Tag Archives: slow-carb

Ginger Pumpkin Chowder

8 Nov

gingerpumpkinchowder001If there is one thing that we all have no shortage of in the months between Halloween and Christmas, it’s probably a variety of leftover winter squashes.  Got an extra cup or two of cooked pumpkin left over from that pie?  Some acorn or butternut squash that didn’t fit in the pan? Tired of cloying sweets and heavy, creamy soups?  Feeling anxious about the upcoming months of rolling away from holiday tables, or trying to cook to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian at the table?  Here is a warming, satisfying meat and dairy-free soup that tastes like the harvest season, in a bowl.

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Feeling Saucy: Spicy Remoulade

16 Oct

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For a busy October, I decided to feature a series of sauces, highlighting one each week.  While French in name, remoulade comes to us in the US by way of Cajun cuisine, frequently in the company of seafood, fried food, or po’boys, and with an accompanying dose of spicy heat.  This works great as a substitute for tartar sauce, a dressing for salad, or a dip for anything dippable.  Personally, I thought it made a great pairing with falafel, for lunch.

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Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup garlic chives, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco, Ligo, or Frank’s Red Hot)
2 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes

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Mix all ingredients together.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, to allow flavors to settle.

Enjoy!

Feeling Saucy: Mole Poblano

8 Oct

Growing up in the agricultural belt of the Pacific Northwest, the sheer scope and popularity of Mexican cuisine was so pervasive that it wasn’t until I moved to New York for school that I realized there were places where people actually believed Taco Bell qualified as food, let alone ‘Mexican’ food.  As a child, I didn’t take advantage of this in the same way I might, now–I couldn’t tolerate the taste of cilantro, picked at things I couldn’t recognize, and generally stuck to beef burritos and enchiladas without fail.  Nevertheless, my mother used to faithfully order chicken mole whenever it was available, while I turned up my nose and couldn’t fathom eating any sauce so unconventional.  Years later, I found myself craving it now and then, with only hazy memories of the dish to go on, and in Korea, I’m sure you can imagine it became even harder to procure.

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Mole sauce (pronounced ‘mol-LEH’), in its native Mexico, refers to a wide range of thick, richly-flavored sauces, all of which are based upon varying blends of chili peppers thrown together with nuts and other spices.  Legend has it that mole was invented more or less by accident, when a group of poor nuns found that an important visitor would be arriving, and needed something to feed him.  Chili peppers, day-old bread, nuts, spices, and a little chocolate were sacrificed to the cause, along with an old turkey, and a quintessential fusion dish was born.  Ingredients indigenous to Mexico, such as chili pepper, tomatoes, squash seeds, and chocolate may be cooked alongside Mediterranean almonds and raisins, African sesame, and even Asian spices such as anise and cinnamon.  Despite being based on dried pepper, the sauce is not hot-spicy, but features a rich, slow depth of taste that can be disconcerting to those used to milder flavors.

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In Search of the Perfect Bowl of Chili

2 Oct

I had a Monday off work, due to the Harvest Festival here. It’s one of the two biggest holidays on the South Korean calendar–the other is the Lunar New Year–and one of the few times I can rely on my friends also getting a day off.  The weather’s starting to turn a bit nippy here, especially at night, and for some reason, holidays among our crew of ex-pats seem to invariably mean Tex-Mex food makes an appearance.  Chili was the logical conclusion.  And before anyone starts, I know that “real Texas chili” doesn’t include beans.  However, I’m not Texan, and the way I grew up eating chili, it never lacked them.  To me, a pot of chili without beans seems more like sloppy joe topping than a filling meal in its own right.

Preconceptions about beans aside, this hasn’t stopped me from experimenting with different spices and blends to find the perfect combination of spicy-sweet-rich for a bowl of chili.  Monday’s, I think, was a success I’ll keep on permanent file.

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Chickpea Falafel

19 Sep

It’s been an eventful few days!  Yesterday alone, my cable internet quit working, my computer was threatening issues with the motherboard, and my phone seemed determined to thwart me at every turn.  Whatever ill-fated star was passing over the realm of electronics yesterday, however, seems to have gone on its way today.  I’m hoping.  Anyway, I’m back, and I’ve even found the time to share a new recipe.  (Though I’ve also discovered that if I continue to cook at the rate I started, I rapidly overreach the limited confines of my fridge and freezer.  The woes of cooking for one person.)

At any rate, I’ve been on a quest for foods that can be made in batches and prepared in advance for use in lunches or dinners during the week, when I have less spare time and a diet to keep in mind.  I’ve been craving falafel for a couple of weeks, and only whetted my appetite when I ate some last weekend, so I figured it was time to bite the bullet and experiment with recipes until I found something that worked.  My chickpeas were soaking, of course, when the internet and then my computer decided to take a vacation, leaving me with a lot of free time, a few sketchily-remembered details from the recipes I’d glanced at, and a heap of frustration.

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It Chana Masala

29 Aug

If you want to know how about 90% of my meal planning goes, here’s the answer:

“What do I have in my fridge right now?”

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Monday mornings…

27 Aug

So, I had a whole list of Things I was Going to Do on Monday. I planned it all weekend.

These lofty goals included: cooking my favorite Moroccan chickpea soup, whipping up another batch of my new favorite sauce, redoing my manicure, vacuuming, washing my laundry, dressing like a competent adult, going to work, coming home at 9 on the dot, exercising for 45 minutes, fixing a healthy salad, and sleeping at a rational hour.

I managed to go to work, at least?

Instead of all the rest, I took a picture of my breakfast and tried very hard to feel accomplished about it.  My breakfast, mind you, was a couple of fried eggs, some black beans (from a can) heated up in the same pan with herb salt and red pepper, and some salsa (from a jar) spooned over it all.  Basically just huevos rancheros without the tortilla.  It was delicious, at least? And an entirely valid cooking choice on One of Those Days.

Anyway, since there is apparently a typhoon with the approximate dimensions of France sailing in tomorrow to hang about for a couple of days, and my office may or may not close, perhaps I’ll have some free time to do the other things.  You know, if we don’t lose power, in which case I may just end up rocking back and forth sadly and pushing unresponsive keyboard buttons until it returns.