Vintage Woman

Because being older does not mean having no value

Posts tagged cooking

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A Pot of Pinto Beans

I cooked a pot of pinto beans today. I had soaked some in a soup-and-salad-sized Gladware container, which holds about 3 cups. I put a cup of beans in there a 1/3 cup measure at a time, rinsed them, and filled the container to the brim with warm water before I went to bed last night.

By the time I was ready for first meal, the beans had swollen and were partially out of the water in the container. Sweet. I washed out my 3 qt. steamer pot. I didn’t even take the time to pick the beans over that thoroughly, because for one thing Sprouts Farmers Market has good beans and I’ve never had any rocks come out of the small quantity of beans I usually buy at a time. Secondly, the soaking water and the rinse water would’ve taken care of any surface dirt. So I throw the pinto beans in my steamer pot, rinse them one last time, and fill with enough water to cover them with no seasoning, no nothing.

My usual recipe for beans is boil them hard for 10-15 minutes, then turn the heat down completely and simmer - barely bubbling - for at least one hour. While that’s cooking, I prepare a mirepoix of finely chopped carrots, celery, and onion. I cook them in the oil I cooked my first meal’s turkey bacon in and I seasoned the mirepoix with cinnamon and cumin.

I used this as an opportunity to practice my knife skills. I’m no Jacques Pepin, but I get the job done. I cut the organic carrots on a severe bias and julienned them, which means cut them into matchsticks, then I dice the matchsticks. I cut my organic celery stalks in halves or thirds depending on how wide they were, then diced those. Half a white onion was also diced. The diced veggies went into my cast iron skillet to soften, then they were added oil and all to my pot of simmering beans, which by that time were pretty nearly done.

This was the time to add salt, not at the beginning of cooking the beans, because salt toughens beans. I wanted to use my Himalayan pink salt grinder that I found in TJ Maxx last week. When I picked it up and started turning it to grind, the cap fell off. Oops! Shit! I’m hoping too much salt didn’t fall in. Luckily Himalayan pink salt is a rock salt, so maybe that saves my meal. I put the lid back on the pot and hope for the best.

Recently, I discovered the joy of eating whole tomatoes out of a can. They are packed in their own wonderful juice, and ice cold, they are just shy of heavenly. Whenever I open a can, I put them in a 5 cup Gladware and store them with their juice in the refrigerator. This makes for wonderful snacking later when they are cold. I chopped up three of them with a half cup of their juice for the bean pot.

After my timer sings briefly telling me the hour is up, the moment of truth. I taste the beans….and am relieved. True, it was saltier than I usually like, because I normally don’t use that much salt, even though my body craves and needs the minerals. At any rate, I didn’t register any excessive – read inedible – amount of salt in my food.

The beans were delicious.

Filed under food writing cooking beans

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Naturally-sweet, the sweet potato is good eating whether by itself or a “side”.

If you have a few of these diabetic-friendly tubers lying around in your pantry or fridge, you’ll always have a healthy & delicious snack on hand. I eat sweet potatoes sliced and either deep-fried or pan-fried, but I prefer to bake them.

Preparing a sweet potato for baking is easy. I usually wash it and scrub it with a brush to remove all the surface dirt since I eat the skin. I’ll cut away any ugly parts and score the sweet potato across the middle several times. If the sweet potato is huge, I’ll go ahead and slice it all the way through. Then I can bake it as-is in an aluminum foil jacket, or I can season it with some butter, cinnamon, and maybe slices of lemon and ginger, but never any added sugar, before I put it in the foil jacket. Baking it in foil helps the sweet potato steam itself, and it takes about an hour in a hot 450° oven. Finally, I squeeze it with a well-protected hand to make sure it’s as soft as I like.

With so many sweet treats out of reach for me, I love that I can eat as many sweet potatoes as I desire.

Filed under food sweet potato cooking diabetic diet baking vegetables health food eat to live diabetic diet writing

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Green beans and mushrooms go together like beans and rice.

I like to use frozen, cut green beans with either fresh, sliced white button mushrooms or cooked, frozen ones in a pan with some butter and/or oil. I lightly season the veggies with salt, pepper, and onion powder, then put the lid on so they can release their liquid and braise a few minutes in their own juice.

As far as eating goes, I like my green beans not-so-green and soft, and I consider them done when I hear them start to sizzle a little. Quick, easy, and incredibly delicious.

Filed under food vegetarian side dish main dish cooking beans cooking for one vegetables writing

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Fixing up my pancake mix. I put cinnamon in some Hungry Jack and repackage it in a storage bag. I hate having advertising in my cupboard.

Fixing up my pancake mix. I put cinnamon in some Hungry Jack and repackage it in a storage bag. I hate having advertising in my cupboard.

Filed under food cooking

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Got my drinks fixed for tonight. I have learned to like the taste of unsweetened Kool-Aid, on account of being diabetic limited my refined sugar intake. Like all acquired tastes, though, it matters which flavor. Cherry is the most palatable unsweetened flavor. If you must sweeten it, Kool-Aid is fantastic with brown sugar, and it makes a wonderful blender drink with crushed ice.

Got my drinks fixed for tonight. I have learned to like the taste of unsweetened Kool-Aid, on account of being diabetic limited my refined sugar intake. Like all acquired tastes, though, it matters which flavor. Cherry is the most palatable unsweetened flavor. If you must sweeten it, Kool-Aid is fantastic with brown sugar, and it makes a wonderful blender drink with crushed ice.

Filed under food cooking drinks

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For the price of a McDonald’s chicken club sandwich, I  get all this food. 4 tangelos, 3 Bartlett pears, a half pound of toffee peanuts, and a package of blueberries. The budget buster here, sadly, are the blueberries.

For the price of a McDonald’s chicken club sandwich, I get all this food. 4 tangelos, 3 Bartlett pears, a half pound of toffee peanuts, and a package of blueberries. The budget buster here, sadly, are the blueberries.

Filed under food Cooking