Monday, October 10, 2011

Turkey Sausage and Broccoli with Quinoa Pasta

When I first heard about quinoa, I thought that it must be difficult to make. I've heard great things about it, like it contains essential amino acids, high in iron, gluten-free. So I was at a normal supermarket yesterday, and had decided to make my favorite pasta. When I was looking at the noodles, lo and behold, they had quinoa. The brand I used was "Ancient Quinoa Harvest", and the ingredients consist of organic corn flour, organic quinoa flour, dried organic spinach, dried organic beet and/or organic red bell pepper. The best part? Though slightly more than regular pasta, it was $2.50 for an 8oz. box. Uh... yeah. That's a keeper for me. This is a no nonsense, straight forward, healthy, and really tasty dish. It's definitely going to be a staple of mine. If it's not for you, then stick with pasta. It's still going to be tasty.

1 8oz box quinoa-corn blend "Garden Pagodas" pasta (or replace with regular pasta such as fusilli)
1.25lbs sweet Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
2 stalks organic broccoli, cut into little pieces and stalks discarded
3 teaspoons dried and crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 large cloves garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Bring a little more than 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add broccoli, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Remove broccoli and put it in a large bowl of ice water, save the water in the pot. Bring it to a boil for the pasta and follow directions on the box.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add turkey sausage. Crush the sausage with a spoon until it is broken up and no longer red. About 12 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir. Drain broccoli, add to skillet and stir. Add pasta, stir and coat with juices. Stir in parmesan and serve immediately.

Okay, I also want to add how much I spent at Associated Supermarket in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
1 box 8oz quinoa-corn blend noodles - $2.50
1.25lbs sweet italian sausage - $4.50
2 stalks of broccoli - $2.99
Fresh parmasan -$2.99
Red pepper flakes - I bought this a couple of years ago
Garlic - I had from other dishes
Olive Oil - I had in my pantry
Total: $12.98 to make about 4 servings. Maybe a little more than 4. Yup. That works for me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jeena’s Indian Stewed Green Beans and Tomatoes

I am totally into Indian food and feel fortunate to have my first experience of it with my very good friend Jeena.  She is from Kerala, which is known as "God's Own Country". From what I hear from many friends who have visited, there is truth to this saying. It is full of lush greenery, nature, waterfalls, canals, beaches. Ayurvedic medicine and massages are popular in this area, which fits well since it is a traditional method to restore balance in one's body. 

So...since this is a cooking blog and not Lonely Planet, here is a wonderful dish by Jeena. You can find similar recipes, but this is her own specialty, pulled from her roots. You can pair this with so many things. I think I'm going to make this along with Japanese curry, one of my winter staples. 

Set aside the following spices, together into a small ramekin or dish:
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cumin seeds (use mortar and pestle to grind into a rough powder)

2 tbsp canola oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
1 inch piece of grated or finely minced fresh ginger
2-3 tbsp diced red onion
10 fresh curry leaves, crush them in your hands to release flavors
4 cloves  garlic, crushed&chopped
about 50 green beans, cut into inch pieces
20 grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half
½ tsp salt (add more or less, according to taste)

1.Heat the oil on high just until it starts to smoke and add mustard seeds and then turn the heat to medium.
2. After the mustard seeds stop sputtering, sauté the ginger, onions and curry leaves.
3. When you see the onions soften, add the garlic and sauté for a minute (make sure not to brown the garlic).
4. Add the coriander, turmeric and cumin and mix for about a minute, just to release the flavors (make sure the spices don’t brown or burn).
5. Add the green beans, tomatoes and stir for a couple of minute, blending everything together. Turn the heat back up to high.
6. Lastly, add 1 cup of water and salt. Mash the tomatoes to release its flesh and boil for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the thickness of the gravy to your liking, making sure the beans don’t get mushy. Enjoy!