My kid loves muesli.
No, you read that right: my kid loves muesli.
“I don’t know,” she says. “I just like it.”
That’s all well and good but damn, a serious muesli habit can be expensive. Our local supermarket sells it for $5.79/pound — and that’s the cheapest one they have.
Muesli is so simple to make… provided you can find its ingredients. In my case, I already had rolled oats but I could not find any other flaked/rolled grain nearby.
Fortunately, my supermarket carries a small selection of Bob’s Red Mill products, where I found their 5-Grain Rolled Cereal (rolled whole wheat, rye, oats, flaxseed, barley, and triticale).
What you see on the right is:
a 16-ounce package of 5-Grain Rolled Cereal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup date pieces
2T flax seeds
The next time I make a batch, I’ll get the exact weight of the finished product, but I’m pretty sure this comes in under $3/pound.
I think I might make it with almonds or maybe sunflower seeds next time, just to boost its protein content a little, but you could feel free to add… well, anything you like: brown sugar, other dried fruits, different seeds, whatever!
If you are a fancy pants person who reads a lot of food magazines / is first in line when the farmers’ market opens / prides yourself on your food knowledge, then you already know these are garlic scapes.
If you are, well, me, then you need to need to look up what the hell you just brought home.
In brief, scapes are the long, flowerless stalks that emerge from bulbs of hardneck garlic. If they’re left on, they will eventually form another bulb of garlic — but only by diverting the plant’s resources from what would otherwise be a nice fat head of garlic underground. It’s like pinching back the tops of a plant to make the rest grow better.
Which is fascinating, I know, but how does it taste? Well, if there’s an allium Kinsey Scale where mild, sweet onions are a 0 and raw garlic is a 6… scapes are probably about a 4. Predominately garlicky but still enough sweetness to eat raw without cringing. [And I feel like there was more to make of the idea of the onion-garlic Kinsey scale but I just can’t seem to find it. WELL ANYWAY.]
Basically, any recipe that calls for garlic could easily use garlic scapes instead — stir-fry, pizza, pasta, whatever — but I used mine to make pesto. You can either use all scapes or use half scapes and half basil, which is what I did. Otherwise, the recipe is the same: scapes/basil (no garlic, obviously), olive oil, salt, et cetera.
And then you can be a fancy pants, too.
ADDENDUM: I’ve got a piece about me and my kid up on Mamalode.com today… maybe you might like to read it?
Everything I have made from it so far has been really good and crazy easy.
I think the secret to this book’s success is that Klein doesn’t try to force recipes to be vegan that weren’t vegan to begin with.
The only recipes that have tofu are Asian-style recipes which would have tofu in them anyway. There are no vegan substitutes in here either, so no soy milk or fake burger patties. And as it implies in the title, there’s no obscure ingredients in here either — no seitan or tempeh to be found. Everything can be found in virtually any supermarket.
And everything cooks super fast! All the recipes I’ve tried so far can easily be made on a busy weeknight.
Clockwise from the top: Greek Chickpeas and Rice (p. 102, which, okay, I de-veganized by adding feta cheese, but it was still good without it), Cuban Style Fried Rice with Pineapple (p. 113), Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (p. 118), and Orzo with Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Basil (p. 85).
Also not pictured is the Pasta Puttanesca which is some of the best puttanesca sauce I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise, which I’ll share with you, if you’re thinking about picking up a copy of the book for yourself:
I hate to hear people trash-talk potatoes. I once had a friend sniff, “I don’t consider potatoes to even be a vegetable” and I rolled my eyes and flipped her off (which, okay, I could do because I was actually online chatting with her at the time). Potatoes, in my mind, are pretty much an absolute good and I feel rather protective towards them.
Remember a couple of years ago when food prices shot up and then suddenly staple grains were all crazy expensive, and there were protests and riots in parts of Africa and Asia over food prices? Well, that’s what globally-traded food commodities can get you.
Rice, wheat, and maize are the top three sources of carbohydrates in the world and they’re all subject to price fluctuations, but potatoes don’t keep well enough to ship very far, so they’re not globally traded—which is great news if you live in a developing country and you’re now royally screwed because rice/wheat/maize is now too expensive for you. Potatoes can be grown by almost anyone, anywhere, in any country. So long as you have dirt and people to water said dirt, you’ll get potatoes and you’ll get fed.
But here in the rest of the world (I hear you say), we don’t have that problem.
My stomach’s been squidgy and unhappy of late, so I’m trying to cheer it up with this rice porridge made with fresh eggs, some soy sauce, and just a little toasted sesame oil. Eating it with the Hamtaro spoon helps, too.