Monday, June 25, 2012

Clean-out-the-cabinets Vegetarian Night

Feeling dirt-ass poor tonight, so it was "how do I use what I've got and make a whole meal?"

There were red lentils in the cupboard, and a little rice left in the canister, a couple cloves of garlic, some onion, and about a third of the kale from the CSA this week.  Veggie stock I made last night.  That was dinner, and in this combination:

Rice-Cooker Rice and Lentils
  • Equal parts brown rice and red lentils*
  • Twice that amount of veggie stock* or water
  • Two cloves of garlic, crushed or minced or whatever
  • A pat of butter or a dribble of oil
  • Salt
Throw all that in a rice cooker.   Turn it on cook and let it go until it clicks off.

Cut thin slices off the onion so that they form rings.  Saute these briefly in a skillet, in either oil or butter.  Once they're clear/browned/caramelized, remove from pan and set aside.

Top lentil mixture with onions and eat up!

Skillet Greens
  • 1-2 T butter or oil
  • 1 clove garlic (or the remains from pressed garlic, which I used
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • fresh greens (kale, chard, collards, mustard, spinach, or whatever)
  • lemon juice or vinegar of your choice
Rince greens in cold water.  Heat the skillet (I used the same one I'd just cooked the onions in) and tear up the greens, still slightly wet, into the pan.  (For tender greens like spinach and chard, the stems can be chopped and added before the leaves.  For kale, the stems went into the veggie bag.) Cover and let steam slightly, adding the 1/2 of water if they start to sear.  Cover again and let steam until greens are tender (about 5-6 minutes for kale) and add butter/oil and garlic.

Saute just a bit, then remove from heat before they greens get scorched.  Sprinkle with lemon/vinegar and salt, if desired.

*Lentils:  Any kind of lentils will work.  Red lentils turn this into a stew/casserole, depending on how much liquid is left.  They fall apart, seriously.  Brown lentils retain a slightly crunchy beaniness if not cooked a bit beforehand, so if you want them soft, they'll have to go in at least partially pre-cooked.  Haven't done this with green or black lentils.

*Vegetable Stock: I save all my veggie scraps in the freezer in a much-reused gallon-sized plastic bag, until the bag gets full.  Then I dump the contents into a stock pot, cover with water, salt lightly, and boil the stuffing out of it.  When all the veggie scraps are looking like all the life is out of them, I remove the solids, run the liquid through a strainer-inside-a-funnel into a jar, and there you have it.  (By the way, my "funnel" is the cut off top of a gallon milk jug.)

No comments:

Post a Comment