Monday, October 6, 2014

Spinach Curry

Spinach curry takes fresh greens and turns them into sauce. Other mild greens and herbs can also be mixed in. I’ve used kale, epazote and cilantro. Spinach curry can also be combined with other vegetables, such as potato.

Green curries are alternative to other red (tomato) and yellow (turmeric root) curries.

- 1 bunch (8 oz) spinach (200 g, may substitute kale)
- 1 onion, cut half
- 3 tbsp curry paste (ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili, lime)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lime, juice

Pressure cook spinach and onion with 1/2 cup water 3 min. Blend onion, 1/2 spinach and cooking water. Cut reserved spinach.
In pot simmer curry paste, blended greens, reserved greens.
Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Yellow Curry Paste

Made of ginger garlic paste with equal parts ginger and garlic, with turmeric root and serrano chili. Keeps 1 week in refrigerator. Can add lime juice to preserve.
Makes 15 tablespoons paste.

- 4-6" ginger root, chopped coarse
- 20 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4-6" turmeric root, chopped coarse
- 2 serrano chili, whole, chopped coarse
- 1 lime juice

In small blender, food processor or mortar and pestal, blend ingredients. Add just enough water to blend. Avoid too much water.

Potato Curry

Simple potato curry uses yellow curry paste. My yellow curry paste is ginger, garlic, turmeric, serano chili, lime and water. Serve with rice. Garnish with grilled red onions and fresh cilantro.

- 3 white potatoes, 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp curry paste (yellow curry)
- 1/2 tsp salt

In pot of water boil potatoes until done, and drain.
In pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water raise press 3 min, cool, and drain.
In pan simmer curry paste and salt. Add water as needed to keep wet.
Add potatoes and mix until covered with sauce.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Mustard is basic condiment made from the whole seed spice, which can be purchased online or at any Indian Grocery. The Romans made prepared mustard condiment and introduced to England (and to America.) The French added other ingredients. Mustard adds turmeric added for yellow color (especially brown mustard) and flavor.

Basic ratio 1:1:1 mustard:vinegar:water.
Makes 1 cup, here half a small mason jar.

1/3 cup mustard seeds (yellow or brown, or both; brown is hotter)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar (cider vinegar)
1/3 cup dry white wine (or water)
1 tbsp maple syrup (sweet)
1 tsp turmeric (alot)
1/8 salt (try 1/8 tsp)

Combine in glass mason jar or stainless bowl, let stand overnight or 2-3 days.
Blend until smooth. Food processor makes coarser. Blender makes smoother.
Allow to continue to age 2-3 days after blending.
Keeps in refrigerator 2 weeks -  6 months.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Calorie Density

Nutrition Data ( provides nutrition label data for every food, including per portion calories and weight. Calorie density is calculated as calories divided by weight. Notice that the result calorie density is independent of potion size.

- Calorie Density = Weight / Calories

Because portions are typically weighed in metric grams, convert to pounds (454 grams = 1 pound.) This formula can be plugged into a spreadsheet table. As an example, compare raw to cooked broccoli. Notice calorie density is about the same whether raw or cooked.

- Broccoli, raw (calorie density) = 31 calories / 1 cup chopped (91 g) = (454 grams per pound) 31 calories / 91 grams = 155 calories per pound
- Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt = 98 calories / 1 stalk (280 g) = (454 grams per pound) 98 calories / 280 grams = 159 calories per pound

My rule of thumb of vegetables is 200 calories per pound. Some are more; most are actually less.

My rule of thumb for starches is 500 calories per pound. Some are more; some are less.
My rule of thumb for fruits is 200 calories per pound. Most are actually more; some are less.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Favorites

These are my go-to recipes I make by habit from memory.

- Split Pea Potato Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Minestrone Soup
Spicy Carrot Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
Beat Potato Soup
- Dal Soups

- Cole Slaw (Cabbage Salad)
- Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber Salad
Lemon Rice
- Mango Rice

- Spud Burger
- Veggie Burger
- Rice and Beans Wrap
Pita Pizza
- Spaghetti and Spicy Red Cabbage Sauce
- Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce
- Potato Dumplings
- Brown Rice

- Hummus
- Salsa
- Sauerkraut
- Marinara Sauce
- Spicy Red Cabbage Sauce

- Simple Fruit
- Oatmeal and Fruit
- Microwave Potato Chips
- Baked Tortilla Chips

- Citrus Infusion

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cucumber Salad

My Czech grandmother used to make cucumber salad. She soaked the cucumber slices in white vinegar, while I prefer lemon/lime and rice vinegar, and she used sugar, which of course I don't.

1 cucumber, sliced paper thin.
1/4 onion, sliced thin
sprig fresh dill, chopped fine (optional)
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt

Prep: Peel the cucumber and slice paper thin. My grandmother would score the outside with a fork to make a pattern before cutting. Some recipes remove the center seeds, which I think wasteful.
Chill: Mix and let the vinegars and any seasonings soak with the cucumber and onion, best 1+ hours refrigerated. Serve chilled.