28 11 / 2013

Sweet potatoes roasted with maple syrup and pecans. #thanksgiving #cooking

Sweet potatoes roasted with maple syrup and pecans. #thanksgiving #cooking

28 11 / 2013

Gravy roux. #dirtysouth #almostthere #thanksgiving #foodporn #cooking #somanydamntags

Gravy roux. #dirtysouth #almostthere #thanksgiving #foodporn #cooking #somanydamntags

28 11 / 2013

No, you can’t come into the kitchen and help, but it was very sweet of you to offer. Wait, you mean you just want me to pet you and give you a treat? Dammit. #dogs #cooking #thanksgiving

No, you can’t come into the kitchen and help, but it was very sweet of you to offer. Wait, you mean you just want me to pet you and give you a treat? Dammit. #dogs #cooking #thanksgiving

17 11 / 2013

First time making veg broth from scratch tonight. Since it’s super easy, cheaper, tastes better and I know exactly what’s going in it, I think I’ll go the DIY route from now on. #organic #food #foodporn #cooking

First time making veg broth from scratch tonight. Since it’s super easy, cheaper, tastes better and I know exactly what’s going in it, I think I’ll go the DIY route from now on. #organic #food #foodporn #cooking

20 8 / 2012

Zitone pasta we brought back. Long tubes, I photographed it next to linguine for comparison. I’ve rarely seen this type of pasta, so I’m looking forward to making a reaaaaally good sauce with this.

Zitone pasta we brought back. Long tubes, I photographed it next to linguine for comparison. I’ve rarely seen this type of pasta, so I’m looking forward to making a reaaaaally good sauce with this.

08 7 / 2012

Spinach, quinoa, shredded cheddar, cream of mushroom, creme fraiche, and a pinch of nutmeg. Mixed then baked for 25 minutes. It was good. Mein Boo loved it too.

Spinach, quinoa, shredded cheddar, cream of mushroom, creme fraiche, and a pinch of nutmeg. Mixed then baked for 25 minutes. It was good. Mein Boo loved it too.

22 4 / 2012

Sautéed frozen whole leaf spinach, cauliflower, broccoli in garlic oil. Added cooked red lentils, simmered in Rogan Josh sauce, added a half teaspoon of chili powder. Not only was it really delicious, it was also very satisfying. And by coincidence gluten-free and vegan. Good stuff. Can wait to try variations such as cold quinoa salads or as a hot breakfast cereal.

Sautéed frozen whole leaf spinach, cauliflower, broccoli in garlic oil. Added cooked red lentils, simmered in Rogan Josh sauce, added a half teaspoon of chili powder. Not only was it really delicious, it was also very satisfying. And by coincidence gluten-free and vegan. Good stuff. Can wait to try variations such as cold quinoa salads or as a hot breakfast cereal.

22 4 / 2012

Trying my hand at cooking quinoa today. Looks the way it should and it came out delicious. Great texture, not at all bitter. Soaked for 5 minutes and rinsed before cooking. Gonna make some sautéed and simmered veggies to eat with it. Me likey.

Trying my hand at cooking quinoa today. Looks the way it should and it came out delicious. Great texture, not at all bitter. Soaked for 5 minutes and rinsed before cooking. Gonna make some sautéed and simmered veggies to eat with it. Me likey.

21 4 / 2012

Ended up avoiding Basic. Did a drugstore run at Rossman and DM, both have organic food aisles. Snagged a 500 gram bag of organic quinoa at DM for 2.50 Euro. I was so happy when I left that I think I was doing a happy dance down the block without realizing it.

21 4 / 2012

I’m heading over to the Basic Bio (organic) market to pick up some quinoa, since the markets I usually go to don’t carry it.

You know the aura of insufferableness so many Whole Foods shoppers in the US seem to emanate? That’s what the shoppers at Basic in Germany are like. I went there once to get some ingredients for that awesome lasagna I made months ago and I just did not like the place. Rewe carries a lot of the same stuff for less, of course, and the kick-ass mom and pop butcher shop the next block over has locally produced meats that are raised organically, without hormones. 

But I’ve been eating way too many refined carbs lately and I want to cut down on wheat. It’s hard to in Germany, where there are bakeries everywhere and most quick, cheap snacks involve dough in some way.

So I’ve collected some really yummy-sounding quinoa recipes and after finding out it’s really good for you (has a ton of protein apparently), I’m gonna give it a try.

I’m not trying to lose weight, not going on a “diet”, but I know the way I’ve been eating the last 6 weeks or so are making me feel a little less than optimal.

So we’ll see how it goes. But I really hate that supermarket. 

10 4 / 2012

Perfection achieved the second time. This time the Chana Masala was awesome. Used garam masala paste instead of powder as the original recipe called for. Little tweak that worked. And I’m bringing some to work after mentioning it to 2 of my coworkers last Thursday.

One is vegetarian, both love Indian food, chickpeas so fingers crossed they enjoy it also.

Perfection achieved the second time. This time the Chana Masala was awesome. Used garam masala paste instead of powder as the original recipe called for. Little tweak that worked. And I’m bringing some to work after mentioning it to 2 of my coworkers last Thursday.

One is vegetarian, both love Indian food, chickpeas so fingers crossed they enjoy it also.

28 3 / 2012

Ok, let it simmer longer to account for the altitude. Awesome flavors including the amchoor (dried sour mango) powder I snagged. But the sauce was lacking the texture and richness/thickness I was used to even though I followed the recipe. And we both had to add a fair amount more salt later than called for. But for a first attempt, I’m happy and Mein Boo ate all of his. A tweak here and a tweak there…

Ok, let it simmer longer to account for the altitude. Awesome flavors including the amchoor (dried sour mango) powder I snagged. But the sauce was lacking the texture and richness/thickness I was used to even though I followed the recipe. And we both had to add a fair amount more salt later than called for. But for a first attempt, I’m happy and Mein Boo ate all of his. A tweak here and a tweak there…

28 3 / 2012

Whilst attempting to make Garam Masala...

  • 1: It doesn't look like the picture for the recipe!
  • 2: It's because of the altitude.
  • 1: AKHRIUFHUKDHFUKISJXIJAIIJDSJHFJHLDHOWUO RAGE

27 3 / 2012

I finally got around to going to the Asian market. I was psyched. Got bags of great spices, lots of ‘em. The owner had just come back from getting himself an ice cream down the street and was slicing some fresh mango to put on top. He gave me and the other customer a big slice and said in German “This is the best mango in the world”. Damn if he wasn’t close to right. It was perfectly ripe. So. Good.

I got some chickpeas, tomatoes a chile and ginger too because I wanted to make Chana Masala. Total came to less than $15 US and the spices came in bags at least 4x what you get in a standard supermarket spice jar. The coriander bag was way bigger. Lentils are cheap, rice to eat it with stretches the recipe.

Since I moved to Munich I’ve been enjoying my new bigger kitchen and cooking for us a lot. And I finally got over my feeling that making Asian cuisines was so daunting and scary, with so many spices and “exotic” ingredients.

And with the economy being so bad in the US the last few years of course there’s been a lot of talk about getting value out of your food and Indian recipes seem to feature somewhat prominently in that discussion among a certain demographic.

"Anyone can eat cheap like this, just make the initial investment in the spices and you’re good to go." Hmmmmm…

Well, you’d have to admit even for families/people on a tight budget spending $10-$15 on spices isn’t too bad, especially if you break it up over 2 visits. But then you have to factor in where someone lives. Not even just food deserts but at a typical grocery store a small-ish spice jar can cost between $3-$6 each. So living in a city with an easily accessible authentic Asian grocery is already a privilege, ironically one that saves me money, which is of course why it’s a privilege in this instance.

So if you factor in the cost of ingredients I got today. It’s quite possible I could make a big pot of Chana Masala and live on it for the better part of a week for perhaps the equivalent of less than $15 (the fresh tomatoes in the recipe up the cost). 

And I do know people who do this kind of thing on the regular. Mostly the younger starving artists in cities. With access to the right ingredients. And access is everything…

 

18 3 / 2012

I saw some dry red lentils we haven’t had in a while, some leftover Madras curry paste and some Basmati rice. So I’m gonna make curried red lentils with rice. Culinary deductive reasoning. And it’s cheap, delicious and good for you. Everyone wins!!!