Alas, this dish has no cute story to go with it. Just a fantastic flavor profile, and lots of textures. It’ll make your home smell wonderful and you’ll be wanting to sample straight from the pan all the while it cooks. And that’s not a bad idea either. This way you can track the progress of the flavor meld of the ingredients. It’s great to witness that happening.
I call for the chicken to be added back in nearer to the end of the cooking time because if it sits in the pan throughout then it will get tough and chewy. That would be a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good chicken breast 😉
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 small red potatoes, cubed, with the skins on
½ head of cauliflower, trimmed into bite-sized pieces
3-4 Tbsp hot curry paste
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 cup cooked lentils
Sauté the chicken breast, then remove it from the pan and set aside
Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes
Add the potatoes and cauliflower and sauté for another 5 minutes
Stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute
Add tomatoes and water and simmer for half an hour
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add that and the cooked lentils to the mixture and let simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered
Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve in large bowls. Naan makes a great accompaniment
What this dish lacks in color it certainly makes up for in flavor and aroma. A little salty chicken broth, sweet lemon & carrot, aromatic fennel, pungent garlic. And the texture of the poached fish is very different than baked or fried fish. It holds together well and is very moist.
2 cod fillets
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1TBS + 1 cup chicken broth
1 medium sized onion, cut in half and sliced thickly
1 large carrot, cut into 1½ inch pieces and quartered
½ head cauliflower, florets separated
1 medium-sized fennel bulb, sliced thin
5 medium cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fennel greens for garnish
Slice onion and chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes
Rub cod with lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside
Heat 1 TBS broth in a skillet and sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes,stirring often
Add the rest of the broth and the carrots. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, covered
Add the cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. Place cod steaks on top and continue to cook, covered, for about 11-12 more minutes
Season with salt and pepper
Serve sprinkled with chopped fennel greens
Cod served on a bed of quinoa
And with the left-over fennel bits I created a cocktail- 1/4 lemonade : 3/4 seltzer : fennel stalk
One night I was trying out a vegetarian main dish and wasn’t quite sure how it would come out so I needed a stand-by, hearty side dish to fall back on in the event that it was a failure. Turns out the vegetarian loaf which included such ingredients as red onion, spinach, red bell pepper, boxed falafel mix, and goat cheese wasn’t all that bad. But this side was excellent. It’s got some heat to it, with the fresh ginger and chili, but you could certainly scale back on those a bit. It’s got lots of textures, sizes and shapes. I think that mushrooms would be a nice addition to this as well.
falafel loaf with cauliflower, potatoes & peas
1 head of fresh cauliflower florets
2 large or 3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 tsps minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsps coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
1 green chili, chopped
1 cup petite frozen peas
Salt to taste
Put potatoes & cauliflower florets in a steamer and par-cook for about 10 minutes
steamed cauliflower & potatoes
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute
Add the onion and fry until soft, stirring often
Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute
Add all of the spices and cook for 1 minute
onion, ginger & garlic coated in spices
Next add the chopped tomatoes and green chili, stirring well, and cook until tomatoes start to get soft (about 2-3 minutes)
fresh tomato & green chili
Now add the cauliflower florets, potatoes and peas. Stir well. Add salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat
Being in the dead of winter makes me want to make soups and stews like nobody’s business, but that can get old after a while (in my opinion). This particular soup stuck out because it wasn’t another way to use a winter squash, and it wasn’t insert poultry here noodle, and it had an interesting twist with the curry. It also happens to be vegetarian, can be vegan, and is super-healthy.
This soup comes out flavorful and thick. The garnish would make for a great anytime snack too. Toasted curried sunflower seeds- how can you go wrong?
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 1/2 cups milk, divided (soy or unsweetened almond milk can be substituted)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, toss sunflower kernels with 1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon curry powder. Spread out on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup of milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, remaining 2 teaspoons curry powder and remaining milk, cover and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 40 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder if you like. Working in batches, carefully purée in a blender until smooth. Transfer to bowls, garnish with sunflower seeds and serve.
We enjoyed this with roasted vegetable couscous dressed with balsamic vinegar and green salads for sides. It was tasty and incredibly filling.