February 18, 2009
Last week I challenged myself to make a week's worth of food for as little money as possible. If this sounds familiar, start by taking a gander around your pantry. In our case we had a few pounds of mung beans and plenty of brown rice. Another goal for this meal was to include sweet vegetables in an attempt to curb my nighttime sweet tooth.
Beware, this isn't the simplest recipe and it makes A LOT. We ate it for a week. Be sure to cut everything in half if you aren't prepared to fill a bunch of tupperwares with leftovers! It was worth the effort though. One of my coworkers shouted out of his office as a walked by with a piping hot plate, "Michelle, that smells amazing!"
And it was.
Indiasian Mung Beans with Veggie Rice
For the beans
3 cups dried mung beans, sorted and soaked overnight
3 Tbl. toasted sesame oil
3 Tbl. unhulled sesame seeds
2 Tbl. minced chives
For the rice
3 cups brown basmati rice, soaked overnight
4 Tbl. ghee
4 Tbl. olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped small
2 small Delicata squash, unpeeled and chopped small, seeds washed and reserved
1 bunch Dinosaur kale, sliced thin, including stems
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp. garam masala
2/3 cup water
2 tsp. tamari
1. Cook mung beans until just tender by bringing to a boil and simmering for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. While beans cook, heat smallish skillet over medium heat and add the seeds from the squash. Keep a close eye as they toast, occasionally tossing. When toasted, add tamari and mix. Allow liquid to cook down. Scrape seeds out of pan and set aside.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the rice. Return to a boil then lower heat to simmer 10 minutes. The rice will only be partially done at this point.
4. Add the ghee and olive oil to the largest stock pot you own, something with a tight fitting lid. When the ghee and oil are hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until browned. Add carrots, tomato, squash and garam masala. Sprinkle with S+P and 2/3 cup water.
5. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the pot's lid so the corners are on top and come nowhere near the burner. Add the rice and cover the pot. Heat should be at medium high. After a few minutes it will start to sizzle and you can reduce heat to low. Cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes.
2. While you wait, heat sesame oil in the largest skillet you own over medium high heat. When hot, add the mung beans and gently toss to coat in oil. Cook until they start to pop. Add sesame seeds and mix. Add a drizzle more of the sesame oil and remove from heat. Stir in the chives, salt and pepper. Set aside.
6. Add chopped kale to rice mixture and stir. Cook another 10 minutes.
7. Remove carefully from heat. Spoon rice onto plates to serve, topped with mung beans and toasted seeds.
(And yes, the challenge was met. I spent only $35 at Whole Foods and fed Max and I for a week. Plus, we cleaned out some of our pantry items. It would be interesting to see what else we could make out of the food already in our house...anyone have a recipe for sardines and raisins?)
How do you save money and still cook healthy meals?