The Sensitive Kitchen

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ticking Time Bomb Pancakes

Someone in my house is a ticking time bomb. Thanks to her love of refined pasta and cheese, she hasn't pooped in three days. The CW says to dose her liberally with prunes, but she's three, so a modicum of creativity is required. Enter these pancakes: supermoist from the prunes, flavorful from the cocoa. She ate three. (But hasn't pooped yet.)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 large prunes
1 overripe banana
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a blender, process prunes, banana, egg, vanilla, wheat germ and almond milk until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients, whisking gently until just smooth.

Drop batter by the quarter-cup onto a heated griddle and cook as for regular pancakes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Easy Chana Masala

2 cups dried chickpeas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated (I use a microplane)
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 c chopped tomatoes (can be canned)
1/3 c vegetable broth or chickpea cooking liquid

Soak and cook chickpeas. Put cooked chickpeas in bottom of slow-cooker stoneware. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add onion and stir well. When onion begins to brown, add spices. Cook, stirring, a couple more minutes. Add vinegar, tomatoes and liquid to deglaze. Remove from heat and add mixture to chickpeas in slow-cooker stoneware. Stir well. Cook on Low for 4-6 hours or longer, until bubbly and flavors have melded well. Serve with rice and a vegetable dry curry for a side dish.

For an extra special treat, use a can of coconut milk in lieu of the vegetable broth. Yum!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chana Aloo Methi Kofta

Today we read a book in which the characters were pictured eating spaghetti with some suspicious-looking brown balls on top. Adri inquired as to whether they were meat and I said yes, probably, but that all kinds of foods came in ball shapes: her Quorn meatless meatballs, falafel, even kofta. She had never been exposed to kofta before and promptly requested some for dinner. Obviously I'm not making malai kofta (it contains loads of paneer and yogurt), so this was my off-the-cuff version.

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 can garbanzo beans
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 egg (can substitute a few tbsp yogurt, or even some potato cooking liquid)
1 tennis-ball-sized chunk cooked shredded methi, squeezed very dry
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Peel, chop and boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher until relatively smooth. Set aside.

Process chickpeas in food processor until texture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Transfer most of this to the mixing bowl, then add spices, salt, baking powder and egg to the remaining chickpeas. Process until smooth. Stir in methi and cilantro; mix well.

With oiled hands, roll into 40 key-lime-sized balls. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, flipping the balls about halfway through baking.

Serve with rice and a sauce made with onions, masala and coconut milk. Or, if you're feeling lazy, serve with your favorite Trader Joe's simmer sauce.

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