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Monday, June 29, 2009

Simple Split Pea Soup

This is another installment of the 'Ode to an Inexpensive Pressure Cooker' series. One of our favorite, in fact. Yes, this can be made without the pressure cooker, but I highly recommend one. I haven't bought canned beans since we purchased it.

So, here's the soup. There's comments about doing stove top, some variations, etc. below.

The Materials
  • 2 cups dried split peas (yellow or green)
  • 1 onion* diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (or one enormous clove)
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 large stalks of celery diced (or equivalent)
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t garam masala
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t sweet, smoked paprika
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 6 cups water
In the pressure cooker heat olive oil and saute onions until translucent, then add garlic. Continue cooking until these begin to caramelize a little then add carrots and celery. Cook together until carrots & celery brighten in color and are more aromatic. Add cleaned, rinsed peas and water. Stir together all ingredients then lock down the lid. Bring pressure cooker up to locked, when the valve begins to rock cook for 7 additional minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for several minutes before releasing the valve. Remove lid when lock releases then add yeast and spices. Let sit several minutes for the spices to blend into the soup before serving.

What else can you do?
  • Add curry powder and additional garam masala - more like a Indian dish then
  • Add some squirts of Siracha when serving
  • More smoked paprika will give a much smokier flavor
  • Add some chopped veggies, like cauliflower
  • Add diced potatoes to this
  • We like to serve it with a little quinoa & some nice bread
  • Give it a drizzle of Bragg's Aminos instead of salt at the table
  • Yes, you can make this without the magical pressure cooker. You just need to cook everything about 45 minutes

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saag Spiced Beet Greens

I was inspired by a radish greens & kale saag a friend of mine mentioned recently and wanted to give it a try. While at the co-op I was thrilled with some gorgeous beets with lush greens and brought them home to try out. I am going to be making this again and soon, so a picture of this beautiful dish will be up soon.

Leaves & stems of at least 4 beets are needed. You should end up with about a cup of chopped stems and around 4 cups of leaves. I've also made this with a mix of beet greens and chard. Kale would be great... pretty much any greens will do!

The Stuff!


  • beet stems, chopped
  • beet greens, large leaves torn a little
  • half a medium, sweet onion, diced
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste or 2-3 cloves minced (out of garlic, oops)
  • 1 T mild oil
  • 1/2 t Panch Poran (check out a Desi shop for this)
  • salt & lemon juice to taste


Saute onion in oil until it begins to brown and caramelize. Add in garlic, ginger and then the Panch Poran, cooking until fragrant. Then add in beet stems, a little salt, and cover. You may want to add a tablespoon or so of water to help steam the stems. After the stems start to soften a little add the greens and cover until they begin to wilt. Toss greens with stems and onions below to blend all together. Continue to cook covered until stems are cooked (we still like them kinda firm). Toss with a little more salt and lemon juice before serving.