Tag Archives: fresh garlic

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!

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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!

Double Feature: Basil, Beets and Barley (or, “Wait, That’s Three Things.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 small beets, baked and peeled
  • 3 c cooked barley
  • 1 c goat cheese
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 c fresh basil
  • 1 c fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c radish microgreens
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small Vidalia onion

I think I’m finally getting the hang of our CSA weekly bundles. I’ve got four days until the next pickup and only 1 tomato, 1 head of kale, 5 beets and 7 carrots left before Tuesday. This is a vast improvement over weeks prior, and I’ve yet to determine if this pace has worked. Check back after Tuesday.

I’ve also been hemming and hawing about the beets a little — they’re a new and foreign element to my kitchen, but I remind myself that that is not their fault. They may be the poor and huddled masses in my crisper drawer now, but social justice will catch up… hopefully riding the iron horse of deliciousness. I apparently made a 5 spoon issue out of it yesterday, sources report. Mince 4-6 (depending on size, y’know) cloves of garlic and 1/2 c basil in as teeny-tiny flakes as possible. Cream it with 1/2 c goat cheese and apply in neat balls to the top of chilled beet slices. I salt roasted these beets day before yesterday — cut off and reserve the greens, scrub the roots and place in a glass baking dish with a 1/2″ of salt in the bottom. Cover the dish and bake at 425° for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool, peel and refrigerate for future beet use.

While you’ve got the garlic-mincing going, go ahead and dice up 2-4 cloves and 1/2 a Vidalia onion. Start your butter and oil warming to M in a cold pan with the garlic and onion. Once it reaches full heat, reduce to L and let cook for 15m or so — until your garlic crisps to golden brown and your onions are near caramelization. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, remove the crispy garlic and sweet onion; set aside. Return heat to M and mix in your barley. Once it’s well-coated, add your mixture of spinach, chopped basil and microgreens. Toss until the spinach becomes bright green, then add back the garlic and onion and continue mixing with a pinch or two of sea salt. When everything is warm together, add dollops of goat cheese and cover the pan. Serve in 5m. The onions will deliver sweet bites in the midst of garlic’s tasty reign, and goat cheese will apply a creamy reasoning to the entire argument. 5 spoons.

Beanie-ahini (Now With Entire Tree Limbs!)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked white beans
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 leaf of kale, minced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 packets Swanson® Flavor Boost™ (Vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 spring dried rosemary, ripped mercilessly from its home in a public median
  • 1 c uncooked Basmati rice

I felt like dicing things up into tiny slivers today, and I made it so to the best of my ability. Put your meticulously slivered garlic in your giant pan with the olive oil and turn the cold burner to M. As it warms, dice and add onion and stir. Let that cook for about five minutes (or until sizzling sounds begin to happen) while you dice your pepper. Add and toss everything with turmeric until bright yellow seeps across the stainless steel surface. Add 1 tbsp water when/if pan begins to dry out to buy time while you pick up that bundle of kale you just brought home and regard it thoughtfully. End up choosing only a single stalk and dicing the leaves — it has been decided that this dish is more about the tahini than the kale, and it must be approached carefully so as not to allow kale the spotlight.

So just sprinkle in that minced leaf as visual interest, stir. Fold in the white beans with your other seasonings as well as the trademarked Flavor Boost™ before adding in tahini a tbsp at a time. Thin out the sauce with a little unsweetened almond milk and, upon satisfactory meld, top with spring of dried rosemary and cover. Let cook on L for a couple hours for best results, then serve over Basmati rice. 4 spoons!

Interstate Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover subgum wonton soup
  • 1 c leftover cooked white beans
  • 1 10 oz can coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, clumsily minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander

So start the garlic and olive oil off in a soup pot on M and let them mingle for a few minutes until sizzling is steady; erstwhile, turn your attention to that leftover subgum wonton soup you bought in Virginia on Thursday (yes, it was kept refrigerated; it was really good so lay off). In my case, there were four large wontons preserved as well as an array of shrimp, pork and vegetables. I started this endeavor by pouring the leftover soup through a colander to fish out all the big slabs of chicken that look too much like tripe for me to consensually chew and ingest; I set the broth aside (1.5 c) and let the vegetables sit in their colander (.5c).

Back at the sizzling pot, I added the cooked white beans and began smashing them with the back of the mixing spoon until they were about to become burning mounds of beanflesh, then added 1/4 c broth and continued smashing. Once said smashingtime is completed to your satisfaction, add asafoetida, turmeric and coriander, mix then add in the rest of your broth. Stir and bring to a slow boil, then add in the coconut milk and subgum wonton non-liquid elements. This can be eaten right away, but mine is sitting until a proper dinnertime. This meal includes six vegetables, up to four animals and beans for good measure — it was made on four hours of sleep after an eight hour trip home from DC and still gets 3 spoons.

Trial by Butcher Knife

In my pantry today:

  • 15 lbs exhaustion
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • 1 package Near East Whole Grain (Roasted Pecan and Garlic)
  • 1 16 oz can chicken broth
  • 2/3 c cooked white beans
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed ‘n diced
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

Oh man, I did not know where to start today.

Moderate MS fatigue still includes use of the limbs and does not mitigate the human need for food, so I opened the fridge and began dicing whatever might go bad earliest. I initiated a pan with onion and garlic in the bacon grease then began dicing the apple — and that’s where the exhaustion comes further into play, because this entire recipe got wildly better when I accidentally began bleeding all over the cutting board.  Losing use of one thumb to the butcher knife during the apple-dicing thereby rendered Napa cabbage prepping impossible (or at least wildly implausible). We had to go in another direction… one of little fine motor skills. Like a box of something.

Enter the broth and whole grain pilaf. Honestly, I hadn’t been certain what I’d do with the Near East product but it had sounded so delicious during a hungry-in-the-grocery-store moment. But pecans? Apples go with those! It was time to experiment.

I added a can of chicken broth to the pan and stirred in the beans (cooked for this recipe and living now in the Leftover Loft), then brought it to a boil and added the box-o-grains. It was at this point I just followed the box directions for the pilaf, as I was done trying original ideas. The gauze and scotch tape I found to cocoon my thumb may be soppin’ ass wet with chicken broth and blood but great measures my friends, great measures were taken to remove all the bloody apple chunks from the pan. There will be disappointment for any sanguinarians who show up on my doorstep tonight.

Even without the blood and with cognitive decline, this gets 3 solid spoons. 4 if you don’t normally hate green apples.

Taters and Lentils and Spinach, Oh My!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c dry lentils
  • 4 medium red potatoes in .25″ cubes
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2 c fresh spinach
  • 1 carrot
  • 1.5 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Chop your onion into medium-smallish chunks and finely dice your garlic; add it to a large-n-deep saucepan that’s heating to M with a welcoming layer of melting ghee. Let that cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10m then add potato and toss to coat. After 5-8 more minutes, add your chunky slices of carrot and continue tossing for 2 or 3 more minutes. Add lentils (which you have soaked and drained) and vegetable broth, stir. Add spices, stir. Bring it all to a boil and let it continue to do so, covered, on M for 10M. Uncover and fold in spinach, then once everything can properly rejoice in moisture cover and reduce heat to L. Walk away for at least an hour, then after that it’s all up to you how thick and/or mushy your comfort level is.


Asparagus: Worth the Funny Pee Smell!

In my pantry today:

  • 3/4 c cooked Central American white beans
  • 2 c cooked Kashi® multigrain pilaf
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dumpling sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp salt

So my experience with leeks do not include saving or cooking the top green sprouts. I changed all that today. Start your sliced leek and diced garlic cloves out in a cold pan of ghee and 2 tsp safflower oil on M. Add mustard seeds and let it all festively fester until the leeks are translucent and the edges of the garlic pieces begin to turn a golden color. Turn heat to L, cover and turn back to your cutting board.

Cut just the tips of your asparagus stalks off for this. With the leftover stalks, remove the tough ends and reserve in a plastic bag for the next smoothie experiment you’ll have. Return pan to MH and add 1 tsp additional safflower oil. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle add your asparagus tips and toss to coat. Add water then spray with lemon juice from one of those plastic fruit-shaped squeeze bottles you find on wayward racks in the produce section and cover. Let it steam for about thirty seconds then uncover, remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner. Add cooked white beans, asafoetida, a touch more lemon and your dumpling sauce; coat. Add Kashi® multigrain pilaf and repeat the tossing to coat thing. Cover and return to cooling burner for a few minutes of togetherness before you decimate it with your mouth. 4 of 5 spoons.

Black Eyes in Butternut Cashew Sauce

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c finely cubed butternut squash
  • 2 c cooked black eyed peas
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 2.5 c water
  • 2 packets Swanson Flavor Thingys (Vegetable)
  • 2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dice your onion and garlic as chunky or fine as you see fit and start them in cold pan of safflower oil; turn your stove-knob to M. While that’s warming, finish tidying your counter and pulsing your cashew butter to the creamiest possible consistency. Take 1/4 c out of the food processor or whatever jar you may have and add 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder. Set aside. Return to your pan and stir contents; after about seven minutes of sizzling add squash and toss everything so that your tiny orange cubes gleam with flavor. Let that sizzle some more while you empty those flavor packet thingies into 1.5 c  water. Stir in seasonings, add it to pan and cover. Let cook until squash is tender.

Once everything is at an affable consistency in the pan, push contents to one side and add your cashew butter. Stir in 1/2 c water and once it’s all of a mostly liquid consistency, push the squash back into it and fold everything together. Add the salt to make up for the second flavor packet thingy you’d like to add but didn’t for the sodium content. Finally, gently fold in your lonely beans and let everything sit together for a few minutes. Serve over rice and/or with naan.

Bacon Black Bean Blitzkrieg! (Now With Spoons!)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c cooked black beans
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, skinned
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

First thing’s first: Cut your three slices of bacon in half and start them off in a cold pan warming to MH. While that’s happening, crush your garlic cloves into chunks, and when the bacon is sizzling and ready for its first fork-flip add the garlic to the pan. I recommend, from learning the hard way, not to scatter it all around the pan. Keep the garlic isolated for easy removal in a few minutes when it becomes golden brown and crispy around the edges. Set aside for later garnishing.

Once the bacon begins to brown, cut it (either in the pan or taken out for a quick second) into inch long pieces and let finish browning until you are satisfied with the color (everyone’s got a different bacon barometer here). I let it cook until about 70% crispy. Drain out 1/4 c of the grease and reserve for future cookings. Add the black beans and pepper and gently toss until everything becomes one. Add water, salt and asafoetida then cover upon slow boil and reduce heat to ML. Let cook until more paste-like than water, then serve over rice with a fried garlic garnish.

With this recipe I am going to begin rating the success and deliciousness of each recipe I post from here on out using spoons. I give this eatsperiment 4 of 5 spoons. Spoons, you see, in an homage to Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory. It has become so much more widely known than it was when I discovered it a few years ago. I was desperate to find a way to explain my invisible limitations to others, and this story gave me, and countless others of all chronic illnesses, that ability. Imagine me now endcapping this article with a Braveheart-style spoon-thrust into the air.

 

And also because spoons, y’know, are in your kitchen ‘n junk.