Tag Archives: rice dishes

SLURP IT UP

It’s Soup Season!  My latest Delivered Dish of the Week menus feature soups nearly every week. The great thing about soups — and all my autumn & winter dishes in general — is that you can freeze them in small containers to enjoy later. Furthermore, ziploc bags of soup, frozen flat, can be stored vertically to save freezer space.

You can order online right here for any weeks you wish.  Easy peasy.  If you’ve never ordered before, do please read the full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.

MENUS FOR DDOW OCT 27 – DEC 1ST

Week of Oct 27th

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Blood Red Beet & Lentil Soup w/ Ginger
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A satisfying fiber-rich soup for Halloween, to counteract any candy.  Very popular with beet-lovers plus a natural source of iron.

Fried Brown Rice w/ Shredded Cabbage & Carrots flavored with Coriander, Mustard & Fennel Seeds.
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. One of a hundred easy variations on fried rice.  I add stronger spices here to spark up organic brown rice. A great way to use up left-over rice, too. Sauteed cabbage w/ fennel seed is a lovely, mild side dish by itself and, so easy to make at home –– try it.

Week of Nov 3rd
Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. Spicy red chile & cooling fresh mint adds a nice twist on a classic autumnal soup. Dollop with queso fresco or yogurt to dress it up.

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Beans & Greens Tamale Casserole w/ Tomatillo Sauce
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn. Clients voted this an all-time favorite!  I always add chopped dark greens to beans for added nutrition and fiber. The mild tangy sauce disguises the taste of greens, too, if you have fussy eaters. It comes in a mini-loaf foil pan.

Week of Nov 10th
Minestrone w/ Rice Pasta
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. Rice elbow noodles, kidney beans, green beans and other veg in a light tomato broth. I like Tinkyada brand rice pasta. You can request no pasta & no beans for Paleo diets.

 Roast Ratatouille w/ Lentils
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. I adore ratatouille. Period. Especially when made of garden-sourced veg. I roasted & froze this in Sept for a wonderful infusion of summer days gone by. And it’s incredibly versatile: plop it on mashed pots for shepherd’s pie, spread on pizza, fill burritos, add to pasta sauce, et al.  You can request no-beans for Paleo version.

Week of Nov 17th

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Coconut Curry
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. From Isa Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook and featuring naturally sweet steamed plantains. Mildly spiced. Really yummy.

 Quinoa Pilaf w/ Spinach & Cilantro
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A nice green pilaf that complements the curry.

 Week of Nov 24th: Impress your guests! Terrific with turkey.
Polenta w/ Sage
GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn and dairy unless you request no dairy. Smooth polenta makes a great gluten-free side. For a stuffing substitute, brush slices w/ olive oil and broil til crispy on top, then chunk it up. Yes, it’s fab with turkey & gravy on top.

Wilted Kale & Roasted Beet Salad in Tahini Dressing
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo. Two super foods in one dish to complement (and dare I say, counteract) starchy holiday meals. Creamy tahini softens raw kale’s texture while sweet roast beets balance its flavor. Sprinkle seeds or nuts on top, and/or go more even gourmet w/ dollops of goat cheese.

Week of Dec 1st
Smoky Split Pea Soup
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I always add chopped collard greens and puree the whole thing to hide it. Sometimes I add nori seaweed as well for extra umami (savoriness); it melts away. Smoked paprika provides that “ham” flavor.

Puerto Rican Rice
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Another easy variation on rice w/ green bell peppers, sweet peas , tomatoes and some tumeric for color. However, it won’t be exactly the national dish of Puerto Rico as I’m omitting the grandule verde (pigeon peas) and using brown basmati instead of white.

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Spice is the Variety of Life

Herbs & spices for sale in Provencal, France. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

And herbs, too. Basing my weekly offerings on our northern seasonal harvest means, yes, repeatedly using the same seasonal veg  presented in as wide a variety as I can manage. See my blog’s Menu Archive of weekly Delivered Dish of the Week for a list of dishes cooked over past 2 yrs and those dishes coming up. I try hard to keep it interesting and not repeat within 3-4 months.

2 dishes x 10 weeks =30.  Thirty. Different. Vegetarian. Utilitarian. Dishes. And not one pasta among them. (I don’t do pasta or couscous.)

How?

1) By relying on many different spices & herbs versus using many ingredients, which is expensive. I include condiments in this spice category.

2) By relying on the 40-some kinds of whole grains and beans that I have ready access to here.

(Thank you large chain, co-op and ethnic grocery stores in our fair Twin Cities!)

After all, what’s the difference between Cajun dirty rice, Mexican arrozo, Spanish paella, Chinese fried rice, Indian biryani or pulao, Middle Eastern rice pilafs, and Southeast Asian nasi goreng? The spices. Otherwise, they’re all technically the same: gluten-free, dairy-free rice dishes.

So, along with dried herbs & spices, I stock my pantry/refrigerator with interesting, intense condiments from around the world. In particular, sauces, pastes and spice mixes that I can’t or don’t want to make the effort to replicate. These make it very easy to add much variety to your repertoire. (Think curry powder and meat rubs). I don’t use them on top of finished dish, like ketchup atop a plain hotdog. I use them to flavor sauces & marinades for grains, beans, vegetables and meats. More like cooking the hotdog in ketchup & relish.

Romesco Beans ‘n Rice. Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce from Catalan, Spain. (my photo). 

Jamaican Jerk-spiced Millet & Beans  (my photo).

Case in point, I have jerk seasoning mix. Therefore, a dish this week is Jamaican Jerk Beans & Rice.  Counting those examples above, that’s 8 different, cheap rice dishes I can whip together with stuff in my pantry. That’s not even including meals with plain rice, which I do actually make now and then for Chinese/Japanese/Korean entrees.

Then, substitute different whole grains or noodles for rice. Add different kinds of beans and various vegetables — we’re still talking about just the one dish, not even the whole meal. We’re still talking cheap ingredients. We’re not even yet factoring in meats! Now, DO THE MATH. 

You know you know this. I’m just reminding you.  And, since you may be free to use dairy, meat & seafood, you can make an even greater variety  than DDoW offers!

 

This week, make a trip to a co-op and get tiny bags of spices and herbs from the bulk aisle. This is much cheaper than buying bottles especially if you just want to test-drive a new one. Next, pick up 3 bottles of  sauces/pastes. Besides your local big box, Trader Joe’s and Asian grocery shops are good places for inexpensive and interesting condiments and sauces. Pastes are concentrated and therefore are a better value.

Swad brand Mint Chutney, a tangy mildly spicy Indian condiment. Try this in a sandwich or mix into plain pasta!

In my pantry: 

  • bottled Dijon and grainy mustards
  • tahini and peanut butter (yes, nut butters are a condiment)
  • orange marmalade (also a condiment)
  • bottled lemon and lime juice (must-haves)
  • black molasses (great in marinades, sauces)
  • mixed peppercorns
  • mushroom, veggie, beef & chicken bouillon
  • herb pastes /pestos (see recipe for Cilantro pistou)
  • miso paste
  • pureed ginger paste
  • tomato paste
  • Korean red pepper paste  (sweeter than you’d think)
  • Moroccan Chermoula paste (see recipe)
  • Mint or cilantro chutney sauce

    ground Indian curry and garam masala mixes

    Chinese Black bean sauce

    Chinese hoisin sauce

    • teriyaki sauce
  • Cajun spice mix
  • Jamaican Jerk spice mix (bottled sauce also)Chinese black bean sauce
  • Thai curry pastes (Mae-ploy brand is good-value and has more varieties, while Thai Kitchen brand’s 2 kinds are gluten-free.)
  • mango chutney (a jam, really)
  • Indian mint and cilantro ‘chutneys’ (those tangy green sauces served with samosas)
  • peanut sauce (the one served with Vietnamese egg & spring rolls)
  • sweet chilli sauce (ditto)
  • Tabasco (red & green)
  • Sriracha “Rooster” hot sauce
  • Plus basics to make sauce or soup like veggie broth, chicken broth and coconut milk.

Now, GO FORTH and Multiply … your meals.

“I have my mother who is an Irish-Italian, and my father who is African, so I have the taste buds of an Italian and the spice of an African.” ~ musician Alicia Keys (explains why I like her)