Tag Archives: The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook

They can’t all be winners

I love party food. This means chips, pizza, appetizers, and of course desserts. Obviously, I don’t have parties too frequently, and they aren’t necessarily the best for you (by default), so they’re more of a treat than a regular occurrence. But, with a little tweaking they can be healthier, and incorporated into more meals (at least I think so).

Prior to my trip to Trader Joe’s on Saturday, I check out their Fearless Flyer to see what deals they had, and also perused their website where they have just a few favorite recipes listed. I was immediately drawn to the Thai Chicken Pizza recipe, since it seemed so different. I’m always up for pizza, because as one of my fiancé’s teeshirts boasts, pizza is the best!

Unfortunately this pizza wasn’t as good as I had hoped. I think it might have been the peanut satay sauce used solely as the sauce for the pizza – it was a little too much. The cheese, scallions, carrot, and cabbage mix worked nicely, though. I left out the chicken because I forgot to grab the Chickenless Chicken strips I purchased from TJ’s out of my parent’s fridge when I was leaving. Maybe the lack of chicken was the culprit. Oh well, I’m just going to have to make up for it by making some Chickenless Buffalo Chicken Pizza next week.

My other culinary adventure this week, though, turned out to be a success. I made a Smokin’ Hoppin’ John, from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donel. I’ve seen variations of this recipe in quite a few different places, but finally settled on giving this variation a try, mainly because I already had the cookbook out when I was trying to plan our meals for the week.

Since I had the opportunity to throw it all in a pot and let it simmer for 25 minutes, it provided the perfect opportunity for me to fold the laundry pile that continued to grow as the week progressed. I also got to squeeze in a 45 minute yoga practice before starting to cook, and everything was ready in a reasonable amount of time. And I had leftovers… hello lunch!

Smokin’ Hoppin’ John via The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook
– Serves 6 –

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped coarsely
1 cup uncooked medium or long grain rice (I used long)
1/2 Tsp smoked paprika
1 (20-oz) bag frozen black-eyed peas
2-3 cups water or vegetable stock (I used water)
1/4 cup beer you like to drink (optional, but I added it!)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1 Tsp salt or soy sauce (I used smoked salt)
scallions, grape tomatoes, chopped parsley, shredded cheddar, and/or hot sauce as garnishes

Directions:
1. Over medium heat, heat the oil in a large saucepan or heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rice and stir to coat with the aromatics. Allow to toast for 1 minute. Add the smoked paprika and stir to coat.
3. Add the peas, followed by 2 cups of water, the beer (if using), and the chipotle chile. If not using beer, add 1/4 cup of water in it’s place. Bring to a lively simmer, lower heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes without lifting the lid. At 25 minutes, check the rice for both doneness and moisture. The rice and peas should be moist, but not super soupy. If the mixture is too dry, add additional liquid, a few Tbsp at a time (up to 1 cup). Return to the lid and allow to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the salt or soy sauce, stir, and taste, adding more as you see fit.
5. Serve hot with any or all fixins <– I used shredded cheddar, and a chipotle hot sauce

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Filed under Pizza, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Wrap it up

With all of the awesome cookbooks I received for Christmas, they each have had quite a few curry recipes. As you know, I’m trying to expand my curry, and specifically Indian food palate. So, when I saw this West Indian Styled Channa Wrap in my The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel, I couldn’t wait to make it. I was planning to make this on a Thursday night, but per the usual, I didn’t look at the actual recipe instructions, and realized it took about a half hour to simmer. So, I abandoned ship, but came back on Saturday night to try it as I had just a bit more time on my hands.

This was actually the first time working with fresh ginger. My dad doesn’t like the taste of ginger, so growing up it was never included in any meals we had, let alone in the house. So, up until now my ginger relationship has been solely through sushi. As soon as I peeled it and started slicing, I was in love – it just smells so good!

The recipe calls for madras curry, but I don’t have any. I read online somewhere though that you can simply add some red pepper (cayenne) to regular yellow curry instead. This was too boring for me, so I substituted it with garam masala, the mystery spice I found a few months ago after scouring the Asian food market. Aside from cutting the recipe in half (all the ingredients and cook time) and using 10 inch tortillas instead of 8 (we always have 10 inch in the house, since we’re burrito fiends), I followed the recipe.

If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, I would omit the hot pepper suggestion. I added a jalapeno, and let me tell you, it was SPICY! The cookbook itself says it’s a 4 out of 5 on their spicy scale, so keep that in mind. But it wasn’t unbearable, and still really enjoyable. If it winds up being a bit too spicy, try and add a little bit of white sugar. It sounds weird, but I promise it works!

West-Indian Style Channa Wrap – via The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook
– Serves 8 –

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups diced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 chile pepper of choice, seeded
1 (2 x 1-inch) hunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp curry powder (Madras- style)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp salt
2 (15-oz) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 package of 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Directions:
1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chile pepper, and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spices and salt, and stir well. You’ll end up with a paste.
2. Add chickpeas, plus enough water to barely cover (at least 3 cups). Bring to a lively simmer, then lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 50 to 60 minutes. You’re looking for very soft chickpeas with a thick gravy, not soup.
3. Taste for salt and season accordingly.
4. Place a few tablespoons of channa inside  a warmed tortilla. Also great over rice!

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan