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.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cranberry Granola Bars

So granola bars are expensive. Luckily, they are easy to make. These came out a nice texture between crunchy and chewy. Add more almond/peanut butter or honey for a chewier texture.

4 cups of rolled oats

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or other nut of your choosing)

1 cup almond butter (or peanut, or sunflower, etc)
1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Melt peanut butter on stove, stirring often so it doesn't burn. Add the honey and the cinnamon and stir until smooth. Meanwhile, mix the oats, salt, and nuts together. Add the honey mixture and use your hands to really work the granola so it is all moist. If it seems too dry to you, add a little more honey, maybe a tablespoon. The granola should be sticky, but not wet. Add the cranberries and kind of loosely mix them in. Press the mixture into a non-stick cookie sheet. Use a smaller sheet for thicker bars. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and cut. Makes approx 16 bars.


Peanut butter, chopped peanuts, raisins
chocolate chips instead of dried fruit
chopped apricot and shredded coconut
chopped dates and almonds (and coconut?)
pistachios and dried cherries
add some flax seeds
drizzle the top with melted chocolate

Really, these are so versatile that you can make many different combos.