- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp coarse honey mustard
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Oregano or basil or both (dried, pinch)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Thigh Week (vegans/vegetarians avert your eyes)
The Truth Machine read 169.8 up from 167.4 in just 24 hours. It still amazes me how sensitive I am to what I eat. Yesterday we tried a new breakfast place and I probably ate 3x what I normally eat at the midday break. The uptick in weight was expected given the quantity and salty/fattiness of my bowl which consisted of three eggs, fried potatoes, cheese, and veggies. There was a giant biscuit with butter on the side. I also finished The Boss’ giant biscuit, potatoes and one slice of her bacon. There you go. Do I know how to gain weight or what?
Welcome to Chicken Thigh Week. The local store advertised boneless chicken thighs for $2.99/lb which translated (for me) into time to stock up. But when I got to the store there were no boneless thighs. They sold out. Bone-in chicken thighs were $1.49/lb so I picked up a package with the full intent to de-bone them at home. When I got home I discovered a package of bone-in thighs in the freezer. Now I have over five pounds of chicken thighs. Now we have Chicken Thigh Week!
Tonight a simple roast chicken.
I defrosted what I found in the freezer to use the older package first. Smple oven roasted honey soy chicken. My second surprise was discovering my Honey Soy and/or Maple Marinade recipe is ancient and needs updating. So here’s my latest greatest version of Honey Soy Marinade using pantry and and spice rack items.
Marinate the chicken thighs for two hours minimum. Roast on a rack at 400 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. Don’t worry about overcooking, especially the large pieces. They are chicken thighs.
Nutrition info here https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172388/nutrients
20 Vegetarian Weeknight Pasta Recipes – Vegetarian Times
The link – https://www.vegetariantimes.com/vegan-vegetarian-recipes/weeknight-pasta-recipes/
And yet another post/link in my extremely sporadic electronic sticky note series. The quick veggie olive oil and garlic pasta dish I make has reached “in a rut” status. 2023 will the year where I develop the ability and experience to make more than one vegetarian pasta dish.
Happy New Year!
30 Recipes with a Can of Chickpeas
The link – https://feelgoodfoodie.net/chickpeas-recipes/
Another electronic sticky note. I am always on the hunt for new recipes to try AND a method to remember where the hell I filed those recipes. Hence, the electronic sticky note series of blog posts. I also use https://getpocket.com/en/ to save webpages for reading later or to save source material for my posts.
Beans on the shelf in my pantry.
Although I prefer to use dried beans for my dishes I can’t ignore the ease of opening a few cans and having a meal on the table in less than an hour.
Are Canned Beans as Healthy as Home-Cooked dried beans? Yes, but watch the sodium content. https://nutritionfacts.org/2014/09/25/are-canned-beans-as-healthy-as-home-cooked/
It’s Struggle Meal Time
Rice and beans may be a struggle meal, but there’s a reason so many gravitate to this humble dish. It’s filling, it’s nutritious, and it’s cheap. Given the right preparation and a few seasonings, rice and beans can also be delicious and satisfying. Beans are basic, but also infinitely versatile.Which Beans Have the Most Protein? – https://vegnews.com/2022/8/bean-protein-guide
I’ve known for quite some time that beans are a poor person’s meal. But in all of my years on the planet this is the first time I’ve heard of beans referred to as a struggle meal. Well struggling or not everyone should be eating more beans for the health benefits.
Make Homemade Veggie Burgers
Krista Navin has been a vegetarian since she was a teen, and says these imitation meats have been creeping onto more menus. It really hit home when Burger King replaced its veggie patty — made by vegetarian stalwart brand Morningstar Farms — with the Impossible Whopper. “I find those types of burgers uniquely off-putting,” Navin says. “I think they have actually done a really good job making them like the real thing and that is exactly the thing I don’t want.”
It’s Time to Put Actual Veggies Back Into Veggie Burgers — https://www.eater.com/23274496/veggie-burger-vegetarian-should-be-made-from-vegetables
Results from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), which included participants aged 35 and older, showed that higher intake of UPF was significantly associated with a faster rate of decline in both executive and global cognitive function.”Based on these findings, doctors might counsel patients to prefer cooking at home [and] choosing fresher ingredients instead of buying ready-made meals and snacks,” co-investigator Natalia Goncalves, PhD, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil, told Medscape Medical News.“Participants who reported consumption of more than 20% of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster decrease of the executive function compared to those who reported eating less than 20% of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods,
More Evidence Ultraprocessed Foods Detrimental for the Brain – Medscape – Aug 01, 2022. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/978365?src=rss
UPF consumption was associated with worse performance in Animal Fluency among older people without pre-existing diseases. Decreasing UPF consumption may be a way to improve impaired cognition among older adults.Association between ultra-processed food consumption and cognitive performance in US older adults: a cross-sectional analysis of the NHANES 2011–2014 — https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-022-02911-1
“You used to eat those commercially prepared veggie burgers.”
“I don’t eat them anymore. It’s better to make your own.”
Faithful followers know what happened during the inferno summer of 2022 because of my earlier post on Spinach, Mushrooms and Onion. I’m still working feverishly to reduce the number of packages of frozen vegetables to make room for other items. The other day I used up a package of frozen spinach and about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas to make Chickpea and Spinach Burgers.
Yup, that’s right. No recipe. The Boss said,
“Go ahead and toss all of the spinach in the mix.”
So I did. Instead of Chickpea and Spinach Burgers I ended up making Spinach Burgers with a Small Spattering of Chickpeas Somewhere in the Mix.
I promise to post if and when I’m totally happy with the results.
Global Supplies of Chickpeas Could Dip 20% This Year
Tight supplies have helped push U.S. retail prices higher. Chickpeas on U.S. grocery shelves jumped 12% from last year, nearly 17% higher than prior to the pandemic, according to the most recent NielsenIQ data. Hummus prices have increased 6.9% since 2019.Fewer chickpeas means cheap protein and hummus could be harder to find — https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/focus-fewer-chickpeas-means-cheap-protein-and-hummus-could-be-harder-to-find
I immediately checked the pantry. I have just two 16 ounce tins of chickpeas and approximately half a pound dried. Time to restock!
Spinach, Mushrooms and Onion
The past week has been one of those terrible horrible no-good weeks that hit the checking account hard. I won’t list all of the things that stopped working but one thing hurt the most.
The side by side refrigerator/freezer died. I think this appliance was over 30 years old. it functioned as our second unit, a place to keep drinks cold and to stock up on frozen foods to prepare for the future food shortages and higher costs. Buying mass quantities of frozen vegetables as a hedging strategy against higher prices works well until your freezer dies.
I managed to STUFF a large number of frozen bags into our primary freezer. But I have to cook and eat a large number of these frozen bags of goodness to make room. So I started with a bag of spinach.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onions sliced thin
- 8 oz white button mushrooms sliced thick
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 12 oz frozen cut leaf spinach
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add mushrooms and saute for five minutes. When browned…
- Add onions. Reduce heat to medium. Saute for five minutes. When browned…
- Add garlic. Saute for one minute.
- Add frozen spinach (no need to defrost). Saute for 15-20 minutes. You want the spinach to be drier but not too dry.
- Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.
- You are done. Now decide what you’re going to do with this stuff.
What to do?
- side dish
- mix with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses for stuffed shells
- or lasagna
- melt some cheddar for a quick sandwich/tortilla filling
- toss with pasta for a quick meal
- open a can of white beans, drain/rinse and mix with broth for a quick soup
Welcome to my world.
How To Decide if It’s a Lentil Soup Day
A lot of readers liked Spanish Style Lentils and so do I. But today I’m making my time tested lentil soup recipe which you can find here The Pandemic Pantry -Lentil Soup. Or if you’re feeling adventurous try one of the Lentil Recipes – The First Mess which to be honest I haven’t tried yet.
I’m glad I don’t need mushrooms because I used the one I bought recently in another dish.
I added more carrots and so far at the 30 minute mark I’ve used the entire quart of organic low sodium chicken broth. I did not use the mutant carrot because it went bad before I could use it.
Today’s post was for the critic who complained about the lack of pictures in this blog.
White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew
Sunday is a good Beanday. A day of rest. Maybe a few, but not too many errands. Hang out the rest of the day at home and make a pot of beans for the week.
This morning I was compiling a dried bean inventory so that I wouldn’t buy more of what I already have on hand. My beans are in various containers in the pantry and on the kitchen counter. Some packages of dried beans are unopened. My quick inventory told me I had green split peas, adzuki, black beans, black eyed peas, red and brown lentils, chickpeas, pinto, mayacabo, white beans, and an unidentified variety which I had to research to figure out I had Cranberry beans!
The white beans were stored in a plastic baggie and fearing they may have been in the pantry since the last time I made Wing and Leg Navy Bean Soup I thought I would cook them. After a triple rinse I quick soaked them (rinse, drain, pour boiling water over all and cover for one hour). Drain again, cover with fresh filtered water, a little onion powder, garlic powder, one bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to super low, and simmer for several hours.
Now I had a pot of beans before deciding what dish to make. After exhausting the possibilities I decided upon a White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew. My inspiration came from the same source as Spanish Style Lentils. So if you’re a visual learner, here you go:
Here’s a link to the original recipe – https://spainonafork.com/spanish-white-bean-and-sweet-potato-stew-recipe/
Here’s what I’ll eating all week.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup canned stewed tomatoes
- dash apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups cooked white beans
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 cups organic vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp regular sweet paprika
- freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized stock pot
- Add the onion, bell pepper and carrot. Saute until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and both paprika powders. Saute briefly for about a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, vinegar and simmer for five minutes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.
- Add the beans, sweet potato, and two cups of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for around 30 minutes. Check and stir throughout this process and add more broth to desired thickness and to prevent sticking/burning of the stew.
- When the potatoes are tender the stew is done. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
- Makes approximately six large servings.
Now I need to figure out what to make with the butternut squash I baked in the oven.