Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pantry Clean-out Day!

Today turned out to be one fine day! I got to sleep in to my normal waking time (as opposed to getting up early to get some running in), worked a nice schedule of 8-4:30 and didn't have anything else planned. For once in the past 2 weeks, I got to go home directly after work!

I decided to seize this nice little opportunity and use it to cook up something might delicious for Justin and I; however, upon searching my kitchen, I realized that we didn't have much in the way of food... I didn't want to leave home to go to the store, and Justin was about to head to a meeting with his coworkers. Whatever to do? Time for a garbage meal (aka- clean out the fridge/pantry)!

I find pantry/clean out the fridge cooking requires a little creativity and finesse. First off, it's about having some basics on hand: quality herbs and spices, coconut milk, nut butters, cans of tomatoes, various condiments, bags of frozen veggies, coconut aminos, nuts, onions, garlic cloves, some cooking fats and a random source of protein: ground meat (Justin and I always keep some in the freezer), eggs, tofu, etc...  Secondly, it's having some basic cooking knowledge. After that, it's just throwing whatever you think might taste good into a pan and hope it turns out tasty!


Garbage Meal Awesomeness!

  • coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (or less if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp indian curry powder
  • 2 tsp jamaican curry powder
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • almonds, chopped
  • cilantro
  • Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
  • Add the onions and celery, saute for a couple of minutes, or until softened slightly.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  • Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.
  • Add the bag of veggies, coconut milk, almond butter, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, and both curry powders. Stir everything together and bring the whole mix to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until everything is heated through and the veggies are tender.
  • Taste and add any salt/pepper, if needed. Serve in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped nuts and cilantro.
I call this one an Indijamaithai curry! You may think all the curry powders, fish sauce, nut butter and chili garlic sauce, may create one really muddled flavor mess; however, in the right proportions, they make one fine dish! Plus, it took less than 30 minutes to make! 

You'll notice that I included a pic o' the side veggie today. I took some green beans, dressed them in some high quality extra virgin olive oil, Moroccan seasoning mix, salt, pepper and a little it of garlic powder. I tossed them in a pan and roasted 'em for ~15 minutes on 400 degrees. (The time may be a little off... Just roast until they turn light brown.)

These meals are always some of my favorites. They make me feel like an Iron Chef or that I'm on the show 'Chopped...' Allez cuisine!

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