Meals – Day 29: Crossover cooking

29 Mar
Meal-wise was a bit different day today. For starters, I had some lunch left that I forgot to bring in yesterday. It wasn’t anything very special – just some onion bread. Obviously it was something somewhat plain, so I figured I’d have my lunch for breakfast instead.
By the way, glorious weather these last few days. Just about any breakfast is great when it’s sunny like that.
For lunch, I had cooked up a stir-fry with the last bean sprouts, some of the rainbow roasting vegetables, some carrot and onion. I basically did things the way I usually do, except for one thing – I didn’t have any noodles. What I did have, however, was spaghetti. I just pretended they were noodles and prepared them as such. Actually they take just slightly longer to cook, and somehow they’ve got a bit industrial texture and look over them compared to proper Asian noodles. Anyone know a good Noodle Master that can teach me how to hand-pull my own noodles? I haven’t been very successful in that so far.
Anyway, I present to you my lunch for day 29: A spaghetti stir-fry.
Day 29 Lunch: Spaghetti Stir-fry
As is usual, the bean sprouts get disguised pretty well by the pasta, but I can assure you there was still a good 100 grams of them in there.
Now yesterday I had brought a can of chick peas. It’s one of my favourite kinds of pulses (if that’s even what they are, technically speaking), because they’re so versatile. I figured I could make a hummus, or falafel – only to realise that those dishes require spices which I don’t currently have available. I almost forgot about them until I needed to cook supper. With the mince I had available, I was planning an old student favourite of mine – rice with peas and mince. Now that doesn’t sound like much, and it really isn’t anything fancy. This rice with peas and mince goes something like this:
– Sautee onion and garlic. Add mince, ginger, coriander powder, plenty of sweet soy sauce and anise seed.
– Add in peas and boiled rice. Done!
Now, this is a one-pan dish, and quite tasty for the amount of work it is. Quite easy to make in fairly large amounts as well.
But you can see the problem above – I had no coriander powder. Nor peas. In fact, I still didn’t feel much like rice again.
But that can of chick peas and the chilli gave me an idea.
Chick peas con carne.
Day 29 Supper: Chick peas con carne
Unlike many Texans and some purists, I don’t have any particular issue with having beans in chilli. Or chick peas, for that matter. I took a hint from the old student dish and started off with onion, garlic, mince and ginger. I added the chopped chilli. I would have added some sweet soy sauce, if I had any. But I didn’t. Now, at moments like that I tend to say cooking is improvising – so salty dark soy sauce and sweet lemon curds came to the rescue. With lemon curds already in there, I added in some lemon thyme as well. Then In went the can of chick peas and I grated some carrot into the dish as well. Somehow the last bit of the tub of chilli dip ended up in here as well. I haven’t quite used that tub of sauce the way I intended, but it’s been a nice bit of added flavour.
And that was all. Simple. Tasty. Nourishing. Nutritious. And pretty awfully fatty. Just look at that sauce in the picture above – that’s fat rendered from the mince. Obviously, mince that wasn’t made of the highest quality meat available. But at my budget, who am I to complain? I left behind and discarded most of the fat, but would recommend anyone on a higher budget to get a bit better quality mince than what I used. Or, alternatively, render the lard and/or beef dripping for cooking first, before using the mince for cooking. That way, you’ll be able to use the fat as it suits you, instead of wasting it.
Apart from the fattier-than-originally-intended end, today was a quite tasty day. Two more to go!

 

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