Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stuffed days. Stuffed potatoes. And an invitation to get stuffed!

Saturday was packed full, from the moment we got up until the moment we fell flat on our faces onto the sheets. We...

  • ...cleaned our fool heads off. We cook so much lately that if we skip just one day of our regularly-scheduled kitchen scrubdown, grossness (and lack of dishes) ensues.
  • ...sweated!  Richard was wearing a costume that caused people - including me - to spontaneously outburst expletives upon sight.  I cannot WAIT until those videos get uploaded so I can share them with you.
  • ...entertained!  We hung out with my lovely mother-in-law Jean (hi, Jean!) who hadn't seen us since January.  She was also very kind and generous in offering to help us tailor some clothes we'd grown out of (or had torn and outgrown and then... in-grew? re-grew into? Need a word for "we fit again.")  Tom made lunch for the three of us; more on that below.
  • ...were entertained! We got the first peek at our lovely friend after recent surgery, and on her birthday, no less.  It's always nice to see someone after healthy recovery, to be able to witness that they're doing OK. 
  • ...ordered take-out.  (Not fast take-out... I'm coming on 4 months since I've eaten fast food.)  It was from a healthy-type diner in our area.  Not perfect, but it met our goals for calories and balance, so I'm not beating myself up for it. Egg whites, a little soyrizo, a little cheese... not bad for a very-hungry and very-exhausted late night.  Plus I turned down the sour cream and used the fat free version we bought recently at Trader Joe's. Which, by the way, is the best fat free sour cream I've ever had.

So. Tom's lunch.  I swear, people. I would clone him and share him with all of you if I wasn't so greedy. (And, you know, had a duplicator.)

Tom made a full-on Indian lunch, with curried cauliflower, spiced daal (or lentils, for those of you who don't frequent Indian fare), fresh raita (technically, I made that!), tropical fruit salad, and one particularly excellent pièce de résistance.

I don't know if you've had samosas before, but there are few words to describe something this delicious.  So I'll use a picture.

Photo by Flickr user Zeetz Jones

They're a popular snack in south Asia (often used as an appetizer in Indian restaurants.)  Fillings can vary, but they're frequently potato-based, tucked into a crispy yet tender deep-fried pyramid. 

As you might expect, one small samosa (which will usually fit within the palm of your hand) is pretty caloric, especially since it's fried.  It can range from 200 to 350 calories depending on the ingredients.  And, alas, samosas are one of Tom's very favorite foods.  That many calories in one little snack, and they come in twos or threes, and how do you stop yourself from ordering more? I guess we're SOL.

Wait.  What's that in the sky?  It's a bird... it's a plane... it's... VEGANOMICON!

This brilliant cookbook has become one of our very favorites.  And thanks to authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, Tom does not have to go without his beloved samosas now that he can make Samosa-Stuffed Baked Potatoes, which he did for lunch on Saturday.  Here's how he did it.

4 Russet potatoes, baked & cooled
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons light oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 medium carrot, diced small
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

First, chop the onion, carrot and garlic into mincey-sized pieces.

Then bake the 'tatoes at 450 for about an hour, until tender.  Slice them in half.  Mmm, cross-sectiony.

Remove the tasty flesh and mash it. You would feel very differently about this sentence if I were a cannibal.

In a frying pan, heat the mustard and coriander seeds in 2 tsp of oil, until they pop. 
You'll want to cover them so as to avoid popped seed welts.

Add the chopped onion and carrot to the seed mixture and saute until translucent.

Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for another two minutes. 
Then add the remaining spices, water, and potato flesh to the pan and mix to combine (not pictured.)

Stuff the 'tato shells with the mixture, and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the halves.
Garnish with a little cilantro (if you think cilantro tastes like heaven and not like soap) and serve!

These are incredibly tasty, and with the crunch of the twice-baked shell, you'd never miss the fried samosa pastry.  One half of a potato is about the heft of 2 samosas, and 118 calories instead of the 700 that two large samosas would cost you.  Kudos to Tom for trying this recipe (and sharing the delicious spoils with me!)

Do you want to try these?  I know you do.  Well, good news for those of you in Southern California, we've decided that the sequel to our first healthy luncheon party will be an all-Indian affair.  It's going to be delicious, and filling, and it's not going to top 600 calories.

If you would like to be a guest at our Indian luncheon, let me know here, or on Facebook, on Twitter, by email, by stork... and we'll have you over for a Raja's Feast!


  1. I miss not living near you guys. Tom makes fantastic food! :)

  2. I would like to be a guest. Thank you and good day.

  3. Would love to join but not sure when we'll be in O.C. next weekend. When is the luncheon party? xo

  4. Oh! I should have clarified - we don't have a date yet, because we wanted make sure everyone who wanted to join us could come. It will likely be sometime after Easter, but within the next month. If there are many takers, we might even do it twice!

  5. Oh my god. I am making those ASAP.

    Also, O HAI! I've been wondering how you've been since the days of Ye Olde LJ. I'm AuroraStar420 over there. I've started a blog, too. I didn't think I'd feel this way about it, but I like blogging way more than LJ. So glad to hear you're doing well. <3