Easy Chickpea Curry with Kale

Recently my daughter and I were making a curry dish from a kid’s cookbook, and I couldn’t help but modify it to my own liking. Plus, there were so many problems with the recipe: It called for a single leaf of kale (is that ever enough for anything?), used way too much salt, listed a bake time of 20 minutes (no baking was actually involved), and was illustrated with a drawing of a red onion that looked exactly like a rutabaga (which just didn’t inspire much confidence!).

So I was pleasantly surprised when our version turned out very tasty! The recipe is designed to be kid-friendly, so it’s not spicy, and lends itself to some kid help along the way. My daughter particularly enjoyed tearing up the kale, rinsing the garbanzos, measuring the water and spices, and stirring the pot.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes (undrained), torn into pieces
2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 bunch lacinato kale, torn into bite-size pieces (discard stems)

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Stir in the curry powder, salt, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes more. Add salt to taste.

Serve over rice.

Pictured: Descoware Flame Dutch Oven, Pyrex Spring Blossom 471 Casserole

Grandma’s Hamburger Goulash

This is my comfort food: a classic American one-pot dish made with pretty basic ingredients that come together into something delicious and belly-warming. It’s also pretty hard to screw up! Case in point: While cooking this last night I accidentally added some tea- and anise-infused simple syrup that I mistook for the mushroom-infused soy sauce I wanted to use (both of those were homemade items in similar-looking mason jars). I quickly realized my mistake, so I put in the soy sauce too and hoped for the best. And it still came out pretty tasty! Maybe a tad sweeter than usual, but not that noticeable. Hooray for a foolproof dinner!

Adapted from Classic Goulash on Allrecipes.com.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 cup elbow macaroni (uncooked)
salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking the meat up into bite-size pieces, until no pink remains.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, soy sauce, Italian seasoning and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Skim off any excess fat with a spoon. Add salt to taste (about 1-2 tsp). Then stir in the macaroni, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes more.

Remove from heat. Take the bay leaves out, then stir in the cheese and serve.

Pictured: Descoware Flame Dutch Oven

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Spring Onions

I love most kinds of potato salad, but my least favorite ingredient in the typical dish is the mayonnaise. You won’t miss the mayo one bit with this version, which is dressed with a mustard vinaigrette instead. Bacon and spring onions top off the flavor punch. It’s best served warm or at room temperature, which makes it easy to bring to a potluck or picnic too!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 lbs small red potatoes, quartered (unpeeled)
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium spring onions, chopped (bulbs and light green stalks)
2 tbsp whole grain or coarse grain mustard
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped parsley

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon pieces until crisp and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a bowl. Drain the excess grease from the pan, reserving about 1 tbsp. Next, saute the spring onions until softened and starting to brown. Add the spring onions to the bacon and set aside.

Put the potatoes in a large pot and add water until covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt. Stir in the bacon, spring onions and parsley. Add the potatoes and stir gently until well coated.

Let sit for at least half an hour to let the potatoes absorb the flavors, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Pictured: Pyrex Gooseberry 444 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Le Creuset Flame Skillet