Being pre-move and in the throws of packing and general chaos food has looked a little different lately. At the same time, looking at our huge list of restoration projects ahead on the new house has us pinching pennies. Since we are in the process of moving things into storage I have packed (and by me I mean my mother) most of my kitchen leaving out only the essentials, cups, plates, silverware, a few knives and pans. And since everything will go into storage including our food we are trying to eat everything in the house now. It's been a sort of wacky exercise. We have pretty much limited our grocery buying to milk, eggs and onions we are working through random pantry items, our quickly dwindling freezer full of beef and our weekly CSA box. Our Menu this week:
Sunday: CSA box chili
Tuesday: warm potato salad on salad greens with roasted beets and tuna
Wednesday: beef and broccoli stir fry and rice
Thursday: broccoli and red pepper pasta and salad
Friday: shredded beef tacos and re fried beans and salad
It's interesting to see our usually packed pantry and freezer start to dwindle and it's a fun challenge to use what's left to create meals. I can't wait to see how little is left in another two weeks when we vacate our house.
Because I'm not grocery shopping the meals have required a lot of improvising, sometimes that makes them less exciting for example tacos without salsa or sour cream...sad. But sometimes it makes for brilliant creations. Take Sunday night's chili. I had one can of black beans left, canned tomatoes and plenty of ground beef. I also had cilantro and green onions which had me leaning toward chili. However I didn't have kidney beans, green bell pepper, chili powder or any onions which are all usual staples in my chili. But I did find a can of green chilies, garlic whistles* and dried cayenne peppers. The recipe below was the following result and we LOVED it.
CSA box chili
3 garlic whistles chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped, whites and greens separated
2-3 dried cayenne chilies, chopped remove seeds for less spicy chili
1 can black beans
1 small can green chilies
1 can whole tomatoes
1 Tb coriander
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 cups water
1 beef or chicken bouillon cube
salt and pepper
cooked brown rice
In heavy dutch oven heat some olive oil. Add garlic whistles and saute about 5 minutes until beginning to brown add white part of green onion and the chilies. Cook another 5-10 minutes until chilies are starting to blacken. Add the coriander and cook one minute then add the fresh cilantro, can of beans with liquid, can of tomatoes with liquid and the can of chilies. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes. While chili is cooking brown beef in skillet. Add beef to chili pot along with water and bouillon, again bring to boil, reduce and simmer 30-40 minutes season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice garnished with the green tops of green onions.
*garlic whistles are the green tops to garlic. They have a garlic flavor but are much milder than garlic itself. You see them at farmers markets and some grocery stores in spring and early summer. We always get them in our first few CSA boxes.