Tag Archives: ghee

Cabbage, Corn and [K]ale Cream Cheese Casserole (or, “An Alliterative Affair”)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 c chopped kale
  • 1/2 c corn kernels
  • 1/2 small sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 14 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 oz cream cheese, in chunks
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 c fried onions
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • dash asafoetida

P1100650Ok, so you’re going to need to do a couple of things first: blanch the kale for 5-9m (taste test it for chewability-without-suspicion) then add cabbage to the boiling water. Taste test for texture; I went about 3m. Drain everything well then line the bottom of a 8×6″ glass baking dish with the strainer contents and corn.

P1100610Now that everything is done boiling, you can use the same pot to start garlic and onions in the oil/ghee. After cooking on ML for 5-10m, add the chunks of cream cheese and smoosh them all around until melted. Sprinkle on seasonings and mix in with the can of cream of mushroom soup. Pour mixture over vegetables, spreading until even. Once you’ve adorned it further with panko and french fried onions let it bake at 350° for 40m. This would have been great served over rice or alongside other dishes at a dinner table, but we ate it almost directly out of the pan. 4 spoons for not entirely knowing its consistency (5 in my heart).

 

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!

Cheddar Chicken Pie with Broccoli Sentinels (is Only Platonic Friends with the Curry Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 frozen, unbaked pie shell
  • 1 can chicken breast, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c large broccoli florets
  • 2/3 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 “roasted chicken” flavored gravy packet
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c minced onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch asafoetida

I have had so. much. pie. this holiday season. It really is kind of ridiculous how pies culminate for an annual winter slaughter of the human diet and pride: pecan, caramel apple cheesecake, plain cheesecake with a mandarin orange pie winning the pie-ze this year for both deliciousness and moxie. After rounding out the last family jaunt yesterday with a pizza, I feel it is safe to start officially distancing myself from rich meals and desserts that do nothing but inadvertently complicate my health and/or well-being.

That being said, I made a pie for dinner tonight. Don’t you judge me.

In the freezer still lived the other half of a crust two-set I’d gotten on sale, canned chicken in the cupboard and cheese in the fridge. Oh, and fresh broccoli; that’s probably the healthiest and therefore most important part of things. Before you get to arranging health around the edge of your pie, start your onion and garlic in butter heating to M. After five or so minutes of making sure everything gets coated and tossed, add the turmeric and asafoetida; stir. While that’s being perpetrated drain and rinse the can of chicken and mix your gravy packet with almond milk. Add eggs to this mixture one at a time and whisk until blended. Return to the stove and stir in 1/3 c of broth and the chicken; toss everything together and spoon into the pie crust. Add the remainder of broth to the egg/gravy mixture. Arrange chunky florets around the edges and secure it all with a pour-over of casserole gravy. Bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes, remove to sprinkle 1/3 c cheddar over and into the florets and continue baking until a knife comes out of the middle clean. And because I made this earlier today in advance of dinnertime, when I warm it back up at 35o° for 10m I will have sprinkled on another 1/3 c cheddar. This ended up being delicious in flavor, but a little unsatisfactory to me in consistency… then again, the bottom crust I found too soggy was forked off my plate and eaten by my wife. Still, my conscience tells me to go with just 3 spoons on this.

Also, while making that I had also started some cabbage that’s been waiting patiently in the fridge. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet — I don’t want to take the easy way out by throwing it into broth and declaring a soup; I’ve got plenty of that in the freezer right now. No, I want this cabbage to go places, travel the world and be better than freezer soup:

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

cabbageThis one’s easy. Start the mustard seeds out in a ghee-oiled pot heating to M. When it’s near full heat, add the onion and garlic. When the seeds start snapping, add the spices and stir into a pasty mess. Add a dash of broth. Add cabbage in by little handfuls, all the while mixing and adding broth as needed to get everything spiced right proper. Add enough broth to cover the pan bottom, then put a lid on it and dial the heat down to the L side of ML. I cannot yet give this spoons because I do not feel it is yet a finished product. Good luck to my imagination!

 

Vegetarian “Not Pie”

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1/2 can red beans, drained
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 c sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2″ cubes
  • 1.5 c unsweeteend almond milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch asafoetida

notpie2It’s not a pot pie. In fact, it’s not even really a pie as the crow flies; having simply the spirit of a pie does not really qualify. Let’s just go with “Not Pie.” It’s not really macaroni and cheese either, since there’s no macaroni. But the spirit is strong in this one!

Sliver your garlic and cut your onion into tiny rectangles and saute them on ML until translucent; remove from the pan and set aside — but erstwhile you’ll have plenty of time to cut the veggies and mix a sauce. Give a quick stir fry to notpie1the small dices of carrot and broccoli florets until the broccoli goes from a waning HULK green to a more vibrant “HULK SMASH!” hue. Toss the broccoli, carrots, garlic and onions together in a baking dish. Cover them with the sauce you made by mixing cornstarch, egg and all above mentioned seasonings in with the almond milk; pour over dish and let bake for an hour at 350. Remove dish from oven, roll out from their can some crescent rolls and lay on top of the buffet below. Bake according to can-structions until golden browning appears. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two before digging in to see how this hot mess-erole turned out. Turns out, it was entrancingly delicious… but texturally deficient. I give it 4 spoons for flavor, but 3 spoons for consistency. Next time, I might be adventurous enough to try a bottom crust or perhaps a roux instead of cornstarch. We’ll see, because there will be a next time on this.

Naked Stew

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can chicken breast
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 can white potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 c small cauliflower florets
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, minced into near-paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced into near-paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chiil powder
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • pinch asafoetida

nakedsoupThe hardest thing to do here was mince the garlic and onion into a near paste-like consistency, but even that was more patience than skill, and to be perfectly honest opening all the cans might’ve actually been more difficult. Either way, this stove-top stew is an easy way to wile away a winter witching hour.

Start your minced garlic and onion in a pan on ML that already hosts your melted ghee/oil. Turn the temperature almost up to M and let it sit, stirred, for a few minutes while you open all those cans and drain/rinse everything in them. Go back to the stove and sprinkle in the asafoetida, turmeric and half of your coriander. Mix well and add chicken. Mix again until all the chunks are broken up and everything is covered in the pan contents; add cauliflower and let simmer on ML for just a minute or two, then add cream of chicken soup. Mix, begin slowly adding broth as you stir in each subsequent can of stuff. Add the rest of your coriander and the red hot chili powder and keep on stirring while you slowly increase the heat to M/M-H until everything comes to a slow boil. At this point, reduce heat to L, cover and let cook until the cauliflower is tender. The only think keeping this from being more than a 4 spoon dish is that I would prefer fresh over canned anything if given my druthers.

7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Today’s Lentils, Tomorrow’s… Lentils.

In my pantry today:

  • 1-2c lentils (cooked)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 green jalapeno
  • 1 orange jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5-2c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

This wasn’t going to be a freezer storage item, but life falls as it may and tonight was not its night (and tomorrow’s gonna be the night for what’s in the crock pot overnight now). I’m going to chalk it up to a preliminary success in my desire to have meals prepared ahead of time.

Start not-as-finely-chopped peppers (it is important right away to note that the jalapenos should have no seeds left), onion and garlic out on ML in a ghee/oil combo. Make sure the mustard seeds and kala jeera are in there too. Stir and sit back — when the mustard seeds commence to poppin’ turn off the heat. Spoon contents of the pan into a food processor, add curry powder, asafoetida, flax, tomato paste and 1c almond milk then puree everything into a single, succulent sauce. Spatula it back into the pan, add lentils and however much remaining almond milk you’d like. Heat everything to a near-boil and turn off the stove. When the sauce cools, either eat or freeze! I did taste this before it went on staycation in the icebox and I cannot wait until it gets to come back out — 4 spoons.

 

Sweet — and Savory — Potatoes

 

In my pantry today:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2-2.5 c broth (vegetable here)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c blackberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

First thing’s first — slice your onion moderately thinly and start it out in ghee that’s mostly melted and in a pan on M. Cook onions over ML heat for about 5m. Dice your sweet potato — skin and all — and add it into pan. Stir in the remainder of seasonings and preserves then add enough broth to cover everything and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook over ML heat until potatoes are fork-tender. At this point, stir in quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to L for about 20m. Ring the dinner bell — 4 spoons!

 

Comfort in Chaos (or, “When CAN’T Potatoes Fix the World?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 2 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

I can’t find my camera. This is taken using a cell phone. Don’t you judge me.

There is a heckuvalot going on right now. The new floors make our entire downstairs feel like a new house into which we are moving fresh, and moving into anywhere requires a great deal of work. Meals have been consisting largely of prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery, sweet potatoes roasted in advance, bananas and coffee. Lots of coffee. I’ve gone a week without any episodes (of my MS exacerbation) and I’ve gotten a new prescription called in for more Neurontin (eyeball seizures cannot prevent me from editing css style sheets!). So there, life. Suck on that.

Start this meal in your most favoritest way — mincing fresh garlic and onion. Put in pan heating to M with oil and ghee and let it come to and stay at full heat for  and seasonings; stir. 2-3m with vigorous spatula attention. Add 1/4″ slices of potato and all of your seasonings; stir. Let come to a boil on MH then reduce heat to M and walk away for 15m. Upon return, add another can of broth mixed with corn starch. Fold in cooked beans, bring everything back to a boil on M. Stir in 1/2 c quinoa then reduce heat to L and let simmer until eatin’ time. 5 spoons!

Another Fun Sauce Served Over Rice! With Kidney Beans!

  • 1.5 c cooked kidney beans
  • 6 blanched tomatoes
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 sprig basil (optional)

I never mean to start out with a list of ingredients wildly at odds with my socioeconomic standing. There are a lot of staples in the cupboard, and staples for me are the items you’ll see repeated — garlic, onions, curry, hot chili or cayenne pepper, different cooking oils. I find that maintaining a foundation of things like these makes making tasty meals possible on a budget… but it can force me into ruts. You all know I like sauces that go over rice — ah, but I am so much more!

…I say this as I go into another sauce/rice recipe, of course, but my intentions with it are good! I have just learned how to blanch tomatoes and I was hot to do another batch. In familiar tradition, these blanched and diced and drained tomatoes became another sauce. Their journey, however, was a noble one.

After blanching, dicing and draining off the more watery tomato juice, add your tomatoes (about 3c diced) to a pan that’s had garlic, onion, mustard seeds and kala jeera simmering in its oil foundation on [heat to M then reduce to ML after 5m] for a good 20-30m. Add remaining seasonings and stir, let come to a boil on M and keep it in ML-M uncovered for an hour or so — until everything has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool a little before pouring into the food processor. Pulse until smooth then return to the pan, this time with a little coconut milk and lime juice. Mix everything together well as you fold in the beans, then top with a sprig of basil and cover. Turn heat back to M and let it steam for just a minute or two before serving over Basmati rice. 4 spoons!