October 26, 2010

Mexican Rice, Spiced Black Beans, and Turmeric Corn

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I really liked how simple each of these dishes are to make. If I was just making one of them, it would almost be too easy! When all three are going though, there's a lot to be done.


They're great dishes. The beauty is that each could be a side to something bigger, say enchiladas or chilaquiles. Or each could be combined with the others and then you'd have a fantastically healthy Mexican meal on your hands. You gotta love the power of beans and rice and veggies. Enjoy!

Mexican Rice, Spiced Black Beans, and Turmeric Corn

Yield: Serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • Mexican Rice

  • 1 cup white rice (long grain, if possible)
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can tomatoes, drained (or tomato juice)
  • oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water (none if using tomato juice, unless necessary at the end)

  • Spiced Black Beans

  • 16 oz bag dried black beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • black pepper, to taste

  • Turmeric Corn

  • 1 can corn
  • 1/5 pack assorted frozen veggies (peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • splash lemon juice
  • water
Cooking Directions
  1. Mexican Rice
  2. In a pan, toast the rice on medium heat until brown (but not burnt!) with the minimal amount of oil. Stir frequently!
  3. Just before it's done, toss in the onion and garlic for one to two minutes.
  4. Add everything else in the pan and stir to incorporate.
  5. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  6. Spiced Black Beans
  7. Prepare beans as directed, sifting to ensure that there are no rocks.
  8. Toss in the seasonings (except the black pepper) and cook.
  9. Add black pepper when finished cooking, if desired.

  10. Turmeric Corn
  11. Drain 1 can of corn and heat in a pan with the frozen veggies.
  12. Add the turmeric, lemon juice, and any water as needed until thoroughly heated.

October 22, 2010

Spicy Sweet Potato and Winter Squash with Tempeh Stew

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Sometimes you just throw together some crazy stuff and it fortunately happens to turn out all right. Thank goodness this was one of those times!

I was a little worried about adding the tempeh in, but hey, it worked.


The nice thing about this is that it can be savory or sweet. You get to decide. I love that. Either way, it's fantastic. Plus, the addition of yogurt makes it nice and creamy, like I know everyone likes their root stews. Enjoy!

October 18, 2010

Chilaquiles with Mole

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Now if you thought the title was referring to mole, the little blind animal who burrows underground, you'd be completely wrong (gross!). If you thought it was referring to mole sauce, one of the most awesome-est sauces in the world, you're spot on! Well done, you.

For those unaware, chilaquiles are hardened tortillas (toasted or fried) with a sauce (typically salsa roja or salsa verde) with various toppings. Some common toppings include eggs, chicken, jalapenos, cheese, beans, etc. It is typically eaten for breakfast, and it's a traditional Mexican cure for hangovers (supposedly because of the spiciness). How's that for a reason to get smashed?

Today, we used the less common mole sauce. Mmm! We also used egg, chicken, olives, homemade salsa, and nopalitos (cactus).

Mole is like a really excellently spiced thick peanut butter. It's usually thinned out by adding water or stock. It packs a flavor punch to anything it touches. More on assembling your future chilaquiles below. Enjoy!

October 14, 2010

Porkchops a la Necessity

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Sometimes we cook out of necessity, right? I mean we're hungry (starving, even), and it might seem like a better idea to order out. But there's that leftover onion or tomato or pork in the fridge that you know needs to be eaten. Hence, Porkchops a la Necessity was born!


A potent combination of pork and spices, simmered together with potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Sometimes necessity works! It being the mother of invention and all. Enjoy!

October 10, 2010

Gyoza

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Have you ever made gyoza before? Or any other kind of dumpling/potsticker/bun? I made some BBQ Pork Buns a long time ago, and the cooking of them is quite similar (though these are nothing like them in the end).

So simple, so tasty. Why bother buying them frozen at the store again? Never again, I say!


The beauty is that the filling can be done with just about anything. Go vegetarian instead of pork. Use the same hoisin chicken that we used here. All you need is a little imagination, and sky's the limit.

I even included the recipe for the gyoza dipping sauce. Aww, how nice of me. Enjoy!

October 05, 2010

Oyako Donburi

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This is without a doubt the absolute best Oyako Donburi I've ever had. Before, it was this little place in Berkeley. Now this one takes the cake. An amazing blend of chicken, egg, and veggies (primarily onions). Fun fact: oyako means mother and child. Hence the main ingredients, chicken and egg.


A couple notes: you can definitely take out the sugar. We left it in and I'm sure it tastes more authentic like that, but it's not needed. You can cut the oil in half as well without any problems. If you're worried about the sodium content, don't add the salt either because that can always be added on top. The type of rice (Japanese) really does make a difference, but of course, it can be done with any kind of rice.

Feel free to experiment by using different mushrooms or adding other veggies like bean sprouts, etc. Enjoy!


Oyako Donburi

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • eggs, beaten
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken strips and onion until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off as much liquid as possible.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrot, and let simmer for a few minutes before stirring in the sugar, soy sauce and salt. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in half of the green onions, stirring gently. Pour beaten eggs over the chicken mixture, and simmer until the eggs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve over Japanese sticky rice. (Important if you want it to be absolutely perfect.)