Japanese Curry AKA Kare

Bobby and I went to the Japanese grocery store this weekend and picked up a package of Japanese Curry mix:

And it’s vegan! Japanese Curry (known as Kare) is slightly less sweet than a typical Indian or Thai curry, and very rich in flavor. This recipe is simple to make but it tastes savory and complex. We both loved it and I will be making this often.

Kare/Japanese Curry

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 cup snap peas
1 large carrot, sliced (I used my new mandoline)
1 small potato, roughly chopped
1/2 medium nectarine, roughly chopped
1 cup water
1.5 blocks of curry mix (1.5 servings, according to the box)
about 20 basil leaves, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the snap peas, carrot, potato, and nectarine. Continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the water and cover. Cook for 7-8 more minutes. Add the curry mix and stir until it dissolves. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the curry thickens to your desired consistency (cook longer for thicker curry). Right before you take it off the heat, add the chopped basil leaves and mix well.
3. Serve with rice or your grain of choice. We also tried it with shirataki noodles – delicious!

Zucchini Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

I bought a new cooking toy: a mandoline! I went to Bed Bath & Beyond on my lunch break and picked it up, along with some rubber muffin tins. (Should they really be called “tins” if they are made of rubber?) As soon as I got home I had to try it – and prompty sliced off a piece of my middle finger. It looked worse than it really was, and after applying a band-aid and some neosporin, I was back at the counter, slicing more zucchini.

I’m not sure if I should call this concoction a quiche or a casserole. Whatever it was, it was gooey and cheesy and had tender vegetables in every bite. Steaming the veggies beforehand is so important, and the final product was done to perfection.

Zucchini Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 medium zucchini
1 cup small broccoli florets (slightly less than 1 head)
1 cup milk
1 egg + 1 egg white
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Saute the onions in the sesame oil for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
3. Slice the zucchini very thinly (easily done with a mandoline). Steam the zucchini and broccoli for about 4 minutes. Immediately run them under cold water. Arrange them in a baking pan (I used a 9-inch round), and did one layer of zucchini, one of broccoli, and then another of zucchini.

4. In a bowl, scramble the eggs and add the milk. Mix in the sauteed onions. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. Pour this evenly over the veggies. Tilt the pan and push down the veggies so that the mixture coats everything. Top with the cheese.
5. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes. The top should be browned and a bit crispy.

We enjoyed this with 2 artichokes dipped in margarine and a pot of whole wheat couscous – couscous is the perfect grain for me. It cooks up in 5 minutes and it’s absolutely delicious.

"Fluffy" Waffles

Last weekend I had a craving for waffles. And not just any waffles – the light, fluffy waffles that my dad used to make every other Sunday (the other Sundays were French Toast, and Saturdays were pancakes). I started looking at recipes, and was disapointed to see that they all relied and oil and egg yolks for richness and flavor. I know that my dad always mixed in whipped egg whites for light and airy waffles, so I decided to run with that. I added my signature applesauce in place of the oil, and this is the result – healthy, hearty, fluffy waffles! I made waffles once before for the blog, but with oatmeal (and they’re vegan) – here’s a LINK.

“Fluffy” Waffles (makes 8 waffles)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup applesauce
2 egg whites

1. Preheat your waffle iron.
2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and applesauce. Pour this into the center of the flour mixture and mix well.
4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they have soft peaks. Gently fold this into the batter. Do not overmix! This is what makes the waffles so fluffy!
5. Spray your waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the appropriate amount of batter (mine takes slightly less than 1 cup for each set of 2 waffles). Cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on your iron.
6. Serve with maple syrup, honey, applesauce, cinnamon, whipped cream, fresh strawberries, blueberries, chocolate, etc… If you want to mix things up, add some chocolate chips to the batter before cooking.

Cheesy (or not!) Garlic Bread & a birthday

Happy Birthday Mom! To celebrate such a wonderful woman, here’s a fun, simple, and hearty recipe. It’s a classic, just like my mom.

Garlic bread is a great comfort food. Crispy and rich, this recipe will melt in your mouth and leave your stomach satisfied. It’s the perfect complement to a meal of fresh pasta and a simple Italian salad.

Cheesy (or not!) Garlic Bread

1 fresh baguette
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon fresh or dried oregano
1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Sliced the loaf in half, lengthwise. Melt the butter and mix in the garlic and oregano.
2. Brush the loaf with the butter mixture. Top the bread with the cheese.
3. Turn on your broiler. Broil the bread until the top is crispy (about 5-6 minutes) and the cheese is melted. Be careful of the half in the back of the oven – my half in the back browned much faster than the one in the front! It would probably be a good idea to turn the baking pan around after about 3-4 minutes.

This recipe is easily veganized – just replace the butter with vegan margarine and the cheddar with vegan cheese. Enjoy!

Watermelon Blue Cheese Salad and WHB – amazing.

After seeing watermelon salads pop up on several of the blogs that I follow, I decided I had to make my own. I picked up crumbled blue cheese at Milk Pail Market for $1.20 (this place is ridiculous!) and went to work… I served it on Sunday for Bobby, my brother, his girlfriend, and my old housemate, Paul. I think Paul loved it 🙂 He kept saying how he should eat over here more often. I made another version last night with orange bell peppers instead of tomatoes – it was good, but not as good as the tomato version!

Since this dish is completely dependent on a good watermelon, I’m submitting it to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Archana of Archana’s Kitchen and created by the lovely Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Watermelon Blue Cheese Salad

1/3 of a large watermelon, chopped
1 large red tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Mix together the watermelon, tomato, and cilantro.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the vinegar and cheese. Mix just enough so that the vinegar starts to become creamy, but there are still crumbles left.
3. Mix the dressing into the watermelon and gently toss until the dressing is distributed. Top with salt and pepper, to taste.

Another option: replace the tomato with two small orange bell peppers, chopped. Picture: