Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Simple Home Cook....Jalapeno Lovers Unite!

I decided to not do a double Bikram yoga practice this morning...instead? A better use of the extra 90 minutes was to do a bit of food prep, and to do, and put away, all of my laundry, change the litter boxes, etc...basically work around the house. I finally made it to a 9:30am Bikram class, but I got a bunch of stuff done beforehand that made my life so much nicer....

I pressure cooked 1 lb of garbanzo beans to make hummus. I also roasted the last....THE LAST of the tomatoes, with an onion, carrot and celery, for some super yummy soup. I roasted a few jalapeno peppers, for the soup, and the hummus, along with a red bell, on the stovetop (I just have to remember to put my contacts in before I work with jalapenos! I only needed that lesson once!).

So....I found a roasted yellow bell pepper while I was cleaning out my freezer, so I thought, what better place to use it than in my hummus? It will add flavor as well as color.....I love roasted pepper hummus....any kind of peppers. But what I forgot to write on my "to do" list that I needed olive oil! Can't make hummus without olive oil! So it will wait until tomorrow....and so will the picture of the finished product!

I've already got too much prepared food in my fridge, but here's an example of how cheap I can be.... Mark and I live in a part of Dowtown San Jose known as Japantown. We live 1 blk away from the Buddist Temple, and 2 blks away from "Japantown". There's a Japanese Market that has some pretty high quality organic produce (Nikko Market) and they keep two bins that have "seconds", or "expired" produce for a fraction of the original price....I can be so cheap sometimes!

I picked up some Japanese eggplant (the small ones), 8 for $1.10 and threw them in the oven with olive oil, salt and red pepper I ever roast anything without red pepper flakes? No! I haven't decided, yet, how I will use these roasted eggplants, but the possibilities are....a simple spread with roasted garlic for crackers or veg sticks. A pasta sauce. An addition to soup, or a puree. Or, how about scarfing them down, right off the roasting sheet?

Have I ever mentioned that eventually I plan on living, and training abroad? Well, I think I may start with Hungary! I met, but did not get enough time to talk with, a Hungarian jalapeno lover, Aniko Balazsik......

Food is so easy for me. Food is meditation. Roasting peppers. Dicing veggies. Pressure cooking. Grocery shopping. (Mark just tasted the eggplant....he loved it...) I love it all, and it's never any trouble. I love that I know how to feed myself, never having, or wanting to depend on anyone else. Just the vision of nutrition that I create, almost everydday, is enough to fill me with satisfaction. And I'm just a simple home cook.


Maribel said...

I just love your food prep posts! I need to try pressure cooking...especially since I'm always short on time and we eat a ton of beans! Oh and hummus, looove to make my own concoctions of it. When I see it at the market at $5 for a tiny tub, I cringe. I know for some its convenience, but for me, the time it takes to make it is less than to drive to the market, stand in line and bring it home.

I've been taking your lead and pre-cooking our CSA stuff. Now I just have to remember to use it up.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Good God! I didn't know you were a "CSA" girl, lol! We've got alot to talk about, lol!

If you cook alot of beans, then we need to get together for some pressure cooking!

1 lb of dried garbanzo beans makes 8 cups of hummus! I freeze it in 2 cup batches. I pressure cook the garbanzos in homemade chicken stock (20 minutes in the PC), and then add the usual Hummus ingredients.

olive oil
S & P

and then the "flavor"....roasted peppers ar #1 choice.

I think I did a blogpost on hummus, but maybe not..... The key to making any recipe effortlessly is to make it often.

Of course I could go crazy and try to be a "wannabe Martha Stewart" (personally I love that woman....Bitch, or no Bitch! That woman's got talent!) But, at the end of the day, prepping and making your own foods is the key th heath and maintaining health....which also defines a healthy bodyweight.

elle pee said...

Do it, go abroad! I have lived in the U.K., U.S.A., Austria and Italy.

It has changed my life forever.

Photos look delicious!


making pressure cooking hip again, one recipe at a time!

guy said...

I now have a pressure cooker, that my mother gave me. It was sitting at her place collecting dust. I showed her your site and she gave it to me and said try it out with your receipes over time. This last dish looks very tasty. I love jalapenos! Thnks BossLady!

Diana said...

Roasted veggies! Yum! I love the colors they turn to after roasting. Nice black, green, red, whatever, so vibrant. After roasting, you throw veggies right into the freezer then???? If this is true, my life just got a whole lot better.....

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm working on it, I'm working on it!

I took my youngest son to Italy with me twice, the first time he was 13, and it totally changed him. Seeing another part of the world for the first time, he said, as we were walking on the streets of Rome was, "I'm coming back here". He already knew he was experiencing something special.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Pressure cooking was THE biggest reason I continued this blog. I had turned so many people on to the idea of the PC that I couldn't just leave them hanging!

I've recently had an interesting development that includes my PC advenures, and I hope to blog about it soon!

Maribel said...

Oh yes, I'm a CSA girl. I did Two Small Farms for a couple of years. Now I use a local Los Altos farm...mainly as a fundraiser for my son's school district. When I'm done with that I'll likely go back to TSF.

Where does one acquire a PC? I'm all about cutting my cooking time. I love to cook, but there aren't enough hours in the day!

I never thought to freeze hummus...duh! I'm so going to make a "base" hummus and're a genius.

Lastly, I hope you don't go abroad too soon...all for my selfish reasons of course!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Freezing roasted veggies depend on how you are going to use them in the future. If the roasted veggies are going to be "ingredients" for another dish, then you can do it. for instance, these roasted peppers are ingredients for my hummus, or anything else I want to put them "in". Not to eat on their own.

Same with, take for instance, roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, etc., if you are going to make soup out of them, then it will work, but not if you wanted to eat them in their original "roasted" state.

Freezing and then defrosting will leave the veggies soggy, and since roasting is a "dry heat" method of cooking, wet roasted veggies is not the idea!

Freezing roasted tomatoes for sauce, and spreads is about the only other veg I freeze (unless like I mentioned, I'm going to use them as part of another dish).

Besides the actual time it takes to roast, nothing is more simple to how easy does life have to get? Olive oil, salt, a sheet pan, roasting a freakin' turkey! That's a bit of work, lol (work I love though!)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I did two small farms for 3/4 of a year, that's when I fell in love with agretti! So much so Tha I met Julia in Los Gatos to buy 25lbs of it! (I'm such a hoarder, lol)

I also became Queen of the crustless was a perfect way to clean out my produce drawers at the end of the week, before the next box came! Mark can eat all the cream, eggs and cheese he want! But he's not a big fan of pastry!

I've got three 2 c. containers of hummus in the freezer as I speak! The other 2 c. container is in the fridge. Just making it, adjusting the flavors is yum-my!

We'll talk PC's when I see you.