23 August 2008

Savory veggie pie

As a result of our recent move, I've been unpacking the kitchen. We have a surprising amount of kitchen-related items, some 25 boxes (an underestimate). Looking over all the ingredients inspired this recipe...

Begin making the pie crust, by mixing

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour,
1 cup whole rye flour, and
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Then, cut in

1/3 cup corn oil.

Add 1/4-1/3 cup water and mix into a very crumbly crust. Roll it out, and put into a greased pie pan. Since rye has little gluten (unlike wheat), the crust will remain very crumbly and be somewhat troublesome to handle. Transfer it into the pie pan in pieces, if necessary. The crumbliness will be an asset once the meal is done. Place the crust into the refrigerator and proceed to the filling.

Begin the filling by frying

2 sliced onions,
1 chopped carrot, and
1 teaspoon salt

in some vegetable oil over low heat until the onion softens. Then mix in

3 tablespoons flour

and cook very briefly before adding

1 cup (soy)milk,
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, and
1 tablespoon powdered brewers' yeast extract.

Lower the heat and cook until the mixture thickens. Then add

2 oz. cubed cheddar cheese.

Let the cheese melt, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, and beat in

2 eggs.

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes afterward.

Serve with a coarse grain, such as buckwheat or cracked wheat.

22 August 2008

Indian soy beans

Soy beans are tasty -- not just in their more usual forms such as tofu, soymilk, or edamame (or in their less-recognized forms like soy lecithin, for that matter). Anyhow, they are also good cooked like the their less-acclaimed "regular" bean cousins. However, they take much longer too cook. If you use a pressure cooker, the cook time is manageable, even quick... This is an eclectic meal I put together from ingredients we had lying around...

Start about 10 hours before the meal is to be cooked by soaking

1-1/2 cup dry soybeans

in room temperature water. (From my tofu-making experiments, I have a lot of soybeans.) I find stirring them occasionally gives a nice feel for how the soaking is going. There's not much need to be really careful about making sure the beans don't soak too long or short.

Once the beans are to be cooked, drain off the soaking water and place the soaked beans in the pressure cooker with

a few tablespoons oil and
cold water to cover -- not more than half the pot.

Pop the top on, and apply heat. When the pressure comes up, pay close attention that the pressure valve doesn't get clogged with foam or bean gunk. If it does, release the pressure immediately (douse with cold water in the sink) and reduce the water level before trying again. In any event, cook the beans at 15 pounds pressure for about 15-20 minutes.

While the beans are cooking, put

1/2 cup cracked wheat
1-1/4 cup water

in a medium saucepan, and boil covered. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 10 minutes. Add to the pot

8 oz. chopped spinach (frozen is fine)

and cook briefly.

Finally, fry

1 sliced onion
1 chopped carrot

in olive oil for a few minutes. When the onion is cooked, add

1 diced tomato and
1/4 cup water.

Cook until the carrot is softened slightly (I like reasonably firm carrots), and then combine the contents of the skillet with the saucepan. Add

1/2 packet of Shan vegetable curry mix

(contains salt, red chili, tumeric, fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)

mix, and combine with the cooked soybeans.