Wednesday, November 2, 2011



olive oil
1 head cauliflower
3 large carrots
20 cloves garlic
4 Tb lemon juice (1/4 cup)
salt, pepper
2 cups chickpeas
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs.

pasta for four (~12 oz), prepared according to package directions

equipment: pot and colander for the pasta
large wok or frying pan for the melange.

this dish was inspired by the hummus principle:

1) hummus is good
2) hummus is good with carrots

3) there was a cauliflower in the fridge at the time.

also, I was reading Dune when I made this dish; so even though it does not contain any cinnimin, it is named Melange after the spice that is mined in dune that makes their universe possible (the pilots use it to get high in order to do the special navigation needed to traverse wormholes and such)

anyways: on to the recipe.

it's also a really cheap recipe, $3 or so per serving.

0) put up a pot of salted water to boil the pasta; and follow directions on the package.

1) chop up cauliflower, into large, bite size pieces; about 2 inches long, by 1 inch wide, with 1/2 inch depth or so. the important thing is that they are all about the same size.

2) blanche them: put them in the wok, with 1/2 cup water, cover it, and turn the heat to high. check them in about 7 minutes, they should be fork-tender at about the same time\
the water is all used up. (this trick also works well for blanching broccolli in other recipes)

3) meanwhile, cut the carrots into coins; all about the same size (1/2 inch thick); and dice the garlic.

4) when the cauliflower is fork tender (a fork just barely goes through it, remove to a bowl.
if the water isn't all boiled off yet; let it go for another 30 seconds or so

then, add 2 Tb of oil, turn down the heat to medium-high, and saute the carrots for 10 minutes, or until they are tender and somewhat caramelized.

5) add the minced garlic, saute for 2 minutes

6) add back in the cauliflower and the chickpeas. saute for 2 minutes

7) add in the lemon juice, and salt and pepper; saute for 2 more minutes.

8) serve on top of pasta, drizzling more olive oil over it, and topping
with whole wheat bread crumbs.

a beautiful cauliflower:

how many carrots to use:

diced carrots:

diced garlic:

stir-frying the carrots:

final stir-fry:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

stuff I like

I need to add more photos and recipes.

but right now, here's some stuff I like; please note that I *just* joined the amazon associates program.

epicor: helps me breathe better, and not get sick as much. there's even medical studies that show it is effective. myself; I was only sick for 1 day during the last month; when others were sick for a week.

stitch-n-bitch: the book that has taught me so much about knitting, including how to fix mistakes. (they are not fixable in crochet, as least that I know of)

food scale: this has sped up my cooking; plus saving me from unnecessary washing of measuring cups

Sunday, July 3, 2011

my dietary restrictions

Jill's allergies

created on: 1/27/05

Last updated: 3/25/2009 - chickpeas are good again, and after 14 years I've now added cranberries (in small amounts) back to my diet

I'm a vegetarian who pretty much eats only parve food- no dairy, no red meat, no fowl(chicken, turkey...) but I do eat kosher fish and eggs.

Instead I drink lots of rice and/or soy milk.

There's medical reasons for all the weird foods I can't eat (eating asparagus landed me an overnight stay in the medical center in college) so they are real.

First, what I like to eat: then: the actual restrictions.

food I like...

I'll always be happy with lots of vegetables, some protein, and

some whole grains. protein is key. if in doubt, I'll take a banana, two eggs sunny side up, and some whole grain toast. throw in an avocado (one of my favorite foods) and I'll be very happy.

things I like:

  • broiled/roasted salmon; seared tuna steaks marinated in lime and soy
  • brown rice, whole wheat pasta; quinoa, millet (whole grains are key)
  • stir-fries, tofu, stews,
  • trader joe's meatless meatballs

  • there's lots of vegan recipes up on the post punk kitchen

here's the restriction list:

no: red meat, poultry (obviously no pork either)
no dairy

note: I've found a good recipe for tofu-ricotta cheese, in a recipe (like lasagne) it's almost indistinguishable from the real thing :)

note: only tofutti soy cheese and mozarella soy cheese are okay, all the soy cheeses that are flavors that I can't eat (cheddar, for example)
that contain natural flavors are suspect unless they are un-aged and certified vegan. (Also,lots of soy cheese contain casein, a milk protein. So only soy cheeses marked vegan are okay)

no peanuts (all other nuts okay)
(small amount of peanuts (like peanut oil in roasted nuts) are okay, I just can't eat peanuts or peanut butter.)

no lentils, split peas, or other similar teeny beans
(black beans, white beans, pintos, chickpeas etc are fine :)
no asparagus
no corn kernels (processed cornmeal okay)

no celery in large quantities, small chopped up bits that have been
sauteed and baked to within an inch of their life (like in tempeh loaf
and stuffing) are fine

oranges: only navel, valencia, and blood oranges are okay (clementines,tangerines and others can give me migraines)

no chocolate
no nitrates (found in preserved meat and fish-especially lox)
no beer

Note: hidden cheese:

The following foods tend to include cheese as an ingredient:

(so I avoid them)

  • pesto
  • quiche
that's it for the allergies..

thanks for reading this far!

Jill R. Singer --

Last updated: 3/25/2009

Monday, March 5, 2007

sweet potato crepes with cilantro-tamarind sauce

tonight dan and I made this amazing recipe from Vegan With a Vegeance.

it was a lot of work, but totally worth it. It was sweet, savory, coconut-limey, flavorful, but not spicy at all. just amazingly good.

although - we started at 8:15; and we didn't eat til 10 pm.

so I've promised to not make this unless I start at 5 pm; and probably only on sunday.

next time I *will* use whole spices; and just use the mortar and pestle; I'm not yet ready to get a dedicated spice grinder. (maybe it's more of a space issue...and I'm trying to not always buy tons of stuff....)

also- tonight was the first time I tried whole food's organic coconut milk (from a can); and it was better than other brands I've tried- it wasn't that watery.

the only recipe substitution I made was canola or olive oil for the peanut oil, without any problems.

the sauce was the best part, and the easiest.

also- one needs to wait - for the crepes- for them to look almost done until flipping; and having an almost dry 8" cast iron pan is best (olive oil being rubbed on with a paper towel works).

and don't worry about the first crepe. it's sacrificial- it warms up the pan. the rest will turn out :)

Here's a pic of the crepes mid-assembly, you can see the filling.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thai Yellow Curry with Tofu, Potatoes, and Carrots

Adapted from the Joy Of Cooking- the 1997 edition. I know it's not a favorite of most people, but as an engineer I loved its scientific, procedural tone and discussions on techniques. It also was one of the first *real* cookbooks I got after I graduated college, so it's certainly special to me. It's where I get a lot of basic recipes- cole slaw, cookies, banana bread, and such from.

This recipe is for, originally , a yellow curry with cauliflower, potatoes, peas, and chickpeas. The curry was great, but it needed a little more color. also, I love stewed carrots- they get all creamy when they've been simmering in coconut milk. I had a curry with tofu, potatoes and carrots at a local thai restaurant in mountain view, california and was hooked on the trio- it really works.

With no further ado; the recipe:

Thai Yellow Curry with Tofu, Potatoes, and Carrots

6 servings, 45 minutes to make


4 medium carrots, cut into large pieces (2" by 1/2")
2 medium boiling potatoes- (yukon golds); unpeeled, cut into 2" squares
24 oz firm silken tofu (2 12-oz packages)- cut into quarters

The curry:
1 large apple, peeled and cored
4 large cloves garlic; peeled
2" piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 small hot chili pepper- jalapeno or serrano (if heat is desired)
2 medium onions- ends cut off, peel removed, cut into quarters

2 Tb sweet curry powder
1 Tb whole wheat flour

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 cups of water.
vegetable oil- olive or canola.

optional garnishes: cilantro, roasted cashews, green olives

serve over rice (recommended: short grain brown rice).


food processor with the chopping blade
2 quart pot
5 quart pot

  1. Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in the smaller pot, and boil the carrots for 5 minutes. remove with a slotted spoon; then put in the potatoes. After 5 minutes, turn the water off; and leave the potatoes in the water.

    Note: if making fresh brown rice for this meal, start that now; as it will be done at the same time when the curry is ready to eat

  2. Prepare the hot pepper, if using. Most of the heat is contained in the ribs (the white part inside the pepper) and the seeds. For what I consider optimal heat, I use half of the flesh; plus 3 seeds and a small amount (the size of the letter A) of ribbing. This little bit goes a very long way.

  3. In the food processor with the chopping blade, cut very fine but do not puree: the apple, ginger, garlic, and prepared hot pepper.
    Remove to a medium bowl, then process the onion until it is finely diced; then mix the onion and apple mixture together.

  4. On medium heat, add 3 Tb of oil to the larger 5 quart pot and sautee the onion mix until it starts to turn translucent, about 8 minutes.
    Then, mix the curry powder with the flour; and add them to the mixture.

  5. After the curry powder is slightly toasted and becomes more aromatic (after about 2 minutes) add the coconut milk, the salt, and 1/2 cup of the water used to boil the potatoes and the carrots. Turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil.

  6. At this point, drain the potatoes and add them, along with the carrots and the tofu. Simmer at medium to low heat for at least 10 minutes. The tofu will break up into lots of pieces- don't worry about it.

  7. Keep simmering, until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender- a fork easily goes through them.

    Serve over brown rice and enjoy :)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Spinach Lasagne

This Lasagne has its roots in Jennie Grossinger's "Art of Jewish Cooking" (which is unfortunately out of print).

Two epiphanies with this recipe: three (3) lasagne noodles fit, side by side, in a lasagne pan (i used to only put in two rows); and tofu tastes good as the main "cheese".

Additionally, there are two "cheese" options- use either cottage cheese (two 1 lb tubs), or make "ricotta" out of firm tofu.

I'll add a photo the next time that I make this, but am posting this now due to requests :)

Spinach Lasagne

Total preparation time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
In oven: 30 minutes

1 recipe tomato sauce (follows)
9 lasagne noodles, cooked according to package directions, then laid out on aluminum foil after draining to ensure that they don't stick together
10 oz of mozzarella cheese, grated (note: can substitute soy mozzarella without much taste difference)
spinach: either 2 lbs of fresh spinach(adult is preferable to baby) or 1 lb. bag of frozen chopped spinach
soft cheese: either 2 lbs of cottage cheese, or 1 recipe of tofu ricotta cheese (follows)
1 9" x 13" greased lasagne pan; pyrex preferable.

  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

  2. cook the spinach:
if using fresh: devein (tear off the tough stalks), wash, then put the spinach in a large pot with the washing water still on it; set on medium heat, and cover.

after 2 minutes, stir and then cover again. keep checking and stirring till it is all wilted- soft, dark green, and shrunk to about 20% of its size in volume.

then, squeeze the spinach (putting it in a colander and pressing down with a spoon works) to get rid of the moisture, then chop it up so it's easier to eat (no long stringy pieces) If you lay it out on a cutting board, and chop down so that you form a 1" by 1" matrix, that works very well.

if using frozen: one way to defrost is to put the frozen spinach in your (large) pasta colander; and then when the lasagne noodles are done, pour the boiling pasta water over the spinach. the spinach will get defrosted and drained all in one step :) alternatively, defrost in the microwave and then drain of excess water (see draining method for fresh spinach, above). if you get frozen chopped spinach; no extra chopping is necessary.

Then, after the spinach is done, mix it in with the soft cheese.

3. assemble the lasagne:
put about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the 9" x 13" pan.
then, layer on the noodles-3 noodles in a single layer
next, 1/2 of the soft cheese/spinach mix
next, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese,
then, enough sauce to cover the cheese (about a cup)

second layer:
noodles, then just enough sauce to cover (1/4 cup or so), then another layer of noodles;
then repeat above soft cheese, mozzarella, then sauce; saving a little mozzarella to sprinkle over the top.

4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350.
after 20 minutes, take off the aluminum foil, and bake for 10 minutes more till bubbling.


Tomato Sauce- 10 minutes ; + simmering time

This is a basic tomato sauce; I find the key parts are the green pepper, sugar (my secret ingredient!) and basil. I find that I usually use 3/4 of the sauce when putting together a lasagne; you can either heat up the extra sauce to serve alongside; or freeze it and then make half the recipe next time you make lasagne :)

1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 Tb olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp diced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

1. dice peppers and onions into very small pieces; I usually use the chopping blade on my food-processor.

2. heat the oil in a medium-large pot, and then sautee the peppers and onions together for 5 minutes

3. add the garlic; sautee 2 more minutes; then add the tomatoes and spices, and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

The sauce is done! it can be simmered indefinitely while preparing the other components of the lasagne.

Tofu Ricotta Cheese

5 minutes to prepare

from recipe source

  • 2 lbs (2 cakes, packed in water) Firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup Lemon juice
  • 4 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tb Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp dry Basil (or 2 Tb fresh minced)
  • 1 tsp minced or crushed Garlic

  1. Drain the tofu lightly (do not press it; just take the tofu out of the tub and discard the water)
  2. Mash the tofu, then mix in the rest of the ingredients; adjusting salt and sugar for taste.