Cooking from the pantry + Two videos to inspire you to dance (“vegan-style”) and vote

by JL Fields on November 6, 2012

Before we get to the food…

It’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means my monthly newsletter hit email boxes earlier this morning!  If you aren’t on my email list, you can read my November newsletter, dedicated to helping animals that survived Hurricane Sandy, here.

You know about the whole Gangnam Style song/video/craze, right?  Okay, I didn’t really until the singer Psy was on The Today Show.  Well, some vegan ladies took it to a whole new level in this video.  You simply must watch!

Now dance your way to the polls

and vote!

…okay, now the food.

Sunday I mentioned that we are moving in three weeks.  Mother Nature nudged us along and helped us empty out our refrigerator and freezer last week – all was lost during the power outage during Hurricane Sandy.  It makes no sense at all to replace what we lost because we couldn’t have moved most of it anyway, so I went through my pantry to determine what exactly I do have on hand, open, right now.  Lots of beans, lentils and grains. So I decided that I’m going to do my best to cook from the pantry and simply pick up a handful of fresh items (veggies and fruit, plus tofu or tempeh) as I need them.

Last week I tossed three different types of white beans into the pressure cooker:  cannellini, flageolet and navy.  The cooking times for each bean is are not exactly the same, but close, so I decided to cook them at pressure for 22 minutes and allow for natural release.  They weren’t quite done so I added more water and cooked them at pressure for another five minutes, followed by a quick release. Still not done! I added a bit more water, cooked at high pressure for a final five minutes, and allowed for a natural release to give them a bit more cooking time. Perfectly done! It was a lot more work than usual but worth it.

That’s the thing about intuitive cooking. Recipes and cookbooks are terrific, but so is playing around in the kitchen. For every fail I experience, I have far more successes. And I always learn something in the process.  In this case it reminded me that I can keep bringing food back up to pressure until I get it right. I also learned that the following spice and seasoning combination is awesome for beans: vegetable oil, garlic, onion, cardamom, cumin, bay leaf, sea salt, black pepper and lime juice.

I also mixed brown rice and farro in the rice cooker, seasoned with sea salt, sage and thyme.

We’ve had bowl dinners (beans, greens and grains) as well as a quick soup with these beans (simply heat up with vegetable broth and fresh salsa – instant soup!). The beans made for some awesome burritos, too.  I even froze a couple single serving bags of grains and beans to reheat over the next couple of weeks for lunch.  The joys of bulk cooking from the pantry!

Now, U.S. readers, dance your way to the polls and vote!

  • oh dear, I suspected there would be a ‘vegan style’ parody, lol! Would have loved to see them holding some kale while dancing. 😉

    That spice combination sounds fabulous for your bean mix – I love a hit of acid like citrus in bean dishes! Wishing you luck and low stress for your move… it’s such a process. One box at a time. xo

    • JL

      Yes, kale was missing! And I’m still reeling from the toilet scene! LOL Isn’t citrus grand in beans? I started using it when I began cooking beans in my pressure cooker. Since I don’t use salt until the end – I start with citrus to season and find that I don’t need much sodium when I use it. Win!

  • Caroline

    Did you add the lime juice in with the beans while they were cooking? If so, that may have lengthened your cooking time. I always add my acids and tomato products after the beans are already cooked.

    • JL

      Hi Caroline – no, I stirred it in at the end. I don’t use salt or citrus when cooking beans in the pressure cook – I add them when pressure has released and the lid is off! (but thanks for the suggestion – great for people reading!)

  • Great videos, how fun! And agreed on playing in the kitchen, I’ve been doing a lot of that lately not having a lot of time with work to plan. 🙂

    • JL

      Yep, playful is the way to respond to lack of time, for sure!

  • Pingback: A foodie farewell tour + Vegan news you can use (11/11/12)()

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