Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Seasonal Dyslexia - Pumpkin Soup with maple bacon

Dude, I'm all backwards.  Wasn't I supposed to be soup obsessed when the weather warranted it?  It IS snowing in some places, so that's an excuse I can live with for today.

Pumpkin Soup=Pumpkin, veg broth, smoked paprika, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweetener, black pepper.

"Bacon"=Soy curls, water for soaking, tamari, maple syrup, vegetable oil

I didn't measure anything.  I whipped out my smallest saucepan and filled it up, then sauteed the soy curls in a small skillet.  

My appetite sucks right now, so this is the most substantial thing I've had in my belly in a couple of days, and man was it good.  Screw Spring.  Gimme more winter so I can justify eating this kind of stuff.

Yes, Dad.  I know hot sauce is allegedly bad for my "condition".  At least it isn't heroin...or...yeah, it is. Nevermind.  Send me to hot sauce rehab, if you must.

Speaking of my condition....


Monday, March 16, 2015

White Bean & Cabbage Miso-Pickle Soup - Just 'cause it's 65, doesn't mean it's not soup time

Ah, soup.  I'm more of a forker, but I can appreciate a meal the requires a spoon to eat.  Like chocolate pudding.  Or soup!  Winter is mostly over, but that doesn't mean I can't use soup as an excuse to eat the brine from the pickle jar.  I am a serious pickle junkie.  The finished soup has just a hint of pickle flavor, but a ton of umami from the white miso.

I blended half of the soup with the miso at the end to make the finished soup a little creamier, but that is completely optional.

White Bean & Cabbage Miso-Pickle Soup
serves 3-6


1T oil of choice, or butter of choice
1/2t dill
1/4t tarragon
1/4t turmeric
black pepper to taste

1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups shredded cabbage
1 can white beans (1 1/2C beans) drained and rinsed
1/4C pickle juice
4C filtered water

2T mellow white miso paste

Make it:
1. Heat oil in your soup pot over medium flame/heat.  Add spices and stir until they release their good smellies, or about a minute.  To make oil free, skip this step and add spices with the vegetables in a little bit of water as they sautee.
2. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Dump in the beans, pickle juice, and water.  Stir well, cover, and reduce heat to medium low.  Allow soup to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  I walked away for two hours, like I do.
5. If your miso paste is thick, thin with a bit of water.  Turn off the heat, and stir in miso.  Puree half or completely with an immersion blender, or leave as is.  Allow soup to sit covered for about 15 minutes before serving.
6. Serve with a drizzle of avocado oil, or your favorite finishing oil.  Optional, but highly recommended.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Google's misguided child: Breaking bread

It was 2:30am.  My stomach would not let me sleep!  It was rumbling, burning, jumping, skipping, and doing backflips.  Generally being a real d-bag of an f-bag.

You see, shit happens to me, and then I'm told I have to follow x diet until they can confirm or deny that I actually need surgery.  So I'm chugging along on a very low residue diet, with an emphasis on shakes.  God help me or put me out of my misery.  Cool thing about low residue?  Most processed food fits squarely in that category.  The issue here is allowing my car to be buried by 10 inches of snow and ice, there isn't any processed food within three miles of my house.

Maybe later today I'll get myself a big bag of kettle chips and some mystery dip and pretend I don't feel most foul after eating the junk I'm allowed to eat.  Bad food>no food.

My damn stomach.  I was so hungry, I started deliriously fantasizing about all kinds of stuff I haven't thought about in what I consider to be forever (more than a year?  For a cricket who has an average life span of 8 weeks, that's way longer than forever).  I saw burritos, onions rings, and hot dogs.  Hot dogs!  I made a kickass seitan hot dog a few years ago that tasted exactly like those infamous oscar mayer hot dogs.  I consulted with google.  After clicking a dozen links, I decided making seitan at 3am is entirely too much work.

So what else makes a hot dog a hot dog?  It's not just about the mystery meat.  It's the bun and the toppings.  I have mustard, ketchup, and relish in the refrigerator so I just needed to figure out how to make bread in less than the normal half day's worth of time.

Paging Mr. Google! "beer bread in the microwave"

*bleep bloop bloop bleep*

And there I found it, multiple hits on how to make bread in 10 minutes FLAT.  YES!  I mixed it up, nuked it, and gathered my condiments in anticipation.  I couldn't get the relish open because it was all sticky and most likely rusted shut, so into the trash it went.  That's okay though, I still have mustard and ketchup!

After the nukemaster chimed, I inverted the wheaty blob onto the counter.  It was at this point I realized you get what you pay for.  This shit was cheaper than free.  The edges were rock hard, the bottom was slimy and gummy, but did that stop me?  Hell no.  I picked around all of the funky parts and came up with one decent section of sad, almost bread.  I tasted the crumb and the flavor was actually nothing to sulk about.

Spongebob, is that you?
I went with it.

I carved myself a bun and squirted on a little M & K.  I took a bite and my taste buds were donkey punched by a flavor that didn't belong.  Trash bag?  What the hell?  The bread itself tasted okay.  I inspected the mustard and noticed that it had expired in January of 2012.  Jeeeeeesh.  Into the trash THAT went.  It's a shame, because that was some well-traveled mustard.

Light as a feather, stiff as a board (I couldn't even cut through it)
I wanted a hot dog, and ended up eating a ketchup sandwich.  Good enough for me!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The tale of two squash (failing at food prep)

I used to be so good about buying and prepping my produce for the week, but my how the times have changed.  I have winter squash left from Christmas that I haven't cracked open yet, and about 6 pounds of collard greens that need to be cleaned, chopped, and frozen.  Then there's the asparagus that probably needed to be taken care of two days ago, and so much zucchini, and...you get the idea.  Grocery shopping literally sucks what's left of my life right out of me.  The food sits and rots.  I'm so wasteful, it disturbs me.


Or, that was the plan.  I decided to start with the squash, since they have seniority and are most likely sprouting on the inside.  Rather than trying to peel, and dice them first, I threw them into the oven whole (after multiple stabbings).  I had intended to leave them in for an hour, but pancakes happened and I completely forgot about the squash until two hours later.  Unbeknownst to me earlier, today is pancake day, so the puppet masters of the universe must have had their way with me because I haven't had or even remotely craved pancakes in quite a while.

Mr. Butternut and Mrs. Buttercup were both gooey on the outside and
shriveled.  I left them in the oven to cool enough to handle, but frickin' forgot to take them out.  It's 8 hours later, and I just stuffed the entire baking sheet into the refrigerator with both shriveled squash completely untouched.  I'm hoping the kitchen pixies make some quick work of skinning and seeding them so I don't have to.

All of this lead me to the conclusion that my "screw doctors" approach to disease management isn't working.  Doing this simple crap should not feel as exhausting as pushing loose water up a hill.