Halibut with Fennel and Olives

2 halibut steaks, 16-20 ounces each

For the marinade:

3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 2 preserved lemons
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Handful of basil leaves
A few pinches of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:

3 leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
2 bulbs fennel, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 cup unsalted butter

For the chutney:

3/4 cup finely chopped fennel
8 large green olives, chopped
4 preserved lemon segments, sliced thin
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the marinade ingredients over the fish, and let it sit in the fridge for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium, oven-safe pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the leeks and fennel, cooking them until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook for a few more minutes, until they have softened. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Prepare the chutney by mixing together the olives, preserved lemon, parsley, olive oils, lemons, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat until it’s good and hot, but not smoking. Tip in the marinade from the plate of fish, then add the fish flesh-side down. Cook for 6-8 minutes on each side. Serve over the bed of cooked vegetables and top with chutney.

Crispy Kung Pao Cauliflower

For the Baked Crispy Cauliflower
5 tbsp corn starch or other starch
6 tbsp bread crumbs use gluten-free crumbs to make gf
5 tbsp or more water
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) cayenne use a 1/3 tsp for less heat
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) salt
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) roasted sesame oil
1 tsp oil
1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets

For the Kung Pao sauce:
1 tsp oil
8 to 10 (8 to 10 ) dried red chilies chinese red chilies, or arbol or cayenne, or use california red for less heat
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) coarsely crushed sichuan peppercorns or use a mix of coarsely crushed black pepper and red pepper flakes
2 to 3 tbsp chopped cashews or peanuts
4 to 5 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch ginger minced
2 tbsp scallions chopped

Sauce mix
2.5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari use certified gluten-free sauce to make gf
1.5 to 2 tbsp (1.5 to 1 tbsp) rice vinegar
1 tsp chinese rice wine optional
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup (63 ml) + 2 tbsp water use 1/2 cup for more sauce
1 tsp cornstarch

Chop up the cauliflower and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F / 220ºc. Mix the cornstarch breadcrumbs, and the rest of the ingredients to make a batter. Let the batter sit for 10 seconds to thicken if it isn’t thick. The cornstarch continues to thicken the batter, so as soon as it is a good not too watery consistency, start dipping the cauliflower in the batter, tap to drop excess and place on parchment lined baking sheet. If the batter thickens too much while working, add a tsp or more water and mix in and continue.

Bake for 30 minutes or longer until the florets are cooked through. Check with a toothpick/knife
Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the red chilies and peppercorns and cook until the red chilies are fragrant, but not overly brown, or someone starts sneezing. (For more heat, break some of the chilies into half and add to the skillet.)

Add the nuts and mix for a few seconds. Add the ginger, garlic, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the garlic is golden. 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add in the scallions, and 2 to 3 tbsp finely chopped green peppers or other veggies if using and mix in. Increase heat to medium. Cook for a minute.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and add to the skillet. Continue to cook until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens slightly. 2 mins. Carefully taste and adjust salt, sweet and spice. If the sauce is not hot enough, break a few of the chilies open or add in red pepper flakes to taste and mix in.
Arrange the baked cauliflower in a shallow bowl in one layer. When ready to serve, Drizzle the sauce over each floret. Serve.

To store, store the baked cauliflower and sauce separately. Heat the sauce, pour over the florets. To serve with rice/cooked grains, double the sauce mix and bring to a boil to thicken, toss in the cauliflower and serve immediately over rice.

Chicken Mei Fun

FOR THE RICE NOODLES:

7 ounces dried thin rice vermicelli noodles
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce

FOR THE CHICKEN:

7 ounces chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pinch five spice powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:

2 slices ginger (julienned)
4-5 small shallots (thinly sliced)
1 medium carrot (julienned)
5 oz. cabbage (shredded)
3 scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
2 tablespoons water (optional)

Soak the dried rice noodles as per the instructions on the back of the package. To test whether or not they’ve been soaked enough, take a noodle and chew on it to make sure it’s no longer hard/dry. Drain thoroughly, shaking off the noodles to get rid of excess water.

In a large bowl, mix the rice noodles with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce until evenly coated. Set aside.

Add the chicken to a medium bowl, along with the cornstarch, water, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, five spice, and vegetable oil. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the ginger, shallots, carrot, cabbage, and scallions. Have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Heat your wok over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil, followed by the ginger and chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through. Add the shallots, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the cabbage and carrots, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Season everything with 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Mix well.

Finally, add the prepared rice noodles along with the scallions. Turn the heat down to medium and stir-fry everything together to heat the noodles through and distribute the chicken and vegetables. Salt to taste.

If you like more al dente noodles, you can serve immediately. If you like softer noodles, add 2 tablespoons of water to the wok, cover, and cook for a minute over low heat before serving.

Pad Thai

For the Pad Thai sauce:
1.5 ounces tamarind pulp (plus 1/2 cup boiling water)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce (look for the “Healthy Boy” brand)
1 teaspoon Thai sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces dried Pad Thai rice noodles
8 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup small dried shrimp (minced or processed into a coarse powder)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
2 large shallots (thinly sliced; can substitute red onion)
2 tablespoons preserved Thai salted radish (preferred) or Chinese mustard stem (rinsed in warm water and julienned; optional — preserved salted radish is a product of Thailand; if you can’t find it, zha cai, works well)
3 large eggs (beaten, preferably at room temperature)
2 cups mung bean sprouts (washed and drained)
1 cup Chinese garlic chives (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (finely chopped)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)

First, make the sauce. Take the tamarind pulp (a block about 1 x 2 in (2.5 x 5 cm) and mix it with ½ cup boiling water (you can add a little more if needed to dissolve the paste). Break up the pulp in the hot water, and then press the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer. Discard the solids. To the liquid tamarind concentrate you just made, add the sugar, fish sauce, Thai black soy sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce (if using), and white pepper. Set aside.

Soak the pad thai noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, and drain in a colander. If the noodles are in really long strands, you will want to cut them into 10- to 12-inch lengths to make stir-frying easier.

Marinate the sliced chicken by combining it with 1 teaspoon each of Thai thin soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.

Next, prepare the dried shrimp, mincing them down into a coarse powder (we used a food processor). Prepare the garlic, shallots/red onion, preserved Chinese mustard stems (zha cai), eggs, mung bean sprouts, garlic chives, and peanuts. You want to have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Now you’re ready to cook! Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, and sear until golden and just cooked through. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Over medium heat, add the shrimp powder. Fry until fragrant and crisp, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and zha cai. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Turn the heat up to high, and add the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry to combine, lifting the noodles with your wok spatula to spread them out and break them up.

Make a space on the side of the wok, pushing the noodles to one side. Drizzle 1 more tablespoon of oil in the open space, and pour in the beaten eggs. Use your spatula to fold them gently, scrambling them without breaking up the egg too much. When the eggs are about 70% done, stir-fry to distribute them into the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and the chives. Stir-fry to combine, letting the chives wilt. Add the chicken back in, and stir-fry to combine until everything is incorporated. Plate, top with the

Baked Aloo Gobi

1 small head of cauliflower , 2 heaping cups
2 medium potatoes (yukon gold or white), about 2 cups cubed

Spicing:
1 tsp turmeric , divided
1 tsp ground cumin (1/2 tsp if you dont like cumin)
1 tsp ground coriander , optional, but nice
1/3 tsp (0.33 tsp) cayenne or paprika
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garam masala or curry powder or berbere(1/2 to 1 tsp to preference), or use more of ground cumin and coriander
3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) salt
1 tbsp minced ginger , (1 inch ginger minced)
1 tbsp minced garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp water
1 tsp oil
cilantro and lemon juice for garnish

Other flavor additions:
1/2 tsp amchur(dry mango powder)
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves(kasoori methi)
a good pinch of asafetida (hing)

Chop the cauliflower into small florets and put in a large bowl.

Chop the potatoes into small cubes (less than 1/2 inch) and add to the bowl.

In a small bowl. Mix the 1/2 tsp turmeric and the rest of the ingredients under spicing until well combined. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl and toss to coat.

Alternatively, Add the minced ginger, garlic, oil to the bowl and toss well. Combine the turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, salt in a small bowl, mix well. Sprinkle over the cauliflower, potatoes and toss well.

Let the cauliflower and potatoes sit for a minute.

Sprinkle some more turmeric and mix lightly (optional).

Spread the veggies in a stoneware or ceramic baking dish. Spray oil. See Tips above on how to spread the veggies and pan size to choose.

Bake at 400 deg F (204 C) for 20 mins, then cover with parchment and bake for another 15 mins or until tender to preference. Taste carefully and adjust salt and spice and mix in. garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice.

Variations: Add 1 hot green chili, finely chopped with the ginger and garlic.

Change up the spices, use panch phoron blend instead of garam masala for achari aloo gobi.

Add thawed peas in the last 10 minutes of baking for Aloo Gobi Matar.

Add 1 to 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas to amp up the protein. Increase the spices and salt to preference to accommodate the added chickpea volume.

Add 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds instead of ground cumin

Oilfree: Omit the oil. Cover the Veggies half way through(about 5 mins longer).

Aloo Gobi

2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 2″-long sticks
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced ginger
Pinch of asafetida (optional, but really great)
Pinch of red chili powder
1 tsp. (or more) kosher salt
1 Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss potatoes and cauliflower with 3 Tbsp. oil on prepared sheet. Spread in an even layer and roast, tossing once halfway through, until cauliflower and potatoes are browned and slightly crisped, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high until it begins to shimmer. Add cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn a medium shade of brown, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and swirl in turmeric. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 4–6 minutes. Add ginger, asafetida (if using), and chili powder and cook, stirring, until heated through and well combined, about 1 minute longer.

Stir in roasted potatoes and cauliflower, including any charred bits from the foil, and gently mix (don’t overmix, or the cauliflower will fall apart). Add salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until potatoes and cauliflower are tender (but not soggy!), 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice or salt, if needed.

Transfer potatoes and cauliflower to a platter. Top with cilantro.

Chapli Burgers

FOR BURGERS:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh or dried pomegranate seeds
1 pound ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 medium tomato, finely chopped and drained of juice
1 clove garlic, finely grated or pounded
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 egg
Neutral oil for cooking

TO SERVE:
Burger buns
Iceberg lettuce
Tamarind ketchup (see recipe)
Herbed yogurt (see recipe)
Sliced Persian cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes

Place coriander seeds in a small saucepan, and set over medium heat. Swirling pan, lightly toast seeds for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat, and finely pound in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt (alternatively, use a spice grinder or small food processor). Add pomegranate seeds, and coarsely pound (it’s fine if the inner seed does not break down). Scrape paste into a large mixing bowl.

Add beef, onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, 1/2 jalapeño, pepper flakes, garam masala, cumin, 1/4 cup cilantro, egg and 2 teaspoons salt. Use hands to knead mixture until combined.

Fry a quarter-size piece of the mixture, and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and spices.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide meat mixture onto parchment into 6 balls, and flatten into thin, 4-inch-round patties.

Set a large cast-iron pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When it shimmers, lay three patties into the pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned, then set aside on a plate. Drain grease from pan, and wipe with a paper towel, then cook remaining patties. (Alternatively, grill burgers over high heat for 2 minutes per side until browned.)

Serve immediately on toasted buns with tamarind ketchup, herbed yogurt and other garnishes.

Sheet Pan Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Kale

1 (28-ounce) bag small, multicolored potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package chorizo links, or 4 sausages of any kind
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut potatoes into quarters, place in a large bowl; toss in olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Cut sausages into ½-inch rounds, and place rounds on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until sausages are golden brown. Remove sausage, set aside, and use a spatula to flip potatoes. Return to oven and continue roasting until potatoes are crispy and golden, about 15 more minutes.

While the potatoes roast, prepare the kale: Remove the thick, center rib from kale leaves, and cut the leaves into ¼-inch strips. The easiest way to do this is to stack your de-ribbed kale leaves, then roll the stacked leaves and slice, creating ribbons. Set kale aside.

Prepare your sauce: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and sriracha, and taste. Add more sriracha to your own spice preference and thin with a little water, if necessary, to make it easier to drizzle.

When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, then transfer potatoes to a bowl. Place the kale on the baking sheet and use a pair of tongs to coat the kale ribbons in the oil leftover on the pan from the sausages and potatoes. Once coated, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the apple cider vinegar and continue mixing, using hands to squeeze and massage kale, until fully coated. Spread into an even layer, top with potatoes and sausage pieces, then drizzle with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve.

Khichdi

1/2 cup (92.5 g) long grain white basmati rice
1/2 cup (96 g) quick cooking lentils such as split Red lentils (masoor dal) or (petite yellow lentils) Mung Dal or both
1 tsp oil
1/3 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch (7 g) ginger finely chopped
1 green Chili, chopped serrano or birds eye, or use half a jalapeño
1 bay leaf or 6 curry leaves , optional
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala , optional
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne optional
1 tomato chopped
1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (473.18 ml) water 2.5 for saucier

Wash the lentils and rice then soak in hot water for 15 minutes.

Heat the Instant Pot on saute. Add oil and let it heat up. Add cumin or mustard seeds and cook for half a minute.

Add the onion, chile, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt (and bay leaves or curry leaves) and cook for 2 mins.

Add ginger and spices and mix in.

Add tomato and cook for 3 mins. Mash the larger pieces. Add 2 tbsp water to deglaze mid way.
Drain and add the lentils and rice. Add water, salt, veggies and mix well to pick up any stuck bits.
Close the lid and pressure cook one of the following times. Low pressure for 3 mins for pictured version. High pressure for 3 to 6 minutes for a porridge and if using mung dal. Once the cooking cycle is done, quick release the pressure after 5 mins.

Fold in a few tbsp chopped cilantro and lemon juice to taste and fluff. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.

Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. For brown rice kitchari, try this.

Notes:
To make it in a saucepan: follow steps 1 to 5 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils and rice and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low-medium and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. You can add any blend of veggies! Think carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach. Use any blend you like.

Make sure not to burn the spices or your kitchari will be bitter.

White basmati rice can be substituted for other quick cooking whole grains such as quinoa, and amaranth.

Feel free to play around with the spices and vegetables, according to what you enjoy and what’s in season.

Pan Seared Ranch Chicken

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus more for serving
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, dill and garlic powder; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Transfer half the ranch to a medium bowl.

Pat the chicken dry. If thickness varies greatly, pound to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then transfer the chicken to the medium bowl with the ranch and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. (Let it come to room temperature before cooking.)

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken (with the marinade still on it) until deeply caramelized on the outside, chicken releases from the pan, and its juices run clear, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

If the ranch in the measuring cup is too thick, add a little bit of water to loosen it. (You should be able to drizzle it easily.) Serve chicken with the ranch passed at the table, and more herbs as desired.

Navratan Pulao

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 green cardamoms
4 cloves
1-inch stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes (cut into a fine dice)
2 medium carrots (cut into a fine dice)
2 cups green beans (chopped into small bits)
1/2 small head cauliflower (separated into small florets)
1 cup green peas (frozen)
16 oz baked tofu (use my recipe linked here or use storebought)
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I use almond)
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp golden raisins

Bring a large pot of water to boil, lightly salt it, then add the rice and cook until the rice grains are almost tender but not fully cooked. Drain and set aside.

Mix the saffron with the nondairy milk and set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Stir-fry until the spices release their fragrance and begin to turn color.

Add the potatoes, saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and green beans and saute for a couple of minutes. Add green peas, then add some salt, cover the pot and let the veggies cook over a medium-low flame for about five minutes. Stir a couple of times to ensure they do not stick. You don’t want the veggies to brown.

When the potatoes are almost cooked and the cauliflower is al dente, mix in the rice, tofu cubes and the saffron in milk. Cover and let the rice continue cooking over low heat for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in a small saucepan. Add the cashews and raisins to it, and finally the blanched, sliced almonds. Cook until the nuts are a light gold, then pour over the rice and mix.

Serve hot.

NOTES
To make this recipe soy-free, leave out the tofu.

To make this recipe nut-free, leave out the nuts. You can use apricots or another dry fruit along with the raisins. Also use a nondairy milk that’s nut-free.

Vegetable Tehri

1 1/2 cups basmati rice (covered in water and soaked for at least 30 minutes. Drain before using)
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
4 green cardamom pods (whole)
1 bay leaf
2-inch stick cinnamon
2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
1 green chili pepper (like japeno or serrano. Leave whole with just a slit down the middle, or, for less heat, split into half, deseed, and then use. You can fish out the peppers before serving)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 medium tomatoes (pureed. Or use 1 cup canned tomato puree)
3 medium potatoes (cut in a 1-inch dice)
1 large carrot (cut into chunky 1 1/2 inch slivers)
1/2 head cauliflower (separated into chunky but bite-sized florets)
1 cup green peas (I used frozen, but fresh work too)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
Salt to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the cumin first, then the cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add in the fennel seeds and stir quickly.
Add the onions and saute until they are soft but not brown. You can add a little salt to help this process go faster. Stir in the ginger garlic paste, green chili peppers and turmeric and saute another minute over low heat so the ginger and garlic don’t stick to the bottom.

Add the potatoes to the pot along with the carrots. Add a cup of the water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and let the potatoes and carrots cook about five minutes or until fairly tender but not quite done.

Add the cauliflower and tomato puree and continue cooking the veggies for a couple more minutes. Add the green peas and stir them in.

Add the remaining water or stock, followed by the drained rice, mix everything well and bring it all back to a boil. Once it looks like the rice has absorbed most of the water, give it all a good stir, cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat to low, and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Avoid peeking while the rice is cooking, and let it stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes after cooking. After 10 minutes, open the lid and fluff the grains of rice with a fork before serving.

Coconut Curry

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
3 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 medium potatoes (boiled and diced)
14 oz coconut milk (canned or freshly made are both fine)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (or scallions, for garnish)

Heat the oil. Add cumin seeds and as they start to darken, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute for a couple of minutes until the onions start to soften.

Add the tomatoes, cayenne and turmeric and continue to saute for a few more minutes until the onions are soft and pulpy.

Add the potatoes along with half the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Let the curry cook another minute for the flavors to meld, then turn the heat to low and add the remaining coconut milk. Check for salt. If the curry is too thick for your liking, you can add some water or vegetable stock to thin it out. Turn off the heat as soon as the curry has warmed through but before it returns to a boil.

Garnish, if you like, with cilantro. I love this curry with the carrot rice and a garnish of scallions.

Masala Bhath

2 cups basmati rice (washed under running water or in several changes of water)
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 pods green cardamom (crushed slightly but left whole)
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 large potato (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1 large carrot (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1/2 small head cauliflower (separated into small florets)
1 medium zucchini (cut into 1-inch strips)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional –the goda masala has some heat)
2 tbsp goda masala (you can substitute with garam masala; see my recipe tips above for details on how to do that)
1 heaping tbsp coconut sugar (or jaggery, or regular sugar. Piloncillo, if you have some, is a fine replacement for jaggery)
1/4 cup coconut (grated. I don’t mean the dry shredded coconut you use for baking, but either freshly grated coconut, or grated coconut available in frozen packets. The coconut shreds have to be juicy, not dry)
1/4 cup cilantro (minced)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and saute until the bay leaves start to change color and become lightly golden.

Add the potatoes and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, until the potatoes have a light brown crust.

Add the cauliflower and zucchini and continue sauteeing another couple of minutes.

Add the powdered spices–turmeric, coriander powder, cumin and goda masala–and saute for a minute to coat the spices with the oil and toast them.

Add the washed rice and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque.

Add 4 cups water to the rice, and add enough salt to make the water a bit saltier than you’d like your final dish to be.

Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid. Let the rice cook over medium heat for five minutes, then lower the heat and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, never opening the lid once during cooking.

Turn off the heat and let the rice stand another 10 minutes. Open and sprinkle on the coconut and cilantro.

Serve hot or warm.

Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers
3 tablespoons juice from capers
6 bay leaves
4 whole chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine

Garnish:
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a large mixing bowl (large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces), whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic puree, oregano, and salt and pepper. Mix in prunes, olives, capers, caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken, cover, and marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On 2 rimmed baking sheets, arrange chicken pieces in a single layer; spoon marinade evenly over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Carefully place baking sheets in preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting often. Bake until chicken is done, or an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees.

Transfer chicken pieces to a serving platter then top with prunes, olives, and capers. Spoon pan juices on top. Sprinkle with parsley

Chicken Soup (with Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Variations)

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use regular)
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts- if very large, cut in half)
——–
lemon juice to taste
pinch chili flakes
scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)

Optional: 2-3 cups of cooked grain or starch of your choice like… Quinoa, rice or soba noodles, pasta, rice, 1 can whitebeans.

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15.

Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. If done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.

Squeeze with lemon, taste and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.

Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on it’s own.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha). Or you could add some cooked or leftover rice or quinoa. You could add white beans or cooked pasta.

Or if going low-carb- leave all the starch and grains out keep it simple and keto-friendly. Cauliflower rice would also work well here too!

Notes:

Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

You could ladle it over a mound of rice noodles, then finish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro

Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces) but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separate and ladel the soup overtop cooked noodles. Up to you. Feel free to toss in veggies, kale, spinach, etc.

Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.

For a slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 hours.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin

ingredients

2 medium cauliflower heads (about 10 cups, 20 ounces florets)
2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
——–
2 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 onion, diced or sub 2 fat shallots)
6–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage (or 2 teaspoons dry sage, or sub rosemary or thyme)
Bechamel Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gf flour)
2 cups milk, hot
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is nice)
¼ cup grated gruyere cheese- (or mozzarella -plus 3 Tablespoons for the top)
¼ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino
Optional Additions:

¼ cup crispy bacon bits, or crispy pancetta
¼ cup vegan “bacon bits”
bread crumb topping (see notes)
instructions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Roast the Cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces, toss with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat) salt and pepper and place on one (or two) parchment-lined sheet pans ( in a single layer) and bake until tender and golden, about 20-25 minutes.
Saute the onions: In an extra large skillet saute the onion over med- high heat in olive oil until tender and fragrant, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sage and lower heat to medium and sauté 3-4 minutes, until fragrant, season with salt and pepper. Take your time here and make sure onion and garlic are golden and tender. Set aside.
Make the Bechamel Sauce: In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir until butter just begins to become golden and becomes nutty and fragrant. Add flour. Stir and cook flour for at least 1 minute. Whisk in ½ C hot milk making sure to whisk all the flour from the corners and sides of the pot. Add another ½ C milk, whisking well. Add the final cup of milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and just comes to a simmer. Turn heat to low and whisk in cheese and set aside.
Assemble: Use a greased, oven-proof 10 inch cast iron skillet, 8×11 inch baking dish or greased individual ramekins. Toss the roasted cauliflower with the Bechamel sauce and onions/garlic/ sage mixture. Taste for salt and pepper, adjusting to your liking.
Top with optional bread crumbs (see notes), optional crispy bacon or pancetta (or vegan bacon bits) a few sage leaves or a little more cheese. You could refrigerate this overnight at this point if making ahead (perhaps not in the cast iron). If refrigerating, be sure to bring to room temp before baking.
Lower heat to 375 F and bake uncovered in the oven, until golden and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans (2 1/2 cups dry), soaked 6-12 hours, then drained
1 teaspoon salt
——-
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 dry Mexican Guajillo Chile (optional, see notes), seeds removed, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)

Place pinto beans in a med bowl, and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and let soak overnight – or for a minimum of 6 hours. Drain.

After soaking: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the dried chili, cinnamon stick and all the spices. Saute one minute to toast the spices. Add the water, tomato paste and DRAINED beans. Stir in the 1/2 salt and bring to a rapid boil.

Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer (on low or medium low) and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until beans are tender.

Stir in the tablespoon of Chipotle Adobo Sauce and the vinegar.

Taste, adjusting salt if needed.

Notes:
Feel free to substite 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (chopped) instead of the dried Mexican chili. Or leave out both for a milder version. Or experiment with other dried Mexican chilies taking not of heat level. One Guajillo chili makes this MEDIUM SPICY.

Using the The Adobo sauce from the Canned Chipotle Peppers really elevates and adds a lovely smokiness to the whole dish. Freeze the leftover chipotle chilies (individually) for later use!
You could also use a little smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the spiciness.

INSTANT POT: Cook according to above, using the saute function for sauteeing. Reduce water to 4 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 25 minutes, naturally release. If you’d like to reduce liquid further, cook on saute function for a few minutes until it thickens up.

HAM HOCK: Feel free to add a smoked ham hock to the top of the simmering beans. After it’s tender, shred the meat and stir into the beans.

Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Baked Ginger Tofu

16 ounces tofu- organic, firm or extra firm, non-GMO
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce– or gluten-free Braggs Liquid amino acids ( tamari will be too salty)
1 tablespoon miso (or sub 1 more tablespoon soy sauce)
3–4 slices thin slices ginger- peels ok
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
1–3 teaspoons chili paste (all optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400F

Blot tofu well with paper towels, pressing down gently. Cut into desired shapes (strips, cubes, squares).

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet

Blend marinade ingredients (except sesame seeds) together in a blender until smooth, pour over tofu, coating all sides well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 40-50 minutes, and for extra crispy broil for a few minutes.