Tag Archives: rice

Cauliflower to the Stage!

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In my pantry today:

  • 1 M head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1.5 c frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, chunked
  • 1 M-L red onion, chunked
  • 1 M-L jalapeno, chunked w/seeds
  • 1.5 c parsley w/stems
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1.5 c chicken broth (bone broth if’n you got it)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cumin
  • dash asafoetida

I was in the mood for Indian. Specifically, cauliflower and peas. If I wanted this meal to be culturally relevant, it’d be served over rice and/or with naan… but, y’know, carbs. Thankfully cauliflower is a too open-minded piece of produce to let this be a delicious pipe dream: it will star in the show both playing itself, and in the role of rice.

garliconionjalFirst thing: Haphazardly dice garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Don’t hurt yourself, but enjoy knowing that it doesn’t matter how pretty these look before heading into a food processor. Put them in the pan with both oils, turn heat up to M for 10m then reduce to ML. Add parsley, mix. Let them mingle until translucency happens.

caulTake your cauliflower florets to the food processor first. In small batches, pulse only enough to break it up into near-rice consistency. Pour it all into a bowl and set aside.

Return to the pan, increase heat to M and add your spices. Coat everything and let it cook for about a minute. Turn off heat, let the pan cool for a minute then throw it all in the food processor until all that remains is a wet paste. Return it to the pan, add diced cherry tomatoes, broth, and peas. Bring to boil over M then reduce heat to L. Stir in cauliflower. Bring it back up to ML while you fold it all together, then when it returns to a simmer cover and turn to L. Walk away for 15-20m, then come back and… CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE:

  • Turn off the stove and let it sit for the day in its own warm mess until dinner
  • Turn the heat back up to M until your desired consistency is reached, serve
  • Turn off stove for an hour. Decide you’re hungry, cook a quick chicken breast and have dinner for lunch.

Untitled-2This ended up being better than I’d initially hoped, with all the right levels of spice (for me: if you’re generally a wimp, check your jalapeno seeds at the door). I couldn’t wait until the dinner hour to eat a hearty portion.

What I did right: Cauliflower as its own rice means more phytonutrients and less sugar. I’m always happy to include turmeric and coconut oil in any reasonable fashion, and hiding parsley was a win-win.

What I did wrong: Forgot to marinate a chicken breast in advance, thinking “since this is for later I’ll wait on choosing/cooking a protein.”

What I might do next time: Pulse the cauliflower even more lightly so it’s chunkier. Add a little chili powder and/or fenugreek.

Pan-a Stew-a: A Remedy for all Ills or Difficulties

In my pantry today:

  • 1 10 oz can chicken breast, drained
  • 1 14 oz can butter beans, drained
  • 1 L sweet potato, diced
  • 1 c kale, minced
  • 4-8 baby carrots, or whatever’s left in fridge
  • 1-2 c Basmati rice, cooked and cold
  • 1/2 L sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to top

panstewThis will be a cold February night’s remedy for all ills and difficulties; it will be, as well, a panacea of flavors. Get those large onion and small garlic minces into butter and olive oil heating to the M side of ML. After about ten toe-tapping minutes, add sweet potatoes, turmeric and 1 can of broth. Stir to coat. Another 5 minutes in, fond the last dregs of a still-viable bag of baby carrots and add them to the pan as well. Cover and boil over MH until potatoes begin to show signs of tenderness towards your fork. Add kale, chicken, rest of seasonings and rest of broth. continue cooking on L, covered until dinnertime. Five minutes before said time, increase the pan to M, add rice and slap the cover back on. As pan reaches the zenith of M turn it back off. Let sit for 2-5m then serve topped with Parmesan. 100 reasons for 5 spoons tonight!

Let’s Rice and Roll!

In my pantry today:

  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 3/4 c cooked black matpe beans
  • 1/4 c cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Before v. After Blanching

Ok, this part is actually way more simple than the ingredient list might suggest. Just cream all of it together then set aside while water begins boiling. When the water boils, dip each leaf of kale by the tip of ts stem for a count of ten then transfer to paper towel. Dump the water out of the pot and start your sauce in it:

  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 2 medium salt-roasted beets
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 8 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder

In the pot, burner reduced to ML, insert your ghee and oil and top with mustard seeds, kala jeera, onions and garlic. Stir and let sit on the burner as the temperature drops. This would be a good time to carefully slice the stems out of your kale. Do that then come back, add diced beet and turn the heat back up to M; stir and let cook for about 5 minutes (or until the edges of your garlic slices begin to brown). Mix in a shot of vinegar and reduce heat to ML for another 10-15m.

That presents an excellent opportunity to begin constructing the actual rolls: put a teaspoon full near the base of a leaf, then roll up as tightly as possible without smooshing out the ends like a melty ice cream sandwich. Set each roll, seam side down, aside. Get back to that sauce.

Transfer pot contents to the food processor and puree. Scrape sides and add in almond milk and the remainder of seasonings. When at as fine a consistency as your palette desires, transfer back to the stove and add in tomato sauce. Bring to an easy boil on M then immediately reduce temperature to L. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a small glass baking dish then put your kale rolls in. Cover and bake at 350° for 20m. Serve, bottom-up from the plate: rice, sauce, rolls, maybe a little more sauce. 5 spoons for the rolls! They retained their crunch even after the oven. The sauce will get 4 spoons, if only because I still have unresolved bigotry issues towards beets.

 

 

Caramelized Vidalia Onion and Beets

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked chana dal
  • 2 tbsp butter (or vegetable ghee for a vegan option)
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 5 small beets
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

Looking for a clever side dish to take to your next potluck or family gathering? This is a wow-worthy side that takes no casserole foundations you’ve ever heard of. Slice onion kinda (but not obnoxiously) thin. Dice roasted, peeled beets into 1/4″ cubes. Start melting your butter on it’s journey to M, then add onions; toss and cook for 6-8m. Add sugar and vinegar to pan, stir and reduce heat to L until the onions begin to caramelize (15-25m). Add beets and stir together with water. Bring burner back to M and keep pan contents on its toes for a minute or two. Add garlic; stir. Add 1 c milk and remainder of seasonings and let come back to a boil for about 2m. Smash your beets as well as possible without burning yourself or making a huge mess that’ll never come out. Add remaining 2 c of milk slowly, stirring all the while. Then, and only then, add in your cooked split chickpeas. Bring the pan back to a boil on M, then cover and reduce heat to L for 20m.

The reason why this makes a better side dish than entree was only discovered this afternoon as we both paused halfway through our bowls from both the sweetness and the richness of that sweetness. It is a visually impressive dish with a delectable tapestry of flavors… but when sweet overpowers curry, you know something needs sidelining. This, fortunately, is a dry enough sauce that it is perfect for mixing in with cooked rice or for layering on top in a casserole dish. 5 spoons as an accent piece, 3 as an entree.

Too Many Modifiers Meat Meal with Black Bean and Cashew Butter Hummus Lettuce Wraps

In my pantry today:

  • .74 lbs stir fry beef
  • 1 c Basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp minced Vidalia onion
  • 6-8 leaves off a head of leaf lettuce
  • 1 tsp safflower oil

Marinate your meat for an hour or two in:

  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Soak and cook rice with:

  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Black Bean and Cashew Butter Hummus:

  • 1.5 c cooked black beans
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Drizzle it all with:

  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder

Wow. So this is apparently what happens when I’ve gone three days without kitchening. And come back one day after having had six cups of coffee. I also made kale chips, loaded the dishwasher and cleaned out all the dog food and soda cans in the sink (followed by cleaning the sink). I love taking as full advantage possible when I’m having a good day; ring the gong, then, and begin your cooking adventure!

Massage the marinade into your meat; set aside. After your rice has been rinsed and soaked, start it out to boil with the addition of [everything listed above]. Put the ingredients for your drizzle in a sauce pan on L to begin melting and melding; stir gently until it’s one love and keep at the ready.  Make your hummus by throwing everything into the food processor and blending to a reasonably hummus-like paste. Roll little bits of it, with accents of onion, in lettuce leaves, then:

Heat 1 tsp safflower oil to MH (more H than M) and when the pan is hot-n-ready, rapidly stir fry your beef then serve hot over your equally hot rice. Surround the dish with lettuce wraps and drizzle it all with the spicy cashew butter drizzle. This meal was worth all the effort and earns 5 spoons!

Hifalutin Frito Pie (or, “You Put What in There?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover meatless meaty chili
  • 2 c broken Fritos®
  • 1 c cheddar cheese
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 12-20 stems of asparagus
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Taco Bell® seasoning envelope
  • sour cream as garnish

In an 8×8 casserole dish, layer rice with a few finely-crumbled Fritos® mixed in for entertainment value. Cut the fluffy tips from your asparagus about 1/4″ below their hairline and mince the three next inches down (I tossed the rest of these stems after this step as I am still investigating how to best use them). Set the asparagus tops aside and sprinkle the rice with 1/4 c cheese and minced asparagus stems. Layer on your leftover chili. At this point you might see that there is no “right” way to be layering all this noise, so be creative! I tossed the asparagus tops in the chili pan dregs with a little Taco Bell® seasoning and mixed them with more well-crushed Fritos®. On top of that I layered 3/4 c cheddar cheese and topped with more Fritos® and some fresh cilantro. Cook the covered dish for 15-20m in an oven preheated to 400° and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

This might’ve gotten more spoons were the Fritos® not chewy upon reveal, as that is not a texture I anticipated or enjoy as garbled surprise in my end result. Whatever led me to believe in the magical crunch-retaining power of anything roasted under a foil cover? 3 spoons anyway.

Leftover Lunch (& More Oven-Fried Broccoli)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover Basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

I’m making more oven-fried broccoli for lunch. It was, indeed, delicious enough to warrant an immediate do-over, but just broccoli makes for a lonely lunch. What to do?

Fluff up that cold half-pot of rice from the fridge. Put onion and jeera in a cold pan with your butter and crank it to M. Once the butter is melted, reduce heat to L and let sit for as long as you got — I’ll have had about an hour under my belt before I move to the next step:

Go ahead and have your seasonings mixed together in a dainty cup or some such nonsense. Turn the pan back up to M and begin mixing in rice with the seasoning blend. Fluff and stir until everything is warm, the serve under the much esteemed broccoli. Bazow! 5 spoons!

 

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.

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.