This blog started back in June with the intention of finding ways to connect with my daughters over things we enjoy together, CSA, cooking and food. Hence, the name OOHMOMME. However, as life got busy, somehow the blog just turned to OOH MOM, the ME( my daughters) took a hiatus. But…we’re back together on the blog.
We have been cooking together and enjoying our CSA together but the blog together just wasn’t happening. So, here we are together on a very rainy Sunday. We now have time to sit and share our fellowship with you. We are back together sharing not one recipe, but, two recipes. It’s your lucky day. The second recipe will be on the next post.
Rainy Sundays during the fall always bring a sense of yearning for comfort food. Today, my daughter made a yummy chicken pesto grilled cheese sandwich. I made a yummy pumpkin dal soup in my Instapot( my favorite kitchen gadget yet) for lunch. This dal can be eaten alone as a soup or poured over rice or quinoa. My recipe instructions are for insta pot but the directions would be the same on stove. just watch it as it boils and it would take more time until fully cooked.
Last week my daughter made the comfiest food of all, pasta. This pasta oozes comfort with peas, truffle oil, genoa salame and soppresata(whatever we had at home), and Parmesan cheese on top… what more says comfort? MMMM, Comfort pantry pasta.
Recipe 1 :Instapot Pumpkin Dal
- 2 cups yellow split peas(rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup of pumpkin/acorn squash cut into small chunk( 2 inch pieces) – you can buy frozen, we had fresh from CSA
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds( black)
- 2 serrano peppers( eliminate if you don’t like heat)
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves, discard stems, just use leaves(optional)
- salt to taste
- water- minimum 2 cups
- 1/2 cup grated coconut(optional)
- Turn instapot on and click saute function. (on the stove take a heavy bottomed pan and turn to med high heat).
- Add 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil but you could use any other oil.
- when oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds until they sputter.
- Add chopped onions and the 3 garlic cloves chopped.
- Stir and 1 tsp of salt to accelerate browning and 2 tsp of turmeric powder.
- Stir until onions start to brown. Add cury leaves and serrano peppers( sliced).
- Stir while adding pumpkin. Within a few minutes, add the rinsed split yellow peas.
- Add water to instapot or pot on stove until the dal is covered. Add another tsp of salt. Stir and click manual on instapot(this should get it to low pressure). Press + to add time until it say 10 minutes).
- Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is facing sealing not venting.
- The dal will cook for the next 10 minnutes. Let it nautrally release pressure.
- While the dal is cooking, you could puree the grated coconut( I grate in a food processor and freeze and use as needed. You could buy from the store-make sure it’s unsweetened). Puree the coconut with a bit of water, one garlic clove and a pinch of cumin seeds).
- When the dal is completely cooked and the pressure is released, add the grated coconut mixture to the instapot. Close the lid and let everything melt together.
- ENJOY as is- a soup! Or pour over rice or other grain. Make a grilled cheese sandwich and dunk away. So many options!
The best recipes are the ones you take a risk on and they pay off big time. A CSA farm share can bring an abundance of produce. As I’ve said before, sometimes, you’re like, ” what? more kale, more mizuna…” A food processor can be your best friend. I showed you last week my recipe for APP bitter green pesto. I use it in pastas and ground turkey etc. But in chicken curry? Yep.
Most people have had some exposure to Indian foods but usually it’s the typical chicken tikka masala that’s loaded in cream and butter and not very nutritious, although very delicious. Indian food is so diverse. It’s like if you only had southern food(fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese) and you thought that is what American food is. There’s so much to American cuisine. Similarly, there are so many great dishes that come out of India but most people don’t have the opportunity to try them.
A traditional northern Indian curry is called Haryali chicken. Hari means green in Hindi. The green comes from mint and coriander which adds so much depth of flavor and aromas to the dish that my mouth is watering, just writing about it. My version of Haryali chicken is just as deep in flavor but packs a nutritious punch. My husband who is always suspicious of “new” types of chicken curry, adores this healthy delicious version(bitter greens are used but this curry is far from bitter). A must try!
great tomato substitute
1/2 cup of APP bitter green pesto
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves/1 long garlic scape
2 inches of ginger( finely chopped/grated)
2 chili peppers( optional)
5 -6 curry leaves
1 tomato( chopped) or Cento double concentrated organic tomato paste (1 tbsp)
EVOO/coconut oil -3 tbsp
1 pasture raised whole chicken- cut into small pieces( typical in Indian curries, approx 4 inch pieces)
winner winner chicken dinner!
- In a heavy bottomed pan, saute chopped onions, garlic and ginger in oil.
- Add sprinkle of salt to help with browning.
- As the mixture begins to soften, add curry leaves and chili peppers stir to saute.
- Add 1-2 tsp of salt( to taste). 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of coriander powder, 2 tsp of chili powder.(The chili powder’s heat depends on the type of chili used to make the powder. If you know you can tolerate/enjoy heat,then go ahead. If you know you can’t, then add just a pinch or so for color or just add some paprika which adds color and smoky flavor with less heat).
- When the onion mixture is cooked down and spices are roasted well, add tomato(paste). Stir well.
- Once that mixture is cooked down, add chicken. Stir and saute and mix well. Close with lid and let cook for the next 10 minutes.
- I have found whole chicken to have the most flavor. The bones give the curry just what it needs. I find that pasture-raised meat not only tastes better but also cooks faster.
- After 15 minutes, lift the lid, stir and add 1/2 cup of the APP pesto. Add more as you wish. Adding mint leaves and coriander leaves to this pesto add so much flavor. If I have those herbs at home, I use. If not, it tastes great without.
- Add 1 tbsp of garam masala. Garam masala means warm mixture. That’s what it is, roasted whole spices that are then ground up. I make my own but there are many that are great that are store bought. There are many great brands, but this is one I have used before. If you don’t make Indian food as often as I do, then store bought makes more sense, but the flavor of home roasted spices is incomparable. ( will post my recipe for homemade garam masala later.)
- Stir and let cook with the pesto and garam masala with lid on on medium heat for another 10 minutes or so.
- Enjoy this thick luscious, healthy, green( haryali) chicken curry with rice, quinoa, chapati/nan. YUM!
- A great vegan/vegetarian option to this that I have tried is to add this pesto to chickpeas. It packs a punch and contains no meat.
Living in a home where everyone in the household needs or wants to eat something different on a daily basis can be a daunting task. Making sure all meals are healthy(-ish) is just as difficult. Using all the greens that come in your weekly share is tricky… now, really, how many greens can you eat in a day and how many ways can you prepare them?
So, this week’s CSA share included red mustard greens, mizuna, garlic scape and shallot flowers etc. Mizuna is an Asian mustard green that can be used in stir fry or eaten raw in salad. Mizuna is almost always found in the swap box. People don’t like it or just don’t know to use it.
I have learned to appreciate the art of pesto making through my weekly share of the many bitter greens. Pesto can come in many forms, but it’s usually basil pulsed in a food processor with garlic, nuts, EVOO and Parmesan cheese. I make pesto with whatever greens I have at home and use it in pastas, rice, ground turkey and now….chicken curry. I usually don’t add nuts or cheese because that can’t cause it go rancid quicker. If I want cheese or nuts in pesto, I can always add later. You can make YOUR own rules around food, it’s what works for you and your family. Cooking should not be a task that becomes burdensome. If you have it at home, you can make into something delicious. All you need is a stocked spice box. The right spices can transform any dish.
Bitter Green Pesto
- 2 bunches of mizuna
- 5-6 pieces of red mustard greens
- garlic scapes (2-3 stalks)
- salt to taste
- chili pepper( jalapeño or other preferred) optional
- Chop off the ends of the mizuna bunch, maybe 1-2 inches from root end.
- Wash mizuna, red mustard greens( 5-6 pieces) , and garlic scape(2-3) . Vegetables from local organic CSA shares are the healthiest and tastiest but can also be dirtiest. Welcome to the CSA life.. lots of dirt!
- In a food processor, place mizuna, drizzle EVOO as you process the mizuna, then slowly add the mustard greens, garlic scapes, 1 tsp of salt( to taste, you can always add more later), pepper. If you want extra heat( I always do), add a chili pepper, you could add half a jalapeño. Go as mild or as bold as you like…
- Pulse in the processor ensuring it has a pesto consistency, drizzling in olive oil as needed( approx. 3/4 cup).
This will yield you maybe a 1.5 cups of pesto. You could add mint or cilantro to this making it even more aromatic and flavorful. I use it if i have it.