Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cheap Eats!

Spanish Torte with potatoes and eggs
We've been on a kick (wherever did that expression come from?) of Spanish-inspired food:  torta made with potatoes, onion and eggs, and arroz con pollo made with beaucoup ingredients.  Both were tasty but fairly labor intensive.  Sometimes, one likes to take the easy way out and cook dinner in 10 minutes, which is what we did last night.

What did we eat?  Ramein!  Yup.  I take two packages of chicken flavored ramein, but first I cut up bits and pieces of fresh veggies and cook them in a bit of canola oil.  What veggies?  What is on hand.  Last night it was scallion, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, ginger and cilantro, a delicious mix.  Bits of meat can also be added, and I cooked about 1/4 pound of shrimp and cut them in quarters and added that at the end.  But I digress.

After the slow-cooking veggies began to soften, follow the package directions as per water and cooking the noodles.  This may be sacrilege, but I bang the package with a meat banger to break up the noodles.  We are not a familiy of slurpers.  I add soy sauce and  sesame oil to the broth.  At the end, I added the shrimp along with the cilantro and tomatoes which I didn't cook with the longer-cooking vegetables.  Add these with the flavoring packet and stir well. 

Served this with a salad of romaine lettuce with fresh orange and an oil and white-wine dressing.  So good.  My husband had two bowls and there's a bit left for lunch. 

For dessert about 9:30, we each had a SMALL dish of Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream (heavenly) garnished with

Spring has not come to New England, and I can't even SEE the crocus.  Today the snow was blowing and the wind bitter.  The main storm is off the coast.  Fuel bills still high.  A bit of yummy cheap nourishing food is required.  Salads, unfortunately, are for summer.  Just use portion control and don't go overboard on fat and you'll be fine.  I always tell myself when I'm running from the car to a store that calories are being burnt just staying warm. 

Tonight we're eating pork chops with a sauce made from mushrooms, the dark (golden)  mushroom soup (not cream of, yech) and a spoonful (scant) of sour cream.  Nice green beans, maybe with a few more mushrooms added.  Mushrooms have lots of minerals and no calories.  Isn't that great?

 I hope you are taking care of yourself this winter.  It's been one for the books, and there has been much sucking it up with weather, cancellations, aggravations and pity the birds and rabbits.  I see the bunnies have been nibbling on the sedum and something at the neighbors. The young, frisky cat stares out the window 24/7 and sees the rabbits at night.  She is not allowed out as we have coyotes, foxes and fisher cats, and it's against the condo rules. And we do feed the birds, who have gone through lots and lots of seed and suet.

 My garden was not tended to last fall and will require much work.  It will be a pleasure to be outdoors without freezing. 

I'm coming down the home stretch in the first draft of my 1928 California book, and doing final edits on my Woman in Jeopardy book.  Writing and publicity take up so much time.  How did  you spend the winter?

Arroz con Pollo.  A Verde Salsa adds even more zest as does spicy Chorizo

The slough at sundown.  Winter has its own beauty.

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