I've been trying all sorts of new, interesting food lately.
Starting with Greek yogurt. I know, I know, by the time I boarded the G.Y. wagon, it's like a rash infecting every grocery store in town. Fad notwithstanding, I like the stuff. Some people suffer yogurt, I'm not one of them. Been drinking and eating the stuff since my early twenties. G.Y. is creamier than the other versions.
Then there's the granola - it's been fad so long it isn't fad any more. The biggest, chewiest one I've ever had was at a breakfast place in University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio. Good stuff, but way too pricey at stores. So, I bake my own. It's really just another way to eat oatmeal, which I like. For binder and sweetener, I use olive oil, honey, and molasses. It's so easy to make. Trouble is, I like to eat it right out of the jar, and can't stop when I should.
Hummus, anyone? I had wanted to make this forever. When I found out the ingredients under exotic names tahini and garbanzo beans were no more than sesame paste and chickpeas, I took heart. Heck, I had a jar of sesame paste in the fridge right there as I studied the recipe. I had zero trouble finding chickpeas on my next trip to Wal-mart. Soaking and cooking the peas were painless, while the prep and mixing it with sesame paste, oil, liquid and seasonings required some TLC. In the end, I added some peanut butter which I believe was an improvement to the original recipe. We had shrimp lettuce wrap for dinner that night, and used the hummus for sauce.
Ham bean soup - I spotted the package label boasting fifteen beans on the grocery store shelf. It sure looked mighty pretty, what with the greens and reds and varied beiges, and a packet of Cajun seasoning to boot. Only after I'd put the beans in water for soaking, did I notice that the recipe on the package called for ham or sausage. All I had was three hot dogs, which I reasoned WERE a sausage. In the Dutch oven they went, and cozied up with the legumes for five hours. My and KDM's verdict: it was very, very good.
By the way, the cooked chickpea itself is surprisingly delicious.
I'm not done with beans yet. Today I made my very first split pea soup, after listening to KDM talking about it with such fondness and nostalgia for year. In China we call the peas green bean, often made into dessert. According to traditional dietary theory, all foods fall into either the hot or cold camps. Balance among the two is the way to good health. The green bean belongs to the cool type, suitable for summer consumption. In the heat of the summer, beverage stands offer a drink made of its powder, sweetened, iced, and always jade colored, said to keep heat stroke at bay.
And, if sesame paste- um - tahini, is a deterrent to you, I don't see why you can't replace it with peanut butter outright, provided you don't serve it to any potential hummus Nazi.
For past four weeks, we've been babysitting two of KDM's grandkiddoes. We watch movies with them. Beside popcorn, I treat them to snow cones, ice cream, and popsicles. Last night, I took the leftover, fizzed-out root beer and an orange-themed soda, and made a tray of popsicles overnight. I was disproportionally rewarded today by its instant hit status. Who knew it took so little to throw the little people in party mood!
What new, interesting, or strange food have you been making lately?