In an effort to be cheap and marginally healthy I’ve taken to picking up easy to cook raw ingredients, dumping them in a bowl and microwaving them. So far I’ve had excellent success!
Dover Natural has provided me with some nifty stuff:
- Local, organic* Kale – 2.99 a big bunch
- Bucket o’ tofu tofu – pretty sure it’s cheaper than packaged, lost my receipt
- Organic red quinoa – 7 something a pound, but a little goes a long way
- Organic carrots – probably pricey but again a little goes a long way
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – a little dab’ll do ya & it has such neat flavor
- Fresh ground peanut butter – about average peanut butter price for real PB
- Curry powder – about $1 an ounce
- Hungarian Paprika – about $1 an ounce
- Dried (local?) mushrooms – about $3 a bag & it’s a big-ass bag for dried
- a grinder of sea salt & a grinder of pepper
Ok! So that’s a lot of stuff. I also have olive oil and balsamic vinegar on hand because they’re great for a lot of things.
So that’s a lot of weird stuff. What did I do with it? Glad you asked!
- Handful of quinoa in the bowl
- Break up some dried mushrooms on top of that
- Pinch of paprika (then another… then a little more. I love paprika!)
- Pinch of curry
- Couple twists of pepper
- Couple twists of salt
- Pour hot water from the water purifier (not bottled, it’s hooked into the tap and filters!) over all that, probably about twice what was needed to cover everything
- Stirred in a spoonful of peanut butter!
- Poured in a little olive oil, a dash of vinegar
- While that’s soaking, I chopped up some tofu – wow was it firm and awesome
- I also chopped up about three leaves of the kale, and maybe ate one 🙂
- Tossed that in the bowl too and gave everything a stir again
- Chopped up about half a carrot & threw that on top
- After much debate I scooped in a spoonful of some quick pickled veg** I made. Note: At this stage, not all the ingredients were totally covered by water.
- Gave everything one more stir and stuck it in the microwave for 3 minutes
- After the 3 minutes I checked it & decided about 2 more would help
- I took it back to my desk & let it sit covered to both cool & continue cooking the quinoa
It was super delicious! The just-enough-liquid method combined with the PB and olive oil makes the remaining liquidy portion turn into this amazing, thick sauce. It sounds sort of involved because I broke it out into every little step I took, but really it took longer to microwave than it did to put together. Still totally worth it when you consider some gross-ass Hungry Man dinner or something would probably take longer, be less satisfying, and ultimately contribute to an untimely demise.
The one thing I’d do differently is soak the quinoa earlier so it would be more tender. Still, this is a protein and vitamin grand slam! Plus the tumeric from the curry and the black pepper are supposed to be all kinds of synergistic-happy for overall health support, too.
*Organic kale is kind of a big deal because as vegetables and fruits go, it’s one of the items on watch lists for foods containing a noteworthy amount of pesticide residue and even with washing it’s really hard to get rid of all that. Based on my averse reaction to apples, then a recent similar experience with cherries and uncertainty with whether or not some strawberries made me feel gross… I’m willing to side with the notion that minimization of exposure to pesticide residues is a good idea. If it kills bugs, it can’t be too good for people, right?
**Quick Pickled Veg: Slice desired vegetables thin (I freaking love radishes for this), add enough salt on there to give everything a light coat, pour in maybe a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar – not the cheap shit, you bum, get Braggs or something with flavor – with a squeezed slice of lemon into a glass container. Put a tight lid on it. Shake the shit out of it! Let it sit out on the counter for a while, then store in the fridge. I left mine in the sun and that seems to have sped up the process. They are crunchy and flavorful! The juice it creates is super mild & adds a lot to dishes like the one above if you pour some in. I don’t know how long they last but I’d recommend making small batches and using them quickly.