Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Broccoli Brings It! January 8, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,dessert,easy,leftovers,muffins,thrift,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:33 pm

muffins askew

The kindergartner’s show-n-tell/snack day at school done snuck up on us.  On game day to boot!  Local broccoli stems saved me again, investing mini-muffins with the good nutrition necessary for all that learnin’ the kids are up to.  Although I had none left over to enrich the (orange!) carrot cake (see Broccoli Bonus) I made for Longhorn viewing, a cake full of local carrots tastes just as sweet.

These muffins might not fool the herbiphobic adult or teenager, but kids won’t notice the jolly green goodness in these tasty treats.  The students wolfed ’em down!

(SWEET) BROCCOLI BITES makes about 3 dozen mini muffins

  • 227 grams (2 cups packed) finely shredded well-peeled local broccoli stems.  You can substitute half or more shredded local carrots for especially finicky palates.
  • zest of one local an/or organic lemon.  Ask your neighbors!
  • 2 local eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 163 grams (¾ cup, firmly packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s organic brand sells for $2.99 for a 1½ pound bag.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 grams (about a scant 1½ cups) organic all purpose flour or King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted Texas pecans, optional.  I omit these for the classroom.
  • 107 grams (½ cup) organic coconut oil or other oil suitable for baking sweets.  Whole Foods 365 brand virgin coconut oil is a good value.  Coconut oil will solidify when it’s chilly, so warm it up if necessary.

Get your oven going to 350º and grease up 3 one dozen cavity mini muffin tins, or whatever configuration you have.  I find Spectrum baking spray to be the easiest greasing  option, but I’ll leave that choice up to you.

Whisk together the shredded broccoli and the next five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the next four ingredients.  Whisk the oil into the broccoli mixture, blending it in very well, then top with the flour and the pecans, if using.  Stir it all up quickly to blend completely.

Fill the prepared tins (I like to use a spring-loaded scoop) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the muffins test done.  Let cool in the pans on a rack for a couple minutes before gently releasing the muffins from their wells (I use a bamboo skewer, the same one I test them with) and letting the muffins cool obliquely in their cups.

Frost with organic cream cheese frosting if desired.  Whip together ½ stick organic butter, ½ block organic cream cheese (CM organics brand is the best buy at only $1.99 per ½ pound), 100 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar (CM organics again), 1 teaspoon local honey (I like Good Flow—we have many honeys to choose from around here) and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.


Tongue-in-Kuchen (broccoli, actually) December 14, 2009

Filed under: bread,easy — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 12:38 pm


Hey, good-lookin'---whatcha got kuchen?

You know how you go riflin’ through the freezer looking for white spelt flour and instead you find a cow tongue you bought way back when?  Yeah, it happens to me too.  What’s a flexitarian to do, faced with such flesh?  I found myself wishing meat maestro Jesse Griffith (Duke of Dai Due) could take this tongue off my hands and prepare it appropriately.

I got into beef tongue via “Tongue Loaf” while working in the deli.  Some select salamis aside (do visit Cochon Butcher the next time you’re passing through the Big Easy), this cooked and pressed, slightly jellied rendition, sliced paper-thin, might be my favorite lunch meat.  Boasting über-beefy flavor, as if tongue were tasked with telling the entirety of the animal’s taste to partakers, this muscle articulates in the mouth with a tenderly discernible texture that reminds your tongue that it’s eating a tongue.

Well, slow cooker to the rescue again.  Leisurely poached with garlic and bay,the serendipitous tongue released a phô-ish fragrance that had the whole family hankering for Kim Phung, and yielded a terrific broth for beaning.  As for the meat (Bandera Grassland grass-fed Longhorn, btw), well, it took me a while to get to it.  You might think trimming tongue is weird, and you’re right.  On tongue-tackling day I had at it, my first tongue.  Stirred into a batch of beans, seasoned with an amalgam inspired by Diana Kennedy‘s Lengua Estofada—ancho chile, homemade chili powder, toasted almonds, garlic, tomato and tortilla chip crumbs, the meat lent considerable savor to a less than picturesque taco filling.

Enough smoke and mirrors!  What’s really going on in this post is another recipe to use up your broccoli stems, or any other kohl.  Informed by German butterkuchen, and possibly the impossible pies of Bisquick renown, this baked meal will warm the kitchen, hopefully rousing chilly peasants like me out of their reverie of hibernation.

BROKKOLI KUCHEN serves several brunchers

  • good fat.  Organic or local (Texas Olive Ranch) olive oil (leftover from lubing pizza day), organic butter, or pig or poultry grease will all work.
  • chopped local onions, any color
  • chopped local peppers, any color
  • well-trimmed local broccoli stems, cut into small pieces.  Or substitute kohlrabi or shredded cabbage.
  • Da Becca or other sustainable ham, chopped.  I buy the bargain-priced “meat ends” from the deli at Central Market.  Or you can use any cooked meat such as bacon or Dai Due’s famous country style breakfast sausage.  One cup is plenty.
  • compatible herbs and spices.  Thyme is great and a little garam masala and turmeric lend mysterious warmth.
  • ¾ cup local milk.  I use either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.
  • 4 Tablespoons organic butter, cut into tablespoons.  I love Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water (not warm)
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast—NOT rapid-rise, bread machine or instant
  • 242 grams (2  cups) organic all-purpose flour.  Whole Foods 365 is usually the best buy.
  • 242 grams (barely scant 2 cups) organic white whole wheat flour.  WF generally has the lowest price on King Arthur brand in the 5# bag.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 3 local eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon local honey.  My standard is Good Flow raw wildfllower.  I buy it in bulk at CM.  You can bring your own container—I like wide-mouthed glass jars—and the staff will tare the weight for you.
  • shredded or crumbled  local cheese, about 4 ounces. I love Full Quiver Farm‘s cheddar.

Line a 9″ X 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil.  I do this by flipping the pan upside down and forming the foil to the outside of the bottom.  Then it’s easy to fit the foil into the inside.  Butter the foil very well.  I use ghee.

Saute your veggies in a little good fat.  Add salt and some water, cover the pan, and steam the broccoli for about 6 minutes.  Add the ham (and green onions now, if using that color), raise the heat and let the ingredients pick up a touch of brown.  Stir in your seasonings before taking the pan off the heat.

Using the same hot burner (if your unlucky kitchen cooks electrically, like mine), scald the milk in a small to medium saucepan.  Remove from the heat, add the butter and swirl occasionally until melted.  Add the water, then sprinkle the yeast over the surface.  Combine your flours and salt in a large mixing bowl (for hand mixing) or the bowl of your stand mixer.  Stir the eggs and honey into the milk mixture, add to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or mix with the paddle attachment until well blended.  This dough is a batter.  You don’t have to knead it and you’re not trying to form a ball with it.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a flexible spatula to scrape out the bowl and spread the dough as evenly as you can.  Cover the pan and let the kuchen base rise for about an hour, until well-risen (nearly doubled) and puffy when poked.  When ready for bakin’, blanket the surface of the dough with the sauteed veggie/meat mixture and top with a respectable helping of cheese.  Bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 35 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the topping is nicely browned.


Deconstructing Broccoli Ditto—Dilly Dumplings December 7, 2009

Filed under: easy,leftovers,meat — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:38 am

What's the dill?

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the latest issue of edible AUSTIN magazine (No. 11 Winter 2009).  What a wonderful way for the baby-bound and nearly housebound to start out “Eat Local Week” ( December 5-12, right here in your own town.)  Of the wealth of inspiring and well-written articles (including Jardine Libaire’s thoughtful piece on my favorite charcuterie source in “Marketplace” Dai Due Butcher Shop),  I found my kitchen self particularly compelled by Boggy Creek Farm matriarch Carole Ann Sayles’ “Seasonal Muse” column, Deconstructing Broccoli. Versatile, delicious, easy to prepare and of course, a vetted superfood, broccoli effortlessly negotiates the meal from soup to dessert (see my Broccoli Surprise Carrot Cake recipe).

My cornucopic dill bouquet from Finca Pura Vida (now at the budding HOPE market on Sundays) dared me to dumpling with the spoils of Thanksgiving, plus leftover broccoli stems.  The stew component is flexible.  Use whatever suitable vegetables you have.  And if your palate bears the unfortunate scars of a dried dill upbringing, remember you can always substitute plenty of parsley, or even celery leaves or fennel fronds.

Quickly mixed with Richardson Farms locally-grown, freshly-ground whole wheat flour and organic heavy cream, these delicate dumplings are the lightest, most tender I’ve ever tried.

TURKEY AND DILLY DUMPLINGS makes about 8 servings

  • a couple Tablespoons good fat.  Roasted poultry fat, bacon grease or butter are good choices.
  • local or organic onions, chopped kinda fine
  • local or organic carrots, diced (approximately) smallish
  • 2 bay leaves.  You can buy bay leaf plants at our local farmers markets and nurseries.  Bays are quite hardy and easy to take care of.
  • local broccoli stems, well peeled and diced or other local and/or organic veggies, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • organic garlic, a clove or so, minced
  • fresh herbs—I like lots of fresh thyme and a little fresh rosemary.  Grow ’em!
  • 1/3 cup organic flour—I sometimes use whole grain flours for thickening, but all-purpose flour lends a cleaner look.  Whole Foods 365 brand is usually the best buy.
  • ¾ cup dry sherry.  I recommend a brand that you can drink, as opposed to “cooking sherry.”  It doesn’t have to be top of the line.  I buy Osborne because I can get it at work.
  • 5 cups good broth, preferably homemade (see Stock Tips).  Our middens made for two large batches.
  • 1/3 cup organic or local (such as Promised Land) heavy cream.  I usually use Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • 2 teaspoon or so kosher salt.  I use Diamond Crystal.
  • 3 cups cooked shredded turkey or chicken dark meat.  I freeze leftover cooked turkey meat in broth.
  • 242 grams (about 2 scant cups) whole wheat flour—either Richardson Farms or organic
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder, sieved.  I like Rumford non-GMO and aluminum-free.
  • generous ½ teaspoon salt.  I recommend Real Salt.
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • local and/or organic lemon zest
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill.  Don’t forget to stash the stems for the stockpot.
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste.  Local Meyers are easy to find—and grow!

In a Dutch oven or other suitable stewing pot, saute your aromatics and veggies in the fat until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the flour and cook and stir for a minute.  Pour in the sherry and stir, scraping the pan bottom to release any fond.  Pour in the broth and cream and add the salt.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the veggies are cooked.  If you’re using broccoli or another potentially odiferous cruciferous, add it later to avoid overcooking.  Carrots will take about 20 minutes, so add broccoli after about 15 minutes.  Taste for salt and add the meat.

Whisk the flour together with the next five ingredients, then stir in the cream with a fork.  The dough will be firm.  Using a spring-loaded scoop (my preference) or a couple of spoons, scoop out small golf ball sized dough blobs and drop them into the simmering stew as you go.  You should wind up with around 18 dumplings.  Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the dumpling have about doubled in size and are cooked through.  Squeeze some lemon juice around the perimeter and sneak your wooden spoon in from the sides to incorporate it into the stew.

Serve hot!


broccoli bonus May 17, 2009

Filed under: cake,thrift,vegetables,whole foods — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:17 am
Tags: ,

yep. there's a carrot cake under those blossoms.

If you’re still buying broccoli at our farmers markets—cause you can—feel free to sneak some well trimmed shredded stems into your favorite carrot cake recipe.  It reminds me of the time in my college days when I saved up all my pickle juice to make pickle juice jello shots for a party.  Not in the interest of frugality, however.  Well a cold front just came through and it’s a wonderfully wet and cool May afternoon.  Local carrots continue to be available so I fired up the oven to bake a lower fat carrot cake.


Heat your oven to 350°.  Line a 13″ X 9″ pan with aluminum foil.  If you turn your pan upside down and drape and form your foil to the backside you can fit it neatly into the inside.  Grease the foil a bit however you prefer (spray, oil or butter).

  • 100 grams organic white whole wheat flour–about 1 cup minus 2 scant Tablespoons–(see “slow carrot cake”)
  • 203 grams organic all-purpose flour–about 1 2/3 cups–Unless a sale is going on, generally your bulk foods departments will be the best buy.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (preferably local or from your own hens)
  • 1 4-ounce jar of carrot baby food–I use Earth’s Best–Whole Foods printed coupons in their Whole Planet Foundation calendars for $1 off 10 jars (any flavor).  This is the best deal right now.  The calendars are technically sold out but you may find a stray one, as I did, loitering on some shelf in the store.  Snatch it up quick cause for $2 you get more than $20 in coupons for all sorts of products at WF.
  • 210 grams dark brown sugar (1 packed cup)–I use Wholesome Sweeteners brand, available at WF.
  • 1/2 cup (108 grams, usually easier for me to measure by volume) organic coconut oil, preferably extra virgin (unrefined).  I use a lot of this and WF sells their own brand in a large container that is usually the best buy.
  • 360 grams finely shredded carrots and finely shredded well peeled broccoli (about 3 cups); use at least 3/4 # untrimmed topless carrots
  • 1/2 cup medium fine chopped toasted Texas pecans (optional)
  • a little orange oil or zest, lemon oil or zest, and vanilla rum or extract (optional refinements)–see “slow carrot cake”

Whisk together your dry ingredients, through the salt.  With an electric mixer, whisk or egg beater (yeah that old-fashioned thing.  I love mine for small amounts of whoopin’ up), thoroughly combine your wet ingredients through the sugar.  Thoroughly beat in the oil.  Mix in the carrots then pour on the dry ingredients and top with the pecans.  Stir it all together quickly and gently til well combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake about 22-25 minutes until the center tests done with a wooden skewer.  Don’t overbake.  We don’t fuss with frosting unless we’re having an occasion.  No one will suspect the broccoli.  If your veggie haters are aware, they’ll put their scowl on as they wolf down piece after piece.  Not the same reaction I got with the jello shots, but I appreciate it just the same.


Rosy Carrot Cake—cover me with roses May 4, 2010

Filed under: cake,gardening — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:12 am

bed of roses

organic roses from our backyard---easy to grow, pretty to show

petal power

See Broccoli Bonus for cake recipe.  Triple the frosting recipe at Broccoli Brings It for the easy and luscious cream cheese icing.


Cheap Tricks—Maximizing Micronutrients on a Budget April 27, 2010

Filed under: capital area food bank,hunger awareness project,thrift,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:03 pm

For folks in direst need, the main food goal is obtaining sufficient calories.

We Texans face another frustrating dichotomy in that our citizenry ranks 14th nationally in obesity rates for adults despite our next-to-the-bottom food security standing.  Again, problems with resource distribution and food quality (to oversimplify the situation, mind you) pave the path to an underfed/undernourished population.  Coupled with a pandemic lack of knowledge of nutrition and health, often compounded by inexperience in good food preparation and lack of time to cook, these features of the modern Western world lead to both an unhealthy, overfed burden on our health care system as well as the unacceptable hunger accompanying poverty.  Regardless of circumstances, education or income, an empty belly begs for fullness, without any bargaining power to negotiate macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), let alone micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and phytochemicicals.  The USDA’s MyPyramid Food Guidance System may as well be in Egypt, as far as the hungriest Texans are concerned.

spaghetti special supper

Fortunately for the hungry in central Texas, a respectable 80% of the Capital Area Food Bank’s provisions place in the top 1 or 2 nutritional scoring categories (out of 5).  But for fresh produce, the sample food pantry distribution for our Hunger Awareness Project offered only a five-pound bag of potatoes.  Fairly full of nutrients, and certainly belly-filling and high in energy value, spuds have nearly single-handedly sustained entire populations.  We humans derive maximum health benefits, however, from a polychromatic plate—taste the rainbow.  (Skittles® was right!)  A typical food bank allotment provides deep red in the spaghetti sauce, the sunny yellow of canned corn, and even a bit of green from canned green beans (and jalapeño slices for those who can take the heat).  The canned fruit, with its diluted pastels, certainly seems to promise less nutrition than peak of season local glories such as strawberries, peaches, melons, apples and citrus, but current theory (and the gastric growlings of empty bellies) behooves us to accept its comparability to fresh.

But what’s for dinner?

Spaghetti and “spaghetti sauce” of course.  There’s our scarlet, loaded with lycopene, actually rendered more bioavailable by the cooking and canning process.  Tonight there’s no meat on the table (remember the food pantry allowance must be stretched for an entire month), but we’ve got our brown in the form of meaty Texas-grown portobello mushrooms, purchased on sale (today’s the last day!) at Central Market for $3.99 a pound.  That comes out to about a dollar per large ‘shroom, each one sufficient for an adult.  Quickly sauteed with a spot of olive oil plus a pinch of thyme and antioxidant champ oregano (bought dried in bulk for just pennies), the seared chunks lend textural and nutritional heft to our simple pasta meal at minimal cost.

these roots were made for plantin'

We’re fresh out of canned green beans around here, and in the spirit of the challenge I’m shopping minimally.  So broccoli stems it is!  Hastily trimmed and coarsely shredded from a $2 locally grown (and chemical-free) head, this throwaway vegetable contributes good green while bulking up our sauce.  Brown it a bit in a hot pan, the same one you just used to cook your mushrooms, with a restrained drizzle of olive oil.  Add a little more verdigris to the mix by topping each portion with fresh basil chiffonade.  Basil grows easily in our long season here, even in a pot.  For our garden we never purchase a plant or even seeds.  We buy fresh local basil from the produce department (located with the other herbs) for a dollar or so and root the fecund fronds in a glass of water at home.  Pluck leaves as you need them, and the readily rooting cuttings will be primed for transplanting in three weeks or so.  Fancy and nearly free!

Buon appetito!


Pretty in Pink March 10, 2010

Filed under: easy,fast,leftovers,locavore,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 8:34 pm

psyche-out salad

Leftover shredded carrots (from carrot cake for the birthday party) took on a psychedelic hue combined with brine from Dai Due‘s pickled beets.  Tossed with Texas-grown spring onions, fresh backyard thyme, Pure Luck goat feta (Yay!  Dripping Spring’s famous chèvre operation is back in production following the cold season hiatus) a touch of olive oil (Central Market’s brand is on sale for $6.29) and plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper, with or without a little local sauerkraut for that salty squeak (I got mine from Dai Due.  Look for Full Quiver Farm‘s lacto-fermented version at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market.), the quickly pink (pinkly quick?) salad hit the rods and cones—as well as taste buds—just right.


Cabbages! February 26, 2010

Filed under: easy,fast,Indian,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 9:11 pm

eat your veggies!

The kindergartner’s basketball schedule keeps interfering with our farmers market visits.  The little hotshot’s worth it though, and luckily we can pick up Texas produce at the grocery store.  Central Market is still selling Cora Lamar’s triple-washed spinach, Kitchen Pride mushrooms, and Texas greens, herbs, sweet potatoes, citrus and the occasional leek bunch.  Just this afternoon we purchased Texas-grown broccoli (not always widely available, even in season) from Whole Foods.

Here’s an easy, exotic but accessible, inexpensive and quick stir fry to take advantage of Texas cabbage, readily found right now.


  • one quarter of a medium (’bout 3-pound) Texas green cabbage.  You can find these at our local grocery stores as well as farmers markets.
  • ½ teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons high smoke point oil.  I like Spectrum‘s organic peanut oil.
  • about 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste.  I use Diamond Crystal.

Cut the cabbage wedge in half (so you have two eighths!) and slice each wedge into ¼” or finer shreds.  Place the spices in a large (12″) skillet (NOT nonstick) and get it going over high heat.  You’re dry toasting the spices here.  The mustard seeds will lighten color, wiggle and pop as they roast and the cumin seeds will darken and develop a toasted aroma.  When the spices are as roasty as you like—you can take them all the way to black if you dig that bitter edge—add the oil, followed quickly by the cabbage.  Stir fry until the cabbage picks up some brown spots.  You’ll smell the Maillard and the tantalizing caramelization taking place.  Add the salt and continue to stir fry until the cabbage is as wilted as you please.  Serve.


Rutabaga Rice January 28, 2010

Filed under: Dai Due,Indian,meat,rice,sunset valley farmers market,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:01 pm

luscious links

A recent purchase of Dai Due‘s bison and ginger sausage (Thunderheart Bison and local(!) ginger root) got me hankerin’ for Indian food (no, really?).  Armed with a rotund rutabaga, courtesy of Johnson’s Backyard Garden at Sunset Valley Farmers Market, I assembled a one-pot meal, spiced rice dish.  Carnivores dug in, lured by lengths of meat.

I don’t cook rutabaga much.  It tastes good and sweet and rooty-tooty, and I totally go for that kind of thing.  But big bad ‘bagas just don’t show up in our local markets with the same frequency as turnips, radishes and kohlrabi.  I offer a cooking suggestion anyways:   Cut it into small cubes (take care busting into it–rutabaga’s a tough tuber to crack), then simmer it in a little apple juice with a dab of mustard, a dash of garam masala, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Finish the dish with your best butter (I recommend Lucky Layla from Texas or Organic Valley Pasture butter), fresh cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  I’d pepper it with lots of cracked black pepper, too, but not on the kids’ portions.

If you just can’t get enough rutabaga—I mean if you can get enough, to grace your table again, that is, try this Indian-inspired pilaf.

RUTABAGA RICE WITH SAUSAGE serves a family with possible leftovers, depending on your family size!

  • 2 cups Indian or Pakistani basmati rice, rinsed well, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained and rested in a sieve for another 10 minutes.  I buy 10-pound bags at Fiesta or MGM.
  • 1 pound local sausage.  Dai Due’s bison and ginger sausage, seductively succulent, blended well with the Indian-spiced flavors in this dish, but a local kielbasa would work, too.  I’d also consider it in a bun with sauerkraut and spicy mustard.  But that’s a different post.
  • 1  good-sized local rutabaga, about as big as a largish grapefruit, well peeled and cut into batons (about 1/3″ thick “short french fry” pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt.  I make my own and it’s easy.  Click to see how.  I usually use Swede Farm Dairy‘s goat milk, available at SVFM.  Other local options include Wateroak Farms’ goat milk (SVFM) and now Way Back When’s cow’s milk available at SVFM and Austin Farmers Market.
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger root—I use a Microplane.
  • 2 teaspoons minced hot green chile, if you have it and you wanna.  Otherwise use about ½ teaspoon paprika.
  • 2 Tablepsoons minced local cilantro—growin’ right now!
  • ¼ cup organic dessicated shredded coconut—I like Let’s Do…Organic brand, available at our local grocery stores like Central Market and Whole Foods.
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil.  Nutiva in the big ole jar or Whole Foods 365 are usually the best buys.
  • 9 whole cloves
  • about a 2½” piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 large bay leaf, preferably fresh.  Try growing your own!  Bay is hardy and easy to care for.  My specimen is proof.
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 ½ to 3 teaspoons salt.  I like Real Salt.  Whole Foods carries it in the bulk department.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar—I buy this in bulk at Central Market.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon.  I got a mind to puttin’ in a lemon tree soon.  Ask your neighbors.
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • several very well peeled broccoli stems, diced small.  Yep.  I’m still going whole hog on broccoli.  Use it or lose it!
  • lemon wedges, if desired

Combine yogurt with the next four ingredients and mix in the rutabaga.  Let the mixture sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  Combine the whole spices (cloves through the cumin) in a small dish and combine the powdered seasonings (salt through the turbinado sugar) in another small dish.  Keep these spice stashes handy.

In a large saute pan or wide casserole pan (stovetop safe), brown the sausage links on all sides over medium-high heat.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  Add the coconut oil and whole spices to the pan and toast on medium-high heat until the cumin smells as browned and toasty as you like.  Dump in the rutabaga and stir and fry until the tuber has browned some.  Add the powdered spices, lemon juice and water, raise the heat to high, cover the pan with a lid (I prefer a see-through top) and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to LOW and cook for 10 minutes.  Quickly lift the lid and scatter the broccoli stems over the surface and place the sausages on top.  Replace the lid and continue cooking on LOW for another 10 minutes.  When finished, place the pan on a cooling rack or trivet and let sit for 10 minutes before carefully fluffing the rice.

Slice the sausages if you want to.  And squeeze some lemon juice over individual servings for a little zing.

  • 3 ¼ cups water


Glazed Veggies January 23, 2010

Filed under: easy,Indian,thrift,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 4:56 pm

eat your veggies!

We’re gettin’ back to our roots around here.  Winter roots, that is, plus the ubiquitous broccoli stems (I confess I’d eat broccoli almost every day if it were available year-round locally).  Here’s a fantastic glazed veggie recipe, gleaned from that essential tome, Lord Krishna’s Cuisine,  The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. Yamuna Devi‘s invaluable reference, this encyclopedic guide will learn you a thing or twenty about Vedic cuisine, including many south Indian and Bengali recipes and techniques.  Even dedicated carnivores can appreciate the wealth of dishes explained and the breadth of styles explored.  Devi, a warm and engaging woman (these Hindus must be on to something), sang back up for the Beatles(!) and has written several other cookbooks, but this text, her magnum opus, constitutes a culinary education.

I first cracked open Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a treasured gift from a lost friend, almost two decades ago, and the experience, expertise and spirit of Devi (no, I’m not a Hindu) drew in this young foodie as if it were my own bildungsroman of cookery.  I grew as a cook, albeit a conscientiously meat-eating cook.  You could take away all my other cookbooks–that would be hundreds–and I would miss only cake (I don’t need formulas for frying bacon!).  But of course, I’ve been in love with the flavorful foods of the subcontinent for many years.

Though I do sometimes add onions and garlic to Devi’s allium-less recipes (an unfortunate Vedic principle), nearly every dish I’ve tried from her book is perfect.  So I respectfully present to you this very slightly modified version of  her “Gajar Sabji–Glazed Carrots.”


  • about one pound glazeable local vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi or rutabagas, plus—you guessed it—very well peeled broccoli stems
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee or organic butter plus one Tablespoon butter  (divided use)—I make my own ghee out of Organic Valley butter.  Click to find out how.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar, light or dark.  Central Market’s organic brand is usually the best buy.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons Texas orange juice—you’ll find Texas oranges, sweet and succulently juicy, at local grocery stores as well as our farmers markets right now.  Whole Foods is even offering bagged organic Texas oranges on special right now.
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon—ask your neighbor!
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • chopped local cilantro

Chop your veggies into bite-sized chunks.  You can halve or quarter radishes and baby turnips depending on their size.  Combine your hardest veggies—carrots, mature turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga and large daikon radishes–in a skillet or small straight-sided saute pan–I use a 2-quart saute pan.  Add the two tablespoons ghee or butter and the next seven ingredients.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  I like to use a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the process.  Not all cookware lines come equipped with handy see-through lids so check out your local thrift store to find assorted brands of glass lids for a buck or two.

After simmering for 10 minutes, add your tenderer vegetables like broccoli stems and baby turnips.  Continue to cook for about 6 minutes or so until the veggies are about done to your liking, then remove the lid and raise the heat to evaporate the cooking liquid, leaving your roots glossily glazed.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter plus the lemon juice and nutmeg, an black pepper and cilantro to taste.

Do eat this hot, preferably at one meal.  I have a high tolerance for leftovers but I’ll confide that this dish is best when freshly prepared.