Monday Musings… cooking 101 and stuff

I felt like last weeks post was slightly lame. Today I am feeling a little more creative, although I am not so sure I have a clear recipe… or thought for that matter!

Saturday was full of sunshine that made me forget that is was still winter as the temps pushed toward the mid 50’s. Sunday morning as I hit my yoga mat, out the window I watched as beautiful big flakes of white snow fell. All in all it was a beautiful weekend, and a reminder of how every day is new. Every day has its own challenges, blessings and we are given the chance to make the choice of how we are going to handle all of it! I choose JOY!

Saturday after hot yoga I headed over to my friends fixer up house, and Greg took this photo… yes I worked!

pulling old knob and tube wire
pulling old knob and tube wire

After all the fun of knocking out walls, pulling wire, and enjoying time with friends, when I got home and took a shower I was hungry! This is one of those moments when I think… if I wasn’t such a picky veg-head I could just hit a drive by and dump in some food… the thought usually passes quickly when I think of how it will make me feel and the fact that my body will have no real nutrition and therefore require me to feed it again in an hour or two.

I had not prepped yet for the week ahead, so as I peered into the fridge it was pretty much a free for all! I found some kale, small bowl of black beans, leftover marinara and half an avocado. So I ripped up the kale leaves, sliced up the avo and massaged it into the kale. I added in the marinara and black beans, a little s&p, aka salt and pepper and rang the dinner bell!

Lunch!
Lunch!

It could be that I was really hungry… or it could be that this was really good… oh yea, I did add some nutritional yeast too! I enjoy it so much when something like this comes together. Full of such goodness too! Good fat, lots of protein, Vitamins and really filling after a big day of working! So when you have vegan leftovers you really can whip up something good. I may even have to repeat this on purpose.

Sunday I spent some time working on my Rouxbe (http://www.rouxbe.com) homework. The one point they keep bringing home is they want you to trust your cooking instincts. I hope that I am learning just that in this course. It really has been great. They are building a foundation with a lot of basics through activities that make it stick. One of those was actually sweating garlic, and over-cooking garlic. Then adding water, letting it cool, tasting and describing.

Which is the properly sweated garlic?
Which is the properly sweated garlic?

It seems silly in some ways, but I tell you it is making sense and I will never again let that little bit of browned garlic end up in a finished dish! If you over brown the garlic it will totally change the taste of the dish and the color. Yes I kinda of knew this, but must admit to letting a little brown garlic pass into a dish were it wasn’t wanted, no more!

Sunday I made a recipe using some of my new-found skills, chopping, sweating and more… here it is!

Millet and Veggies

The original recipe called for 1 cup bulgur cooked in 2 cups stock with 3/4 teas sea salt and 1/4 pepper. Boil water, add bulgur take off heat and let sit for 20 minutes, then fluff with fork.

I didn’t have any stock made or on hand, and I don’t eat bulgur so I made millet. 1 cup millet to 2 cups water 1 bay leaf and s&p as listed above. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes, fluff with fork.

Make your choice and cook as directed.

Veggies ( should be finely chopped brunoise)

1/2 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

3/4 cup chopped celery

1-2 garlic cloves minced

2 Tbs. olive oil (or omit and use water or stock)

To sweat the veggies, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onion till it is transparent 3-5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and garlic and sweat for another 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Finally add red pepper and zucchini and continue to cook until all veggies are cooked through. Season with s&p as needed.

Add your grain of choice and fold in the veggies. I added some fresh chopped cilantro and a healthy squeeze of some lemon to finish off my dish!

Yummy!!
Yummy!!

For me this is a main dish, but would make a great side dish if you still are into the meat thing!

I am enjoying this online cooking class! If you are curious about doing a Plant Based cooking class or just basics in cooking I highly recommend Rouxbe, they do a great job with graphics, assistance and sharing all their knowledge. It’s like being in a room full of great chefs and you are the only student, without being intimidated! I only hope that it makes me more in tune with the food I enjoy so much and that soon I will be dishing up much more goodness for my friends and family!

Hope you will give veggies more room on your plate today!

Peace

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