Monthly Archives: June 2012

Carrorarine Pops!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c kale
  • 2 nectarines
  • 1 navel orange (seeds removed)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp ground flax

Chop kale, remove stems and blanch for 10 seconds; drain. In the food processor, put all ingredients and blend until at your preferred consistency. Fill popsicle molds with the delicious nutrition and freeze ’til NOM. 4 spoons!

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Fried Mozzarella on Homemade Mozz… Marinara. I Mean “Marinara.”

In my pantry today:

  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c cooked spaghetti
  • 1/4 c chana dal (optional)
  • 4 c diced tomatoes from the freezer
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp canned tomato sauce
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c flour/breadcrumb mixture I made for something a while back…
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Once again I was reminded by the horrible reality of frying just how much clean up is required after the act. I give a solemn nod, however, to the cheese for being worth it.

We’ll get back to the cheese in a minute. First, put large chunks of onion and garlic in the olive oil on M. Cook for about 10m then throw in the sugar and balsamic vinegar, stir to coat everything and reduce heat to L. Stir in dried thyme and oregano. Let it all sit and cook for another 15m while you empty the dishwasher ‘n junk. Add the mostly-thawed tomatoes you took out of the freezer at the beginning of your journey; cover and let thaw the rest of the way. In about 10-15m come back and increase temperature to MH to let come to a boil. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes then pour it into the food processor and pulse a few times for good measure (giant onion and garlic, remember — plus those pesky petite diced tomatoes still retain a little cubishism). Pour it back into the pot (add cooked chana dal if you have it) and bring back to a boil on M — let boil uncovered until the consistency pleases you.

Also, boil your pasta. Set aside. Now get out that little saucepan and pour in the vegetable oil. Crack and whisk the egg in a dish, pour flour/breadcrumb mixture onto a plate and slice your brick-o-cheese into little steaks or sticks. Assembly line their cute little bottoms through egg, breadcrumbs and into the grease (which is heated to full M-MH). Flip each plank after a minute or so then let cook until beginning stages of melty goodness are achieved. Let drain on paper towels while you fix your plate, then go to town. 5 spoons!

Jala… Carrot… Peno… Matpe… Aw, I Can’t Make a Word Outta This Junk (or, “I Can Totally Make a Meal Out of This Junk”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c black matpe beans, cooked
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 c broth
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Ok, so we’re done with the CSA and back to our own wits. Our own wits have been left with some produce, but nothing that really seems to pair itself naturally with anything I was doing. There were still plenty carrots and that jalapeno plant on the porch was bearing many offspring.

When in doubt (and I was) saute some garlic and onion. Take those cooked matpe beans out of the freezer and set them to thaw in a bowl of warm water. Shrug and mince a small jalapeno (sans seeds); throw it into the pan. Grab a carrot and a vegetable peeler and set to peeling over the warmed contents on your stove. Don’t mix anything in, just make a big orange pile on top of the burner that started on M and has been since reduced to ML. Put seasonings on top of the carrotpile and mix it all together. Add broth and corn starch then stir in thawed beans. Bring to a boil on M, stirring, then reduce heat to L and cover.

This will be unexpectedly delicious… because it’s a just-picked adolescent, the jalapeno only adds a modicum of spice and lacks the severe musk of aged peppers. The shredded slices of carrot added a nice aesthetic to both the eyes and mouth. A light sauce was ensured so as to not overpower either route of beauty, but would still “man up” against the rice’s inherent tastelessness. I’ve been internally debating the spoon count on this since last night. To be on the safe side of a choice between 4 or 5 spoons, I will go with 4 spoons!

 

Phytopop Friday! (or, “Afternoon Delight”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 leaves kale
  • 1 small red apple
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 c unsweeteend almond milk
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1 tbsp honey

This one’s easy. Put everything in the food processor, add almond milk to your consistency’s desire, then pour into popsicle molds; freeze. I’m not saying that this is the zenith of potential nutrients in one frozen treat, but it kinda looks like that’s what I’m aiming for — these guys visually appealing while being chock full of phytonutrients! 5 spoons!

 

Tonight’s Lentils (ft. Cameo by Sausage Grease)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c lentils
  • 1/2 c kale, chopped
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1.25 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Let me just be upfront with what’ll go into your mouth: it is made. of. win.

This will be worth the effort, guys. Start off by hammering out the prep work: slice, mince or chop everything at your desire. I sliced everything thin and chopped everything kinda small… not really small like maybe an actual chef might, just small enough to be small without risking a digit. Start your grease melting on L, and when melted add in the onions, garlic and mustard seeds. Turn heat to M and toss everything to coat. Let cook about 3m at full heat, then add in kale. Stir and let cook for another 3-5m. Next, add in the carrots and corn. Toss everything together, stir in seasonings and cook another minute or so before adding in lentil, broth and corn starch. Turn stove to MH to bring everything to a boil, then reduce back to ML and cover. Let cook for 20-30m, or until lentils are tender and most of the liquid has boiled out. Serve over Basmati rice, then thank me. 5 spoons!

Comfort in Chaos (or, “When CAN’T Potatoes Fix the World?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 2 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

I can’t find my camera. This is taken using a cell phone. Don’t you judge me.

There is a heckuvalot going on right now. The new floors make our entire downstairs feel like a new house into which we are moving fresh, and moving into anywhere requires a great deal of work. Meals have been consisting largely of prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery, sweet potatoes roasted in advance, bananas and coffee. Lots of coffee. I’ve gone a week without any episodes (of my MS exacerbation) and I’ve gotten a new prescription called in for more Neurontin (eyeball seizures cannot prevent me from editing css style sheets!). So there, life. Suck on that.

Start this meal in your most favoritest way — mincing fresh garlic and onion. Put in pan heating to M with oil and ghee and let it come to and stay at full heat for  and seasonings; stir. 2-3m with vigorous spatula attention. Add 1/4″ slices of potato and all of your seasonings; stir. Let come to a boil on MH then reduce heat to M and walk away for 15m. Upon return, add another can of broth mixed with corn starch. Fold in cooked beans, bring everything back to a boil on M. Stir in 1/2 c quinoa then reduce heat to L and let simmer until eatin’ time. 5 spoons!

Chicken Caprese Wraps

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c pulled from the bird chicken meat
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 packet onion gravy mix
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (approx)
  • 4 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 c zesty mix microgreens
  • 8 quartered plum tomatoes
  • 4 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese

So today there’s leftover chicken. A lot, actually — this one bird will probably end up being three meals. I’d boil the carcass for stock, but I already have two gallons in the freezer that might not get used until soup weather again begins. As the flooring installers would be back in the morning, cleaning needed to happen and tonight’s meal needed to not be a pox upon my time.

Picking meat from the bones after boiling everything into a jambalaya of itself already takes more time than I’d like, but throwing away (or letting sit in the fridge until too suspect to eat) perfectly good food wasn’t an option. Once you’ve made two meal piles for yourselves (and one for the dogs) that you are certain have no tiny bones among them, toss one mound into a cold sauce pan on the stove. Put 2/3 c water and the onion gravy mix into a near-empty jar of garlic paste; shake. Pour into sauce pan and turn heat to MH. Stir until a gravy happens and fork the chicken until it’s entirely shredded. Turn heat to L and let the meat soak.

Quarter the little tomatoes, mince basil and mix together with microgreens. Shred or slice thin the mozzarella. Warm your tortillas then layer on meat, cheese and greens/tomatoes. Wrap it all up, slice in half and enjoy — 5 spoons!

Now go sweep out the foyer.

 

Half Baked? Try Twice Baked!

In my pantry today:

  • Look at these floors! I feel like a rich person!

And also:

  • 1 grocery store rotisserie chicken (I’m not proud)
  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Normally I might just pair this lazy man’s bird with salad to soothe my so-easy-to-eat-animals guilt but we had had one for lunch. So how about those potatoes in the fridge? I’d baked them a few nights ago with vague intentions; I felt certain their destiny would be revealed in a few days’ time. Slice them lengthwise into quarters then halve each of those so that they transform less into wedges and more into seemingly noncommittal chunks.

Roll said chunks in a mixture of: 2tsp safflower oil, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Place on baking sheet (it should of course have edges to catch any drips) and sprinkle with 1 tsp hot red chili powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Mix your broccoli florets with the remainder of the oil, lemon juice and salt. Roast potatoes at 425° for 15m. Put chicken and broccoli in a glass pan; cover. After 15m, take your wedges out and flip them onto another side. Put potatoes back in beside the glass dish, then turn the oven off. Give it another 15m, then scarf down in exhausted, happy hunger. 5 spoons!

Nothing in the Pantry Today!

In my pantry today:

  • floor installers

There will be no kitchen use for at least the next 24 hours. There will be, however, much rejoicing. So much rejoicing.

Let’s Rice and Roll!

In my pantry today:

  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 3/4 c cooked black matpe beans
  • 1/4 c cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Before v. After Blanching

Ok, this part is actually way more simple than the ingredient list might suggest. Just cream all of it together then set aside while water begins boiling. When the water boils, dip each leaf of kale by the tip of ts stem for a count of ten then transfer to paper towel. Dump the water out of the pot and start your sauce in it:

  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 2 medium salt-roasted beets
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 8 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder

In the pot, burner reduced to ML, insert your ghee and oil and top with mustard seeds, kala jeera, onions and garlic. Stir and let sit on the burner as the temperature drops. This would be a good time to carefully slice the stems out of your kale. Do that then come back, add diced beet and turn the heat back up to M; stir and let cook for about 5 minutes (or until the edges of your garlic slices begin to brown). Mix in a shot of vinegar and reduce heat to ML for another 10-15m.

That presents an excellent opportunity to begin constructing the actual rolls: put a teaspoon full near the base of a leaf, then roll up as tightly as possible without smooshing out the ends like a melty ice cream sandwich. Set each roll, seam side down, aside. Get back to that sauce.

Transfer pot contents to the food processor and puree. Scrape sides and add in almond milk and the remainder of seasonings. When at as fine a consistency as your palette desires, transfer back to the stove and add in tomato sauce. Bring to an easy boil on M then immediately reduce temperature to L. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a small glass baking dish then put your kale rolls in. Cover and bake at 350° for 20m. Serve, bottom-up from the plate: rice, sauce, rolls, maybe a little more sauce. 5 spoons for the rolls! They retained their crunch even after the oven. The sauce will get 4 spoons, if only because I still have unresolved bigotry issues towards beets.