So I am kind of a food snob. I like making fun and fancy new recipes and trying new ingredients and techniques. I like to think that with my current state of life (i.e. almost constant boredom) this blog has been sort of exotic lately.
I think food bloggers in general like to think we are superior to standard Americans. Well and we are. I don’t see a lot of people posting an Egg McMuffin for breakfast, burger for lunch, fourth meal at Taco Bell (eesh!) and some KFC for dinner.
That being said, we like to pretend we are always mixin’ it up with exotic stuff. But let’s be honest… a lot of things appear over and over (at least in my blog).
1. Peanut butter:
(a tip: that’s a chopstick stickin’ out! Excellent for stirring a new jar!)
Not-so-standard ingredients to combine with peanut butter:
Eggplant? Onions? Really?
This recipe was another winner from The Ethnic Vegetarian.
A convoluted story:
What do you call this?
The fancy-shmancy title from the cookbook was “Kenyan Polenta” with Peanut Sauce. The hard-to-locate-stateside inspiration for the recipe was ugali, which is Kenyan rice porridge. The actual ingredient used was good old fashioned grits.
I amended the recipe based on what I had and kind of 2/3dsing it. I’m calling it what mine turned out to be!
Peanut and Vegetable Stew with Grits (adapted from The Ethnic Vegetarian)
1 1/2 T olive oil
(the equivalent of) 1 small onion, chopped (I used a blend of red and white)
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, diced (probably half the size of a regular big bell pepper-from the farmer’s market)
1 large tomato, diced (also from the farmer’s market!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teeny tiny eggplant, diced (probably half the size of a regular big eggplant- do I even have to say where I got it?)
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 T water
1 t. hot sauce, or to taste
1 cup grits
2 cups water
butter to taste (I used 1/2 T or so)
Heat oil on medium heat in a large frying pan or skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until golden. Then add red peppers, tomatoes, and salt and pepper, and cook another ten minutes. Add eggplant, and cook another five minutes. Combine peanut butter and water in a separate bowl (or, if you’re lazy like me, just add them- nothing bad happened) and add them to the mixture, along with hot sauce. Reduce heat and simmer ten minutes, or until eggplant is tender.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Add grits and, stirring constantly, cook on low until grits are thick and… grits-y! Add butter to taste.
Top grits with stew. Yum!
A note on this recipe: it is good on the first day, but if you can make it the day before you serve it cause it’s SUBLIME once the flavors are allowed to meld overnight.
I could SWEAR I had already posted this recipe but apparently did not. It is a good one! Carrot cakey, dare I say?!
Applesauce Carrot Muffins
1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed, 3 T water: stir to combine and let sit and gel for a bit)
2 T oil
3/4 c. sweetened applesauce (if you use unsweetened, up your sweetener!)
2 T NuNaturals stevia baking mix (What I had since the NuNaturals people were nice enough to send to me. Feel free to use your sweetener of choice!)
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 small grated carrot (yields about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Combine wet ingredients (“egg” through applesauce”). Combine dry (baking soda through oats) and stir into wet until just combined. Fold in carrot and pecans. [Combining wet and dry separately really is important. I’ve had unfortunate experiences with baking soda gone awry]
Preheat oven to 375. Bake 5 minutes at 375, then reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake another 15 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
3. Green Monsters
I definitely have these less than other food bloggers (WAY less than some) and first thing in the morning is just too hardcore for me. But for the occasional brunch or lunch, they are pretty great.
This one was not so much green as… let’s be charitable and call it purple (rather than gray!)
Into the blender went:
The last of a bag of frozen berries (2/3 cup?)
1 cup ish milk
1 T Ruth’s Chia Goodness cereal, chocolate flavor (still trying to find a way to use the chocolate flavor that… tastes good. Any ideas?)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
Wee sprinkling of stevia
Then I started blending and it was wayyyyy thick with the berries so I added more water.
Topped with Cheerios!