Is this thing on?

February 19, 2010

Uhhhhh. Okay, I have a prepared statement about my absence that includes overwrought phrasing like “settling into the rhythms of my new life” and has lots of excuses about my health and my fatigue and why I basically stopped cooking. But it boils down to: “we moved and I am lazy.”

I’ve been cooking off and on, really simple things fit for our wee new kitchen.

like this sweet and sour red chard with soba

It was my first attempt at sweet and sour sauce, and it was way more sweet than sour, but it tasted great and held me over for about 2.5 seconds before I cracked into a family sized bag of Kettle Chips.

and this bowl of mush

Which is actually curried red lentils with spinach. The timing of this particular meal is important, as I made it soon after passing out over the credit card bill. So this $1.50 dish was actually priceless – a triumph of willpower when it would have been so easy to call out for another eggplant sub.

And with that, I have shared all of the meals I’ve cooked since early January. The shame! I fully expect someone to come any day now to take my apron, my food processor, my brand new bright green spatula, and my home cook’s badge.

Until next month…


More eggplant

October 12, 2009

Saturday at the farmer’s market, I was half-frozen, browsing through the produce, when these two women walked by and I overheard one of them say “Oh, eggplant. I’m so over eggplant.” And I wanted to yell, “I’ll take your share! I’ve only just begun to love it!”

Last week, I went out on a limb an had some in a stir fry, but what I’ve really been wanting to do is recreate some of the delicious eggplant dishes I’ve had at Indian restaurants.

Enter Mollie Katzen.

eggplant curry

eggplant curry

Let me tell you about this recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it’s from a cookbook that we’ve had around the house for the last 6 years but that I’ve never actually used – The New Moosewood Cookbook. Matt introduced me to it a few years ago, and I’m prone to flipping through it and saying “oh! that sounds good!” and then never following through. Until now!

I served it with peas, per her instructions, even though I’m not a huge fan. And, I have to admit, they do add a pop of freshness to this curry. The curry itself is probably the most authentic-tasting that I’ve ever made – maybe the base of mustard/cumin/sesame seeds did the trick. Just when you think it’s under spiced, the heat of the cayenne hits and BAM! All in all, delightful.

I really wanted to go out to eat tonight, as I haven’t been feeling 100% for the past few days, but I’m glad I fought it, because this was well worth the effort.

A gallery of cheap eats

June 19, 2009

I am seriously exhausted, but I also have anxiety issues, and these pictures piling up, plus all that math that isn’t going to do itself, well. It’s getting to me.

pesto vegetable soup, or, a rare moment of foresight

pesto vegetable soup, or, a rare moment of foresight

This seems a little pricey at $10.06 for the whole recipe, but it actually made 10-12 servings, which makes it around $1.01 per serving. And also very handy to have around when you’re too tired to cook.

matt's request: spring rolls

matt's request: spring rolls

Because the stupid organic shrimp that is so delicious we can’t quit it costs $8.75 for a half pound, these were on the pricey side. The total was about $11.39 for 14 spring rolls, which I’d call at least 4 servings, but, in the interest of full disclosure, I ate 3 and Matt ate 11. So I don’t know if I can call it 4 servings in good conscience. Although later, he did say something about them expanding in his stomach, so maybe that was a little much, even for him.

couscous/lentils/chickpeas/delicious things

couscous/lentils/chickpeas/delicious things

This one wins the cheap contest. I used this recipe and it came out to a total of $4.09 for 4 servings, for a total of $1.02 per serving. Also, I loved it, but Matt found it bland. I think maybe those spring rolls were still expanding in his stomach.

looks can be deceiving

looks can be deceiving

I know this looks like someone already ate it, but seriously. It was really good. I’ve never cooked with garam masala and it made everything smell good and taste even better. Plus, there are apples in there. I used a version of this recipe, which is an adaptation of another one. Also, they did the math for me. Which is great, because I lost some receipts and I also bought those red lentils about 6 months ago.

Tomorrow marks a year since we legitimized our union in the eyes of the state of Kansas, which is a great reason to go out for dinner and split a bottle of prosecco if there ever was one. After that, and some cake that I’m crossing my fingers isn’t too freezer-burned, it’s back to the frugal gourmet.

Easter soup

April 12, 2009

Um. So. Yeah. Let’s just call last week my spring break from blogging. Because, honestly, I can’t remember if I cooked anything. There was the whole Carolina winning the national championship thing, and that called for pizza, and then I had a really stressful week, which triggered my fatigue, which called for going out to eat a few times, and then we had to do laundry, and we went to see Adventureland, and then yesterday was Saturday and so I obviously had to lie around and read and eat pizza.

Enough excuses. The good news is that I actually cooked tonight, and I even made up the recipe.

curried vegetable and lentil soup

curried vegetable and lentil soup

I came up with this in a state of semi-consciousness as I was waking up from a nap. I had a ton of vegetables to use up, and some curry paste in the cupboard, so I came up with this.


  • Glug of olive or other vegetable oi
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 T mild curry paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water, separated
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 head worth of cauliflower florets (thumbnail-sized)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 4 oz frozen cut spinach


  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Toss in onion and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add 1 1/2 T mild curry paste (I used Patak’s) and 2 cups of water, broth, and can of tomatoes. Heat through, about 2 minutes
  4. Rinse lentils and add to the pot. Crank up the heat to medium-high until the whole thing comes to a low boil. Cover and reduce heat to a hard simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover and add 1/2 cup water, green beans, and spinach. Let the pot get back to a simmer and then stir in cauliflower. Cover and cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more curry paste if needed.

I think it probably made 6 or 7 small bowls worth of soup. I had 2. They were delicious.

I also found this picture in the camera, proving that I did cook at one point last week.

barley salad with roasted cauliflower and asparagus

barley salad with roasted cauliflower and asparagus

I threw this together after the gym on Friday night. I just roasted the veggies at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, shaking once. While the veggies were roasting, I cooked some quick barley, and then when everything was done, I made a red wine vinaigrette, and then tossed everything together. I liked it, but I guess it was a little bland for Matt’s taste. I think what he said was, “Maybe there’s so much flavor, that my brain is registering it as no flavor.” Shaky logic, there.

I like to make curry.

March 22, 2009

In Seattle, it seemed like half of the restaurants I went to had some kind of vegetable curry on the menu. Something else always won out when it came time to order, but I’ve been thinking about curry since then.

After a very glamorous day of doing things like grocery shopping and taxes and not cleaning the bathroom, I decided to make my curry dream a reality. I turned to my favorite recipe source – Heidi Swanson. I had almost everything for this curry, so I went for it.

cashew-less cashew curry

cashew-less cashew curry with brown basmati rice

The only cashews I have on hand have been in the refrigerator for over a year and apparently nuts go bad so I wasn’t willing to take that risk. I just subbed in a bunch of extra tofu, cauliflower, and green beans.

This was so easy, and while I thought it lacked some depth, Matt said it had good flavor and good heat, so who am I to judge? Although, to be fair, he’s under the influence of cold medicine and this movie, so I’m not sure he’s to be trusted.

On that note, I think it’s time for me to hit publish and exit the living room. Sun Ra is really starting to freak me out.

Curry up

November 1, 2008

Clever, right?

Tonight we had Cauliflower and Potato Curry from Vegetarian Times. Five stars for this one. I kept going back to the pot. Now I might explode.

The recipe was really easy, and I mostly stuck to it. I didn’t measure my cauliflower, because that seemed like nonsense, and I didn’t put in a cup of peas, because I hate peas.

I’m so excited to fall back. Seriously, it’s like someone is giving me a present. I need to grade, clean, do laundry, get groceries, and run tomorrow. But, hey, I’ll get to do it all on an extra hour of sleep.

Curry times two.

July 12, 2008

I rarely make enough portions of a meal to have substantial leftovers. I cut recipes in half or thirds or whatever, just to avoid having food that’s going to sit in the refrigerator. I usually make enough of whatever we have for dinner so that Matt can have another serving for lunch the next day, but it’s my personal philosophy that leftovers are gross and can kill you.

What? That’s totally logical. BACTERIA, PEOPLE. It grows. Plus, our fridge stinks. So there you go.

But last night,  I made a gigantic pot of Zucchini/Chickpea/Tomato Curry from Eat, Drink, and be Vegan. It has a real name but all of those components are in it, so if you have EDBV, you should be able to use your deductive skills to find it.

Which I would recommend. Because it’s major.

It’s got pretty much everything I would ever want from a curry: chickpeas, red potatoes (I subbed these in for sweet potatoes), zucchini, spices, a nice tomato base. Matt was also pretty into it, so even though I was worried at first about what we’d do with all the leftovers, we ended up polishing the whole batch (“4-6 servings” according to Dreena Burton) in two nights. Not bad. We had it with Brown Basmati rice, which is really good. I think the company is RiceSelect, and I’ve heard they make a whole wheat orzo, as well. And I’m all over that, so hopefully it’s not just a rumor.

Also – I went to the gym and I did not ride the bike. I hit the Arc Trainer and managed to stick with it for 40 minutes, when my toe got kind of numb and I had to quit to walk the indoor track for a while and then lift in the weight room, aka, the dude section. I hate the way guys at the campus gym lift weights. They go way too fast, they’re always yelling at each other (COME ON, MAN, YOU CAN DO TWO MORE REPS), sharing stores about getting food poisoning from eating raw eggs, and at least once during every trip to the gym, I am convinced that one of them is in labor because of the way he’s grunting. Honestly. Nothing should hurt like that.

There was only one other woman in the area, and she was doing bicep curls with 40 pound weights. Is that normal? Because I don’t think I can do that.

Anyway, the point is.

With all of that activity and weight room anxiety, plus the fact that I spent five hours cleaning and organizing this morning, I was starving for dinner, so the leftovers actually worked out nicely. We also just took a walk because it’s unseasonably nice outside, and now I’m hungry again. LUCKILY, I happened to buy some delicious soy ice cream today with a gift certificate to People’s (thanks, Tara!). And now I’m going to eat it.