I usually have Bible study on Mondays, but due to MLK, we’re off today. So, no post about religion this week.
Today I cooked. I have found that when the mood strikes me to cook, I’d better cook a whole lot. (For those days I look at the clock at 5:30 and try to figure out what’s for dinner.) I used to dread cooking. In the early days of our marriage, I was actually surprised that my husband wanted me to do things like make dinner. I would roll my eyes and say, “If you’re hungry, go fix yourself something. Your arms aren’t broken, are they?” Since then, I have been tamed a bit, maybe even domesticated. (Not entirely, though.) Now, when I get inspired to cook, I make a hot cup of Oolong tea, turn on the radio, tie my blue and white polka-dotted apron, and start cookin’.
What inspired me today is the book I’m reading, Eat to Live, recommended to me by Dedicated Doula. It makes me want to eat better for myself, and feed my kids better for their future. The book brought to my attention that a childhood diet full of processed foods is unquestionably linked to cancer later in life, even if better diet choices are made as an adult. The book emphasizes lots of fiber-filled foods rich in phytonutrients.
I cooked some things from a blog I’ve been following lately called YumVeg:
Hottie Black-Eyed Peas — I doubled this to freeze some for later. It really is tasty.
This is such a flavorful dish, but the prep work is in the shredding of the greens. It just takes some time, so plan ahead and have everything chopped before you start cooking so it will all go together very quickly!
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Rating:0 stars – based on 0 review(s)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 tsp
- Small Onion – diced small
- Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
- Kale or Collards – 1 bunch, rough stems removed, shredded (about 1/2 pound) – I used mustard greens b/c a certain store Walmart on Battleground was OUT OF COLLARD GREENS! unheard of. really.
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Black-eyed Peas – 2 15oz cans, drained & rinsed – Instead of using canned, I cooked mine following the instructions on the bag. This obviously adds to the cook / prep time.
- Tomato Sauce – 1 cup – I substituted some leftover spag. sauce I had hanging around in the fridge
- Vegetable Broth – 1/2 cup – I used chicken broth
- Hot Sauce – 1 T (Tabasco or Texas Pete)
- Liquid Smoke or Smoke Paprika – 1/4 tsp
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Use a little cooking spray if needed. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the greens, 1/4 cup of water and salt. Cover the pot and cook the greens down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black-eyed peas, tomato sauce and broth and thoroughly mix. Cover pot and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add hot sauce and liquid smoke, then use a potato masher to mash some of the beans, about 1/4 of them, to thicken the sauce. Cook for about 5 more minutes uncovered. Taste for salt and seasoning. You may want to add more hot sauce, I often do, but I err on the side of caution with recipes for spicy things. Serve hot. (As in hot off the stove, not spicy hot!)
Then I also made some Oriental Slaw – My friend Annette gave this recipe to me, and it is crunchy and tasty.
-1 package ramen noodles any flavor – crunched up in the bag
-1 small head of cabbage, shredded
-1 small onion sliced
-3 tbs vinegar
-1 tbs honey
-2 tbs olive oil
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
Mix cabbage and onions in a large bowl. In a pot, heat oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in Ramen noodles and seasoning packet. Let cool. Pour over cabbage and onion, toss and chill overnight. Serves 6-8.
Also, I found this recipe (here) for mashed sweet potatoes that I made. It just sounded good:
Ginger Apple Mashed Sweet Potatoes – I also double this one.
1 pound apples, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (2 average sized) 2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks 1/4 cup water 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon agave (or honey), 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Preheat a 4 quart pot over low heat. Spray with cooking spray, then add apples, sweet potatoes, water and salt. Cover pot and sweat the apples and sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes, stirring often. What this means, is just to cook them slowly and let them steam. You want to coax the moisture out of them, but if you make the flame too high they’ll burn and cook unevenly.
After 20 minutes, you can turn the heat up just a bit. Add a little more water if needed. Cover and cook 20 more minutes, paying close attention so that they don’t burn, and stirring often. When they’re very tender, they’re done. Mash with a potato masher. Add the agave, cinnamon and ginger, and mash some more. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve warm.
Finally, I made a ridiculous amount of brown rice to freeze. I mean, who has an hour to cook rice?