Thursday, January 31, 2013
I was looking through some of my cookbooks last night for some new budget recipes, and found one for A Bit o' Emerald Soup in Sunset's "Kitchen Cabinet: Real food for real people: More than 500 favorite recipes from the kitchens of Sunset readers". The recipe was from G.W. from Monmouth, Oregon. What struck me about the recipe was that it uses both cabbage and spinach. I figured that the cabbage (39 cents a pound) was there to stretch the spinach (99 cents a pound, or more if you use fresh). Turns out that the soup is more of a cream of cabbage soup with some spinach for color than it is a cream of spinach soup with some cabbage to stretch it. Oh well. It was good anyway. And I may try adding some cabbage to other things that call for spinach and get pureed.
Anyway, here's my version of the recipe, which is both cheaper and easier to make.
1 T butter or lard or other fat
1/2 onion, chopped (50 gr)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c chicken broth
1 c water (or more broth)
4 oz frozen chopped spinach
1/2 lb cabbage, shredded or chopped
1 c cream or coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the fat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cabbage and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is quite soft. Puree the soup using either a blender or a stick blender. Leave some texture to it if you like. Add the cream or coconut milk and the salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary.
Makes about 6 cups
You'll notice that there's no protein here. The original recipe suggests using it as a first course for St. Patrick's Day dinner, so it didn't need protein. I made it on a day when I have extra protein at other meals, so it doesn't matter much that lunch is light on protein. Or you could add some extra protein. Some diced corned beef would be good in it, or ham. Or you could have a couple of hard boiled eggs with mayo to go with. This would probably be good made with the broth from cooking your corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, though you'd want to taste the broth first. You might want to use less broth and more water as the broth tends to be pretty salty.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Or any kind of winter squash seeds, actually. I've used pumpkin and spaghetti squash and am cooking up some delicata squash seeds now. Here's what I wrote about them back in October:
Put the seeds in a bowl of warm water and rub them thoroughly to get rid of the slimy stuff. Most of the seeds should be pretty clean anyway, but some will be stuck in the strings. If you squeeze the end thatís stuck in the strings the seeds should squirt right out. (Itís kind of fun, actually!) When the seeds are clean, put them in some salted water, bring to a boil, and simmer them for 10 minutes. Drain, and spread them out in a baking sheet that you greased with a tablespoon or so of oil or drippings. Bake on the top shelf of the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until they start to brown.
They're free, except for the salt, since you got the squash for the squash-ness of it and assuming you use drippings that you have saved.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Do you know about delicata squash? It seems to be sort of a cross between a summer squash (like zucchini) and a winter squash (like acorn squash). It keeps into the winter (I got some at the Farmers Market last week), it has orange flesh surrounding a cavity that is filled with pumpkin like seeds and orange stringy stuff, but a cup of cooked squash has only 7 total carbs, 1 gram of fiber, for just 6 net carbs. And it tastes and cooks and looks like winter squash.
I used a delicata squash to make the Curried Ground Beef and Squash for supper. It was very good. See the separate post with the recipe. You could use a fresh pumpkin if you happened to have one and didn't have a delicata squash. You could probably use some canned pumpkin and just mix it into the meat, too. I haven't tried either of those options.
Breakfast - eggs fried in drippings; tea w/splenda, coconut milk and gelatin
Lunch - Pumpkin, Cabbage & Chicken Stew
Snack - tea with splenda
Supper - Curried Ground Beef with Squash
Evening tea - tea with splenda and gelatin
Total cost of food eaten today - $3.38
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
CURRIED GROUND BEEF AND SQUASH
(adapted with many changes from grace2882.wordpress.com)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 small onion (40 gr)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon Sugar Free Maple Syrup (I used a tablespoon)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 delicata squash (1 pound)
In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender, drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, mix well. Cook another couple of minutes and remove from skillet.
While meat is cooking, slice squash about 3/4" thick. Using a spoon or sharp knife, remove seeds and strings from the centers. Save the seeds to make "pumpkin" seeds. Delacata squash does not have to be peeled; the peel is edible.
Increase heat to high. Add 2 T lard or drippings to skillet. When hot, add slices of squash, laying them flat in a single layer. Cook a few minutes, until the bottom is browned. Flip them over and cook for another minute or two. Spoon the meat mixture over the squash slices, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and cover. Cook about 15 minutes, or until the squash is completely soft.
This would probably be easier if you cubed the squash and nuked it until almost done, then put it in the skillet with the meat and cook it another 15 minutes or so.
The original recipe called for cutting the squash (it used 3 acorn squash which is much higher carb) in half and baking until almost done. Fill the squash halves with the meat mixture, add some water to the pan, and bake another 30 minutes or so.
Serving Size: 4 servings, about 1-1/2 cups each
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Breakfast - eggs scrambled in drippings; tea w/splenda, gelatin, coconut milk
Lunch - salad (cabbage, onion, mayo, egg, mustard, vinegar, splenda, sunflower seeds), carrot
Snack - tea, splenda
Supper - salad (turkey, celery, mayo, sunflower seeds)
Evening tea - tea w/splenda, gelatin, coconut milk
Total cost of food eaten - $3.15
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