Veggie bowl - Trini style
My first post of the year! Yay! 2017! It’s going to take me a long while to start writing 17 instead of 16 in my dental charts at work. I’m sure it will stick by July- we will see though. Hopefully all of you enjoyed some good rest and relaxation over the holidays. I always have lots of plans for the holidays. Like big cleaning plans and reorganising and purging but not this year. I have been working a lot more at the office because we have been short staffed because of a maternity leave so I worked through the holidays. My work schedule goes back to normal come next week so after that I will make my big cleaning goals happen. I will be sure to keep you posted on how that goes.
I never have any dietary goals because I’m not about that at all. I always try to eat well and I don’t feel too guilty about eating the occasional bite of sugar or whatever else that’s considered sinful eating. I usually do try to make a point of being a little more active and have high hopes of planning hikes and outdoor excursions. Some pan out and others usually roll over to the next year. And that is the extent of my new year goals.
Well let’s get this years post started out with a great veggie and legume bowl. This is one of my top favourites for veggie bowls and thats
because it’s like a deconstructed veggie Roti sans le skin though. So it’s usually what I put into my vegetable Roti. Fry bodi, curry chana and potato and pumpkin. I also get bhaji or spinach as well but this time I did a bhaji pumpkin coconut rice so it’s in there. The great thing about these recipes is that you could either eat them just like I have them over rice or if you haven’t learned or don’t have the time to make roti skins you can just pick some up from a local Roti shop or even at the grocery store and eat them with those. At least you have the fillings down pat.
Next week I will post my favourite Trini curry chicken recipe that you could add to your veggies and that recipe is easily interchangeable with any meat of your choice. Don’t be intimidated. It’s a lot easier than you may think. And at least by making it on your own you can control how much other not so good stuff that shops may add to the fillings like extra seasonings that have preservatives and extra unnecessary sugars too. I’m very excited to post some Roti skin and sada recipes and even tutorials from a good friend of mine that actually makes them for a living. So stay tuned for that! In the meantime enjoy making and eating the fillings!!
Recipe for ‘Fry’ bodi (yard long beans)
- 1 lb. bodi washed ends trimmed and cut in approx two inch pieces (or if not available green beans can also work)
- 1 large onion sliced finely
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1-2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup of coconut milk (optional and can substitute with just plain water or broth)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat large shallow sauce pan to medium/high heat and add your garlic and sauté for a minute or so until fragrant
- Add in the bodi and stir well to coat with the garlic oil. Sauté for another minute or two
- Add your onions and salt and pepper and sauté for a minute and then add the coconut milk or water and stir well. Add your tomatoes (some add the tomatoes a few minutes before the bodi is finished cooking but I like my tomatoes cooked right down, so it’s according to preference) bring to a boil and then lower the heat right down to low and cover and cook for 15-30 minutes at a low simmer until the bodi is as cooked as you like it. If you like it more firm then closer to 15 min if not then longer.
- Once cooked through to your desired texture take the lid off and put the heat back up to medium/high and let the liquids reduce leaving behind as much sauce as you prefer. I cook them down to nearly no sauce because that’s how I like them but if you want some sauce don’t reduce the liquid for as long.
Recipe for Trini style pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata variety of pumpkin)
- 1 lb of pumpkin with skin removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1/2-1cup of water or broth
- 1 tsp of brown sugar (optional- a good pumpkin will have enough natural sweetness but some like it sweeter than it already is and the sugar brings out the sweetness a bit more)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter (optional I like to add it for extra flavour)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in medium sauce pan
- Sauté the onion for a minute until translucent then add the garlic and sauté another minute until nice and fragrant
- Add the pumpkin pieces and salt and pepper and sugar if adding and stir well to combine
- Add the water or broth starting with a half cup and bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Check and stir every few minutes and add a tbsp of water or broth at a time as needed so that the pot doesn’t go dry. The pumpkin will slowly melt down. Let it simmer for 15 minutes to half an hour or until soft enough to mash (depending on the pumpkin)
- Once it is soft enough remove the lid and turn the heat back up to medium/high and reduce the liquid and stir often. You want very little liquid left.
- Once reduced either mash the pumpkin with a wooden spoon or fork against the side of the pan or use and immersion blender. I have never had to use the blender because our local pumpkin is very easy to mash. You may have to use it for other varieties of pumpkin depending on the firmness.
Recipe for Curry chana and potatoes
- 4 potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 can of chickpeas rinsed or cooked from dry (either or is fine)
- 2 tbsp curry powder plus 1-2tbsp of water to make into a paste
- 1 cup of water
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch of fresh thyme taken off the stem
- 1 small bunch of chive or green onion chopped finely
- 2-3 stems of Chandon beni or cilantro
- Heat up oil in a medium sauce pan to medium/high heat and add and sauté garlic for a few minutes until fragrant
- Add in your curry paste and sauté for another minute to cook the curry
- Add in all the greens, onions and herbs and stir well and sauté for another minute
- Add your potatoes and chana or chickpeas and stir well to coat with all the flavourings
- Add the water and salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover and cook until potatoes are done. Check often to make sure there is enough water.
- Once cooked remove lid and turn up the heat a bit to reduce and thicken the sauce or leave as is if you like the sauce runnier
Bhaji coconut rice with pumpkin
- 2-3 cups of spinach or bhaji washed and sliced finely ( if I use frozen I use half to a whole small bag or package of frozen spinach depending on how much rice you are cooking)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 pimento peppers(optional)
- 1-2 cups of pumpkin chopped finely
- 1 1/2 cups of rice
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2 cups of water or broth of your choice (chicken or vegetable)
- 1 tbsp of EVOO
- 1 Tbsp of butter ( or you could use all butter or all EVOO)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Wash and slice you spinach or bhaji, chop onion, garlic and pumpkin, wash your rice and set aside
- Heat oven proof medium pot on med/high and add your oil and butter.
- Add in your garlic and let it sauté for a minute or so to make the oil very fragrant and then add in the spinach and onions and pumpkin and pimento peppers if using. Stir and let everything sauté for another 2-5 min (turn down the heat to medium if needed). The spinach will have wilted, onions should be soft and translucent and pumpkin will be in the beginning stages of getting soft.
- Season with salt and pepper and add in the rice. Let the rice sauté for a min or so to absorb some of the flavours and then add your coconut milk and water or broth if using
- Let the pot come to a simmer, give it a good stir. Taste and see if it’s good for salt and pepper, cover with oven proof lid and put in the oven for approx. half an hour
- Once done remove from the oven, remove lid, fluff rice with a fork and serve.