We’ve been trying Imperfect Foods for a couple of months now and I’ve found it to be convenient and I like seeing what the “imperfections” are and then getting mad that people don’t know that misshapen sweet potatoes taste exactly the same as regular ones. It can be a bit of a game, too, figuring out the savings over Woodman’s since there’s a shipping cost involved. Anyhoo, that link up there will get us both $10 off if you sign up.
Why did I tell you about that? Because I had a head of broccoli from Imperfect that needed to be used up and a craving for antioxidants. Weird, I know.
The picture above contains only a few of the actors in this delicious musical. I added garlic powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, a little almond butter, and another carrot (the one looked lonely).
To start, the diced aromatics go into some heated coconut oil until translucent. I then added all of the spices and seasonings, including some agave nectar, along with a tablespoon of that delicious bouillon (the vegetarian style is as good!) along with about a cup of water. This results in the magical concentrate of a germ-killing concoction.
It doesn’t look super pretty, but the best things are not.
To this, add a can of coconut milk. I’m not really sure the tastable difference between light and regular, but I had a can of not-light and used it happily. The solids that hang out at the top of the can will melt eventually. I find it looks like a barista trying to make a latte.
Once the seasonings, spices, flavor, and milk are melded together, add the vegetables and bring to a simmer.
After it’s got a good simmer goin’ on, turn the heat down a bit, cover, and set a 10-minute timer.
What seems like another lifetime ago, I spent A LOT of time at Mickey’s Tavern. So much time, in fact, that I married one of the bartenders and after that didn’t work out, dated another. That’s an entirely different blog altogether, though.
The latter was (and still is) in charge of the very popular bloody mary mix, having to make at least 20 gallons each weekend (more often in the summer). Over the years, I helped out enough to know how it’s done and keep the recipe close because it’s his pride and joy.
Anymore, I find the bloodys there to be a little too chunky for my taste, so I’ll share with you the recipe that I enjoy now (made for me by my current boyfriend—who is neither an employee of Mickey’s nor a bartender).
A wide-mouth pint jar is my favorite bloody vessel. Into it goes ice and vodka, a few turns of salt and ground pepper. Then about 2 teaspoons of ground horsey, a shake of Annie’s Worsh sauce (it’s vegan!) and a couple of blops of Valentina (I find other hot sauces to be too vinegary).
Fill up the jar with a little can of V8, stick a pickle, and trim a celery stalk.
If you’re feeling extra, you could add some jalapeño salt, which we just discovered and find to be amazing.
I was on a vegan cookbook kick for a while, amassing all sorts of reference material for the one week that I tried being completely vegan (you can’t eat out *at all* unless you know the chef). It wasn’t difficult as long as I didn’t try to substitute anything for cheese. People try to tell you (themselves, really) that cheese substitutes are a sufficient facsimile, and they’re just not. The only thing that comes reasonably close is Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Parm. I still use this instead of that jarred parm that isn’t even mostly cheese, to begin with.
ANYHOOOOO, along the way somewhere, I started making these overnight oats for my weekly morning snack and I’ve been making it since that vegan trial week in May 2016.
Grab yourself a banana, peel, halve, sprinkle with cinnamon and smash.
Using my trusty Pampered Chef Measure-All, I slide it to the 1-cup mark and pour in the oats.
Then, I slide it to 1/4-cup and measure the chia seeds.
I get nervous Every. Single. Time. that I’m going to knock it over and chia seeds will be everywhere in the kitchen for 100 years. Those go in, and I flip the Measure-All over and pour in 1 1/2-cups of almond milk. I didn’t get a shot of this cuz… boring.
Mix it all together and put your snap-tight lid on and leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you’ll need to give it a good stir.
Then, I top it with frozen blues from Costco. The ones that fall on the floor become dog treats, but you knew that already.
Then I pack as much as I can into a jar and continue on with the rest of my snacks.
Sweet corn stands on back highways are the epitome of summertime in Wisconsin. Ears and ears stuffed in a brown paper bag for $6. You’d be silly not to get some, cook, and freeze it for January when the mere thought of wearing shorts gives ya chills.
Woodman’s has three-for-$1 right now, so we’ve been enjoying the treat each Sunday night with chicken on the grill.
Put all three ears (why are they called ‘ears‘ anyway?) in the microwave and set it for six minutes. When it beeps, grab the ears with a hot pad and lay on a cutting board with the business end ready to cut.
More about those strands, or “hairs”: there’s one strand for every kernel on the cob, so that’s a bit of an indication of how many healthy kernels there are, hiding in there.
After you slice the end off, grab the other end (with a hot pad), and slowly squeeze the ear out of the husk.
Pushing the cob out keeps the hairs from sticking around, which makes it so much easier to eat.
Butter and salt (if you’re like the fella), plate. Crunch.
I remember the first time I figured out how to deal with a mango. It wasn’t that long ago, and I wish that I’d had read someone’s post much earlier in life. This is my version of that non-existent post but in avocado form.
You start by cupping the aguacate with your non-dominant hand and, with a reasonably sharp knife, slowly slice through the thick, outer skin from the top until you hit the pit.
Then spin the fruit around in whichever direction is more sensible to you and keep the knife against the pit while you slice the fruit in half around the longer edge (I’m pretty sure I roll mine away from me).
After you have a clean slice all around, set down the knife and grab ahold each half of the fruit and twist it “open”.
Keeping the pitted half in your non-dominant hand, grab the knife again and give the pit a good smack with the blade, cutting far enough into the it to get some leverage.
You should now be able to twist the pit using the knife to turn. Oddly, I think I do this counter-clockwise. Pop the pit out and into the composter.
Take a spoon and make horizontal cuts across the meat. This will help scoop it out in edible pieces.
Now slide the spoon between the skin and the meat and shimmy it around the circumference in order to get the yummy avo goodness onto a plate.
There. Now you can avocado.
I use the n+1 theory with garlic cloves. I eyeball chopped onions and grated cheese, but I weigh pasta. I have too many kitchen gadgets, but the Zojirushi rice cooker is probably my favorite.
If you like funny-looking carrots or perfectly-edible but slightly-dented sweet potatoes, check out Imperfect Produce and save $10 on your first box!
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