Guest Post: Emily’s Doctored-Up Dal

My dear sister sent me the first FLIP guest post for 2013, after regaling me with her description of da’ best meal she’s cooked in a long time. Thank you Emily – I look forward to cooking these combos with you soon! 
(Photo credits: All larger scale photos are by Elise and Isabel. Thumbnails of the ingredients are from Amy’s, Natural Lifestyle, amazon, Yves Veggie Cuisine, and Bite of the Best.)
I love to cook, and often spend hours experimenting in the kitchen. But with a full life and lots of interests, sometimes I take the “Doctor-Up” shortcut.
  • Step One: buy extra cans of interesting stuff that you’ve never tried before when it goes on sale at the market (for me, it was Amy’s brand soups and varied beans)
  • Step Two: on a “Doctor-Up” day, take out your cans of “stuff”, maybe scrounge around your spice cabinet, check your freezer and vegetable drawer, and see what goes together
I saw an Indian theme developing with my Amy’s Golden Dal Soup, Amy’s Lentil Soup, garbanzo beans, leftover Dulcet Madras Curry Spice Rub, cucumber, red potatoes, and cabbage.
The other can of mushroom soup and frozen pierogis went back in the pantry/freezer to be eaten another day when I’m feeling Eastern European inspired.
  • Step Three: open the cans and spices, taste them, and think of what meat and/or vegetables would go well together
  • Step Four: scurry to the store to pick up more veggies/meat/spices that would complement. I’ve been on a kale kick (and it was on sale too), so that went into my cart along with additional Aloo Gobi spices (I felt too lazy to combine 10 spices on my own), some tomato, and broccoli
  • Step Five: mix and taste soups and spices in spoonfuls to decide what to put together
  • Step Six: create some new recipes!
This is what I ended up with.

Potatoes (start these first, prep 8 minutes, bake for 20 minutes then finish cooking them following the instructions for the other vegetables below)

  • Preheat oven to 350. Wash and slice potatoes, toss with olive oil and salt, lay on a cooking sheet, and bake
  • Go do something else for 15-20 minutes, because everything else is easy and takes less time
  • Or you could prepare the Dals right away, but you’re probably going to have some free time at some point waiting for potatoes (good time to set the table, wash dishes, kiss loved ones, read trashy magazines, etc)
Da’ Easy Dal Stew (prep time 8 minutes)
  • 1 can Amy’s Lentil Soup goes in a pan 000502
  • Add 1 can drained garbanzo beans  Garbanzo_Beans_Canned_Lg
  • Add Madras Curry spices to taste 51Hw4JEbKHL._SL500_AA300_
  • Saute a few ounces of fake meat in a separate pan with a bit of olive oil  bprod_ground
  • Add fake meat to stew and simmer on low heat until ready to eat

Da’ Easy Dal (prep time – 8 minutes)


  • Rinse, destem, and cut kale into bite sized pieces
  • Heat a lil’ bit of olive oil in pan, add kale and saute for 2-5 minutes
  • Add Amy’s Golden Lentil Dal FB_Amy_Lentil_Soup
  • Keep warm until other items are ready.

Veggies and Potatoes (Aloo Gobi is traditionally made using cauliflower and potato, or you could do broccoli instead) (prep time – 12 mins)

  • Heat 1-3 tablespoons oil in the bottom of a pan
  • Add Aloo Gobi spice mix until it foams51P9XwAKYpL._SL500_AA300_
  • Add the sliced and pre-baked red potatoes and fry slightly on each side then remove and return to oven (finish cooking in oven, maybe put oven to broil in last few minutes)
  • Add rinsed and cut up cauliflower (I used broccoli) to pan with remaining oil and spices, stir so that it is evenly coated, add water to pan to steam cauliflower and keep from sticking to pan.
  • Add additional veggies (onion, tomato, peas, ….) if you want 
  • I usually use medium to high heat to start, but then turn the heat down if I’m feeling rushed or if my items seem to need some slower cooking to get fully cooked and not burnt around the edges.
Cut up cucumber, tomato, cabbage to eat raw with the warm dishes.
Warm whole grain tortillas and/or lavash bread to wrap up your fillings. Keep warming the lavash bread, and you can toast it like a cracker for dipping instead. Spoon the yummy creations into fun dishes, take to the table, wrangle the family and/or friends into the room, and enjoy!
Emily Roth rocks her day job, negotiating complex legal documents for commercial real estate ventures, and then kicks it into high gear during her off time. You’ll find her somewhere in the Portland metro-area, paddling dragon boats, critiquing questionable dance performances, meditating in the Chinese gardens, and doctoring up dal for her sweetheart. 
Isabel is a part-time food stylist, full-time artist. Largely self-taught, her oeuvre ranges from the pedestrian to the sublime. Her current work, on display by her bunk bed, is an exploration of unexpected juxtapositions of organic and “man-made” materials.

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