Easy Meal For One: Asian “Succotash”

Returning to the idea of a few posts on easy meals to cook for one, here is one of my favorites. It comes together super quickly, creates minimal dishes, and doesn’t leave me with an urge to continue grazing in the kitchen.

Basically, you microwave a sweet potato. While it’s microwaving, you saute some tofu with garlic and then add frozen peas. You whisk a bunch of miso paste into a pat of melted butter. Cube your cooked sweet potato, sprinkle the cubes with turmeric, toss the potato with the peas, tofu, and the miso butter. Enjoy. Maybe with Sriracha.

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It occurs to me now, that an awful lot of what I cook myself when I’m alone and in a hurry follows a basic formula of cooked root vegetable + green vegetable +protein. It’s pretty fail proof. Other combinations I have gone through phases of making a lot:

– Sweet potato + spinach + walnuts, dressed with Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon.

– Beets and potatoes + Romaine lettuce + parmesan cheese, dressed with  olive oil and lemon.

The recipe below, however, is the recipe that has stuck around through all the phases.

Asian “Succotash”:

I make this often and never actually measure anything when I do it. I measured to write this recipe, but they are all still rough approximates. 

– 1 sweet potato

– 1/3-1/2 cup peas

– 1/3 of a block of tofu, cut into small cubes

– 2 cloves of garlic, diced

– Sprinkle of turmeric

– Sprinkle of soy sauce

– Pat of butter (Butter is delicious, but if you’re trying to keep your intake under control I would say about a 1/3 of a tablespoon would work here.)

– Tablespoon of miso paste

* Press your tofu cubes between two layers of paper towels and leave to sit while you prepare the rest of your food.

* Wash sweet potato and poke a few holes in it with a knife. Microwave for 4-5 minutes depending on size. You don’t want your sweet potato to be total mush here, but you do want it cooked through.

* Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan and stir in diced garlic. When garlic begins to brown add tofu. Stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. When tofu starts to brown sprinkle on some soy sauce. Cook for another minute. Add frozen peas and cook until the peas are cooked through.

* Meanwhile, melt butter in microwave and then whisk miso paste into melted butter.

* Cut cooked sweet potato into cubes and sprinkle cubes with turmeric.

* Toss sweet potato, peas, tofu and miso-butter together in a bowl.

Enjoy with Sriracha.

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Millet Frittata with Feta, Spinach, and Raisins

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I don’t have a lot to say about this somewhat topographical looking beast, except the recipe I was going for didn’t work. I salvaged it into this delicious, if cracked, frittata. (Looking at the picture now, I kind of wish I had found a mini-flag to plant in it as well.) Anyway, even though it’s not beautiful, I think you might want to consider making it too. Also, you should definitely be eating more millet.

Have you all been eating millet without me and keeping it a big delicious, crackly secret? I hope not. That would just be mean.

I started seeing references to millet earlier this year, but was never particularly excited about the idea. (That is, except for this recipe, which looks amazing…if you eat gluten please make it and let me pretend I don’t eat gluten while nibbling on your slice. Thanks.) Anyway, aside from crackly banana bread, I had not been tempted to eat millet because a) it’s bird seed and b) it seemed like there were enough healthy grains in my life. But then, I don’t know, peer pressure, and suddenly I’m ordering millet off Amazon and bookmarking this recipe.

I was still kind of skeptical, but, guys, millet is way better than quinoa. It’s fluffier, crunchier and has none of the bitterness. I’m not saying stop eating quinoa, but work millet into your rotation.

As I said, the fritter recipe I had so carefully bookmarked did not work. It’s possible the cornbread I ground into bread crumbs was at fault, or that I didn’t add enough breadcrumbs. It’s also possible I didn’t chop my onions and spinach small enough. But, whatever it was, as I eyed the batter on Saturday night, I did not think it had a chance of holding together. I also didn’t think more breadcrumbs would help. I threw in two extra eggs, but still no dice. After my first two fritters crumbled to a delicious scramble, I decided that I could convince all the batter to hold together in one giant frittata if I fried, steamed, and baked it into submission.

So, if you’re looking to eat more millet, and believe me, you should be, this is a good place to start. If you already eat lots of millet, how do you prepare it? I want to eat more, and, remarkably, so does Noah.

P.S. Noah stole the leftovers for lunch while I was in NYC yesterday. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

Millet Frittata (adapted from Tasting Table and Shauna James Ahern’s Gluten-Free Girl Every Day)

The fritter recipe calls for a 1/2 cup or more of breadcrumbs. I had a half cup in here, but since I couldn’t get the fritters to hold together anyway, I’m pretty sure you could and should just skip the bread crumbs. They were definitely undetectable with all the other stuff going on in here. 

– 1 cup dry millet

– 2 teaspoons olive oil + more for frying

– 5 large eggs, beaten

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

– 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

– 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika

– 2 cups chopped spinach

– 1/2 cup golden raisins

– 1/3 cup crumbled feta

– Salt to taste

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* To prepare millet bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add millet, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and big pinch of salt to boiling water. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook until water is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes. Spread millet on baking sheet and allow to cool at least 30 minutes. (This last step, by the way, I think is key when making millet or quinoa. I’m often too lazy to do it and always disappointed when I don’t. It improves the texture a lot.)

* In large bowl stir together cooled millet, eggs, onion, garlic, spices, raisins, feta, and spinach. Then let mixture rest for about 5 minutes.

* Heat glug of oil in a large skillet or pan (one that can go into the oven) over medium heat. Pour mixture into pan and press down until the mixture fills the pan completely. My millet batter was about an inch deep in the pan when it was all in there. Fry for about five minutes until bottom seems to be holding together and when you pull up a side gently you can see that it has begun to brown. Turn heat down a bit and cover for about 10 minutes.

* When the fritta seems to be mostly cooked through but still a little soupy on top (mine literally had a few pools of egg) remove the cover and slide the whole thing into the top rack of the oven. Bake until cooked through, about another 10 minutes.