Hey everyone! It's me, Jo, the "green greens-eater", back for another guest blog posting.
I'm hot off the heels of one of my incapacitating stomachaches -- the ones I talked about briefly in my last post. It's been a lifelong battle trying to figure out what triggers them. Historically, it's been peppers (green, red, hot, etc), avacado, eggs, banana, kiwi, canteloupe... but also I have had run-ins with mango, berries, peaches, raisins... I hesitate to call them food allergies, because I'm not anaphylactic, and I occasionally CAN eat those foods (it's hit and miss), it's just that it sometimes results in severe pain that is 10/10 on my pain scale, narcotics don't touch it and the pain lasts 8-10 hours. Needless to say, I TIPTOE AROUND FOODS. My GI doctor diagnosed me with something called gastroparesis, and I medicate for that, but the meds don't always work. So I tiptoe.
This week, I barely touched the contents of my basket. I am like a little kid who bit into a lemon, made that face, and swore off lemons for life. I need to get back on that horse and just try again, but it's scary after one of those stomachaches.
I was thinking this week I was going to make soup. There were a lot of little things in my CSA basket last week and this week. Little beets, little carrots. Leafy greens. Some new things like purslane and sorrel. I'd never heard of those before. I'm pretty good around a pot of soup -- even in my Kraft-Dinner-eating early 20s, I always could throw together a pot of homemade vegetable soup. And with the advent of the hand blender and a can of beans, I discovered you could make anything kind of look like a hearty bowl of goodness, so I'm rarely scared off soups. Some years ago I happened upon a recipe for Mulligatawny soup that changed my life. There were a kajillion ingredients (or so it seemed) and near the end I tasted it and thought it was magical. Then I added the coconut milk and thought it doesn't get any more magical than that. THEN I added the cilantro. OHMYGOD you can't top this!! THEN!!! I added the lemon juice, and nearly fell of my chair. It was around then that I realized it's really hard to screw up soup.
(I'll include the recipe at the bottom -- it's vegan/vegetarian and delightful)
I know it's 40something degrees out there, and I know the idea of a bowl of hot soup hardly appeals, never mind simmering something on the stove for an hour. You can crockpot soups. Or install an air conditioner in the kitchen, like I did. It's the only AC in the house, but it motivates me to get in there and stay in there!
Flash forward a day --
The heat broke and it's it's in the balmy 30s now. Ahem. I skipped the soup this week. I went back to my old standby... sauted greens and tomatoes in with some curry and beans. I substituted garam masala for the red curry I used last week and added a liberal amount of coriander. I used "Great Northern Beans" this week, instead of my old standby, chick peas, and quickly realized there is a reason chick peas are my old standby. HA! I much prefer them. But I have never met a bean I didn't like at least a bit, so this pot will get eaten, for sure! I'll include a picture (last week's picture didn't upload properly)
I've been eating the baby carrots straight up, and chowing down on the celery leaves (I forget what Linda called them). On the whole, despite my minor setback, I'm still "doing greens" as I've taken to saying. :)
I would love to get some recipes in the comments of what you guys are doing with your weekly baskets! I'm still at the point where I don't know what a lot of the stuff is. I'm sure I put some stuff in the saute today that didn't belong there (basil, maybe?), alas, it came out yummy!
Jo's Magic Mulligatawny Soup
(you will need a hand blender for this dish)
some olive oil
some butter (ghee) (optional for vegan recipe)
2 onions (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
fresh garlic (optional)
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp black fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsp flour
6 cups vegetarian soup broth
2 carrots (chopped)
2 potatoes (chopped)
2 tomatos (chopped)
half a can of lentils
half a can of coconut milk
juice of half a lemon
1. Heat the oil and the butter in a soup pot. Substitue all oil for butter
if you want this recipe to be vegan.
2. Brown the onions and the celery. Feel free to add some garlic, too, if
garlic is your thing.
3. Add all the powders (curry, coriander, garam masala, cumin, pepper and
flour to this mixture. Stir it to a paste. Add the 6 cups of soup base and
mix (before it burns!! HA)
4. Add the lentils, chopped carrots, diced potatos and diced tomatos. Simmer until veggies
soften. Stir periodically. Probably 20 minutes tops.
5. Take the pot off the stove, and use a hand blender to blend all
6. Simmer about 10 more minutes.
7. Remove from heat and add (in this order) the lemon juice (stir), the
coconut milk (stir) and the chopped cilantro. Serve with brown or wild rice.