Monthly Archives: July 2012

WaaahTons (or, “When in Doubt, Fry it”)

In my pantry today:

  • 20ish wonton wrappers
  • 1 c ground turkey
  • 1 c leftover asian slaw that never got written about
  • 1/2 c shredded jack/cheddar mix
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Because my partner works odd hours, timing a meal can prove difficult. Wontons do not tolerate this — or at least I have not found the magical process. Today will only be my third time trying, and this time I have vowed to make good on transparency. I have some minor motor skill problems, so delicate tasks like “removing individual wrapper from stack of wrappers” and “folding wrapper properly around filling” generally annoy the balls outta me because I do them poorly. But wontons are a thing now, and I must conquer their tiny bodies
with impunity.

Ok, so she’ll be home from work for the day around 3. The filling is made and chilling in a bowl. Lo, these wontons will also need a dipping sauce!
  • 1/2 c Grandma’s fig jam
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder

The second wonton attempt ended in soggy despair, but the slaw was pretty tasty. It was saved in the fridge, hopefully, for this day.

And, hell, I’d written up the slaw-gredients days ago:

  • 2/3 head red cabbage, diced
  • 2 c kale, diced and marinated in sesame oil
  • 1/2 c edamame, shelled
  • 1/2 c sliced leek greens
  • 1/2 c crumbled ramen noodles
  • 1/3 c cashew pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

That was a labor of delicious love to which I should’ve here previously copped. The slaw would’ve gotten 4 spoons and these wontons… these wontons right here? And their sauce? 5 spoons and proud of it!

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Cooking for Dogs

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 c eggshells
  • 1/4 c buckwheat, uncooked
  • 1 c barley, uncooked
  • 4 c rice, cooked
  • 1/3 c ground flax
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (optional)

Dog food is expensive, and lordy knows the canned stuff dogs love is filled with loads of unhealthy nonsense. That little voice in my inner ears (it lives beside the tinnitus) can’t let me keep stuffing them full of it. We’re not ready to make the “kids” go cold turkey on all store-bought food, so the dry food will stay (I use quotation marks because there is a succinct difference between animals and human children — in case you were unclear or suspected that I might be). In place of the wet food (I also hate opening cans because it is difficult), we did a little preliminary research and married what of it we could with our pantry. We had to buy the ground meat, but everything else was right here.

Combine dry buckwheat and barley — cook together in 2c water with turmeric, cinnamon and garlic paste. Completely cook ground turkey, and add egg shells when it’s browned. Mix. Add rice and pot of seasoned barley/buckwheat to large pot where your meat lives. Stir together and refrigerate contents for the upcoming week. We’ve got two dogs at 25/80lbs, respectively… the goal is to make enough food that weekly wet food costs will negate themselves. Until and beyond then, however, dog food will not get a spoon rating (sorry, Emeril!).

Cowboy is a boy. And a French Maid.

This recipe will yield about 10c of dog nom… now we just need to pray that they’ll eat it. This shouldn’t be a terribly risky proposition, but my pretty, pretty princess decided suddenly to hate eggs when we began hard boiling those instead of opening cans… he has eaten with no problem all of (but not limited to) these things:

  • cat poop
  • an entire bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares
  • watermelon
  • carrots
  • an entire jar of Vaseline

Nobody would’ve considered Cowboy the alpha of the house but Sadie followed suit within a day, urging us (upon seeing the what a soft boiled egg turns into the next morning when allowed to fester overnight) to make the necessary changes for both their palette and our pantry. Fingers’ crossed for tonight’s meal.

—–UPDATE—————————

Yeah, they both loved it like a fat kid loves cake.

 

“Best So Far” Pops

In my pantry today:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 c strawberries
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp  cinnamon

As has been previously discussed, my regard for fruit is mostly a resigned complacency toward the importance of nutrition. Getting all my “colors” in a daily diet is difficult (as is unanticipated alliteration), and making popsicles has put a new spin (food processor shout out!) on the issue. Throw all of the above into a food processor/blender and chew your nails while they freeze, for indeed they will bring a mighty wind of happy flavor. 5 spoons!

Tasty Tight Tacos (or, “No Cabbage Water Tonight”)

In my pantry today:

  • 6 prepackaged taco shells
  • 1 can chicken breast
  • 1/2 c corn (frozen)
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp fiesta chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 – 1 c shredded cheese
  • sour cream as garnish

So some delicious Asian slaw has been sitting in the fridge getting slaw-ier… the wontons it was made to go with ended up as another unwritten shame upon my house… and slaw (or worse, broth with slaw — very Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s cabbage-water-feeling despite the slaw really having more personality and ingredients than simply cabbage.) just wasn’t gonna cut it. We may have entered the careful time of waiting another two weeks before more SNAP dollars appear, and though cabbage water is a possibility that I am not unwilling to entertain I wanted something hot. We had shells left from one of the two buy-one-get-one hard/soft taco kits recently picked up and I was certain I could fill them. There would be no slaw-broth tonight.

Mince your garlic and slice your onion thinly. Put it in the olive oil heating to M. Drain and rinse the canned chicken well; after onions are translucent add it to the pot with seasonings. Add almond milk and break the chicken chunks up with your spatula as everything gets mixed. Once it’s hot on M, reduce heat to ML and mix in cream cheese, tomatoes and corn.

Serve the hot mess in taco shells with cheese and sour cream. 4 spoons!

Happy Salad (or, “Salad But With Bacon, Potatoes, a Jalapeno and Homemade Dressing.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 small yellow potatoes
  • 1 c kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 c baby red lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tbsp leek, sliced
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder

Wow, was my mind all over a delicious map tonight. Start out by massaging 1/2 tsp olive oil into your kale and setting it back in the fridge. Wash, stab a little, wrap in paper towels and microwave potatoes for three minutes (ignore the beep of the microwave for a while). Halve that jalapeno you picked from the generous container plant outside, remove the seeds and inner fuzz. Set halve the seeds aside, then flatten and delicately julienne the remaining pepper flesh.

Take a breath, start a new paragraph. Keep truckin.

Smash and mince your garlic. Put it and the reserved jalapeno seeds in 1/4 c olive oil in a mini saucepan on the stove. Let that cook slowly on ML until the garlic juuuuuust begins showing golden edges. Set aside for a few minutes.

Pan fry your bacon to your preferred consistency (I like mine dead as dead can be). Slice potatoes into large pieces and place in a baking dish with 1 tbsp bacon drippings spread in its bottom. Drizzle a little more on top, then sprinkle some Greek seasoning and red hot chili powder on. Place in 350° oven for 10-20 m, then:

[innnnnnnnnnnnhaaaaaaaaaaaaale]

Mix lettuce and kale and place in the bottom of a salad bowl. Rim the greens with spicy bacon-roasted potatoes. Top with leeks, tomatoes and julienned jalapeno… oh, and big-ass chunks of bacon. Serve with the garlapeno vinaigrette you just created with the sauteed garlic/seeds, 1/3 c red wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning. Be happy — very happy — tonight with a salad for dinner. 5 spoons!

 

 

Corn Curry Creates Comfortable Contentment

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c chana dal, cooked
  • 1 c kale, de-stemmed
  • 1 c corn
  • 5 vine tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2/3 c evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/3 c plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

What’ll be great about this is not worrying about perfect mincing, because everything will be equalized in the food processor halfway through the process. What won’t be great is cleaning the food processor afterwards but at least you’ll get a draw. And that’s something.

Regardless, cut up your onion and garlic enough to transluce-ify in the oil/ghee along with mustard seeds and kala jeera. Leave on ML while you boil water for blanching those tomatoes (if you are unfamiliar with tomato blanching, fear not with these directions.). Once the huge pile of stuff in your pan looks half the man it used to be, add the turmeric (I like doing this because it turns everything bright yellow, and that makes me feel it is better utilized; I claim no scientific knowledge surrounding this.) then the tomatoes. Increase heat to M for 2-3m. Stir, then top the pan contents ever so gracefully with kale, reduce heat to L and cover for 5 minutes or so. This steams the kale just enough to go into the food processor while giving the tomatoes a little time to mingle in the pan.

So the next step is putting everything in the food processor. Add the flax and don’t even worry about pulsing — just turn the sucker on and let it run for a minute or two. Return it back to the pan of its beginnings and add in the evaporated milk and half the seasonings. Bring to a very delicate boil then add in the sour cream, yogurt and remaining spices. Stir in the corn and cooked dal and let everything simmer for 15m or so. Serve over Basmati rice. 5 spoons!

3 Cheeses + 3 Vegetables + Pasta = Equation for Happiness

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c rice pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 c buckwheat, cooked in broth
  • 1.5 c red cabbage, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c minced kale, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c zucchini, sliced in small bits
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c broth (vegetable)
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mozzarella
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So you’ll start your onion, garlic and mustard seeds in a pan on ML. After translucency in onions begins, stir in turmeric and increase heat to M. Stir in kale, add a dash of broth and cover for 5-10m. Open the pan back up then stir in cabbage and remaining seasonings. Toss it all in a happy foray, then let your zucchini join in for a while (leave covered on L with another splash or two of broth).

Cook and drain your pasta. Mix buckwheat, mozzarella and feta into your cabbage/kale pan, then mix in your pasta. Serve topped with Parmesan. 5 spoons!

Leftover-Flavored Soft Tacos

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package Morningstar® Spicy Black Bean Burgers
  • 4-8 soft taco tortillas
  • 1 8oz packet taco sauce
  • 1.5 c leftover corn salsa Dad made
  • 2 almost empty shredded cheese bags, merged
  • 1 tsp fiesta chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c sour cream

Tonight was a “what can be easy and has half or more of the items premade” kinda night. Cook your burgers in a pan on ML for 10m per side, then halve each patty with your spatula. Pour premade sauce over them, then decide that additional flavors are needed to mask the chemicalized ketchup overtones. Serve each half in a tortilla with cheese (I married sharp cheddar and “pizza blend” ), corn salsa and a dollop of sour cream. 3 spoons for flavor, 4 for effort!

 

Blueberry and Mango C’s-cake Popsicles

In my pantry:

  • 1 mango
  • 1 lg carrot
  • 2 c blueberries
  • 6 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 c ground flax
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

Healthy! Well with the exception of the sweetened condensed milk, of course… but even still I’m banking on the vitamin content to nullify any sugar/dairy-related missteps. This pop-cipe tries to cover the vitamin A B C’s as well as omega-3s, and fiber ‘n junk. This will be an excellent daytime snack — between the heat and the phytonutrient content, I nearly expect to start sprouting oranges outta my armpits! 5 spoons!

 

This One Goes Both Ways

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c cooked moong dal
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 medium-large carrot
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 packet Swanson® Flavor Boost (vegetable)
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 2-4 spritzes apple cider vinegar

Mince garlic and onion coarsely and add to ghee that’s melting on it’s way to M. Coat with turmeric and when translucency happens, spritz with vinegar and remove from heat. Pour contents into food processor and add diced pepper, carrot,  Flavor Boost, and remaining seasonings. Whir until there are as few chunks as plausible. Add back to pan with corn starch and water; bring contents back to a boil on M then reduce to L and let simmer, covered, for 15-20m. Whether or not you want to add dal and serve over rice, or withhold it and instead serve what you’ve got over a roasted bird, this dish can work for vegetarians or carnivores — 5 spoons!