[MUSIC PLAYING] BETH MCKINNEY: Welcome, everyone to three easy dinners which, as you can see from your recipes, there's four easy dinners. I snuck an extra one in. My name is Beth McKinney from Cornell Wellness and we're going to have some fun here in the kitchen and attempt to do it within the hour.
The bonus-- and it's Indian flavors and so it's also a one-pot meal. And once again, I'm going to cut up a whole onion, although I might put in half the tomatoes.
When you watch cooking shows on TV, just think about how perfect they have to be and how talented they really are to be able to do what they do, although I think I did watch Elmo make a huge blunder. And he just kept going. It didn't really matter to him.
SPEAKER 1: Do you have any advice on cutting an onion and not crying?
BETH MCKINNEY: You could wash the onion first. You could wash off this part of it. But you're going to cry. It's funny. That's my answer but the funny thing is my colleague, Erin, who also did one of these cooking demos last month, got the same exact question. And I do believe she had the same exact answer.
SPEAKER 2: I heard someone say if you leave the end on and cut it--
BETH MCKINNEY: That never happened for me.
SPEAKER 2: I have contact lenses so that makes me even cry more.
SPEAKER 3: You can breathe through your mouth instead of your nose and that's supposed to keep it from--
SPEAKER 2: Oh.
BETH MCKINNEY: So we have an answer to the question, How do you keep an onion from making you cry? And so one possible answer is breathe through your mouth--
SPEAKER 3: Yeah--
BETH MCKINNEY: And not through your nose.
SPEAKER 4: [INAUDIBLE].
SPEAKER 3: Yes.
BETH MCKINNEY: One of the things about both of these one-pot meals is that they both utilize vegetables from your freezer. So I know that local foods, fresh foods, everything is about to explode in the spring. And we will be having another cooking demo in a month on how to use all those greens in cooking.
But what I want to hopefully get everyone to understand is that frozen vegetables are OK. Having broccoli-- frozen anything but today, I've got corn and cauliflower-- is always great if you don't happen to have the fresh ones. If you had fresh corn, if you had fresh broccoli, by all means use it.
I do know that in this cooking demo, the frozen broccoli, when it's frozen, it's flash-frozen so it means it's frozen when it's fresh. And so it does retain a lot of the vitamins and minerals. But because it's frozen, it loses a little bit of the structural integrity when it defrosts. So it's going to cook faster, which is something that is sometimes important when you're cooking dinner.
So we're once again going to go with one clove of garlic. And so if people can see in the mirror, you cut off the end of the garlic that connected it to the head, you give it a tap, and then you grab it by the tail and the whole garlic falls right out. And then, step two is smash it. Try not to shoot it off anywhere in your kitchen. And then, just be careful not to cut your fingers.
So we've got an ingredient here. I do believe we are using ginger so I want to tell you a couple of things about ginger. And first of all, when you buy fresh ginger, the way to know that it's fresh-- and I always do this so you might see ginger that I've bought in the store because I always break a piece off and I listen.
It can't be soggy. It can't go bendy. And then, you smell it and it should smell like ginger. I always try to buy a small piece. I never need this much. If I do, I have frozen this and I've used it from the freezer but it's not as fresh.
The other thing that I discovered because of my sister-in-law is that you can buy ginger paste and they sell it in the grocery store. I'm not sure what section but it comes in a tube and it just comes out like toothpaste and it lasts forever. So I've got leftover ginger paste at home and I didn't have ginger so I use that.
So when you're cutting up a chunk of ginger, unlike garlic, ginger is very fibrous. It's got these fibers coming right through it. And so you can't cut it crazy like you do with garlic. So what I'm going to do is try and get the very edge of the peel off and then I'll show you how I cut it. There's also a ginger grater that you can buy.
SPEAKER 5: Hey, Beth can you tilt the mirror just a little bit?
BETH MCKINNEY: I can try. I can try to tilt the mirror.
So once again ideally, you have a flat surface.
And put that on Low.
Let me get the onions in.
Come on. All right. What you need to do with ginger is you need to slice it along the grain very thinly. So you're going with the grain.
And then, see these slices? The grain's going across. Then essentially, pile them up and then you cut along the grain again. And then, you've got little match sticks and then you line up all your little match sticks and you cut it as small as you possibly can. And that's how you cut ginger. So I do believe this requires a bit of ginger.
The fresher your ginger is, the easier it is going to be to cut. And the reason why you don't want to cut the ginger all willy-nilly is because inevitably, someone's going to get a big piece, which for some people is good and for other people not good. Try and get the big chunks out there.
The potatoes that we are using-- I actually bought an extra potato. It just seemed like a good thing to do. So I will throw in an extra potato. But I'm going to leave the skin on these. These are thin-skinned potatoes.
Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I peel them. But if it's a thin-skinned potato, it's OK to use. Red potatoes, I often always use the skins. But if it was like a baker or a russet potato, I'd probably peel that potato. So in goes the onion, the garlic, the ginger.
Once you start doing this in your home, people will come out of their rooms, right? And sometimes, just do this. If you don't know what to make for dinner, just start cooking some onions and garlic and you'll get inspired.
I've got garam masala. I've got actually these two and curry powder. And garam masala is an Indian spice that's actually a mixture of a lot of other spices. So the garam masala is going to be as good as whoever made it.
If you want, you can certainly make it on your own but it's very easy. So we're going to get those spices toasted up a little bit. And it says to cook it for about three minutes and that will give us some time to cut our potatoes.
SPEAKER 1: Would you recommend putting ginger in a food processor?
BETH MCKINNEY: I would not. Because of those fibers, it gets all twisted up and you'll end up with long fibers. So if you're using ginger in something that requires food processing, I would cut the ginger first and then put it in the food processor.
SPEAKER 5: Beth, did you leave the skin on the ginger?
BETH MCKINNEY: Nope, I peeled it off. And what I tried to do was I tried to peel the thinnest part of the skin off because I wanted to preserve a lot of the flavorful ginger that's close to the skin. In terms of your potatoes, I like to think of making it the size that will fit nicely on someone's fork or spoon but you can make them any size you want. That's the beauty of this recipe.
How many people actually like to cook dinner when they get home from work? Oh, I think that's less than 50.
I think that's less than 50%.
SPEAKER 6: Can this be a do-ahead one that you could make before?
BETH MCKINNEY: Oh my gosh, absolutely. The question is, Can this be made ahead of time? And yes, I would say the two one-pot meals can absolutely be made ahead of time. Maybe I'll just stick with two potatoes. And I don't know if you can smell this but the spices are very spicy, almost to the point where I might choke in a minute. They're going right up my nose.
So we are going to add a 14-ounce can of tomato, which is half the size of this. Look at that. We're going to add coconut milk. This is a little bit of coconut milk. Then, you can freeze the rest of it for future use. We're going to add the potatoes.
SPEAKER 6: Could this be easily doubled?
BETH MCKINNEY: Absolutely. You can change the proportion of anything, as well.
That's right, bag or cauliflower. Cauliflower and potatoes is a very common combination in Indian cooking-- garbanzo beans because that makes this a complete three-food-group meal. Got my heat on high. All righty.
I'm just adding everything. We're going to let this cook. This one's going to cook a little bit faster. These are golden raisins-- optional.
And if at any point it needs more liquid, you can add water or in the case of today--
Yeah, these are very forgiving recipes. So we're going to let this one cook. We're going to just make sure it's blended and essentially, it has to make sure that the potatoes are cooked.
And with this small-size potato, if it's boiling and it has enough liquid and steam, it would be about 10 to 15 minutes. Am I forgetting anything?
SPEAKER 2: Spinach.
BETH MCKINNEY: Spinach goes in at the end.
SPEAKER 2: Would you serve with rice or would the potatoes be enough?
BETH MCKINNEY: It's up to you. If you were making this for dinner for a dinner party, I might make some rice with it and maybe another vegetable dish. But for dinner for home for a quick night, it's got everything it needs.
SPEAKER 7: Did you put the curry powder in?
BETH MCKINNEY: I did. Thank you. I do need people to double-check.
SPEAKER 8: What is garam masala?
BETH MCKINNEY: Garam masala has the following ingredients in it, red chili powder, black cardamom, coriander seed, cumin seed, black peppercorn, green cardamom, fennel seed, clove, cinnamon stick, asafetida, nutmeg, and bay leaf. So it's quite a blend. Malabika?
MALABIKA: As turmeric is good for your health now we know more-- so why I cannot use turmeric also?
BETH MCKINNEY: Absolutely. So Malabika's mentioned that turmeric, it's in the media now as being good for your health and it's one of the foods that helps minimize inflammation. And so some people take turmeric as a supplement. So they take it specifically to help reduce inflammation.
Adding turmeric to the diet is absolutely fine and healthy and it's also an Indian flavor. So yeah, so feel free, everyone, to make a note on your recipe that you can certainly add turmeric.
MALABIKA: Then you can have a little bit of gravy to take with the rice. Turmeric makes gravy.
BETH MCKINNEY: Thank you for sharing that. So turmeric does make a gravy and that you can use for the rice. Any other questions?
So we've got two pots boiling here and I'm going to attempt to move-- let's see-- to move one of my pots over there. We'll see what happens.
I want you to know that this is on Low. So yes, Ruth, I would love to give this to you. At least I think it's on Low. We'll put it on Off.
SPEAKER 5: Are those cast iron?
BETH MCKINNEY: These are enamel-covered cast iron and they clean up very well. So one of the popular brands of enamel-covered cast iron is Le Creuset. It's very expensive.
But now on the market, there are a lot less expensive ones and I'm assuming that they're just as good, as long as the enamel doesn't crack. But cast iron gets really, really hot and stays hot. So once you're up to heat, you can turn down your flame and it will still stay pretty hot.
So far, we're doing quite well with time and so we're going to let the Indian stew cook to make sure that the potatoes get done. I have no doubt that this is going to be done but it did create a little bit of liquid.
Do you remember that I poured tomatoes in here? And it's not red. It is the color of the curry and the garam masala.
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See how easy it is to incorporate Indian flavors into a simple yet healthy meal. Demo presented by Cornell Wellness staff Beth McKinney, RDN.