Wednesday, December 01, 2021

What’s Cooking?

Delicata squash with piccadillo ingredients.

As this is a food blog, I thought I would post what I’ve been cooking. I’ve been making lots of semi-easy dishes with short prep times, but with fresh vegetables. When we returned from our long trip over the holiday, I shopped at Trader Joe's, which is a good place to buy things that are ready to eat, but not too unhealthy. Note that Trader Joe doesn't pay me to mention them: for that matter, TJ doesn't pay anyone else either.

Recipes? Well, I don't use real recipes with detailed measurements very much, so I'll just describe the ingredients I used. The delicata squash shown above has the advantage of a tender, edible skin -- and they often have a pile of them at Trader Joe's. I peeled and sliced the squash into little half-moon shapes, and sautéed it in butter, Then I added a sliced onion, a jalapeño, some red bell pepper, and browned them. Finally I added cumin, cinnamon, ground coriander, raisins, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of tomato paste. I cooked the mixture until the squash was very soft, and served it on little tortillas that had been browned with a slice of cheese. Real Mexican and South American piccadillo fillings normally include ground beef or chicken, but the squash worked well.

Trader Joe’s Stir-Fry

Lazy cooking — but not too lazy. The chicken is TJ's pre-cooked sliced chicken breast, the broccolini comes in a package ready to rinse and add to the pot. I did chop some fresh garlic and ginger, slice a red onion, and wash a package of mushrooms for the dish. I stir-fried first the ginger and garlic, then the onions, then the other vegetables. Then I added some broth, Chinese five-spice blend, and soy sauce, and cooked the mixture for 5 minutes. Finally some corn starch mixed with water to thicken the sauce, and the ready-to-eat chicken, briefly warmed in the pan. An easy dinner.

Some food that I made in Fairfax last weekend; hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise and tuna-white bean salad.

These are two very simple dishes that I like to make when there's not a lot of time. You can find dozens of tuna and white bean salad recipes online if you want more details -- and I've posted about my versions of this classic several times as well. In this salad, I used canned tuna (the Wild Planet brand because it's supposed to be ecologically responsible) and cannellini beans. I added chopped celery, chopped dill pickles, cilantro, and green onion, as well as oil and vinegar. When I make it at home, I vary it with tomato or lettuce or cucumber or carrots.

Blog post and photos © 2021 mae sander.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Now I'm really, really hungry. This all looks so good and there are enough vegetarian dishes even the most finicky vegetarian would be happy. I made deviled eggs at Thanksgiving, but I used ranch dressing because I am allergic to mayonnaise, even the very best, most expensive mayo. I love your "shortcuts,"too.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

That all looks very tasty and sounds nutritious.

Jeanie said...

You are the living, walking, breathing example of how cooking something elegant, interesting and delicious doesn't have to be an all-day process. I admire your creativity in spices. I need to practice that much more!

Jenn Jilks said...

This is lovely!
Thanks for visiting. I love the deviled eggs. My mom used to make them all the time.

Tina said...

I like the Five Spice and Trader Joe's always has items I enjoy oicking up. We just bought a load of sweet ptatoes and some cereal bars yesterday.

Divers and Sundry said...

I'm not familiar with that kind of squash. I'll have to see if it's available where I usually shop. The stir fry looks delicious. I've never had tuna salad with white beans. It looks worth trying. Thanks!