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For the record...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just to clarify, I am a vegetarian (there are so many classifications, it does not actually matter to me what type I am) married to a vegan. I work as a personal chef. I do cook meat for my clients, please do not flame me for this statement. I would love to cook without meat if the area that I live in supported it; unfortunately, it does not. I must earn a living; I know there are those out there who would argue with me that I should get into another line of work, DON'T! I do not want to discuss my values versus yours. This is my life & I will live it in a manner that I am comfortable with. All of this is to clarify for any potential clients who ended up on blog via my website, that most of the content of my blog is about vegan cooking. However, I do cook meat & cook it quite well; please do not let my vegan ramblings throw you off. And for my vegan friends, I hope this has not offended any of you; I am currently looking for a local source to purchase hormone/steroid-free, ethically raised meat to use in my business.

Now, let's get on with it! Yesterday my mother-in-law, Sue, came over for a visit & to see some of the ultra-tight budget redecorating we have been doing...think classic southern antiques meet the Brady Bunch! I'll save that for another day. I had soaked some pinto beans, so when Sue called to say she was coming over, I put them on to boil. Since she has issues with wheat, I decided a good dish to cook would be a rendition of red beans & rice.

Anyhow, I cooked those darn beans for what seemed like forever & I will have to honestly say, they didn't get quite as soft as I would have liked. I would have cooked them in the pressure cooker...but, just last week I burned some beans in it & I have to ask, have you ever burned beans in a pressure cooker? If not, let me tell you, it smells strangely like marijuana. No matter how much I have scrubbed that pot (no pun intended), it still smells like, ummm, well...pot! Okay, enough of that, because my mother will end up reading this & calling me up & in her oh-so-southern drawl saying, "Now, Jamie, how on earth do you know what marijuana smells like?" Anyhow, I better get back on track before I get in trouble! In the mean time I put some brown rice on to cook. I don't have exact measurements, but a loose recipe follows. What I ended up with was delicious & I have eaten it two more times since, it will end up being three times if I don't get this typed & get into the kitchen to cook dinner.

All in all it was a fun day, we got to visit with my mother-in-law who completely missed the idea that we liked that our $5 chairs (yes, that was for the pair, not each!) are Brady Bunch gold & that we don't mind that they are severely worn & that we were trying to match them with the couch we inherited from my parents who had it since before I was born (I believe I have blogged about this before) & that by recovering our Brady Bunch chairs they would no longer match the 70's couch we have....we are trying to tie our hand-me-downs together! Sue loves to sew & wanted to recover everything in our house yesterday! I say all of this tongue-in-cheek. I have heard horror stories from other women about their mother-in-laws; I am happy to say that mine is wonderful & when we get tired of our Brady Bunch chairs (which may be sooner than later!), then she will gladly help us recover them!

Jamie's Pinto Beans & Rice
1-2 C. pinto beans soaked overnight (or any bean of your choice)
3 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, small chop
6 cloves, minced
olive oil
6 oz. tomato paste
1 T. (or more) vegetable base
1 C. TVP
onion powder
garlic powder
black pepper
white pepper
ground thyme
dash of liquid smoke
dash of turbinado sugar
brown rice, cooked

Cook beans with bay leaves & any leaves you may trim off the celery.

Saute the celery & onion in olive oil until translucent; add the garlic & saute, don't burn garlic. Add tomato paste, vegetable base, seasonings & about 2 cups of water. To this add your drained, cooked beans & TVP. Add more water to obtain desired consistency...the TVP will absorb a lot of your liquid. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Please forgive the lack of measurements of the recipe, I just typed it from memory, which was just a little of this & a shake of that. Enjoy!

Oh, one more random item to note. I was reading tons of great blogs today all about vegan food & I came across a link on someone else's page to a blog called "One Frugal Foodie". Well, those are two of my favorite things! Food & frugality! Of course I had to check it out & when I did, I came across a gigantic giveaway! So, check it out & enter to win...really, by me telling you this only diminishes my chances of winning, EXCEPT for the fact that I get entered again just for linking her site here! Good luck & if you win, remember who told you about the giveaway--share the goodies!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
1:51 PM


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