Friday, January 20, 2012

Potato, Garbanzo Bean, and Pea Curry

     After a long workday, I knew I needed to make a dinner that was going to be quick and comforting. Growing up in Minnesota, nothing gets more comforting than potatoes (in any way, shape, or form). As my taste buds have blossomed, I've found curries to be just as rewarding. Thankfully, potatoes are something I always have on hand and pair so well with peas and garbanzo beans in Indian curries. The taste is soothing yet spicy and it's creamy with hints of just enough texture.

     This recipe is incredibly low in salt, with the only sources coming from the diced tomatoes and the garbanzo beans. Ask anyone who tries it to see if they miss the salt. My guess is no, proving to be a great option for anyone, especially those following a low salt or heart healthy diet.

Serve with brown rice and you've got spicy comfort served!

Potato, Garbanzo Bean, and Pea Curry...Pressure Cooker Option!

Note: Garam masala is a traditional northern Indian spice blend somewhat similar to curry powder. So, if you don’t have any on hand, double the amount of curry powder.

1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 heaping tablespoon garam masala
1 can (14oz) lite coconut milk
3 large potatoes, sliced and quartered
3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 can (14.5oz) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15oz) no added salt peas, drained

1. In a pressure cooker pot, Saute onion and garlic in dash (less than 1 tablespoon) of vegetable oil. Add cumin seeds and heat until they begin to pop. Add the garam masala and mix together to deepen the flavors.
2. Pour in coconut milk, wash out can with a few tablespoons of water and add into pot. Place potatoes and other spices (cayenne pepper, curry powder, ginger) in pressure cooker.
3. Close and lock lid. Set on high pressure for 2 minutes and allow the pressure to come down naturally or use the quick release method.
4. Add the garbanzo beans, peas, and tomatoes. Heat throughout and serve.

**This can also be made on the stove top by boiling the potatoes first. While the potatoes cook, sauté the onion and garlic. Add the other ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes, adding the potatoes once cooked and drained.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Asian Roasted Tofu and Asparagus

Most of our meals use beans as the main attraction and even though I think various beans can provide variety galore, I decided to bring out the tofu I had in the freezer. Draining the tofu well and then freezing (up to a couple months) creates a chewier texture when cooked. Even if you're not the biggest tofu or vinegar fan, this is a quick mid-week meal that is sure to please!

Asian Roasted Tofu and Asparagus

1 package (14oz) firm/extra firm tofu, drained well
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into about 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup orange juice
olive oil for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Pat tofu dry and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Whisk 1 TBLS miso, 1 TBLS vinegar, and about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add tofu and gently coat well. Feel free to let this mixture sit and marinate up to an hour, or cook immediately depending on your time allowance.
3. Spread the tofu in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and toss gently. Return to the oven and roast for additional 10 minutes, or until the tofu is firm to the touch, or golden brown depending on the type of miso used.
4. Whisk the remaining sauce ingredients (miso, vinegar, basil, orange juice) until smooth. Toss with the tofu and asparagus once removed from the oven. Serve immediately.