Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 66- Shopping at Mom's

I suspect my mother thinks I'm out of food or starving to death, or something. I went over to visit (not a speedy activity, by any means...) and left with three bags full of food that had mostly been hers a few minutes before, and one bag of stuff that had (at some point in the past) traveled some distance with me.

It was quite the haul, too- some fresh chives and rosemary snipped from her garden, spices snaffled from her cupboard (including onion powder.. it comes in powder?!), and a whole bunch of veggies and some fruit she "just wasn't going to use in time". So I now have some wilting cilantro, lettuce, a (roasting now) eggplant, an onion, a tub of pickled ginger (I have no idea...), green beans, three cans of beans I left over there last time I flew in to visit, a couple huge oranges, a pint of (pre-cleaned) strawberries, and I don't remember what else.

I'm not totally sure how I'll manage to eat it all.

In an attempt to stop the mom-guilt food influx, I was planning to pull all my food out, photograph it, and post it here. But I discovered, when I went to take a picture of my dinner, that I'd forgotten (again) to charge my camera battery. So no pantry photos today. and none of the crazy mom-haul, either. I know, sad, right?

Ooh, and she sent me home with a half eaten jelly jar of green tomato chow-chow. Which is, I think, a southern recipe, so I'm just going to keep pretending that it doesn't include bacon, or hog back, or random other pig or chicken or cow part. Southern food seems to contain much of these things. And butter. I leaned this from the paula deen lady. And the piggly wiggly.

So I had some of the green tomato stuff (spicy and yum!) with the very last of the (cheating) tortilla chips from last week. Made a good appetizer while I helped roommate #1 figure out what was wrong with his hardware upgrade (it was a windows problem). Got him re-installed and updated, and only had to do about 2 hours of assorted hand-holding. I think he'll be able to do the next one 100% all by himself. yay!

So by then it was time to start thinking about dinner. Picked up some more soda (8 days on 5 2l bottles, I'm getting better), and got to work.

I made:
  1. green beans sauté'd with garlic
  2. black beans with caramelized onions and cilantro
  3. jerk seitan

Green Beans
  • handful of (whole) green beans per person
  • cloves of garlic to suit your tastes (I used 3)
  • oil
  • 1tsp salt (give or take)
Wash the beans and snap off the ends. Line them up and snap or cut them into about 1 inch lengths (2-3cm). Peel and chop the garlic. Heat oil in the pan- just enough to lightly coat the bottom. Add the garlic, beans, and salt, stirring or tossing to mix them up. cook on medium or medium high until the garlic starts to brown lightly, and the beans are just starting to cook.

Black Beans With Caramelized Onion and Cilantro
  • 1C black beans
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 1T (small handful, fits in a closed fist) fresh cilantro, washed
  • oil
  • salt
Cook the onions in the oil, with salt (to your taste, of course) until they begin to brown lightly and get sweet. You can do this the fancy slow way, or use a slightly higher temp, and just watch them really closely/ stir them a lot. Chop the cilantro, and add beans and cilantro to the onions, mixing and cooking over medium heat until the beans are warm. This should make 2 servings as a side. I added some lime juice too, after it was on the plate.

Jerk Seitan
  • 4-6oz seitan "log" sliced
  • 1tsp oil +extra for frying
  • 2tsp lime juice
  • 1/4-1tsp jerk seasoning (stole mine from mom, you can find it at Penzey's)
This didn't turn out as good as I thought it would. I think part of the problem was that "normal" meat would be raw when you added the seasoning, mine was mostly cooked. Would probably work better as a slow marinade for tofu.

Mix seitan, oil, lime juice together. sprinkle jerk seasoning over "meat, rubbing it it. Let it sit for a while. Fry in pan (probably could bake it too) until it browns. Pretty easy, huh?

So that was dinner. Breakfast was a cup of fried rice.

Mom sent me home with my (huge) recipe file, so I should probably write these down and put them in there. Just not right now. right now I need to move the roasted eggy plant to the fridge, and check on the "dahl" I'm faking in the slow cooker.

Note- When I say I used a teaspoon of salt, or a handful of salt, I don't mean iodized table salt. I use kosher salt for just about everything. it allows me to be a bit more lax in my measuring, it doesn't clump as much in the humidity, and it doesn't give food an "off" flavor. So if you're using table salt, cut the salt at least in half at first, if not to 1/4. I'm not *that much* of a salt fiend.


  1. glad to know someone else thinks iodized salt doesn't taste right

  2. Pickled ginger is usually best as a garnish - I'm not sure I'd cook with it. Maybe in an Asian themed salad . . . usually it gets served with fish, primarily sushi, so I'm not really sure how you could use it.

  3. I've only ever used the pickled ginger with sushi, so I'm not sure what I'll use it with now... maybe I can slide some nori into my budget somewhere... I certainly have veggies.

  4. With regular rice, zucchini, eggplant, carrot, avocado and soy sauce you could do a deconstructed veggie roll. As far as I know, sushi rice is expensive.

  5. I kind of like eating pickled ginger by itself, especially if my stomach is touchy.

    I think chow-chow is vegetarian; here's a sample recipe for it: http://southernfood.about.com/od/picklesrelishes/r/bl90718d.htm