Sometimes I consider quitting my my job in IT and working at Whole Foods. Why? Because of their tasty hot bar. Ok, I really wouldn’t quit my job, I like my job (usually), but I would like to acquire their recipes. I’ve had some good new experiences there. I had my first exposure to tempeh at Whole Foods and was quite a fan (you can look forward to something with that in the near future). So yes, this is another try-to-copy-whole-foods recipe.

Cauliflower and Spices

Whole Foods has this dish called Cracklin’ Cauliflower which I enjoy. Alliteration aside, I’m not sure why they call it that. It doesn’t strike me as cracklin’ at all, really. But then, what is cracklin’? How do you make something crack? Wait, what were we talking about?

Cauliflower and Peas with Spices

So yes, cracklin’ cauliflower is a subtly spicy dish that I like to get when perusing the hot bar selection. The spices say ‘Indian’ to me. with turmeric, fennel, and perhaps some curry. Another reason I like it is because, unlike many “true” Indian dishes, its ingredient list seems relatively smaller. Like last time, this dish isn’t what you find at your local Whole Foods, but delicious nonetheless.

Cracklin' Cauliflower - Sort Of

Cracklin’ Cauliflower

3 tablespoons oil
1 head of cauliflower; cut into equal size floret (larger pieces, cut in half)
1 yellow onion; diced
1 clove garlic; minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon curry (I used half hot, half sweet)
5 tablespoons stock or water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Steam your cauliflower for approximately 7 minutes so that it still retains firmness. After a few minutes, saute your onion on medium high heat in a large frying pan or wok for 5 minutes.

Add all your ingredients; your cauliflower, peas, garlic, spices, stock and salt. Reduce to medium heat. The stock will help drop the temperature as well as make it easy to mix the spices evenly (otherwise it clumps up). Stir-fry until evenly mixed and the stock has boiled away; approximate 5 minutes. The cauliflower should still be firm. Serve and enjoy.

Spicy & Hot Tofu Puffs

Can you tell that I’m on an Indian food kick?

Just yesterday I decided to treat myself to the Indian buffet near my office for lunch. So delicious, and so much food! My birthday is on Saturday and, I’m not sure if any of you are aware, but calories actually don’t count on your birthday (or the days leading up to and after your birthday).


So a few weeks ago when I saw a recipe for Chile Pea Puffs on 101 Cookbooks, I was ecstatic and decided to make something similar. I took out the paneer and added silken tofu, garbanzo beans, Indian chillies, cumin and curry powder.


I couldn’t find wonton wrappers at the grocery store, but I picked up phyllo dough. Unfortunately it was my first time working with phyllo; I got impatient and I did a pretty sorry job with them. I’m not jumping at the chance to work with phyllo again, but the filling was great!


The Indian chillies give this quite a lot of heat. If you don’t like heat, then you’ll want to leave the seeds of the chillies out, or leave them out entirely along with the red curry powder (seriously, it’s hot!). My husband who, like me, doesn’t eat a lot of tofu and isn’t totally comfortable with it yet, didn’t even know that there was tofu in this until I told him. We were both pleasantly surprised! I recommend that tofu-phobes give this a chance – this recipe had both of us scratching our heads as to why we don’t work with tofu more often!


Spicy & Hot Tofu Puffs
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 1/2 cups green peas, cooked
1 can garbanzo beans (15 ounces), drained
1 package silken tofu (12 ounces), cubed
2 Indian chillies (seeds removed for less heat!), crushed
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon red curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
wonton wrappers or package of phyllo dough (if using wonton wrappers, use instructions here)

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Combine all prepared ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and crush lightly with the back of a fork.

Allow phyllo to thaw. Unroll and place mixture onto center of one piece. Fold edges together to make a pocket, brushing edges with egg whites to hold in place and secure seam. Place on baking sheet, forming a single layer of puffs.

Cook for 4 minutes, then turn puffs once and cook until crisp and golden brown.

Crisp and Juicy Curry Chicken

We hope you all enjoyed Rainbow Week! It was a lot of fun for us to do. If you have suggestions about other themes you’d like to see, please let us know!


And now a confession – this is my new favorite dinner recipe. I can’t believe that there was actually was a time when I didn’t really like cumin or curry; now they’re some of my staple spices.

This dinner is so easy and delicious. I like having a bit of crispiness to my chicken, but of course without all the fat that comes with frying and using oil. I coat the chicken with a variety of Indian-style spices and a little bit of plain bread crumbs – it locks in the juiciness of the chicken and provides for some excellent flavors.

I like to serve it with couscous, but it would also go well with steamed rice. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Crisp and Juicy Curry Chicken

For couscous:
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup peas
1-2 cloves garlic
dash salt
whole wheat couscous

For chicken:
1 lb chicken breast, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red curry powder
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
3 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine spices for chicken in a small bowl and stir with a fork. Add chicken halves to a gallon Ziploc bag with a tablespoon of water. Add spices to bag and toss gently to coat the chicken (you could dredge the chicken to coat it, but I’ve found I get a much better coating when I use the Ziploc).

Bake chicken for 20 minutes until cooked through. While chicken is baking, saute onions in a small pan for 5 minutes until transcluscent. Cook couscous according to package instructions, toss lightly and add onions, peas, garlic and salt. Cover and keep warm until chicken is ready.

Well, I wasn’t entirely sure about posting this recipe since Edwin had just posted an asparagus and pasta dish earlier in the week, but then I thought, “DinnerCakes face-off?”


Of course I didn’t consult Edwin about this, so perhaps later today we’ll have a DinnerCakes rumble. Maybe all the Ghost Baker recipes will suddenly disappear! Maybe my photo over in the right sidebar will be replaced with a Lolcat! Actually the Lolcat thing would be sort of awesome.

cut asparagus

In any event, a few short weeks ago my good friend’s boyfriend was in town on business. My husband and I went to dinner with him and his co-worker at Clyde’s in Georgetown. The wait was a lot longer than what they originally said and the food didn’t knock our socks off, but I liked the idea behind my dish – I ordered mini ravioli with spinach and asparagus.

peascream sauce

As you know, I have to take any opportunity that tricks me into eating more vegetables than I normally might, so I decided to adapt this dish at home. In addition to spinach and asparagus, I also threw in some peas. The ravioli has just enough cheese so that I’m slightly less aware of the massive amount of veggies present. I also found that I could get away with using only the tiniest amount of cream sauce, just enough to keep the ravioli moist and the veggies flavorful.


I really enjoyed this! I’ve had instances in the past where asparagus doesn’t cook quite right, but for this dish I decided to steam them and they were perfect! The cream sauce is really barely noticeable; this is not one of those dishes you get at a restaurant where you have to wade through the sauce to find noodles. *If you’re not a big fan of garlic you may want to use one clove instead of two, as the sauce does have a more noticeable garlic flavor (which I like).

Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach and Peas

I’d have to say that any dinner that results in me happily eating THREE different kinds of vegetables is a success! It also received the seal of approval from my husband.

Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach and Peas

Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach and Peas

1 package of light four cheese ravioli (9 oz.)
13 asparagus, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 package frozen chopped spinach (10 oz.)
2 cloves garlic*
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
dash onion powder
dash marjoram
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese

This dish isn’t time consuming, but it does take a little maneuvering to cook each item separately. You may want to frequently check your vegetables while they’re cooking to make sure you get your desired consistency.

Cook spinach according to package instructions. While spinach is cooking, slice your asparagus and get your other ingredients ready. When spinach is done, drain and set aside. Boil ravioli according to package instructions; steam cut asparagus in a colander (covered) while pasta cooks.

While pasta is cooking, combine cream, garlic, salt and pepper, onion powder, marjoram, parsley flakes and shredded parmesan in a small sauce pan. Stir frequently to prevent a film from forming over the cream sauce. The peas should only take a short amount of time to cook – so start peas when pasta is about halfway cooked. When the peas are done, combine them with the spinach. The asparagus will likely finish steaming just a minute or two before the pasta is done. When done, remove asparagus from colander and combine with spinach and peas.

Drain ravioli when cooked. Return to pot and toss with a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Gently add in the spinach, asparagus and peas, then pour hot cream sauce over pasta and vegetables. Toss just once or twice to incorporate the cream sauce.

This recipe yields enough for two people to have seconds.