Category Archives: Mediterranean

Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens for the New Year

I am a little late in posting this. Following the tradition from the last few years I made black eyed peas and collard greens on New Years Day.

For lunch, I made these Mediterranean flavored wraps with steamed black eyed peas seasoned with salt, sun dried tomatoes in oil, black olives, sliced cucumber, sliced orange pepper, banana peppers and roasted pepper hummus.

collardwraps

For dinner I made soup loosely following the recipe here.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup black eyed peas, soaked over night and steamed
2-3 large collard greens
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 bay leaf
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup broth (or use use water like I do)
1/2 tsp berbere spice
touch of turmeric
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
cilantro to garnish
squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

If using dry black eyed peas, soak in water overnight. Steam in a pressure cooker with twice the amount of water.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large dutch over or pan. Add bay leaf, turmeric, onion, jalapeno, ginger and garlic and fry till lightly golden. Add berbere, salt, fresh ground pepper and tomatoes and continue cooking for five minutes.

Add broth or water, coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce flame to medium low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cooked black eyed peas. Add more broth or coconut milk as needed and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

peacollarsoup

Add chopped greens and mix well. Keep cooking for another 5-10 minutes.  Garnish with some cilantro, drizzle of lemon juice  and serve warm with some rolls.

See Also:

Black-Eyed Peas for Prosperity in the New Year
Hoppin’ John
Black-eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices to start the New Year
Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens

Advertisements

Mediterranean in May

Fun recipes from last May…

foccacia2

Farro & Sun Dried Tomato Foccacia

egI2

Eggplant and Tomato Gratinvt4Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

st3

Stuffed Tomato

mgs

Mediterranean Grain Soup

baklava

Baklava

ztgratin

Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

bajji2

APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

qd3

GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

cauli_kale_chickpe2

BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

kumquat2

JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

hummus1

DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

wrap3

WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

ztgratin

CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

cherry5

DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

air20152

BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

wmcooler2

JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

tomatoYogurt2

CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

BS1

SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

mgs

SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

IMG_3241

WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

chickpea_brusselssprouts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Eggplant and Pepper Soup

Mediterranean in May

I didn’t get to try all the recipes I wanted to in May. Further not all recipes were a success and hence I didn’t post them. While I might try more recipes from the book Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean now and then, here is the last recipe I tried.

As always, I reduced the quantity and adapted it to my taste. Perfect for an office day meal with some croutons or garlic toasts.

eggplantSoup

Ingredients:

1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
1/2 bell pepper, I used yellow, but can use green or red, diced
1/4 onion, dieed
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
some dried rosemary
some dried thyme
fresh basil to garnish
1/2 quart water or broth
a few red pepper flakes

Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add cubed eggplant and fry on medium high for 15 minutes, stirring  until browned. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to paper towels.

Add 1-2 tbsp oil to the same pan, add peppers and onions an cook, stirring,  fry about 5 minutes until tender. Add minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring as needed.

Add broth (or water), thyme, rosemary, eggplant, and bring to a boil. Reduce flame to low, and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or use a hand held blender to puree the soup. Return the soup to the pan, and heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add pepper flakes if using and garnish with mint or basil and serve warm with some garlic toasts.

Big Pizza Dough

Mediterranean in May

From the book Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour

Pour water in a large bowl or kitchen aid mixer. Sprinkle with yeast. Whisk to dissolve. Add salt and stir. Add the flours. Stir until dough forms into a ball.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5-8 minutes or use a kitchen aid mixer.

Lightly grease a bowl with oil. Transfer dough to the bowl. Cover with a wet towel in a warm place and let rise for an hour.

Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

One reason, I was excited to try this recipe was that it used all my favorite vegetables, was egg less and used less cheese.

vt2

I only made 1/4 of the recipe. The book Vegetarian Times cooks Mediterranean has many healthy recipes, but one downside is that there are only a few photographs of the final product. I don’t know if what I made looks anything close to what it is supposed to look like. I only have to go with the final taste and whether I like it or not. This one was a little difficult, since I was using phyllo sheets and I wasn’t sure how to fold or create a tart.   Methinks pastry sheets might have been good here? The end product was delicious, although I am not sure it looked good and professional. A photograph in the book would have been good!

vt4

Either way, I  had used only a quarter of the phyllo sheets to make Baklava, so I could keep the rest to try other fun recipes from the book.

Ingredients:

2 oz of dry, sun-dried tomatoes (I think I used a little more)
1-2 tbsp milk (add as needed)
5 oz of fresh spinach (or frozen)
1.5 oz goat cheese (I used feta instead)
1/4 phyllo sheets
1/8 cup fresh rosemary
1 scallion, trimmed and minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced (I didn’t have any)
1-2 roasted peppers, cut long
3-4 oz marinated artichokes
a few basil leaves
pine nuts (I didn’t use any)
white wine (I didn’t use any)
1 garlic clove
olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

vt1

Soak sun dried tomatoes in boiling water for 7-10 minutes. Slice thinly.

I used fresh red pepper. So I sliced them thinly, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Process spinach,milk, cheese, garlic, scallion, rosemary, salt and pepper until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add more milk.

Place a skillet on the stove, add olive oil, white wine (I used white wine vinegar instead :-)), salt and pepper and saute on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to paper towels. Add onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Add mushrooms if using and saute for 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to dry.

Line a deep dish pan with phyllo sheets. I used quartered sheets, so I layered them to complete the corners of the circular dish. Brush each sheet lightly with olive oil. Continue piling until all sheets are gone. Fold down the edges over the dish. Spread the spinach mixture over the crust. Add sauted zucchini, onions, mushrooms if using, roasted peppers, sheaun dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Bake for 15 minutes. If the crust is browning, turn the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, else continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes until the phyllo is golden and crisp.

Sprinkle with fresh basil, and pine nuts. Tuck in some fresh sprigs of rosemary and serve warm.

vt3

Makes about 3-4 helpings.

Baklava

Mediterranean in May

Baklava is a traditional Turkish dessert made with crisp, phyllo sheets layered with cinnamon flavored nut filling and soaked in fragrant sweet syrup.

A few weeks ago, I saw Baklava as one of the sweet desserts in Whole Foods cookie section where you can buy cookies and more by weight. Baklava has always been one of my favorites, so I couldn’t resist a piece. Being health conscious, I had limited myself to one piece. It was delicious. Since then I have been craving baklava. Each time, I am in Whole Foods, I make it a point to check out the cookies and dessert section to see if Baklava is among the offerings.  But sadly, the last few weeks it has not made it’s appearance again.

baklava

Last time I was in Whole Foods, I finally picked up some organic phyllo sheets and decided to make Baklava at home. I have made it once before, so I know, it is not too difficult. Coincidentally, I am exploring Mediterranean recipes in May, from the book Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean,  which has a recipe for Baklava, of course!

Note: I only made 1/2 or less of the recipe. I cut my phyllo sheets into half and further cut the 1/2 sheet to another half to make the Baklava. I found the end product to be a little dry and added more syrup (an additional 1/2 cup).

Ingredients:

For the Baklava:

1 1/2 cup, chopped, unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachio or hazelnuts)
1/12 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
some cinnamon powder
1/2 phyllo dough sheets (cut in half)

For the sugar syrup
1/2 cup sugar (I used light brown cane sugar)
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon rose water or vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven the 375 degrees F. In a small bowl combine the nuts, sugar and cinnamon powder.

Prepare a baking pan by lightly brushing with some melted butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with butter. Repeat with three more sheets. Evenly spread a third of the nut mixture. Cover with three more sheets of phllo, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Add another third of the nut mixture and continue till all the nut mixture is gone. Add the remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter.

Bake the pastry for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 350  degrees F and bake until the pastry is golden for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the water for the syrup to a boil in a saucepan. Add sugar and cinnamon stick and let simmer on medium low for 10 minutes until the syrup thickens. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add rose water and lemon juice and set aside.

Pour the syrup over the hot, baked pastry and allow to cool. Cut the pastry, before serving.