Tag Archives: vegetable ghee

Daliciousness

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c moong dal
  • 3 medium-large red potatoes
  • 2 leaves of kale, minced
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

What’s a great animal-free meat substitute when there’s no tofu and no beans have been soaked? Dal! Moong dal can be cooked in 10m at a boil, so when the mood for a comfort-style meal hits too late to arrange a primary protein, these little orange beads can wink their collective eye. Or maybe not, because if they could wink then they would be coming from some kind of animal and I’m really trying here, guys.

Start the big deep-bottomed frying pan out on cold M with ghee, and when at full M (with the ghee having dissolved into tears at the hellfire below it) toss in the chunks of onion. Stir for just a moment, then add your thinly-sliced chunks of potato. Put in the garlic paste and stir until everything is coated. Add the almond milk, stir then sprinkle kale on top and cover. Let it come to a boil for about 5m, then return to add seasonings and grieve for that blisteringly gorgeous green on the kale that won’t last until chewing. Stir, then add the vegetable broth. Cover and let return to a boil on MH. Go take a load off.

It’s important to note that I cooked my moong dal beforehand, but they could probably be put in the big pan at this point. Oh well. I just added them after the potatoes were soft, and no flavor factors seemed tested. In fact, the ultimate judging of this dish was no test a-tall: 4 spoons.

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Not Yo Mama’s Ramen [5 Spoons!]

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package extra firm, pre-cubed tofu
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 1/3 package Hakubaku ramen
  • 1/4 c dumpling sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 c water
  • 1 cube vegetable boullion
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

(blurred only by the steam of deliciousness)

This meal requires a full day and night of preparation, so plan accordingly and make sure your Big Girl Britches are on. The early afternoon before, drain your tofu and instead place it to soak in your own marinade overnight. Put your dumpling sauce, vinegar, garlic paste and 1 tbsp of soy sauce together and pour over the tofu and let set in an airtight container until the morrow. Take special care to occasionally rotate the container at intervals to fully soak each cube.

The next day, you can go ahead and slice your cabbage while the mustard seeds warm in ghee on M. Add cabbage when the mustard seeds begin to pop and stir to coat thoroughly. Stir fry the cabbage for about two minutes, adding 2 tsp – 1 tbsp of soy sauce, turmeric and asafoetida. Add .5 c  water, cover and turn the burner to L. Cabbage should be wilted and tender, not sloppy country-kitchen style. Unless you’d really like that or have no teeth.

Start safflower oil out on M, then turn to MH. When hot, add your drained tofu cubes and begin frying with impunity. This took longer to do than I thought it might, so when they’re beginning to show signs of crispy edges, do this:

Mix vegetable boullion and remainder of the tofu marinade with 2 c water and bring to a boil. Put in ramen.

Move back to your tofu pan and keep the spatula twirling. Squirt in about 2 tsp of soy sauce and stir vigorously to coat. When they begin to share the same medium shade of brown, remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towels while you prepare the bowls. Put some ramen and a little broth in the bottom of your bowl. Top with cabbage, then top the cabbage with tofu.

I have never fried tofu — in fact, this is only my second time cooking with tofu at all. I certainly did not quite expect its ensuing deliciousness! This got to be one of those rare dinners where I enjoyed everything on my plate instead of acting my own critic. Plus I was rather proud of myself for ensuring the tofu did not become part of an incongruous meal where animal products were also involved. To be fair to the ‘fu ‘n all. I am very obviously not a vegetarian simply an admirer of its health benefits — as someone who just months ago was nearly bed-bound I absolutely cannot refute the differences it makes to eliminate a lot of those quintessentially American food choices.

Of course, a 5 spoon meal is reason to dancey-dance all its own.


Taters and Lentils and Spinach, Oh My!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c dry lentils
  • 4 medium red potatoes in .25″ cubes
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2 c fresh spinach
  • 1 carrot
  • 1.5 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Chop your onion into medium-smallish chunks and finely dice your garlic; add it to a large-n-deep saucepan that’s heating to M with a welcoming layer of melting ghee. Let that cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10m then add potato and toss to coat. After 5-8 more minutes, add your chunky slices of carrot and continue tossing for 2 or 3 more minutes. Add lentils (which you have soaked and drained) and vegetable broth, stir. Add spices, stir. Bring it all to a boil and let it continue to do so, covered, on M for 10M. Uncover and fold in spinach, then once everything can properly rejoice in moisture cover and reduce heat to L. Walk away for at least an hour, then after that it’s all up to you how thick and/or mushy your comfort level is.


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.

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!

Drrrty Rice

In my pantry today:

  • 2 Hot Italian Sausages
  • Can-o-beans (red)
  • Yellow onion
  • Clove of garlic
  • Vegetable ghee
  • Basmati Rice
  • 1tbsp chicken broth
  • Cayenne pepper

So. Dice half a large yellow onion and 2/3 clove of garlic up real fine and let them simmer in 1tsp of ghee on medium for about ten minutes. During this lost time between you and the stove-top, go ahead and get your rice soaking, rinse your can-o-beans and remove the skin from your two uncooked sausages. Then smoosh the contents into the pan. Cook for what seems like forever until the sausages are well cooked-n-crumbled. Add the beans and stir until coated, at which point you wanna toss in that tbsp of broth and cover. Turn the heat off and let it sit until your rice is ready (you did remember to actually cook that, right?). Once the rice has cooked and cooled a moment in the uncovered air, fluff it gently and stir in your delicious frying pan contents. Mix it up, study your cajun accent (or just go ahead and be an offensive stereotype about it. In fact, just go whole hog and marry Italian and Cajun dialects on this one.) and enjoy! 

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.

3 sausages, 2 meals

In my pantry today:

  • Pack of 5 hot Italian sausages
  • Vegetable ghee
  • The ass-end of a box of mini penne
  • Some pre-cubed raw butternut squash
  • Head of cabbage
  • Parmasean-Romano cheese
  • 1 packet of Au Jus mix
  • Up to 2C tap water
  • Garlic paste

I put 3 of 5 Italian sausages of the new pack into a pot on M then put the other two in a freezer bag for storage and later use. I browned them on medium heat until they were just firm enough to slice. Take ’em out of the pot and put in a diced head of cabbage with 2tbsp vegetable ghee (or just straight up butter, let’s be honest about who has ghee in the cupboard) and 1tbsp garlic paste. Stir cabbage until coated with ghee and sausage scrapings. Slice the wieners and thrown ’em back in the pot. Stir a little more.  Pour in 1c or so water, turn the heat up to MH, cover and walk away for fifteen minutes.

Upon stoveside return, open up the cabbage pot and remove all slices of sausage. Set aside. Add packet of Au Just mix to 1/4c. water, whisk and add to the cabbage. Stir well, cover and turn heat to L. Leave cabbage for tomorrow’s dinner.

Put the sliced sausage in your food processor or blender. Pulse it until it’s crumblicious. Mix sausage with your squash, 1/2c. parmasean cheese, 1tsp garlic paste. Once you reach the foregone juxtaposition of “uniformly mixed,” place covered casserole dish in a preheated to 400° oven for one hour. Serve with penne and a dash of Parmasean on top.