29 August 2006

Cuban Lentils!

At our avocado house communist dinner last night, we enjoyed this new lentil salad recipe from the Food Network.

Here's what I did, for posterity's sake:

6 c. water
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 c. lentils
1 T. evoo
4 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. vinegar
4 green onions, white/light green parts only, sliced thin on the diagonal
1/2 c. finely chopped red or green pepper

In a large pot, boil water and salt. Add lentils, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes until tender but not mushy (if you use the smaller red lentils, check them at 15 minutes because they are much more delicate).

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat evoo over medium low. Add garlic, cook gently about 5 minutes or until softened (not brown). Remove from heat and stir in spices, salt, vinegar. Transfer mixture to large serving bowl.

Drain lentils; transfer to bowl. Toss together with dressing until lentils are evenly coated. Cool to room temp and stir in green onions and peppers. Serve warm or cold.

I highly recommend this one! Cheap, easy, healthy, yummy.

24 August 2006

Side Project

I think I am going to write a cookbook. Not yet - but maybe in another 10 years when I have more cooking experience. I know there are already a lot of cookbooks out there and mine probably won't make it to Barnes & Noble, but it will still be fun!

The theme could be nutritious cooking from scratch, because that's what I like to do. It bugs me when recipes call for prepared foods. That is not a recipe to me. Although I must admit, "prepared" is a relative term. Most stuff in my kitchen has undergone some sort of processing or preparation, except fresh fruits and veggies. A

Anyway, you know how you feel when Betty Crocker has a recipe that calls for processed cheese loaf? Disappointed, shocked, even nauseous? That's how I feel too. You just skip right over those kind of recipes. My cookbook is not going to have any of that trash. It will have recipes involving foods from your pantry like whole grains and beans, and fresh produce.

I hope I'm not just duplicating Laurel's Kitchen though. That is one of the best cookbooks ever. It makes me want to move to Berkeley, bake bread in coffee cans, protest the war and make vegetarian dogfood for my golden retriever.

22 August 2006

Beans and Rice!

Dear fans,

Last night I made the most incredible meal! As some have said, "It's no bargain if your husband won't eat it," but I beg to differ. My husband sometimes cannot handle the spicier things in life, so he had to wash this dinner down with a lot of almond milk, wine, zucchini and lime tortilla chips.


BEANS AND RICE, inspired by Betty Crocker, but taken to the next level by EM, the fake Martha:

1 c. dried beans (I used mixed - kidney, navy, black eyed peas, garbanzo, etc. - but some were still slightly crunchy at the end - not too bad though)
3 c. water
3 strips bacon, cut up
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 4 oz. can jalapeno peppers* (optional)
2-3 T. brown sugar
1 c. uncooked rice
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring beans and water to a boil in 3-quart saucepan or pot. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour or 1 hr 15 min - when beans are tender. Drain and reserve bean liquid (leave beans in large pot). Add enough water to bean liquid to equal 2 cups (if necessary).

Meanwhile (during last 10 min or so of beans cooking), in large skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Add chopped onion and green pepper; saute until onion is soft.

Add bacon mixture to beans in large pot. Add bean liquid, jalapenos if using, brown sugar, rice and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 14 minutes. Do not uncover or stir while cooking - this is important for the rice to be perfect!

Serve with mild-mannered side dishes that won't steal the show! Serves 6.

*Using a whole 4 oz. can of jalapenos made it REALLY SPICY. One-third of the test kitchen (Ken) was traumatized. However, the other two-thirds found it very nourishing and enjoyable - unless Tami was just being polite. Nah. Anyways, maybe try it with just half a can of the jalapenos. What happened was I stocked up on the little cans of green chilies at Safeway for when I feel like chilies rellenos, and I accidentally picked up a can of jalapenos! So I used it in this.

Let me know if you try this and what you think. I will be so excited.

Farewell Beloved

Welp, I got my crown put on with no major drama. Feeling pretty good about that. At the same time, I was slightly attached to that tooth (not attached enough to floss though), and having it whittled down to practically nothingness was kind of traumatic. I mean - that tooth has been with me for a long time. And now it's GONE!

The grossest part was the smell. But my dentist is really nice so that helped. I focused my thoughts on the Nave children while he was drilling.


In related news, I am now sipping coffee through a straw, as the latest urban legend says it helps to wear off the numbness. Perhaps it's the caffeine, since I've heard the same thing about Coke.

In other news, we are going to the long-lost Naves' house tonight for dinner. Definitely looking forward to that, as they always have good food and they're just really fun and refreshing.

Mary, if you are reading this: get back to work. >:)