Monthly Archives: February 2013

London Broil is Falling Down!

In my pantry toady:

  • 1 lb london broil
  • 1 14 oz can pinto beans
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 14 oz  can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 large sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp sour cream

beefbbeansMaking pot roast without actual gravy (or bullion, etc) was a challenge… until it proved to be easy enough for even a dim child. Throw it all in the pot, set it and return in that amount of time (ish). We let the slow cooker run a little longer than anticipated… which meant our worst case scenario here was whipping the fallen apart potatoes in the food processor with a little sour cream. Best worst case scenario ever! The meat-n-beans get 5 spoons, and the potatoes end up only getting 4. I might’ve liked them more about two hours before we got there. Regardless, this is a major win for naked meat!

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White Chocolate Macadamia Sweet Potato Bread

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c smashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c canned sweet potato liquid
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c chopped, roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c white chocolate morsels

wcmnspb2Making this batter in a food processor was an easy delight. Creaming butter and sugar then all that subsequent mixing can be a pain on the wrist. Instead, choose to cut up butter in pieces and put it in the food processor with sugar. Cream with mechanical vigor. Add in wet ingredients one at a time, pulsing everything into continuity with each. When all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add in the dry ingredients in parts with pulsing between each. Add little bits of can “juice” when things look too dry. Once it looks pan-ready, throw in half of your morsels and pulse. Pour into greased/dusted loaf pan and thump on the counter until settling happens. Sprinkle on macadamia nuts and remainder of morsels then tap lightly into batter with a gentle spatula. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 1 hour. Using whole wheat flour, adding ground flax and being less heavy-handed than instinct would dictate on the nuts… well, that makes this a (slightly) less guilty dessert for breakfast item to go with coffee and out the door. Or in bed with said coffee. Whatever. 5 spoons!

—————————————–HOLD  UP—————————————–

potroastishIf you’re living you’ve gotta eat, but that doesn’t also guarantee additional time for blogging about it. I’ve got several unfinished posts missing either instructions or pictures, some of which are complete winners (and maybe a couple under my personal spoon rating that’d never see the light of web).

BRB, promise, but in the meantime find me on Facebook.

Getting Over The Hump, Italian-Vegan Style

In my pantry today:

  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1.5 c macaroni, dry
  • 1/2 c Nutrela
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 drops doTerra oregano essential oil
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

meatlessmarinara

I started my morning by tossing some stuff in a crock pot and walking away. First, it was slice-chunks of onion and garlic in 1/3 c olive oil resting covered on the highest setting for about 20m. Stir in Balsamic vinegar, cumin and turmeric. Add a quick dash of salt. Cover and let continue to cook for another 20m. Now this all seems very time-dependent and I know most of us are not common to such luxury; in my defense all of the time between food handlings was wisely spent cleaning up after myself and getting ready for a day outside of the home. Food needed to be ready this evening so as to keep us away from unintentional glucose emergencies that end up requiring an errant drive through. In the cupboards were cans of tomatoes and macaroni. I am nowhere near a regimented dietary state, but I can foresee history’s repeats and perhaps solve a steep caloric intake of not-really-food items with a nice marinara. The power of a nice marinara should not be underestimated.

nutrelacrumbled

Before leaving the house, turn the crock pot to its lowest setting. Return home several hours later and rejoice at the odor which awaits you. Decide that the Nutrela deserves another chance because you have no other desirable proteins and a little extra time. Boil it for 17 instead of the 7 instructed on the box. Shrug at the point of defeat against texture; drain and fastidiously squeeze out the additional water inside each nugget (that’s not as bad as it sounds — just lay them all out and press a clean cloth into them with a firm hand). Dice them until they become almost a ground sausage consistency. In a small saucepan add the now-ground(ish) Nutrela with 1/2 tsp garlic paste and 1 drop oregano essential oil. Take a second to tenderly smash while stirring to ensure the not-meat’s submissive essence then set aside for a nutrela2few minutes while the macaroni finishes boiling. Add two drops of oregano oil to the marinara; stir. When those little elbows are drained, mix some marinara into the saucepan and serve over macaroni that was pelted before and after said sauce with Parmesan (or substitute a vegan option, since this recipe is vegan until this part). So the Nutrela downgrades a 5 spoon marinara dinner to a 4 spoon dining experience. Nutrela you are not a terrible foe, but my battles with you have only just begun.

Pan-a Stew-a: A Remedy for all Ills or Difficulties

In my pantry today:

  • 1 10 oz can chicken breast, drained
  • 1 14 oz can butter beans, drained
  • 1 L sweet potato, diced
  • 1 c kale, minced
  • 4-8 baby carrots, or whatever’s left in fridge
  • 1-2 c Basmati rice, cooked and cold
  • 1/2 L sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to top

panstewThis will be a cold February night’s remedy for all ills and difficulties; it will be, as well, a panacea of flavors. Get those large onion and small garlic minces into butter and olive oil heating to the M side of ML. After about ten toe-tapping minutes, add sweet potatoes, turmeric and 1 can of broth. Stir to coat. Another 5 minutes in, fond the last dregs of a still-viable bag of baby carrots and add them to the pan as well. Cover and boil over MH until potatoes begin to show signs of tenderness towards your fork. Add kale, chicken, rest of seasonings and rest of broth. continue cooking on L, covered until dinnertime. Five minutes before said time, increase the pan to M, add rice and slap the cover back on. As pan reaches the zenith of M turn it back off. Let sit for 2-5m then serve topped with Parmesan. 100 reasons for 5 spoons tonight!

Moong-day, Moong-day (ft. Nutty Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 1/3 c moong dal
  • 1/3 c dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 c Basmati rice, cooked/cold
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder 
  • 1 pinch asafoetida

peanutcabbage

I’ve got to come clean about something.

I really like cabbage.

Cannot lie. Like it, prefer it even over other vegetables. This all came to pass long before I understood its health benefits beyond not being cake. Want to improve your health but can’t afford another prescription? Eat cruciferous vegetables. That being said…

Start the ghee out on ML and when melted add the onion. Cook over ML heat for 10m or so then toss in the raw cabbage. Turn up heat to MH and stir fry for a minute or two; add 1/2 c of broth and cover. Continue letting steam over M heat for another 10 minutes. Remove lid and stir in seasonings, peanuts. Bring back to a boil and stir in moong with remainder of broth. Bring back to a boil and let cook on M until moong is tender (20-30m) and most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat and toss in cold rice. Put back on ML heat and toss until everything is hot. Maybe this looks like it takes forever, but there were a lot of dishes to wash ‘n junk and it seemed to take no time at all (and precious little effort). As a combined nut lover and one who loves cabbage done its due, I give this 5 spoons!

The Shepherd with a Moral Objection to Meat

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c Nutrela, dry
  • 2 M Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 M sweet yellow onion
  • 3 L cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1.25 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 c frozen peas
  • 6ish baby carrots
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp sharp cheddar, shredded

shepherdsvegetarianpieThis might’ve ended up being a full-on vegan recipe, but in an effort to ensure that my first experience with Nutrela wasn’t assuredly terrible (it’s easier to be assuredly terrible if it’s unfamiliar) I employed the assistance of butter and cheese. To be fair, I was wicked excited to see a non-meat protein that touted such an excellent black and white side-label (see below) for $1.99. And that’s not $1.99 a serving, it’s for an entire box with several meals slated. I really wanted this to work, and I will let you know up front that it was a relatively good experiment despite using primarily dairy fats in lieu of my normal heavy-handed seasoning.

nutrelaStart by preparing your Nutella… crap, Nutrela… according to box instructions.  When cooked and drained and then squeezed for excess moisture (because it will be in excess), set aside and go about doing the things with which you are familiar.

I sliced the garlic and onion thin, then minced it like I could give a shit and added it to the melted butter on L-ML. Stir in turmeric and let the whole mess saute in golden glory while for about ten minutes. I like to leave the skins on my potatoes for both ease and potential nutrients; slice and boil them until soft. 5-10m before they’re ready to drain/mash, throw the baby carrots in with the boiling water. When you drain the potatoes, just pick them out before mashing happens and set them aside.

nutrela2Now your garlic and onion should be ready to push to one side and fork-smash (I couldn’t find the whisk) whole wheat flour into. Mix in the tomato sauce and other seasonings. Make a paste then begin adding in broth. When everything is thick and gravy-y, add in Nutrela then stir in peas and sliced baby carrots. Remove from heat and pour into a glass baking dish. Fork-smash those taters and layer that on top. But not really on the top-top because you will also decide to toss on a sprinkle of cheese in one last silent prayer to the Not Sucking Gods. Bake at 400° for 20m or until cheese begins to brown. I believe I can do better with Nutrela, but believing even that means a huge success just happened — make sure you get it boiled to a texture you like, then pull out 4 spoons!