May 13, 2009

Post-Vacation Food

First, I'd like to point out that according to Mark Bittman, the Netherlands is the only country in the world in which animals are represented in Parliament.

Moving on.

As a good vacation should, our recent trip increased my mass. Since I give myself ample room to move about within a 10 lb range, this is generally not an issue. But, this trip, what with the departure with a body near the top of the range, the multiple multiple-course meals, the Johnny Cakes, the fruity, sugary drinks with umbrellas... well, yeah, I came home decidedly OUTSIDE of my 10 lb range.

Conveniently, this is not the first time I've faced this demon, and I know what to do. Emergency healthy living, batman! Run AND yoga every day. Super-healthy meals at all times until back in the range, and even then, fairly healthy until in the bottom half of the range. Yeah... we've got some ground to cover.

So, in the interests of eating super-healthy (and making use of what was in the garden), I made the following. I was shocked at how delicious, filling, and just in general, how great they were. Perhaps the overages of life cause us to enjoy our vacations more, and the overages of vacation cause us to enjoy our lives more. Or something. Anyway -- in case you are looking for some healthy food:

Mustard garbonzo soup

-1 lb mustard leaves, washed, stemmed and chopped into bite-size strips
-1 onion, diced (if from an overzealous garden, feel free to chop the green portion too)
-3 T EVOO (because, despite my previous abhorrence, I use this abbreviation now.)
-2 cans (16 oz.) chicken broth
-juice of 1.5 lemons (or 2, if you are me, but you are most likely not, and you don't want it with as much lemon as I do)
-1 can garbonzo beans
-black pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil and sautee onions 'til almost clear.
2. Add chicken broth and drained garbonzo beans, bring to a boil for 10 minutes to soften the garbonzo beans.
3. Add mustard leaves, wait one minute, add lemon juice (and watch in shock as all the red color from the mustard leaves goes into the broth, leaving pure green leaves and a purple broth!)
4. After 2 minutes of simmering, remove from heat and add black pepper. Allow to cool.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy.


So, of course, like all meals, this one may result in leftovers. If you are us, and your mustard plant should have been harvested 2 months earlier, it will be enough leftovers for an entire 2nd dinner for 2.

Only, you probably don't want it again. After it's been sitting in the fridge for 2 days. And the remaining garbonzo beans are now purple.

Never fear, the couscous savior is here (I swear, this may be my new go-to method to deal with soup leftovers):

Mustard garbonzo tomato cous-cous

-3-4 cups leftover Mustard garbonzo soup
-1 can stewed tomatoes
-1.25 (or so) C couscous
-red pepper flakes, or red pepper powder, or black pepper to taste

1. Bring soup and stewed tomatoes to a boil
2. Add couscous, stir until boiling, and turn off heat
3. Leave for 5 minutes
4. Return and fluff the couscous, allowing the steam to continue boiling off for another 5 minutes
5. Serve, garnished with pepper flakes, powder, etc. to your taste! Delicious!

3 comments:

Arvay said...

Is there any relationship between mustard greens and that delicious yellow substance we put on corndogs?

Elmer said...

Yes, actually. The flowers from the various varieties of mustard greens bear seeds, which are crushed and combined with spices and vinegar to make mustards.

We grew red mustard greens this year and you could taste the horseradish mustard taste by taking a bite from the raw leaf -- it was pretty powerful.

Arvay said...

Ah. I had always wondered. Thanks!