Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Can You Make With THAT??

We spent this weekend relaxing in the Adirondacks after picking up our CSA share Saturday morning. Aside from slowing down and taking some time to enjoy the beauty of the fall weather and each other's company, the challenge of the weekend was how to make yummy meals out of the very limited food staples left in the cabin.

I did make a run to the grocery store for salsa, tortilla chips and salad dressing (I know, I'm ashamed to admit the salad dressing but supplies really were that low!) I only had chickpeas and red lentils so most meals revolved around them. In addition to the bounty of the CSA share, I had oatmeal, flour, sugar, maple syrup, cheap pancake syrup (I didn't buy it but I couldn't bear to throw it out), shredded coconut (doesn't that sound exotic compared to everything else?), bulgur, homemade cheeze sauce mix, a little chickpea miso and a very small amount of quinoa. What could this become?

Saturday evening dinner: An oniony chickpea stew
Going by memory, which is often dangerous but necessary when you've left your cookbooks at home and have no internet access, I chopped up several leeks and began to make onion soup. To this I added, chick peas, green beans, red peppers and that tiny bit of quinoa. It was not long after that I discovered my lack of tamari. I used miso instead and it worked out nicely.

I attempted to make biscuits to go along with this, also from memory, and this did not turn out well at all. I used too much baking soda (I had no baking powder on hand) and they were salty. YUCK!!

I roasted corn to go along with it, which was lovely. Finally, I made the cheese sauce in case anyone wanted it on their biscuits or if they wanted a dollop in their soup. I was pretty sure there was a slight after taste to this recipe so I sauteed some red peppers first and then poured in the cheeze sauce mix and water. It worked very well.

Dessert seemed important, especially since I discovered my daughters' friend was going to join us. I did have a cookbook in the house that had a simple macaroon recipe. I didn't have the cocoa powder it called for but I did have some homemade cappuchino mix that the girls had forgotten about. I gave it a try and the results were very good.

Sunday morning breakfast: Apple pancakes, home fries and baked chickpea scramble
Everything in pretty self explanatory in this meal except the baked chickpea scramble. It amounted to some chickpeas, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a tablespoon of nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of salt baked along with the home fries.

Lunch was of the mundane pbj variety if eaten at all. We had all slept late and breakfast had been eaten at about 11:00am.

Sunday evening dinner: An oniony chickpea stew redux!
I didn't want to have to tote leftovers home so to this end I chopped some kale and placed it in the bottom of a greased baking pan. I topped this with the leftover chickpea stew. The I cut the leftover corn off the cob and added that as well. Next, I gave Jim a choice, Sesame Ginger salad dressing or cheese sauce on top. He chose the salad dressing. A smaller batch of chickpeas was mixed with the last tiny bit of salsa and baked as well.

Toasted bread with cheeze sauce and a green salad rounded out the meal. Jim made the right choice because the dressing made the leftovers delicious.

In that one cookbook there was also a pudding recipe. It called for 3 Tbs of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of maple syrup, which I actually had, but it also called for cocoa powder. Did I dare try the cappuchino mix again? I figured I didn't have much to lose so I did. The leftover macaroons had gotten soggy so I broke them up into crumbs and tossed them into the oven to crisp up. The pudding thickened beautifully, which is always a challenge when using soymilk. I served it with the macaroon crumbs on top. This was a stunning success.

Monday Morning Breakfast: Apple pancakes, home fries and little breakfast burgers
Again the only real explanation required comes with the breakfast burgers. It's just all of the leftover chickpea dishes mashed together with oatmeal thrown in to bind it all together. I formed them into little burgers and baked them.

Not to sound redundant but...Lunch was of the mundane pbj variety if eaten at all. We had all slept late and breakfast had been eaten at about 11:00am.

Monday Evening Dinner: Turkish Red Lentil Stew and bulgur
Once again I worked largely from memory. I used the last of the ketchup in place of the tomato paste the recipe calls for. I also used the last of the red peppers.

The pudding had been such a big hit and there was just enough vanilla soymilk left, so I made vanilla pudding. By this time I had run out of maple syrup and pancake syrup went in its place. I also toasted the remaining cup or so of shredded coconut. When the pudding was done I added the coconut. Jim, who is a huge coconut custard pie fan, was in coconut heaven.

By the time we left, the chickpeas, maple syrup, shredded coconut, quinoa, cheeze sauce mix, salsa, tortilla chips, and homemade cappuchino mix were gone. And so ended our frugal food weekend at the cabin. What creative cooking is going on in your kitchen?


Anonymous said...

Wow--Well done! That is impressive. Did you really make VEGAN macaroons?! Do you have a recipe for those?!


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

You are so cool. I am always impressed by your confidence. I consider myself a daring frugal vegan chef but mixing kale, leftover soup and salad dressing in a baking pan? You're the woman. :-)

I have a question I think I should email you about. I was thinking something I would love to do is work with programs that do healthy eating classes for public health and WIC participants. Do you know if this is something a DTR can do and would you recommend getting the degree if I was interested in that?

My experience with dietitians is very limited and unfavorable because while I was working as a "nutrition technician" I mostly did food service. So I always kind of assumed DTR was the same sort of thing.

Thanks in advance :o)

Katie said...

Thanks Courtney, I do indeed have a recipe for vegan macaroons. In fact I have two of them. I'll post them soon.

Ruthie, I don't know if it's confidence or false bravado but thank you. The short answer to your question is, I'm not sure. I believe WICs require you be an RD, at least the ones in NY. On the other hand, cooperative extensions use DTRs in their education programs, at least in NY. I'll email you and we can talk more.


ohh.... I used to work at Copperfield in Northcreek, or minerva?? I forget. But we lived near schroon lake.
memories memories...