Hello everyone (or the only two people who read this blog)!
I'm continuing on my plan to make delicious, inexpensive dinners from the foods listed on that fabulously long receipt. In other words, my goal is not to waste any food, while also enjoying scrumptious dinners.
Wednesday Night's Dinner was more fish. The menu: Baked dover sole, sauteed long choy, and white rice with soy sauce. I forgot to take a photo, but I think I've already posted quite few photos of the fish-bok choy-rice combo, since it is a favorite standard of mine. The cost was $5.34 for the sole and $1.49 for the bok choy. We bought a massive bag of rice from Costco, so I really don't know how much the rice costs. Similarly, our soy sauce bottle is one of those supersized containers that really should only be bought by people with 20 kids to feed. So dinner came to about $7.00 total for two people ($3.50 each, in case you can't divide by 2 right now).
Friday Night, we enjoyed even more fish. This time we had catfish--another A list fish according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Guide. We seasoned this fish with the Pike Place Seasoning that Jeremy got in Seattle. That stuff is good and a little spicy! I think a little goes a long way, although we still put a lot on, haha. This time we had potatoes and organic red leaf salad as our sides. See how much salad is in that bowl? That doesn't include the first servings on our plates.
Simple leaf salad is one of the easiest ways to get your greens!
This fish dinner was about $8.75 for two. Jeremy and I shared a catfish fillet since they were so big. We did get a little hungry later and snacked on some mixed nuts.
Now I'm going to backtrack to Thursday's Dinner, which involves a bit more storytelling. I had planned to make omelets, roasted potatoes and salad for dinner. However, when I revealed this menu to Jeremy, he informed me that he has an issue with eggs. The issue? He doesn't like them. WTF? Who doesn't like eggs? I eyed him suspiciously for awhile because I could recall a few situations where he consumed a couple sunny-side ups. But I don't believe in force feeding anyone, so I decided to make a vegetarian chickpea curry. I had diligently bought curry powder, coriander and canned tomatoes in order to make a curry during the week, but I had forgotten coconut milk. I decided to wing it without the milk anyway.
I decided to create my own recipe based upon these two different recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chickpea-curry/detail.aspx and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/vegetable-curry-with-chicken-if-you-want-recipe/index.html.
My recipe ended up something like this...
2 medium red potatoes
3/4 an onion (I happened to have 3/4 in the fridge.)
1/2 an orange cauliflower
2 1/2 celery stalks
1 small orange bell pepper
A few broccoli flowerettes (I had them in the freezer and needed to get rid of them somehow.)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup of light coconut milk (more on this later...)
4 small cloves of garlic (or 3 large)
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons ground coriander
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons tumeric
1 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Tablespoon red chili flakes (I had saved mine from pizza deliveries. I used about half of the little container.)
1. Chop up the potatoes into small cubes. Microwave until soft.
2. Chop up the other vegetables. (Note, the smaller you chop them, the faster they cook.)
I noticed that my vegetables were the colors of Ireland's flag. Here's orange (gold).
3. Heat some olive oil in a pot. I also added a slice of butter since I didn't have coconut milk.
4. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and onion. Saute until the onions are soft and become translucent.
5. Add the tumeric, curry powder, chili flakes, and garlic. Stir in with the onion.
6. Add the canned tomatoes and stir up.
7. Add in the vegetables--I added the carrots, cauliflower and celery first since I knew they would take longer to cook.
About this time I started to panic about the texture and taste of the curry and decided I needed coconut milk. It probably would have been fine (albeit different) without the milk, but I really didn't want to f*** things up too much in this experiment, so I ended up running out to buy some.
When I got back, I discovered that the veggies were way cooked aka almost burnt! I left Jeremy in charge of stirring and checking the temperature, but I don't think I was very clear in my directions. Oops. Anyway, I added half of the can of coconut milk, which definitely helped. I then added the can of chickpeas (drained), potatoes and broccoli. (The broccoli was frozen and I had nuked it for a minute to get it soft.) After some good stirring and simmering, the curry really came together. I had only used about half the amount of the spices listed above. In other words, I had used 1 Tablespoon of cumin instead of 2. But after some tasting, I decided to amp up the flavor and added another measure of each of the spices. Note, though, I don't actually have measuring spoons. This is my idea of a tablespoon:
Finally, the curry was done. Add some white rice and here's what you get:
Plus Jeremy's plate, plus leftovers in the pot:
I have to say I was surprised at how good it was. I think I used just the right amount of spices. It was spicy but not too hot. I'm definitely glad I microwaved the potatoes to cook them a bit before adding them to the pot, otherwise they wouldn't have cooked all the way. In the future, I think I will also try to cook the carrots a bit beforehand, as they were a little crunchy. I love raw carrots, but when all the other veggies are soft, I prefer them to be soft too. The chickpeas were a good and different source of protein--but feel free to use tofu, beans, or a meat if you prefer. The light coconut milk brought the dish together.
I'll have to calculate the cost of this on my next post. I think this novel, I mean post, is long enough.