Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Poke

We are off our 6-week challenge and although I don't miss meat, I do seem to want starch, so thanks to our school librarian, this sweet potato poke hits the spot.

Poke is traditionally made with sliced fish, but the modern poke continues to evolve so this poke uses sweet potato as the fish substitute. The other ingredients are by preference.

I used diced Maui onion, ogo (seaweed), cucumber and inamona (roasted kukui nuts)

For the sauce, roast sesame seeds in a dry pan
The sauce: chili sesame
1/2 cup shoyu
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp chili pepper water
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp inamona

(all of this is to taste, but the ratio is about right - make more if you have more stuff, less if not)
chili pepper water 
chili sesame sauce

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ken-ergy Bars

Day 5 of blogging.  I was going to do a Sunday shopper yesterday, but we were in Kona all day and didn't shop, so I ended up doing a book review on my other site, so skipped Sunday on this site, but still blogging.

Inspired by the Lianabars from So Duck Soup, Big Spazz made his own "Ken-ergy" bars just in time for an 8 mile hike for Boy Scouts.

Big Spazz likes everything big, so this one is chock full of stuffs.

4 cups pitted dates - put into the food processor until it forms a ball.
1 cup peanuts, unsalted
1 cup mac nuts, unsalted
Put it through the food processor separately until the above consistency
The other goodies: (all estimates)
2 T natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chocolate minis
2 T coconut flakes

Divide the date ball, add half the other goodies and whir together until it reaches a consistency of wet sand.

Do the same with the next half of ingredients.

Put saran wrap on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the wet sand in the pan, cover with saran and push down until it compacts. Put in the refrigerator to harden it a little, then cut into bars and pack for the hike.

They don't look sexy, but they are really good and will give you lots of energy to do the long hikes. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chana Masala Attempt #2

This recipe uses the homemade garbanzos I made earlier in the week.

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups homemade garbanzo beans (or 2 cans, strained)
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, strained
2 tsp garam masala
1 cup water
salt to taste
Cilantro to taste
juice from 1/2 a lemon

I have these very lovely cumin seeds that I bought by mistake when I should have bought ground cumin, so the thing about the cumin seeds is to let it crackle and open first to release the herb flavor.  It should be done with oil, but a hot pan and a little bit of water or spray oil. Heat the pan, put the seeds in and let it crackle.

Add the onions and saute until it's translucent.

Add the tomatoes, cook for about 4-5 minutes, add the garam masala and cook for another two minutes.

Add garbanzos and a cup of water. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes. I let it go a little longer because of my homemade garbanzos.  Turn the heat off, stir in the lemon and serve with cilantro on the side.


Also good, but Chana #1 and Chana #2 need to be merged. Add garlic with the crackling cumin seeds, curry, coriander and spinach. Also, always use the homemade garbanzos which are much better tasting than the canned.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chana Masala attempt #1

I did say that I would blog every day in March and yet I missed on the 2nd day, but I did not anticipate a car crash that knocked out our electricity last night, so here's yesterday's blog.

Chana Masala with spinach

Spinach is not normally in chana masala, but I had some baby spinach, so why not?

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with water OR 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup water
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
juice of one lemon
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 large bunch of spinach, rinsed

Water saute onions and garlic until soft

Add garbanzos and water. Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water, if needed, until garbanzos are cooked and soft.

Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for 2-4 minutes. Serve with naan heated in the oven or on a grill.

Verdict - yummy. The issue - it's a little wet. Maybe it would taste better with homemade garbanzos.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garbanzo Love

This is the year of monthly challenges - none of which I've really accomplished, but this is a new month, so perhaps third time's the charm.

January challenge - follow the clutter calendar for one month = FAIL
February challenge - walk at least 2 miles per day = FAIL but getting closer
March challenge - blog everyday on this or my book blog = we'll see...

I've been on a non-spicy Indian food kick recently, mostly because we found the most decadent, not good for us naan bread at Costco (1/2 a piece is 210 calories - gah! That's why it's SOOOOOO delicious)

Don't buy this - it's sour! (That way when we go, it will still be there)

My favorite thing to eat with naan is chana masala because the chana has just enough liquid so that I can sop it up with ripped pieces of naan. Yummy! I have two recipes I've tried so far and I want to combine the best of both, but today is about garbanzo love.

Garbanzo beans in the can are good, but if you have a little time, the natural foods stores have dried garbanzo beans that are even better, bigger, and more meaty.

Don't mind the weird frames and colors on my pics. I'm enjoying the photo site Picnik.com until April when they will change to google. For now, all their premium items are free so I love playing with the effects.

Dried garbanzos, or chickpeas, will just look like dried mini brains.

Soak them in water for a day or at least overnight, then boil it for about 20 minutes. There will be foam so just skim and keep boiling to soften the bean.

The beans just expand like crazy which makes it a cheap, green and healthy alternative to buying sodium laden, mushy, canned garbanzos.

Besides chana, we're going to try and roast these garbanzos, perhaps with my favorite garam masala spice. More on the chana tomorrow.

Note: because the beans are not salted when the canned beans are, you'll need to add some salt to your cooking, but the key here is that YOU will be in control of your salt intake.