Mung beans are bit of a vegetarian cliché, along with hemp sandals and people knitting their own muesli. As such I’ve always kind of avoided them. When my cupboard already contains chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, puy lentils, haricot beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, black beans, black-eye beans, borlotti beans, kidney beans and an undoubtedly very annoyed partridge in a pear-tree, mung beans have seemed an unnecessary addition. Plus, they don’t seem to be available canned which means the extra work and energy cost of soaking and boiling. But the below recipe convinced me to give it a go….
Monday Night Blues left me with a desire to drink a vast amount of vodka. I managed to turn right at the Alcohol Aisle though and spent the money instead on the ingredients of an over-complicated Pad Thai (complete with egg “netting”*) that was edible enough but didn’t really hit the spot. Bit of a Tofu-Dog’s Dinner as you can see:
The supermarket didn’t have any tamarind sauce, so I went with a “Tamarind & Date Chutney” as the emergency alternative, which turned out in itself to be a Thing of Great Beauty & Wonder. I’m already having tentative thoughts involving the rice-flour pancakes from the other week….
The Pad Thai did leave me with some lime juice and shallots going begging though, and I still need lunch sorting, so I had a go at http://inpursuitofmore.com/2013/01/18/recipe-red-lentil-shallot-sun-dried-tomato-hummus/, together with some pitta breads and salad.
So the menu for the week is sorted; the left-over broadbean hummus will go into Tupperware boxes along with some more chickpea flatbread, a bit of tomato and some sweet-potato falafels (more of those below). When that runs out, it’s back to spiced lentils in pitta breads (cheap pitta breads safely stored in the freezer). I’ve got a vegetable and kidney bean stew in the oven; that’s tonight’s dinner, and the rest goes to the freezer as well. The left-over mix of stock and coconut milk will make a day-or-so’s worth of thai-style noodles (sorting out the tofu and any random bits of veg), then again default either to the frozen stew, or baked beans on toast. For breakfast there’s bread, eggs and marmite. The aim is not to purchase any more food now, between here and the next official food-shop on Friday.
No matter how many pretty, pretty recipes I find on the internet (*howls*).
I’ve also splashed out on a bottle of wine, one of the fine vintages available in the sub-£4.00 per bottle range. This particular bottle of Chateau Chunder has hints of pear, lemon, the sun-soaked Californian landscape, and apple-based toilet bleach. An excellent accompaniment to pretty much anything, as the damage to your taste-buds will make even Linda McCartney sausages taste great.
So with a decent back-up of the basics already in the cupboard, I get to decide what regular habits get the chop. Smirnoff vodka and expensive coffee-shop lattes are easy victims (and it can’t hurt the Anxious waistline to drop these). Quorn is off the menu. Vegetables and pulses I buy as normal (although the focus is more towards carrots and potatoes than aubergines and asparagus). Tofu adds a bit of protein balance (and a £2 pack can make 3 meals) so that stays. And I allow myself one “luxury” (this week, a small pack of own-brand black olives), and an “experimental” (pack of frozen broad beans) so I still have an excuse to try out recipes in this blog, which I enjoy very much, (even if everyone else reading has given up and fecked off to McDonalds… 😉 ). So I bring to you, broadbean hummus and chickpea & tomato flatbread…
I have, criminally, only just discovered asparagus. So I have 8 spears now roasting away in the oven, doused liberally with olive oil and salt. A little freshly-squeezed lemon juice when they come out (mind the pips), and then to eat, dribbling vegetable juice and oil. Because I’m in that kind of mood. Plus the pre-sparagus appetizers were feta-and-spinach parcels and a generous handful of black olives.
I’m doing Friday night in style, if I do say so myself.
You may remember a beetroot and walnut hummus I posted a while back? My sister went one better, and found a recipe for beetroot and walnut chocolate brownies. They are rich, moist, delicious and absolutely to die for. They are, I venture to suggest, worth not only dying for, but worth being reincarnated as a beetle and working your way back up the Karmic Chain for a thousand years to status Homo Sapiens again, just for another slice. Those that like to bake uber-chocolatey things – you have no excuse, here is your next project.
Having my own space again has revitalised things somewhat. So I’ve made the decision to go back and tackle some of the ingredients that have defeated me in the past. The legume that wouldn’t cook to edibility, even if you lowered a pan of it directly into a nuclear reactor. The vegetable that salting/soaking/roasting/baking/a-right-kicking couldn’t convert into something other than chewy semi-cellulose. The cost and frustration of two hours preparing and cooking, then discreetly dumping the results in the bin, and ordering a chinese takeaway instead (the herb ‘dill’ – I am looking at you).
Those recipes that, *gulp*, even our heroes EWK* or EWM** couldn’t save.
First up – yellow split peas
One of my earliest posts, “butterflies and wheels” was about the suicide of a friend. Not all of us could make the funeral, and it seemed appropriate either way for those of us who knew her to meet up and have a drink in her honour. So eight adults and three small children decamped to London’s Camden, and the beer garden at Quinn’s pub for a drink or three. This was actually a surprisingly cheery affair, given the catalyst (small children are always a good source of surreal amusement), and for once the British weather obliged us with a sunny, calm day. Maybe a butterfly had a word with Mother Nature on our behalf……
Dropping round my sister’s last night to watch the season finale of Two Broke Girls + the new season of Strictly Come Dancing (only the finest cultural experiences for us!), I found out she’d laid her hands on some cheap steak, and had knocked together a bernaise sauce to go with it plus some oven chips. I’d only had a bit of toast for dinner so prevailed upon her to do me some chips for one of the jewels in the British culinary crown – the chip butty. To which, instead of mayo, ketchup or brown sauce, I added some of the bernaise sauce. I’m not sure if this means I’m leaving the working class and joining the middle class, or leaving the middle class and joining the working class, but either way it soaked up some vodka and made up for the shocking lack of hummus. I recommend….. 😉