Friday, July 16, 2010
Eat The Rainbow: Simple Recipes Included
(OK, a drive-thru, ha ha ha)
Chickpeas: cook a bag of chickpeas according to directions (overnight soak, etc.), OR open a can, drain it, and rinse the peas in cold water. Throw them in a bowl. Anticipate your next delicious move.
Party Dress for the Chickpeas: toss a handful of herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, parsley, or a combo), a jalapeno pepper, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, some lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor; add more oil and / or lemon juice if needed. Pour what you need over the chickpeas, and refrigerate the rest for later. You'll use it again.
Four- Minute Steamed Okra: set up your well-used steamer basket scenario (see July 2nd post for explicit steaming directions); when the water steams, add the okra; set the kitchen timer for NO MORE THAN 4 minutes. Remove the basket promptly, and drizzle the little green alien pods with olive oil and sea salt.
MY HEARTFELT OKRA TESTIMONY: eating okra lightly cooked this way will change your world, I swear. My favorite okra recipe used to be this: boil a quart of salt water; add a pound of okra; cook for 20 minutes, then flush down the toilet. Think you don't like okra? Think again, my friend. I was a card-carrying okra hater unless it was fried dark brown and covered with ketchup. Stewed? Ugh. Still makes me gag just thinking about it. But, this, I'm serious; it's my favorite summer food. Be brave, and you will be rewarded.
Chilled purple cabbage: turn your burner on medium high; in a frying pan, heat up a couple tablespoons of chicken broth or water; add a couple of cups or more chopped cabbage of any color (mine happened to be purple which turned a lovely color of blue when cooked - much more palatable than the artificial blue of M&Ms); add a liberal pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and stir; after a minute or two, you might need to add another tablespoon or so of liquid, depending on how old the cabbage is - the younger it is, the quicker it will cook - and cover it for another minute. It takes approximately 5 minutes or less to cook cabbage this way, and it will be crunchy, not mushy. Eat what you want, and store the rest. Cabbage is good for breakfast, remember?
Marinated Cukes and Onions: Slice a bunch of garden cukes as thin as you can; slice a large sweet onion very thinly, too; in a large casserole-type glass container, layer the cukes and onions. Boil one cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of water, and 1/2 cup of honey or organic cane sugar. Pour the hot mixture over the cukes and onions until the veggies are covered. If you need more liquid, just add more vinegar and water. If you want these babies even sweeter, add balsamic vinegar at the end.
Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Peppers: wash 'em, eat 'em.