Tag Archives: 5 spoons

TNP, vol. IV(egan) – Pumpkin Stew

  • 1 c mashed pumpkin, chunky
  • 1 can lentil soup
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 L kale leaves or 1/2 c blanched/squeezed
  • 1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 M onion, diced
  • 1 S-M jalapeno, diced (with seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

pumpkin-lentil-stewI know what you’re thinking — “you have an 11lb pumpkin’s worth of pumpkin and all you can do is puss out with soups?” And for that I’ve got three responses:

  1. A stew is an entirely different animal than a soup. Well, not entirely. It’s just much more about the solids than the liquid.
  2. I also made pumpkin oatmeal, which is a good step above soup.
  3. Be gentle; this is my first pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 425. Start your garlic and onions on ML in the coconut and 3 tbsp olive oil. While they become friends go ahead and blanch your kale and ready those cherry tomatoes (I wasn’t planning on using them but by Thor’s Hammer I was not about to let them get a day wrinklier on the counter). Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 tsp olive oil and place in a baking pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and put in the oven for 20m, or until their skins begin to split.

While those roast, go back to the pan and turn heat to M. When hot, add spices and jalapeno and stir for no longer than 1 minute. Add pumpkin; mix. Add lentil soup and kale, mix gently until hot. When done add the tomatoes to the pot and serve. I did a pretty good job covering up that inside-of-an-aluminum-can taste that no soup on a grocery store shelf can hide… even with a little processed food in its foundation, this stew gets 5 spoons! The chunky pumpkin is an excellent stand-in for the potatoes usually found in this recipe and the cherry tomatoes provide an unexpectedly flavorful bite. Make sure, however, to look for a low-sodium can of soup to offset that sea salt.

There is still 1/2 c puree in the fridge, and a quart of cubes in the freezer… something else will have to be made. I will continue to sally forth, roughly handling gourds wherever I go.

Enchilasagna

IMAG0155Don’t be fooled by the title: the only thing Italian about this is a can of tomato sauce and an arrangement in layers. Even the layering thing could be called into cultural question. The eyes stop seeing once the fork goes into the mouth, however — this ended up being more delicious than expected. I’m using camera phone shots so please bear with it.

Enchilasagna

  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 tbsp onion, minced
  • 1 orange sweet pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c shredded mozzerella
  • 1/2 c shredded colby
  • 2-3 c enchilada sauce (below)

beansCook your minced items over ML heat until a delicious odor begins to rise.  Mix in beans and let cook over ML heat while you make that enchilada sauce.

Easy enchilada sauce:

  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 6oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 c broth
  • 2 tsp garlic paste 
  • 1/4 c chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin

IMAG0164Heat oil to MH and add flour, garlic paste and seasonings. Mix everything and add tomato sauce as soon as they are; continue mixing over M-ML heat, adding water while doing so. Lightly oil the bottom of a glass casserole dish and layer tortilla-beans-cheese-sauce three times and cover it all in sauce. Cover lightly with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 10. This is the most visually unappealing item to photograph, but ended up being one of my most delicious. 5 spoons!

 

 

Standing Ovation Vegetarianism*

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c cooked lentils
  • 2 c finely cubed butternut squash
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp ground brown flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 c Basmati rice

This was one of those dishes where I felt like an orchestra conductor around all the separate in-progress sections of a single, delicious meal. And when that symphony — er, meal — comes out as well as this one did, it deserves a standing ovation.

Let mustard seeds and the chopped onion cook on M in butter until the snappling begins, then transfer pan contents to the food processor and add pastes. Process until it’s reached the consistency of soupy grits and leave it set aside for a moment.

Oh, be boiling your lentils in straight-up water until they’re ready, then, upon draining, set those aside.

In that pan where you were just onioning, put your butternut squash and broth in and bring to a boil on MH. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, then turn off the burner, uncover and selectively smash 50-80% of the pan. Add food processor contents with flax seeds and the remainder of your seasonings to this. Fold lentils in with milk backup and serve over Basmati rice. Or eat it alone from a mug. Or just take the whole dang pan upstairs with you. This is totally a 5 spoon dish.

*To make this a vegan meal, just substitute vegetable ghee for the butter!

Not Yo Mama’s Ramen [5 Spoons!]

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package extra firm, pre-cubed tofu
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 1/3 package Hakubaku ramen
  • 1/4 c dumpling sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 c water
  • 1 cube vegetable boullion
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

(blurred only by the steam of deliciousness)

This meal requires a full day and night of preparation, so plan accordingly and make sure your Big Girl Britches are on. The early afternoon before, drain your tofu and instead place it to soak in your own marinade overnight. Put your dumpling sauce, vinegar, garlic paste and 1 tbsp of soy sauce together and pour over the tofu and let set in an airtight container until the morrow. Take special care to occasionally rotate the container at intervals to fully soak each cube.

The next day, you can go ahead and slice your cabbage while the mustard seeds warm in ghee on M. Add cabbage when the mustard seeds begin to pop and stir to coat thoroughly. Stir fry the cabbage for about two minutes, adding 2 tsp – 1 tbsp of soy sauce, turmeric and asafoetida. Add .5 c  water, cover and turn the burner to L. Cabbage should be wilted and tender, not sloppy country-kitchen style. Unless you’d really like that or have no teeth.

Start safflower oil out on M, then turn to MH. When hot, add your drained tofu cubes and begin frying with impunity. This took longer to do than I thought it might, so when they’re beginning to show signs of crispy edges, do this:

Mix vegetable boullion and remainder of the tofu marinade with 2 c water and bring to a boil. Put in ramen.

Move back to your tofu pan and keep the spatula twirling. Squirt in about 2 tsp of soy sauce and stir vigorously to coat. When they begin to share the same medium shade of brown, remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towels while you prepare the bowls. Put some ramen and a little broth in the bottom of your bowl. Top with cabbage, then top the cabbage with tofu.

I have never fried tofu — in fact, this is only my second time cooking with tofu at all. I certainly did not quite expect its ensuing deliciousness! This got to be one of those rare dinners where I enjoyed everything on my plate instead of acting my own critic. Plus I was rather proud of myself for ensuring the tofu did not become part of an incongruous meal where animal products were also involved. To be fair to the ‘fu ‘n all. I am very obviously not a vegetarian simply an admirer of its health benefits — as someone who just months ago was nearly bed-bound I absolutely cannot refute the differences it makes to eliminate a lot of those quintessentially American food choices.

Of course, a 5 spoon meal is reason to dancey-dance all its own.