Monday, January 30, 2012

Kick Out The Head-Cold Stew

It's the end of January, and everyone at work and school are sniffling, sneezing, and hacking their way through the day. If you haven't caught a cold in the past 2 months, congratulations! you're the lucky SOB that everyone else wishes would just get sick already. When I was attacked by a nasty sinus infection, I knew exactly what I needed. A trip to the doctor, you say? Nonsense! I can make my own stew! Remembering back to the days of when I was just a tiny, 5 foot tall preschooler, I recalled the healing power of a hot, home-made stew. Throw in some freshly baked bread and you've basically got a recipe for panacea. Just make sure that stew is packed with enough spices to knock the nose from your face, and you'll be feeling better in no time.

1 lb tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 lb red potatoes, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups brown rice
4 cups veggie broth (homemade in this case, feel free to use store bought)
2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a large pot over high heat, combine all ingredients and stir well
2. When stew begins to boil, reduce to medium-low
3. Let simmer for 45 minutes, or until it reaches a desired consistency
4. Serve with bread and enjoy!

(Pictured is this stew, as well as a modified version of my garlic and basil bread from June '11. I used all unbleached white flour, and replaced the garlic and basil with rosemary and thyme.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Israeli couscous with sun-dried tomato

I am a big fan of couscous. It's delicious, filling, and it takes about 8 minutes to make. That being said, I've never tried Israeli (the pearled variety) couscous before. I've seen it on grocery shelves, and on the rare restaurant menu, but I had never taken the initiative to stray from my good friend, the common small ground semolina. So as I walked through Kroger and Whole Foods last week, I pieced together quite an entertaining dinner with the neglected grain and a big batch of sun-dried tomatoes, plus some beans, fresh basil, and garlic.

16 oz. pearled couscous
16 oz. red beans, cooked and rinsed
1 1/2 - 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/4'' pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp  basil, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, divided in two
4 cups water

1. In a large pot, combine water and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, place over high heat
2. In a small dish, combine tomatoes, garlic, beans and basil with remaining olive oil
3. When water begins to boil, add couscous and bring down to a simmer
4. Allow couscous to simmer for 6 minutes, remove from heat, cover, let stand 10 minutes
5. Pour couscous into serving bowl, add the mixed ingredients onto the couscous, stir well
6. Serve! (Makes 4-5 servings)