Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Sunday feast

After yesterday's berry picking adventures, I spent today relaxing at home. Being Sunday, I prepared a number of meals - all of which were made with my new purchases - to eat through the busy work week. I am challenging myself to eat meals throughout the day that are as far down the food chain as possible, ie, mostly vegetables, fruits, plant proteins, and a little dairy. Here's the rundown on today's creations:

(for burritos, lettuce wraps, or as salsa)
Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic

4 servings


1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from about 1 ear of corn
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon light balsamic vinaigrette
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or fresh coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the peas, water and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the peas, rinse with cool water, drain again and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

In a large nonstick saute or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn, tomato, jalapeno, and garlic and saute until the tomato is softened and the corn is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.

Add the corn mixture to the peas along with the lime zest and juice, vinaigrette, cilantro, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Toss to mix.

Courtesy of 101 Cookbooks

Yield: Approximately 13 falafel balls


1 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 3/4 pound
3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 big handfuls of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp concentrated lemon juice
a scant 1/2 cup chickpea/gram/besan flour
a splash of olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 425* F and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender - 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.

Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and gram/chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks. Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary (the water content of sweet potatoes varies enormously).

Reheat the oven to 400*F. Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) or a falafel scoop if you have one, make the mixture into falafelly looking things and put them on an oiled tray. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.

Adapted from Show Me The Curry

Approximately 4 cups


2 cups plain yogurt
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 handful cilantro


In a small saucepan, heat oil. When hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds sputter, add cumin, chili powder, and garam masala. Toast the spices but do not burn.

In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, cucumber, and tomato. Add oil mixture and stir thoroughly. Add salt to taste and top with cilantro.


Adapted from Gastroanthropology

Cranachan is a creamy, fruity dessert originally from Scotland. It is usually made with raspberries, but as I have only blackberries, I used them. It is delicious! It is typically made with double cream (full fat whipping cream in Americanese) and whiskey. For those of us who put on weight easily, you can substitute light whipped topping for the whipping cream and omit the booze.


2/3 cup light whipped topping, thawed
10 blackberries
2 tsp light pancake syrup
1 tbsp toasted oatmeal, cooled


Mix everything together, breaking the berries so the cream turns purple.

Use cranachan to top Scottish whole wheat shortbread (recipe to follow).

Adapted from Gastroanthropology

Yield: approximately 10 cookies


1/2 cup whipped butter, room temperature
1 tbsp light pancake syrup
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 scant cup whole wheat pastry dough
1/4 tsp sea salt, will need more for sprinkling
Raw sugar and sea salt for sprinkling


Cream butter, vanilla, and sugar for about one minute. Add flour and salt and mix in with a wooden spoon. When the dough forms into one, put onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the shortbread dough for at least one minute. Add a bit more flour, but only if the dough is really sticky. Pat into a quarter-inch high disk and cut out with a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Arrange on a sheet pan and sprinkle with sugar and sea salt. Bake at 350* F until the edges turn slightly golden.

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