Monday, January 21, 2013

Freezer Food

I'm back to school tomorrow. How did time fly so quickly? Before heading back to a full schedule of classes, I'm adding to the freezer and pantry. Including:
  • Mushroom beef stew
  • Carnitas
  • "Refried" beans
  • Split pea soup
  • Granola (adapted from the America's Test Kitchen DIY book, but using a combination of whole grains rather than just oats, a lower sugar content, and pumpkin/sunflower seeds instead of deathly tree nuts)
Along with a few things I've added throughout the month, this should help keep us in yummy convenience food until warmer weather hits.

The stew is pretty simple. Use your favorite recipe, incorporating a lot of good, hardy veggies. I add a lot of mushrooms to lessen the need for too much meat. Instead of thickening with a floury roux, I typically toss in a handful of red lentils (always on-hand for this purpose!). They cook quickly and break down easily to thicken the sauce.


4 lb. pork shoulder ("butt") roast
3 cloves garlic
*1 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. oregano
*1 tsp. chili powder (or a combo of paprika and cayenne)
*1 tsp. cumin
*1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*fresh ground pepper (a few grinds)
2 bay leaves
enough water or chicken stock to cover by half

*All herbs are to taste. These are approximate measures.

Note: I also add 1-2 lbs. of carrots to add some extra nutrients and naturally add a hint of sweetness.
  1. Combine spices/herbs (except bay leaf) and rub onto roast
  2. Add a small bit of olive oil to a hot pan. Sear roast, one side at a time, until completely browned on all sides
  3. Add enough liquid to pot to cover half of roast
  4. Add garlic and bay leaves to liquid
  5. Slowly simmer until meat is tender and easily separated with forks
  6. Enjoy!
I usually serve with veggies and plain Greek yogurt in fresh corn tortillas with a side of refried beans and Mexican brown rice or quinoa.


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