Curried Noodles with Vegetables

By Ira,

This meal comes together very quickly. Once you prepare the vegetables, you can stir-fry them, then add the noodles and the spices, and it’s done.

  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or grapeseed oil, separated
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 8oz package shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 9-ounce package fresh Chinese noodles or 8-ounces dried linguine
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add the noodles and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until they are al-dente, about 3 minutes if you’re using the fresh noodles. Drain, rinse it with cold water, add the sesame oil, and stir it gently. Set it aside.

In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, followed by the onion and carrot.

Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the green and red bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set it aside.

To the same now empty pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, then the shiitake mushrooms and garlic.

Cook while stirring occasionally for a few minutes.

Add the cooked vegetables to the wok, followed by the noodles, curry powder, turmeric, stock, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (amount varies according to how spicy you like your noodles), soy sauce. Stir gently to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add salt accordingly.

Top with the cashews and green onions and serve.

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Goat Cheese and Balsamic Onion Phyllo Pouches

by Jennifer

This recipe is adapted from one on Food.com.  Take advantage of the long, slow cooking time for the onions to multi-task;  after the onions are finished, this appetizer comes together quickly and easily, and is fantastic.  Though I don’t have photos, I used some of the extra phyllo dough to make pesto “cigars”:  brush olive oil over 4 layers of phyllo dough (one on top on another);  cut in half lengthwise;  spread pesto over both halves, leaving a little margin all around;  roll up lengthwise, then cut each roll crosswise into 4 equal pieces;  transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil, then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.  These, too, were delicious.

  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-large Vidalia onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 phyllo sheets (thawed)
  • butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.

Add onions and cook over medium-low heat until

very soft and caramel-colored, about 30 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and honey and cook for another 20 minutes,

or until the mixture is thick and syrupy.  Remove from heat and stir in thyme.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a sheet of phyllo dough with cooking spray;  repeat with remaining three sheets, one on top of another.

Cut stack of phyllo into 6 equal pieces.  Divide onion filing among pieces,

then top with cheese.

Bring corners up and twist together to form a pouch;  transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and coat with spray.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until lightly golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza; Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts

by Jennifer

Saute the fennel and onion first, then set aside, wash out the pan, and use it to cook the asparagus.  While the fennel and onion are cooking, roll out the dough, chop the olives and hazelnuts, and whisk the dressing.  The asparagus can be served warm or at room temperature.  Serves 4.

Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza – adapted from Cooking Light

  • about 1 lb. pizza dough (I used the grilled pizza dough recipe;  remember you can make it up to 2 days in advance)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 medium bulbs fennel, cores removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup bottled pizza sauce or marinara sauce
  • generous 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • cornmeal for pizza paddle

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the fennel through pepper and cook, stirring frequently,

until browned and tender, about 15 minutes.  Prepare grill.

Roll out dough to a (roughly) 14” circle;  transfer it to a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle (or rimless baking sheet).

Slide dough onto grill and grill for about 3 minutes, or

until distinct grill marks appear on the bottom and the top is all puffed.  Slide the crust back onto the paddle and turn it over so the grilled side is up.

Spread the sauce over the crust, leaving about an inch border all around.

Spread the fennel-onion mixture over the sauce.

Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture,

then scatter the olives.

Return to the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the asparagus in a wide saucepan of boiling, salted water for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain asparagus and arrange on a platter.

While the asparagus is cooking, whisk together the zest through pepper.  Drizzle dressing over asparagus, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts.

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

By Jennifer

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

I suggest doubling the dal and freezing half for another night.  To make the most of your time, start the rice first;  get the dal cooking;  preheat the oven;  char the onions;  and about halfway through the dal cooking time, put the cauliflower in the oven.

Serves 4 adults.

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions – adapted from Cooking Light

Red lentil dal

  • 1 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and then cut into 1/4” thick slices
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 TBS minced peeled fresh ginger (from 2” piece of ginger)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 a lime

Spices to roast in pan

In a small saucepan, heat the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and clove over medium heat until fragrant.

Spices, roasted, ready to grind

In a clean coffee or spice grinder, combine the seeds and the remaining spices (coriander through cardamom)

and pulse until ground.

Garlic and ginger in the pot (I am doubling the recipe)

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Adding spices

Add the spices to the pot and stir for a minute.

Adding red lentils

Add the lentils, broth and tomatoes with their juice.  Bring to a boil;  cover and lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tsp. of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Sliced onions in pan

Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,

Onions, charred

until they are charred (blackened, but not super burnt).

Let cool, then transfer them to a cutting board and chop.

When the dal is finished cooking, add the onions, cilantro and lime juice.  Serve over basmati rice.

Red lentil dal

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • sea salt

Cauliflower, ready to roast

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss the cauliflower and olive oil together on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast until the cauliflower is tender and slightly browned, stirring once, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Cauliflower, roasted