peanut stew

Giving the peanut stew recipe from the Vegan Stoner a whirl:

1. chop half an onion & cook in pot

2. add a can of stewed tomatoes, a half cup of crunchy peanut butter, & a half can of garbanzo beans [chickpeas]

3. chop a potato & add to pot* with a sprinkling of thyme

4. cover pot and cook on low heat for 20 minutes

5. serve on rice

6. munch

* may want to parboil the potato first, or ensure you cut very small pieces so they cook through

I’ve never bought or cooked with stewed tomatoes before and at first I wasn’t so sure about the peanut butter. I like peanut butter, but I am not much in the habit of cooking with it; my mum is very allergic to nuts, so I never ate them growing up. You can’t miss what you’ve never had, but, oh! I tell you: when I moved out and discovered I could buy and eat all the Nutella I wanted … that was a wonderful and a dangerous day.

I digress.

why this recipe is cool

Like many Vegan Stoner recipes, it calls for a bunch of non-perishable and inexpensive food items. (Dried thyme is an exception to “inexpensive”, and I’m using posh all-natural peanut butter because I got it on the cheap at an army surplus store in Kamloops. I’m not even kidding.)

Food waste is something I’m pretty concerned about, so I try to be mindful of how much fresh stuff I buy, but cooking for one presents some challenges: fresh stuff often comes in rather massive bundles. It’s always a song and dance trying to make sure things get used up before they rot or trying to work out clever things to do with food items that are fast approaching the end of their fridge-lives.

Trying to buy less but shop more often is something I’m working on, but sometimes time is tight because I planned poorly and I just can’t swing a shopping trip. In such cases, how marvelous to be able to put together a whole meal from things in the cupboard.*

making stew!

I prepared all the ingredients and added some extras, seeing the excellent opportunity provided by a stew to deal with some fridgy** items. Some beet greens, some red pepper, an already-opened can of chickpeas. I also added a spoonful of tomato paste because I like tomato-y things.

Easy peasy: set the rice on in one pot, throw the ingredients in the other pot.

the result

A delicious, nutritious, hearty dinner. I’d not hesitate to make this again for myself, or for nut-eating friends 🙂

–x–

*Now that I’ve written this, I see the irony of and the privilege in my enthusiasm over tinned food. I’ve little to complain about in life if I’ve always enjoyed meals made from fresh ingredients, and making things from cans is a novel experience…

**My mother uses this word to describe the way things smell when they’ve been in the fridge too long. Highly accurate, worth bringing into the general lexicon.

Advertisements

hunger: poverty & inequality, not scarcity

“Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That’s enough to feed 10 billion people, the population peak we expect by 2050. But the people making less than $2 a day — most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating unviably small plots of land — can’t afford to buy this food. In reality, the bulk of industrially-produced grain crops goes to biofuels and confined animal feedlots rather than food for the 1 billion hungry. The call to double food production by 2050 only applies if we continue to prioritize the growing population of livestock and automobiles over hungry people.

– Carl Sagan

[emphasis mine]

(Trying to track down original source)

Soapbox Sunday, anyone?

If life gives you lemons, make lemon curd with berries

A couple weekends ago my lovely friend Emily came to visit. She endured a long and arduous bus ride and yet still arrived bearing key ingredients for a delicious summer dessert.

–x–

Armed with

+ 6 eggs, separated (this recipe calls for 6 yolks and 2 egg whites; we saved the remaining whites in a little container for future low-cholesterol baking endeavours, or Sunday morning pancakes)

+ 3 lemons (zested and squeezed for ½ cup of juice)

+ ¾ cup sugar

+ ½ cup butter

+ A few cups of mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

+ Something on which to pour the curd and berries (tarts, pieces of sweet bread, or scones, or croissants. Emily had brought yummy homemade raisin scones, which worked wonderfully.)

and Emily’s mum’s lemon curd recipe, we made one of the best Saturday evening meals in recent memory.

Yes, we made lemon curd and berries for dinner. We were going to have healthy dinner food, too, but when it came down to it we realised we weren’t that hungry, and as we say in my family: life is short, eat desert first.

This is what we did:

Melt the butter in a pot on low-to-medium heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the lemony pulp lemon-juicing by-product. Whisk and whisk and whisk on medium heat for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool. Place tart/scone/dessert foundation of choice in a bowl and ladle on curd and berries. Eat!

our thickened lemon curd

–x–

This was quite simple to make, and a good team-effort sort of recipe what with the repetitive actions of zesting and squeezing lemons (for which I was thrilled to be able to use the 25-year-old juicer gifted to me by my parents), and whisking.

A super delicious, lemony, summer dessert!

hand-me-down retro hand-juicer

dinner