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Spring Cleaning of Our Pantry

March 31, 2012

My 1st post! – I’m the “Accidental Cook” and you’ll see why shortly. 

It’s kind of a metaphorical spring cleaning. Just so happens that I’m trying to be more creative with my cooking by using up ingredients that are just lying around like dried beans, grits, butternut squash etc etc etc. Basically I have an idea of what needs to be used up and then I search out for what I can make online and dipping into my recipe books! How retro.

It’s pretty amazing the dishes you can throw together with the right spices. I really haven’t been disappointed with the outcome of any of the dishes yet.  Some of these dishes are not surprising, but most of them I would have never thought to pair these ingredients together. In the future, maybe I would make a few changes just for our taste preferences but they’ve all been filling and very satisfying! Here are three of the tested dishes that have come out delicious:

Jamaican Peas and Rice

Easy to make, very creamy and rich tasting (it’s great for someone lactose intolerant!), I might recommend having another addition to this. I actually forgot to cut up an avocado as our addition; I think it would have been perfect with it. Believe it or not, I had pigeon peas, as the recipe calls for, and coconut milk already in the pantry. I started making this for 2 people and realized I didn’t cut down on the liquid measurements until I had it all in there except for 1/2 cup of coconut milk. So, I just cooked it until it wasn’t too soupy.

Curried Cabbage & Garlic Potatoes (recipe below)

Both easy to make, loved this but wouldn’t make it all the time, but perfect to get your daily fiber in! I also recommend including another dish with this like the Garlic Potatoes. I only used 1/4 of a cabbage head and it was perfect for 2 people. I didn’t have two of the spices needed, but it was flavorful enough without them. I also mistakenly bought vanilla yogurt instead of plain – so I just kept adding spices until you didn’t notice it was too sweet. Whoops, I wish I was joking…

More experimental pantry cleaning meals to come next week…

Garlic Potatoes for 2
From Barabar Kerr’s “Taste of Health” Cookbook

2 Large Baking Potatoes
8 Cloves of Garlic
3 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
8 Toothpicks

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash potatoes and slice in 1/2 lengthwise

3. With a spoon, scoop out the middle leaving 1/2 inch on the sides and bottom. Toss the insides in 1 teaspoon of olive oil an bake in a separate dish.

4. Place 4 garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of olive oil inside each potato. Use 4 toothpicks to secure halves together.

5. Bake both the insides and potatoes for 50-60 minutes. Add a dollop of sour cream or your favorite topping and serve!

Enjoy!

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