Week 5: Chronicles from Feb 5, 2012

This begins the 10 week countdown until the end of life as we know it with just two kids. It’s a bit daunting, really if you want to know. In light of that, knowing that lovely women from church will be more than willing to cook me dinner, but since the word vegan is probably not in their vocabularies, I’m beginning the freezer stocking. First, we are undoing previous freezer stocking and finding homes (trash or donate) for either old and expired food or meat, or in some cases, both. So, if you notice that there are a lot of bean or rice dishes on the menu, or random baked goods, that is explained by my fear of starvation during the chaos. If only PB&J froze well.

Sunday: Sundays are hard days in our house – busy and tired days, so I don’t tend to make the “Sunday Dinner” the western world reveres so much.
• Leftover pasta, roasted Brussels sprouts, and leftover steamed broccoli and coleslaw. There was probably bread.
Monday:
• Vegetable soup with baby limas (onions, celery, green pepper, green beans, tomatoes, cabbage, one potato, corn, thyme, bay leaf, splash of Bragg’s, S&P)
o Note to self: Napa cabbage in soup is bitter and doesn’t add to it. This would have been better with more potatoes and no cabbage.
• Homemade bread and peach freezer jam
• Fresh pineapple and kiwi
Tuesday: Matt’s gone again. Really? Yes, really. But I think he’s grounded after this trip until after Newby comes. I don’t begrudge him this once since he gets to visit family during a rough patch.
• Dinner was a mishmash. All I wanted to was to go out for something but the kids didn’t deserve it, well, they were cranky and tired and there was a lot of crying. So we did a breakfast/burrito mix-up
• Scrambled Eggs, hash browns, veggie sausage, avocado, saucy pintos (drained can of pintos, 3 T diced onion, good splash of water, simmered and stirred while getting everything else ready), fresh salsa (love the Vitamix recipe for simple salsa), pineapple and whole wheat tortillas. And everyone did whatever they wanted with those ingredients.
Wednesday:
• I shouldn’t even acknowledge this meal. One kid had a hot dog, one had hummus bread, we all had cucumbers and grapes and I had a vegan carrot muffin. That’s depressing to write down.
Thursday:
• African inspired Peanut and Vegetable Stew over brown rice; the kids ate the rice, but Matt and I thought it was absolutely delicious.
Friday:
• Date night should be better than this, but Matt had a work dinner so we ate a lot of salad, rice, and bread, although the chicken didn’t look that appetizing anyway.
• Sadly, the bottom element in our oven melted and caused great anxiety as I was preparing banana chocolate chocolate chip muffins – please note, this recipe is forthcoming because it’s AWESOME!
Saturday:
• Veggie Burritos (it took us a while to remember!) – sauteed onions and peppers, slow cooker pinto beans, brown rice, avocado, lettuce, homemade salsa, Cholula

African-inspired Peanut and Vegetable Stew
Loosely based on Peanut Soup, Senegalese style from “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” and African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew from “The 30-Day Vegan Challenge”

1-2 T. oil for the bottom of the pot
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 T., or so, grated ginger
1 c., or so, red bell pepper (I didn’t think it added to the dish and would omit next time)
1 T. brown sugar or other sweetener
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 – 3/4 c. creamy natural peanut butter (I just scooped some out and called it sufficient, didn’t feel like measuring)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 quart vegetable broth (I used water & a bouillon cube, then some veggie base since I felt it needed more depth)
1/2 – 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Chopped peanuts (for garnish)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Heat oil in dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add onions and carrots, and cook until beginning to soften. Add bell peppers, cover loosely and cook a few more minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook – stirring – for a minute or so, then add sweetener, cumin, cinnamon & cayenne and all flavors to bloom (wake-up!) for about 30 seconds. Stir in your peanut butter until evenly distributed, then your sweet potatoes, kidney beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until sweet potatoes are almost done, stirring in the kale to cook for the last few minutes. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve over a yummy grain – I used brown basmati because that’s what I needed to use up, but quinoa, couscous, white rice, whatever you have would be delicious. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

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16 thoughts on “Week 5: Chronicles from Feb 5, 2012

  1. Sorry about the oven element. Does that mean you wore it out?

    I remember from my research into freezer cooking that there were many who did freeze PB&J to make school mornings easier. Give it a try, and see what happens.

    Here’s a link to Vegetarian Freezer Cooking eBooks from 30DayGourmet.

    http://store.30daygourmet.com/detail.aspx?ID=92

    If you want to know details about any recipe, let me know. I bought this one a number of year ago, but haven’t looked at it recently.

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