Category Archives: Vegetables

Cumin Beets

Cumin Beets

As I have shared in the past, I consider myself to be a pressure cooker and crockpot Queen, in addition to the Arch Duchess of the rice cooker. 

To save time, I am always looking for ways to make fast and easy recipes. 

I was very excited to make this new way to cook beets. It can easily be made in a crockpot, stove top, or in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

Beets, sliced

1 onions, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes, juice included

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Optional: fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley 

Instructions:

Wash and scrub beets. Slice with a food processor. If desired, beets can be peeled or left whole. A longer cooking time will be needed for whole beets.

Saute onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beets, water and canned tomatoes.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 2 minutes and release the pressure. Simmer if needed until done.

In crock pot: place in crockpot and cook on low until done. If a longer cooking time is needed, then leave beets whole, so that they can cook all day.

Stove pot: bring to a boil and let simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning as needed once fully cooked. 

Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley add a special gourmet touch.

 I made this just before Shabbat, so unfortunately I have only one picture.

Freshly made, and without any adornment.

 

This is a fast and easy and super tasty way to cook beets. Everyone loved them, even my husband who is not a fan of cumin.

Enjoy!

 

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Braised Beets Reposted 

My dates on my phone are incorrect, so I am attempting to post this again. Sorry for any confusion.

Adjusting to new circumstances and challenges require perseverance and a sincere resolve to be …

beets,fast and easy,husband,food processor,children and small kitchen approved,side dish

https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/braised-beets/
Enjoy!

Braised Beets


According to Rashi, “all beginnings are difficult.” 

Adjusting to new circumstances and challenges require perseverance and a sincere resolve to be successful.  

In my case, I am still adjusting to my new kitchen.

I used to be able to cook many things quickly as I enjoyed the benefit of 2 ovens. Now, I have only 1 oven, and it recently needed to be repaired too.

So, rather than roasting my vegetables in the oven, I have been experimenting with cooking vegetables on top of stove. I have yet to fully master this technique, but I am happy to say that I am making progress!

Initially, I tried roasting vegetables on top of the stove. The technique behind stove top roasted vegetables is to first brown the vegetables, and then essentially steam them until they are done.  Overall, I was not pleased with the outcome using that method.

Now, I have discovered braising vegetables on top of the stove. This method seems to not only be a time saver, but, the outcome wins the husband and children seal of approval.

In order to cook vegetables on top of the stove, they need to be cut into smaller and more uniform-sized pieces. Since I make a lot of vegetables, I thought I would try slicing them with my food processor and then cooking them. Success!

I went from 2.5 hours to roast beets in the oven to 40 minutes, from start to finish!

I may yet experiment with using a pressure cooker, which could be an even greater time saver. Stay tuned.

I also think the spices could be varied and yield different results that are equally tasty.

Ingredients

Beets, washed and scrubbed

Salt, pepper to taste

Fresh garlic, crushed

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Optional: fresh chopped herbs

Instructions 

 Wash and scrub beets. Slice with food processor. Place beets in a spray oiled pan. Add salt and pepper to taste with a small amount of water. Cook until done. Add crushed garlic and adjust the seasoning. Pour lemon juice and lemon zest over beets while still warm. 

Here are a few pictures:

Sliced with the food processor.

Sliced with the food processor.

 

Final outcome. The beets are seasoned to taste and most of the liquid is absorbed.

 

I am happy because I have maximum taste with minimal time. 

Everyone else is happy because they taste as good as roasted. 

Plus, this is even small kitchen approved. A win-win overall!

We are all happy!

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon — Joint Post

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon

The blogging world has opened up so many new culinary opportunities.

The beauty of blogging is that I get to virtually visit the kitchens of people all over the world and then adapt the recipes to suite my family’s taste. Hence, I recently posted a recipe which I called Lentils Napoleon. Here is the link: https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/lentils-napoleon/

I adapted the recipe based on The Eggplant Napoleon recipe posted by Dolly, who is behind the apron of koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com.

Here is the link to her wonderful blog: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

Here is the link for her post on Eggplant Napoleon:

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/eggplant-napoleon/

However, I must apologize for an inadvertent culinary faux pas: Lentils Napoleon is really a misnomer.

Through this joint post, I have learned that my lentil dish should have been named Lentils with Cumin and Sumac.

And, how did I learn this?

Because Dolly, who is a dedicated teacher, kindly reminded me that “Napoleon” really refers to anything baked in thin layers interspersed with something creamy.

My lentil dish was certainly not that. I simply liked the spices she used and thought I would use lentils instead.

BUT, my malapropism has led to this current hands-on learning experience.  Dolly is a genuine educator: she suggested that we do a joint post on a “real” Lentils Napoleon.

Our goal is to post as simultaneously as possible both of our recipes, using the culinary concept of layering vegetables interspersed with something creamy, the real culinary definition of Napoleon-style dishes.

Here is the link to Dolly’s post on Beets and Beans Napoleon. I am sorry but I don’t know how to make a short link:

Beets and Beans Napoleon – koolkosherkitchen

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/beets-and-beans-napoleon/

For me, this has been a real opportunity to see how unique we all are.  We infuse our own special spark into everything we do.

Our own special spark

Raizel’s painting from camp.

Based on a more careful reading of Dolly’s post, and some online research, I discovered that Wolfgang Puck, the original creator of Beets Napoleon, used goat cheese between layers of beets.

For this post, I decided to use thinly sliced zucchini between a tofu-lentil creamy layer.  I thought that tofu, with a dash of vinegar, would recreate a more goat cheese-like texture. In addition, I had run out of lentils, and I didn’t feel like shopping for more.

Raizel was my hands-on helper in this activity. She came home from camp this week, and was very excited when I suggested we make this dish for our joint post.

Raizel helped with the actual cooking, and she also took some of the photos. Raizel has a unique gift for coming up with recipes that are often quite good. But, photography is one of her passions; and of course, she loved using my phone as a camera!

Lentil-Tofu Napoleon

Ingredients:

For Tofu-Lentil Layer:

1 lbs. firm tofu

Spice mix:

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1-2 teaspoons garlic power

1 teaspoon pepper, and cumin

½ teaspoon coriander, and sumac

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Optional: fresh cilantro

Optional: Leftover Napoleon Lentils

Vinegar to taste, in order to get a slightly tangy taste for the tofu. I used red wine vinegar, but I think that apple cider vinegar would be good too.

Vegetable Layer:

3 Zucchini, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Lentil Tofu Creamy layer: Slice the tofu about 5 mm thick and sprinkle spices on top. Spray oil grill, and cook the tofu until done.

I took the leftover lentils from when I first posted the recipe and pureed it together with the tofu and added the vinegar.

The vinegar gives it a nice tang and a creamy texture.

Then I adjusted the seasoning.

Raizel said, “It looks terrible but it tastes great.”

Vegetable layer: Slice the zucchini is thin slices. I have a wonderful compact grater/slicer that I used. It is very sharp and is able to slice 2 different thickness. It also has 3 blades for various grating. Raizel actually sliced the zucchini and she did it very well!

Sauté zucchini in pan, sprayed with olive oil. Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Layer zucchini in a small, lightly oiled dish. Next add layer of tofu-lentils, and continuing layering until near the top. Top layer should be of zucchini.

Bake covered for 20 minutes or until cooked.

I made this in individual servings. I think that it could be made in a larger pan, and then sliced when cooked. However, it might be difficult to  maintain the desired layered look. Wolfgang Puck, I believe, used a cookie cutter to get a uniform and attractive serving portion.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Here are the pictures. Since I made it with Raizel and she likes photography, we took quite a few.

 

Tofu marinating with the spices.

Raizel slicing the zucchini. Go Raizel!

Sauteing the zucchini.

Raizel placing the tofu on the grill.

Raizel cooked the tofu by herself!

Pureeing the tofu

Ready to cook!

Voila! The final product!

 

The verdict:  The recipe objectively came out great. However, subjectively, is was not well received.

After it was so beautifully prepared, my husband reminded me that he does not like anything creamy. Raizel, who was very excited and very enthusiastic during the whole process, also didn’t eat it. Despite her protestations, Raizel does not like anything creamy either.

In the end, I was the only one who ate it. I thought it tasted great.

I also ate the leftover tofu “cream” during the week, as a spread on rice cakes.

Overall, I would say that this recipe is delicious, but for someone else’s family.

What did I learn?

I have my own song in the kitchen. 

Everyone has their own song.

For my family, simple is best.

Finally, I had lots of fun discussing and planning this with Dolly. We had a bonding experience!Thank you Dolly!

 

 

Gazpacho Soup

Today, I had a wonderful group with my patients.

Sometimes, when I run a group, I ask patients to introduce themselves with the following questions: “what do you love to do?” Or, “what do you do that makes you lose track of time?”

Surprisingly, such a simple question generates a lot of discussion. It engenders positive feelings of well-being and it is an opportunity for patients to share with each other their passions in life.

One patient, Henri, (I wrote about him in The Birthday Party https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/the-birthday-party/) shared in an earlier group that he loves to garden and he even grows his own vegetables.

Today, he surprised us. He brought in his first crop of tomatoes. With such luscious tomatoes, I decided to make gazpacho soup.

I have not made gazpacho soup in years. I forgot how great it is.

This recipe comes from my Aunt Perel (A”H). Aunt Perel was a fabulous cook! I think of her often, especially when I cook.

Cooking was Aunt Perel’s passion in life. She could quote the source and the originator of a particular recipe the way other people discuss academic research.

This soup is particularly great when using fresh, ripe tomatoes. It feels like eating salad in a bowl.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs ripe tomatoes

3/4 cup onions

1 cucumber, peeled

1 small green pepper

1-2 garlic cloves

1.5 teaspoons salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup olive oil (can add up to 1/3 cup, but my family does not like things with too much oil)

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

Optional: 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs, or serve with croutons

Instructions

Place ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Adjust seasoning. Serve chilled.

tomatoes shared during our group

voila! final product

I must say, this soup surpassed my wildest expectations!

My husband loved it! He said, “this is fantastic! I don’t even like gazpacho….. Can I have some more?”

A true vote of confidence!

Many blessings to Aunt Perel (A”H) for sharing her wonderful recipes and culinary expertise.

 

Grilled Zucchini 

I am still adjusting to my new kitchen and appliances. I find that my new microwave and oven cook differently. 

However, I am happy to say that my new stove has a wonderful feature that I am really enjoying.

It has a cast iron grill as a center burner. The flame is longer than a regular burner. Now, I can grill or cook over a larger surface, and use less oil. It’s like having a built in frying pan, only better.

So, tonight I made grilled zucchini. It was fast, easy, low fat and delicious!

Ingredients 

Zucchinis, sliced diagonally 

Spray oil.

Instructions 

Spray oil grill. Cook zucchini until done as desired.

Here are the pictures:

lay zucchini slices on grill, without crowding

turn over to cook on other side when done.

final product– grilled & yummy!

Everyone loved them! My husband said, “these are great!”

Yaffa, who loves zucchini, specifically asked to take them for lunch the next day. She said, “they’re my favorite!”

Fast, easy and very little to clean. Less storage space required too!

Pan Roasted Green Beans

In our last house, I enjoyed the use of 2 fabulous fridges and 2 great ovens. 

In this house, I do not have that same luxury. 

So, unfortunately, some of my green beans froze in the fridge. In order to rescue the green beans, I pan roasted rather than steaming them. 

This is made similar to the cauliflower, that I already posted.  

I find pan roasting even more flavorful than steaming and something a little different. 

It was fast and easy and only required one pan to clean. 

Ingredients 

Green beans, trimmed  

Salt, pepper and fresh minced or crushed garlic 

Optional tamari or soy sauce. I did not use this in order to keep the sodium level lower.

Instructions 

Spray oil the pan and add the green beans. Sauté until beginning to soften. Then, add salt and pepper to taste. 

Begin cooking with a medium to high heat. Then, add water as necessary to avoid burning the green beans and garlic.

If desired, add soy sauce, tamari and crushed fresh garlic. Sauté until desired texture. 

beginning to cook, before adding garlic and water

near the end of cooking, adjusting spices and texture

It came out great! No one noticed that some of the beans had been frozen. 

Simple, fast and easy.

Enjoy!