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PCRM Vegan Kickstart Week One DIY:

A bean.

A green.

A grain.

I love simplicity, even if I don’t show it. I love alliteration and rhyming because it makes things easier to remember. So I tried the formula:

A Bean.

Garbanzos. I cooked a huge pot and had some left over ready to use.

A Green.

Cabbage. I had a cole slaw blend that I decided to repurpose.

A Grain.

Rice. It feeds most humans and I love it.

Looks like a curry! So I fashioned a curry based on Simple Bombay Aloo.

I added carrot, the cabbage mixture, and some green beams and eggplant I had laying around. For curry powder I used the last of my Sri Lankan curry powder, which is hotter and different from your average curry powder. Served on top of rice, it made a great dinner and lunch the following day.

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Help From The Freezer

Coming back home from the holidays is always a challenge. Trying to reintegrate myself into the regular routine is always hard. Knowing this, I planned ahead and had some dinner food already cooked and frozen so I would have less to do. Good thing I did this, because I came back with pneumonia, and cooking was a real chore. My freezer food saved me! What I stocked in my freezer was two huge containers of two different split pea soup. I was worried about they might freeze, but they were fine. Here’s how they work out, nicely color coded:

Green Split Pea Soup

 1 pound green split peas

8 C water

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2-3 potatoes, cubed

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets

2 bay leaves

2 T parsley flakes

1 T prepared mustard

1 t basil

1 t paprika

Directions:

Put split peas and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. While peas simmer, chop veggies. Add veggies and seasonings and simmer for 30 minutes more. Check to see that everything is done to your liking, cooking longer if needed.

Yellow Curried Split Pea Soup

Follow above recipe with these substitutions:

Yellow split peas for green

Cauliflower for broccoli

2 T curry powder for the other seasonings.

To serve, you can top rice with it, or have bread or naan alongside. Or wrap in a tortilla.

There you go, two easy, inexpensive soups/stews complete with cancer fighting crucifers. Can’t beat that with a bat.

Waste Not, Want Not Part 2: The Freezer

It’s not just the bulk goods in the pantry that needed inspection and rotation, but my freezer as well. How long will a package of tempeh keep frozen? My guess is not as long as I’ve kept mine. No, I won’t share the date. The freezer is an awesome thing, which I learned from my grandmother. My grandma grew up on a farm in the days before refrigeration, so knew all about “putting food by” to last the winter. When refrigerators and freezers appeared she kept the tradition of storing food, but now she could store more variety with more freshness. I remember she had a huge chest freezer that kept all kinds of food well preserved, all labelled and dated.

I’m not as good with my freezer, it’s small and I don’t label. But I have learned a few things that make the freezer an awesome tool for healthy eating.

Freeze Leftovers

Make a big batch of something and freeze individual portions. This makes a quick lunch or dinner if plans go awry, and prevents eating out.

Freezer Basics

Make a big batch of beans in the slow cooker, drain and cool thoroughly. Freeze in one cup amounts in plastic bags. Cheaper and tastier than canned.

Frozen Veggies

Keep several bags of mixed veggies on hand. These can be used for quick meals cooking and adding some sauce and seasonings. My favorites: California Blend, Mediterranean Blend, Southwest Blend.

This Week’s Freezer Clean Meal:

Indian Dal with Veggies

2 cups yellow split peas

8 cups water

1 onion, chopped

2 potatoes chopped (I used one russet and one sweet)

1 16 oz. bag frozen veggies, thawed (I used carrot, cauliflower, broccoli)

2 T curry powder

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

 

Bring split peas to a boil, lower heat and simmer about 30 min. uncovered.

While split peas simmer, thaw frozen veggies and prep the raw veggies.

Add remaining ingredients to pot and cook and continue to simmer until everything is cooked to your liking. I mistimed the veggies, and ended up overcooking the frozen veggies until they broke apart. It turned out just fine. Adjust the seasoning. I like to add hot sauce.

To serve:

I put cooked rice in a bowl, a handful of baby spinach and ladled the dal over the top. It would also be good on its own.