Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Supereasy Naan Bread with Garlic

I was buying ingredients to make another Indian dish to use up the left-over coconut milk. In front of me was a gentleman, who bought cured bacon, a small block of cheese, and a beer. He was very helpful in putting up the dividers between the different grocery orders. So I teased him and said that WholeFoods should hire him. He said “Oh no thanks. I am a chef.”
Curious about this situation, I asked him what he was going to cook with his three ingredients?! I mentioned that we love cooking and that we just figured out how to make homemade Naan. He then suggested to just crush up some fresh garlic and add it to the Naan.
So of course, we had to try that…and it was wonderful. The garlic gave the Naan a little extra kick =)

Try for yourself and share your thoughts.

Ingredients (6-8 Naan breads):
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
½ tablespoon raw sugar
¾ cup plain organic yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups organic flour (can be made with whole white wheat flour: 2 cups whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour)
Crushed garlic (we used about 6 small-medium garlic cloves and pressed them through a garlic press)

Preparation:
1. Combine milk, yeast, and sugar in small bowl. Cover and let the yeast proof (5-10 minutes).
2. Add yogurt, vegetable oil, salt, baking powder, flour, and yeast mixture into mixer. We used a dough hook and let the mixer combine the ingredients until they formed a dough ball.
3. Let the dough rest and allow to rise until doubled. (If you have an oven that allows proofing, proof in oven).
4. Remove dough and divide into 6 or 7 lemon-sized balls. Add the crushed garlic and briefly knead the dough through to spread the garlic evenly.
5. Roll dough and flatten into a ¼” oval shape. Sprinkle one side with water and gently place the oval shape with the water-side down onto a heated griddle. Let the dough cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to puff and brown on the underside (similar to making pancakes, be patient). Flip the Naan and gook on the other side until golden brown.
6. Serve with Indian meal or eat with dip.

Naan_6_small

I forgot to take pictures with the garlic. So I am using the same pictures as for the regular Naan bread. Note: The overall appearance of the Naan does not change, but the taste does =)


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Supereasy Homemade Naan (Indian Flatbread)

So last time Hans and I made Indian food at home, we used store-bought Naan to go along with the dish. But why not make Naan from scratch?! Turns out our new blender (a Blendtec) came with a recipe book that included a Naan recipe.

We have modified the recipe slightly and made it using a mixer (instead of the blender). It turned out phenomenal. But try for yourself and share your thoughts.

 

Ingredients (6-7 Naan breads):
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
½ tablespoon raw sugar
¾ cup plain organic yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups organic flour (can be made with whole white wheat flour: 2 cups whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour)

Preparation:
1. Combine milk, yeast, and sugar in small bowl. Cover and let the yeast proof (5-10 minutes).
2. Add yogurt, vegetable oil, salt, baking powder, flour, and yeast mixture into mixer. We used a dough hook and let the mixer combine the ingredients until they formed a dough ball.
3. Let the dough rest and allow to rise until doubled. (If you have an oven that allows proofing, proof in oven).
4. Remove dough and divide into 6 or 7 lemon-sized balls. Roll dough and flatten into a ¼” oval shape. Sprinkle one side with water and gently place the oval shape with the water-side down onto a heated griddle. Let the dough cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to puff and brown on the underside (similar to making pancakes, be patient). Flip the Naan and gook on the other side until golden brown.
5. Serve with Indian meal or eat with dip.

Naan_6_small


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Veggie Burrito–Can’t Believe It’s Homemade

There may not be left-overs when making Cheese & Bean enchiladas https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/traditional-cheese-bean-enchilada-dinner/

https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/restaurant-quality-cheese-bean-enchiladas/

but if there are rice and beans left-over, here is just the delicious thing to use them for. Make a most unbelievable delicious burrito.

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
spices (such as taco seasoning)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
left-over refried bean
left-over Mexican rice
shredded Mexican cheese
Cotija cheese, optional
One 12-inch (burrito-size) flour tortilla

Preparation:
1. Heat olive in small pan. Add onion, tomatoes, and green pepper. Add spices (such as taco seasoning) and saute until heated through.
2. Heat oven to 350 F. Spread refried beans on center of tortilla. Cover with rice. Sprinkle with shredded Mexican cheese and place the sautéed veggies on top. If using, sprinkle with Cotija cheese.
3. Fold sides of tortilla and roll tortilla into a burrito. Heat in oven for 10 minutes.
4. Enjoy =)

Veggie burito_9_small


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Traditional Cheese & Bean Enchilada Dinner

Hans does not care for guacamole or pico de gallo. As I like both, it is nice to cook make it whenever we have dinner guests.

So below you will find a detailed description on how to make cheese and bean enchiladas, Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Enjoy =)

Ingredients for the enchiladas:
8 medium flour tortillas (8-inch)
1 1/2 can refried pinto beans (We love the organic refried pinto beans from Trader Joe’s)
shredded Mexican cheese mix
1 small can enchilada sauce

Preparation of enchiladas:
1. Use about one tablespoon of refried beans and spread in the center of one tortilla.
2. Sprinkle beans with shredded cheese.
3. Tug the sides of the tortilla in and roll the tortilla.
4. Place in oven-safe glass dish. It is best to spread a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the glass dish to prevent sticking. Layer the rolled tortilla with the seam down into the glass dish.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining tortillas.
6. Pour enchilada sauce over the rolled up tortillas. It maybe helpful to use a knife to gently lift each one and allow sauce to go in between each. Sprinkle with cheese on top.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Mexican rice:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup salsa, blended
1 cup water
1 veggie bouillon cube

Preparation of rice:
1. Rinse the rice under running water. This will remove the starch and make the rice very fluffy.
2. Heat oil in dutch oven on stove. Check for the temperature of the olive oil by dropping a couple kernels of rice into the dutch oven. If they start to sauté right away, the temperature of the oil is at the correct temperature.
When the correct temperature has been reached, add the rice to the dutch oven. Stir frequently and sauté the rice until it appears translucent.
3. Add the water, salsa, and veggie bouillon cube. Heat until simmering while stirring constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, turn off the stove. Move the dutch oven into the oven at 350 F. Cook rice for 30 minutes. Stir once at 15 minutes.

Ingredients for refried beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green chilies
1 1/2 cans refried beans
taco seasoning (we use our homemade taco seasoning https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/homemade-taco-seasoning/)

Preparation of refried beans:
1. Heat olive oil in small pot. Once oil is hot, sauté onion until translucent.
2. Add beans, sautéed onion, and green chilies into blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Transfer bean mixture back into small pot. Heat slowly. Add taco seasoning to taste.

Ingredients for guacamole:
2 avocados
¼ medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ small onion, chopped
Jalapeños/serranos, chopped (to taste)
5-6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Lemon/lime juice, to taste

Preparation of guacamole:
1. Cut and peel the avocados and take the flesh out in a bowl.
2. With a fork mash it up a little, be careful not to overdo it. It needs to have a little texture.
3. Add in the following: tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and cilantro.
4. Squeeze some lemon juice into it, and mix.
5. Add in cumin powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
6. Chill and serve as a dip with some chips.

Ingredients for pico de gallo:
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
salt to taste

Preparation of pico de gallo:
1. Combine the ingredients. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo. If necessary adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or additional diced jalapeno pepper.

Serving of food:
1. Heat plates briefly in oven.
2. Arrange enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Sprinkle with Coteja cheese and serve with sour cream (optional).
3. Enjoy =)

Cheese&Bean enchilada dinner_4_small

 

 

Recipe inspired by:
http://mexican.food.com/recipe/mexican-rice-117892

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/pico-de-gallo-recipe.html

 


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Restaurant-Quality Cheese & Bean Enchiladas

Everybody has a comfort food. Our comfort food is homemade cheese & bean enchiladas. Not just the enchiladas but the whole meal as served in a Mexican restaurant. For a week night dinner this dish includes: cheese and bean enchiladas, refried beans, and Mexican rice served with Coteja cheese.

Ingredients for the enchiladas:
8 medium flour tortillas (8-inch)
1 1/2 can refried pinto beans (We love the organic refried pinto beans from Trader Joe’s)
shredded Mexican cheese mix
1 small can enchilada sauce

Preparation of enchiladas:
1. Use about one tablespoon of refried beans and spread in the center of one tortilla.
2. Sprinkle beans with shredded cheese.
3. Tug the sides of the tortilla in and roll the tortilla.
4. Place in oven-safe glass dish. It is best to spread a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the glass dish to prevent sticking. Layer the rolled tortilla with the seam down into the glass dish.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining tortillas.
6. Pour enchilada sauce over the rolled up tortillas. It maybe helpful to use a knife to gently lift each one and allow sauce to go in between each. Sprinkle with cheese on top.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Mexican rice:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup salsa, blended
1 cup water
1 veggie bouillon cube

Preparation of rice:
1. Rinse the rice under running water. This will remove the starch and make the rice very fluffy.
2. Heat oil in dutch oven on stove. Check for the temperature of the olive oil by dropping a couple kernels of rice into the dutch oven. If they start to sauté right away, the temperature of the oil is at the correct temperature.
When the correct temperature has been reached, add the rice to the dutch oven. Stir frequently and sauté the rice until it appears translucent.
3. Add the water, salsa, and veggie bouillon cube. Heat until simmering while stirring constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, turn off the stove. Move the dutch oven into the oven at 350 F. Cook rice for 30 minutes. Stir once at 15 minutes.

Ingredients for refried beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green chilies
1 1/2 cans refried beans
taco seasoning (we use our homemade taco seasoning https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/homemade-taco-seasoning/)

Preparation of refried beans:
1. Heat olive oil in small pot. Once oil is hot, sauté onion until translucent.
2. Add beans, sautéed onion, and green chilies into blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Transfer bean mixture back into small pot. Heat slowly. Add taco seasoning to taste.

Serving of food:
1. Heat plates briefly in oven.
2. Arrange enchiladas, rice, and beans. Sprinkle with Coteja cheese.
3. Enjoy =)

 

Cheese&Bean enchilada dinner_14_small

 


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Classic White Bread

A few years back, my mom and I were walking through an art fair in Tallahassee, FL and we came across a stand by Neal Pottery. Among the beautifully made pottery was one piece that caught my eye: a small blue round pot with handles. The inside was not smooth but instead featured a spiral. Next to the pot stood a little booklet with bread baking recipes…I was intrigued. After a few questions about the functionality of the pottery piece, in which one can bake a one pound bread.

Not so sure if I was sold because of the looks of the pot or the functionality of it.

Since the purchase I have used the pottery several times. It works great. I am sure that the recipe below that was inspired by a recipe that came with the pot can be baked in any other baking dish. The bread is small enough to finish it within a couple of days between two people.

Ingredients:
1 1/8 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter (use vegan butter to make vegan)
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½  to 3 cups organic all-purpose flour

Preparation:
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Cover and allow time for the yeast to “bloom” (about 20 minutes).
2. Add the butter and half of the flour. Work the butter and the flour in with a fork. Add in the remaining flour (it is very dry where we live, so I only used 2 ½  cups flour). Knead the dough for about 3 minutes.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a greased Neal Pottery bread baker (I used a little bit of olive oil to grease it). Cover loosely with plastic wrap (also greased) and allow the dough to rise until the top of the dough is about ½ to 1″ over the rim of the pot (approximately 60 to 75 minutes).
4. Uncover and place in a cold oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pottery and tap the bottom of the loaf–it should sound hollow.
5. Allow the loaf to cool (on a wire rack, optional) before slicing. Enjoy with jam (we forgot to take a picture 😦 ). Bread also works great to make grilled cheese https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/epic-grilled-cheese-sandwich/.

 

Neill's White Bread_6_small

 


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Tasty Curried Lentils (aka Yellow Dal)

After the success (taste) of the last lentil dish (as well as failure as those green lentils did not become as soft as I remembered from brown lentils)…I was excited to come another recipe idea that used lentils.

This time red lentils. I still do not know what the difference between brown, green, and red lentils are. Obviously the color…but is one type of lentil better to use for one kind of dish over another?

Well, this recipe with some modifications turned out great.

 

Ingredients (3-4 servings)
1 cup red lentils, sorted and washed
2 cups vegetable broth (2 cups water and 1 veggie bouillon cube)
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ghee (if not at hand use another “fat”, such as olive oil or butter)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional, we left it out as we only had jalapeno pepper or green pepper)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup coconut milk

Preparation:
1. Place the lentils, water, veggie bouillon cube, and turmeric in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Keep checking the mixture to make sure it does not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, if you are planning on eating rice with this dish, cook rice (we used Jazmin rice) according to package instructions.

2. While the lentils are simmering, heat the ghee in a small frying pan and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and golden, before adding the garlic, chili, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes and fragrant. Stir the onion mixture into the lentil mixture and then add the tomato. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Season to taste and add the coconut milk. Continue heating the mixture, until heated through. Stir frequently.

4. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
See two recipes for homemade Naan bread: plain https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-homemade-naan-indian-flatbread/ or with garlic https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-naan-bread-with-garlic/

 

Flatbread served with Dal

Yellow Dal with Homemade Naan

Curried Lentils_5_small


Health benefits of this dish:
* It is homecooked, therefore you get to choose all of the ingredients for this dish.
* Tumeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antioxidant properties.
* Lentils are rich in fiber, copper, phosphorous, manganese, and iron. Additionally, they are a good source of protein.
* Coconut milk is rich in fiber and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6. It also contains iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.