Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Indian-style Potato and Pea Curry (Aloo Mattar)

So after making Yellow Dal, we had coconut milk leftover and we wanted to try making Garlic Naan. So what did I do? I went online searched through some menus of Indian restaurants as well as recipe site to get inspiration of the next Indian dish. Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 servings):
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1 small yellow onion from our garden (or ½ store-bought onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
¾ cup frozen peas
½ can coconut milk, depending desired consistency

Preparation:
1. Place potatoes into a large pot that contains salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
2. If serving with rice, start the preparation of the rice. Also, if you are planning on making home-made Naan make sure to start proofing the yeast.
3. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, and salt; cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, peas, and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
4. Serve with Basmati rice and home-made Naan. Enjoy =)

Flatbread served with Aloo Mattar

Flatbread served with Aloo Mattar

Note: Regular home-made Naan recipe https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-homemade-naan-indian-flatbread/ and home-made Garlic Naan recipehttps://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-naan-bread-with-garlic/.

The dish stores well in airtight container and heats well in microwave. Be aware though, that it may even be more delicious the second day.

Inspired from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spicy-Vegan-Potato-Curry/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=1875

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Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

Thanksgiving is always an interesting holiday for vegetarians. Usually people serve turkey, ham, and gravy…all food items that are not vegetarian-friendly. Well, Hans’ family isn’t different. So in order to have “vegetarian-proof” food, a relative called a couple weeks ago and asked whether we could bring something we would like to eat. She mentioned that she was interested in the type of food we eat…I wish I could remember the exact phrasing she used…

Well, we decided we were gonna make Crock Pot Tortilla soup, which actually comes pretty close to Dutch Oven Tortilla Soup, and is soooooooooooooooo much better than Tortilla Soup made on the stove.

So we made Crock Pot Tortilla Soup, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/moist-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/, and German Apple Crisp https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/german-apple-crisp-apfelkuchen/ for Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Ingredients (3-4 servings, or more if used as appetizer)
½ onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 can organic tomatoes
1 can organic mixed beans (Whole Foods had salad beans which included kidney, pinto, and garbanzo beans)
2 rainbow carrots, sliced
3-4 fingerling potatoes, cubed
½ green pepper, cubed
1/3 cup multicolored quinoa
1 cup water
1 veggie bouillon cube
Taco seasoning https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/seven-layer-dip/
Cayenne pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Saute onion in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper and continue sauteing until onion is translucent.
2. Add all ingredients to the crock pot (3.5 quarts). We added the tomatoes and beans first, including the water. Add all the other ingredients, except spices. Add the onion mixture.
3. Set crock pot to cook for 4 hours at high or for 8 hours at low. A few minutes before it is finished cooking add the taco seasoning and a dash of cayenne pepper to taste.
4. Serve with cheese sprinkled on it and cheese quesadilla. Pretty traditional Thanksgiving meal, don’t you agree?! Well, it just makes for a very yummy and delicious meal. Enjoy!

Tortilla soup is super delicious with cheese quesadillas.

Tortilla soup is super delicious with cheese quesadillas.

Note: Can easily be used as appetizer for Mexican-style pot-luck. =)


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Minestrone soup

Minestrone soup is among my favorite types of soups. It is so easy to make and it is offers so much flexibility. It is a great way to use up a variety of veggies that need to be used up. It also easy to change the ingredients, so you can choose your favorite ones or can skip one if you do not have it at hand. Furthermore, depending on what you add to the soup, you can change how filling it is.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
same asparagus
3 rainbow-colored carrots, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 veggie buillion cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
optional pasta (for example, elbow pasta)

Preparation:
1. Saute onions and carrots, until softened. Then add the other ingredients, except pasta and cheese (if using).
2. Continue heating the soup on low to medium heat. You do not want to cook the soup. Heat until all vegetables are desired tenderness. Meanwhile (if using pasta), prepare the pasta according to directions on pasta package.
3. Once vegetables are tender, pour soup into bowls and add pasta. Serve with shredded cheese, baguette bread, or grilled cheese.
Note: This soup stores well in air-tight container in refrigerator. If you add the pasta before storing it, the pasta will soak up all the liquid in the soup, so it may be best to store the pasta in a separate container.

Minestrone (sad this picture has glare on it)

Minestrone (sad this picture has glare on it)

Minestrone soup with elbow pasta

Minestrone soup with elbow pasta

Health benefits:
* Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin C and B, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Kidney beans are rich in potassium and magnesium, thus they help to keep blood pressure in check. In addition, the high fiber content can help to reduce bad LDL cholesterol.. Kidney beans are also rich in iron and protein, making them a great meat substitute for vegetarians.
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium


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Minestrone soup–Dutch Oven Version

Here is another recipe that we successfully adapted for cooking in the dutch oven. The great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust its list of ingredients based on what produce is in season and better yet based on what you need to use up from your fridge or pantry.

Ingredients (Makes 2-3 servings):
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, sliced (my favorite type of carrots to use are rainbow carrots)
3 fingerling potatoes, cubed (these are small potatoes which come in different colors, I used one purple, one violet, and one yellow potato)
1 can organic kidney beans
3 Roma tomatoes, diced including the juices
1 veggie bouillon cube
Approximately 3 cups of water
salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil to taste
a dash of Cajun pepper

Cooked pasta (we used bicycle-shaped pasta) and shredded cheese (optional)

Preparation:
1. Use a little bit of butter and coat the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven (8 inch).
2. Add all the ingredients, except the pasta and cheese. Add some water to the dutch oven. I rinsed the can of beans and the flexible cutting board with some water that I added into the Dutch oven–it’s the whole leave-no-trace thing. (It is advised especially in areas where there are bears to not dump any water that may contain food particles on the ground. Therefore, I used the rinse water for the soup and brought pasta that I had cooked at home. If you cook pasta in “bear-country” without outhouses or restrooms, you are advised to drink the pasta water…yuck!!!)
3. Place Dutch oven on hot coals and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes. The length may vary depending on heat of fire, size of the veggies, and the desired done-ness). Check periodically and stir to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom or the sides of the Dutch oven.
4. Once heated, serve in bowls with pasta and shredded cheese. Enjoy =)

Minestrone soup in Dutch  Oven

Minestrone soup in Dutch Oven

Minestrone soup served with bicycle pasta

Minestrone soup served with bicycle pasta

Health benefits:
* Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin C and B, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Kidney beans are rich in potassium and magnesium, thus they help to keep blood pressure in check. In addition, the high fiber content can help to reduce bad LDL cholesterol.. Kidney beans are also rich in iron and protein, making them a great meat substitute for vegetarians.
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.