Curried Rice & Vegetable Pilaf

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics

This is one of Kelsey’s favorites. Serve it with some chutney and a salad of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers & sliced red onions dressed with lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil for your Meatless Monday vegan meal.

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large boiling potato, peeled (optionally) and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or cashews)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (or mint)

This makes a very large amount of rice so use a large, heavy bottomed pot. I have a clay tagine that works well, and a 12-inch Le Creuset covered skillet that also works nicely. But a stockpot would be great.

Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Saute onion, potato and carrots, about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the rice and all of the spices. Mix well, saute 2 minutes, until toasted and aromatic.

Whisk the coconut milk if necessary and pour into a large measuring cup. Mix the coconut milk with enough water to make 3 cups. Pour over the rice, add the salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook undisturbed, 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Turn off the heat & gently stir in the peas and almonds. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with mint or cilantro.



Paella, such a simple concept, protein and rice. Such a yummy end product. So much trouble to cobble together a recipe. Every time we make Paella out comes 3 or 4 cookbooks and of course the internet searches. The list of ingredients and directions are always so long. And we want to mix up the ingredients. Saturday we added chorizo and chicken. Sometimes we want just fish!

So here is Saturday night’s version, sort of.

Olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
2 small (3-inch) chorizo sausages, sliced

1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced (or mixed peppers)
1 tomato, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups long grain rice

3 cups water with chicken bullion or stock
2 good pinches of saffron
1-2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

artichoke hearts, canned or frozen
1 cup of peas
1 cup of medium shrimp
6 large sea scallops
~1/2 cup white wine, if you have it (we did not)

Add the spices to the stock, heat in a medium saucepan to a simmer.

In a large, wide pan heat the olive oil. Brown the chicken and chorizo, set aside.

Add the onions and garlic, saute a couple minutes then add the red peppers. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add more oil if needed. Add the chopped tomato and cook till softened.

Add the rice and toast, stirring. Rice turns white then back again and then toasts just a bit.

Add the stock and the artichoke hearts, chicken and chorizo. Bring to a simmer. Cook, taking care that the rice does not burn, about 10-15 minutes. (I like to cover the pan for at least part of the cooking)

Add the peas and shrimp. Cook another 10 minutes. Add the scallops and wine and cook until done. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Risotto with Butternut Squash & Sage

For you Kelsey.

From The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop.

This is a time consuming recipe because you have to cook the squash and then cook the risotto. Shortcut the process by cooking the squash in the microwave (or my favorite, the pressure cooker) with a little broth.

Serves 4

6 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, minced
6 large sage leaves, minced
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1/2 small squash)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a simmer. Keep warm on low heat.

Heat oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a heavy-bottomed pot (medium size). Add onion, saute until translucent. Stir in minced sage and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in squash and cook 2 minutes, stirring.

If you are cooking the butternut squash in the pot:
Add wine and 1 cup broth, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Add more stock if needed. Uncover and cook off any extra liquid.

Stir in the rice and cook until the rice changes color, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup stock. (If the squash is cooked in the microwave, stir in the wine, squash and 1/2 cup stock.)

Cook, stirring until the stock is absorbed (not boiled off!).

Add another 1/2 cup stock, repeat. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is creamy and cooked about 25 minutes. If you run out of stock add hot water.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter.

Serve in soup bowls. Top with more cheese, of course!

In our house this is the main course rounded out with salad, topped with nuts.

Risotto with Ham and Peas

I am glad that everyone in my house loves to eat risotto. It seems such a silly dish, rice for dinner. But even Morgan, who in general does not like rice, loves risotto.  I am not adverse to serving a vegetable risotto for dinner but ham, mmmm.

1 onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2-4 Tbsp. white wine (every risotto recipe calls for wine, which I never have so I use mirin, which I always have because you would never drink it)
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup diced ham
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat the stock in a 2 quart saucepan. Keep at a simmer.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil. Gently cook the onion until translucent. Add the ham and heat through. Add the rice and fry for a couple minutes.

Add the wine, turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the rice absorbs the wine.

Add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until absorbed. I like to stand around and drink a glass a wine and stir the risotto. But the rice does not need to be stirred constantly.

It will take about 30 minutes to cook the rice. If you run out of stock, add water. The dish will be a little soupy and the rice should be tender.

When you have about a cup of stock left, add the peas.

When done, turn off the heat and stir in the grated cheese.

Sushi Rice

2 cups rice
3 cups water

Wash rice. Soak in water about 30 minutes. Cook.

Sushi Su – combine:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Put cooked rice in a large bowl and combine with sushi su, fanning mixture. Use while warm.

“Spanish” Rice

This is a classic from Mom’s kitchen.  She often served it with chicken.

1 onion, finely diced
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup of white rice
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
olive oil and butter

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, saute the onion and pepper until soft. Stir in the rice and stir to coat with oil and cook a minute or two.

Stir in the tomato sauce, water and salt. Cover and cook as rice – bring to a boil, them turn the heat to very low and cook until tender about 20 minutes.