Since I had the wherewithall to get the beans soaking the previous evening, when I arrived home from work last night I was all set to make Chard and White Bean Stew, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. (If you've not been to that blog before, go check it out. It's methodical food porn. I love it.) Naturally, as I was the one cooking, there were many deviations from the printed recipe. I used collard greens instead of chard, a combination of lima beans and lentils cooked from dry instead of the canned white beans, regular white onion instead of shallots, and a can of Trader Joe's tomato sauce in place of the 1 C pureed tomatoes. And I don't think my white wine was very dry.
In any case, the results are delicious! I topped it with a bit of strong, hard goat cheese, so there was no need for additional salt. Now that I've made this recipe twice, I can cook it up without really thinking, and it's going to be my go-to stew. My favorite part is cooking the mirepoix in white wine--adds a certain depth of flavor. I'm thinking that there are many ways to do variations, such as red wine and a few mushrooms with red beans.
My bowl of oat porridge this morning was especially tasty. You'll soon find out why. As you might expect, it all started with a mixture of 1/2 C oats, 1/2 C milk, and 1/2 C water. As this was simmering on the stove, I thought, "chocolate cherry coconut!" The triple threat! So I mixed in 1 T cocoa, about 3 T chopped dried cherries, 1 chopped date, 1 T coconut, 1/2 T chia seeds, and about 1/2 T peanut butter. Boy, was it energy-dense. All the ingredients brought their own nutrition, so even though there was a significant amount of calories, it was all from real foods.
I noted in my journal yesterday that there are people out there who probably can conceive of spending one to two hours in the kitchen every night, doing food prep and cooking. Yes, it takes time, but I get something very significant out of it: wholesome, nourishing food. These generic people probably spend at least one to two hours watching television every evening--something I, lacking a TV, do not do. What is gained from spending hours that way?
As for the knitting I mentioned yesterday, how I wasn't sure the two purples would work together, I looked at it in natural light and decided it wasn't what I wanted. Since I'd only knitted a few inches, it was the work of minutes to take it out and start over. It's awkward because one skein is being knitted from the inside out, the other from the outside in, so I have to do more yarn wrangling. However, now I get a purple and black combination, that is transitioning into bright blue and gray, so it's pleasing me.