Tag Archives: salt

TNP, vol. IV(egan) – Pumpkin Stew

  • 1 c mashed pumpkin, chunky
  • 1 can lentil soup
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 L kale leaves or 1/2 c blanched/squeezed
  • 1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 M onion, diced
  • 1 S-M jalapeno, diced (with seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

pumpkin-lentil-stewI know what you’re thinking — “you have an 11lb pumpkin’s worth of pumpkin and all you can do is puss out with soups?” And for that I’ve got three responses:

  1. A stew is an entirely different animal than a soup. Well, not entirely. It’s just much more about the solids than the liquid.
  2. I also made pumpkin oatmeal, which is a good step above soup.
  3. Be gentle; this is my first pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 425. Start your garlic and onions on ML in the coconut and 3 tbsp olive oil. While they become friends go ahead and blanch your kale and ready those cherry tomatoes (I wasn’t planning on using them but by Thor’s Hammer I was not about to let them get a day wrinklier on the counter). Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 tsp olive oil and place in a baking pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and put in the oven for 20m, or until their skins begin to split.

While those roast, go back to the pan and turn heat to M. When hot, add spices and jalapeno and stir for no longer than 1 minute. Add pumpkin; mix. Add lentil soup and kale, mix gently until hot. When done add the tomatoes to the pot and serve. I did a pretty good job covering up that inside-of-an-aluminum-can taste that no soup on a grocery store shelf can hide… even with a little processed food in its foundation, this stew gets 5 spoons! The chunky pumpkin is an excellent stand-in for the potatoes usually found in this recipe and the cherry tomatoes provide an unexpectedly flavorful bite. Make sure, however, to look for a low-sodium can of soup to offset that sea salt.

There is still 1/2 c puree in the fridge, and a quart of cubes in the freezer… something else will have to be made. I will continue to sally forth, roughly handling gourds wherever I go.

Advertisements

Asparagus: Worth the Funny Pee Smell!

In my pantry today:

  • 3/4 c cooked Central American white beans
  • 2 c cooked Kashi® multigrain pilaf
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dumpling sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp salt

So my experience with leeks do not include saving or cooking the top green sprouts. I changed all that today. Start your sliced leek and diced garlic cloves out in a cold pan of ghee and 2 tsp safflower oil on M. Add mustard seeds and let it all festively fester until the leeks are translucent and the edges of the garlic pieces begin to turn a golden color. Turn heat to L, cover and turn back to your cutting board.

Cut just the tips of your asparagus stalks off for this. With the leftover stalks, remove the tough ends and reserve in a plastic bag for the next smoothie experiment you’ll have. Return pan to MH and add 1 tsp additional safflower oil. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle add your asparagus tips and toss to coat. Add water then spray with lemon juice from one of those plastic fruit-shaped squeeze bottles you find on wayward racks in the produce section and cover. Let it steam for about thirty seconds then uncover, remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner. Add cooked white beans, asafoetida, a touch more lemon and your dumpling sauce; coat. Add Kashi® multigrain pilaf and repeat the tossing to coat thing. Cover and return to cooling burner for a few minutes of togetherness before you decimate it with your mouth. 4 of 5 spoons.

Black Eyes in Butternut Cashew Sauce

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c finely cubed butternut squash
  • 2 c cooked black eyed peas
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 2.5 c water
  • 2 packets Swanson Flavor Thingys (Vegetable)
  • 2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dice your onion and garlic as chunky or fine as you see fit and start them in cold pan of safflower oil; turn your stove-knob to M. While that’s warming, finish tidying your counter and pulsing your cashew butter to the creamiest possible consistency. Take 1/4 c out of the food processor or whatever jar you may have and add 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder. Set aside. Return to your pan and stir contents; after about seven minutes of sizzling add squash and toss everything so that your tiny orange cubes gleam with flavor. Let that sizzle some more while you empty those flavor packet thingies into 1.5 c  water. Stir in seasonings, add it to pan and cover. Let cook until squash is tender.

Once everything is at an affable consistency in the pan, push contents to one side and add your cashew butter. Stir in 1/2 c water and once it’s all of a mostly liquid consistency, push the squash back into it and fold everything together. Add the salt to make up for the second flavor packet thingy you’d like to add but didn’t for the sodium content. Finally, gently fold in your lonely beans and let everything sit together for a few minutes. Serve over rice and/or with naan.

Bacon Black Bean Blitzkrieg! (Now With Spoons!)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c cooked black beans
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, skinned
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

First thing’s first: Cut your three slices of bacon in half and start them off in a cold pan warming to MH. While that’s happening, crush your garlic cloves into chunks, and when the bacon is sizzling and ready for its first fork-flip add the garlic to the pan. I recommend, from learning the hard way, not to scatter it all around the pan. Keep the garlic isolated for easy removal in a few minutes when it becomes golden brown and crispy around the edges. Set aside for later garnishing.

Once the bacon begins to brown, cut it (either in the pan or taken out for a quick second) into inch long pieces and let finish browning until you are satisfied with the color (everyone’s got a different bacon barometer here). I let it cook until about 70% crispy. Drain out 1/4 c of the grease and reserve for future cookings. Add the black beans and pepper and gently toss until everything becomes one. Add water, salt and asafoetida then cover upon slow boil and reduce heat to ML. Let cook until more paste-like than water, then serve over rice with a fried garlic garnish.

With this recipe I am going to begin rating the success and deliciousness of each recipe I post from here on out using spoons. I give this eatsperiment 4 of 5 spoons. Spoons, you see, in an homage to Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory. It has become so much more widely known than it was when I discovered it a few years ago. I was desperate to find a way to explain my invisible limitations to others, and this story gave me, and countless others of all chronic illnesses, that ability. Imagine me now endcapping this article with a Braveheart-style spoon-thrust into the air.

 

And also because spoons, y’know, are in your kitchen ‘n junk.

Garleeky Black Beans

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked black beans
  • 1 leek
  • 2/3 head fresh garlic
  • 1/3 c safflower oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c water
  • 1 packet of Vegetable Broth concentrate (or a bullion cube)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Basmati rice

First, thinly slice the bulb off your leek and crush/mince your garlic. Add to safflower oil and turn heat to M. Let them cook together in a deep frying pan for 10m. Add your tomatoes in fist-fulls, squeezing each fist ‘o ‘maters ever so gently over their bowl to weed out extraneous tomato snot. Fold the tomatoes into the garleek mixture, pressing them down with a spatula after they’re completely coated with oil. The stove should remain on M so that everything in the pan is in a constant state of agitation.

Add your spices — put in the turmeric first just to enjoy the bright and cheery color change your dish will have for just a moment. Then add your packet of omavegetable bullion and c of water. Stir with emphasis on flattening your tomatoes, for when the beans come into the picture there will be no more fruit-smashing. And when you feel you have smashed enough, fold in the beans and stir. Let it all boil down together into a slightly less watery nonsense, then reduce heat to L with a lid and let it ruminate for an hour. Serve serve over rice.

Comfort Cabbage

In my pantry today:

  • 1 small head of red cabbage
  • 1/2 Hillshire Farms Hot Polska Kielbasa
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 c water
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 c dry penne pasta
  • Parmasean cheese to taste

Start out, as usual, with that large stockpot. Thinly slice your kielbasa and put each slice face-down in the pot as it heats to M. Just let them slices be for about 10 minutes while you prep your other ingredients; coarsely dice your onion and put that tablespoon of salt in your water and set it aside. Once the sausage slices begin to brown, remove them from the pot. Replace with the onion and butter and let that cook for a few minutes while you dice (also coarsely) your head of cabbage. Mix it into the pot, coating all the purple with a sheen of black pepper and garlic. Pour in saltwater, cover and reduce heat to ML. Let the cabbage cook until it is of a reasonable wilt for your palette while in the meantime preparing your pasta. Drain at al dente and set aside with the sausage. Fifteen or so minutes before serving add sausage and al dente pasta. Stir and let heat together, serve with Parmasean cheese.

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.

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.

Thank You, Bacon Grease

In my pantry today:

  • 2 tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • 4c cooked, sliced/cubed sweet potato
  • 4c cooked lima beans
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • .5 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • Basmati rice

Your dinner will owe its life to that reserved bacon grease.

So start out with a great idea. I imagined a delightful meal of various colors and textures; not another pot of mush, y’know? Start your sliced leek out in the bacon grease at M. Realize that not only are your sweet potatoes overcooked, but holy crapballs so are the shouldn’t-be-at-a-rolling-boil lima beans. This is why — one reason of I am certain many — not to self-engineer a double boiler while something is cooking under the melting chocolate. Sigh and mix the beans into the pan.

Carefully fold in the sweet potatoes. Add garlic and salt. Let it continue cooking on L for a solid 20m. In that time, embrace the mush as just as valid as the more solid form you had originally envisaged.

Take the lid off the pan. It will be a solid block of fuck-I-can’t-throw-away-this-much-food. Add chicken broth. Make it a sauce for the rice — some of the lima beans are still visible in their whole form, and it is rife with flavor. Pretend you meant to do that and enjoy its deliciousness over rice. For it is delicious. Just unintentionally ugly.

10 out of 10

In my pantry today:

  • 1 XL sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 box plain couscous

So like most people with families, I’ve been doing other, holiday-related business all damn day. When I walked blindly into the kitchen I automatically pulled something from that “we gonna go bad if’n you don’t cook us” list. Whenever sans plan, default to the produce drawer. Cupboard, in this case. I pulled out the highest ranking “bout to go” item and set about tinkering. Tinkering… for success.

Julienne your sweet potato while the finely-sliced leek is sizzling on M. Once the edges of your leeks brown, throw in the potato and seasonings; toss until everything is real friendly together then add the broth. Turn the pan up to MH and once it begins boiling, cover and reduce heat to ML. After leaving it the hell alone for twenty minutes, return to remove and reserve both the potato and broth. Put your cashew butter in the pan and slowly add the liquid back in, stirring consistently until you’ve got the consistency of that gravy people sometimes eat on their morning biscuits. Gently fold the sweet potato back in. Serve over plain couscous. I had no idea cashew gravy could be so meaty-delicious. I give this impromptu dinner experiment a 10 out of 10 (on that 1-10 scale I’ve never actually implemented in any real or consistent way).