Thursday, March 1, 2012

A friendly PSA and some simple cooking

Let me start by taking you back a few months to a trip to the Indian grocer I made with my dear Indian roommates.  I was on a mission to find cilantro chutney and pickled lime.  So there I was, happily skipping down the isles, an Indian bounty in my basket, when my said dear Indian roommates see an innocent can of jackfruit and begin to exclaim about it's deliciousness.  I, being open to new things, threw a can in my basket.  I promptly went home and put it in the back of my cabinet, where it remained for many months.  In the meantime, I had come across a few recipes highlighting jackfruit, specifically for it's "meaty" texture.  I excitedly dusted off my can and settled on a jackfruit coconut curry.  I eagerly began preparing it a couple (2, to be exact) of nights ago... some indian spices, many vegetables, jackfruit, coconut milk, and then some quinoa in the rice cooker.  It was going to be glorious.  I could see the post then, about how I have discovered this magical jackfruit and how many things I was going to make with it...
The devil. Canned.
That is until midnight of that night when I woke up doubled over in pain.  Horrendous pain.  I took a couple antacids and tried to go back to sleep, but no luck.  While awake, I couldn't fight this sneaking suspicion that the jackfruit was the culprit, since it was the only new thing I was exposed to.  I began googling "jackfruit stomach..." and google filled in "ache" for me... hmmm.  Long story short: APPARENTLY IT IS A THING.  Apparently some people can't tolerate it all, others can only eat it in moderation... and one should never eat too much of it?!?!?!  Why did no one mention this in all of those recipes glorifying jackfruit?!  It could have gone something like "entrée: heavenly jackfruit clouds served on a bed of money... dessert: crippling stomach ache."  Just a thought.  Anyways, avoid jackfruit.  And as a friend of mine said, "what can I say, not everyone can handle jackfruit."

After that experience, I wasn't feeling terribly adventurous last night.  I didn't want to experiment.  I didn't want to play with flavor.  I just wanted some honest to goodness simple eats.  I had some cauliflower and brussels sprouts in my crisper and a variety of grains in my pantry.  Deal.  I set the oven to preheat while I tossed the leftovers of my jackfruit curry and got to breaking down the crucifers.  A little salt, pepper, olive oil, and love later... I sat down to a simple, clean, healthy meal.

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-size florets. 
  3. In a bowl, toss the florets with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic, a shake of italian seasoning, a couple shakes of salt, and a crack of pepper.
  4. Spread out evening on sheet pan.
  5. Place in oven for 10 minutes, stir, and return to oven for 15 more minutes.
  6. At this point in time, if it so fancies you, stir in some parmigiano. 
  7. Enjoy!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • However many brussels sprouts you feel like eating
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt 
  • pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Remove the base and outer leaves from brussels sprouts.
  3. Quarter each sprout.
  4. Toss in bowl with drizzle of olive oil, drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a shake of salt, and a crack of pepper.
  5. Spread out evenly on sheet pan.
  6. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes.

Harvest Grains
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 scant cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Mix

  1. Heat olive oil in small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms to pan.
  3. Saut?é for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms start to give up their juices.
  4. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
  5. Turn heat to high and allow the white wine to reduce.
  6. Add vegetable stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the grain mix, stir, return to a simmer, and cover.
  8. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, until the grains have absorbed all of the liquid.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put a healthy serving of each on a plate, and enjoy!

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