of cilantro. You could also use basmati 🙂
  • I love this beside, or on top of steamed, chopped fresh spinach.
  • Whole wheat naan is great with this.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Brown Rice: quick and easy

Rice tastes much better this way, and it’s quicker than simmering it in less water, in a covered pot.  We use parboiled brown.

  • Fill a medium pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of rice per person.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down till it is boiling gently, then leave lid off and boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water — I use a seive — and season with salt, pepper, and butter.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Grains, Tips, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Aarti Sequeira’s Keema

Love her recipes!

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~ 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp good garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tsp malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and add onions; cook until golden (do not rush this step)
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute.  Stir in the spices, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up lumps with a spoon, and sauté until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, and cook another 5 minutes, partially covered.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve with warm chapatis, or over rice.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Cheeseburger Pasta Toss

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and minced
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 4 cups dried fusillii noodles
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, until brown all over. Drain excess fat.
  2. Increase heat, and add onions, green pepper, and garlic (add other vegetables, if using). Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juice, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, while you bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. When water boils, add noodles, and cook till al dente, according to package directions.   Drain, reserving a bit of pasta water to loosen the noodles, if necessary.
  5. In the large pot, combine the noodles with the ground beef mixture. The ground beef mixture should be fairly dry, not soupy.
  6. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with more cheese.
  8. If desired, pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with more cheese, and bake or broil till cheese is browned.

Note: Add any other vegetables you wish to — corn niblets cut off of the cob, a handful of broccoli or cabbage slaw, shredded carrot.  Anything goes!

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Protein

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under comfort food, Grains

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Adapted from recipe by “vegangela”.

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (from a tube)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (we like Lahlah’s Madras)
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 or three handfuls of sliced or chopped kale or spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, the lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the greens and cook for another minute, if desired.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

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Filed under comfort food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Super Quick Tomato Soup That’s Better for You

Sauté in a Dutch oven or large pot, until softened:

  • 1/2 a small onion, finely minced
  • 1large celery stalk, finely minced
  • 1 medium size carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or one finely minced garlic clove

Add:

  • 1 28oz tin of diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, include juice*
  • 1 14.5 oz tin of diced tomatoes, include juice

With a hand blender, purée the soup. Alternatively, dump the sautéed vegetables into a blender, and add half of the tomatoes.  Purée until smooth, then pour into the soup  pot.  Add the second half of the tomatoes to the blender, purée until  smooth, and add to pot. And put back on heat. Add:

  • 3/4 cup cream (any fat content that you prefer)

Stir and heat through.  Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
If desired, top with any of the following:

  • Sour cream dollop
  • Plain Greek yogurt dollop
  • Fresh basil, chopped or chiffonaded
  • Home made croutons
  • A sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

* you can use plain diced tomatoes and just add some Italian seasoning, or fresh basil and oregano.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food