Tag Archives: hing

Spicy Peanut Stew

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lg sweet potato in 1-2″ chunks
  • 1 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (Olive is totes fine too)
  • 1 c minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 celery stalk in 1/2″-1″ bits
  • 3/4 c frozen corn
  • 1/2 c minced kale
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 14 oz can diced/crushed tomatoes w/ green chile
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • dash of asafoetida

peanut-stewIt’s a strange winter that’s seen a lot of beautiful spring days and a few notably polar ones. If it’s going to be cold any particular evening, a soup or stew is what to have on the stove. Not to get all June Cleaver on y’alls tails, but I love knowing something will be ready the minute my darling returns from a long day of work. Stews’ll let you have that. Tonight I’m trying a West African-inspired peanut stew that made friends with the inside of my cupboard.

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RIP, Barbara Billingsly

When your oil in a large pot reaches the high side of medium-low, add your seasonings to the oil and mix it into a paste. Then mix in the kale onion, garlic and celery. Let that cook for 5-10 minutes, and upon your return add the tomatoes peanut butter, stirring it in until smooth. Add the can of beans (liquid ‘n all) and as much broth as your taste permits. Put diced sweet potato in pot and let it come to a leisurely boil on M before covering it, turning the burner to L and walking away until your sweet potatoes are tender (At least 45 minutes).

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, but… wait, come back! You didn’t let me finish.

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, but use chicken instead of vegetable broth or, heck, add actual chicken and you’ve got an inarguably good dinner at 5 spoons.

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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.

Roasted Roots (ft. Cauliflower)

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 medium red potatoes
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • onions
  • garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

It’s cold and I felt like neither going to a grocery store nor like overcomplicating the already brisk atmosphere. What was already in the kitchen that I could toss in the oven? This one’s almost in no need of directions — just cut everything up, toss it with olive oil then with the blend of above seasonings (adjust anything to taste, of course). Roast in a 350 oven° for 40m (or so). 4 spoons!

Hot [Crock] Pot Chili

In my pantry today:

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 56oz/7c/3.5lb petite diced tomato
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

This ended up being the finest batch of chili I have made to date — and it’s completely vegan. I say that because not only should it surprise you, but because it does so for me as well. It’s a tribute, really, to how little meat needs to do with flavor.

Start out with your onion and garlic pieces with oil in the crock pot on H. Walk away and halve your peppers, taking care to leave seeds out or in depending on your spice palate. Put them open-side down on a baking sheet and put them closely under the broiler until their skins begin to char, then remove them from the oven, remove the skins from their shoulders, and dice. Throw those into the crock pot with the garlic and onion, stir and leave on H for a few more minutes. Following enough of a break to begin some dishes or some such nonsense, add canned tomatoes with liquid and cooked beans, reduce crock pot to L and let simmer for several hours. Stir in all your seasonings a little while before dinner — it tasted so flavorful before I did any of that that I nearly didn’t add a single thing; the taco seasoning will get it from “a little too liquidy,” though, into proper chili territory. Despite — or maybe because of? — the lack of meat, this chili deserves 5 spoons.

Cabbage Come a-Knockin (Or, “Pastabilities from Vegetable Grief”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 medium head red cabbage
  • 1 turkey kielbasa
  • 2 c cooked bowtie pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 c broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • Parmesan cheese (topping)

I just began absentmindedly cooking the cabbage in a figurative wail of disappointment over the head of broccoli I had planned on using showing unexpected rot this morning. Isn’t that the normal reaction to vegetable grief? When reality brought itself back, I was left standing before a half-sauteed head of cabbage with onion in a small pool of butter. I looked at it like a sudden, unwelcome visitor then broke away to scan the freezer. I had in all earnesty planned on another vegetarian dinner tonight, but in the back of the ice box — covered in ice itself, but not burnt — was half a turkey kielbasa. I fell back into an old recipe for safety, but modified it just enough to prove to myself that I still had it.

So there’s there’s the head of cabbage, there. Toss in 1/4 c broth and cover it so it can steam on M where it’s been. Oh, and throw in all those seasonings (especially the asafoetida — this much cabbage definitely calls for “fart powder”). Next, brown medium-thin slices of kielbasa in the pot you’re about to boil pasta in. When the bottom of the pot (on M) starts to brown before those slices of turkeybits, scrape it up and toss the slices in those not-quite-burnt bits. Keep it together on M for another minute or two then add it to the cabbage. Bring 1/2 c of stock to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to L. Let it all simmer while you rinse out that sausage pot and ready the pasta. Cook according to instructions but make sure it’s al dente when you take it off the heat because it’s going in with the cabbage/kielbasa mix and will continue cooking. If you prefer mushier pasta (I know who some of you are, stop shielding your faces) go ahead and cook it to your preferred point. Mix everything together and top with Parmesan cheese. 4 spoons!

Comfort Soup (Or, “Three Animals Walked Into a Crock Pot…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c lentils
  • 5oz canned chicken breast
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1c celery, sliced
  • 1c carrots, sliced
  • 3c kale, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp sausage grease
  • 1 large onion, thin-ish slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5c broth (I used vegetable despite the meaty base)
  • 1/2 c half and half
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So it’s chilly, the wife is home sick and I’m not feeling too spunky, myself. It feels like soup time; not just any soup time, mind you — it’s comfort soup time. Start the onions and garlic out in the sausage grease… in the crock pot. Turn it on MH, stir and let sit for an hour or so. Turn off. Run those two godforsaken errands you don’t really want to have to drag your ass out of bed to do. Come back. Assemble!

Turn the crock pot back on to MH Stir in sliced carrots and celery. Cut potatoes into bite-size chunks and stir into the mess. And what the heck — drain that little can of chicken sitting in the cupboard and toss it in. Sprinkle on and stir in all the seasonings so that all of the soup bits are well-coated in the glory of flavor. Then enter your broth. After the first cup or two, stir in the lentils. Begin folding in little fistfuls of kale, alternating with the remainder of the broth. Bless the entire stew with half and half, cover, and let cook on M-MH until the potatoes are soft. All of the comfort of a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup with all of the vegetative nutrition of a salad bar — you’ll need all 5 spoons for this pot!

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!

Moong Dal Curry (or, “So-diumb”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cooked moong dal
  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion
  • 1 14.5 oz can Italian petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Shan® dal curry mix
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

A seemingly healthy meal has hidden intentions this time around. At 1990mg of sodium per serving (I know, right!?) I could not in good conscience just “go with” that Shan® spice packet. The package comes with about 1/2 c powdered spice blend… I drew a compromise and used 1 tsp. The canned tomatoes are already salty enough. But I digress.

Mince your onion as well as you can — don’t focus on perfection, only on not lopping off a digit. Add to ghee that’s melted in a pot on ML. Let onion cook for 10m or so, then dial up the heat to full M. Add the undrained can of tomatoes, then all of your spices; mix that, then mix in your moong dal with strategically dolloped milk to guide the way. Let everything come to a slow boil on M, then reduce heat to L and simmer for, well, it’s gonna be several hours until dinnertime. Serve over Basmati rice with naan. 4 spoons!

Now back to inordinate amounts of sodium. I know better than to have prepackaged “spice mixes” at hand, but in my defense they fit both a food-stampaneer’s budget and the work output possibilities of MS. I am here, now, as my own living proof of the blatantly unhealthy eating habits for which every grocery around me rails. As someone who staunchly believes that convenience foods are not at all convenient for the human body, I publicly admit shame. Now I have to face the cupboard with the dilemma of wastefulness (ie; financial v. corporeal waste). What will probably come from this will be a shuffling of some things to the back then forgetting they’re in the pantry. It is yet to be determined whether my conscience will let me give this stuff away to friends and family (funny how strangers don’t want to take mysterious powder sacks from those they don’t know). /soapbox