stew

Nothing fancy here, but I had never made stew with meat in it before so I want to keep track of what I used. (Almost twenty years of almost-vegetarianism will do that to you.) I think this has a lower meat:vegetable ratio than most, but I figure that if I can make stew with no meat, I can make stew with less meat than you're supposed to...whatever "supposed to" means, anyway.

5 stalks of celery (I think)
5 carrots
4 onions
1 turnip
8oz mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 lb stew beef
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
4 smallish potatoes

maybe 2 TBS thyme (dried)
maybe 2 TBS paprika
salt
pepper
1 bay leaf
some dried rosemary (less than 1 TBS)

I used an 11-quart stockpot, which had lots of extra space in it. Cut up and sauteed everything except tomato stuff, beef, garlic and potatoes for a bit, then added those and sauteed a bit more, then water. Cooked slowly for a long time...at least an hour, maybe more like two? The meat seems tender enough.

Poppyseed Bundt Cake

I haven't made this in years, but I have a photocopy of the recipe that I keep losing track of, so I'm putting it here. It is tasty and moist and makes me wish I had a bundt pan around. It's from The Pleasures of Your Food Processor by Norene Gilletz. You could probably make it with a mixer instead (mixers are better than food processors for making cake anyhow). I could probably make it with a mixer instead, too. Hmm, I should get a bundt pan.

1/2 c. poppyseeds
1 c. buttermilk or sour milk (I've used 1 c. soy milk + 1 TBS vinegar or lemon juice)
1 c. butter or margarine, cut in chunks (I've only used margarine because I've always made it dairy-free in the past)
1.5 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Soak poppyseeds in milk for at least 1/2 an hour.

Using the food processor's steel knife, process butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla for 2 minutes. Remove cover and add poppyseed/milk mixture to batter. Process for 3-4 seconds to blend. Add dry ingredients and process with 5-6 on/off turns. Mix through with a rubber spatula if batter is not completely blended.

Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan (Bakers Joy flour spray is awesome for this). Bake @ 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until cake tests done. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

NOTE 1 - baked this in an oven at almost exactly 325 (thanks to my oven thermometer--a new thing for me) and it seemed done-but-moist at 45 minutes--toothpick was clean.) It was fine, and probably wouldn't have seemed unpleasantly underdone if I'd pulled it out at 40 or 42 minutes.

kale-cranberry barley salad

This is a copy of something I've seen (but not eaten) in the Whole Foods salad bar. I went for a higher ratio of kale to barley, and I made sure not to overcook my kale (theirs looks pale sometimes.)

1-1.5 c pearled barley
1 bunch kale (lacinato)
1-2 onions
balsamic vinegar
4 oz dried cranberries
olive oil
lemon
salt
pepper


Cook some pearled barley: I used between 1 and 1.5 cups of dry barley. Cook in 3x as much water: boil water in pot, add in barley, return to boil, cover and turn down to simmer. Official instructions I've read said 45 minutes' cooking time, but I let it go only about 30ish, and then turned off the flame and let it absorb some more water. There was still water left in the pot, but I figure that helped keep the grains separate and non-mushy.

Saute/almost-sort-of begin to caramelize an onion (I used 1 medium, I'd use two if I'd had more) that's been sliced thin - I did thing onion rings and then sliced into 2-3 cm long pieces. Remove onion to bowl.

Add slight bit oil in pot, add 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale which has been washed, stems removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces. Cook lightly, possibly add a bit of water and cover it. Really just go slightly beyond wilting it.

Add to that bowl with the sauteed onions: about 2 TBS balsamic vinegar (or more), 1 TBS olive oil, some salt, some pepper, some lemon juice (1/4 of a lemon?) Now add in kale, warm barley, and about 4 oz of dried sweetened cranberries. Stir, adjust spices. Consider adding a little white sugar if it needs it. Good cold.

African Chickpea Stew

I made this recently with my aunt. Recipe archived from here. We used just a fork to mix it, added some tapatio for a kick, and served it over quinoa. It's amazing how sweet it is. It almost tastes like it has added sugar.

Ingredients
1 can chick peas
1 1/2 lbs uncooked sweet potato diced
1 can diced tomatoes (low sodium or no salt added)(I used a 14-16 oz can, or 28oz for a doubled recipe.)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup carrots, sliced
Spice paste (recipe below)
Spice Paste Ingredients
4 8 cloves garlic (always increase teh garlic!)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Spice Paste Directions
Blend all spice paste ingredients in a blender or mini food processor until a thick paste forms.
Add water one teaspoon at a time if necessary.
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large skillet and simmer until vegetables are tender.
Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

this was edible*

EDIT:  Over a year later, I need to go back and give myself credit for this. It's a reliably tasty dish that I make often.

[*oh how the standards for this blog have fallen!]

Cook about 3 cups (dry) red lentils until soft. A 2 qt pot is not quite big enough for this.

In separate pot, saute 1.5 onions, chopped, maybe until they start to get brownish, then add a bunch of curry powder, some cumin, some chili powder, some berbere (I think it actually needs the berbere, even though I only used it the first time because I ran out of curry powder), some garam masala, some salt. If you have not randomly begun cooking at 8:30 pm with whatever you have in the house, you might wish to buy some fresh ginger and mince it and throw that in. Cook some more. Dump in 28 oz pureed tomatoes (or a can of whole peeled tomatoes with basil, whirred in the blender. See above re randomly cooking with what's on hand) and 3 cloves of garlic, chopped. Cook for a bit.

Dump lentils into the curry mixture. Add a can of coconut milk. (Coconut milk covers a multitude of sins.) Adjust seasonings. Heat through and eat. Becomes more awesome if you put a few spoonfuls of yogurt into it.