Honey and Chipotle Glazed Sweet Potatoes

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So I can't believe how incredibly cool life is right now. The Kickstarter for Good and Cheap is climbing over $44 000 as I write this. I am beyond elated!

I wanted to take a moment to share this quick and simple recipe for sweet potatoes. 

I ate this for lunch with some black beans, but I think it would be great cold as an alternative potato salad at a picnic as well. Dig in!

Honey and Chipotle glazed Sweet Potatoes for 4

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 tsp finely chopped chipotle in adobo

salt and pepper to taste

Turn the oven to 400 F. 

Slice the sweet potatoes into quarters lengthwise. Cut each piece into half moons.

In a cast-iron pan on medium heat melt the butter. Add the honey and chipotle and whisk to combine. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Place the pan in the oven and bake the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes. Test to see if they are cooked through by piercing them with a knife. If it goes in easily they are done! When you take them out of the oven quickly stir them to make sure all of the glaze ends up on the sweet potatoes rather than wasted in the pan!

Alternatively if you don't have a cast iron pan you can use a regular pan and then transfer the potatoes to an oven proof baking dish. The cast-iron pan cuts down on dishes though, so consider investing in one if you can!

Kickstarter for Good and Cheap

Today I am launching a Kickstarter to fund a print run of Good and Cheap, my free PDF cookbook for people on Food Stamps. Please take a few moments to check it out and share it with your friends.

Just over a month ago, April 29th, a lovely person posted a link to Good and Cheap on Reddit. Soon it was on Tumblr, Hacker News and many other places besides. It was downloaded so many times that it temporarily broke the site twice. 

I was so encouraged and touched by the supportive comments from strangers. It was tremendously heartening to have so many people understanding, appreciating and even advocating for my project. 

Ultimately Good and Cheap was a guess. It was a well informed guess, but it was a guess. I thought that an appealing, tasty, practical, healthy set of recipes was genuinely needed. I thought that maybe it could make a difference for some. It seems like it has.

Making Good and Cheap free online was a great first step, but to really reach people I realized that we need make physical copies. This book needs to be put directly into the hands of people who need it. 

I believe that cooking can change lives and I want to prove it. If you can, please support the project or share it with someone else. This is going to be fun!

Stuffed Green Chilies

So you have two choices here.

Eat these stuffed peppers with a knife and fork, on a plate. 

Or grab them from the baking dish and eat them with your hands burrito-style. All while standing hunched over the dish.

What sort of a person do you want to be? I'm not judging either way, but I will  just tell you that I went with the second option.

Stuffed green chilies

Stuffed Green Chilies serves 4

1 tbsp butter

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped

1 cup of black beans

1 tbsp sour cream

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

4 large green chilies (poblano, anaheim, hungarian wax, whatever)

To serve

1/2 avocado, finely diced

sour cream

cilantro

Turn oven to 400 F.

Add butter to a pan on medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook for three minutes or until they become translucent. Add the tomatoes and black beans and cook until heated through. Add the sour cream and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine and taste. Adjust with salt and pepper.

Slice each green chili and slice it in half. Carefully cut out the seeds and placenta and get rid of the stems.

Place the chili halves facing upward in a greased baking dish. Fill each chili with filling. Bake for 30 minutes.

Top with chopped avocado, sour cream and cilantro and serve!

pre-topping



Horchata!

Horchata

Horchata! This sweet, cinnamon-infused rice milk is so much more delicious than it sounds. This is the kind of drink where a first sip makes your eyes grow large. You greedily gulp down half the glass and then stare at this incredible elixer, your mouth and throat tingling with pleasure. Where has this been all my life? You ask yourself.

I will never actually forget how much I love Horchata, but it's not always at the absolute top of mind when thinking of tasty drinks. The first time I had it was in Portland, OR several years ago. I know, I know! But give me a break, I'm Canadian.

My flight recently got delayed at the Chicago airport. Bummer, but lucky for me there is the delicious Frontera Tortas to keep me well fed. They had coconut Horchata which I readily gulped down. It was good and all, but it really just made me determined to make my own when I got home.

For those of you unfamiliar, Horchata is basically homemade rice milk, or sometimes, like I have it here, a blend of almond and rice milk or other nut of seed milk. It's flavored with cinnamon and served over ice. It is also usually sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. I've looked at lots of Horchata recipes and this is my favorite cobbling together of various ideas. I add lime and vanilla for extra aroma and I substitute brown rice syrup for the sugar syrup. I think the flavor of the brown rice syrup perfectly compliments the rice in the drink. 

This is a truly fabulous drink, and although it's a little expensive to prepare at home (the almonds!) it's really worth it for a special occasion or a long weekend with great weather. Treat yourself!

Horchata serves 2

1/2 cup rice

1 cup blanched almonds

1 stick cinnamon

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 a vanilla pod, scraped

1/2-3/4 cup brown rice syrup

Grind the rice and blanched almonds in a blender with 1/2 cup of water. Break it up enough so the rice is smashed up and the water is milky. It doesn't have to be a paste, you just want pebbles of rice and almonds.

Dump the mixture into a bowl with 3 more cups of water, the cinnamon, zest and juice of the lime. Cover it with a towel and leave it in the fridge overnight.

The next day line a strainer with cheese cloth or paper towel and place it over a large bowl. Pour the horchata mixture over the strainer. Alternatively you can just use the strainer, but you might end up with some extra rice or almond bits in your drink. Squeeze the almond/rice mixture with your hand to get every last bit of milky liquid out.

Throw out the pulpy almond/rice mixture. Now add the vanilla bean paste and 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup. Whisk it thoroughly and taste it. If it needs more sweetening add more brown rice syrup. Once you're satisfied with the sweetness pour the Horchata into a jug and put it in the fridge. Serve it in ice filled glasses.

It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, but not much longer. However, if you can leave it for more than 2 days I will be shocked.

Peanut Sauce Noodles with Broccoli and Smoked Tofu

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Wonderful peanut sauce. It's not that I don't love peanut butter, but peanut sauce is peanuts at their best. It's peanuts showing themselves off in new custom tailored suits.

This recipe incorporates the peanut sauce from my "Good and Cheap" cookbook. You only need half of it, but I suggest you make the whole recipe because you will want to have it around for dipping or slathering in general. Also, if you have any homemade peanut butter kicking around from the other week I strongly suggest you use it in this!

Sorry I didn't get too many photos of the process. It's just not all that pretty. Peanut sauce is pretty brown. 

I made this with smoked tofu in a nod to Pad Thai, but you could use chicken or pork or regular tofu if you prefer. I bet it would be great if you skipped the tofu and scrambled a couple of eggs with the broccoli as well. 

The only challenging part of this recipe (and I use the term loosely) is that nut based sauces can be a little thick, meaning that they don't glide as easily over the noodles as you might like. The best way to deal with this is just to add a little water if the noodles are too gummy when you are tossing them at the end. Don't be shy about it. Peanut butter is an emulsion so you can add water to thin it out without messing it up.

We loved this and I'll likely be making it again soon with any other veggies I have kicking around.

Peanut Sauce Noodles with Broccoli and Smoked Tofu serves 4

For Sauce:

1 tsp vegetable oil, for cooking

jalapeño or other chili, chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, chopped fine

1 shallot, fine

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 cup peanut butter (natural, no sugar added)

1/2 -1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 large head of broccoli, chopped

4 oz smoked tofu, cut into matchsticks

5-6 oz of soba noodles (or any Asian noodle you prefer) 

1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

To make the peanut sauce, add oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Once it’s warm add the chili, garlic and shallot. Sauté until everything’s translucent. Add the turmeric and coconut milk. Let it come to a boil. Turn the heat down and add your peanut butter, soy sauce and brown sugar and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick add a bit more coconut milk or water to it and stir until it is loose and pourable. Taste it to see if it needs more salt or sweet and add more as needed. You can add a bit of chili sauce to it if you like is spicier or if you want it to be more red like in most restaurants. Once you are happy with the flavor set it aside.

Put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat. Salt the water and put a lid on the pot. While the water comes to a boil chop your broccoli.

When the water comes to boil add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Place a sieve above the water and fill it with the broccoli. This is the sneaky way to steam things! Cover the pot and sieve with a lid. Allow the broccoli to steam for 2-3 minutes, until bright green. Remove the sieve of broccoli.

Place a pan on medium heat and add just enough oil to keep things from sticking. Add the broccoli and tofu. Stir-fry gently until the noodles are ready. Once the noodles are cooked, drain all but about 1/2 cup of water and dump the noodles and water into the pan with the tofu and broccoli. Add your peanut sauce and use tongs to swirl, and mix everything together in the pan. Add more water if you need it. It may get a little gummy and you don't wan the noodles to stick together too much. 

Squeeze lime juice all over the dish and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed and serve it up to your hungry pals.