Meatless Meal in Minutes
Welcome to a new year!
Our household is a melting pot, a microcosm of America. Here East meets West in harmony (mostly).
This fusion and mingling of cultures is most evident in my cooking. My kitchen does not discriminate. Mustard seeds co-mingle with Italian pasta. Monterey Jack Cheese melts in homemade Indian Chapatti bread. Kale and eggplant simmer in coconut milk. Feta cheese adds a tangy bite to warm potato salad.
Take tonight’s dinner for example. The menu consisted of angel hair pasta with an Indian twist and cauliflower and chard tossed with toasted almond slices. The entire meal took less than 20 minutes to cook and was tasty as it was colorful. Can harmony in the kitchen translate into world peace? Perhaps not. But I like to think it is a step in the right direction and that I’m bringing people together, one plate at a time.
So here’s my recipe for world harmony!
South Indian Pasta
1 package De Cecco Angel Hair pasta, cook for barely 2 minutes and then drain and soak in cold water.
You will need:
1 large onion chopped
1 sprig curry leaf
2-4 tablespoons channa dal (Indian yellow split peas)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 can of beans, any kind, drained. I used white beans
1-2 tsp. turmeric powder
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
Juice of one lemon
Heat a large pot, add desired amount of oil. Warm. Add mustard seeds and allow the seeds to pop. Immediately add chopped onion, sprig of curry leaf and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add channa dal and continue cooking until the dal is brown and toasty. Stir in turmeric powder. Add beans and coriander leaves. Stir. Drain pasta and add to the pot. Sprinkle Himalayan Pink Salt. Stir. Add lemon juice. Stir and taste for salt.
I head cauliflower, cut into florets
I bunch chard, rinsed and chopped roughly into pieces, stem and all
Steam the vegetables for about 5 minutes, don’t overcook.
While vegetables are steaming…heat a tablespoon of butter plus one tablespoon olive oil. Add generous half cup sliced almonds. Stir and cook the almonds until they are golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Add steamed vegetables to the almonds. Stir. Add 1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt. If you want you can squeeze some lemon juice over the vegetables but they taste fine without the juice.
Dinner is served. Sit in quiet peace and enjoy.