Tag Archives: ghee

Whatchoo Palak’n About?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover Basmati rice
  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 3 c chpped fresh spinach
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp madras curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

Ok, so this one’s pretty ugly too. Lets face it — most “sauce on rice” dishes, regardless of their flavor, can get a bit visually boring. This did start out, however, as a splendid phyonutrient calendar girl. Nothing’s pretty out of the food processor, so don’t you judge this little lady.

Start your onion, garlic and mustard seeds heating to M in ghee. Once the first crackle is heard from your mustard seeds, add the kala jeera and chopped spinach. Continue tossing the goods on M until your spinach begins to wilt. Add the drained tomatoes, mix, then let them all live together in a commandeering food processor for 5-10m. Halfway through the processing, add the remainder of your seasonings and turn it back on. When it’s at a consistency you like, pour back into a pot and keep on L until dinner. Mix your leftover rice with the half batch of quinoa you cooked just now and serve your sauce over it. Ring your plate with naan quarters. 4 spoons!

 

 

 

 

Spring Snap Soup (& Cheese Quesadillas)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover hibachi rice
  • 1 15 oz can snaps-n-peas
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 c diced roma tomato
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

Well, hello tonight’s low of 44° in April! I generally swear by the delineation between “soup weather” and “salad weather,” but every now and then things happen in this world that we (as not-meteorologists) cannot explain. Just when I was bemoaning the first day of the year to hit 90° along comes one week later, and I am glut with the fast food that extra-routinized variables bring even after two days of Norovirus‘ enforced foodlessness. All current conditions point to a forecast of soup!

The post ratio of the last week and shameful public admittance to eating too much fast food should tell all of you junior detectives this: leftovers. Crap, leftovers. Start some ghee melting in a pot on M while you first being pulling various things out of the fridge. Throw in those leftover diced onions from the bacon tacos and after a minute or two, toss in the also taco-leftover tomatoes and garlic paste. Swirl. Open, rinse and rain your snap peas and add them to the pot. Sprinkle on your remaining seasonings and stir. Add broth, stir, add rice, stir, add uncut cilantro leaves, stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to L and serve before your rice swells up and kills the mood.

For leftovers, applaud! This is an easy 4 spoons of soup, and will be served alongside tiny quesadillas made from taco night’s three leftover rounds.

Sweet Potato Bisque and Tempeh Fingers (Or, “Tempeh, Tempeh!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package Lightlife organic tempeh
  • 1 large and 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2.5 oz jar of Bronco Bob’s Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 c water

Slice your block of tempeh into 1/4″ slices and put in a cold pot on the stove. Mix Bronco Bob with the vinegar, sesame oil and 2 tbsp soy sauce and pour over the slices; turn the burner on L, cover, and let it sit for a few minutes then turn each slice and let sit a few more. Add 1c water and turn the stove to M. Bring the marinade to a low boil then turn off stove, toss the slices and let sit until cool enough for Tupperware. I done did this a few hours in advance of their cooking, so they were transferred to Tupperware and allowed to continue cooling in their juices with a trip to the refrigerator.

Peel your sweet potatoes and slice into a series of large, thin discs. Slice your onion nearly as delicately and cook that on M in 2 tsp of hot ghee for a minute or so, then add your sweet ‘tater slices and 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Toss, coat, then pour in 1/2 c water and a tbsp of soy sauce and cover. Leave on M and walk away until everything begins to caramelize, then return to spread that wealth to the masses and spatula-chop (not mash) the minions. Add another 2c of water, 2 tbsp soy sauce  and return the lid. Bring to a boil until water is reduced and all solid pieces are soft. Remove from heat upon final smashings and stir in a tsp each of ginger-garlic paste, cayenne pepper and cashew butter.

Now, move the entire mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot and add 1 can of vegetable broth. Let simmer while you get the tempeh in order:

Warm 2 tbsp safflower oil in the deep-bottomed frying pan and when at full M, add patted-dry tempeh slices. Sear until edges crisp then turn heat to L and continue flipping until the first one breaks in half. At that juncture, remove all slices to drain on a paper towel. Go make yourself a bowl of soup while that transpires.

Top bowl of bisque with 1/2 tsp vegetable ghee for a fancy highfalutin experience. When tasted by an outside party, this bisque got an immediate “Slap Yo Mama Good” reaction. This means five spoons. The tempeh, honestly, only gets three spoons… but some extra potential points still exist in that little soybean cake; I am interested in its ideas and would like to subscribe to its newsletter.


Middle Easternish White Beans and SCIENCE!

In my pantry today:

  • About 2c. soaked-n-cooked white beans
  • 1 medium-large-ish yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • Jar of roasted red peppers
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

So I did a little kitchen reconnaissance on Google concerning What The Hell To Do With White Beans. This recipe sounded good, and I figured I could whip something akin to it up. Because plain baked beans are boring. And too sweet. And I don’t have bacon or brown sugar in the pantry. But I have a lot of beans and a lot of rice. Nothing is impossible, and whereas I don’t care for the flavor journey of traditional baked beans I do still firmly believe that beans and rice don’t have to be boring.

Cook the onion in the ghee on M for about 10m. Add diced red peppers (to taste/I used a generous 1/4 c) and ginger-garlic paste. Transfer the whole mess to your food processor and make it a delicately chunky puree. Put tomato paste in the hot pot (turn heat down a little during this) to let it melt, then add the puree back. Mix it well and bring it back to a low boil. While it’s spit-bubbling, add the remainder of the spices and mix for a minute or so while low-boiling. Add your beans. Bring back to a low boil and turn off the pot. I am serving this tonight over, of course, Basmati rice.

Do you have a chronic illness? I watched this video last night and imagine hope the recipes on this blog get to adjust to a diet just like the one described therein. I took notes, people. Right now I am four months into a SNAP card not-really-a-battle-because-it’s-DSS-and-they-can’t-help-the-confusion; once I receive the ability to cook with a little extra help (that also validates my poverty!) I hope to switch more completely to a “Hunter-Gatherer” style diet. I once loved to cook because I loved to eat (and I’m Italian!). I want to cook now for my body. I have a friend with MS who is following a Paleo diet and seeing the positive results; when I watched the above-linked video I cried quietly while furiously scribbling words like “polyphenols.” I’ve recently learned how important what you put in your body can be (16lbs to go before I’ve lost 100!) and the clinical affirmation you’ll see therein is enough to stand me up like a soldier. I want to make myself better. I want to be able to sit in repose like everyone else. I want to make my “eyeball seizures” stop. I want my memory back. I want to be able to intelligently communicate with other people face-to-face again. My lucidity remains between my brain and fingertips, but it seems to wander off during real-time interactions. As per this video, the human brain literally shrinks in conditions like mine. I am not surprised; in fact, I am grateful for the explanation. Not knowing is worse, always. Be good to yourselves.

 

My pantry’s Dream Team

In the interest of full disclosure here, lemme go ahead and let y’all know what the whatall I usually always have around the kitchen. These aren’t necessarily recommendations, but let’s be honest: if it works for me, there might very well be a good chance you’ll want to stock up on something here. These are your fallback guys to victory in the game of healthy deliciousness. Conversely, I am open to interviewing additions to this list if’n you got a say.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable ghee (new as a “staple,” but am I ohsoglad it came into my life. we will discuss the merits of this over butter another day.)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced, crushed and/or paste)
  • Rice (giant bags of Basmati come cheap at your local Indian supermarket)
  • Dried pasta
  • All kindsa dried beans*
  • Canned broth (chicken. beef and/or vegetable)
  • Garlic paste, powder and/or whole fresh
  • Spices. Lots of spices. I would say I was indiscriminate about it but it’s public record that I believe cumin smells like third-world poverty.
  • *Asafoetida, also known colloquially (by me) as “FART POWDER.” You would eat more beans if it weren’t for the symphony provided by that musical fruit? That much fiber makes you crampy? Tell your excuses to suck it.