Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hummus-Babaganoush Pasta

I rarely watch 'Rachel Ray' on TV. I used to like her more when she was a relative nobody on 30-minute meals. Now, with her being a complete market in herself, I am not a fan anymore (not that I liked her too much to begin). But, channel surfing one day, I saw an episode of 30-minute meals that was meditteranean and one of the meals was this Hummus-Babaganoush Pasta. It sounded really tasty - and had vegetable and protein.
So I made it the next night. The reason this post lacks a photo accompanying it is that the pasta looked dreadful - goopy and brown. Nothing appealing about it. (I did not add the pine nuts). The taste, on the other hand, was really good. I loved the taste of the rich hummus and eggplant mixed in. I was NOT a fan of the texture (again, I did not add the pine nuts). V liked the texture - for me, it was too much like a dip. I think increasing the amount of water added to make it more 'sauce-like' or adding the pine nuts (as stated in the recipe) may make it better. I will definitely make this recipe again and add tomato pieces and not puree the mix completely - I may leave a few pieces of chick peas and eggplant bigger - to keep the texture more mixed (the way I like it).
In India now... good Indian food are my meals (HUGE meals, though...).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Broccoli with sun-dried tomatoes

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I guess there are a few people reading this blog, even if I don't understand everything they are saying.

Getting a lot of great vegetables from the CSA pilot. Last month, we had a lot of broccoli and broccolini and I found this recipe from the recent Vegetarian Times. I made it without the goat cheese and served it over brown rice. Of course, I added a little crushed red pepper to spice it up. I made this dish for one of my colleagues who's husband was unable to eat for a while and she was not cooking for herself.
It was a very different taste than I am used to cooking/eating, but in a good way..
Short post....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garden Update and Question

Just to keep you all interested - our doggies - Rafa and Gigi :)

A mid-week post - how fun!! This is related to our plants/garden and not a specific meal and a question!! I hope you'll all still enjoy it. First the question, does ANYONE read this blog? (Again, to the people commenting from Asia - can't understand what you are saying - please try English!). If you read this blog, could you leave a comment or email me or talk to me on facebook if you read this blog. If I don't hear from anyone, I'll take it that no one reads this blog and stop writing - I do'nt want to write just for myself. Em, even if you read this - that's enough. Are you reading?? On to more fun stuff - (pictures - tomatoes and chilli peppers!!)

Just like last year, we planted a small vegetable bed this year too. We were away in South America during the start of the planting season and we returned to warm temperatures and tall weeds everywhere. I was constantly obsessing about cleaning the weeds and not hanging out with a friend. So, she suggested that I hire someone to clean up the weeds and use a roto-tiller. 3.5 hours and $50 later, I had one vegetable bed ready for plants and 3 trees that had an area around them ready to have flowers planted in them!! It was exciting and SO worth it!

We bought saplings for tomatoes, peppers (cayenne and bell), cilantro and basil - less than what we had last year. I still have some dried thyme from last year. In the front yard, there's a spot where nothing grows (actually two spots) - lavender that we planted 2 summers ago is thriving (almost weed-like) in one of them and I bought ground cover for the other area. We also planted a blackberry and a raspberry bush last year - they are doing well. Very few fruits, but at least they are still alive!! (pics - raspberries in the bush and in in V's hands)

Exciting things that we have been happening -
-- Little baby green tomatoes in our plants
-- Enjoying cilantro and basil in a lot of the cooking - tastes so good
-- Took some of the compost out of our compost bin (called bio-orb) and added it into a flower bed, making room for more of the dried leaves and green waste to compost
-- Used a mix of cayenne pepper and flour to keep away bugs from the blackberry and raspberry bush. So far so good.
-- Things that have bloomed so far - Peonies, roses, Day-lilies, Clematis (all planted by previous owners), Daisies, Salvia (planted by us). Impatiens and Beagonias (annuals) growing well. Waiting for the Zinnias and Sunflowers to bloom.
-- Ground cover looks like it is taking some root (had to use some bone meal and blood meal to make the soil better - not sure how that goes with my vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, but....)
-- Used lemons to clean the grease on the stove instead of harsh cleaners
-- Using lime/lemon juice and vinegar to clean the mold from the rain flap for our tent

And here are some photos -

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Lentils)

When we lived in Massachusetts, we used to visit Addis Red Sea regularly for their Ethiopian food. Locally, we don't have any Ethiopian restaurants - we occasionally have gone to Chicago or Indy get our fix of Ethiopian food. I cook a variety of 'cuisines' of food, but have never found a recipe for Ethiopian food - till I saw this one. I had all the ingredients listed and I made the lentils one night. Okay, I did not have 'one' ingredient. I used black lentils instead of 'red lentils'. But, I really liked the taste of the resulting lentil dish. I made it with Dosai (a bread-type dish from South India - with fermented rice, dal etc) and with a side of stir fried spiach.

These lentils were pretty versatile - we ate them with rice, yogurt, naan etc too.

Happy 4th to those who celebrate.. and happy Sunday to those who don't!!