Vegetable Jalfrezi

Everyone knows I have a special love for curries. Another curry that I discovered on the fly is vegetable jalfrezi. It’s mixed vegetables in a curry, creamy tomato sauce. A bit sweet and spicy. Always good. It’s one of those dishes that is pretty forgiving. I like to call it my “kitchen sink” curry. Use whatever is on hand with the spice mixture and you are good to go. As I cook the dish, I love to marvel at all of the wonderful colos of the vegetables. So pretty! It’s a mild curry, so it is very family friendly in this house.

Vegetable Jalfrezi

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
1/2 bag of chopped cabbage
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 small yellow squash, sliced
1/2 container mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 can of chickpeas (I used white beans since I needed to use them up)
handful of green beans, cut in to 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup peas
chili powder (optional)
juice of one lemon
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp curry paste
salt – to taste
In a large pan, saute the onion with the garlic and the ginger for a few minutes in some ghee or butter. Add in a bit of salt.  
Add in the other veggies to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl stir the curry paste with the yogurt and the lemon juice. 
Once the veggies are cooked, add in the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the curry paste mixture to the vegetable mixture. Cook for another 10 minutes. The mixture should be saucy, but not too saucy. If there is too much liquid in there, cook for a few minutes to let the liquid boil off.

Add salt and chili powder to taste.

Serve the vegetable jalfrezi over some steamed Basmati rice.



Veggie and Soy Chorizo Burritos

It was a Thursday night like any other. Need to get some shabbat shopping in. Need to get some shabbat cooking in. Would love to get a gym session in. Any other night, right? On a typical Thursday night, we have a bad habit of running to get takeout. It’s so much easier, but it adds up, you know?  J doesn’t like pizza. The kids don’t like eating meat, and recently both J and I both get sick whenever we eat from the kosher Chinese place. Our options are limited for dining in town. I am trying to limit the eating out to places that are really worth it.  A $50 meal out where I feel good about eating it – both health wise and taste wise.

So this past Thursday, found me in the kitchen, as always, with little time to spare. The kids had pasta, cheesy noodles – a reward for behaving so well in the grocery store. All right, all right, it was a bribe. I admit. Through all this, I am also trying to clean out the kitchen for Pesach. Trying to use stuff up for the big royal clean up/clean out.  I found some soy chorizo in the fridge and this can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that have been begging to be used up. Burritos it is! Yummy!

Veggie and Soy Chorizo Burritos (serves 6-8)

1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1  package soy chorizo (I recommend Frieda’s or Trader Joe’s brand – Frieda’s has a hechsher)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup corn
1 can small white cannellini beans
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
6-8 flour tortillas (depends on how much filling you like in your burritos
cooked white or brown rice
shredded cheese blend (monterey jack, cheddar – it’s all good)
sour cream (optional)

In a large saute pan, saute the onions and garlic in a small amount of oil.  Maybe two teaspoons.

Add in the soy chorizo and cook it a bit. Note: The casing is inedible in the soy chorizo. squeeze the soy meat into the pan.

Add in the cumin, salt, and pepper.

Add in the veggies. Saute for a few don’t need the veggies too soft.

Now add the corn and beans. Cook a few more minutes. 

Stir in the peppers in adobo sauce.  This gives the whole mixture a nice smokey taste. So good.

Lay out your tortillas on a plate. It’s good if you heat the tortillas covered in warm oven for a few minutes. 

Plop some rice, then some filling, and then the cheese onto your tortilla.


Now it’s time to roll up your burrito.  Fold the bottom in a bit and also the top. Now roll up from the side. Now take a bit. You know you want to. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas

As you all know, I love easy recipes. I also demand tasty recipes. Emphasis on the flavor. Anything that works out well that my kids will eat is extra special in my book. I have two daughters, and as far as eating habits go – they are night and day. One kid is extremely adventurous, and the other one is very limited. It can get frustrating…for me. I have two rules when it comes to dinner time. One is that the food must be tasted. Even if it’s “weird” and “funny looking.” We often have surprise hits with the picky kid. The second rule, is that the food must be balanced. Dinner is not just the pasta. There has to be a veggie and a protein included in the meal.

One meal that works in our house are quesadillas. I always have tortillas and cheese lying around. It is one of those meals that can be a “build-your-own.” There is no right or wrong recipe for this. Use whatever is lying around the house. The kids like it because they can pick what they want to go in to their quesadilla. My daughter might choose a totally tame one made up of just egg and cheese, and us adults will opt for a more sophisticated variety.

I whipped up a veggie and cheese quesadilla tonight, with a bit of soy sausage thrown in for protein. Fast, easy, and tasty! Hope you like it.

Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas (serves 4)

2 tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/2 ground soy sausage or 1/2 cup black beans (use what you have)
2 tsp. cumin
salt (to taste)
1.5 cups of shredded monterey jack/cheddar blend
4 tortillas

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the rest of the veggies and beans or soy sausage. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the salt and the cumin. Do a taste test. Cook veggie mixture until veggies are softened.

Remove the mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan

Back in the saute pan, heat a drop of oil or spray the pan with the oil spray.

In a tortilla, place some of the cheese over half of the tortilla. Put 1/4 of the mixture on top and sprinkle with more cheese. The cheese works like a glue. Fold the tortilla over and transfer to the hot pan. Cook for a few minutes and then flip. Cook on the other side for a couple minutes or until desired crispness. Cut into wedges and serve.

We devoured ours with some rice and veggies. Enjoy!


Meatless Monday: Pasta with Sauteed Veggies and White Bean Sauce

So two years ago, in the infancy of this blog, I did a white bean hummus that when thinned out – doubled as a pasta sauce. I blanked it out of my mind. I don’t think I have made it since. So maybe it was some sort of deja vu that propelled me to make this similar but different dinner tonight. Who knows? Whatever inspired me – this dinner was awesome. It didn’t take long either.

Pasta with Sautee Veggies and White Bean Sauce

1 box of pasta

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup of red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of green pepper, chopped
1 can of white beans
3/4 to 1 cup of veggie broth
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 cup of basil, chopped
1/8 cup chopped parsley

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

In a sauce pan, sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I added about a quarter of a tablespoon. I like things spicy. Remove half of the onions and garlic to a plate once soft. Add in the other chopped veggies and about half of the white beans. Add in the basil. Once cooked, move this veggie mixture to a bowl.

In that same pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil and and toss in those onions and garlic that you put aside. Add in the rest of the white beans, and a smidge more of that basil. Cook for a minute or two. Add in the broth. With an immersion blender, puree the white bean mixture. Mix the veggies that you already sauteed in to the puree.

Serve this over pasta with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and parmesean. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Tofu Curry

Everything tastes good as a curry. Almost everything.

On any given night, I know that if I can’t figure out a thing to make – I can always put together a curry. Just a few veggies, some ginger, garlic, and spices – is all it takes. Curries are very forgiving and adaptable. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Cook it all up and throw over some yummy basmati rice and you’re good to go. It’s that easy.

Tonight’s dinner was mushroom and tofu curry over basmati rice. Yum!

Mushroom Tofu Curry

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger – paste or minced
1 green chili chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. garam masala
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 package of firm tofu, drained and chopped up
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1/2 package frozen, chopped spinach (optional – I added it because I needed to use it up)
1 large tomato, chopped
handful of toasted and sliced cashews

In a large saute pan or wok, heat the pan on medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and toast the mustard and cumin seeds for 3o seconds.

Add in the other teaspoon of oil and add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Saute for a few ,more minutes, until the onions are soft. Add in the spices.

Add in the tofu and mushrooms. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add in the tomatoes and spinach. Add in the broth. Taste and see if it needs anything. Here is where I will add more chili powder or extra spices and salt. Toss in the cashews and stir.

Serve over some steamed Basmati rice. Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup with Pistou

Tonight was a night like any other. With not much time, I needed to execute a decent dinner for two starving children.

I try not to serve ready-made processed food, but I do take the liberty to have shortcuts lying around in wait. I am not ashamed to have some easy, ready-to-go meal starters. Tonight’s meal starter was on of those boxed organic soups. I love them. They aren’t good on their own, but used as a base to something – they work out well. I usually just buy the vegetable broth cartons to keep on hand, but a recent trip to Trader Joe’s had me buying some other flavors to play with.

A quick scan of the pantry and freezer when I got home this evening revealed the perfect quick fix for tonight. We had creamy tomato tortellini soup with a basil pistou. I had everything ready to go! Dinner came together in less than a half hour and the kids were ecstatic with full bellies. I served the soup with some good crusty ciabatta bread and some chopped veggies. Everyone is happy tonight.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup with Pistou

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 carton of tomato soup (I used the boxed Trader Joes)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of milk
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped basil
salt (to taste)
red pepper flakes (optional)
1.5 cups of small tortellini
1/2 cup pesto (I prepare in large batches and then freeze in ice cube trays)
Parmesean Cheese, grated

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium-hight heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes on medium.

Add in the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, milk, and the boxed soup. Add in the spices. With an immersion blender, puree the soup.

Bring the soup to a boil. Add in the tortellini. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is done. If using fresh tortellini, this will only take about 5 minutes.

Serve the soup in a bowl with a spoon of pesto and some grated parmesean cheese. Enjoy!

Braised Turkey Legs and Veggies and Stuff – The New Cholent?

In a perfect world I would plan ahead. In a perfect world, my shabbat menu would be planned on Tuesday, with shopping done on Wednesday, and cooking done on Thursday. In a perfect world.

My reality is worlds away. My reality is that it occurs to me that Shabbat is coming on Wednesday. I doodle some menu ideas during the day and forget those notes at work when I get home. At work on Thursday, I doodle out some shopping lists. Once again, I forget those lists at work. On Thursday night I tell myself I will take something out of the freezer or run to the store. Reality is that I am exhausted and would rather veg out in front of Grey’s Anatomy while sipping some honeyed tea. That was my week.

On Friday morning I grab some chicken soup out of the freezer. Quickly scan the vegetable drawer and draw up a realistic list for the husband. I forgot to take any protein out of the freezer the night before, so I beg J to run to the store on his way to work to pick up chicken and some sort of beef product for cholent or some other shabbat lunch treat. I mosey on off to work and ignore the impending last minute shabbat cookathon that will greet me when I return home.

Sitting at my desk at work, sipping my coffee – it’s 8:30 am. The phone rings. It’s J. “Good news,” he says, “I bought turkey legs!” He is excited and totally proud of this.

What the heck am I going to do with turkey legs? I don’t like turkey! I don’t like cholent, but at least I can cook it with my eyes closed. J protests that the turkey will be perfect. It’s the perfect protein for cooking overnight.

When I get home from work, I have minutes to brainstorm what this turkey will become. It’s T-minus 1.5 hours until Shabbat starts and I still need to come up with a menu. I open the fridge and glance at the two ginormous turkey legs. Those legs look larger than my 4-year-old’s! I glance at the crockpot…too small! I yank the dutch oven out of the cabinet, heat up the flame, and get to work.

What I came up with worked really well. I highly recommend this as a substitute for your cholent, or really any night of the week.

Braised Turkey Legs with Root Vegetables

Two to Three Large Turkey Legs (thighs would also work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
5 carrots, sliced
1 large potato, cubed
2 turnips, cubed
3 parsnips, sliced
2.5 cups vegetable broth
Bay leaf
Chopped parsley

Wash and dry the turkey. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, brown the turkey in olive oil. Takes about 6-10 minutes. Remove the turkey to a plate.

Throw in the onions, garlic, and leeks. Saute a few minutes. Add in the smoked paprika. Add in the chopped veggies. Cook for a couple minutes. Place the turkey over the root veggies. Now add the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Add in the bay leaf and chopped parsley. Turn the heat down to medium low or cook in an oven set at 210 degrees. Cook overnight – slow cook on low for 10 hours.


Thai Beef + Veggies + Coconut Rice = Yummy!

I love Thai food. If I knew how to insert a heart symbol, I would insert it somewhere into this sentence. Did I mention I love Thai food? Somehow when you throw in fish sauce, lime juice, sriracha, and basil into a dish – magic happens. For real! Try it sometime!

I am not a ground beef fan or a Martha Stewart fan, but I came upon this recipe that intrigued me. Thai ground beef over coconut rice sounded good. It was also looked easy enough that I was able to amp up the flavor and stretch the ingredients to make it work for us. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, plus some veggies that I thought would only add to the dish. If you want, you could substitute tofu, turkey, or soy crumbles in place of the cow.

For the Coconut Rice:

2 cups jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
1.5 cups of water

Put the rice, milk, water, and salt in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed.

For the beef dish:

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 chili peppers, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
10 oz. container mushrooms, sliced
snowpeas – a bunch
chinese broccoli, choped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
baby corn, sliced
scallions, chopped
red pepper flakes
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha
1 tsp. sugar
chopped basil
lime wedges

Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, and sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit for a bit.

Add oil to your wok and add the garlic, ginger, onion and chilis. Cook for about a minute. Add the meat and brown it. Add in the vegetables and cook some more. Add in the tomatoes. Add in the fish sauce mixture, chili flakes, and the basil. Cook a few more minutes.

Serve this over coconut rice with a good, healthy squeeze of lime juice. It’s soooo good! You will want to keep eating and eating this dish. I wish I had doubled this recipe – it was that good.

Leftover Fried Rice

The title is pretty self explanatory. Dinner tonight was simple and pretty budget conscious. Like any other evening, had very little time to come up with something for dinner. Didn’t want to do a grocery run until tomorrow. Stuck with random bits of veggies in the fridge. I did have plenty of leftover rice from last night’s curry. Once a month or so, we end up with fried rice for dinner. It’s quick and easy. I usually have fresh veggies around the house, but if you don’t have anything fresh, frozen will work just fine.

With something like this, there is no concrete recipe.

In a large wok or pan, heat up a tiny bit of vegetable. Scramble some eggs in the pan, and then set the eggs aside. In that same pan, start sauteeing some chopped onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a couple minutes. Throw in whatever protein you have lying around. Tonight we had some soy ground sausage. You may need to add a few more drops of oil at this point. Throw in whatever veggies you have lying around. I added corn, peas, pepper, broccoli, and yellow squash. Stir fry the mixture for a couple minutes. Now add in the rice, and stir everything together. Stir the rice to break it up. It may be clumpy from the cold. Cook a few minutes. Add the egg back to the mixture. Now add a few drops of sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and some soy sauce. You are ready to go! Enjoy!

Is it a Frittata? A Casserole?

Whatever you call it, it was good. It was something I came up with when dealing with that “must cook dinner” crunch time one evening after work. I have to admit, I have been very lazy with dinner this summer. On nice days, I sit outside with the kids and play until 7pm, when I realize that these kids should probably eat at some point. On the rainy days, I end up running errands. Go figure.

I grabbed whatever random veggies I had languishing in the fridge, and got to work. It turned out amazingly good.

Zucchini/Mushroom/Leek Suprise

2 medium size zucchini – sliced in thin rounds
1 medium sized yellow squash – sliced thin
2 leeks – sliced thin
handful baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup panko crumbs
handful of fresh thyme, chopped
handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 cup of shredded cheese (mozarella and provolone work)
1/3 cup olive oil (good stuff)
3 eggs

Mix everything together in a big bowl and dump into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle a couple drops of olive oil and parmsean cheese on top and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 40 minutes. Serve with a salad. Enjoy!

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