Pad Thai

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Special Menu: LOW HEAT

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, add noodles and remove from heat. after about 5 minutes, taste a noodle to make sure it is cooked through.

2 T vegetable oil
2 tablespoons peanuts
3 cloves minced garlic
1 shallot, minced
1 T grated preserved sweet radish/turnip (optional)
4 servings Thai rice noodles, prepared according to directions
2 T tamarind paste
2 T sugar (palm sugar if available, microwaved)
1/2 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce
3 T ponzu or coconut aminos
1/2 c water
1 t salt(adjustable)
1 cup bean sprouts, retain some for garnish
1 c sliced green onion, retain
1/2 lime, juiced

Prepare noodles first.
In a large wok, heat oil over high heat, then add peanuts, shallots, preserved radish/turnip and garlic.
once fragrant, add noodles, tamarind, sugar, chili sauce, water, salt and ponzu.
stir fry for several minutes, then add sprouts, green onion, a squeeze of lime and black pepper.
plate and garnish with lime wedges, bean sprouts and cilantro.

Malai Kofta

Difficulty: MEDIUM

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1/2 c frozen peas
2 T toasted cashews, finely chopped
1 T sultanas (golden raisins), chopped into small pieces
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 t salt, or to taste
1/4 t turmeric
black pepper
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 c chickpea flour – more as needed to make into dough which can be formed into balls

1 T vegetable oil 1 t whole cumin seeds
1 t ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 c onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 T cashews
1/4 t garam masala
1/8 t red chili powder
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t coriander, ground
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
1/4 t salt, or to taste
pinch sugar
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c basmati rice
1 3/4 c water
bay leaf

Boil potatoes and carrot chunks until tender. While boiling, begin making gravy: heat oil in saucepan (deep enough to use immersion blender), then sizzle cumin seeds.
add onion, garlic, ginger and cashews. Add spices cook for a minute or two, then add tomatoes and coconut milk. bring to a simmer, season with salt, a pinch of sugar and black pepper. leave to simmer while you make koftas.

Preheat 450

place potatoes and carrots in a bowl, add remaining kofta ingredients and mash/combine. Add more flour as needed until mixture can be rolled into balls.
thoroughly oil a cookie sheet and arrange balls, drizzle/spray with additional oil over balls.
bake for 12 minutes, flip, then bake for 14 additional minutes.
You can deep fry the balls instead of baking if desired.

While koftas are baking, return to gravy.
Add fresh cilantro and hit it with an immersion blender until as smooth as possible. season further if needed.

Place rice, water, salt and bay leaf in a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover.
Rice is cooked when craters appear in surface of rice.

When koftas are done, remove from oven and add to gravy. serve saucy balls over fluffed rice.

Tortilla Soup


Corn Tortillas
1 ½ c masa harina
¼ t salt
2 T shortening
1 c hot water, or more as needed
Flour for kneading

combine flour and salt, fork in shortening
add water slowly until dough comes together
knead for 2 minutes, wrap in plastic and allow to cool
break off bits and press flat between wax paper using a rolling pin or your hands.
cook in non-stick skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side

Tortilla Soup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips (divide in half)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 T paprika
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t chili powder
pinch cayenne
3 c water
1 1/2 Not Chikn bouillon cubes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
handful cilantro leaves
pinch salt
1 c dry soy curls

lime wedges
hot sauce (Valentina and/or Cholula)

heat oil in deep pot, then very briefly fry half the tortilla strips until crispy, then remove from oil with flat sieve or slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and season with salt. set aside for garnishing.

in same oil, add onion and garlic, sizzle until browning begins, then add spices and stir. Once spices become fragrant, add water, tomatoes, bouillon, remaining (unfried) tortilla pieces, bay leaf, cilantro and salt. cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

remove bay leaf and use immersion blender to puree soup, then add soy curls and simmer for 15-20 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until curls are cooked.

serve topped with cheeze, avocado, a nice handful of fried tortilla strips, additional cilantro, lime wedge, and hot sauce.

Kaeng Kanun (Jackfruit Curry) + Forbidden Rice

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Special Menu: Tour of Asia

Forbidden Rice
Soak rice overnight
1 cup Thai black rice
2 cups water

place all in pot and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium, simmer until rice is cooked.

Kaeng Kanun
1 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 T red curry paste
1 c coconut cream (thick part)
2 kaffir lime leaves chopped
2 cans jackfruit, drained and rinsed
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
½ c golden raisins
1 red Thai chili, julienned
8-10 long beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 T ponzu
1/2 t sugar
2 T holy basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup water

Heat oil and sauté the garlic, remove it, and reserve.
Sauté the red curry paste until the aroma is brought out, then add the coconut cream and stir
Add lime leaves, bamboo, raisins, chili, long beans, ponzu, sugar, basil and water, simmer for 5 minutes, then add jackfruit.
continue to simmer until jackfruit is broken down a bit and long beans are cooked through.
stir in a bit more basil.
Garnish with black rice, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, lime, and a big handful of cilantro.

Black Bean Soup + Corn Tortillas

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Black Bean Soup
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t jalapeno powder
2 cans black beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 c water
1 boullion cube
salt to taste

heat oil in big pot, saute onion, carrots, garlic
add spices and sizzle until fragrant
add remaning stuff, bring to boil, covered, for 15 minutes
remove from heat and stick immersion blender in for a few seconds, leave some chunks

Corn Tortillas
1 ½ c masa harina
¼ t salt
2 T shortening
1 c hot water, or more as needed
Flour for kneading

combine flour and salt, fork in shortening
add water slowly until dough comes together
knead for 2 minutes, wrap in plastic and allow to cool
break off bits and press flat between wax paper using a rolling pin or your hands.
cook in non-stick skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side

Masala Dosa + Sambar + Coconut Chutney

Difficulty: BE IN A COOKING MOOD (seriously, this is an epic project of a meal)

Special Menu: Tour of Asia

Dosa Batter
prepare two bowls for the following:
2 c short grain rice, rinsed, soaked for 6 hours
1/2 c urad dal + 1 t fenugreek seeds, rinsed and soaked for 6 hours

drain water from rice and mix extremely well in food processor (10 minutes). Add water gradually to achieve a runny paste.
place in a large bowl, and separately, drain urad dal and fenugreek and whir, adding water in small amounts, until smooth and also runny paste-like
combine both batters and blend further with an immersion blender, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place for 12-18 hours, until batter fluffs up and gets bubbly.

Coconut Chutney
1/2 fresh coconut (cracked, peeled, and cut into chunks)
1 green chili, seeds removed
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large handful cilantro
1 t tamarind paste
1/2 c coconut cream
pinch turmeric
water to process
salt to taste

2 T vegetable oil
2 t black mustard seeds
2 dried red chilis
6 curry leaves

process coconut, carrot, ginger, onion, garlic, cilantro, tamarind, cream, and turmeric in food processor, adding water little by little to achieve as smooth a texture as possible.
transfer coconut mix to a bowl.
in a large sauce pan, heat oil until wavy, then crackle mustard seeds, chilis, and curry leaves for several seconds before adding coconut mixture.
simmer for several minutes until onion is cooked, season with salt to taste, and set aside.

2 1/2 c water
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

place all in pot, cover, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until dal is broken down and soupy, set aside

2 T vegetable oil
1/2 t cumin seeds
1/8 t fenugreek seed
1/4 t black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafetida
10-12 curry leaves
4 dried red chilis
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/2 c radishes, quartered
1/2 c long beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5-6 large okra, split, trimmed, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sambar powder
1 c water
cooked toor dal

In large pot, heat oil until wavy, then sizzle cumin seed, fenugreek, mustard seeds, asafetida, chilis, and curry leaves for several seconds.
add vegetables, salt, and sambar powder, and stir.
add toor dal and water, salt to taste, stir and cover.
simmer until vegetables are cooked.

Aloo Masala Filling
1 1/2 lb yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled, cubed, and boiled

3 T vegetable oil
1 t black mustard seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
2 dried red chilis
6 to 8 curry leaves
1 medium onion, diced
1 T grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green chilis, finely chopped
1/2 t turmeric
Pinch of asafetida
1/2 t salt
1/2 c water
1/2 c roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems

heat oil in wide saucepan until wavy.
sizzle mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and red chilis
add onion, ginger, garlic and green chilis, then turmeric and asafetida.
add salt and water, stir and cover, heat for several minutes until liquid is absorbed.
remove from heat and stir in cilantro. set aside.

retrieve dosa batter, and add enough water to thin the batter so it can easily run into a thin layer.
salt to taste.
heat a non-stick pan over medium-high and quickly ladle batter onto pan, spreading it with the bottom of the ladle, or tipping the pan to expand the surface of the dosa
drizzle some oil over the dosa as it cooks.
Only cook one side, remove from pan once bottom is golden, and immediately spoon in masala mixture, folding dosa into a roll. repeat.

serve with sambar and chutney, enjoy, then take a nap.

Garlic Naan

Difficulty: MEDIUM

1 packet active dry yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 t salt
1/2 t sugar
2 cups flour
1 T olive oil
1/2 c warm water, plus more to bring dough together

place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Add oil and 1/2 cup warm water, adding more water as needed until a dough forms.
Knead using addtional flour to avoid sticking, until elastic.
place dough in oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place
Once doubled in size, split dough into 6-8 even pieces and form into thin circles
Lightly grease non-stick pan over medium high heat.
Cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side, re-oiling the pan between batches.

when ready to serve:
if needed, reheat bread on baking sheet in 350 degree oven.
when it comes out, brush with melted butter and additional minced garlic

White Velvet Soup + Winter Vegetable Quinoa

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Special Menu: Winter Menu

Cook 1/2 c dry quinoa with 2 T dried cranberries added to the water, drain and set aside.

White Velvet Soup
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium bulb fennel, roughly chopped
1/2 t fennel seed
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 c water
1 1/4 t salt

In a large soup pot, heat oil and saute onion, celery, parsnips, fennel, and fennel seed until vegetables reach golden brown town.
add water, bay leaf, and salt, and simmer until vegetables are tender.
Remove bay leaf, then use an immersion blender to blend into velvety smoothness. taste and season further if needed.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Quinoa
1 medium bulb fennel, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
favorite everyday seasoning
salt and pepper
favorite herb blend
1-2 stalks fresh kale, finely chopped

preheat 450
toss chopped carrot, fennel, and garlic in olive oil and season with everyday seasoning, salt and pepper, and herbs.
roast for 10 minutes, then toss and roast for a few more minutes until things are golden brown and carrots are cooked.
in a large bowl, combine roasted vegetables, quinoa cranberry mixture, and chopped kale.
season if needed.

Quinoa can be served on the side, or in a dollop on top of the soup.
garnish with fennel fronds, walnuts, and black pepper.

Winter Squash Lasagna


Special Menu: Winter Menu

Winter herb Ricotta
1 c raw cashews, soaked & drained
8 ounces silken tofu (1/2 block)
3 garlic cloves
1 T lemon juice
1 teaspoon mix of dried rosemary, sage, and thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

whir all in food processor, add more lemon juice or water to achieve ricotta like consistency.
set aside.

2 T olive oil
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 large carrot sliced
1/2 t fennel seed
1/2 t dried sage
1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried basil
pinch dried rosemary
pinch dried thyme
1/2 t sugar
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
onion powder

heat oil in large pot, then add onions. cook until very caramelized.
add carrot and garlic, saute until garlic is fragrant, then add whole can tomatoes.
add remaining ingredients, simmer covered.
taste after 10 minutes and adjust seasoning as desired.
simmer for 30 minutes total, then hit it with immersion blender and set aside.

thinly sliced pumpkin or other squash, peeled and thinly sliced
fresh sage for garnish
oven ready lasagne noodles

Preheat 350
lay down sauce in thin layer in baking dish, then alternate noodles, ricotta, squash, sauce for as many layers as possible. arrange slices of squash on top, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and dried sage.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil and place fresh sage on top. set under broiler for a few minutes until squash is golden brown on top.

Homemade Pizzas

DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM, but time required for dough rising

(makes 2 pizzas)

3 cups flour
1 packet instant yeast (pizza crust yeast)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for forming crust
1 c warm water

in stand mixer, attach dough hook. place flour, yeast, salt and oil in mixer and turn on low.
slowly add water while mixing until dough comes together. add more water or more flour as needed.
flour your hands and pick up ball, place in bowl and allow to rise in warm place for about an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare toppings:
garlic (roasted or toasted)
sun dried tomato
black olive
fresh basil
jarred sauce or homemade pizza sauce
daiya mozzarella cheeze

preheat oven to 500
on a clean floured surface, knead dough for several minutes. add flour as needed to reach desired consistency. cut into two pieces.
drizzle oil on cookie sheet and begin to press one dough ball into crust.
keep working with it, it takes time to stretch to where you want it.
spread additional oil around the edge of the crust, and season with flavorizers:

crust flavorizers
italian seasoning
garlic salt
italian dried herbs
crushed red pepper

repeat with other dough ball on a second sheet.
place crusts in oven until sheen disappears from surface (about 4-5 minutes)
remove and add sauce, cheeze, and toppings
return to oven for 6-10 minutes, until bottom of crust is golden brown.