Sunday, September 16, 2007

Comfort Food for the Human Meringue

Those of you who know me well know just how sick I can get how quickly, and how fragile my sleeping cycles are. Well, two nights ago I got a grand total of one hour sleep (not that it wasn't for lack of trying), and spent most of yesterday and today trying to recover, so I apologize if I'm not as coherent or jovial as I have been previously. I will, however, share one of my personal favourite (and frequently made, it seems) comfort foods along with a great gem (ruby, perhaps?) of a breakfast or snack that is perfect when you're feeling down that I picked up from GroupRecipes and modified slightly as per my digestive tolerances.

Okay, so comfort food #1 is a chili-inspired meal-in-one that I adore, and helps calm down my troublesome tummy. It is very low fat (since my system rebells and wreaks all havoc when I add butter, oil or any high-fat ingredient such as peanut butter or dairy to my food (though you wouldn't know it, looking at this blog); think of me as a meringue!), whole-grain, has 2 servings of vegetables, and is very heavily spiced (I won't put quantities of the spices because I never measure, I go by taste-to-check and I add tons, which irritates the family slightly) and incredibly healthy. It is protein, calcium, fibre and iron-rich, and is vegan, soy and gluten free.

Small Mexican Red Beans are similar to kidney and pinto beans in shape and texture, with a slightly stronger "bean" flavour to them. They hold their shape and firmness when cooked, which makes them ideal for this design. Kasha describes roasted whole-grain buckwheat or buckwheat groats. It is a common filling for a knish, and is nutty and slightly toothsome, blending well with the spices. You can find kasha in bulk or health food stores. Finally, Savoy cabbage is the crinkle-leaf variety, usually reserved for making cabbage rolls. It is the most tender and does not need much cooking, you will NOT be pleased if it is over-steamed!:

Kasha with Mexican Beans and Cabbage
Serves One
1 cup cooked Small Mexican Red Beans, drained
1/2 - 3/4 cup tepid water
Oregano
Basil
Paprika
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Mustard powder
Cumin
Chili Powder (use a lot of this)
Cinnamon (small amount!)
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup dry kasha (whole buckwheat groats)
pinch salt
6 oz (about 6 leaves or so) Savoy cabbage, julienned
2 cloves garlic, chopped
  1. Put beans and tepid water into a small pot over medium heat. warm thoroughly.
  2. Add spices to taste, stir to blend well and keep on low heat. Do not let mixture become too thick, add water if necessary.
  3. Bring hot water to a boil, add salt and kasha. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes (it will absorb the water).
  4. Steam cabbage and garlic cloves 6 minutes (maximum).
  5. Place cabbage in a large, deep bowl.
  6. Top with cooked kasha and spread it out evenly.
  7. Pour hot beans over all, stir slightly and serve.
Per Bowl
358 Calories
1.9g Fat
14.3g Fibre
18.5g Protein
10.75% Calcium
34.75% Iron

Comfort food #2 comes as a variation on a recipe from one of my great inspirees, Pinkpasta from GroupRecipes. The original recipe is here, I am posting my variant here (nut, dairy and butter free) but I am jealous that such a delightful recipe can't be tasted by me unaltered. Oh well, such is life. Here is what she has to say about this tasty meal: This is like eating gourmet oatmeal! Sweet, tart, nutty!, delicious! Whole oats take a little longer to cook than instant, but they're higher in fibre, have a chewier texture, and stick to your ribs.

Old-Fashioned Dried Cherry Oatmeal
Yields 6 servings (serving size 1 cup)
3 cups water
3 cups fat-free soymilk
2 cups whole oats (NOT instant)
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and next 2 ingredients.
  4. Spoon 1 cup oatmeal in each of 6 bowls. Serve immediately.

1 comment :

Ferdzy said...

We eat oatmeal and dried cranberries every morning (almost)! I admit I just sprinkle them over the top though.

As for the cabbage, beans and kasha, it sounds great. I'm not sure I could go out in public for 2 days afterwards, but it sounds great.