Saturday, October 23, 2010
Some Weeks are Not the Best …..
Have you ever had one of those weeks were nothing seems to be enough to make you happy? I have a feeling this is another example of the joy of being perimenopausal. At least that is what I am trying to convince myself has been happening. It didn’t help that my father was having follow up cancer tests this week. It just seems like cancer follows me everywhere I go. *rolls eyes* While the colors of fall can be beautiful I also think knowing that plants are dying and/or going dormant isn’t helping my attitude either. I have been trying to pull myself out of my funk but nothing seems to be helping. Dan has two projects to file early next week which means he is working long hours, including this weekend. Not having my sweetie home over the weekend has not helped my mood as you probably guessed. Since I didn’t want to spread my gloom I decided to withdrawal for a few days. When I realized that I hadn’t posted since Wednesday I knew that was too long. Sorry about the downer of an opening but I wanted to share what is going through my head at the moment. The happy me should be back soon. *fingers crossed*
Today I decided to tackle overdue projects at home hoping that would make me feel better. Can’t say it helped my mood but it did get a few things accomplished so that part is good. I have started Christmas files of fun presents, decorating ideas, and recipe ideas. Given how much I love Christmas that was the most fun I have had this week. I am starting to look forward to the holiday. With a little luck that will be enough to pull me out of my funk.
If anyone has any idea of fun things to do I am all ears. Please feel free to share.
New Cast Iron Bodum Tea Pot:
As you all know both Dan and I love green tea and drink it all day. I ordered each of us this 1 liter cast iron enamel coated tea pot from Tuesday Morning.
I love that they are fully enamel lined, contain a fine metal press inside and are cast iron. They hold heat well and the lid is heavy so it doesn’t topple off when you pour. Additionally Tuesday morning has them at a great price and they ship directly to your door which I love. If you have any tea lovers on your holiday list I wanted to mention this. I had originally intended this to be a present for Dan for Christmas but I am not good at keeping a secret so he got it early.
Indian food Italian-American Style:
I have adored Indian food since I was in college when I was introduced to it by my best friend who had come from Madras for college. The smells in her home were unlike anything I had ever experienced. The aroma alone pulled me in and I was smitten from the start. I have been enjoying eating and making Indian food for the last 30 years. My food is not traditional but I think it is still delicious. Here is what I made from dinner on Thursday:
Sweet and Sour Chickpeas
4 cups chickpeas, cooked with about ½ cup of the cooking liquid
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 scoop stevia
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¼ teaspoon nigella seed
3 tablespoon dark raisins
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons amchoor powder (mango powder)
½ teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved (to tighten the sauce)
Combine everything but the cornstarch and cook until the chickpeas are hot. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir to distribute it evenly throughout. Cook until the sauce tightens and then store in a covered dish until ready to serve. I like to serve this over brown rice but flat bread is also good.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 297.15
Calories From Fat (13%) - 37.38
Total Fat - 4.48g
Saturated Fat - 0.47g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 14.06mg
Potassium - 552.12mg
Total Carbohydrates - 52.06g
Fiber - 13.08g
Sugar - 11.94g
Protein - 15.01g
If you are a fan of Indian food and sweet and sour this is a good dish. I like the complexity of flavor. It is only slightly sweet but when you get a raisin you get a pop of sweetness that is unexpected but nice. This dish is traditionally made with lentils but any bean will work.
To go with the garbanzo bean dish I knew we needed a vegetable so I used the cauliflower we picked up at the market on Sunday. Here is what I did:
Cauliflower and Tomato with Coconut
2 teaspoons urad dahl
2 teaspoons coriander seed
1 pinch chili flakes
½ cup reduced fat coconut flakes
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
2 teaspoons turmeric
¾ to 1 cup of water (what is necessary see directions below)
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
2 cups peeled diced tomatoes, and the juices
Toast the urad dahl, coriander seeds, chilis and coconut until they the coconut is a light brown and you have an unmistakable aroma from the pot. Move the toasted coconut and spices to your blender to cool. Once they have cooled for about 10 minutes add the tamarind, turmeric and enough water to make a pourable liquid.
Water sauté the onion until it is soft, add the cauliflower and spicy coconut sauce. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook until the cauliflower is tender.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 170.24
Calories From Fat (24%) - 41.27
Total Fat - 4.58g
Saturated Fat - 2.64g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 118.87mg
Potassium - 1389.03mg
Total Carbohydrates - 30.6g
Fiber - 12.67g
Sugar - 11.96g
Protein - 9.63g
This is not a traditional dish. The sauce is similar to one that is made with using ghee or oil but the tomato was my addition. The traditional version I learned years ago also had a little jaggery (a form of Indian sugar use brown sugar if you want sweetness in this) but I don’t find that necessary now.
The flavor of the dish is not what most Americans are used to. I can’t say I have had this at an Indian restaurant so I assume it is a homey dish. I enjoy the complexity of the sauce and the richness the coconut adds. When I serve this dish I like to add fresh cilantro and green onion to brighten the flavor but this is another non-traditional element.
If you like Indian flavors you will probably enjoy this. I serve it over brown basmati rice but whole wheat flat bread would be a great choice as well.
Dan is still at the office working on his projects. I will be very happy when these go out so he can take a little time to relax. Who knows maybe I will be able to talk him into taking a day or two off. Well that is what I have in mind we will see if he agrees.
Time for me to start winding down for our early morning trip to the market. I hope you all have a good evening. Talk to you again soon, and by soon I do mean tomorrow. ;-)
Oh yeah, I also have a few comments and emails to either post and/or respond to. I won't have time tonight but I will get to those first thing in the morning once we get back from the market and Dan heads back downtown to work. I also need to get caught up on your blogs. It is a little overwhelming how far behind you get being off line for just a few days.