cleverchickadee


Vegan Curry: a Slow Cooker Recipe by quornflour

So we had this lunch at work. I was going to make some curried mussels, but then I got to worrying.

I kept thinking how the crockpots were not going to get hot enough to get the mussels hot enough to cook, and what if someone got a bad one…

Well by that point it was too late to change up the protein, so I decided to just leave out the mussels all together.

Trouble is, when you take the mussels out, then you end up with a lot of space so you need a new filler.

I personally HATE eggplant. It is not just the texture or the flavor it is both. Lucky for me, lots of people really like it.

So here is what you are going to need for a 5 quart slow cooker:

  • 6 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large zucchini (so you have 2 cups when you cut it up)
  • 5 thai eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 8-10 basil leaves gut to grass
  • 6 green onions cut into grass
  • 5 chilies
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Salt to taste

*When you pick your red curry paste (the Thai Kitchen is most commonly available) you will need to see what the recommendation is for per can of coconut milk. The 2 tablespoons listed above will make this a mild curry, if you like yours with more kick add more.

Now to make this is pretty simple.

  1. Wash and chop your beans into 1 inch pieces
  2. Julienne your peppers and zucchini
  3. Quarter your eggplants (remove the green parts) and then cut those pieces in half so you have about ¾” chunks
  4. Slice the chilies down into small pieces
  5. In your crock pot mix ½ a can of coconut milk with your curry paste to get everything mixed in with no lumps then add the rest of the can and mix it in
  6. Add your sugar and mix it in
  7. Add your eggplant
  8. Add the rest of your coconut milk
  9. Stir and let cook for about an hour on high
  10. Add the rest of the peppers, beans, chilies, basil and zucchini
  11. Let sit until everything is hot
  12. Add green onion
  13. Salt to taste

Serve over rice, it is mild and sweet, even with the chilies in it, if you cannot handle heat then reduce the number of chilies or leave out all together.

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Pack a Lunch by quornflour

I prefer to bring my lunch if I can. I like the cost savings and more so I like knowing what is in my lunch.

Sometimes I do not have a ton of time to make something, so I have a few staples that I can keep in the freezer or fridge as necessary and are pretty simple to make.

Recently I discovered Lighthouse freeze dried herbs, which are far better in taste than your typical dried herbs. Especially when it comes to things like garlic and onion, which never really seem to taste like the real thing when you get the regular dried version. I like them because I can just use a little in a pinch and do not have to make a big mess cutting them for just a little bit. I have always found them in the produce section of the grocery store.

No I was not paid to say that, it is true.

This recipe is super simple and can easily be made in one pot, here is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¾ C Basmati or Jasmine Rice
  • 1 ¾ C water
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried garlic (or 2-3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoon freeze dried onion (or 1 tablespoon – finely chopped red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried basil (or 6 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried Jalapenos (or ½ a pepper – finely chopped, the dried peppers have a pretty low heat but a great flavor, use the chili flakes and hot sauce to pump up the heat)
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 can of black beans (sub red or white also delicious)
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • Salt to taste

Heat up a sauce pan, add the oil bring to temp. Then add the rice and spices and mix until the rice becomes translucent.

Add the water and hot sauce and put on low/simmer and leave it alone to cook. When the rice is almost done and there is still a little water not absorbed, add the can of beans, the tomatoes and any additional salt wanted for taste. Leave on heat until the tomatoes and beans are warm and serve.

This keeps great in the fridge, freezes well and is delicious on its own as a complete meal or as a side dish. You can also top it with cheese or sour cream, or both if you want to add dairy.

Since I hate microwaves, I just let mine get to room temp and eat.



Hey Puddin’ by quornflour

Recently I took this cooking class with some friends from work. I like cooking classes generally, that said, this one was a little disappointing. The food was good, but it was a little more demonstration than hands on. Everything was partially prepared and the woman running the class seemed a little apprehensive about folks using knives. I mean seriously kids, I have some serious knife skills; I know this, because I tool a class. That last bit should have resulted in an eye rolling and maybe a snicker.

The food in the class was mostly good. I say mostly because a lot of it was prepared ahead of time. The one thing that stood out the most was a really simple rice pudding. I like rice pudding. This particular recipe was also vegan, which I am not, but I do occasionally like to clear out the animal proteins. And it has coconut, I mean COME ON! Coconut is freaking delicious.

So I took the recipe and then altered it a little, I found it a little sweet with the already sweet mango, so I adjusted accordingly. Personally I think it is delicious, even if you have to start your prep a day ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sweet Rice
  • 1 Can (13.5-14oz) Coconut Milk (light or regular)
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cup of Water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lime Zest
  • 1 Mango

Directions

  • Using cheese cloth or a mesh strainer: rinse the rice in cold water. Then place it in a bowl and cover with cold water and set aside to soak overnight.
  • In a pot (or rice cooker if you must) on medium heat, cook the rice with 1 ¼ Cups of water until the rice is tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Do not shake the coconut milk before opening. Open the can and skim about ½ of the fat off of the top and set aside in a bowl.
  • Pour the remaining liquid and fat in a saucepan and add sugar. On medium heat, stirring constantly, melt the sugar into the coconut milk.
  • Once the sugar is melted add the remaining fat and mix in until melted.
  • Mix the coconut milk and sugar mixture together with the rice in a bowl and set aside until warm (not hot) to the touch.
  • Zest your lime and mix most of it into the pudding.
  • Slice the mango avoiding the seed.
  • Serve ½ cup of pudding with mango, garnish with remaining lime zest.
  • This can be refrigerated and served warm or cold.
  • It is also delicious with other tropical fruits.


Spinach Eggs by quornflour

If someone asks you how you want your eggs, always say poached. That is advice I once got from my friend Erik.

I woke up this morning and was puttering about I thought to myself, I really want Spinach Eggs and curry lamb (but not together).

Then there was a post on my facebook wall that one of the guys I work with had left a jelly donut on my desk, it seemed sort of perfect for a Monday.

I spent half of the day grumpy and then when the meeting that was making me grumpy was over I was good. Including making plans for curry lamb for tomorrow.

On the way home I picked up spinach, bacon and cheese, key ingredients for Spinach Eggs. Generally I like to make a rule to grate my own cheese, it is not that hard and generally you can save money and just freeze the extra, but I was feeling lazy and since this is not the quickest meal, I decided to give myself a break.

I already had eggs and spices at home… for 2 servings here is what you will need…

For the rice you will need the most things…

  • 1 pat of butter (½ tablespoon)
  • ¾ cups of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a small saucepan melt the butter, add the rice and spices and mix until the rice is translucent. Add the water and put on low heat and cook.

Bacon, cook it in a cast iron skillet.

Take some rendered bacon fat and put it in a large saucepan and add a bag of rinsed spinach and cook until the leaves are limp and bright (don’t cook the color out or you are also cooking the goodness out.

Poach 4 eggs

Serve in a bowl, rice first, lightly sprinkle with cheddar cheese, 2 poached eggs, 2-3 pieces of bacon, spinach and then add some TFW to the top.

 



Warm up by quornflour

Yesterday it snowed. It snowed a lot. Or enough at least to make it on to the top 5 January snowfalls in recorded history since there were records, or something.

Snow = shoveling. Shoveling = sore back.

A sore back that calls for a heating pad, which reminded me, I had told a friend I would make her a heating pad, so I did. Boy was it easy!

All you need is some scrap cotton, I used some extra cotton muslin I had laying around from one quilt or another, and some corduroy or similar.

You’ll want two pieces so that you can make a cover that is washable since you’ll be filling it with rice or flax seed, and well putting that in the washing machine would be gross.

You will also need 1 ½ Cups of dry rice or flax seeds, a sewing machine, scissors or rotary cutter and a ruler.



  • Cut the cotton to 11″x10″
  • Cut the corduroy to 16″x10″
  • Fold the cotton in half (right sides in if patterned) along the 10″ side and sew with a ½” seam around two open sides
  • Turn it right side out and sew around the same side using a ¼” seam
  • Fold the opening down 1″
  • Fill with 1-1 ½ cups of dry rice or flax seeds
  • Sew opening twice
  • Set aside
  • Take to corduroy and put in a 1″ hem at one end
  • Fold right sides together “hot dog” and sew two sides, leaving one short end open and turn right side out.
  • Put the rice bag in the corduroy bag and fold the extra length in to hold bag in place

Tada! You’re done. Heat for a minute in the microwave, or on a steam heater, I don’t advise heating on a baseboard heater, because that could start a fire. You can also keep this in the freezer for an icepack, but I will show you how to make a much better icepack another day.

 

 




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