Posts tagged ‘Peppers’

October 10, 2011

Suggestions

Have I ever told you that I can’t follow a recipe to save my life?!  I can’t.  Absolutely not.

Tonight I tried.  Again.  I frequently enter dinner prep fully prepared to follow a recipe.  The cook book is out.  I have all the ingredients.  I am ready!

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That’s how tonight started.  I was making a veggie curry dish from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cook book.  I bought ingredients that were very specific to this recipe.  Lemon.  Cauliflower.  Red bell pepper.  I even bought…ginger root!  Seriously.  I have never bought this in my life.  I’m not even a huge fan of ginger, but I thought if I wanted the full effect of the recipe, I better buy it.

As far as ingredients go, the only part I drifted on was the curry paste.  I happened to have some peanut sauce already in the house that I’ve been wanting to use.  HA!  I don’t know why this didn’t tip me off that I was yet again going to treat this recipe merely as a suggestion of what foods to combine and cook.

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It’s was all downhill from there.  Don’t feel like peeling ginger and chopping garlic, eh, throw the big chunks in.  Wok too full to use all the cauliflower, oh well, just use half.  Green peppers from the garden that need to be eaten, ok, replace some of the red peppers with those.  Mistakenly think you have diced tomatoes, but you don’t, it’s fineeeeeeeee, use crushed.  Get my point?

I drift and I drift and I drift.  Eventually I have a completely different meal than what I set out to make.  Sometimes it’s a success.  Sometimes, not so much.

Tonight, huge success.

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I’m going to call it….

Veggie Stir Fry with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Heavily inspired by Jamie Oliver.  And please do check out the real recipe.  It too looks delicious.

  • 1 red bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 green bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, chunked
  • 1 banana pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb size piece ginger root, halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, pieced
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut sauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  1. Sauté all peppers and onion in olive oil until just softened.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and squash and sauté for a minute to begin to infuse flavor.
  3. Add cauliflower and chickpeas and toss everything to mix.
  4. Add peanut sauce, peanut butter, balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and water to make the sauce.
  5. Mix everything well, bring to a boil, and hope your pan isn’t  over flowing at this point!
  6. Reduce temperature and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are softened to your liking.
  7. Serve over brown rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.

I’ll warn you, it’s lots of chopping and not a quick meal, but it’s worth it.  I didn’t think it was while I was standing and chopping, but I can tell you now, it is!  And if you’re like Steve, a self proclaimed “sauce man,” you’ll really love it.

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So thanks Jamie Oliver, for your inspiration.  You helped me remember how much I like cauliflower.  You helped me learn how nicely ginger can compliment a sauce.  And you helped me realize that a splash of lemon juice at the end of a meal really can make all the difference.

I knew there was a reason I bought cook books!

Tell me about your recipe following abilities!  Do you follow recipes to a tee or use them for inspiration?

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October 3, 2011

Sunken Muffin

It feels like I haven’t posted in forever!  Not true actually.  It just feels that way for some reason.  I’d like to say I’m refreshed from my mini vacation this past weekend, but I would be lying. And I don’t like to lie.  It’s not nice.

It’s common for bloggers to give off the absurdly happy vibe all the time.  Generally I think we do because we’re genuinely happy to be writing about food for you (or we wouldn’t do it).  This is certainly true for me.  As it says all over my blog, I really do enjoy food, eating, sharing food, and blah blah blah.  Winking smile

Tonight I’m not feeling the sunshine and roses.  I feel a little overwhelmed by what’s on my plate, my life plate that is, not my dinner plate.  I don’t know if I could be overwhelmed by a dinner plate. Smile with tongue out

Anyway, life is busy.  Really it’s always busy for everyone.  Sometimes we just cope better than other times.  So I contemplated not posting, but like I said, it feels like I’ve been away for a while.  Plus, my spirits are usually lifted by the time I reach the end of a post.  And actually I can feel it already.  It’s like the endorphins you get from exercise.

So if you thought things were always happy happy in the sass world, I have now officially confirmed that is not true.

BUT, I would still like to share my nightly happiness with you:  DINNER!

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Chili from the freezer.  Hooray for the convenience of freezing!  Topped with cheddar and a sunken corn muffin.  Just perfect for the cool damp evening we are having.

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Even if you did want to make this chili the same night of eating, it’s a snap.

  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 large pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • sprinkle of chipotle seasoning, to taste
  1. Sauté pepper and onion.
  2. Combine all ingredients in pot on the stove or in a crock pot.
  3. Heat through and simmer.

I cleaned out the garden of tomatoes tonight, diced them, and threw them in to simmer during the reheating.  They gave it a nice fresh taste the second time around! You know I’ll never waste!

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Now it’s time to go hack away at that to do list.  Crossing things off my list always makes me feel better!

What helps you to cope with a busy life?