Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things I Am Loving This Week

Time for some more "Things I Am Loving This Week", those (mostly) food-related things that I am enjoying and want to share,

First up, "I Love Assam 2"--the vegetarian Indian food class I took at KCC (the local community college) this Saturday. I took the first part earlier in the year and loved it, and this one was just as good. Our instructor, Alyssa is awesome and I always learn something from her. We had a demo and trial of a Carrot Halva Cake, basically an Indian spiced carrot cake that I will be making and posting at some point. We then made three dishes; a red lentil dal, a spiced rice and my favorite, these Veggie Kofta. Kofta are basically meatballs, often of lamb or beef, mixed with spices. There are vegetarian versions as well like these, which were made of chickpeas, zucchini and cabbage and lightly browned in the pan before finishing baking in the oven. Served with a delicious spiced yogurt sauce, they were easy to make and just delicious. I can see myself making these often as written, or changing out the veggies. 

Vegetarian Kofta with Spiced Yogurt Sauce
by Alyssa Moreau
(Serves 4)

1 cup zucchini, grated, (Let sit 10 min then squeeze dry with cloth or hands)
1/2 cup cabbage, grated (Let sit 10 minutes then squeeze dry with cloth or hands)
1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, mashed well
1/4 cup garbanzo flour or fine bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cayenne 
1-2 Tbsp ghee or light oil such as high oleic salflower oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine ingredients through cayenne and mix well with hands. Form into balls about 1 1/2" in diameter, (if too wet, add in some more flour). Cook in ghee/safflower oil mixture (medium heat), turning to brown all sides, then bake for 20 minutes. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Spiced Yogurt Sauce

2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt (or regular full-fat yogurt, drained well*)
1 Tbsp ghee or light oil
1/4 tsp each of cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt 
dash each of clove powder, cardamon powder, ginger, cayenne, black pepper
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup tomato, chopped

*Drain yogurt in a cheese cloth lined colander for 30 minutes or longer. Heat oil in a small pan and add the spices. Cook for one minute, then add in the cashews and tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes more, then add 1/2 cup of the yogurt. Heat through, then transfer mixture to a blender and blend with the rest of the yogurt. Adjust flavors to taste. Place sauce in a serving dish and top with the cooked kofta, garnish with cilantro.

Speaking of Indian food, we kicked off the weekend by attending an Indian-Themed Macrobiotic Community Dinner on Friday night. They hold them twice a month with different themes and types of food. On the menu for this one: Vegetable Samosas with Chutney, Red Lentil Dahl, Brown Rice, Cabbage and Peas Sauteed with Mustard Seeds and Garlic and for dessert, Carrot Halva with Kukicha Tea. I love to try new and different types of food and ways of cooking and lucky for me, my Mom, at 78 this month, is a good sport and game to try new things too. 

I know the plate doesn't look gorgeous--but hey when you are feeding tons of people out of a church kitchen, you do what you can and it tasted great. The dinners are very casual, plastic plates and "green" utensils, and this one was a full house, packed with a great variety of people, all different ages and backgrounds. Hosted by the wonderful Chef Leslie Ashburn of Macrobiotic Hawaii, they feature unprocessed, vegan, macrobiotic meals with lots of local, organic ingredients. You walk away full and satisfied but feeling healthy too. The baked samosas, stuffed with quinoa and veggies were my favorite part of the meal--Yum! Not familiar with Macrobiotics? It is basically a lifestyle that is based around achieving balance, harmony, and wholeness in all aspects of life. I am not expert, I just like to learn, so you can read more about it at the Macrobiotic Hawaii website, here

Finally, the perfect foodie afternoon yesterday, I finally saw Julie & Julia. Since the last movie I saw in a theater, Food Inc. made me not ever want to eat again, it was nice to see a movie that made me hungry this time. (I may have to drag out my Mastering the Art of French Cooking and jump on that Boeuf Bourguignon bandwagon!). Meryl Streep was phenomenal as Julia and the rest of the cast great as well, especially Stanley Tucci (love him!), as her husband Paul. Basically, a cute, feel good movie and some good Mother / Daughter bonding. 

Afterward we went to the newly-opened Red Mango in Kahala Mall. (So happy to have one closer than running into Waikiki). Having tried a lot of different frozen yogurt brands, I love Red Mango the best, and since a small one is only about 90 calories plus another 35-40 calories for the fruit, it is a great, healthy afternoon snack. My favorite is the original flavor with mango and blackberry. 

So that is it, the "Things I Am Loving This Week". How about you?


  1. An especially lovely week of things that you are loving!
    I am all about those kofta.. they are calling to me. And the samosas.. and the frogurt. So colourful and refreshing looking.
    Wonderful that you got an opportunity to watch Julie and Julia with your mom. Hi Mom!

  2. Those veggie koftas sound delicious, will have a go very soon, thanks.

  3. What a great post. Everything sounds delicious and the plate of food has gorgeous color. The kofta is something I could do here without too much objection from my family. I really like your recipe.

  4. It all sounds good. I like the sound of the koftas, sounds like something I would really like. I love going to cooking classes, they are so much fun and you meet great people who also love cooking. Sounds like you and your mom are living it up. I loved Julie & Julia. Hubby and I both thought Stanley Tucci helped "make" the film. We loved the part where she was cutting all those onions and then he comes in - so funny!!

  5. What a fun weekend of Indian food! That cooking class had to be so great. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll be trying it for sure.

  6. I've never tried Indian food before. That looks soooo good.

    I finally tried a Dole Whip at Dole Plantation so that's what I'm loving this week =)

  7. The kofta sounds delicious. Filling, but full of good stuff like protein and fiber. Nice!

  8. I'm loving the kofta. I've never heard of it before but based on the ingredients, it sounds wonderful! and the movie? It was great!!!

  9. Yummie yummie, everything looks so good!

  10. Delicious eats!! I still haven't gone to see the movie yet, but I did read the book. I'm hoping the movie is a lot better! Have fun with Mom!

  11. It all sounds so delicious. The recipe for koftas, is so wonderfully healthy.

  12. I love trying new foods as well - as my roommate and I used to say: we want to eat the world! There are very few things that I won't try. Those kofta look delicious! I love Indian food, pretty obsessively actually. I can't wait to see the halva. I still have yet to see Julia and Julia! At this point, I am just going to wait until it comes out on DVD. Then I may rent it and watch it with my mom. Hopefully it will help her to understand a little more about blogging.


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