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Indian

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

Ice cream – it’s a universal pleaser. This recipe especially because it’s dairy-free and tastes so ridiculously delicious you’ll want to celebrate with seconds. And your body won’t totally yell at you for doing so.

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

My roommate and I spent a good 30-minutes on the couch over the weekend brainstorming on what to make for the 4th of July. We wanted to celebrate, and I wanted to blog about. Another typical Saturday.

Her: “Cheesecake?” Me: “Because that’s totally fitting for my blog…”

Her: “Champagne and pie for later on the roof.” Me: “Perfect, obviously.” Both of us: “Too much work.”

Me: “Ice cream?” Her: “Roasted Strawberry?” Me: “Can we make it vegan.” Both of us: “FIREWORKS!”

As I said, ice cream – the perfect pleaser – especially when it’s coconut and able to be shared with all. Boom.

Summer Berries

This vegan version of ice cream gets its creaminess from coconut milk with an extra boost of flavor from cardamom. Together, it has an Indian-kind of vibe going on, which pairs phenomenally well with blueberries. Don’t skip them from this equation, as they’ll really complete your bowl.

Plus, I don’t know where you live, but where I am, it’s full-fledged blueberry season. Again, cue those fireworks in the air.

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

For best flavor and creaminess, allow your ice cream to sit for at least 5 minutes at room temperature prior to eating once you remove it from the freezer.

P.S. My roommate and I got a little carried away and made not just one, but TWO coconut ice creams. Check out the 2nd recipe here: Roasted Strawberry & Fennel Coconut Ice Cream.

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Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer has always been one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s super savory, has that slight hint of both sweet and rich components going on from a touch of cream, and has a smoothness that feels divine on top of Naan, or even rice.

It’s also incredibly easy to create at home, which isn’t always the case when it comes to Indian food.

Tatsoi

Technically, this dish would require whipping up your own mild, fresh cheese, known as the paneer, which in itself isn’t actually all that complicated. However, this version of Saag Paneer swaps the cheese for tofu, making it even more convenient and quick to whip up. Perhaps I should rename it to Saag Tofu, but I think the Tatsoi in the title is enough of a curveball in itself.

What’s tatsoi, and what’s it doing in this recipe? Typically, at least in the states, Saag Paneer is made with spinach. You could certainly use that in my version too, and I’ve included instructions to do so. However, I chose to use tatsoi instead, because, well, I have a garden full of it. If you’re wondering what to do with your own tatsoi, I would highly recommend you put it to use in this.

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Like spinach, tatsoi is a tender green, although with just slightly more of a bite…especially when you let it reach its flowering point in the garden. (Pick it before this if you can.)

In comparison to most other greens though, the flavor is subtle, and the texture is creamy. This makes it so adaptable for this dish, where the dominance of flavors should remain in its collection of spices.

Tatsoi

If you’re not familiar with tatsoi, try it out if you can and get your adventure thriving in the kitchen. It grows abundantly during the spring months, and can also be found for pretty cheap in most Asian markets. Again though, spinach is a guaranteed go-to, and will also work wonders here, so have no fear if tatsoi can’t be found.

Philadelphia Community Garden

Serve the Saag alongside basmati rice, preferably of the fiber-rich, brown variety, and a warm piece of naan. This dish will also goes well with a wide range of other Indian dishes, from curries to masalas, and more. So if you feel inspired, make a feast.

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Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

I’ve been doing a ton of cooking with friends lately, which I love. There’s something special about gathering around cutting boards and cookbooks, and creating something from scratch. Especially when it means spending time with people who make you laugh and forget all your worries. Nights of food and laughter will always be my favorite.

This month has been filled with lots of those, making it feel as if Christmas came early. Minus all the Christmas cookies. I have yet to bake one holiday treat this year! Gasp. Throw me some ideas, friends. This weekend, I  shall bake. And get down with some DIY gifting.

Because all that free time spent cooking lately means I have lots and lots of gifting to catch up on this weekend. Cue morning yoga and evening wine to keep my sanity. And some of this leftover pumpkin coconut curry from an earlier silliness-filled cooking sesh with the help of Louie, my new sous chef. (Every food blogger needs a sous chef, right? My mom likes to think I need a dishwasher, too…but that’s another story.)

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Coconut curry holds a sweet spot in my life. As of lately, black rice does too. Combine the two, and you’re in for a treat. Not only does the orange pumpkin in this recipe look beautifully with the rice, but it compliments its nuttiness as well.

Creamy and slightly rich, but packed full of so many healthy ingredients, this is the kind of meal to bring out when dining with company. Want to show the world vegan food can taste great? Make coconut curry. And add pumpkin, cashews, veggies and cilantro.

This is not faint on flavor. Add it to your dinner rotation and it too will feel like Christmas came early, all times of the year.

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Curried Sweet Potato and Lentils

Curried Sweet Potato and Lentils

I’ve been trying to use up all my winter foods before the much anticipated spring veggie takeover. While I could certainly eat sweet potatoes year-round, it’s likely they’ll soon be swapped for a greener, but equally sweet, starch. I’m talking spring peas, and buckets of them. I’m talking sweet pea soups and all the other early seasonal veggies I can pair with them. Man am I ready for that.

However, in the meantime, I’m still going strong with my long-term love of sweet potatoes and relishing in their convenience. Sweet peas are great, but to enjoy them at their best, you’re in for an hour or so of shucking away their pods. (Totally worth it though!) On the other hand, the sweets used in this dish needn’t even be peeled. In fact, after a good wash, you’ll want to leave on the skin as you chop. It’s this thin outer layer that holds much of the healthy tuber’s potassium and fiber.

Speaking of fiber, I’m not sure there’s an easier (or cheaper), cholesterol-lowering source than lentils. Lentils really don’t get enough credit in my kitchen, but I’m always happy with the results when they do make it to the stove. Filling and versatile, I hope to see more of these on my blog soon.

Here, they’re paired with a flavor-heavy variety of spices and sweetened with both the coconut milk and the potatoes. The potatoes every so slightly melt into the dish, complimenting the coconut which gives the low-fat lentils a slight richness. I recommend serving in a wrap with diced avocado, but any whole grain would work below them as well.

Note, this recipe is meant to feed a crowd. Cut the recipe in half or freeze for later use if yield is too much.

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Kofta Balls with Indian Tomato Sauce

Indian cuisine was far more usual in my childhood diet than Italian. Of course, this quickly changed once I hit college, but prior to my noodle years, Indian feasts on Sunday afternoons weren’t entirely uncommon. My mom had a thing for curry, rice, and nutrition, and fortunately, all could easily be combined within many vegetarian Indian dishes.

This meal right here was by far one of my favorites that she’d make. As for this sauce, huge batches were always a summer tradition.  This left a never-ending supply in the freezer to use over rice all the way through the winter. My high school boyfriend, on the other hand, was always begging me to load him up on tomatoes so that his Italian momma could make her version of sauce. I presume he had a never-ending supply to spoon over spaghetti through the winter. Regardless, the tomatoes in my garden made us both happy kids.

This sauce is incredibly flavorful for how simple it is to make. It’s the perfect topping for the kofta balls, which when cooked, obtain a perfectly crisped, golden shell to hold their soft interior. I could easily see this combination on a bun for a unique, vegetarian take on a meatball sub. Though, in my household, my mom will never stray from her beloved brown rice. Go for brown basmati if you can. Its nuttiness completes the meal.

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