Tag Archives: tomato

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.

Mindbending ‘Mater Meat

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c blanched/diced tomatoes
  • 3 c cooked ziti
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 m Vidalia onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

So the store had a sale on tomatoes. And I bought eighteen of them. Don’t you judge me. As I’ve recently been on a blanching binge, this seemed no hard choice — it ended up being, however, a long and messy process to blanch, peel and dice that many tomatoes at once without much counter space. I ended up putting six cups of freshly blanched and diced tomatoes in the freezer, which made me feel very handy and thrifty. The other 3.5 c of diced ‘mater meat from this debacle was set aside.

Slice your onion and garlic as thinly as possible while the ghee melts on ML. Add oil and put in onion and garlic slices when ghee melts. Let everything simmer on ML for a minute, then increase heat to M and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7m. Stir vinegar into pot contents and reduce heat to ML; leave the pot’s side for 10m. When you return, stir in turmeric and red hot chili powder then add tomatoes and salt. Turn heat up to M and stir until it comes to a boil. Then walk away and return in a series of quick cycles every few minutes for the next hour. If after an hour the sauce is not yet at a consistency you like, reduce heat to ML and continue to slow boil until you get there. Be forewarned that this is a 2 person serving, so feel free to do the math on those ingredients to feed a larger crew. Serve mixed with the pasta of your choice and topped with Parmesan cheese. While delicious, this dish shows that my mind was more on ‘mater meat than on other seasonings I could’ve added — I recommend adding basil and/or oregano and/or anything else you might find in an Italian Seasoning blend from the store to try and grab that 5 spoon potential. 4 spoons!

A Chard Day’s Night

In my pantry today:

  • 6 leaves rainbow chard, stems removed
  • adversity-busting cheese filling*
  • essentially from scratch tomato sauce*
  • 2 c cooked gluten-free pasta shells

I am still trying to reconstitute my internal routine/schedule after a day in the ER last week; apparently on the comprehensive wine list of mismatched symptoms held by MS, nerves at the bottom of your brain stem can misfire and make you think your innards have been set ablaze by Pol Pot himself. You’ll only be able to suspect Pot, however, because your eyeballs will be spasming too hard to see his face. Oh, the delights of an invisible illness! But I digress. It felt wonderful to get back into the kitchen today even if what came out was a nonsensical mess.

The rest of the CSA stock from this past week needs clearing out and I had some open boxes of lasagna noodles in the cupboard… so I gleefully set about making a version inspired by Om Nomalicious’s Spinach Lasagna Rolls. It was going to be so much fun! Oh, except I didn’t check the lasagna boxes until after making the filling and sauce. Those noodles were so very broken; my heart too became as such upon their viewing.

But I had all these big leaves of chard uncut in the drainer behind me. They were big. And in need of justification through consumption. Just like this delicious cheese filling and that from-(mostly)-scratch tomato sauce.

Adversity-Busting  Cheese Filling*:

  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

This was made with all the joy of one who believes they are making lasagna. Mince your garlic and cook on ML in 1 tsp of olive oil for 10-15m. Add thyme and oregano shortly before removing it from heat and adding it to a bowl with all of your other ingredients. Set aside via refrigeration.

Essentially from scratch tomato sauce*:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced chunky
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder

Cook your onions and garlic on L-ML for 20-30m before adding thyme and oregano. Mix everything, then fold in your now-diced tomatoes. Let that come to a boil then splash in your red wine and let it return on M to a slow bubbling place. Add the can of tomatoes, turmeric and hot red chili powder; mix and let return to a gentle boil until as much of the soupiness mists off as you’d like. I gave mine about 20 minutes before being too impatient to let it thicken further.

And about right here is where I turn this from a delicious, first-class meal into a terrible abomination of textures. Everything up until now is stellar… but when layered using raw chard leaves in place of lasagna noodles, this dish crashes and burns. I imagine it was fun enough to play scientist about all this… and it did still have a delicious flavor. Not gon’ lie, I ate two servings. But because I could not look it in the eye while eating it this only gets 2 spoons. Shame! [EDIT: I hear it deserves more than 2 spoons]

Freshmaker for Two (or, “Not Every Salad Deserves a Post, but…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 c chopped fresh arugula
  • 1 c “zesty mix” microgreens
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • 2 tbsp Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese
  • 1/4 c homemade vinaigrette

Summer is near-upon us. I make a lot of salads in the summer. Now I will need to make a lot of salads with consciously varied creative interest for any and all who might Stumbleupon my blog. It seems like it would be hard to not get tired of salads, no? Right now I’ve got the CSA on my side with different weekly deliveries of glorious salad (and other!) potential. I am going to use it to my advantage tonight; it’s been a long day wherein I had to pay someone to tell me that I drank too much coffee. Instead of spending time in my kitchen I sat in waiting rooms without coffee. To be told that I drank too much coffee.

It’s true, it’s true; I just can’t believe I had to give what I saved yesterday on not needing new brakes instead to an Urgent Care. Who’s got two thumbs, one stomach fire and no health insurance? This dumb girl.

Seeing as how my afternoon was wasted, both in time and amount of coffee consumed, dinner had to be something easy… and salads, well, are pretty handy. If you do them right. If you don’t, you’ll be hungry an hour later and wishing you’d just ordered Chinese for the same payoff. The common misconception about salads is that they cannot be made a meal unless some manner of hot, delicious animal adorns their top. Not true. Just make sure you’re including ingredients that make up for the protein you might otherwise lack, and, hey guess what — vegetables have protein! There’ll be small quantities in the spinach and microgreens, a little more in the avocado and a good deal more in the feta and walnuts. There will be enough, via the combination of everything above, to make a hearty salad that rivals anything a “meat and three sides” plate could deliver. I always feel better about the choice I’d made for dinner after a good salad, and tonight’s was beyond the need for any exception: 4 spoons!

Sausage Curry (or, “No, Fergie’s Not Coming”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/3 c ground sausage
  • 1/2 c red Russian kale
  • 1 c arugula
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 c black eyed peas
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp hot curry powder

Start your sausage in a pan on ML and slowly increase the heat as it begins to cook; stab it with the spatula until the meat is as crumbly as you like. Drain all grease from the meat and set that crumbled goodness aside. Leave grease to cook your diced onion.

When the onion begins to blush translucence, add the kale and arugula and use it as a dishrag to sop up whatever grease is left. Toss in your tomato for good measure and sprinkle 1 tsp of garlic powder. Once everything is well acquainted, pour the mess into a food processor and puree until only tiny flecks of color remain. When you pause to scrape the sides of the processor add the rest of your seasonings. You will be rewarded with a fine rainbowish mush, so pour it all back into the pan and add the can of tomatoes. Stir in the beans and crumbled sausage, slowly adding the broth (I had vegetable on hand, but please feel free to use the juice of any animal or plant you like here). Let simmer on L for at least an hour, then serve over rice or with penne pasta or… well, you’ve probably got it from here, right? 4 spoons!

 

 

 

 

The White (Bean) Flag

In my pantry today:

This is how I am largely more comfortable cooking. Yeah, I admit to having a slight Flavor Boost™ problem but it feels so much more clean and respectable to go about things from MostlyScratch™ instead of sallying forth with a billionty gravy packets; that feels like the “Poor Man’s Comedy” version of cooking. And nobody wants a fart joke in the kitchen.

Now there’s a little more oil in this than I’d normally see fit to use, but I really wanted to stretch the giant tomato’s hard-cook time to its limits before adding extra liquid. Start your diced onion and mustard seeds out on MH and let the pan get them to chattin you up, then add the diced tomato. Add your garlic paste and other seasonings as you stir and smash the tomatoes down. After 6m or so of this, sprinkle on and stir in your spinach; continue on MH with a vigilant spatula until things begin to stick. Add almond milk in slowly and fold in your beans with great care. Serve over Basmati rice. 4 spoons and a cleaner conscience!

I hate to admit it, as I enjoy the flavors of animal flesh, but eating it several days in a row is a great reminder to my body how badly it aggravates a lot of my symptoms; that is the opposite of where I want to go. Meat is good in small doses, but I need to remember to treat it as a luxury choice in my diet and not as an edible given. Moo.

Chappli Kale-bab

In my pantry today:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 c soaked matpe beans
  • 1 package Shan® Spice Mix for Chappli Kabab
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 medium slicing tomato
  • 5 slices of crystallized ginger
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemonaise®
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 c safflower oil

Boil your soaked beans for thirty to forty-five minutes. While that’s going on, chop onion into large chunks and throw into food processor; blend until paste-like. Then unload the dishwasher or something. Be patient, the beans will thank your digestive system later. Once soft enough to chew without making a face, drain the matpe and add it to the food processor.

Not burned, just made of black beans and shadows.

Add the spice mix, sesame oil and asafoetida and let it process itself for a minute or two. It should be a nice paste-like consistency. Put it in the fridge while you do this next here thing:

Wash your kale and begin stripping the veins. Tear or cut leaves into bite-size pieces and put in a large bowl. Mix Lemonaise™ with oil and vinegar then massage dressing into kale. Let sit for 15 minutes while you get back to this:

Take food processor bowl out of fridge and begin making nuggets. Your oil should be warming in a deep sauce pan on M-MH, for when it reaches sizzle-upon-tossed-droplet-of-water status, it is time to fry your balls. Flatten each ball slightly as you put it in the pan; after about 60 seconds, flip one to see its color. Once a satisfactory dark amber brown is reached on both sides, remove them from the pan onto a paper towel for a couple minutes of draining.

Arrange kale and sliced tomato on two plates, sprinkling each dish with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Top with your fried, protein-and-fiber-rich goodness. It will be spicy, and in fact was spicier than I anticipated. But in a good way. And I am proud that, egg notwithstanding for some, this is an entirely vegetarian meal. I am dutifully trying to add more kale into the culinary repertoire; right now I am trying to follow The Wahls Diet as closely as finances allow, and kale is an easy sell both for its price and nutritional value.

Now I am going to go collect that poster-child paycheck from the Kale Commission. ‘Night!