Since our enthusiasms for recipes change over time, I’ll do a little tracking of what’s been on the stove and in the oven around here. I figure it will be of interest to me to check back later and see what we were eating. Some readers might be interested as well. I’m always interested in what other people are eating! Feel free to comment or question.
A special note: Ricardo has Parkinson’s Disease and needs lots of fibre in his diet. We both have type 2 diabetes and so try to keep a good balance of types of foods, and we cook and eat without added salt.
Chili with Beef and Vegetables
1 lg onion, chopped
1 c. each chopped celery and carrots
1 chopped green pepper (or red, yellow, etc.)
2 lg cloves garlic, minced (or to taste – I usually double that)
1 small hot pepper, minced
1 T olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can tomatoes, whole or crushed, 28 oz/796 ml
2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed, 19oz/540 ml
2 T chili powder
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 to 1 c. red wine
Put olive oil in heated saucepan and, over medium heat, saute onions gently until they are soft. Then sprinkle in the chili powder and cumin; stir and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium high and add ground beef in little globs, stirring and breaking it up until all the meat loses colour. Now add garlic, celery, carrots, hot and sweet peppers, stirring and cooking for about 5 mins.
Add tomatoes, kidney beans, and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add wine, unless the chili is too soupy; if it is, leave the lid off and let it cook down a bit. Otherwise, simmer for another 10-15 minutes. (Because I’m at home full time, I’ll often simmer for another hour.)
Makes 6 servings
(Adapted from Ann Lindsay’s Lighthearted Everyday Cooking)
11-Bean Soup – Our favourite soup this month has been this one, packed with beans and lentils, with carrots, celery, and yams carrying the vegetable load. When we had it for the first time, it was bland and kind of boring (I improvised from a recipe at Epicurious), but I had made a huge pot, and I wasn’t going to throw it out. I packaged and froze as usual, in 2-person amounts, and for the first reheat I added red wine vinegar and smokey farmer sausage. That was pretty good, but next time I replaced the vinegar with a glug of good red wine and used half the amount of sausage. Perfect!
Slow-cooked cereal – Our regular morning cereal is a 1 to 1 mixture of flaked oats, rye, wheat, and barley, with small amounts of flaked buckwheat and kamut added. I add twice the amount of water, a sliced banana, handful of golden raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and cook for about 15 minutes. (It cooks while we say Morning Prayer. The timing works perfectly!) It’s delicious and doesn’t need sweetener. We’ve been eating this almost every morning since October of 2010.
Christmas Cookies – These are Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from epicurious.com. They have semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips, with white chocolate drizzled over the top. My drizzling didn’t turn out too well, but the cookies are delicious, tending to be crispy rather than chewy. The oatmeal and cranberries give nice texture variation. Very popular around here!
Supermarket Roast Chicken – or as the chefs say on the Food Network, Chicken Three Ways. – Picked up one of these the other day, $7.99. I think it’s a pretty good value for an already-prepared meal, one I don’t have to fuss over. And I actually stretch it out for three or four meals (for two people, mind). Here’s how it goes:
- First meal, slices of chicken breast for Ricardo, leg for me, accompanied by supermarket coleslaw and home-roasted yams.
- Second meal, slices of other half of breast warmed in sauce of sauteed mushrooms and half-fat mushroom soup, over brown rice, sauteed zucchini on the side, carrot salad.
- Third meal is lunch, chicken salad sandwiches made from most of the remaining chicken meat.
- If there’s enough left, set aside or freeze to use with the broth made from the carcass. Throw that carcass in the slow cooker along with a scrubbed but not peeled carrot roughly chopped, a celery stick or two cut into two or three pieces, an onion quartered, a bay leaf or two, and six whole peppercorns. Slow cook overnight for maximum flavour, then cool in the fridge and lift off any fat. You should have six or eight cups of really good broth; freeze some, and use some for delicious chicken noodle soup, using the last of the chicken meat. The broth will make a great base for future soups–it’s like gold, and is without the heavy serving of salt you get in even the reduced-salt broth commercially available.