Quiet Stovetop Veggies

Did you ever read the Moomin books? Moomin Mama and Moomin Papa and Snufkin and the gang? They are children’s stories by Tove Jansson, and if you’re not familiar already, you should check them out.

One of my favorite stories is The Hemulen who Loved Silence. It’s about a Hemulen (one of the Jansson creatures) who is feels overwhelmed by how loud the world is. He craves whispers and padded footsteps and shadows.  I don’t want to give it all away, but it’s a very short story and you can read it all here. You’ll read it? Promise? It’s kind of a magical little tale.

Sometimes BGE and I feel like that Hemulen. We live in a loud-screaming-rumbling neighborhood. You’d think that since I grew up in a swallow-you-whole metropolis and BGE spent some years in Brookyln, we’d be fine with it. Or maybe all those years wore us out. We’d love to live in a quiet little tucked-away den, but we can’t afford to move out right now. But it’s never quiet here. Well, almost never.

Sometimes, when I’m cooking, I can’t hear anything. Everything else looses focus, save my knife on the cutting board. I guess that’s how I don’t notice the chaos of dishes piling around me, or the splatters on the stove, or BGE groaning about how loud the neighbors are.

I love that feeling. I love it because truly getting down and focusing on anything is a tremendous chore for me. BGE can sit and stare at his computer for hours and never once click away to the interwebs. I’ve had coworkers who could enter data for days, claiming that it was “soothing.” That’s never been me, unless it involved running or swimming.

But  I love that nothing can distract me from this, that I can’t hear the child/pterosaur outside, or the various neighbors who announce their very small junk with their very loud cars.

 

 

What makes your world go quiet?

 

Stovetop Veggie Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of assorted fingerling potatoes
  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 lb asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 lb spring onions, washed and trimmed (I trimmed to where the stalks split)
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • a few springs of fennel
  • 1 huge garlic clove, or two medium garlic cloves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • about 2-3 cups of vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Slice the beets and potatoes.
  2. Put the beets and potatoes into separate pots (don't worry, cleanup is easy) with enough veggie broth to cover.
  3. Cover the pots. Cook the beets at medium heat for about 15 minutes and the potatoes on high for the same amount of time.*
  4. Remove from heat and drain away excess broth. Set aside.
  5. Coat a skillet with olive oil and bring to medium heat.
  6. Grate in the garlic clove.
  7. Let the garlic get a little dark and then chop in the spring onions and thyme
  8. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the asparagus in and cover loosely.
  10. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add in the potatoes and beets, tossing to coat the olive oil and herbs.
  12. Cook for 1 more minute and then remove from heat.
  13. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Just before serving, toss in a handful of fennel sprigs.

Notes

*you can cook them in the same pot if you want to. just start the potatoes on medium heat for 10 minutes, add in the beets, and cook for 15 more minutes. I just chose to cook them separately because I didn't want the beets bleeding all over the potatoes.

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Monte Christo Kale Quesadilla with Black Bean Chips

 

Oh dear. Sorry I’ve been gone for over a week. Reasons, et al.

Do you ever feel guilty about your grocery bill? I do. But I love this meal because it is cheap-cheap-cheap and still tastes delicious. Everything in here was already in my crisper or cupboards.

I made a version of this for BGE last night. There are some things that I still don’t know about him. I didn’t know if he liked Monte Christo sandwiches or not, so I texted his mom to ask her. I guess his mom away from her phone because his dad answered the text. “I do not know, he’s your husband [to be] what is a montie christo sandwich anyways love M.” So much for that idea, but it gave me a chuckle. I really like my future in-laws.

Anyways, I took a gamble and made it for BGE when he got home, and he loved it. I’ll include the recipe for the one I made for him below, but this is such a versatile recipe, you could make almost anything with it.

That’s one reason I love meals like quesadillas and pita pizzas. It takes minimal effort to customize them so each person can get exactly what they want. My version had corn tortillas, his had flour tortillas. I filled his with deli turkey, mine with kale and spring onion.

Monte Christo Quesadilla with Black Bean Chips

Ingredients

    for the Quesadilla:
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed kale
  • 1 spring onion
  • a few tablespoons of vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and queso fresco)
  • for the egg dip
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dash each of salt, cayenne, and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • for the black bean chips
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of cumin
  • optional, for serving
  • avocado, salsa

Instructions

    for the quesadilla:
  1. Heat the vegetable broth in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add in the kale and spring onion.
  3. Cover and cook until the kale is wilted, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Uncover and cook, stirring, until any remaning broth is evaporated or absorbed. Remove from heat.
  5. Layer the cheese and kale on one tortilla, top with the second tortilla,
  6. make the egg dip
  7. Combine the egg, spices, and sriracha. Pour into a large dish.
  8. to cook
  9. Carefully sit the quesadilla into the egg dip and then flip it so it gets really eggy on all sides
  10. Melt some coconut oil in a pan.
  11. Cook over medium heat, about 4-6 minutes on each side, or until golden. Serve hot.
  12. for the black bean chips.
  13. Preheat the oven to 450
  14. Puree the beans with the spices until very smooth.
  15. Grease baking sheet and spread the beans onto it, forming about a 10 x 12 rectangle. It helps is your spatula is greased too.
  16. Score the beans. (I used a small biscuit cutter, but you can also just score into triangles.)
  17. Bake for 15 minutes. The chips should have separated where you made the score marks. Flip the chips and bake for 5 more minutes. This makes a small batch of chips (about 20-25 chips), but can easily be doubled.

Notes

For BGE's version: Take a huge flour tortilla, put a handful of cheddar on it, top with deli turkey, add another handful of cheese, and top with another flour tortilla. Set aside. Whisk two eggs with some salt, garlic powder, cumin, and about 2 tsp sriracha. Pour the egg mix into a big dish, and sit it quesdialla in the mix. Carefully turn it so that the other side gets eggy too. Melt coconut oil in a pan and cook on medium heat, about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden. Serve immediately with avocado.

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Tahini & Sprout Pie

tahnini

 

I’m happy every day for all that I have. It’s so easy to be jealous of people with better jobs, bigger homes, prettier faces, slimmer bodies. I’ve also always been ragingly jealous of people who are good at math. It’s so easy to get angry (and trust me, I do). But it’s also super easy to remind myself that I’m so lucky because I have a BGE, and a huge park practically right next door to run in, and a job with such good benefits. See? That was so easy. And right now I’m eating a Sour Patch Kid Popsicle…..so that’s another thing to be so happy about.

Oh, derp. I forgot that I’m also happy about this pie! I wanted to call it a pizza, but I have respect pizza purists (like my BGE) and I know that they would not appreciate the name. So it’s a pie.

Yes, it’s one of those cauliflower crust ones. But it’s got three binders in it (chia, flax, tahini) so it’s not as delicate as other cauliflower crusts pies I’ve made. It is a little crumbly, as are all non-egg cauliflower crusts, but really is a big improvement. I think it was the tahini.

I’m such a sprout freak (you know you are too. sprouts are so hot right now), so they were the natural choice to top this pie with.

tahini1

 

Sriracha sprouts, that is. Yup, that’s one more thing to be happy about. Oh and I’m going for a run once I’m finished typing this up. This happy list is getting long……

Tahini & Brussels Sprout Pie

Ingredients

    for the crust:
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1 tbsp ground chia
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • sprinkle of salt
  • for the sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • extra tahini to drizzle

Instructions

    for the crust
  1. Chop up the cauliflower, core and all.
  2. Steam over high heat 5-6 minutes.
  3. Drain and allow to cool, then rise with cold water to cool completely.
  4. Put the cauliflower in a flour-sack cloth and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
  5. Blend the cauliflower up into a paste (I used an immersion blender).
  6. Add in the chia, flax, and tahini.
  7. Grate in the garlic.
  8. Roll everything into a ball.
  9. Place the ball on a non-stick silicone sheet and pat into desired shape,ensuring that crust is at least 1/2 inch thick.
  10. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, arrange sprouts on top, and then bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  11. for the sprouts:
  12. Combine sriracha, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.
  13. Coat a large sautee pan with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  14. Cook the sprouts for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring gently.
  15. Pour the sriracha mix over the sprouts and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally
  16. The sprouts won't be cooked all the way, but once you put them on the pie crust and in the oven, they'll finish up.
  17. Once the pie comes out of the oven, drizzle with additional tahini and a sprinkle of salt.
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 slightly adapted from nutrition stripped