Spring cleaning: discovering new recipes

It has been good to put the focus on trying to use up the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. Since we are moving soon, it helps to have less groceries to carry even if it means just 2-3 less boxes to carry. The real joy has been to find and try new recipes using ingredients bought on impulse or for a specific recipe. Here are some of my favorite discoveries:
Vegan pumpkin- chocolate bars
Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
Last fall, I bought one too many pumpkins when we visited Yakima valley for my annual summer farm visiting tradition. I roasted and pureed a lot of it and froze. Last bag of the puree is used up to make these delicious pumpkin chocolate bars. For recipe, visit here.
A big bag of dried fava beans? No problem.
Ful medames with pita bread makes for a quick meal
If you are looking for a variety of international food under one roof, Lenny’s produce, a small produce shop, is gem of a place. They have groceries from Asia, Ukrain, Bulgaria, Middle east and more. Every time I go there, I end up with something new to try out in my basket. Dried fava beans bought on one such trip are used in this delicious ful medames dish.  I followed a recipe my husband has but he won’t reveal his source. It involved crushing garlic with red chili flakes and then briefly cooking with olive oil, cumin powder, tahini, cooked fava beans and lemon juice.
Corn meal
I was trying to reduce gluten in my diet and ended up buying way too many gluten free flours.
Polenta with a vegetable bowl
The coarse corn meal in my pantry is used to make a stir fee, oven baked polenta. Once polenta was ready, we ate it many different ways. Here it was browned in a skillet and served with stir fried vegetables for an easy but sumptuous weekend brunch. For making polenta, I followed the recipe here.
Coarse chickpea flour
Something savory, something sweet for my afternoon chai!
Another gluten free flour recipe makes a great treat. Besan laddu, a round balls of roasted chickpea flour in ghee, combined with nuts and brown sugar, is one of the most satisfying and just the perfect treat for my afternoon chai.  I will post the recipe soon.
 Rice vermicelli Singapore noodles
Curry flavored Singapore noodles using the rice vermicelli is the newest and welcome addition.  It was also a great way to use the mushroom flavored soy sauce.

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