Wednesday, April 25, 2012

White Bean Curry with Lemon Balm

Yes, Lemon balm. What is lemon balm, you ask? It is a very fragrant herb that looks like mint (same family) and is great for tea, homemade beauty products, and for cooking. You can substitute basil or cilantro in this recipe.

This took about 40 minutes total. Makes about 4 servings.

1 cup jasmine rice, cooked
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 can small white beans
2 cups sliced bell peppers
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup lemon balm leaves, finely chopped
1 tbs oil

Saute the onion and carrot in oil until just soft. Add the peppers, spices and beans, and let cook for a few minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking. You will soon be able to smell the peppers. Then add the coconut milk and cover it, letting it cook for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon balm. Let it sit for a minute, then add the rice. Serve steaming hot.

Spicy Black Beans with Sweet Potato Hash Browns

This was quite possibly the best brunch ever. Really, I mean it. Wholesome, filling, and flavorful, vegan, easy, and low fat, too.

You will need a cast iron skillet, a grater, and a thin spatula.

This took about 30 minutes to prepare, then about 20 cooking, so its not the quickest of meals, but you might be faster than me at peeling and grating sweet potato. It makes about 3 big servings.


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 large onion of your choice, chopped coarsely
2 medium carrots, sliced in half lengthwise and then chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon (more or less) chili powder
1 cup of fresh or frozen chopped bell peppers
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons oil (I used safflower)

Start heating the cast iron skillet on medium. Pat the grated sweet potato with a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture, then add the oil to the hot pan (carefully, it might spit at you), and spread it around. Add the sweet potato to the pain in a thin layer. If you have a large skillet, you might use all your potato in one cooking; if you have a small one, you might be doing two separate pans of sweet potato. Cover it and let cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down a little if needed.

Meanwhile, start prepping your veggies, if you haven't already. Pour the tomatoes into a large frying pan, or a soup pot....its your choice, and heat on medium high. When it is bubbling, turn the heat down and add the chopped vegetables (not the peppers if you are using frozen). Cover and let cook.

Lift up the edge of the hash browns. Browned? All stoves are different. If its is browned, carefully flip it. You might have break it up and flip it in pieces.

Stir the vegetables and add the chili powder and frozen peppers, if using them. They should be done in about 15 minutes, unless you like them really soft.

When both are done (hash browns were done before veggies for me), divide up onto plates and serve.

You can make it vegetarian instead of vegan by adding cheese or eggs.