Monday, September 17, 2012

Mexi-Indian Black Beans

First of all, I'm so so so so delayed with this update! I totally broke my own rule of posting once a week. With good reason though! In the past few weeks, I left my family's house in California, spent a few days in Chicago, a few more in the gorgeous South Haven, and moved to Ann Arbor! After a week of hotel living, another of living with our stuff on a moving truck and then finally unpacking, I'm happy to report I have a kitchen again.

But even though I have a new kitchen, I also now have piles of reading staring me in the face. Gone are the days of running over to Whole Foods after work and piecing together elaborate it's time for LAW SCHOOL SURJ! But even a 1L's got to eat...

This is one of my favorite quick and easy recipes. It's nutritious and packs a protein punch. The mix of Mexican flavors and Indian flavors constantly surprise and one giant pot of these beans will feed a hungry student for a while. Unlike law professors, it's forgiving and you can easily omit or add your own favorite ingredients. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Honey Ginger Goat Cheese Ice-cream

One spring day, I announced to my boyfriend that I was thinking of making a honey ginger ice-cream. "Honey sounds good," he said, "and ginger sounds good, but together?"

Well...I wasn't done listing my ingredients yet. When I told him the third ingredient was goat cheese he asked me if I really wanted to serve that at an upcoming dinner.

Poor skeptical boyfriend. The next evening when this ice-cream was presented, he swore he'd never question my flavor profiles again.

But the real test was making this ice-cream for my parents. My parents embrace piles of spices, fish head curries, and goat stews but the sight of cheese gives them pause. So I decided not to tell them exactly what was going into this frozen dessert.

My dad, the most cautious eater of all, got the first taste. Swishing the first spoonful around in his mouth, he proclaimed it good. Not just good, beautiful.

"So, did you know there's goat cheese in it?" I asked.

Silence. Not because he didn't like it, but because he was too busy finishing his bowlful. 

There you have it folks, boyfriend tested but Indian parent approved. 

This ice-cream is processed sugar free and SCD-legal (for those of you concerned with inflammatory diets) and the ginger and goat cheese flavors balance each other perfectly. The bite of the ginger is mellowed by the goat cheese and instead of a zing from either, you get a smooth custardy taste.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Indian Spinach Soup

 A few days ago my mother had her wisdom teeth taken out. You know she's my mother because she got to hold on to her wisdom this long. I had mine out ages ago. Now, at least we're both dunces. Anyway, I digress. My mother was now less wise but also more squirrel cheeked. I decided it was time to be uncharacteristically nice and offered to make her soup.

My mother accepted the offer and immediately wanted to know what kind of soup. I decided on this spinach shorba, a fragrant and light Indian soup.

Now my mother grew up in India and is a fabulous Indian cook but when she heard of this soup, made with a spiced vegetable stock, she insisted it couldn't be really Indian. That's when wikipedia came in and a quick search of "shorba" proved this dish's origins. I'm kind of a food history/anthropology nut so I found it fascinating as well.

When most people (well, most non-Indian people) think of Indian food, they think spicy and fiery curries that leave one gulping water. Well, did you know that chilis didn't enter the Indian palate until well after the 1500s? Neither did tomatoes, potatoes or a whole host of other ingredients. European conquests did some terrible things for humanity, but it did spread a ton of different food stuffs around the globe.

The origins of this dish, and many other chili-less Indian foods, predates Columbus. Mughal emperors of Northern India brought chorba with them from Persian trade routes and would sip bowls of this delicate aromatic broth in their palatial surroundings.

So from the courts to the common kitchen, this soup continues to delight. It takes about 10 minutes to prep, another 20 to cook and can be served warm (which is how I like it) or chilled. Naturally vegan, it can be made glutenous or gluten-free. Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Almond Flour Mini-Muffins with Honey Ricotta spread

Contrary to what these last two posts suggest, I never thought of myself as a baker. That title always went to my sister who would conjure up cakes and cookies while I stared, baffled, at recipes that wanted me to sift, fold, and mix but not overmix.

When I began cooking with my boyfriend, who is gluten intolerant, I thought baking and I would never meet again. We had a gluten-free cookbook but the ingredients lists (potato flour! tapioca flour! xanathan gum!) and complicated measures (3/8s? 5/16ths?) had me running for the hills.

It all changed when I discovered Roost and first heard of almond flour. After scouring the internets and reading testimonies of its ease of use and light taste, I decided to try it. It was love at first mix.

Seriously, these low-carb (really, almost no carb) muffins are so wonderfully easy, forgiving and completely guilt free. You can add almost any flavoring to the mix (I've made it with vanilla, lavender, even cheddar!) and pile on any of your favorite spreads. Really, these are the PERFECT afternoon jam vehicle. Boyfriend's gluten intolerance or not, I throw these together any time I need an excuse to dig into some new jar of jam.

I made mine small and snack sized, but if you increase the amount of batter, you can have regular muffin sized ones too! Even all y'all gluten eaters should give this baby a try!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Orange Chocolate Almond Flour Cake

"Mishti mukh karo"  or "have something sweet"...

In India, where my family comes from, every occasion is celebrated with something sweet. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions- you name it. Beginnings are no different. So, to keep with tradition, my first post on this blog features something sweet. As some of you know, I haven't had a great track record with keeping blogs alive...but then again, none of them had such sweet starts.

This chocolate cake is one of my absolute favorites. This, along with it's cousin the flourless chocolate cake, is my go to dessert. It's easy, it's gluten free, processed sugar free, and it's a total crowd pleaser. Rich enough to have as dessert but simple enough to enjoy with a cup of really don't need an excuse to whip this thing up. Recipe below the break!