January 2010


Ladies Home > Stacy's Cooking Journal

More Tabbouleh and Hummus!

This has become a habit. Every week when I go to the food store, I now always get the ingredients for tabbouleh and make it for lunch that or the following day. Regardless of how I treat the rest of the ingredients, using the food processor on the parsley makes a huge difference in my level of happiness.

Soon Dubu Jigae (Korean Spicy Tofu Stew)

I made a big pot of vegetarian soon dubu jigae, which is a spicy Korean tofu-based stew. Because it is usually made with seafood, I have to amp up some of the other flavors to make it tasty. To this end, I try to use fresh red Thai peppers rather than powder, a scoop of gochujang, plenty of garlic, and a mix of oyster and shiitake mushrooms. And what did I eat this with? You guessed it: sushi rice with nori.

Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

Yummy! Just another variation on a favorite theme: tomatoes + beans + Romano cheese. You know the deal! I first cooked the tomatoes down to a sauce before adding the rest of the ingredients. I threw in some chopped kale at the end. This made a big difference. Nice light and easy soup. Eat over rice or with crusty bread.

Miso Soup

I wanted something light and brothy, so miso soup came immediately to mind. I used the jar of miso paste I had in the fridge, which was about a million years old. However, according to the jar, you can keep it for an "unlimited time" in the fridge. Hmm. I'll go with that. I could have made this more elaborate, but as mentioned, I was really craving something simple and plain. So I just heated up the miso with water and tofu. I served with a side of rice and nori.

Mixed Roasted Veggies

I decided it might be a nice to have a huge batch of roasted veggies in the fridge that could then be used in various ways to make fast and delicious dinners. I loved this idea! Maybe I'll make it an official Ladies recipe. I made up a pan of cut eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, and onion. I made a separate pan of cut potatoes. I roasted each until done, about 40 minutes. I then used the veggies in the following ways:

  • ate as is.
  • cooked veggies and potatoes together in crushed tomatoes to make pisto, a dish I learned in Spain.
  • served the roasted potatoes as a side dish.
  • added red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar to the veggies and mashed a bit with a fork to make a spread. Hollowed out part of a ciabatta loaf and filled it with the mixture for a yummy sandwich. Especially good after marinating!

You could also toss with pasta or use to make Amanda's Israeli couscous recipe.

Rice and Beans

I made the traditional pot of rice and black beans. Nothing fancy. Then I pack a bottle of Frontera Hot Habanero salsa, a pack of grated cheese, and a large container of the rice and beans to bring to work. I just leave the ingredients in the fridge over there and heat up a portion for lunch every day. Easy, cheap, and tasty!

Hummus and Tabbouleh Spread

Rejoicing in the delicious feta Amanda brought me from NY, I resolved to make a refreshing lunch of tabbouleh and hummus. Using the food processor (and yes, terribly massacring the tabbouleh ingredients in the process— but hey, when it takes only 10 minutes to get all the ingredients in the bowl, I really can't complain), the longest part of preparing these was adding salt/lemon/garlic etc. in increments as I tested the flavor. I irrationally despise cooking with exact measurements, but in fact it is quicker since you just add the ingredients one time and mix them. So I'm going to try to experiment and come up with some exact measurements for things! Starting…next time.

I ate the tabbouleh straight in a bowl, like the salad that it is. I also did the hummus/tabbouleh/feta stack on toast. Which was delightful. And of course there's plenty left over. Guess I know what I'll be having tomorrow for lunch.

Mushroom Risotto with Caprese Salad

I was powerfully hungry after work yesterday and I had visions of grandeur. Usually I just cook up some pasta when I come home from work, but I felt enterprising. After stopping at the food store, I whipped up a simple caprese salad (the delectable Campari tomatoes had already been purchased at a shockingly low price at Costco). Sadly, (this really is sad) I discovered that my basil had been vilely frozen in the fridge, and I didn't want to use it for the fresh salad. Although I was very disappointed at the loss of this signature ingredient, I correctly surmised that I would still enjoy the tomatoes and mozzarella. I'm glad I didn't give up on it. The tomatoes were extra juicy and formed quite a pool of tomatoey liquid at the bottom of the bowl, which I mercilessly sopped up with some ciabatta.

At the same time as I was making/eating the salad, I made the mushroom risotto. I got the recipe, once again, from Jack Bishop's The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. It's very simple. The signature addition is porcini mushrooms. Risotto: truly the divine meal of poverty.

Black-Eyed Peas with Tomatoes and Roasted Potatoes

Tonight I threw together a quick and easy dinner of my Black-Eyed Peas with Tomatoes and another serving of Mario Batali's roasted potatoes (God bless them!). I added a bit of chopped kale to the stew since I had some left over from the minestrone. Salt salt salt salt! Then I settled in for some quality time with the Glen.

Mario Batali's Potatoes Roasted with Garlic Cloves

I made this last night as a side. To what, was less clear. Anyway, I was watching Monarch of the Glen and things would take care of themselves. Three potatoes should do me, with leftovers.

I ate the entire thing.

I'm not sure I have ever had more perfect potatoes, either at home or at a restaurant. I used Yukon Gold as specified by the recipe, blanched them briefly and then roasted them. It was amazing. I will definitely be making this again. Or all the time. And the beauty of it was its easiness. I had to peel neither the garlic nor the potatoes. You know I was loving that!

As is apparent, I am trying to get through all of the recipes that look tempting in Batali's Molto Italiano cookbook lent to me by Amanda so I can give it back! So expect to see several more recipe trials from there.

Minestrone

Make a big pot and have it on hand all week. Then you have a fast and easy meal whenever you want one. Serve with plenty of rice and cheese.

Red Lentil and Tomato Stew

I tore my house up trying to find my old recipe for Red Lentil and Tomato Stew, which was hand-written. What was life before computers? How did people find things? The recipe isn't that complicated, but I did have a few questions about it. I totally failed to discover it but I did reconstruct what I could from memory, which shouldn't have been that hard because this has been a regular staple of my diet since college. Nevertheless, I am always surprised again at how delicious it is. The dominant notes are tomato, cumin, and extra virgin olive oil. And plenty of salt. Eat over rice. The consistency should be not exactly soupy, but with plenty of juice. I like to serve this with Tortilla de Patatas, but alas! I had only 2 eggs in the house. Really good with red wine.

1 cup red lentils
chopped onion
garlic
chopped carrot
can crushed tomatoes
2.5 cups water, more as needed
salt
extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb cumin
Handful dried parsley (oregano?)

  1. Saute the onion, garlic, cumin, carrot
  2. Add the water and lentils, bring to a boil, then simmer
  3. When lentils are tender, add tomatoes and adjust seasonings. Cook 10 min to let flavors blend.
  4. Eat over rice.


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