Sunday, June 28, 2009

Red Pepper & White Bean Sauce & Whole Wheat Rigatoni

Combining beans and pasta has always seemed like a really great idea to me. Like the timeless combination that is beans and rice, beans and pasta strikes a great balance between carbs and protein - and, as are most things that have their roots in rustic Italian tradition, it's delicious.

This is sort of a not-very-saucy sauce, so those of you who like a higher proportion of sauce to pasta might want to double the diced tomatoes in this recipe, or even substitute a jar of store-bought marinara. It would still be great. This recipe makes quite a lot of pasta, too (see below), so I'd recommend halving it if you're not a big leftovers eater.

Otherwise, it's a great summer pasta recipe - fresh, healthy, not too heavy, and simple to make. I hope you experiment with it and come up with your own unique twist on this old world-inspired dish. (As always, you fans of meat would love this with grilled chicken or a host of other products from the farm.)



2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 hot red chile pepper, seeded and ribs removed, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, in big chunks
1 can cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with juices
1 small head broccoli, cut into smallish florets
juice of one lemon
fresh chopped basil
dash or two of balsamic vinegar
12 oz. whole wheat rigatoni
freshly grated parmagiano reggiano
more basil to garnish
salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and red chile pepper until tender, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add the red bell pepper and saute a few more minutes, until beginning to soften. Stir in the lemon juice and the balsamic vinegar.


Meanwhile, boil the rigatoni until almost al dente, reserving about a 1/3 c. cooking liquid.


Add the tomatoes with all juices, the beans, the broccoli, and the basil. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender and the mixture is hot. Drain the noodles. Add the cooking water and noodles to the mixture. Cook until the pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Top with parmesan and more basil if desired. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! More soon...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Curried Chickpea Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Yogurt

This is actually a two-recipe post, but I wanted to draw you in with the recipe that had the more glamourous name.

I should've named the post "A Tale of Two Chickpeas," because the other post features chickpeas prominently, also. I'm always raving about the nutritional superiority of chickpeas. Well, I often run my mouth about things I know almost nothing about, so to make sure I was right, I Googled it. Turns out, I knew what I was talking about: one cup of chickpeas (a very filling portion) contains a mere 264 calories, but packs 15g of protein and 12g of fiber. They are one of nature's greatest triumphs.

And one of India's greatest triumphs, curry, makes chickpeas even better: they're a natural and delicious combination. I was inspired to make this recipe after having a delicious curried chickpea salad at Whole Foods. A quick internet search confirmed that it was simple to make, and of course I added a few twists of my own.

This is a great summer meal for several reasons: a.) it's light - no bikini regrets about this one; b.) I ate it chilled, so it was cool; and c.) it requires minimal cooking (read: heating your already sweltering apartment with stovetop fumes). It's also a very recession-friendly recipe.


1 can chickpeas, well drained and rinsed
1 small sweet onion
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
1 red chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2-ish T. olive oil
1/3 c. fresh chopped cilantro
1 T. curry powder
salt and pepper
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated and kept whole

1/2 avocado
2 big spoonfuls Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
fresh cilantro, chopped finely


Heat half the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onion and chile pepper over medium heat until the onion is translucent, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add the roasted red pepper, season a bit more, stir and cook a few more minutes. Add the chickpeas and the curry powder and the rest of the oil.


Allow to cook for a few minutes, tasting and adjusting seasoning as neccessary. Remove from the heat and put in the fridge, covered, to cool.


Meanwhile, remove the leaves of the lettuce and set aside. Also, make the yogurt sauce: mix together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside, covered and refrigerated, until you're ready to eat. Spoon a little chickpea mixture into each lettuce leaf and top with a dollop of the yogurt sauce. Enjoy!

This next chickpea recipe is also best served chilled or room temperature, but it hails more from the Mediterranean than the Middle East. Like the other salad, it's light, heathy, refreshing, and simple to make.

I packed it as part of a picnic for myself and my friend Emily to eat in the park. It traveled beautifully, and was divine with a few slices of baguette, although it would be lovely stuffed into, or piled on top of, a whole wheat pita or naan bread as well. If you wanted to make it more of a full meal, I think it would be good with some regular old tuna or chunks of chicken stirred in for a wholesome lunch.



1 can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
1/2 large cucumber, skin removed, cut into smallish chunks
1 c. cooked bulgur at room temperature
juice of one lemon
couple big spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
handful fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch of all-purpose seasoning


Place the chickpeas, cucumber, and bulgur into one large bowl.


In a smaller bowl, mix all the rest of the ingredients with a whisk. Stir into the chickpea mixture, careful not to break up the chickpeas. Enjoy room temperature or chilled.

Thanks for reading! More soon...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Negra Modelo Chicken & Fiesta Ensalada

I just returned from spending a fantastic week in Arlington with my better half. We did a little cooking, a good bit of eating out, and not a whole lot that was more stressful than that.

Summer always makes me crave lime-drenched Mexican food, and since Ross has a grill - and an entire backyard (which, to my Chicago-weary eyes might as well have been the Garden of Eden) - I wanted to make juicy grilled chicken.

He also lives within walking distance of a great, inexpensive Mexican grocery store, which made picking up the ingredients ridiculously affordable - 10 limes for $1, for instance (in Chicago, they are 2 for $1). They had some interesting meats - chicken feet, beef tongue, various offal - but I stuck with a good, reliable cut of chicken. I really like to grill meat on the bone because I think it stays more moist and has more flavor, but of course you could use boneless, skinless chicken breast or whatever you want. This marinade would be good for any meat - steak, pork, even a good sturdy fish like swordfish or salmon.

I know that the long list of ingredients makes it look complicated, and I admit I got a little excited at the bodega, but almost every component of the meal uses the same basic ingredients. The salad could probably have been made a bit simpler, but what can I say - it was summer, I was blissfully enjoying my time in DC, I had a Negro Modelo in hand - I'm not to be blamed for the cornucopia of veggies. In short, if you want to try this at home, feel free to use less ingredients, but whatever you do, don't even turn on the grill without a delicious, cold beer in your hand.




1 bottle Negra Modelo or other dark Mexican beer
juice of 2 limes
2 T. cumin
2 T. ground oregano (if you can't find ground, use regular dried)
a couple shakes hot ground chili (I used ground chile de arbol; use cayenne or whatever you have. Or just sub in hot sauce.)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

For the chicken:

4 chicken legs, bone-in, skin removed (you could use any cut you want, boneless or bone-in)
3 T. butter, melted
several good hearty shakes of your favorite hot sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
juice of one lime
shake of cumin
shake of oregano

Sauce for the chicken:

1/2 c. sour cream
a few shakes of hot sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime
fresh chopped cilantro
pinch of cumin
regular red salsa, whatever kind you have

For the Fiesta Ensalada:

2 T. olive oil
2 avocados, chunked
1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
3 ears of corn, boiled, kernels cut off (or use 1 cup thawed frozen kernels)
1 can black beans, drained and well-rinsed
1 smallish zucchini, quartered then cut into chunks
1 sweet yellow onion, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
crumbled queso fresco (or you could use feta or ricotta salata)
juice of 2 limes
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
pinch of hot chile powder
pinch of cumin
pinch of oregano
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly


Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Place the raw chicken in the marinade in a large zip-top bag or an airtight plastic container. Marinate for 30 minutes, or however long you want. When you're ready to grill the chicken, discard the marinade.


Get the grill ready. While it's heating, mix together the rest of the ingredients under "for the chicken" in a small bowl. While the chicken is grilling, brush or spoon it over the chicken on both sides. Turn the chicken when it has dark, crusty grill marks on the underside, and cook until cooked through.


In a small skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the onion, seasoning with salt and pepper, until it is getting dark around the edges and soft all over. Add the zucchini and cook until it begins to color and is tender. Assemble all the vegetable ingredients (including the cooked onion and zucchini) and the cheese in a large bowl for the salad. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, olive oil, and the rest of the seasonings. Whisk together, then pour over the vegetables and toss gently to combine, careful to not break up the avocado chunks.


Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce for the chicken EXCEPT for the salsa. Spread a couple big spoonfuls of the Ensalada on each of four plates. Place a chicken leg on top of each one, and top with the sour cream sauce and a little of the salsa. Garnish with lime wedges or cilantro sprigs if desired. Serve with margaritas or Mexican beers. Enjoy!

The chicken came out moist and delicious - I was worried it might be too spicy, but it was perfect. The salad was also delicious, although Cameron (Ross' ex-roommate and dinner guest) pointed out that a little more lime juice might've done it good. (I agree.) Ross described it as a "fiesta of flavors parading through his mouth," and a "pinata of deliciousness radiating bandoliers of Mexicanness." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thanks for reading! More soon...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shrimp & Collards Over Chevre Polenta

I guess I'd call this Southerterranean - a hybrid of Southern and Mediterranean cuisine. If not for the kalamata olives, which it's quickly becoming apparent I'm obsessed with, and the goat cheese, it might be right at home below the Mason-Dixon line.

I wanted to make a variation on a Shrimp and Grits theme, as I was having Sarah over for dinner, and that's her favorite non-sushi food. I'd also been wanting to try making polenta for some time now, but had always been stumped at the grocery store when I could only find pre-made polenta in clear plastic tubes (that's also the only way you can purchase grits here in the Midwest - a travesty). One day it dawned on me that - duuuuh - polenta is nothing more than ground cornmeal, which I keep on hand for pizza-making and the occasional hankering for cornbread. I figured the preparation was exactly like grits - which is simply boiling the cornmeal until it's soft. I was right.

The polenta was so creamy and satisfying (owing to the - ahem - generous amount of goat cheese I stirred into it) that I will definitely be adding it to my list of go-to carbs. There's just something about a cheesy, slightly gritty concoction that makes it the perfect base for spicy, tomato-y broth, and it was a nice complement to the lightly bitter bite of the collards.

On that note, if you haven't tried collards greens (and you most likely haven't unless you're from the south), you should give them a chance. They're extremely nutritious, and with a generous smattering of spices - salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, whatever you have - and a little chicken broth and love, they can be an excellent and hearty side dish. Sometimes I make them my main meal, with nothing more than a chunk of hot, buttered cornbread on the side to soak up their juicy green goodness. Traditionally, they are slow-simmered with a hamhock or thick-cut bacon, but a vegetarian - or semi-vegetarian - version is delicious as well.



1 and 1/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 bunch fresh collards, cut into smallish pieces
1/2 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
1 can diced tomatoes and all the juice
handful kalamata olives, pitted and halved
juice of 1 lemon
1 c. dry white wine
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
fresh chopped parsley

1 and 1/2 c. polenta (coursely ground yellow cornmeal
3 - 4 c. water
lots of fresh chevre
salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a semi-deep skillet. Saute the onion until translucent, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, cooking until they start to break down a bit, occasionally helping to squash out the seeds and juice with a spoon. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one more minute.


Add the lemon juice and white wine and simmer a couple minutes. Add the collards, olives, some of the parsley, and diced tomatoes. Season with some more salt and pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Give it a stir, then cover and simmer over medium until the collards have wilted a bit.


Meanwhile, boil 3 cups of water for the polenta. Stir in the cornmeal with a whisk, stirring until there are no lumps. If it's a bit dry (you want it on the more liquidy side), add some more water (or you could use chicken stock). Let it cook over medium heat until the cornmeal is soft but not mushy. Take off the heat and stir in the chevre. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Add the shrimp to the tomato-collard saute and re-cover. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ladle some polenta onto each plate. Spoon the shrimp and vegetables over the polenta. Garnish with some chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me, Sarah, and thanks for reading! More soon...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Night of Grilled Pizza

Isn't it great when something turns out better than you expected?

I fully expected that my first time grilling pizza would culminate in an utter disaster: singed eyebrows, charred dough, and undercooked toppings. Shockingly, I grilled 8 pizzas (with the indispensable help of my lovely sous chef, Kara), and each one of them was delicious in their own way.

I won't belabor this post, since the pictures really say it all (thanks to fab photog Josh), and there are many, many comments to sift through, but I will say that The Night of Grilled Pizza was most definitely one of the most successful, delicious, and all-around fun blogs to date! I hope it will become a summer tradition for some of you as well.



2 batches of fresh pizza dough, cut into 8 sections
olive oil for brushing
flour for rolling

Assorted sauces and toppings:

marinara (recipe follows)
pesto (recipe follows)
roasted red peppers
sauteed mushrooms
caramelized onions
kalamata olives
dried figs (sounds weird, but with chevre, is amazing)
ricotta cheese
fresh mozzarella
fresh baby spinach
grape tomatoes
parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated


a grill (we used a charcoal grill)
ample surface area - we brought out two small tables, then had another one for the wine and glasses
rolling pin
pizza slicer
grill tongs
large spatula with a long handle
sharp grill skewers or a sharp paring knife to poke holes in the dough bubbles
brush (for the olive oil)
large tray (for setting grilled dough on, and used as a surface on which to top the pizzas)
cutting boards


- Remember that there is no heat source above the pizzas, so all your toppings should be chosen with that in mind; things like onions, mushrooms, and the like, which aren't very good on a pizza when they're raw, should be pre-cooked - by caramelizing, sauteeing, and the like. Things like fresh baby spinach and tomatoes are fine raw, although you could pre-cook them if you wanted. We used only vegetarian toppings, although you of course have an assortment of meats, as long as they were all pre-cooked: crumbled bacon, Italian sausage, chopped chicken, etc.

- You need to grill one side of the pizza first (the side which will eventually have the toppings on it). Our method took tow people: Kara stood by the grill, tray ready, while I grilled two pizza dough rounds on the grill. When they were browning and had nice grill marks and bubbled up on the raw side (the side facing up), I poked holes in the bubbles with skewers and slid them off the grill with a spatula and onto Kara's tray.

We then turned them over, so they were grilled-side up, and brushed them with olive oil before we topped them (except when we topped them with pesto - they don't need any more oil than is already in the pesto). Then we returned them to the grill (topped side up, raw dough side down, obviously), and closed the lid, checking on them every few minutes.

Once they were nice and crispy on the bottom, and the toppings were heated, we put them back on the tray, then transferred them to a side table where we cut and served them. So basically, we had 2 pizzas at a time, adding up to 8 pizzas over the course of about an hour and a half. This was a good method.

- We found that most delicious combinations of toppings were the simplest: fig and chevre; pesto and ricotta. When you start to add too many toppings, not only can the crust become too weighted to be light and crisp, it can also get soggy; also, too many toppings tend to cause competing flavors.

- I think the key to having really delicious, simple pizzas, is the quality of the toppings. For instance, rather than buy pre-made pesto and marinara, I made my own (not as hard as it sounds). Check out the recipes below. Besides that, just make sure you buy good cheese (since cheese is integral to a great pizza), and fresh toppings. It's as simple as that. NOTE: we could only find SunMaid dried figs, which, out of the package, are crusted with sugar and much too sweet. I just soaked them in a warm water bath for about 10 minutes, then drained and dried them. They are much better that way.


drizzle olive oil
3 garlic cloves, mashed but kept whole
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2-3 T. balsamic vinegar
splash of wine (white or red is fine)
fresh chopped parsley
dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, whatever you have)
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in a pot. Cook the garlic cloves for a few minutes in the oil, until fragrant (you will fish them out later). Pour in the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium-high heat until the sauce is reduced/thickened. Fish out the whole garlic cloves and discard.


1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
lots of fresh basil, finely chopped
3/4 c. nuts (I used walnuts, but pine nuts are traditional)
big handful grated parmesan cheese
a few garlic cloves, finely minced
glug olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. The mixture, when left sitting, will have a tendency to separate, so just stir it before putting it on the pizza. You could of course use a blender or food processor, but I like the by-hand method; I think it tastes fresher, and I like it a little chunkier.

I didn't realize until I was rolling out the dough, with Adam watching intently over my shoulder, that he would be an especially tough judge of my abilities. Why? Because his family owns and runs a pizza joint in the Chicago suburbs! Adam has been lobbying to come over for a blog for forever, and of course it would be my luck that I chose to cook the one thing he probably knows best. Of course, we had a pizza-throwing contest (he was the clear winner). I was, however, successful at getting flour on myself from head to toe.

THE FINAL EIGHT (topping combinations), plus JUDGES' COMMENTS:

Pesto/ricotta/parmesan (2) (I made it a second time because it was so popular the first time)

"This is everything I love about the earth on pizza dough." - Kara

"NIce, thin crust that's not too crispy - it still has a nice chew to it." - Kara and Josh

"It's like if dessert had salt in it. But my slice had a bite taken out, so that was annoying." - Jess


"A little plain." - Jess

"To be able to anticipate the simplicity of this is great." - Sarah

Olive oil/fig/goat cheese/parmesan

"Ooh, this is a weird one...what's going on here?" [Me: "Fig and goat cheese."] "I did not expect to like the fig one, but it's good." - Adam

"Rustic. Authentic." - Sarah

"This is surprisingly good." - Josh


"Loved it, but maybe the olives and mushrooms were competing." - Sarah

"I think you should lose the olives." - Kara

"Love the spice! Dig it!" - Jess

"I continue to not like olives." - Adam

Marinara/Pesto/Caramelized onions/ricotta

"The taste of the marinara and the pesto slightly competes. I enjoy them both so much on their own, I didn't need the combo." - Kara

"Loved it. Perfectly rich." - Jess

"I loved it because of the onions." - Sarah

"I really liked the mix. Loved the onions. Anything with goat cheese, though, has me sold." - Shawn

Marinara/roasted red peppers/mushrooms/mozzarella

"Good combo. I love soft cheese." - Sarah

"Favorite so far, although something about it made the crust soggy." - Jess

"It was just 'eh' to me." - Kara

Olive oil/goat cheese/fig/carmelized onion/parmesan

"Decadent." - Sarah [NOTE: my favorite comment of the night.]

"Oh, I thought it was really good. I'm trying to think of something cool to say...mmmmmmm." - Kara

"I still like the original fig one better. I love the simplicity of the first one. It wasn't even like pizza. Just, whatever the hell that was, I liked it." - Adam

"I liked it." - Josh

"The perfect combination of sweet and savory." - Jess (?)


"I've been reading about these dinners forever, and it exceeded my expectations." - Adam

About Shawn's delicious salad:

"Pleasantly surprised." - Adam

"Coming from someone who doesn't eat salad, I loved it. When I first saw the onions in there I was skeptical, but I ate it all and it was soooo good." - The Fearless Cook

"Refreshing and light." - Kara and Sarah

"This entire night has opened my eyes to a whole new world of culinary experiences which I never knew existed....which basically means figs and grapes." - Adam

Thanks to Jess, who recorded all this with aplomb, and also looked totes adorbs in her tiara:

My vote on my dish(es): 9 stars. I'm giving myself extra credit for A.) fearlessness, and B.) not completely screwing up the whole process. The pizzas were all delicious in their own way, and I'm really glad I decided to try grilling pizzas in the first place! Who'd a thunk?

Thanks so much to photog/grillmaster Josh, court reporter Jess, pizza expert Adam, salad creator extrordinaire Shawn, brave out of town guest Sarah, amazing sous chef Kara, and to everyone for reading! More soon...

Prairie Fruits Salad & Veggie-Stuffed Mac 'n' Cheese

This is a salad I actually enjoyed. Need I say more?

I'm calling it Prairie Fruits Salad because I used chevre from Prairie Fruits Farms - delicious. If you wanted to, you could toast the walnuts. I also used regular spinach, but baby spinach would probably be best.


Big handful raw washed spinach leaves
grape tomatoes, halved
raw walnut halves and pieces
crumbled fresh goat cheese
apple slices

fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
a squeeze of mustard
olive oil
salt and pepper


Assemble the salad. Squeeze one half of lemon around over the apple slices to keep them from turning brown.


In a small bowl, mix the honey, mustard, the rest of the lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Whisk in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Drizzle over the salad. Enjoy!

And for my next trick, mac 'n' cheese that is - arguably - healthy! Yes, it still involves copious amounts of cheese, but it also is overflowing with fresh, colorful vegetables. I don't want to say I'll never go back to traditional macaroni and cheese, but this is certainly a delicious way to enjoy it with a smaller dose of guilt. You could add any veggies you want.



1 lb. macaroni elbows
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 carrot, halved and thinly sliced
5 oz. frozen peas
big handful grape tomatoes, halved
2 c. "classic melts" blend - American and Cheddar, shredded
2 c. chihuahua cheese (or other melty white cheese), shredded
3 c. skim milk
3 cloves garlic
3 T. butter
1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper


Boil the noodles in salted water until al dente. About 3-4 minutes before the noodles are done, toss in all the veggies except the tomatoes to par-boil. Drain the noodles/veggies. Set aside.


In the same big pot, melt the butter. Saute the garlic for a minute, then whisk in the flour to make a roux. Whisk in the milk and bring the heat up until it begins to thicken. Add the classic melts cheese and about half of the other cheese. Stir until thickened and melty.


Preheat the oven to 350. Stir the noodles and veggies into the cheese sauce. Pour into a deep casserole dish. Spread the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and lightly browned, and the edges are bubbly. Enjoy!

The reason for the mac 'n' cheese (not that you NEED a reason for mac 'n' cheese, mind you) was my dear friends' The Bigwoods' Andersonville BBQ, which was an excuse to pre-game before we headed down to MidsommarFest to see Sixteen Candles, a band that plays all 80's cover songs. It was a truly transformative experience.

Not only was the band pumping out such great hits as "New Sensation," "Like a Virgin," and "Summer of '69," the crowd was totally into it, jumping around and dancing just as much as the band was. Viva la 80's!

Thanks to Kira for hosting us in her adorably grown-up house (delicious food provided by her and John, as always), and to Sixteen Candles, who rocked my FACE OFF!

Thanks for reading! More soon...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Potato & Carrot Sweet Yellow Curry with Bulgur

There is an Alcoholics Anonymous idiom that goes, "If you hang out in a barber shop long enough, sooner or later you're bound to get a haircut."

This is what came sailing out of my subconscious when I joined my friends at - of all places - Northcenter's annual RibFest yesterday evening. If you have ever had the pleasure of being within inhaling distance of smoked barbeque pork ribs on a summer night, you know what I mean. And RibFest is about a 3/4-mile-long corridor of just that.

I made this delicious curry for dinner, filling up on purpose before I went to the festival. But there's a reason you don't find many priests roaming around whorehouses: temptation. Since I am a FLEXitarian after all, it wouldn't have been the end of the world if I'd tried a rib - as it turned out, I only had enough money for a Bud Light, and this time, alcohol won out over rib meat as the Eden's apple of my Friday night.

That said, this is a delicious, filling, and simple curry recipe that would be delicious with beef, chicken, tofu, or anything else you want to add to it. I think when I reheat the leftovers, I'll add the bit of broccoli that didn't go into my veggie-stuffed mac 'n' cheese (rest assured, the recipe for that is coming soon).



1 baking potato, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into medium pieces
1 red chili, seeded and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
1 medium tomato, cut into large chunks
2 T. olive oil
2-3 T. sweet yellow curry powder
2 T. brown sugar
1 can lite coconut milk
2 T. smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 c. white wine (optional - can replace with water)
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. bulgur, according to directions on package (basically just simmer it - 2 parts water to one part bulgur - until it's chewy but not mushy; season with a little salt)
salt to taste


Par-boil the potato and carrot until tender, but not mushy. Drain and set aside.


Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and chili until softened. Add the tomato, seasoning all this with a little salt, cooking until the tomato starts to break down, about 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and stir, letting it boil until the alcohol evaporates. Add the curry powder and stir to combine.


Add the potato and carrot, coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, and water. Stir to combine. Bring the heat to a low boil and let it cook until the curry thickens a bit. Serve over the cooked bulgur. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! More soon...
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