Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup low cal low fat lunch by ng @ What's for Dinner?
 Happy Halloween!
I made this spooky butternut squash soup for lunch.  

Butternut Squash Soup
two for a light lunch

1/2 a roasted butternut squash (just bake in the oven until soft)
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup turnip chopped
1 Tbs ginger garlic paste 
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups chicken or veg broth
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp plain yogurt (for spooky web)

Heat a pot with the oil.  Cook the onion, carrot and turnip until the onion starts to soften.  Add the ginger garlic paste and cumin.  Cook for a min then add the squash and broth. Bring to a boil and lower the heat.  Cover and cook for about 15 min until the veg is soft.  Take off the heat and blend. Taste for salt and pepper.  Add yogurt for a spooky web.
 Butternut squash soup...because the pumpkin was too cute to cook! by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Butternut squash soup...because the pumpkin was too cute to cook!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shole Zard

Shole Zard by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
Shole Zard is a rice dessert made with water and saffron or a Persian vegan low-fat rice pudding.  Can also add nuts, cardamom and rose water.  A lot of time is spent standing at the stove so I was really happy that my mother-in-law did the cooking!  She made it for me a few times, but since she doesn't measure anything (and after I asked her to use my measuring cups she say everything is one cup)  I had to watch and remeasure everything she did.  The water to rice ratio is 6-1.
Vegan, Iranin, Rice Pudding by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Shole Zard
feeds four
3 cups of water
1/2 cup rice
1/3 sugar
8 cloves cardamom (seeds only)
1/4 tsp saffron powder (or a few threads)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Soak the rice for a few hours.  Drain and blend in a food processor until the rice is in lots of little bits but not a powder.  Place in a pot on med high heat and start adding the water 1/2 cup at a time.  Like making risotto but takes longer with more stirring. After the 1st cup of water add in the cardamon seeds. Use 1/2 cup of the water to dissolve the sugar.  Add the sugar water.  Keep stirring.  There will still be some little bits of rice but mostly it will turn into a thick paste.  Will take 30min or more in total.  Add the saffron powder and plate.  Use cinnamon and or nuts to decorate.  Eat warm or chilled.  I like it chilled with Mexican chocolate.
Low fat rice pudding Persian style by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Rice and sugar... what baby doesn't love that!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Aash-e Dandoni Tooth Soup (Bean and Rice Soup)

Aash-e Dandoni or Tooth Soup, Bean and Rice Soup, by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
This is my favorite food from when I was in Iran.  My mother-in-law made it for Joe's first tooth.  Its called Aash-e Dandoni or Tooth Soup. Everyone gave her a few beans to make it and then she handed out the soup.  I guess its a bit like Iranian Stone Soup only the empty bowls came back with gifts for the baby.   She is visiting me and I asked her to please make it for me again.   She said that all of Joe's teeth would fall out but since he just has baby teeth I said let them!

This soup in simple yet rich.  Just chickpeas, kidney beans, barley, lentil, rice and onion.  That right a vegan Iranian dish! I'm in heaven! The only spice is salt and pepper.   I couldn't ruin this lovely soup by adding again thing else.

Aash-e Dandoni
makes one pot
1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup kidney bean (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup lentils (could use mung bean soaked overnight)
1/2 cup rice
1 chopped and fried onion
salt and pepper

In a med large pot bring the chickpeas and kidney beans to a boil in about 3 cups of water, lower the heat and cover.  Cook for about an hour and then add the barley and lentils.   Cook for about half an hour and add the rice and fried onion.  Check and taste the soup as it cooks.  Adding water, salt and pepper when and as needed.  When everything is soft its ready.  This should be a very thick soup so keep and eye on it after add the rice so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

I think this would be really lovely in a crock pot.  Add everything in at once with boiling water to cover and let cook. 

Low Cal, vegan, cold weather bean soup by ng @ What's for Dinner?
The perfect cold weather bean soup.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini or Dolmeh Felfel and Kadoo

Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini or Dolmeh Felfel and Kadoo by Ng @ What's for Dinner
 In the past I've posted a Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam recipe the major difference between that recipe and this is my mother-in-law is visisting....that and she adds split peas. My mom would add raisins so I put some in too.
Cooking stuffed Peppers with my Iranian mother in law by ng @ What's for Dinner
Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini
fills 4 peppers and 2 zucchinis

4 bell peppers
2 zucchinis
1 cup rice
250 gm ground meat
1 onion chopped
1/4 cup split peas
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 cups tomato sacue
salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric

1. Cut the tops off the peppers.  Clean out the seeds.  Slice the zucchinis in half and remove seeds.
2. Boil rice for 8 min.  Drain and set aside.
3. Brown the meat with the onion. Add salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric.
4. Mix the rice and meat.  Add the Tomato paste, split peas and raisins to the mix. Taste for salt and pepper.
5. Fill the peppers and zucchini and cover with tomato sauce.   Cover with foil and bake for an hour at 200c.

Peppers, Zucchinis and rice by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Feel free to just use peppers if you don't like zucchini.
I enjoyed cooking this meal with my in-laws.  I had some extra stuffing and I filled some cabbage. Which turned out to be my fav. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup with Parsnips and potato by Ng @ What's For Dinner?
 I made this simple soup for lunch today.  I wasn't going to write about it but it turned out so white, creamy and smooth that I had to.  Joe had a friend over and they both loved it.

Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4 (and 2 babies)

1 med head of Cauliflower
1 onion
2 parsnips
1 large potato (I used 1 small and 1 med)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 pint of milk (I used powered milk to make mine)
1 cup water
1 bay leave
1 veg stock cube
pinch of nutmeg 
salt and pepper

Cut and wash Cauliflower.  Peel and chop the onions, parsnips and potatoes. Saute the veg in the oil over med heat for about 5 min.  Add salt and pepper.  Add milk and water to cover the veg.  Add the bay leave and stock cube.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the veg is soft.  About 15 min.  Take off the heat, take out the bay leaf and add the nutmeg. Blend.  Taste for salt and pepper.

Everyone really enjoyed this soup...which is too bad because I would like to eat some more!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Have a Heart!

Have a Heart! by Ng at What's for Dinner?
 Lambs heart that is.  Heart is one of my fav cuts of meat and in Ireland is so easy to find yummy lamb hearts. I hate having to clean it but once its all cut up its a fast and easy meat to cook.
Cutting up a lambs heart by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
 To clean the heart cut off all the fat and anything that seems gross...(feed to your cat) Then slice up.  I know than in Ireland they like keep the heart whole and stuffing it, but if you cut up the heart no one knows they are eating heart.

Lamb Heart with Onions
serves 4
4 lamb hearts (cleaned and cut)
1 tsp oil
1 onion sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp hot pepper
salt, pepper and feast herbs

Heat a pan with oil over med heat.  Brown the onion and garlic. Add the heart, tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper.  Mix and add a bit of water to the pan.  Cook heart for about 5 min add some feash herbs and enjoy with rice, bead or pasta.

Irish lamb heart a cheap and easy. by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Irish (Lamb) Heart' and easy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mint Dour or Mint Yogurt Drink

Mint Dour or Mint Yogurt Drink by ng @ What's for Dinner?
 In Iran Dour or yogurt drinks are really popular.  When I visited Iran  I had dour 2 or 3 times a day. I posted a plain dour  but here is a recipe my mother-in-law has been making  for Mint Dour in a 2 litre bottle.
dried mint and salt by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Mint Dour
makes almost 2 liters

500gm plain yogurt (it needs to be a bit sour)
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 litres water

Mix yogurt with mint and salt.  Add water and fill bottle. Shake the bottle. It will make just under 2 litres.  Enjoy right away or after its had a stay in the frig. 

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