Recipe of the day: Chana Masala recipe
This deliciously spiced dish is common vegetarian fare in India. If you’re a fan of spice, add a finely chopped red chili or two along with the garlic. Serve with basmati rice, naan bread or dosa (savoury crepes found in speciality Indian grocery stores).
Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
KIDNEY BEAN SOUP AND GUACAMOLE SALSA
- 1 pound dried kidney beans or 3 14-ounce cans (see source link for dried bean preparation instructions)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
- 1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 Cups liquid (water, or stock)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 avocados, chopped or mashed
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 green chili, seeded and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
1. Start by adding your oil to a large heavy pan and once it’s hot, add all your onions. Stir regularly until they soften and cook down. You don’t want to caramelize them, but just soften them. I’d say about 15 minutes should do the trick. Then add your pepper and garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Then add all your spices at once! Stir it well to combine. The onions will take on an amazing red color mainly due to the paprika.
3. Next add your beans, chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste to the party and stir well to combine. Let these cook just for a minute or two.
4. Once your beans are combined, add all your liquid to the pot, stir, and bring it to a simmer. Simmer the soup, covered, for about 30 minutes and then remove it from the heat.
5. Blend soup with your blender of choice, if desired. If using a stand blender, let your soup cool some before blending to reduce the risk of covering yourself/your kitchen with hot soup.
For the guacamole salsa:
Combine all ingredients and serve atop the soup or on the side with a small portion of corn chips.
Q:Hello! Great blog!! I had a question and was hoping you could help. So I became a vegetarian about a year ago and never looked back. Best decision. But, recently I took a blood test and found that I am lower than normal on hemoglobin and iron. My family is starting to worry that it's because I don't eat meat. I always felt that I was getting enough nutrients, but I guess I wasn't. Can you give me some advice on how I can manage my iron/protein intake? How do you know how much is enough? Thanks!
I try to make a point of eating as much varied food as possible, which includes lots of leafy greens, legumes, and nuts, which will help with your iron and protein.
As every person is different and every person’s health needs are different, I would recommend speaking to a nutritionist who specializes in vegetarian/vegan diets. They can help you come up with a plan that works best for you.