potato coconut curry

Within the past year, I have developed a serious liking for Indian food but I have never really attempted to make it at home. Until last week. There are a few potato curry recipes that I have pinned, but I always seem to be missing at least one ingredient. So, I came up with my own recipe. I would say it is far from anything authentic, but it certainly took care of my Indian food craving 🙂

Potato Coconut Curry

  • 1 tsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 4 small red potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt + pepper
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Toss potatoes with salt and pepper, then add to pan and cook until browned and slightly softened – about 10 minutes.
  2. Add onion + garlic and cook 1 -2 minutes before adding chickpeas, tomatoes, and coconut milk.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and stir in spices.
  4. Simmer, uncovered, 20-25 minutes until sauce is thickened and potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in peas and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until peas are heated through.
  6. Serve over rice – I cooked mine with some of the extra coconut milk!

This is great as leftovers too! I was eating it cold out of the fridge while I waited for my pan to heat up 🙂 I like that the sauce thickened up in the fridge, but since I had some coconut milk left, I went ahead and added some I heated the leftovers to create more sauce.

Garam masala is just a mix of several spices including coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. If you don’t have any, you could definitely just throw in some of these spices or add more curry powder.

For an update from my hotel grocery experience, here is a Chipotle-style burrito bowl that I created in my room Friday night.

Never mind that I ate the same thing for lunch Saturday on the way to the meet…and that I was tempted into going to Chipotle when we stopped for dinner Saturday night, where I got pretty much the same thing again. Black beans + guac never gets old.

 

 

broccoli alert

There have been so many new things going on in my kitchen, I don’t know where to start! First of all – have you ever tried Pepperplate?! Ummm…best app ever. I was looking for some kind of grocery shopping/recipe app and this was the first one I came across. I wanted one to help me actually buy ingredients so I could try new recipes instead of just looking at them and then never making them or forgetting one or two things. I couldn’t tell if it was legit or not but I downloaded it anyway and I love it!

On my computer, I have a little button on my bookmark toolbar that allows me to input recipes straight from websites. I mean, I don’t even have to copy and paste. All you do is hit the button and a side bar comes up, then you can just DRAG the info into the correct field (ingredients, instructions, picture, etc.). You can then add saved recipes to the different days/meals on your monthly planner, build menus, or even add to a shopping list – you can even scale the recipe (1/2, 1/4, double, etc.) BEFORE adding it to your list! It gets better. I have the app on my phone and my Kindle too, so I can see the shopping list (or even full recipes, if needed) while I’m at the store and I can prop my Kindle up in the kitchen with the recipe pulled up while I cook! The system was truly put to the test for the first time tonight and it was great!

Last week I selected this garbanzo bean salad that met all of my criteria for a good recipe – delicious, nutritious, easy, and nothing really crazy that I wouldn’t have on hand or wouldn’t be able to use for something else. Little stuff like specific oils, spices, etc. can really add up and just aren’t practical on my little college student grocery budget!

Oh my goodness gracious was this ever delicious. And filling! I cooked up some fluffy millet to go underneath and I already can’t wait to take care of the leftovers.

I also got a new cookbook last week – the Joy the Baker cookbook to be exact! Joy’s blog is one of my absolute favorites to read because she is so funny and real…and her food is AWESOME. I can’t even tell you how many of her recipes I’ve made and gotten rave reviews. In fact, I’ve had a request for her spiced apple cake (I REALLY need to get a bundt pan) that I will be making this week…even though I’d rather be working my way through the 100 new recipes in the cookbook! 🙂 We did make some trail mix cookies on Saturday night while watching one of our teammates tear it up at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships though, so that’s one recipe down – 99 to go! The cookies were quite delicious and made for a perfect evening. Baking + track? Doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me 🙂

In other news, I wanted to make curried millet last week to use up some chickpeas…until I realize that I was out of millet. And curry powder. Problem. So, I winged it. I was going to sub rice but had to take one of my roommates to the store anyway and was able to pick up more millet. I made it more of a Mexican dish by subbing chili powder, cumin, and coriander for the curry and turmeric. I also added some diced bell pepper and swapped out the dried fruit for mango! I definitely didn’t have the spice combination quite right but I was hungry and it was certainly edible. I think with a little more tweaking though, I could be onto something! Definitely needed some lime juice. If you haven’t tried millet before, you must try it soon!

Oh. Can we take a minute to celebrate how light it is at night again?? This last picture was taken before that happened and it is a little depressing… 😉 Also, I am totally addicted to roasted broccoli. To the point where I (accidentally) spent over $6 on broccoli for the week awhile back. And I’ve started a roasted broccoli revolution among my roommates. At least one person makes it every night. EVEN my meat-and-potatoes-loving-don’t-feed-me-anything-colorful Iowa roommate. AND our smoke detector only goes off when broccoli comes out of the oven. We have re-named it the broccoli detector.

curried millet

Okay, the semester is OVER and I’m finally posting this absolutely delicious curried millet!

I left out the parsley because 1) I didn’t have any 2) I don’t like it. Oh, and I substituted a mix of craisins and golden raisins for the currants. It was seriously so delicious that I made it twice in one week. I made half the recipe each time and wasn’t quite sure it would be enough to fill me up for dinner, but it most definitely was. You must make it. Soon.

I also finally got around to using the farro I bought at Whole Foods…back in September. After reading this blog post, I knew I needed to track down some farro and give it a shot. So, when I ran out of all forms of oatmeal AND bread last week, it was time to grind up the farro and make some porridge!

Ummm…why did I only buy enough to eat this twice?! So. Good. This was a really nice change from regular oatmeal – the texture is so smooth and the farro has a really light flavor. I cooked 1/3 c. of the ground farro (ground in the blender) with 3/4 c. milk and 1/2 c. water and a sprinkling of cinnamon, then added my usual mashed banana after it had cooked/thickened about 5-10 minutes. Gosh, it was so good! Can you tell how creamy it is?!

Definitely need to find some more of this to add to my breakfast routine more often!

masala simmer sauce

We all know that Mexican food is my absolute favorite. Avocados, salsa, beans, rice, corn, cumin, chili powder, coriander, tortillas – I could eat this stuff all day, every day. Quickly becoming my second favorite is Indian food. I’ve discovered that these cuisines share a lot of the same spices and I think that’s what does it. I’ve been a little intimidated to try making Indian foods myself for some reason and the products in the store are kind of hit and miss. They seem to be either amazing or really…blah. Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce? Amazing.

Like some other simmer sauces I’ve tried, this one said to add an entire cup of water + the jar of sauce to your ingredients. However, I’ve found that this makes the final dish taste very bland and I think the flavor is spot-on right out of the jar, so I didn’t add the water.

I added half a can of chickpeas, some frozen mixed vegetables, and some diced potato to a skillet with half the jar of sauce and let it simmer for about 20 minutes and it was ready to go! With some brown rice, this was such a quick, delicious, healthy meal. I also made a batch of Indian spiced cracklin’ cauliflower.

I like veggies, but an entire head of cauliflower is a bit too much with an already filling main dish. I couldn’t finish it all! It was so good though. I have a hard time knowing what to do with cauliflower because it doesn’t have much flavor but it goes so well with Indian food. The peas were really good mixed in as well!

Hopefully I can recreate this masala sauce…or find another store-bought version that is as good as this TJ’s sauce!

chickpea tuna salad

One of the perks of my job is that I get free meals while I’m working, which pretty much means I only eat 1 meal per day at home. Are the choices the best for my 2 away meals? No. I’ve been able to make it work for the most part, but let me just say that iceberg lettuce with a few random veggies is not super satisfying. However, I’ll take that over the obscene amount of overly processed items and meat I’ve seen coming out of boxes in giant frozen masses. But that is another story for another time 🙂

Last week, I only worked over breakfast and lunch so I bought some good stuff to make for dinners. Then, something came up every night where I ended up eating dinner elsewhere! I ended up with some sad veggies and things in my fridge and decided grocery trips really weren’t necessary. This week, all I bought was milk and in the mean time, I’m getting creative with what I’ve already got to avoid wasting anymore food!

That’s where this tuna salad came from! I haven’t been making bread since I’m not here to eat it for breakfast or lunch but I needed something to eat for my weekend lunches! I knew a regular tuna salad wouldn’t be nearly filling enough with no bread so my plan was a tuna wheatberry salad. Then all my wheatberries went down the drain as I rinsed them 😦 As I browsed my cabinets for a replacement, I saw a can of chickpeas and went with it.

Chickpea Tuna Salad (2 servings – 1 cup each)

  • 1 can tuna, drained (mine was 3.75 oz.)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1/4 c. diced frozen bell pepper + onion mix (you could also use fresh if you have it)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • dash salt + pepper
  • squeeze lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate to let the flavors blend together a bit.

This was surprisingly filling and so delicious. A quick, refreshing summer meal!

cool wheat berry salad

This weekend, I was planning on visiting my grandma and having a nice lunch with her. The first thing that came to mind was some kind of salad – they’re quick and easy to make and eat, travel well, and contain everything you need for a delicious, satisfying lunch in one bowl. Based on what I had around that needed to be used up before I head to Oregon for the NCAA West Regional track meet this week, I came up with this cool, delicious concoction.

Cool Wheat Berry Salad

  • 1/2 c. dry wheat berries
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 5-6 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • ~ 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese (more or less depending on your preference)
  1. To prepare the wheat berries, place them in a saucepan and cover them with water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes until tender and chewy.
  2. While the wheat berries are cooking, dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and green onion and combine in a large bowl with the chickpeas. Drain and add the wheat berries when they are finished cooking.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Pour over the salad and stir to combine. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the fridge at least 2 hours to chill.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the avocado and feta cheese.

This salad was so cool and refreshing! I can already tell I’ll be enjoying it a lot this summer. The small size of the diced vegetables was close to that of the chickpeas and made it easy to get a little of everything in each bite. And, of course, I just LOVE the chewy texture of wheat berries! You could substitute another grain in place of the wheat berries as well, but I think that they really add a lot to this salad. Look for them in the health market section of your grocery store. If your store has bulk bins, that would also be a good place to look. Bob’s Red Mill is typically a pretty easy brand to find in the grocery store and they sell all kinds of beans, flours, mixes, cereals, and grains – including wheat berries!

mediterranean couscous salad

Kansas weather is CRAZY. Just a few short weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if winter would ever fully end. It would start to warm up and give us all a little hope….and then it would snow…or be cloudy for weeks. Then, the sun came out and we had spring for a few days. Now it’s 97 degrees. Sounds like cold salad season to me.

As I was trying to decide how to incorporate the vegetable stock in my fridge that needs to be used into my dinner tonight, all I was thinking of were hot foods – like soup. Don’t get me wrong. I love soup and there is an especially delicious looking tortilla soup I’ve been wanting to try….but it is most definitely NOT soup weather. Luckily, vegetable stock can be used for non-soup applications as well. Like this cold salad that is perfect for confused spring days that want to pretend like it’s July.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

  • 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 T. roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/3 c. couscous
  • 2 T. sun-dried tomato, diced
  • 1 small tomato, seeded + diced
  • 1/2 c. diced cucumber, seeded + diced**
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt + pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan, then add garlic and onion. Saute 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add roasted red pepper, oregano, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, stir in couscous, and cover. Let sit covered 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Stir in sun-dried tomato, tomato, cucumber, lemon juice, and salt + pepper.
  4. Place in bowl or plastic container, cover, and refrigerate until chilled.

**To seed the cucumber: slice it in half vertically, then use a spoon to scrape down the middle and remove the seeds.

This was really quick and easy to put together and made a great, filling dinner. I love it when you can get your grains, protein, and veggies all in one bowl! Although I just ate it as one big main dish, you could also serve it as a side dish for 2-4 people or double the recipe for a bigger crowd. It would also travel well for lunch on the go!