Monday, January 31, 2011

The Forgotten Potato

Last night, when I was preparing to bake myself a potato, I grabbed two. Why not? Plentiful, easy to digest, anti-inflammatory, chocked full of vitamin c... it's great for the skin! I thought if nothing else, I could use it for something else later. Well I forgot about that potato entirely, until this morning, when I stood staring into the fridge, with only a few ingredients remaining.... Breakfast!

What I had on hand:

2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped onion
a couple handfuls of fresh, washed spinach
1 baked potato
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB of butter or Earth Balance

What I did:

Melt butter into wok or pan, add onion and potatoes and brown lightly over medium heat. Crack eggs into large mug or bowl and beat with fork until smooth. Pour eggs over contents in wok or pan, and scramble and mix with a spatula, until done. Lower heat, plop spinach on top and cover. Let steam for a minute or two, until spinach has wilted. Scrape into bowl, add salt and ground pepper to taste... and perhaps some Aardvark. YUM.

For additional information on the health benefits (and concerns) of potatoes, click on this link:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Potage Parmentier

Inspired in the first chapter of Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell, I desired to recreate this potato leek soup... Afterall, I have a potato ricer, and few people do. You can use masher or and hand blender, but Julia Childs warns against it, as it will turn soup into "something un-French and monotonous". You want texture in this one. For more information on what Julie Powell has to say about Potage Parmentier, click on this link: 
In the meantime, let's getter done! This one is simple and SOOO delicious. And nutritious!

What I had on hand:

4 baking potatoes, diced
(you may peel or not peel them... I peeled two and left the other two "as is", so that some of the nutrient rich skin would be included, but so it would still have a pale yellow tone, rather than brown.)
3 leeks, chopped, soaked in cold water for 1/2 hour, then rinsed
3 cups water
(I used 2 cups broth for extra flavor and 1 cup water)
black pepper
sea salt
butter or earth balance (if you'd like this to be vegan)

What I did:

Add potatoes, leeks, broth/water to pot, put heat on medium low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mash or blend until still slightly chunky... You should be able to see bits of potatoes and onion here and there, but too much. Add a few pats of butter at the end, in small amounts and stir. YUM!


  1. The following may be simmered with the potatoes and leeks at the start:
  2. sliced or diced carrots or turnips... peeled, seeded or chopped tomatoes or strained, canned tomatoes... half-cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils, including their cooking liquid.
    1. The following may be simmered for 10-15 minutes with the soup after it has been pureed:
      fresh or frozen diced cauliflowercucumbersbroccolilima beanspeasstring beansokrazucchinispinachcabbage diced cooked leftovers of any kind of the preceding veggies.(I ended up using up the remains of a head of red cabbage for this batch.)
      You may also use whipping cream instead of butter.
      For more information on the nutritional benefits of leeks, click any of these links:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sausage and Beluga Stew

This is one of my favorite stews to make because it is high in protein and complex carbohydrates, is simple to prepare, hearty and uses so few ingredients. You can also vary the ingredients slightly and get a perfect meal every time. Added bonus? Beluga beans are exceptionally good for your heart! 

Here's what I typically use:

1 pound or more of sausage 
(bulk or links)
1 1/2 cup of black lentils (A.K.A Beluga beans)
(I used a mixture of French green and black, other types will cook more quickly, 
turn mushy and alter flavor slightly.)
1 cup sweet corn
(I used 1/2 cup of left over cabbage and 8 collard greens, stemmed and chopped, instead)
4 ribs of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 1/2 cups water
(I used 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water, 
and added a little water at a time in the end while the stew thickens)
Sea salt
Black peppercorns

Here's what I did:

Rinse the lentils and cull them for small stones and debris.
Remove sausages from their casings if they are links, and place in heavy soup pot with tight fitting lid.
Lightly brown sausage and break it up into smaller pieces. 
Add celery, onion and other veggies. Saute mixture until veggies soften.
Pour in water/broth. Add a few shakes of sea salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
Add lentils. Stir everything together, cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from burning. Remove the lid for the last 1-2 hour while simmering, when stew thickens to desired consistency, serve pipping hot into bowls. Works well with slices of  thick crusted bread.
Season to taste.

For more information on the nutritional density of black lentils or Beluga beans, click on this link: