Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Salad tonight

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In a good-sized bowl:

large handful — well, two handfuls — chilled steamed broccoli
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/2 young onion, chopped small
1 San Marzano tomato, chopped
1/2 cup cooked black beans
about 3 tablespoons roasted unsalted pumpkin seed

In a little jar:

juice of half a lemon
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
good dash of tamari
about 2 teaspoons dried basil
about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
about 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

I shook that well, poured it over the salad, and tossed it.

Very tasty. If I had had black olives, I would have added them. I do have daikon radish but didn’t think of it in time — some of that diced would have been nice. If I ate cheese, I would have added some crumbled feta (sheep’s milk feta, preferably).


Written by LeisureGuy

14 August 2020 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

Breakfast — and lunch — improv

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I got some nice veg and I decided to cook a batch in my Stargazer 12″ cast-iron skillet, which seems to have become my favorite.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 long slender leek with a lot of white, sliced (and I also sliced and used all the green part)
1/2 young onion, tennis ball size, sliced (like the one in this photo)

I sautéed that until the onions and leeks were softened and the onions starting to turn translucent. Then I added:

about 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic cloves (that had been resting for 15 minutes)

I’m not sure about the variety — it was not the red Russian garlic, but a white garlic, and it was extremely easy to peel: cut off the attachment end of the clove, give it a twist, and the papery skin pops off.

After about a minute I added

1 medium summer squash (or zucchini — what I used was varicolored greeen), diced
6 medium mushrooms, chopped
about 1.5 tablespoons of dried basil and dried marjoram
about 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
a dash of Red Boat fish sauce

I cooked that, stirring often with a wooden spatula, until the mushrooms started to release their liquid, then added:

1 San Marzano tomato, quartered lengthwise then cut across into pieces

I continued cooking (and stirring) until all the veggies were tender.

Had a bowl of that with:

1/4 cup cooked Red Fife wheat
1/4 cup cooked black beans
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground pepper (for the turmeric, you know)
about 2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce

Plenty left for lunch.


Written by LeisureGuy

14 August 2020 at 10:49 am

Sopa de Ajo — I must make this

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Here’s the description and recipe, and here’s the video:

Written by LeisureGuy

12 August 2020 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

New stew

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I made a new batch of stew, drawing from ideas in this template. I used the 6-qt All-Clad wide-diameter stockpot. Briefly:

about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
the onion in the photo, diced
1 good-sized leek, sliced (including all the green part, and this one had quite a bit)

I sautéed that until the onion was translucent, then added

cloves from two heads of red Russian garlic, chopped small

I let that cook a while, then dumped in the contents of the bowl that held:

red bell pepper (from photo), chopped
2 eggplants (from photo), diced
2 large jalapeños, chopped small, including core and seeds
2 carrots, diced
5 large mushrooms, cut into largish pieces

After that cooked a while, I added:

1/2 head red cabbage, chopped/shredded
2 packages frozen spinach (300g each)
about 1/2 cup frozen cranberries (just wanted to use the up, but they worked well)
3 Roma tomatoes (from photo), diced
1 can original Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 small can no-salt-added tomato paste
Shaoxing wine (or sherry) — I used the empty tomato paste can to measure: 1 can full
1 small can chipotles in adobo (chipotles cut up with kitchen shears after adding to pot)
about 3 tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

These herbs, which I just estimated

1/2 cup very fresh curly-leaf parsley, chopped small
3 tablespoons marjoram
3 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons black pepper

I covered the (pretty full) pot and simmered the stew for half an hour, stirring twice and breaking up the bricks of spinach.

I served it with a good sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes. Quite tasty.

I’ll normally serve this over cooked kamut and cooked black beans (or some other grain and bean combination). The pictured produce is all local and very fresh.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 August 2020 at 10:01 am

Making kimchi at home

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I suggest starting this video at 1:05. I think I’ll make it, but first I must find Korean red pepper flakes. (The impetus to make this comes from the article on fermented vegetables mentioned in the previous post — but I also like kimchi.)

From the video notes:

2-qt canning jar

kosher salt for curing
1 large napa cabbage (2 lbs 2 oz OR 980g)
2 medium sized carrots
1 small daikon radish
1 bunch green onion

1 large Asian pear (250g)
6 cloves (20g) garlic, peeled
2 inch (82g) piece ginger, peeled
1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce
1/3 cup (65g) Korean red pepper flakes *be careful with these, if yours are very spicy then reduce the amount to 1/4 cup (52g)*

Korean red pepper flakes
Less Spicy

He also recommends Red Boat Fish Sauce, which some Whole Foods stores carry. I use the 40º N sauce regularly.

Note from Amazon:

Degrees N is an industry standard to measure the number of grams of nitrogen per liter of fish sauce which relates to the protein level. The highest quality fish sauces are greater than 30N with the flavor becoming more rich and complex with larger N designation.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2020 at 1:20 pm

Walkies, produce haul, and some plants observed

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One walk today for exercise, another for groceries. On the exercise walk I saw this horse topiary and the two crane topiaries at the right. They were both in the same yard, which was a hotel (with tea room) in a predominantly residential neighborhood. The hotel was not out of character for the neighborhood and fit in well.

I also walked by this tree overhanging the sidewalk and admired the blooms. That yard and many of the yards I walked past was given over to a flower garden. As you walk along you’ll find yourself engulfed in a cloud of fragrance that fades as you move beyond that yard, but then another fragrance will waft across the sidewalk from the next yard. And the colors!

Altogether, it made me appreciate urban living rather than suburbs with their vast empty lawns, spread out so that cars are required to get anywhere. In this little neighborhood, I walked by a variety of little cafés, tea rooms, and bars, all nestled into the neighborhood.

And once I returned home and had lunch, I set out again for the local store that sells bulk foods and someproduce — that’s the store where I got the San Marzano tomatoes. None of those today (they will get more tomorrow), but I did get some very nice Roma tomatoes, a young onion (the stem was still green), and couple of male eggplants. (Males eggplants are preferred because they have many fewer seeds, and the seeds tend to be bitter — this I learned today, along with how to tell the difference, from a recipe video.)

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2020 at 4:34 pm

Pulverized cashew idea

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I made creamy cashew sauce again: soak raw cashews in water for two hours, drain, put into a blender or food processor with a little water, and pulverize. This time I didn’t add a measured amount of water, just added water a little at a time, processing/blending after each addition, until I got the consistency I wanted.

When I tasted it, I immediately thought that I should next time include a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a couple of tablespoons of erythritol and use it over berries. (Definitely not refined sugar — causes cavities — or artificial sweetener — destroys gut microbiome).


Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2020 at 11:39 am

Made the pesto-like sauce and updated recipe

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I’m making this recipe today, and I have updated it with what I learned in making their pesto sauce. I doubled the recipe (so I’d have sauce left over for other uses — and besides the bag of fresh basil was pretty large). What I now recommend:

• 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves – don’t press down too hard, but pack with some firmness
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
• 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds (may substitute toasted unsalted sunflower seeds or roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
• juice of 1 lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped [not more, and if cloves are large, just one – since the garlic is raw, it tastes sharp in the sauce]
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes — taste: use more for more flavor

Put everything into a food processor or blender and blend/process until well mixed. I use a Kitchenaid 3-cup food processor which is just right for this. You could also use an immersion blender and the beaker that comes with it, but then I would halve the recipe.

If the sauce is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water and process more. Continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the consistency you want.

That’s my take on it. The cooking I’ll do this afternoon, but I wanted to get the sauce out of the way and let it sit for a while in the fridge.


Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2020 at 10:20 am

San Marzano tomatoes in a good lunch salad

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These are not DOM San Marzano tomatoes, which must be grown in a specific region of Italy that boasts volcanic soil that (presumably) enhances the flavor (terroir and all that), but certainly the San Marzano variety: two chambers only.

I got them at a little store that mostly sells bulk foods — it’s where I buy kamut, for example. It’s within walking distance and since I have a lightweight 18L backpack that stuffs into a pocketable pouch, I used my Nordic walking poles.

Of course I had to try the tomatoes, and for lunch:

about 1 cup steamed broccoli pieces
1 San Marzano tomato halved lengthwise and cut across into pieces
1/4 cup cooked split peas (I cooked them like beans: soaked overnight, then simmered until tend and drained)
1/4 cup cooked intact whole-grain kamut
8-10 pitted Kalamata olives
about 1.5 tablespoons Braggs Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon Eden Foods Ume Plum Vinegar

I tossed that well, then sprinkled over it about 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes for the cheese flavor.

I would also have used 1 or 2 chopped scallions if I had had any.

The broccoli, peas, kamut, and olives were straight from the fridge, so it was a refreshing salad for a summer day.

I also got a lot of lentils (organic green and also Du Puy) because the supermarket was out, about a pound of black beans, almost a quart of raw cashews (2 cups of which are now soaking to make creamy cashew sauce, which I’ll use in lieu of yogurt in the recipe in this post). And I got a big bag of fresh basil leaves, so I can use them in that recipe instead of the parsley I was going to substitute.

I also picked up for The Wife a tub of their hazelnut butter (ingredients list: BC-grown hazelnuts, period).

Man, that was a tasty salad. I thought about a sprinkling of roasted pumpkin seeds, but it was fine without.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 August 2020 at 3:09 pm

Avoid refined and highly processed foods

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From an article in Medium by Dana Smith:

In one recent study published in the journal PLoS One, people who changed their diets for three weeks to follow a modified Mediterranean diet centered on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts were able to improve their depression scores.

The researchers, from Macquarie University in Australia, write that a reduction in processed foods as a result of the diet change contributed the most to the improvement in symptoms. Exactly how diet influences people’s mood is unclear, but one theory is that processed foods cause inflammation in the body, which also affects the brain. Another possibility is that diet’s influence on the gut microbiome results in changes to the brain.

I have avoided refined food for a long time now, and after also eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs I feel even better. (I also of late have avoided alcohol — a refined food if there ever was one.)

My cooking routine makes it easy: I keep in the fridge a batch of cooked beans and a batch of cooked intact whole grain (currently brown lentils and kamut respectively), and periodically I cook a stew of fresh vegetables and greens. I have beans and grain at each meal, along with greens and vegetables, and I also eat three pieces of fruit and a bowl of berries each day. I’m just back from the supermarket and I got apples, mandarin oranges, plumcots, and bananas. I get a large (4-lb) box of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) and thaw a bowl each evening for a treat. I also eat at least 1/4 cup of walnuts a day, and generally a small handful of roasted redskin peanuts (no salt — I avoid salt). I grind a tablespoon of flaxseed and include that with breakfast.

This has all become very easy — easy to cook and, since I have the fridge well-stocked with cooked food, easy to prepare a meal.

Today I’m branching out a bit, making a dish derived from a recipe from the Washington Post that looks good: “Beat the heat with this quick-cooking skillet of garlicky beans, broccoli and pesto.”

I’ve modified their recipe a fair amount. What follows describes what I did and reflects some lessons learned in the process.

For the pesto-like sauce

This is double the original recipe, so I could have sauce left over for other uses.

• 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves – don’t press down too hard, but pack with some firmness
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
• 1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds or toasted unsalted sunflower seeds or roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
• juice of 1 lemon (save zest for the broccoli dish below)
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped [not more, and if cloves are large, just one – since the garlic is raw, it tastes sharp in the sauce]
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (taste: use more for more flavor)

Put all ingredients in a food processor (I use a 3-cup Kitchenaid) and process until well mixed. If sauce is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water and process more. Continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the consistency you want.

You can use a blender instead: put everything into the blender and blend until smooth. If you have an immersion blender with the beaker that usually comes with one, you can use that, but then I would halve the above recipe.

For the broccoli and beans

• Florets from 1 head broccoli
• Boiling water [a cinch since I have an electric kettle – LG]
• 1.5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
• 2 15-ounce cans no-salt-added organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup cooked intact whole grain wheat or rye [I’m using kamut (khorosan wheat) – LG]
• 12-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 small zucchini (4 ounces), coarsely grated
• 1-3 tablespoons creamy cashew sauce
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from the lemon used in the pesto)
• 1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
• Good optional addition 1/2 – 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

I went with chickpeas since (a) I have them on hand and (b) store had no lima beans (which are not al that nutritious anyway).

Cut the broccoli into small, bite-size pieces (the smaller, the better). Put the broccoli into a saucepan (3-qt is a good size) and cover with the boiling water to blanch the broccoli. Let stand until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes, then drain. (A saucepan has a handle, so it’s easy to pick it up and dump the contents into a sieve or colander.)

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, chickpeas, kamut, and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in half the pesto from the recipe above, along with the zucchini, creamy cashew sauce, zest, and pepper, and (optionally) the kalamata olives. Serve warm.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 August 2020 at 9:17 am

Hummus with serrano pepper

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I made a batch of this hummus — and because of what I recently learned about contamination of chickpeas/garbanzos, I was careful to use organic canned garbanzo beans. The only change I made to the recipe at the link is that, along with the garlic, I added one serrano pepped, halved lengthwise and then cut across in little chunks.

The result is a little spice, but not too much (probably because of the oils in the recipe: tahini and olive oil.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 August 2020 at 1:58 pm

Summer vegetable dish recipe: Onion, peppers, garlic, summer squash, mushrooms, ….

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I used the Stargazer 12″ skillet.

First I chopped small a head of local red Russian garlic, which has enormous cloves, easy to peel, and is mild and somewhat sweet — about half a cup of finely chopped garlic, which I set aside to rest.

I added the following to the skillet as I did the chopping:

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut in half, then into slices, then (holding slices together in the half-onion shape) each slice into thirds, so the result is short strips of onion
2 large yellow bell peppers, cored, sliced into vertical strips, and the strips halved
2 large jalapeños, chopped small
1 largish yellow zucchini or summer squash, diced
a dozen large domestic white mushrooms, halved vertically and sliced thick

I then turned on the burner and started cooking that, stirring carefully since the skillet was pretty full — but it cooks down. I added:

2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
several good shakes of Worcestershire sauce

After it had cooked down somewhat, I added

the garlic
1/2 cup roasted redskin peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives

I didn’t actually measure the amount of olives. Maybe it was 1/2 cup rather than 1/3 cup.

I continued cooking over fairly high heat, stirring often, until all vegetables were tender.

For a meal: one cup of that over:

1/4 cup cooked lentils
1/4 cup cooked kamut

I found it very tasty. No greens, though. I thought about including some red cabbage and might do that next time, but then I should use the 6-qt All-Clad Stainless pot.

And then I could include asparagus as well. Green beans might be nice, too.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 August 2020 at 6:38 pm

Dried persimmons

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Written by LeisureGuy

30 July 2020 at 5:32 pm

A variation on “Ad hoc and tasty”

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A couple of days ago I blogged a recipe that I liked so much I made it again, though “recipe” is a stretch. I cooked some food together. Here is the most recent variation:

I cooked this in my Stargazer 12″ skillet, using things I had on hand. I did all the prep ahead of time, doing the garlic first, so it could rest. This dish requires frequent stirring, for which I use a wooden spatula so I can scrape bottom (without damaging seasoning).

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 1 bunch large scallions, chopped including leaves.

Sauté onion over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often, until it turns gold and just starts to caramelize. Add:

• 1 head garlic cloves, chopped small
• 1 largish turmeric roots, chopped small (all the turmeric I had left)

Sauté, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then add:

• 1 medium zucchini, diced
• 1 large handful medium asparagus, chopped
• 10-12 medium white mushrooms, quartered
• 1/8 large head of red cabbage, chopped
• 2 large Serrano peppers, halved lengthwise then chopped (including core and seeds)
• about 1.5-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

I cooked (stirring often). After it had cooked a while, I added:

• about 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

I continued to cook it until the mushrooms were definitely done and the cabbage was tender but still al dente.

I served it by putting into a bowl:

• 1/3 cup cooked intact red fife wheat (last time was rye)
• 1/3 cup cooked dark red kidney beans

I added on top of that a good-sized serving of the vegetables. I topped it off with:

• juice of 1/2 lemon

and stirred to mix. Extremely tasty. The red fife wheat grains were cooked to perfection — done but chewy and the grains distinct: about 75-80 minutes at 3.0 on the induction burner (1 cup wheat to 3 cups water, cooked covered).

Plenty of leftovers. Cook once, eat twice (or more) — my motto.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 July 2020 at 5:59 pm

A Portuguese Artist’s Chilled Tomato Soup

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This recipe is from an interesting article in the NY Times which opens:

When summer hits the Iberian Peninsula, everyone starts eating cold tomato soup. Spaniards, of course, prepare gazpacho — the pinkish purée that’s often served smooth enough to be drunk like a shot. Meanwhile, across the border, the Portuguese make arjamolho, which is essentially gazpacho’s fraternal twin. The key difference is the texture, arjamolho’s being similar to a that of a chunky salsa; it’s a rustic dish often served alongside other local staples such as grilled sardines. But for the 28-year-old textile artist Vanessa Barragão, a native of the seaside Algarve region of southern Portugal, arjamolho is the main course. “It’s like a soup,” she says, “but at the same time a salad.” . . .

The recipe:

• 5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 onion, minced [I would go with a sweet onion: Maui, Walla Walla, Vidalia, Texas Sweet – LG]
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• Cucumber, minced (optional)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil [real extra-virgin olive oil would be best – LG]
• 3 tablespoons vinegar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• Oregano (to taste) [based on photo: fresh oregano – LG]
• 1 loaf stale sourdough bread, cut into one-inch cubes

1. Place cut tomatoes in a large bowl, followed by the onion, garlic and (if using) cucumber. Lightly mash together with your hand. Season with oil, vinegar, oregano and salt. Taste and adjust if needed.

2. Pour about four cups cold water into the bowl until it has the consistency of a light soup. Stir. Taste again to check the seasoning.

3. Serve with the bread cubes, stirring them in like croutons. The goal is to have a chunky texture without letting the bread get too soggy.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 July 2020 at 9:57 am

Induction burners are great

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My apartment has a more or less terrible stove: the range-top uses electric coils, warped and uneven, and those heat slowly but have a blazing-hot terminal temperature so that moving beyond 3 on the 1-10 dial is risky.

The Eldest suggested I look at a portable induction burner. Since I seldom cook two things at once on the range top — and I can work around that — it seemed feasible. I looked at Wirecutter  and bought their pick, the Duxtop 9100MC. I love it.

With induction burners, the only thing that gets hot is the pot/pan itself. The pot or pan must respond to a magnet, and the test is simple: if a magnet sticks to the bottom, the pot will work. My cookware is All-Clad Stainless and cast-iron, and those work fine. I do have one piece of an old model All-Clad Copper Core, and that does not work at all. Current models of All-Clad Copper Core cookware do work on induction burners — but not the early models.

I find the induction burner makes cooking much easier and more controllable. I plan buy a piece of birch plywood to lay over the stovetop, thus increasing the counter space in my (small) kitchen. I finished the wood simply, just using butcher block oil. (I would have preferred to use tung oil, which works great, but the store had none on hand.) The induction burner sitss on that. I remove the board when I use the oven.

One example: I like to cook eggs in a Smithey No. 8 skillet , an 8″ skillet designed for cooking eggs. It’s cast iron with a smoothly polished cooking area so that once seasoned it is non-stick. One nice thing about that skillet is that it holds a lot of heat, so when eggs are added, the cooking surface maintains its temperature.

The corresponding drawback to its great heat capacity is that loading it with heat took quite a while on an electric coil burner — but on the induction burner all the energy goes directly into the skillet (instead of indirectly: first into heating the burner, which in turn heats the skillet), so the skillet heats quickly. 

I formerly used a Matfer Bourgeat carbon-steel skillet, also non-stick when seasoned. That skillet is lighter in weight and quicker to heat, but when cold eggs are added, the cooking-surface temperature dips a bit — the eggs cooked in the Smithey do better. The Matfer Bourgeat also lacks the curved walls of the Smithey, so flipping eggs (for over-easy) is harder and the eggs are more apt to break.

Now that I have experience with the induction burner, I don’t understand why induction-burner kitchen ranges are not more common.

UPDATE: After a few weeks of using the induction burner for all my cooking, I love it. It heats the cooking surface of the skillet, pot, or pan much more evenly and much more quickly then electric coil burners. I notice that I don’t get the rainbow effect on the bottom of stainless pots that I used to get on the electric coil.  (This effect is the result of uneven heating; the rainbow colors are easily removed with a good stainless cleanser like Barkeeper’s Friend, Cameo, Kleen King, or the like. Still, it’s nice that it doesn’t happen now, and it shows how the cooking surface is heated evenly.)

Pots, even heavy stainless steel, heat quickly, and it’s easy to control temperature. I love it.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 July 2020 at 1:27 pm

Ad hoc and tasty

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I cooked this in my Stargazer 12″ skillet, using things I had on hand. I did all the prep ahead of time, doing the garlic first, so it could rest. This dish requires frequent stirring, for which I use a wooden spatula so I can scrape bottom (without damaging seasoning).

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large chopped yellow onion

Sauté onion over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often, until it turns gold and just starts to caramelize. Add:

1 head garlic cloves, chopped small
2 largish turmeric roots, chopped small

Sauté, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then add:

1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large handful thin asparagus, chopped
10-12 medium white mushrooms, cut into chunks
about 1/2 cup roasted salt-free redskin peanuts
about 1.5-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

I would have used 1-2 jalapeños if I had had any, and probably also some diced daikon radish.

After the mushrooms started to release their liquid, I added

1/8 of a large head of red cabbage, chopped.

I cooked (stirring often) it all seemed cooked and the cabbage was tender but still al dente.

I served it by putting into a bowl:

1/3 cup cooked intact rye grain
1/3 cup cooked dark red kidney beans

I added on top of that a good-sized serving of the vegetables. I topped it off with:

juice of 1/2 lemon

and stirred to mix. Extremely tasty.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 July 2020 at 1:36 pm

Basic Vegetable Stew

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I’ve blogged various takes on this basic vegetable stew. Today I decided to create a permanent shopping list in Google Keep to make sure that when I’m going to make a batch I come home from the supermarket with all that I need. I was motivated to make the list when I discovered today that I had forgotten to get carrots.

I use a wide (10.5″ inside diameter) 6-qt pot, and this fills it pretty well.

For a serving portion, I put 1/3 cup cooked intact whole grain and 1/3 cup beans in a bowl and serve 1 cup of the stew over that. The recipe makes a lot, but I eat a pint a day or perhaps a little more. For my breakfast serving I mix in 1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseed and 1/4 cup nuts (usually chopped walnuts) along with 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric and about 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper.

This is clearly a recipe that you can vary a lot

My Vegetable Stew

Canned items – all of these

14 oz can tomatoes (no salt added)
1 can Ro-Tel original
1 small can tomato paste (no salt added)
1 can chipotles in adobo

Greens (choose 2 or 3) – rinsed and chopped, including stems

Lacinato kale
Red kale
Green kale
Red chard
Red cabbage

Roots – diced (turmeric and ginger minced)

2 carrots
1 big beet (red, not golden)
Daikon radish
Turmeric (fresh)
Ginger root

Allium – always garlic plus one other, chopped

Garlic (at least 1 head, chopped small) plus Spring garlic if available.
Spring onions
Scallions (3-4 bunches large scallions)
Big leek (including green part)
Red onion (fallback, seldom used)

Other – first three always, last four occasionally, asparagus when available

3-4 jalapeños and/or yellow or red bell pepper (or other pepper(s))
2 lemons, diced, including peel
12-14 oz mushrooms, cut up
Asparagus, chopped (around a pound)
Summer squash or zucchini, diced
Winter squash (delicata, buttercup, kabocha, peeled butternut), seeded and diced
Japanese (or Italian) eggplant, large dice (occasionally)
Pitted Kalamata olives (occasionally — always with eggplant)
Unsalted redskin peanuts (occasionally — with eggplant, pine nuts instead)
Kohlrabi (occasionally)

From on hand – all of these

Olive oil (1.5 tablespoons)
Vinegar (cider, black Chinese, brown rice, sherry, etc.)
Sherry or Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp black pepper
1/3 cup Mexican oregano
Crushed red pepper
Tamari (or soy sauce) and mirin (occasionally)
Wright’s liquid smoke (occasionally)
Red Boat fish sauce (occasionally)


I prepare (chop, dice, etc.) all but the greens. I cook the onions and peppers for a while in the olive oil, then add garlic, turmeric, and ginger and cook that a few minutes. Then I add everything but the greens. The chipotles I add to the pot and then use kitchen shears to cut them up. I have occasionally added frozen peas. I suggested amounts for some ingredients, but mostly I leave that up to you.

For the greens, I use an entire bunch of each green I’m using, except for red cabbage. I’ll use 1/2 or 1/4 head of cabbage, depending on the size of the head. (You could also use green cabbage or Savoy cabbage, but red cabbage has more phytonutrients.) The remainder of the cabbage I eat over a few days in salads. Broccolini comes in small bunches so I may use two or three, but mostly I get rapini instead. (Today’s mix of greens: Lacinato kale, spinach, and rapini.)

While the non-greens ingredients are cooking (and thus wilting to make room for the greens), I rinse and chop the greens. I do the greens bunch by bunch — that is, I chop one bunch and add that to the pot, mixing it in and giving it time to wilt. After that bunch has been added to the pot and is cooking, I chop the next bunch and add it gradually. It takes a while for the greens to wilt sufficiently fit into the pot.

Once all ingredients are in the pot, I simmer it for 35-40 minutes or so. If you eat dairy, a topping of shaved or grated Parmesan Reggiano or Romano Pecorino is tasty. Other possibilities are sour cream, crème fraîche, or Greek yogurt.

Sometimes I take some of the stew from the pot in the fridge, heat it in a saucepan, and then add fresh fish cut into chunks (Dover sole, Icelandic cod, sablefish) or peeled fresh shrimp or oysters. I cook those in the stew for a seafood stew. This works well because seafood cooks quickly.

Today’s stew:

Update: I should add that I almost always have steamed broccoli in the fridge, which sometimes I add to a serving of this or just use as the basis for a salad.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2020 at 3:55 pm

Impromptu dinner

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I prepared:

5 cloves garlic, minced
about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch (6) large scallions, chopped
1 large jalapeño, chopped small
6 large white domestic mushrooms
about 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
about 1 tablespoon fresh minced turmeric
about 1.5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1/8 of a large head of red cabbage, chopped fairly small
dash of Red Boat Fish sauce
dash of balsamic vinegar

I minced the garlic first so it could rest, and then prepared the rest. I heated a cast-iron skillet, added the olive oil and the onions.

After the onions cooked a while, I added the jalapeño, mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, and pepper. I cooked that a while until the mushrooms began to release their water, than added the cabbage, fish sauce, and vinegar.

I sautéed it over fairly high heat until cabbage had wilted and mushrooms were cooked. Than I spooned up a bowl and added:

shaved Parmesan (yes, I know: strictly speaking that’s not not plant-based, but only a little)

Very tasty and good umami, thanks to the ingredients.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 July 2020 at 8:34 pm

TYD: “All the Breads I’ve Loved Before”

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The Younger Daughter launched a little blog. She loves baking, and you can see some of her favorites here.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2020 at 11:33 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

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