I came across this dish a few weeks ago, and as I could find everything in it for relatively cheap this time of year, I decided hey, why not? This is a wonderfully spiced, fantastically vegetarian, and if you buy everything at the right time and have a well stocked spice cabinet, cheap recipe. Honestly, the most expensive part of this dish was the eggs, and that was because I bought them from the farmer’s market.

Don’t know what garam masala is, or your local grocery store is overcharging for the mix? No problem!  The blend that I used a while ago for making garam masala gingerbread (and still had leftovers of) mixed the following:

  • 1 T cumin
  • 1.5 t coriander, cardamom, black pepper
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • .5 t ground cloves, nutmeg

The above blend yields .25 c of spice mix, which means there’ll be plenty leftover for another day 

Indian Spiced Tomato and Egg Casserole
Lasts appx 4 to 5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes
  • sea salt and pepper
  • .25 c olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 T finely chopped peeled ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t garam masala
  • .5 t ground coriander
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • (original recipe recommends fresh mint and cilantro or basil, I went with dried for both as it’s the dead of winter, probably about 4 T dried mint and 1 T dried cilantro)
  • 6 eggs

Place your potatoes in a large pot with heavily salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for twenty minutes, until your potatoes are fork tender.

While your potatoes boil, in another pan, heat your olive oil over medium high, and add your onion, cooking until it’s tender (about 5 minutes).  Then add your peppers, and cook another three minutes, followed by your ginger, garlic, cumin, garam masala, and coriander, cooking until fragrant (about a minute). Then, reduce the heat to medium low and add your tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt, and cook for fifteen minutes, using your spatula to break down the tomatoes as you cook. If you time this right, you should be able to time the fifteen minutes to the last fifteen minutes of the potatoes cooking. Remove from heat once they’re done, and stir in the mint and cilantro. As soon as the potatoes and tomatoes are done, preheat your oven to 375.

Once your potatoes are done, drain them and let them cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice the fingerlings into half-inch slices, and layer on the bottom of your casserole dish or 9" square glass baking pan in a single layer.  Pour the hot tomato sauce over the potatoes, and bake for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, make six wells in the tomato sauce, and crack your eggs into them. Season with sea salt and pepper, and bake for another 8 to 13 minutes, depending on how done you want your eggs. 10 minutes gave me set whites, and still runny yolks, which is just how I like them.

The final pic is how it looks transferred to a container for keeping in the fridge, and how it’ll look once served, but trust me, it’s still quite fantastic.

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This is the start of the garden for this year – I finally decided to use the front wired off space, as no one seemed to be using it, and with the exception of a few smaller herbs from one of my neighbors, it is just me.

So far, except for the strawberries, which haven’t shown up at the market yet in the form I want to plant them, this is likely gonna be my final garden. I might add another oregano and peppermint, or marjoram, and maybe another cherry tomato plant, but for the most part, I’m happy with what I’ve got going.

The back wall is herbs, either in planters or in the cinder blocks. In order, l to r, there are: peppermint, African blue basil, Genovese basil, chocolate mint (in the orange pot) and Greek oregano. In between the Genovese basil and the chocolate mint, there’s what I’m pretty sure is a lavender plant, and overthrowing most of the garden, what I’m 99% sure is coriander. Can anyone confirm?

The front row are my veggies: l to r, there are cherry tomatoes, two bell peppers (red and orange), and a large tomato plant (husky reds).

All of these are two to three weeks in my care now, and doing spectacularly; the herbs are growing and flowering, and all the veggies are flowering (in the case of the cherry tomato, already putting out small fruits).

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

So, this salad ended up being a bit weird.  Not weird tasting, it tastes fantastic.  Just weird in the actual making.  The instructions for cooking some of the components were listed further down than the assembly itself, so I ended up missing them entirely. Still a good salad, doesn’t make nearly enough (this gave me one side, a main portion, and one more side out of it, and that was doubling the recipe), so future attempts will likely triple/quadruple the original recipe, and this post will be edited to note such.

Grilled Tuna and Roasted Israeli Couscous Salad
Makes 2 main portions, or 4 side portions

Ingredients 

  • 2 tuna steaks (I got frozen, they were appx 4 to 5 oz each)
  • olive oil
  • salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1.25 c water
  • ½ c sun dried tomatoes, torn (go for the type not packed in oil if you can, but if you can’t, oil-packed is okay)
  • ½ c roasted peppers, torn (original recipe recommended fire roasted + packed in oil/water, but honestly, you can do them yourself using this recipe)
  • 2 t chopped kalamata olives

Vinaigrette  

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 4.5 T lemon juice
  • 4.5 T olive oil
  • .5 t Italian seasoning
  • .5 t yellow mustard

Grill your tuna – brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Grill to desired doneness, using either an outdoor grill or a grill pan (I did medium-rare, outdoor grill using charcoal). 

To make your couscous, heat the olive oil, and add your couscous, toasting until golden.  Once that happens, add 1.25 c boiling water, and simmer for 12 mins, until the water is absorbed.

Make your vinaigrette by combining all ingredients.

Once you’ve gotten all this done, combine and toss, drizzle the vinaigrette over it, and toss again.

Originally, these awesome peppers would’ve been for Wednesday gaming nights, but that got called off this week, so well just push it to next week!  Plus, now it has another week to marinate, which means they’ll be even more awesomely flavorful.  Definite summer favorite, even if it requires using a high heat oven to make it.  (See, you eat these chilled, which makes it a pretty low maintenance recipe past the cooking and peeling.)  Served with mozzarella and just a bit of olive oil, this is a perfect meal to eat on your porch.

Roasted Peppers with Mozzarella 
Lasts at least five meals on average

Ingredients

  • 6 to 12 bell peppers (I typically get red, yellow and orange, and have also used green and purple – yes, you can find the latter at a farmer’s market)
  • ¼ to ½ c red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil and mozzarella (use the fresh logs for this, presliced if you wanna save time) to serve, optional – parsley and capers

Heat your oven to 400, line a baking tray with foil, and add your peppers, roasting 45 minutes to a half hour.  Skew towards the higher time, as the skins need to come off easily.  Attempt to turn ¼ way every fifteen minutes, but it’s okay if you don’t.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and put part of the foil over the peppers to help cool.  Once cool, peel the skin off, and then split the pepper along a seam, tearing a circle around the top to remove the stem and seeds.  Tear the pepper into thin strips and put in a glass bowl, layering with minced garlic and salt as you go.

Once you’ve gone through all your peppers, pour the red wine vinegar over the peppers, toss, and cover to marinate in the fridge, at minimum one hour (though, the longer you go, the more flavor you get).

When you’re ready to serve them, take your mozzarella (slice it or presliced), have olive oil on hand to drizzle, and enjoy!