Potato Curry

This is my new favorite curry recipe. I absolutely love it. In fact, I ate it for lunch almost every day last week (sorry co-workers).

Way better than takeout, this vegan potato curry also has less fat. | http://noreencooks.com/2013/03/25/potato-curry/

Potato Curry
Vegan
Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 14 ounce can lite coconut milk

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder (I used Penzey’s hot curry powder)
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and add the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes are just tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium heat sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Combine spices and add to the onions. Cook until spices are fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, peas, cooked potatoes and lite coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve with naan or brown rice.

Other recipes I’m making this week:

  • Pitas with baked falafel, cucumbers, sprouts and Trader Joe’s tahini sauce (no recipe, just follow the baking instructions on boxed falafel mix)
  • Buffalo tempeh tacos (Billy’s request)
  • Vegan Mexican pizzas (new recipe I’m working on)
  • Split pea soup
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Mom’s Cornbread

This cornbread recipe is amazing. My mom has made it for years. It’s moist and has a fine crumb, almost like cake. It has just the right amount of sweetness. I baked a batch and served it with my Grandma’s Veggie Chili. There are lots of good cooks in my family!

Great cornbread recipe - NoreenCooks.com

Great cornbread recipe - NoreenCooks.com

Mom’s Cornbread

Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy flour (the secret ingredient that makes this cornbread so good)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients until just combined. Pour into a greased 8” square baking dish or a 9” pie dish.
  3. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can cover it near the end of baking with tin foil to prevent browning, but I skipped this step.

Great cornbread recipe - NoreenCooks.com

Other recipes I’m making this week:

Potato Soup

The cold has set in, so it’s the perfect time for a hearty potato soup. This potato soup recipe tastes rich, but uses skim milk instead of cream.

Potato Soup
Vegetarian
Adapted from Allrecipes.com 

Ingredients:

  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 3 tablespoons fresh parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the vegetables, broth and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are just tender.
  2. Mash the potatoes to the consistency you prefer. Stir in milk.
  3. Stir butter, flour, parsley and pepper in a small bowl. Add butter mixture to the soup and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the soup thickens.
  4. Stir in cheese (if using) and serve.

Other recipes I’m making this week:

Avocado Tostadas

I am so excited for the holidays! Christmas Eve is only a few days away.  I’m done wrapping presents, and I am getting the house in order. I’m looking forward to spending time with family and relaxing a bit too.

Stuten

On Sunday, I went over to my grandma’s house (we call her Mama) and I learned how to make traditional North German bread called ‘Stuten.’ It’s a yeast bread with butter, golden raisins and traditionally lard. Obviously, I left the lard out. I wrote down all the measurements while we were baking. Now I can make Stuten every Christmas.

The Stuten has just a hint of sweetness and tastes great with a thin layer of butter. I also like to eat it with some thinly sliced Gouda. Mama is a wonderful baker, and she never measures anything. I love her apple cake and gooseberry cake as well.  I’ll probably post the recipe, but I want to get Mama’s permission first.

This weekend I am continuing my holiday baking. I want to make a few varieties of Christmas cookies. I’ll probably make some Spritz cookies and maybe try a new recipe. I seem to have misplaced my 1/3 cup dry measuring cup. It’s kind of annoying, because now I have to buy a whole new set.

world market measuring cups and spoons

I may use it as an excuse to buy these measuring cups and spoons. So pretty. They are from World Market, and aren’t that expensive.

We’ve experienced some very un-Christmas-like weather in the Chicago area. I still have tons of herbs in my garden. I used a bunch of parsley to make the chimichurri sauce for these avocado tostadas.

vegan avocado tostadas

I always order the black bean tostadas at Chicago Diner, but this time I made a mental note to figure out how to make them at home. This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but none of the steps are complicated.

The chimichurri sauce is really flavorful. I served it on the side in souffle cups. I think it’s strange that they are called souffle cups. Billy grew up working at his family’s restaurant, and that’s what they called them. Who is baking tiny soufflés in these cups? Anyway, if you want to save time, you could skip the chimichurri sauce and serve the tostadas with your favorite salsa instead.

vegan avocado tostadas

Avocado Tostadas
Vegetarian, Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 16 ounce can refried black beans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 tostadas
  • Chimichurri Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa in vegetable broth according to package directions.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, sauté onion and pepper until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together refried beans and taco seasoning. Cook over medium-low heat, until warmed through.
  4. To prepare tostadas, top them with refried beans, quinoa, pepper mixture, lettuce, tomato and then avocado. Serve with chimichurri sauce on the side.

Chimichurri Sauce
Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Process in a food processor or blend in a blender until smooth.

Tortellini with Lemon, Artichokes and Brussels Sprouts

If all is working correctly, you are seeing my re-named blog at its new address. Spices & Spackle is no more, and Noreen Cooks launches today! My food posts are my most popular posts, so that’s where I’ll focus most of my energy. If you’re into thrifting, decorating, and crafty things, I’ll still throw that in, well, because, that’s who I am.

Besides blog changes, it was a busy weekend.

Christmas-Tree

The (fake) tree is finally set up. It’s way too tall for our living room, so I have to bend the top down to make it fit. No room for an angel or star, but that’s fine with me. I prefer a tree without ornaments.
holiday lights

We have lights on the outside of the house for the first time. We also have a plastic Santa that my parents found at a garage sale for $5. They always find the best stuff.

That wreath was really hard to hang. Billy and I used a giant metal pole that came with the house to hoist the wreath above the awning. I have no idea what the pole’s real purpose is, but it has come into good use many times.

On Sunday, Billy and I did the last of our Christmas shopping. After some Sunday night grocery shopping, I was exhausted. I quickly threw together this tortellini recipe.  I’ve made it before, but this time I added artichokes and reduced the amount of lemon. With those changes, it’s definitely a keeper.

Tortellini with Lemon, Artichoke and Brussels Sprouts

Tortellini with Lemon, Artichokes and Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 pound frozen tortellini
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon

Directions:

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onions until softened.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer Brussels sprouts to skillet. Add artichokes and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add frozen tortellini to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortellini to skillet. Stir and remove from heat.
  6. Serve topped with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest.

Other recipes I’m making this week: