1 can chickpeas
1 cup red lentils
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
Spices: whatever you like! I put in cumin and garam masala cuz I like them
To make: cook the lentils (on medium heat) in 3 cups of water, for about 5 minutes. Pour through a strainer and pour into a bowl. Add the drained can of chickpeas, and mash them all together until mostly smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix them all up very well. Taste. Add more of whatever you want (salt, pepper, red pepper, Indian spices, Mexican spices, hot sauce, mustard, whatever. It’s your food!) When cooled, grab a handful and shape into a flat burger and fry in oil or butter or ghee until browned. Serve on a roll. Enjoy!
Italian Chicken Thighs
4 chicken thighs
1 cup bread crumbs, plain or seasoned
salt and pepper
i clove garlic
Italian spices like basil, oregano, red pepper flakes.
To make: in a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and spices. One by one, put the thighs into the bowl of breadcrumbs, and roll over. Pat the crumbs into the chicken with your hands to make sure the chicken is coated.
Sprinkle a small amount of the remaining breadcrumb mixture into a baking dish. Place the chicken pieces on top. Drizzle with a little oil (I like olive oil). Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Good with rice, potatoes or pasta.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Style Pork Chops
2 pork chops
In a small bowl add the hoisin sauce, the ginger (cut into tiny pieces or grated on a cheese grater), a splash of the oil and a splash of the soy sauce. If you like food more salty, splash in more soy. I love hoisin, so that’s the flavor I want to accentuate.
Preheat your oven to 350 and place the chops on a baking pan. Coat them with the sauce, and pop them in there! I baked them until they are sizzling and the fat on the edges is turning brown (20-30 minutes; depends on the size and thickness).
Butternut Squash Soup
A butternut squash
An apple or two
small white or yellow onion
milk or cream
optional: dried or fresh sage, powdered cloves
Cut the squash and apples into pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they’ll cook. If you like to work hard, you can peel the squash before you cook it. If you’re as lazy as I am, you can put the pieces in the microwave, covered, for about 3-4 minutes. The squash shouldn’t be totally soft, but it should be just soft enough so that the skin can be peeled easily once it has cooled.
Cook the minced onion (and ginger if you’re using it) in oil until just soft. Add the squash and cut up apples. Cover with water (or veggie stock if you have any. I used water.) Add salt and stir. Cover and simmer on low, stirring every once in a while.
Once the squash is soft (poke it with a fork to see), add any of the spices that you want. If you use sage, the flavor is more savory and fresh. If you want a warmer flavor, add cinnamon and a dash of clove. Cook for a few more minutes. Take off heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
If you happen to have a fancy “immersion blender”, you can use it to puree the soup. Since I don’t, I just used my potato masher and mashed it all right in the pot.
Return the soup to the stove and stir in a pat of butter, add more salt if needed, then stir in about a cup of milk or cream or yogurt. Serve it when it’s hot!
4-6 tomatoes OR one large can of ground peeled tomatoes
Tomato paste (about 3 tbs)
One small white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
salt, black pepper
Crushed red pepper, basil, oregano, fennel seeds, 2 large bay leaves
Red wine (about 1/2 cup any robust red wine)
Step one: mice or crush the garlic. Mince the onion. Sautee both in about 3 tbs olive oil, on low heat. Stir often so that they don’t burn or brown. Add the broken bay leaves when the vegetables begin to soften.
Meanwhile, slice up the tomatoes (or open your cans!). When the onions are soft and translucent, add the tomatoes and all of the spices except for the basil. (If you are using dried basil, you can rehydrate it in water or olive oil while the sauce cooks to enhance the flavor).
Because we didn’t peel the tomatoes, you will start to see bits of tomato skin rising to the top of the sauce. It is very easy to lift them out with a slotted spoon or a fork. That’s all I do; I don’t worry about missing any bits!
Simmer on low, stirring once in a while to keep the flavors mixed and prevent scorching. After about 2 hours of simmering, taste and adjust salt/pepper/red pepper. Sprinkle with basil, then add wine. Simmer another half hour or so.
Crispy Sesame Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
cup corn starch
peanut oil (about 1/4 cup)
candied or fresh ginger
(green beans or another vegetable)
Dried Asian noodles or white rice
Place tofu in a colander in the sink with a small plate on top. Put a pot of water on top of the plate to press down on the tofu. Let it drain for about 2 hours to get out as much moisture as possible.
Slice tofu into cubes and place in a bowl filled with half of the corn starch. Pour the rest of the corn starch on top and toss gently to coat each piece.
Meanwhile, in a skillet or wok, place the peanut oil and ginger (you can also add garlic here if you like). Heat until the ginger starts to sizzle. Place the tofu cubes into the skillet and cook each side for about 3 minutes or until beginning to brown. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil over it as the last side is cooking. (You can add hoisin sauce, or soy sauce here, or mirin).
When the tofu is almost crisp, toss in your veggie. I had a bag of cooked green beans in the fridge, so I just cut some up and put them in. You can use corn, sliced carrots, pea pods, whatever you like. I would boil them for a couple of minutes first, so that they cook through without burning the tofu.
Serve over boiled noodles or white rice. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and bit of sesame oil on top, as well as some grated ginger.