Sunday night my friend Ling invited us to dinner at Naveen’s Cuisine. Oh, the fun that was had! This is evidenced by the fact that I failed my sobriety test (note: this is both contacts making it into the case, clean and with solution). Unfortunately, the next morning, both contacts were in the case, but there was no solution. One point Naveen.
Naveen’s is BYOB and we had a blast making traditional and healthy Indian cuisine. Look how cute it is (apologies for the poor pictures – I brought the point-and-shoot in an effort to look less crazy, but I blew my cover when I took 15 pictures of my plate):
Before the room started spinning, I learned a lot from Naveen!
- Be sure to chop up the stems of your fresh cilantro, not just the leaves – the stems have a lot of flavor!
- I need to pick up Chat Masala – an Indian spice made from green mangoes. It was delicious!
- Cutting onion techniques: Cut off the root and stem, then rinse under water to remove some of the sulfur so your eyes don’t water (watering is caused by sulfur from the onion mixing with the water in your eyes). Make your first cuts of the onion lengthwise, then cut the other direction moving from stem to root – it holds together better this way.
- When you have a lid on your pan, make sure when you lift it to let the steam drip back into the pan – the steamy water has flavor you don’t want to let escape! See below:
- Naveen cooks his basmati rice with 1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice.
- Always pick frozen veggies over canned if fresh is not in season!
- Don’t bang your metal utensils on the side of your pans. The lid forms a seal around the pan and the more you tap your utensils on the pan the more you damage the seal.
- Most importantly, with any recipe: If you like something, add more of it. If you don’t, leave it out!
Another weekend adventure was to make raw “cookies” that were lent-friendly (i.e. no added sugars). The result is something between and amazeball and a Larabar. I put cookies in quotes because they don’t taste much like a cookies and they aren’t baked, but they kinda look like cookies if you don’t have your contacts in and you are super hungry.
The inspiration was this RAW Kitchen Sink cookie:
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup oats
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup goji berries (optional, I used them because I had them – add a few more raisins if you want to omit these)
1 T coconut oil
1 vanilla bean
1/8 c cacao nibs (or chocolate chips)
1/2 t sea salt
Let’s do this:
Start by pouring some warm water over your raisins and goji berries. Set aside to plump.
Add coconut to your food processor and process for about 30 seconds, so it looks like this:
Scrape out your vanilla bean and add to the bowl.
Process again for 10-20 seconds.
Add the almonds, coconut oil, oats, and salt and process about 20-30 seconds (longer if you use whole almonds rather than sliced).
Drain the raisins and goji berries and add to the food processor, process about 10-20 seconds, until well combined. Add the cacao nibs (or chocolate) and pulse a few times (I like “chocolate chips” in mine so I just pulse 2 or 3 times).
Scoop out of the food processor with a cookie scoop if you have one – otherwise you can just roll them into balls with your palms. This made about 15 “cookies” for me, but you can make them smaller or larger if you like!