Breaking Records and Collards

My mostly vegetarian family and I reside in the great state of Michigan. We are breaking records here, not just the unemployment rate, but the weather also. This morning, the local new station announced that a 70 year record will be broken this week- the most warm days in March! It has been warm and sunny for days. DAYS!!!! That is why I am finding it hard to sit in front of a computer and blog. I am also finding difficulty in cooking. The family and I are spending so much time outside that we are eating a lot more peanut butter and jelly than we should.
I am buckling down today and finally posting a dish I made a few days ago. Collards with Lentils, tomatoes, and spices. I served it over basmati rice. With a side of roasted curry cauliflower. It left us wondering why we don’t eat collards more often? They are AWESOME!

1 medium onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes 1 bunch collard greens, thick stems removed and leaves sliced into 1-inch-thick ribbons 1 cup red lentils.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in garam masala and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juices with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in collards. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine lentils and 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 8 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir lentils into skillet with collards and serve.



Indian Night (again)

I used to get cravings for fried chicken, a great bloody steak, a big juicy burger. Since I have become vegetarian, I crave curry. I am thankful that the mostly vegetarian husband has joined me in my curry addiction, otherwise he would have to fend for himself at least one night a week. We are having Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato curry) and an Indian inspired cucumber salad. The Aloo Gobi freezes well, so I always make a double batch.

Aloo Gobi Recipe:


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon ginger paste

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

salt to taste

1 pound cauliflower

2 c. chickpeas

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger paste. Cook about 1 minute until garlic is lightly browned. Add the potatoes. Season with turmeric, paprika, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Cover and continue cooking 5 to 7 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Mix the cauliflower, chickpeas and cilantro into the saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cover. Stirring occasionally, continue cooking 10 minutes, or until potatoes and cauliflower are tender.

Indian inspired Cucumber Salad Recipe:

One english cucumber sliced, peeled and “sweated” with 1/4 t. kosher salt- allow to sit and drain for 30 minutes.

Melt and mix together: 1 T. butter (or Earth Balance if vegan), 1/2 t. cumin, 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, 3 T. chopped dry roasted peanuts, juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1 t. sugar.

Mix together and serve.




Indian inspired Burritos

After a few days off, most of us are back to the daily grind. For me, this means; a more organized and healthy kitchen. I made 3 stops yesterday- Whole Foods (for bulk items), Trader Joe’s for frozen items, and Meijer (for produce). Why didn’t I just save a few bucks in gas and shop at Whole Food’s you ask? Because Whole Food’s is flat out expensive! I had the entire week’s worth of meals planned out before my shopping trip. Last night we had an Indian inspired burrito/ samosa dish. Tonight is veggie meatloaf. We are having roasted butternut squash over mushroom ravioli (with a sage brown butter and mushroom sauce). Thursday is a free night. Friday we are having vegetable fajitas. We are going to make more attempts at the ‘meat’balls this weekend sometime. Total grocery shopping bill (including feeding 4 extra adults tomorrow)= $115.60.

I am in love with last night’s concoction; Indian inspired burrito/ samosas.

These were so good and easy to make. I had to share:

4 large redskin potatoes (chopped into bite sized pieces)

1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped into bite sized pieces)

1 c. thawed chickpeas

1 c. thawed peas

1/2 onion chopped finely

2-3 cloves garlic chopped finely

1 T. curry powder

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

2 T. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 packages of large flour tortillas (I used spinach wraps this time)

Cook potatoes and cauliflower (I put them all in one pot) til al dente and drain. In a large sauce pan: cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add drained potatoes and cauliflower. Add peas, chickpeas and rest of seasoning til blended. Turn off heat. Place about a 1/2 c. of mixture onto tortilla and roll up “burrito style”. Place each one onto a sprayed cookie sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the burritos with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. *They freeze well. *

I think they would be good with a nice chutney, but I didn’t have any last night. They were good plain too. They are better than the Amy’s brand ones that you can buy at the store for $3.00 a piece! A lot less sodium also.

Have any of you ever re-made a processed/ packaged dish to save money? What is your favorite?