Recipe Thursday: Simple Dahl

 

simple dahl

I’m sharing another one of my old recipes. I took a poll on Facebook, and this was the recipe people wanted to see.  It’s one of my kids favorite recipes ever.

If you can’t find black mustard seeds, leave them out. It’s not a big deal…  everything else should be easily found in any well stocked grocery store. One tip about spices: buy them in bulk from a health food store or whole foods. They are so much cheaper!

I use a lot of garlic. I recommend it, but if you don’t want to use as much feel free to cut down. If you are sensitive to heat, then start with 2 tbsp. of ginger.

I love this recipe so much! I hope you do too.

SIMPLE DAHL

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-4 tbsp. freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 lb. red lentils
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth (I use better than bouillon)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce to taste
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. diced, raw red onion
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 pieces

Method:

  1. In a heavy bottom 4 qt. pan over medium heat, add the oil, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion and garlic along with the salt. Cook for around 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the rest of the spices and toast with the onion mixture for around 1 minute, then add the ginger, lentils and broth (start with 4 cups)
  3. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for around 30 minutes, adding more broth if needed.
  4. When lentils are cooked, stir in the cilantro, lemon juice and zest, sesame oil, and season with Braggs or soy sauce.
  5. Serve over basmati rice and top with fresh tomatoes, raw onion, and a wedge of lime.
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My Must-Have Veggies!

To sign up for my 8/27 VEGAN 101: The System class click here! 

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I am often asked what veggies to buy, so I’m writing this post to tell you all about my favorite veggies! These are what I always have on hand at home (and at work in my commercial kitchen!)

I can’t talk about shopping with gushing over my favorite store ever, Market Basket! If you get a chance click on the link above, and see how the employees and shoppers stood up for their CEO and demanded his return to the company when he was ousted! It’s an amazing story. (They buy a lot of their produce from local farms and when they were on strike, Whole Foods snatched it up and charged 4 times as much!) 

So, my love of Market Basket started way back when in 1997 when I first moved to New England. I was living in Concord, NH and noticed immediately that the both the selection and the prices were amazing. It continues to this day and each time I go, I love it even more. I can even get Umeboshi Vinegar at the store in Brockton, MA!

But I will stop swooning about Market Basket, and get down to business. These are my staple veggies.

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  • Red and Green Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Red and Yellow Onions
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Red Radishes
  • Daikon
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Jalapenos, Serrano, or Habanero Peppers
  • Limes

I like to use kale in place of lettuce, and cabbage is pretty much my favorite veggie ever. I also buy frozen peas, frozen corn, shelled edamame, and frozen mixed veggie. When frozen cauliflower and broccoli is on sale ($.99/lb.) I usually stock up on that as well.

I like to prepare my veggies in a variety of ways so I don’t get sick of them.

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Daikon, Carrot, Onion, Tumeric, Jalapeno Pickles
  • Raw
  • Roasted
  • Grilled
  • Steamed
  • Spiralized
  • Sauteed
  • Massaged
  • Soups/Stews

 

 

 

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Homemade Italian Sausage (seitan) and Kale 
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Asian Fusion Chickpea & Daikon Stew
Warrior bowl
Warrior Bowl 

What are some of your staples?

 

Recipe Thursday: Groundnut Stew

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Spicy Groundnut Stew

I am going to be sharing a recipe every Thursday! It’s only fitting that I will share the very first recipe I ever posted online, way back in May 2006 on my MeloMeals blog! This was always a huge hit in my World Vegetarian cooking class I taught when I lived in Portsmouth, NH. There are a lot of ingredients in this dish, and they all bring something to the table. People are usually shocked by the amount of garlic and spices I use, but trust me – this is how you make vegan food good. No bland or boring food here!

Groundnut Stew Serves 8

  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. crushed, dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 2 onion, chopped (around 2 cups)
  • 1-2 Serrano chilies, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 each: green, red, yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes diced (around 4 cups)
  • 1 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 qt. vegetable broth or 4 cups water mixed with bouillon
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 29 oz. can kidney beans (or around 3 cups cooked beans)
  • Water if needed
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Hot sauce and Bragg’s or Soy Sauce to taste

Method:

  1. In a very large, heavy bottom Dutch oven, or stew pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the spices and vegetables, along with the salt and sauté for around 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture well.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes peanut butter, and beans and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover, and cook for around 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. You may or may not need to add some water.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are cooked through, add the onion and garlic powder, cilantro, thyme, basil, and lime juice.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt/pepper, soy sauce, and hot sauce to suit your palate.
  6. Serve over millet, rice, or quinoa.

I hope you try this! If you do, let me know how you like it!

 

Learn how to make Vegan Meatballs!

 

CLICK TO SIGN UP! 
meatball sub

In my cooking class, Vegan 101: The System,  one of the things I will be teaching is how to make a simple, NO COOK (unless you count boiling water) veggie burger base that can be turned into meatballs and veggie meatloaf!

Date: August 27

Time: 1-5 pm

Place: Holbrook, MA

Cost: $125

Here’s what people are saying about this class:

Local friends, if you are looking to massively level up your plant based cooking, Melody Polakow is *the* person to learn from – she makes the most inspired, delicious, satisfying vegan food I have ever come across. – Andrea, Boston, MA

I can whole heartedly second Andrea’s testimonial about Melody — we recently did a private cooking class with Melody — it was totally amazing — I was about to give up on going Vegan as I had almost begun to dread eating — in the class with Melody I learned to make several “master sauces” and applied them to a few recipes — and they were fantastic — tasty, well spiced and filling. Take the class — you will be happy you did. – Penny, Boston, MA

Yes indeed. Melody Polakow’s class is awesome. I love being vegan, but I didn’t feel like I had the tools. Now, we have the basis for a bunch of sauces. We know how to create “cheese flavoring” sauces that work with everything. Amazing “meat” to make meatloaf, hamburgers, meatballs and so forth. Some core ingredients to use.. Comfort with using my Instant Pot, etc.

We crammed more in to this class then I thought possible. It felt like we learned 3 class fulls in one class. We were all exhausted, but happy at the end. Had a delicious “meatball” sub to celebrate and a refrigerator full of food.

Melody is a great instructor.. Super friendly. Very knowledgeable. Amazingly Skillful. Wow. – Michael, Boston, MA

This class is awesome. Y’all should definitely attend! Her food is super tasty! – Jason, Boston, MA

What I’ve been up to – MELOMEALS

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Long time, so see friends! I’ve been busy creating my new Plant-Based meal delivery service! I have decided to go back to my roots; MeloMeals.

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I create amazing plant-based food and deliver it to a variety of settings:

  • Restaurants
  • Corporate Clients
  • Juice Bars
  • Yoga Studios
  • Homes
  • New Moms

I’m having a lot of fun and am currently renting kitchen space out of Unchained Pizza 960 William T. Morrissey BLVD. in Dorchester, MA. I have my own MeloMeals fridge full of prepared meals to go and soups for sale there:

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It’s a lot of fun, and everyday is different. I deliver to Lido Juice in Hingham, MA as well.

 

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I also have something exciting under wrap that I will reveal in May.

For now, I’ll leave you with some more food pics.

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Rice Noodle Bowl w/ 5 Spice Chickpeas, Kale, and Sesame-Ginger-Turmeric Sauce 
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Southwestern Black Bean Bowl with Chipotle-Cashew Sauce 
Warrior bowl
Warrior Bowl: Red Quinoa, Greens, Roasted Carrots, Corn and Red Peppers, BBQ Tofu, and Smoky Cashew Red Pepper Sauce 

I’ve also been experimenting constantly with vegan cheese recipes. So much fun!

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Vegan Feta
vegan blue cheese
Vegan Blue Cheese
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Vegan Goat Cheese

…and finally, upping my Gluten-Free, Vegan pizza game!

uncooked pizza
Before cooking

Lebanese Moussaka

11212141_644431038992203_3172295891959256073_oThe Boyfriend and I went out to eat at a Lebanese joint a while back and I ordered Moussaka. I had only ever had (vegetarian) Greek Moussaka, and given that this was the only plant-based main dishe on the menu, I ordered it expecting the Greek version of layered eggplant and chickpeas in this case. I was definitely surprised when the dish came out as more of an eggplant stew. You learn something new everyday!

I liked the dish, but it was really heavy on the oil and did not contain any chickpeas. I was pretty bummed, because I would never, ever order eggplant as a main dish. Rice and veggies do not make a meal in my world; I need protein in the form of beans, tofu, tempeh,  or seitan in order to feel like it is worth the calories/money of a “main dish”.

That being said, I liked the flavor of the dish, so I decided to create what I wish I had been served at the restaurant.

Eggplant soaks up oil, so I choose to use very little when I cook with it. I like to get the cast iron screaming hot and “dry fry” the eggplant, then set it aside. This is my version of deep frying, very similar to dry frying tofu. Then, I soak it in the beautiful sauce and the eggplant gets all velvety and soft and decadent. It’s so much better than eating oil soaked food.

I created the sauce with onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, za’taar, tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, parsley, and some other spices.

I love creating beautiful, tasty, healthy food, and am thankful for the inspiration.