Posts Tagged ‘isa chandra moskowitz’

Chipotle Chili

Hey all, sorry I haven’t posted in quite awhile. Trader Joe’s frozen food is super convenient, so I haven’t done much cooking ’til now. I came off my hiatus with quite a feast.


Here’s my take on Isa Moskowitz’s Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts. I made some adjustments for my omni mom who hates brussel sprouts. Be warned, this makes  a lot of spicy food. Next time I make it, I plan on using half the chipotle and chili powder.



2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 onion, diced

1 tablespoon coriander seed

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 chipotles, seeded and chopped

3 sweet potatoes

3 zucchinis

2 teaspoons cumin

3 teaspoons chili powder (Isa recommends New Mexico chili powder)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 cup water

16 oz pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Fresh lime juice to taste (I didn’t use any, but she says one lime is great)


Isa recommends buying stewed chipotles. I found a small can at Fry’s no problem. Take the time to remove as many seeds as possible, or else your chili will be so spicy that you’ll singe some nose hairs. I’m curious to try this with chipotle tabasco sauce instead of chili peppers.

onions, garlic and chili pepper

Looks gross now, but will be better later, I promise.
















1. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent, or in my case, until it starts to burn. Do yourself a favor and either finish all your chopping before you start cooking, or find someone to help you. Onion should take 7-10 min to get soft enough.

2. Add garlic, coriander seeds, and oregano, and saute a minute more. Don’t worry if it seems dry, you have a bunch of wet ingredients on the way.

chipotle chili















3. Add remaining ingredients (except for lime juice) and mix well. Your pot will very full but it will boil down as it cooks.

4. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir often for 30-45 min, remember, the longer your chili cooks, the more flavorful it will be. Isa says “until sweet potatoes are fork tender but not mushy.” Mine cooked for a good 45 min but was not mushy.

5. Let sit uncovered for at least 10 minutes before eating.

chipotle chili














As I warned, this is a very spicy chili. Sugar and sour cream are helpful, I’m sure cornbread would also help take the edge off. I really enjoyed it with zucchini. I’d recommend using two cans of pinto beans or else they kinda get lost in the mix.


Cashew Vegetable Korma

My last post really put me in the mood for some more vegan cooking, so I googled Isa Chandra Moskowitz, remembering that she has a cooking website somewhere. I was also hoping to find some of her top recipes. I had a slight facepalm moment because Post Punk Kitchen was already bookmarked in my browser…that’s right, my writer friend from Chicago, Amanda Tague, had told me about it a good three or so years ago.

I decided to make Cashew Vegetable Korma for my dad’s birthday.  He’s a fan of chicken korma, and the rest of the family was planning on eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes. While I realize Indian food and meatloaf don’t exactly go hand in hand, I didn’t want to be stuck eating nothing but mashed potatoes for dinner.

I halved Moskowitz’s original recipe, which serves 16+ and still have more leftovers than I know what to do with.

I found everything but the garam masala at a local grocery store. According to Moskowitz, the tamarind can be bought at Whole Foods or an Indian market. I had no luck at Sprout’s, so I opted to use a lime instead.

You can tone down the heat of this recipe by adding coconut milk and stewed tomatoes. I’m the only person who likes spicy food in my family, so I used a whole can of coconut milk. If you’re going for a medium/hot curry, use half a can.



For the cream:

1 cup raw cashew pieces (plus water for soaking)

2 cup vegetable broth


Veggies to boil:

1.75 pounds yukon gold potatoes (large chunks)

1 lb cauliflower in large florettes (don’t cut them too small, or they will fall apart)

1 lb carrots



1 medium yellow onion

1 inch nub of ginger

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes


Everything else:

1.5 tsp peanut oil

.5 T coriander

1 tsp red pepper flakes

.5 T curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

Fresh black pepper

1 tsp salt

Lime or .5 T tamarind concentrate

1 T tomato paste

2 cups vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 cup frozen peas

1 large caramelized onion


1. Submerge the cashews in water and soak for at least an hour. The softer they are for your puree, the better. Set aside.

2. Slice the potatoes, cauliflower and carrots. Moskowitz suggests cutting the potatoes in 1.5 inch pieces and 1/2 inch carrot chunks.  Upon completion, I thought the carrot pieces were way too big.

4. Place the veggies in a large pot, she says 8 quarts is ideal. Cover them with cold water.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender. Don’t be alarmed if the cauliflower looks a little brown. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime…

5. Puree the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor. It shouldn’t be completely smooth, some texture is good.

No need to wash the processor bowl yet, you’re going to puree the cashews in a bit.

6. Cook the puree in 1.5 tsp peanut oil with a sprinkle of salt for about 15-20 minutes until it’s nice and browned. It will start to clump together and spit at you a little.

7. And now, the big test and most difficult part of this recipe: the cashew puree. Drain them and place them in the food processor along with two cups vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. This can take up to five minutes to get it as smooth as possible.

I really hope your food processor is larger than mine, because this was a bit of a juggling act. I don’t have any pictures of this because most of my time was spent running back and forth, trying to get an even mix and clean up the mess.

8. I didn’t time this out like Moskowitz. Don’t get too close to your dish or else you’ll start coughing since you’re using all those spices. My puree was really starting to dry out, so I wanted to hurry up and get to the vegetable broth/cashew cream step stat.

Once the puree is browned (or you’re sufficiently frustrated with your cashews), add the coriander seed, red pepper flakes and saute for about three minutes.

9. Add curry powder, garam masala, several dashes fresh black pepper and salt, and saute for another minute.

10. Add tamarind/lime (I squeezed the entire thing), tomato paste and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

11. Now add the cashew cream and your desired amount of coconut milk.

Remember, the amount of coconut milk dictates how spicy your dish will be. If you want spicy korma, feel free to go easy on the coconut milk and add some more red pepper flakes.

Let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes.

That’s starting to look like curry, all right.

12. While the sauce is cooking, saute the red onion in a separate pan in a little peanut oil with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes until it is browned and slightly caramelized. This adds a really nice sweetness and some texture to the finished dish.

13. Add the peas to the sauce. Fold in the boiled veggies, put the lid on the pot and let it heat through. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro if you’d like.

That’s it! Goes great with naan and/or basmati rice.

Isa Moskowitz is an inspiration. The next time I go to the bookstore, I plan on looking for some of her cookbooks so I can check out some more of her recipes. The korma turned out really well, although it took about an hour to make.

I would have no problem going vegan if I could eat delicious food like this all the time. Who knows, some day it may happen.

Maple Mustard-Glazed Potatoes and String Beans

If you’re trying to win the affections of a vegetarian or vegan, make this dish for them. It works, I promise.

I had someone cook it for me on our first dinner date.  I thought he was some sort of culinary genius because this dish was so delicious. This was not Jon’s doing, it was the work of lovely Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her book Vegan With a Vengeance, which I think I may still have hiding around here somewhere. You inherit all sorts of interesting things after a break up.

After a couple dates and more delicious meals, I learned that Jon was in fact a great cook, in spite of the simplicity of this recipe. This, however, in conjunction with our similar sense of humor, was one of the very few things that marked my interest in him. My disinterest in role playing games was mirrored by his disinterest in concerts. We were doomed. But, hey, he taught me how to cook frittatas, so I can’t complain.

That is so 2009, how about some food already?

Before you do anything, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


2 lbs. Small Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 lb. string beans

1 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

3 T soy sauce or tamari (I used soy)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I most certainly will not leggo my Eggo.)

3 T Dijon mustard

2 T olive oil

1. Did you remember to preheat the oven to 400? Slice the potatoes into quarters and put them in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Cut the yellow onion into large chunks.

2. Combine all of the wet ingredients and stir until the mustard is dissolved.

3. Pour over the potatoes and mix well. You should have everything in the pan except for the string beans.

4. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.

5. While the potatoes are baking, cut the string beans in half and cut off the ends.

6. Once the 25 minutes are up, add the green beans to the mixture, stir, turn the oven down to 350 and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered.

7. Remove from the oven and toss again, and cook for 25 minutes uncovered.

8. Let it cool for a bit so the sauce can thicken.

And, that’s it! This little slice of heaven only cost $7.

The way to a man’s heart may through be through his stomach, and the same may apply to women, although I won’t be the first to say we are complex creatures. I’m pretty sure the combination lock to my heart can be solved through tasty food, b-sides and cuddling.