Tag Archives: garlic paste

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!

Advertisements

Ramen Salad Soup ft. Hunnộy Chicken

ramensaladsoup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • marinade (below)
  • soup (below)
  • 1 handful of ramen noodles
  • 1 c kale
  • 1/3 c shredded cabbage
  • 1/3 c shredded carrot
  • 3 drops sesame oil
  • 2 spritzes olive oil cooking spray
  • some water

Hunnộy Marinade:

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/3 c red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chili powder
ramen

I am mindful that this recipe mixes some ingredients and methodologies common to very separate Asian countries.

Marinate your uncut (other than extraneous fat trimming — go to town with that part while remaining true to your own taste for extraneous fat) breasts in the above mixture in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware container and let it soak overnight, or all day or any arbitrary set of several consecutive hours you like. It’ll help things along tomorrow (or later) if you go ahead and prep the other stuff, too. Nearly mince your kale and massage a drop or two of sesame oil into it; let that sit untouched for no less than fifteen minutes, and no more than a couple days (kale is hearty). Slice a thin round or two from a split cabbage* and grate some carrots; put in a baggie and into the fridge. And, really, making the broth would cut down the chicken/noodle timing issue so go ahead and do that (at least a little in) advance of the other stuff.

Soup:

  • 3 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 drops sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chili powder

I mean, you don’t have to do all of this the day before (although the meat would most benefit). Whenever you do make the soup, season but don’t bring it to a full boil until it’s time to boil the noodles.

When it’s time to cook the chicken, preheat a pan to M/MH. When hot, spray with olive oil cooking spray and slide a shaken wedge of animal into the pan. Spoon a little of the marinade over each. Let cook (slide it around so it doesn’t stick) on that side for 2-5 minutes or until chicken shows a white-to-pink gradient when viewed from the side, flip and let the other side cook in the same fashion. Add little drops of water/marinade respectively to keep caramelization or sticking to happen. After gradient shows same range on this side, drop 1/4 c water into the pan, cover it and reduce heat to ML for 10 minutes. Now is the time to start your noodles: bring the soup to a low boil then split the ramen in half before throwing into the pot so that they fit into said pot; stir. Return to chicken (assuming the right amount of time has passed) and slice each breast as thinly as possible. Put slices back into pan and coat with the thick marinade leavings. When noodles are done, don’t drain but divide the pot contents between two large bowls. Layer on kale, cabbage, chicken and carrots. While this did end up being a little more work than for which I’ve trained myself, it delivered spicy cold weather deliciousness at 5 spoons.

 

 

cabbagepeas*All that cabbage I made the other day was divided in half, and respectively: frozen and with peas over Basmati rice at 4 spoons (that cabbage is GOOD after sitting in the fridge a day). The rest of this same head cabbage is chilling in freezer purgatory, and a smidge bit of it still lives in a tiny plastic home in the fridge. Cabbage: one if the cheapest vegetables may also be its heartiest.

Daliciousness

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c moong dal
  • 3 medium-large red potatoes
  • 2 leaves of kale, minced
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

What’s a great animal-free meat substitute when there’s no tofu and no beans have been soaked? Dal! Moong dal can be cooked in 10m at a boil, so when the mood for a comfort-style meal hits too late to arrange a primary protein, these little orange beads can wink their collective eye. Or maybe not, because if they could wink then they would be coming from some kind of animal and I’m really trying here, guys.

Start the big deep-bottomed frying pan out on cold M with ghee, and when at full M (with the ghee having dissolved into tears at the hellfire below it) toss in the chunks of onion. Stir for just a moment, then add your thinly-sliced chunks of potato. Put in the garlic paste and stir until everything is coated. Add the almond milk, stir then sprinkle kale on top and cover. Let it come to a boil for about 5m, then return to add seasonings and grieve for that blisteringly gorgeous green on the kale that won’t last until chewing. Stir, then add the vegetable broth. Cover and let return to a boil on MH. Go take a load off.

It’s important to note that I cooked my moong dal beforehand, but they could probably be put in the big pan at this point. Oh well. I just added them after the potatoes were soft, and no flavor factors seemed tested. In fact, the ultimate judging of this dish was no test a-tall: 4 spoons.

Hamming it Up in Hamtown, or “Who Needs an Entire BAG of Bones?”

In my pantry today:

  • 1 meaty hambone, ceremoniously frozen after its Christmas gifting from Mom and Dad
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can “Italian” flavored diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can green beans
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 1 15 oz can chicken broth
  • 2 c leftover cabbage
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 4 c water

Oh, the meaty hambone! It’s from one of them-there high-end holiday hams, so it’s definitely not got any such sort of canned or “poor” taste. As someone who falls under the poverty line I find this increases the flavor, and only serves to justify my “Mostly” form of vegetarianism.

Put everything in a big pot. Cook it for a day or more on L after bringing it to occasional slow boils. Make sure you also stir at intervals while inhaling deeply of its promising odor. This particular pot has been on the stove for two days and will be quite proud by that at dinner time.

5 spoons. One can nearly never best a good hambone.

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.


Hot Oinking Limas with Kale

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c soaked extra large lima beans
  • 2 c raw kale
  • 2 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1 c dry basmati rice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced clumsily
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Rinse your overnight-soaked lima beans and start them to boiling. Start out on H and reduce heat, upon rolling boil, to M to let them simmer until done. Start your rice to soakin while you’re at it, then clumsily dice up an onion. In a large stockpot (I like using these whenever multiple ingredients are involved for I am irrepressibly graceless — please feel free to use a deep saucepan if you want to be, y’know, cheffy about it), get your sausage globs from the fridge melting. Add onion and mustard seeds, cook on M for a few minutes then reduce heat to L and add garlic and 2 tsp cayenne. Mix well then let mingle while you de-stem your kale.

Put oregano, turmeric, asafoetida, salt and 2 tsp cayenne in a measuring cup then fill with water to the 1/2 c line, stir and set aside.

Now it should be about time to cook the rice, so do that. When the lima beans aren’t shameful to your mouth, drain and set aside. Turn heat back up to MH on the stock pot. When it’s sizzlin real good, toss in the kale, sear it, then add the lima beans and toss. Pour in the 1/2 c seasoned water, then cover the pot and reduce to L. Let it all sit on L for at least 5m. Serve over Basmati rice.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day, or “But her nuts!”

In my pantry today:

  • 2  c butternut squash in 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cashew butter
  • 1 16oz can chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp+ cayenne pepper
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

Cook onion slivers in olive oil on M until they begin to become translucent; mix a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper in. Add squash and garlic. Cook pan contents for about a minute, then add 2 tbsp broth and cover the pan. In about another two minutes, remove pan contents from heat and set aside in a bowl. In hot-n-empty pan, begin sliding your hunk of cashew butter around. As it melts, slowly add broth and continue stirring patiently until there’s a rich gravy. Once the cashew butter is entirely dissolved into a delicious sauce, add back the butternut squash and rest of your cayenne pepper. Stir. Cover and let continue cooking on L until the squash is tooth-tender. Serve over rice and enjoy the hearty, spicy goodness while contemplating the beauty of that forecast thunderstorm.

Dirty Cous Cous

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c ground sausage off the tube
  • 2 c leftover cous cous
  • 1/5 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c broccoli slaw
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Because I am currently on a major “destroy all holiday leftovers” bandwagon, today I cleaned out the refrigerator and ordained the tupperware container of Leftover Cous Cous as tonight’s meal, along with its sidekick Open Bag of Slaw. And as I had mistakenly bought too many rolls of sausage for the New Years Day family potluck, this one seemed to insinuate itself.

Start your sausage off on M and flatten with spatula. Let it cook for a minute or so, then start flipping and breaking it up as finely as desired. Once it’s showing almost no pink, add the onion. Let it cook in with the sausage for about 2m, then add the broccoli slaw and mix together. Add your pastes and paprika and continue stir frying pan contents until the slaw begins to yield. Turn off the heat and fold in your couscous, adding salt slowly as you do. Serve once everything is hot, or put the lid on your pan and walk away. I’m not here to judge.

Sweet-N-Savory Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover cooked matpe beans
  • 1 c broccoli slaw
  • 1 leek
  • 1 c unsweetened flax milk
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 vegetable bullion cube
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Slice your leek and saute it on M in 1tbsp olive oil. After a few minutes, decide you should add that second tbsp of oil. Mix it around and add the slaw mix. Add your garlic paste and vegetable bullion and mix it around some more (until the cube is decimated). Throw in your liquids and spices. Bring to a boil the reduce immediately to the lowest heat setting. Let it slow cook until the broccoli in the slaw is soft. Serve with some garlic naan and laugh at the cold rain what has been done forecast.

 

———-ADDENDUM———-

Instead of naan, we split an unopened small container of white rice from the Chinese takeout we got night before last. Between the two bowls, it was a perfect amount of rice added to a soup that looks and tastes better for it.

*ALSO — Don’t forget to add a dash of fart powder to this. If I don’t list asafoetida in an ingredient list that otherwise smacks of potential flatulence, please take it upon yourself to know how not to be a gassy windbag.

Li’l Matpe Cakes, or “U Rad!”

 

In my pantry today:

  • 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
  • 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
  • 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Leftover Basmati rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
  • Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing

First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.

It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size.  Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.

Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.

Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?

[UPDATE]

I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!