Scattered

If you’ve been looking for new recipes lately and been disappointed, I apologize. I’m exhausted and haven’t had much time or energy to innovate in the kitchen. Between taking on a second job and getting back into painting (my other vocation), there has been little thought put into my food. Naturally, this affects how I feel; I know my energy has waned in part because I’ve been eating wacky meals. My brain is scattered and I end up doing things like overcooking beans (see last post), or cooking them and leaving them on the stove all day, only to have to put the whole pot in the fridge before I dash off to work. Then I forget to do something with them, and end up eating a really stupid meal the next day, like chickpeas with hot sauce and a slice of toast, with some carrots because I don’t have any other vegetables.

Thus, I must tell you about all the quick and easy things I am managing to eat! I managed to make some hummus a few days ago, to eat with raw veggies.  (Turns out I like raw broccoli now. Guess you have to keep trying old things as well as new.)  Good start, as hummus can also go on a sandwich, be thinned out and tossed with pasta, or be jazzed up with new seasonings when you get sick of it after a few days. I’m thinking of turning this batch into baba ghanouj later.

Then there’s soup, that ubiquitous star of my diet.  February in New York requires soup. I’ve been feeling home sick, so I made cabbage soup. My mom makes hers with the ham bone from Christmas. I make mine with loads of veggies, mushrooms, and navy beans. Soup is a good choice for busy people, since you can put it on the stove or in a slow cooker and forget it without doing much harm. I’ve also started chopping veggies in my food processor to save time (I ❤ my food processor).  AND it’s a good thing I made a lot of it since I came down with strep this weekend; I don’t feel like eating much and I definitely don’t feel like cooking.

These things, combined with green smoothies (and dark chocolate!), are rounding out my diet for the moment. Not the most exciting fare, but it gets the job done.

Now, since I’m feeling so uninspired (in the kitchen, anyways), tell me what YOU want to see on The Penny Parsnip. Give me some ideas, I’ll come up with something eventually  (like when I’m done with my antibiotics), I promise! I could always come up with a parsnip smoothie, since that phrase is what leads so many people to my blog. But for the record, a parsnip smoothie sounds gross.

Go forth! Inspire me!

Creamy Beans and Barley aka Accidentally Delicious

I overcooked some beans.

Yes, I know what you must be thinking, “Penny Parsnip made a mistake?  Inconceivable!”

And you’re right.  There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.  I fortunately accidentally ignored my pressure cooker full of black-eyed peas and cooked them into black-eyed mush.  Intending to figure out what to do with them sometime after baking three dozen chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes, I scarfed some down pre-party with leftover sushi rice and a little soy sauce and Slap Ya Mama.  DELICIOUS.  So creamy!  I knew I had something right here, so the next day, this dish was born.

Ingredients

1/2 lb black-eyed peas, soaked and cooked until mushy (10-15 mins in a pressure cooker, or several hours without one)

1/2 lb pearled barley

Vegetable broth or water, probably 4-8 cups (Happy accidents don’t get measured.)

2 medium onions, diced

1 large bell pepper (red or green), diced

6 or more cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1 small bunch of turnip greens, chopped (or mustard, beet, spinach, kale, chard, etc) OR use a box of frozen ones

Seasonings:  salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce.  I measured none of these.  Sorry (sort of).

1.  Combine the cooked beans and their thick broth, the barley, and veg broth/water in a great big pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins or so.  Use this time to chop things.

2.  Add chopped onions, garlic, and bell pepper.  Continue to simmer until barley is tender and vegetables are soft, probably another 20-30mins.  Season to taste.

3.  Continue simmering until the mixture is getting thick and creamy.  Stir in the greens, put a lid on it, and let it sit for a few minutes until they wilt.  Give it a good stir and taste to adjust seasonings, or cook a little longer if the greens are too chewy for you.

Serve with additional hot sauce, vinegar, or some nutritional yeast.  I just ate it for breakfast with some chopped avocado mixed in.  Yum yum yum.  There are no mistakes in the Penny Parsnip kitchen!