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Lime-Roasted Vidalia Onions & Black Bean Tacos @SpicedCuriosity

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

lime-seared vidalia onion & black bean tacos

    Serves two people
  • 1 large or two small Vidalia onions
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 can black beans – drained
  • 2 small tomatoes – diced
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 Tbsp. high-heat oil – I like coconut
  • salt & ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 5 medium-sized corn tortillas

Surrounded by Hispanic co-workers, I grasp a little bit of Spanglish and cultural insights here and there. Along with the different ways to say “pancakes” in Spain versus the Dominican Republic versus Puerto Rico, I learn about the integral ingredient in all savory food: limón. I have come to covet this fruta verde, incorporating it into more and more of my dishes.

With spring afoot, I have been eyeing the fresh Vidalia onions at the market with lime in hand. Onions roasted are divine, but seared with lime juice is the next step up. The blackened root imparts a tangy taste that I love, especially atop savory tacos.

crazy buds

spring in New York

To accentuate the flavor in the onions, I tried two methods of cooking: pan-searing and roasting in the oven. The latter takes a good half hour – and I couldn’t wait that long. Long before that batch was done cooking at 400°F, I was nibbling on strips from the cast-iron.

Lime-Roasted Vidalia Onions & Black Bean Tacos @SpicedCuriosity

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Roasted Chickpeas & Garlicky Yogurt Sauce @SpicedCuriosity

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

cumin-roasted chickpeas & garlicky yogurt sauce over kale – a trip to Greece in Queens

    dry-roasted chickpeas – makes 2 cups
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • ground black pepper

garlicky yogurt sauce – makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
    For a Whole Meal – serves 2
  • 1 bunch of dark kale – about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup Roasted Chickpeas (above)
  • 1 cup Garlicky Yogurt Sauce (above)

This weekend we spent a wonderful time in…our own backyard. Early Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I had a hankering for adventure. (Or as adventurous as we old souls get – his family affectionately calls us “abuelito y abuelita.”) So we hiked up the Q train to Astoria, and found ourselves smack-dab in the middle of Greece. Little did we know that this warm neighborhood of Queens is invested with generations of Greek families, shown in part by their wealth of delicious Greek restaurants.

Adventurin' in Queens

sweet old man playing chess

Greece in Astoria

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Vitamin A & Spinach Quinoa Bites @ Spiced Curiosity

Monday, March 18, 2013

vitamin a & quinoa spinach cakes – dairy-free, gluten-free

    makes seven 2 1/2 in. patties
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves – save stems another dish!
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion – 1/2 large onion
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic – about 3 medium cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh, minced oregano leaves
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast – certified gluten-free
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil – or other high heat oil
    Tasty on the side:
  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt

And on to Vitamin A!

This is one of my favorite vitamins to try to incorporate into more meals, for it calls for simple roots and vegetables that pair well with almost any dish.

World’s Healthiest Foods provides a wealth of information on this vitamin. For instance, there are many nutrients, all which fall under the group called “Vitamin A”. Here I’ll be sharing recipes for one sect, carotenoids, which are found in plant foods. These babies provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing activity.

Beautiful “green leafy…or brightly orange- or red-colored” vegetables carry heavy doses of Vitamin A: spinach (in season spring-autumn); collard greens (autumn); sweet potato, kale, turnip greens, winter squash (autumn-winter); mustard greens (winter-spring); and carrots (accessible year-round). Take your pick and dive in!

So here’s one of my favorite new recipes, to kick off the Vitamin A batch.

Quinoa Spinach Cakes! @ Spiced Curiosity

Quinoa Spinach Cakes! @ Spiced Curiosity

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Healthy Huevos Rancheros – Spiced Curiosity

Sunday, February 24, 2013

healthy huevos rancheros – tex-mex gringa in ny

    huevos rancheros – makes ~3 servings
  • 5 large vegetarian-fed or organic eggs
  • 1 Tbsp high-heat oil
  • 4 small tomatoes – diced
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 15oz-can of black beans – drained & rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground annatto
  • 1 lime – halved
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh cilantro – coarsely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 avocado – sliced length-wise
  • 5 corn tortillas
    • • •
    minty mango with honey – 2 servings
  • one large, ripe mango – reddish with yellow spots
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint – minced

One of the qualities I love most about this lustrous island of a city is the wide variety of cultural experiences, especially for the culinary-inclined. Any night you can taste a longitudinally-far country’s fare, or meet your favorite cook in a tiny room of excited peers.

Last week’s fun leaned more toward the latter, where some friends and I joined smiles with Chloe Coscarelli at the Natural Gourmet Institute. We tasted vegan desserts and listened while she told us her recipe-creating process. Chloe is a great cook – I’m impressed by her penchant for using vegetables in everyday cooking. (Case in point – try her Avocado Pesto Pasta here, I tested it with great success!) Meeting her in person makes her twice as adorable, because she has the sweetest demeanor of any food celebrity I’ve met. Which, alright, isn’t many, but I think she’s the nicest regardless.

Chef Chloe Coscarelli

Me, Melissa, Tanne & Chloe

After the event we ladies headed over to Cafe Blossom for some tasty vegan fare. The laughs were loud and conversation was long, all in a warm, cozy atmosphere. The food was dynamic too – my favorite dish was the Carrot Ginger soup. The lighting was very dim, so please forgive the photo injustice.

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