Instant Pot Chana Masala and a Must-Have Resource That I Love

A little food,  interesting conversations, and meaningful connections — that’s what the family table is all about! So today, I’m sharing a book that I love and some really good food. I only wish that we were all sharing it around an enormous table filled with friendly conversation and lots of laughs. I hope you enjoy and as always look forward to hearing from you.

Instant Pot Chana Masala

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground dhana jeera
  • 2 teaspoons chole (chana) masala spice
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • sliced scallions or fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried chickpeas for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Turn the InstantPot on sauté mode and warm the oil.
  3. Add the cinnamon, cumin seeds and cloves to the warmed oil and sauté for a minute or two until fragrant and cumin seeds begin to pop/sizzle.
  4. Add the diced onions and sauté until golden. Next, add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté for an additional minute or so.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and continue sautéing until the tomatoes have wilted down.
  6. Add the tomato paste and remaining spices, including the salt. Stir to combine for 30 to 60 seconds.
  7. Add the drained chickpeas and 2 cups of fresh water.
  8. Change the Instant Pot setting from sauté to manual high pressure and set the timer for 15 minutes.
  9. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to come down on its own and remove the lid once the pressure has come down.
  10. Taste for salt and season to taste.
  11. Serve over rice, garnished with sliced scallions and alongside a green salad.
http://www.thefamily-table.com/instant-pot-chana-masala-and-a-must-have-resource-that-i-love/

With love,

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Plant Based Pesto and a Few Thoughts on Family Dinner

Hello! It’s been such a long time since I’ve been here. I have to admit, it took quite the nudge to get me going again. You’ll notice that the lighting in the video is a bit off and the sound too, but I decided that perfect could wait. I hope you will forgive the imperfections and consider trying this plant-based pesto. It’s the same recipe that is included in my free ebook; I thought I’d turn it into a video to show you just how simple it is to put together.

Plant Based Pesto

Ingredients

  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plant based (vegan) parm
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Plant Based Parm
  • 1/4 cup ground almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place half of the basil and spinach in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add the lemon zest, juice, garlic, vegan parm, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add the remaining basil and spinach.
  4. Drizzle in olive oil while food processor is running. Continue processing until well combined.
  5. Season with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Notes

Great over pasta, as a spread on sandwiches or wraps, or even with crudité.

http://www.thefamily-table.com/plant-based-pesto-and-a-few-thoughts-on-family-dinner/

I also wanted to spend a couple of minutes talking about family dinner. I hope you enjoy the video, try the recipe and perhaps even more importantly, enjoy dinner together with your family. I’d love it if you would share  your thoughts, suggestions and ideas for future conversations. It’s good to be back .

With love,

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A Special Conversation On Talking to Your Teens About Weight

Are you the parent of a tween or teen? Do you worry about your child’s weight? Does your child worry about their weight? Have you ever heard your child say “Ugh! I’m so fat!”? Did it leave you speechless and panicked? Are you worried that your child has an eating disorder or is over-weight? Are you at a loss when it comes to talking to your child about health, weight, and the importance of being active? Well, then I suggest you grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and have a listen to this wonderful conversation I had with Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a researcher and professor at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of “I’m, Like, SO Fat”: Helping Your Teen Make Healthy Choices about Eating and Exercise in a Weight-Obsessed World.

Over the summer I read an article in the NY Times which hi-lighted the importance of avoiding commentary on your child’s weight. Dr. Neumark-Sztainer was featured in the article, and it reminded that I had read her book a while back. I decided to reach out to her to see if she would be willing to chat with me. Of course, I was thrilled when she said yes, and excited to share our conversation with you. We discuss how to talk to your teen, how to create a health-promoting environment at home, how to approach teens that want to be vegan,  the importance of family meals (of course!), and much more.

I hope you enjoy our conversation, and as always, I welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions.

With Love,

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Tofu With Broccoli & Brown Sauce

This recipe is my alternative to Chinese takeout. It has all the flavor and fun of your favorite take-out without the added grease, not to mention that it has loads of extra veggies. If you want to skip straight to the recipe, I have it below. Otherwise, checkout the video above to get my step-by-step cooking demo.

As I mention in the video, this is what I like to call a “Friday night” sort of meal, meaning that there are a few extra steps, and it may not be the best recipe to test out for a quick weeknight meal. It’s certainly not complicated, but I would give yourself a little extra time. This dinner with a movie rental or board games is pretty much the perfect recipe for a fun family night in.

Tofu With Broccoli and Brown Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks (14 ounces each) of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • large bunch of broccoli, cut into medium sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons high heat cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 scallions, sliced

Instructions

  1. To press the tofu, wrap the tofu in a paper towel and/or kitchen towel. Place a cutting board and a couple of cans of beans (or other heavy object) on top of the cutting board. Allow to sit for about an hour.
  2. While the tofu is being pressed, prep your remaining ingredients.
  3. To make the marinade, combine the broth, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  4. Once the tofu has been pressed, slice into even cubes and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Lay the sliced tofu out into a single layer and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until the tofu is beginning to brown, without being crisp.
  6. Place the baked tofu in a glass dish and pour the marinade over the tofu. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in medium sized pot filled with boiling water, blanch the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes. They should be bright green, crunchy, and NOT cooked through. Set aside.
  8. Remove the tofu from the marinade. Stir in the cornstarch into the marinade and set aside.
  9. Warm your wok over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the bottom of the wok and spread around.
  10. Add to tofu and cook until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  11. Remove the tofu from the wok and add 1 additional teaspoon of oil.
  12. Add the sliced onions and cook until soft and beginning to caramelize. Next, add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant (just about a minute), being careful not to burn the ginger and garlic.
  13. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until soft and browned. (Note: you may need to add a tablespoon or so of broth if your veggies start to burn or stick to the bottom since the recipe calls very little oil)
  14. Add the blanched broccoli and tofu.
  15. Give a quick stir to the sauce to make sure the corn starch is well incorporated and pour over the stir fry.
  16. Mix to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly.
  17. Serve over steamed rice and garnish with sliced scallions.
http://www.thefamily-table.com/tofu-with-broccoli-brown-sauce/

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I’ve been working on my first detailed nutrition video for the last few weeks. I was forced to take a bit of detour. If you are a believer that the universe works in mysterious ways, you will definitely want to check out the upcoming  video. . . It’s a little story about vitamin B12 and how I had to take my own best advice!

I’d love to here about how your family celebrates the end of a busy week. Stay tuned for my B12 story and of course, send me your questions, concerns, and comments.

With love,

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My First Cooking Demo with a Very Special (not to be missed!) Recipe

 

Dal is a staple of Indian cuisine and can be found in virtually every Indian household. Like an Italian grandmother’s red sauce recipe, each family has it’s own version with special twists here and there. I’m thrilled to be sharing my family’s dal recipe. It’s my mother’s recipe, and I have made a few adjustments (cutting back on the oil and the spice for my kiddos!). Unlike much of the heavy restaurant fare many people are used to when it comes to Indian cuisine, this dal is intensely flavorful while at the same time quite light. Fresh curry leaves, ginger, spices, and punch of citrus will leave you wanting this dal week after week.

Yellow Mung Dal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow mung dal
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried, black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin seeds
  • 5 - 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground dhana jeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger peeled and sliced
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain the dal. In a bowl, cover with about an inch of water and let soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. While the dal is soaking, prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. Drain the dal and transfer to a medium sized pot. Add enough water to cover about an inch above the dal.
  4. Simmer on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the dal is tender and almost cooked through. Skim off any scum that may form as the dal is cooking.
  5. When the dal is almost cooked through, begin your vagar. In a small pan, warm the oil. Once the oil has warmed, add the mustard and cumin seeds (they should "pop" a bit, so be careful of any splatter!).
  6. Add the fresh curry leaves followed by the chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have cooked down a bit (about 5 minutes), add the remaining spices (including salt), ginger, and lemon juice. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  7. Pour the vagar mixture into your nearly cooked dal. Stir to combine and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add in the chopped cilantro.
  9. Serve over steaming rice and alongside your favorite Indian vegetables.
http://www.thefamily-table.com/my-first-cooking-demo-with-a-very-special-not-to-be-missed-recipe/

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I hope you enjoy this dal and I’d love to hear about the recipes that are at the center piece of your family.

With love,

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