kofta balls

Ruth and Sue slaved over a hot stove to perfect this labor-intensive recipe. (Yes, it takes a while, but it’s worth it. Even the leftovers are delicious!) Feel free to substitute 1 cup sliced carrots for the yam or the cauliflower. Too much kofta ball batter? You can use the leftover batter for soup, along with the cooking liquid from the vegetables. You’ll find the chickpea (gram) flour, garam masala, and asafetida at an Indian grocery store or well-stocked supermarket.

tomato sauce:
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. asafetida

Place all ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir well. Keep warm until kofta balls are ready.

kofta balls:
1 small yam, peeled and chopped
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup cauliflower
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can green peas
1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
Olive oil for frying

1. Place yam, potatoes, and cauliflower in a large cookpot with vegetable broth. Add water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

2. Drain vegetables, saving water for tomorrow’s soup. Add peas and mash until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, and spices, and stir to combine.

3. Drop golf-ball size lumps into a few tablespoons of olive oil and fry until brown, about 3 minutes per side. (Partially cover the pan to reduce the mess.) Place cooked kofta balls into tomato sauce; mix gently.

4. Serve over rice or fresh linguini.

caribbean vegetable stew

Colorful and loaded with vitamins, this Caribbean stew reveals its African origins by the addition of yams, okra, and peanuts. It’s a flavorful blend of textures that pleases the palate. Try this dish served with slices of crusty bread and a crunchy salad — and maybe a colorful drink with a little umbrella in it.

1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. fresh ginger root, grated
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth plus 1 can water
3 small or 2 large yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 10-ounce package frozen, sliced okra
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. In a large stewpot, sautè the onions in olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the next five ingredients, including yams. Add water if necessary to cover vegetables. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 6-10 minutes, until yams are barely tender.

3. Add salt, tomatoes, okra, and lime juice. Simmer about 15 minutes, and then stir in cilantro.

4. Transfer the stew into a decorative serving dish, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and a few sprigs of cilantro before serving.

roasted root vegetable casserole

This two-for-one recipe yields a second dinner with a minimum of extra time and ingredients. Serve the roasted root vegetable casserole on the first night. On the second night, place the leftovers in a big soup pot, add a couple items, and enjoy a tasty dinner stew.

3 large white potatoes
2 yams
1 large yellow onion
1 large turnip
1 large rutabaga
5 carrots
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel all vegetables (you can scrub potatoes and leave skins on), cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle spices over veggies and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water to roasting pan. Bake for 1 hour uncovered, then cover and bake for an additional hour. Serve with a colorful salad and a crusty loaf of bread; sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Day 2: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

In a large soup pot, put leftover roasted veggies, a 10-oz package frozen cut green beans, and a quart of vegetable broth. Add just enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.