What Can a Little Curry Do?

My diet and cooking preferences have simplified a lot lately. My current favorite meal? Steamed vegetables over rice with a bit of Cajun seasoning and a boiled egg or two. Done in about fifteen minutes and immensely satisfying. I’ve had the 30 minute rule in place for a long time. Meals should take 30 minutes or less for prep and cooking on a week night after work. But I wavered away from that rule with my foray into Indian cuisine which was delightful and educational but time consuming. I didn’t dig too deep but I’m pretty sure there is no

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Buttered Chicken

I traveled to the Big City recently and was introduced to buttered chicken, a spicy, tomato based Indian dish served with naan and rice. The restaurant was a hole in the wall of a strip mall with an unassuming name and room for maybe fifteen people. But it was clean and smelled of spices and tea and staff didn’t speak a word of English but that offered no hindrance to the experience and this tiny establishment has easily entered my top five favorite places-to-eat. Not having a lot of experience with Indian food, I went with the aforementioned buttered chicken

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The Flat Bread Solution

Western cooking is full of bread which makes it the instant challenge of any low carb/paleoish diet but there are substitutes and in some case the substitutes are better than the missing breads. Take, for instance, this Pumpkin Paleo Flatbread recipe I found when I was looking for a replacement for corn tortillas. Corn is a grain so it’s not paleo approved but it’s better than a flour tortilla in a pinch. But I’ve been looking for a viable alternative for some time and I think I’ve found it. Baking flour-free usually involves using a nut based flour substitute such

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In a Different Kind of Pickle

I haven’t talked much about the garden this year because, well, it’s still a bit painful to consider. Between late freezes, multiple re-plantings and the abundance of grasshoppers, the yield was less than spectacular. I especially missed out on the cucumbers which, of course, I planted extra since my experiments with refrigerator pickles last year met with some success. But no cucumbers this year. But I ran across zucchinis at the market and I remembered that Alton Brown had mentioned that you could pickle pretty much anything and a quick search yielded this recipe for Zuni Style Zucchini Pickles. Sounds

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Can’t Beat Free

I am pretty steady on the diet these days but it’s still challenging at times.  I’m always on the hunt for new ideas and new ways to do the diet better but sifting through all the info out there is impossible. So I have to rely on the occasional article or a recommended recipe but even then it’s hit and miss and what I really want is ideas that I can take and twist to my own designs. I found this site which keeps track of the free books for the Kindle and, under the cooking category, I found quite

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Soup of the Day: Faux Gumbo

Cooking gumbo can be a long and tedious process but it’s well worth it if you have the time and energy. I have had the real deal, deep in the heart of Louisiana, cooked by a grandmother who spent the morning in markets and with road side vendors gathering ingredients and then the rest of the day cooking. I have made it myself using the ingredients I could find and Alton Brown’s technique for a painless roux. But it does take all a good chunk of a day to do it right. I have to ask, though, is it a

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Brewing Mead

I’m working on my first batch of mead. I’ve researched the process for some months, angsting over details and gathering components and worrying over honey but like many things, it turns out to be way easier that many would claim. I say the same thing about pottery. It can be rocket science with clay bodies, cones, temperatures and quartz inversion and a thousand variables that can be altered to produce a million effects. Or it can can just be clay, fire and water. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years and only recently has it obtained the capacity

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A New Way to Pull the Pork

That title doesn’t sound quite right but I think we’ll go with it. Pulled pork is pretty much the only crock pot recipe I know. You season up a picnic roast or butt, throw it in a crock pot with about fourteen ounces of root beer and cook it on high until the roast literally falls apart with only the slightest pull of a fork. Add sauce and you have the simplest barbecue recipe there is. Put it on a bun if you don’t care about the wheat or slap it in a corn tortilla for a wonderful approximation of

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Soup and Simplicity

You really can’t get more basic than soup and, through a unique set of circumstances, I’ve found myself exploring the creative possibilities of a stock pot and a variety of ingredients almost on a daily basis. I’ve also come to realize the true value of even a rudimentary knowledge of cooking. Being able to look at a pantry of ingredients and making the most of what you have is a skill that will become very important in the coming years. And making the most of what you have is what soup is all about.  I start all soups pretty much

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Hot and Sour Soup

You either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it. I enjoy the heat and the flavors and it’s remarkably easy to make. Basically, the base is chicken or beef stock with vinegar and white pepper and a choice of vegetables. Restaurants typically use mushrooms and tofu but they are by no means required. Mushrooms have to be prepped and cooked right to really shine in any dish and tofu simply absorbs the surrounding flavors no matter what they are which makes it an excellent filler and protein substitute. But if you don’t need the filler or the substitute

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