Tag: Garlic

Teeny little health-bombs


O Meus Gradissimites,

Even the healthiest eaters among us go through rough patches. Recently, despite my best endeavors, my belly has been uncooperative, my taste buds lazy (due to non-stop congestion…thanks, bizarre weather patterns), and my usual ability to eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and veggies (especially those leafy greens…yum!) has been smacked-down by a rather inconvenient (and frankly worrisome) European outbreak of a super-strain of E. coli.

What’s a veggie girl to do?

Health bombs. Teeny little health bombs.

Shall I elaborate?

The other day, faced with appetite-malaise (just made that up) and a refrigerator full of potentially hazardous vegetables, I concocted a green-monster soup/porridge of healthy and surprisingly tasty goodness.

This involved the following components:

  • A rather large cooking pot
  • a bunch of brown rice
  • a bunch of green lentils
  • a bunch of red lentils
  • a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (my latest multi-seed, multi-grain loveaffairadventurefriend)
  • some Vegeta veggie stock
  • A hearty dose of fresh water
  • A big garlic clove
  • A lot of zucchini
  • a potato
  • a bunch of watercress
  • a bunch of cabbage
  • a bunch of cabbagey-green things that I had frozen but forgot what they were
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 2 chili peppers
  • An immersion blender

There’s no way I would have been able to eat that many good things at a time. Needless to say, once all was said and boiled (and blended), I had leftovers for the freezer (preparation for future appetite-malaise) AND lunch for the next few days.

I knew it would be healthy. I really didn’t expect it to taste as good as it did.

I’ve gotta say, a little bowl of this goodness is satisfying, nourishing, tasty, comforting…just right for an ambivalent belly. Even if I slack on quality food for the rest of the day, I’ve done pretty well (nutritionally speaking) after a bowl of this goodness.

Also, the green was really quite pretty. It looked somewhat like a happy pesto afterward….

What else?

And tonight, I made a veggie curry…. but instead of brown rice (which is awesome, of course), I cooked up a bulgur and lentil base. Bulgar and red lentils have about the same cooking time, so I did half and half in the same pot. Easy-peasy 😉

In a big pan, my curry concoction involved leeks, garlic, potato, zucchini, olive oil, curry powder and some liquid from the bulgur/lentil pot.

My carnivorous man loved it.

Any rice love?

I had a craving for risotto the other night, but I was in health-bomb mode. I skipped the risotto rice (fun as it is), and used brown rice instead. I also skipped the dairy… I know, that’s the point of risotto. But this was really good! I made a not-risotto with fresh mushrooms, veggie stock, zucchini, and some roasted pine nuts to serve. It was great. The brown rice is nutty-chewy perfection, and the other flavors were satisfying in the risotto-like way without the blood-sugar issues of white rice and the belly bloat of dairy.

I’m just saying…give it a whirl. It’s not risotto, but it’s damned good 🙂

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Last-Minute ‘Mexican’ pie, from scratch


I’ve gotten lazy with the pastry dough. I realized this yesterday. Pastry dough is easy to make, and when I make it myself, it always tastes better than the store-bought kind. Plus, I’m in control of the ingredients, which means healthier fats and quality ingredients.

I’ll admit, I was entirely uninspired to cook yesterday. We had odds and ends leftover in the fridge, and none of them cried out as a central ingredient for anything tempting. Unfortunately, we were also out of frozen pizza. I kept avoiding the issue, thinking that inspiration would strike closer to dinner time. That’s why this is last-minute food 🙂

Sigh.

Still lacking inspiration, I figured I’d make pastry dough for a quiche/pie/something and sort out the details of the filling later. I used (as my starting point) the delightful Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust from Chocolate and Zucchini. The crust is a breeze, and I added about a tablespoon of flax-seed/linseed, a healthy dose of cumin and garlic powder, plus some oregano for looks 🙂 (I like my dough sexy.) I added these flavors because of the filling I’d settled on… you should tweak yours according to your own tastes 🙂

What follows is a truly rag-tag list of ingredients that were sitting in my refrigerator. Many of these things were about to go bad and had to be used. Because of the beans, I decided to go “Mexican” (I know, this is nothing like actual “Mexican” food, whatever that might be. It does, however, involve cumin, garlic, and spicy red pepper, which means “Mexican” to Midwesterners.)

I combined, in a large bowl:

  • 1/2 large red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 c white beans
  • 1/4 c sliced carrot
  • 1/4-1/3 c chopped leeks
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/3 c tomato pulp
  • salt to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • red pepper (ground, spicy) to taste
  • 1 crumbled fresh cheese (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 c dried polenta (to bind ingredients)

Mix the ingredients well, then spread into the tart crust. Bake until crust is golden brown.

Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations on this one, but it turned out to be delicious. My Man loved it. I loved it. I’m about to have another slice as my afternoon snack. As always, this can be hacked/tweaked at will. Use whatever you have on hand. The key elements, for me, are the beans and tomato pulp with the cumin and garlic flavors…plus the crust, of course! The rest of the veggies should be interchangeable with any number of other things. Leave out the cheese, and the dish is vegan– so easy! (See, vegans aren’t hard to cook for!)

Switching gears back to food…Calzone Dough recipe from vegweb.com


I tried this recipe for Calzone Dough from vegweb.com, and I really liked it.  One batch was good for 4 calzones and pizza.

And now, the requisite disclaimer:

When I say I “tried” a recipe, I mean, implicitly (unless otherwise noted) that I used that recipe as an idea base for whatever it is that I made. In this case, I used the ingredients listed, and I think I eyeballed most of them for roughly the proportions listed. Of course, I threw in lots more spice (heaps of oregano, red pepper, and garlic powder) than suggested. The cooking time and temperature was all eye-balled, as per usual.

The dough is good. The olive oil crust is satisfying and flavorsome, yet light and crispy and golden… Just yummy goodness. I recommend it. So does My Man.

Enjoy….