Vegetarian food may sound bland, but it needn't be. Plenty of aromaticssuch as onions, garlic, a small amount of spices and fresh herbscan make a world of difference.
For this vegetable dish, a mini-food processor can finely mince the aromatics in no time. I find the tiny pieces of garlic and ginger yield a nice mellow flavor in little cooking time. Ultimately, the spice level in any recipe is a matter of taste, so be judicious. And always add the fresh herbs at the end.
There, oh-so-not-boring vegetarian food.
Indian Spiced Chard and Potatoes
Active Work Time: 15 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serve this with basmati rice.
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup minced onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bunch white Swiss chard, leaves and stalks thinly sliced
3/4 pound small new potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring just until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the garlic, ginger and spices are very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the chard, potatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice and cilantro, then serve.
4 servings. Each serving: 194 calories; 586 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 3.74 grams fiber.
Mango and Coconut Salad
Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Look for black mustard seeds at Indian markets.
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 small dried red chile
1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Combine the coconut, red chile, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sugar and about 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl of a food processor. Process just until the ingredients are well combined and are just starting to form a coarse paste, about 15 seconds.
Toss the coconut mixture with the mangoes and chill.
4 servings. Each serving: 179 calories; 9 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.82 gram fiber.
Indian spiced chard and potatoes
Mango and coconut salad
1 bunch green Swiss chard
Black mustard seeds
3/4 pound small new potatoes
30 minutes before: Mince onion, garlic and ginger. Measure cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and cayenne. Slice chard. Quarter potatoes.
20 minutes before: Begin making chard.
15 minutes before: Make rice and mango salad.
Just before serving: Add lime juice and cilantro to chard.