Today, I went to the farmers market to get some fresh, seasonal produce. This is a rather new thing for me, as I only really started eating vegetables this year. And I only did so because I didn't want my husband to die from diabetes. So I have been trying a whole slew of different recipes to try to convince myself that vegetables are delicious and I really do like them. (It would be better if I could smother them in Velveeta cheese, but that would be negating the point of trying to eat healthily in the first place.) Do I like vegetables yet? Still not my favorites, but I am working on it.
|Doesn't that look pretty and healthy?|
Also, my husband let me know that my laundry sorter table top he was making for me was finished!!!! What is a laundry sorter table top you are probably asking yourself. Well, it is a top that my husband made for me that sits on top of my laundry sorting hamper.
It was an idea that I came up with one week-end when I had done laundry for a whole day and I woke up the next morning wanting to die because my back was hurting so bad from bending over my bed so I could use the t-shirt folder that I am, just a little, in love with. (Thank you Sheldon for letting me know these things existed.) So, after looking at my hamper, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea: put a "table top" on the hamper. Then I wouldn't have to bend to fold my shirts. It already had wheels so I could roll it to whatever room I wanted to so I could fold laundry in the living room if I was so inclined and I could use it as a desk in the bedroom for when I am writing my blogs and want to be in the same room while my husband plays video games. GENIUS!!! So I asked my husband if this was doable and he made me one. Ta dah!!!
|Well, not quite yet, this is my hamper without the table top, but with the baskets I keep on top to keep Laika from going into the hamper and eating our underwear.|
|Here is the hamper with the tabletop. You can still sort of see the baskets. I didn't have to remove them!!!|
|This is the bottom of the table. You can see the grooves that my husband did by hand so that it would sit gently and level on the bars of the hamper.|
|This is the table top in use! You can see the t-shirt folder and the t-shirts I have already folded all fit nicely on the table. I am so happy!!!!|
But now on to the next meal of the Frugal Femme Two Week Menu.
Tonight, I am making a meal made from the leftover pork and cauliflower we had from Sunday night's dinner and the left over white rice that we had from Monday night's dinner. (The rice should be the only pre-cooked item. All of the other items should still be raw.)
Pork "Steaks" with Curried Peanut SauceIngredients
2 boneless pork "steaks" (I cut mine from the pork roast that I had left over from Sunday.
I also had a few smaller pieces that I cooked as well.in case my hubby wanted a little more protein.)
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter (You could use crunchy if that's what you have. I like creamy.)
1/2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Low Sodium Chicken base
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1 carrot, sliced (1/2 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp. curry powder (I like to do two and I use two types of curry, but this is definitely a spice you should be careful with. If you are not sure that you are going to like curry, start with one teaspoon and, after tasting, work your way up to another teaspoon.)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or, if you have it, freshly ground ginger)
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1. In a small bowl, combine the water, peanut butter and Better than Bouillon base. Whisk with a fork until well blended and set aside.
|Not very exciting. Or pretty.|
|I used just the white bulb and the light green part of one of these that I picked up from the Farmer's Market, but you can use any onion that you would like.|
|This is mid chop. You can see how I chopped it into quarters.|
|I like using baby carrots for almost all of my carrot needs. That way I can cook with them and snack on them.|
|Minced garlic. Not sure why I took a picture of this but.....:-)|
2. Cut your roast into 1 inch thick pork "steaks".
|Here is what is left of the roast.|
|And now they are "steaks".|
3. On medium high heat, heat your olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. (I like using a cast iron skillet.) Once the oil begins to "shimmer" and the butter begins to sizzle, place the pork steaks into the skillet.
4. Cook steaks for about three minutes per side. Each side should have a lovely golden color, but will not be cooked all the way through. Remove the meat from the skillet and put on a plate.
5. Add onion, carrot, garlic and curry powder to skillet. (You may have to add about a teaspoon more olive oil before putting the vegetables in the pan.) Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
|These are the two types of curry that I like to use. One teaspoon of each. They both have different blends and taste different, so it actually makes a difference in the flavor of the dish.|
6. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and return your pork steaks to the pan. Scoop the vegetables on top of the pork steaks.
7. Pour peanut butter mixture over steaks and vegetables. Lower heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove meat to a warm platter.
|This is what it looks like when you first put the peanut sauce in.|
|And this is what it looks like once it has reduced.|
The sauce should be thickened at this point. If it is still a little runny, add 1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch to 1/4 cold water and stir with a fork. Once this mixture is combined, add it to the peanut sauce and stir and the peanut sauce should thicken right up.
Serve pork steaks over a bed of rice and scoop vegetables and peanut sauce over the rice and meat.
Roasted Garlic CauliflowerI actually like this dish. The broiling done in the last five minutes of preparation gives the dish a delicious crunch and flavor that I really like.
1/2 of large head of cauliflower, separated into florets
2 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
garlic pepper salt (to taste)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried dill
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grease a medium size casserole dish. I just pour a little olive oil in the dish and then "paint" it all around with a pastry brush.
3. Place the olive oil and garlic into a large re-sealable bag. Add cauliflower and shake to mix.
|Here are the garlic and cauliflower before I added them to the bag.|
4. Pour into the prepared casserole dish. Make sure that you use a spatula or spoon to wipe down the sides of the bag as plenty of garlic will stick to the sides of the bag and you want all that garlic goodness to go into your dish.
5. Season with the garlic pepper to your taste. I do between three to four shakes of the container.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
7. After 25 minutes has passed, pull the shelf that your cauliflower is on out of the oven, so that it is resting about the oven door. Turn your oven to broil. Top the cauliflower with parmesan cheese and dill and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
(Depending on the size of your oven, to get a good browning, you may have to move the shelf your casserole was baking on up a couple notches so that your cauliflower is about 3-4 inches from your broiler.)
Tip: This is best served immediately after removing from the oven. If it sits too long, it is still delicious, but it loses most of its yummy crunch.)
White RiceFor the white rice, I just reheated the rice I had made yesterday in the microwave. Just add about a teaspoon of water and nuke it in the microwave for 60 seconds. Your rice should be tender, fluffy and heated all the way through.
That is it for this post. I'll be back tomorrow with yet another meal.