recipe

Spice it Up: 2 of my Favorite Indian Dishes!

Who doesn’t love Indian food? With their array of spices and flavors, Indian food is not only super tasty, but those spices do more than just tingle your tongue and excite your taste buds. The spices used in Indian food have many benefits. Here are the benefits of just a few:

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, a natural liver detoxifier, a natural pain killer, speeds up wound healing (hmm maybe that’s why my burn from the other day is almost healed), and has been known to aid with Psoriasis (something I myself have) and other skin conditions.

Cayenne Pepper promotes heart health, supports weight loss, has anti-bacterial properties, stimulates your circulatory system which aids in detox, helps prevent migraines, and aids in digestion.

Curry helps burn fat, boosts immune system, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, increases energy and also aids in blood circulation.

Coriander is a good source of Vitamin C, is high in Iron, has anti-bacterial properties, aids in digestion, contains Calcium, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Manganese and Potassium.

Cumin also contains Iron, Manganese, Calcium and Potassium, helps with weight loss, and also aids in digestion.

My two favorite Indian dishes are Chana Masala and Cabbage Subzi. Both are Vegan dishes and are normally served on Basmati Rice but I substituted that for WIld Rice because it contains protein and is not processed. There are a lot of recipes for these dishes out there, I made them my way.. which is always the fastest and easiest way. I had to take a trip to the local Indian Spice store (which is great because I love supporting local small businesses) and bought myself the ready to go spices. They have already combined most of the spices you need for Chana Masala and other Indian Dishes.

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Chana Masala

– About 2 1/2 Cups Cooked Garbanzo Beans (or 2 cans)
– 2 Medium Tomatoes
– 3-4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Chopped
– 2 Shallots, Peeled and Chopped
– 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
– 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
– 1/4 Teaspoon Tumeric Powder
– 1/2 Teaspoon, Red Chili Flakes
– Juice from half a Lemon or Lime
– 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
– 1 Teaspoon Chana Masala Blend (pictured above)

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Method:

Add tomatoes, garlic, red chili flakes, salt and lemon/lime juice to a blender and blend until liquid or paste. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and then add Garbanzo Beans and tomato sauce/paste. Cook for about 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally. Top with cilantro for garnish and enjoy!

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Cabbage Subzi:

– 2 cups Red Cabbage
– 2 cups White Cabbage
– 1/3 Cup Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
– 5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Minced
– 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
– 1 Teaspoon Salt
– 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
– 1 Teaspoon Kitchen King Spice Blend (pictured above)

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Method:

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add Garlic and reduce heat to medium, let the garlic cook for a bit and then add your cabbage. Cook those together for a minute or two while stirring and add all of your spices and the salt. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and you are all done. Top on your wild rice and enjoy!

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Note: Wild rice requires 4 parts water to 1 part rice, boil the water first, add the rice and let cook for about 45 minutes.

 

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Vegan Taco Boats

Here’s a filling and yummy meal with variety that you can tweak to your own needs and likes. 

This week with my Abundant Harvest Organics delivery we received a type of Japanese lettuce called Komatsuna. This is the first time I had heard of this vegetable and tried it. It turns out that Komatsuna contains calcium, Vitamins and Minerals. I decided it should be eaten raw, as a taco boat. 

Here is what you need:

1 Bunch Komatsuna (or another similar leafy lettuce of your choice)
2 Cans Black beans (or about 3 cups if you are cooking them yourself)
2 Avocados
3 Raw Chopped Jalepenos
2 Chopped Shallots
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Bunch Chopped Cilantro
2 Limes
1 cup Chopped Red Cabbage
1 Cup Chopped Green Cabbage
1 Cup Spinach Leaves
1 Cup Chopped Kale
1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Cup Farro
Salt & Pepper to taste
Crackers or your choice

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So these taco boats include a homemade bean dip and guacamole:

For the bean dip:

Add black beans, cumin, chilli powder, salt, pepper, 1 garlic, half of the chopped Cilantro, 1 Jalepeno, 1 Shallot and juice of one lime to a food processor and blend until smooth. 

For Guacamole:

First cut avocados and place into a medium bowl. Mash the two avocados with a fork just a little bit. Then add the 1 chopped shallot, 2 minced garlic, other half of chopped cilantro, 2 chopped jalapenos to the avocados and mix a little bit with a fork. Finally, add the juice of one lime (or lemon, it honestly tastes the same) salt and pepper to taste and mix one final time to get a tasty and chunky guacamole. 

Farro:

Farro is an ancient grain that has fiber, Protein, Vitamin E, B3,  Zinc, Magnesium and tastes great! In order to get the most benefit from Farro, you should soak it before cooking for optimal absorption of things like Zinc. To cook, you simply add the 1/2 cup Farro to a pan with 1 Cup water and cook on Medium for about 10 minutes.

For the taco boats, just take a Koratsuna leaf and fill it up with the bean dip, guac, kale, spinach, cabbages, farro and enjoy! The cucumbers in the picture were just a side item and the crackers can be used to make sandwiches with all the ingredients as well. 

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Rutabaga

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This was actually the first time I have ever tried raw Swiss Chard and Rutabaga… and I have to say, I loved it! This recipe is my take on a vegetarian wrap, made with a simple and easy cashew cream.

Cashew Cream:

– 1 cup Cashews

– 2 tablespoons Almond Milk 

– 1 Tablespoon juice from a lemon

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method for Cashew Cream:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add Cashews to a glass or heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water on top. Put the lid on and let sit for about 30 minutes. 

Drain the Cashews and transfer to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more almond milk if you would like a thinner consistency. 

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Swiss Chard Wraps:

– 1 bunch Swiss Chard

– 1/2 cup Quinoa (Already cooked)

– 1/2 Cup Lentils (already cooked)

-1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

– 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)

– 1 Rutabaga (peeled and chopped)

– 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds

– 1/4 cup Goat Cheese crumbles

– Coconut Oil

Method:

Saute Rutabaga, Pumpkin Seeds and Garlic together in a pan with Coconut Oil for 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, add Rutabaga mix to Quina, Lentils and tomatoes in a bowl and mix together. Take your Swiss Chard leaves and cut off the stems, carefully cutting the leafy part away from the stem. Add mixture to each leafs center then top with goat cheese and finally the cashew cream. Wrap leaves up and secure with a toothpick. 

NOTE: I usually have Quinoa and Lentils ready to eat but if you have to cook them, it’s very simple. Quinoa is cooked just like rice 1 part Quinoa to 2 parts water, and boil. You can also use a rice cooker. Lentils also just boil on the stove top until tender.

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Take a BIG bite into this healthy dinner and enjoy! Healthy food IS easy and delicious!