Hard times have hit my kitchen as of late. I've been in the kitchen as usual, but I've been making dishes from items I already have. I'm embarrassed to tell you the last time I went to the grocery for my house. You know... I haven't been shopping since before my Mellow Yellow post and I mentioned the tomatoes were purchased two weeks prior to that.
I've been shopping for my cooking classes, but that food is separate from my household food. After class, I feel grateful if there's a raw piece of chicken, a leek, or cucumber leftover. I take these raw items home for testing purposes (no, really, I do) but I have to eat the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor, so it's been working out. What hasn't been working out is the barron land that once was my refrigerator/freezer.
You know how you stand in front of the fridge, mumbling,
"There's nothing in here to eat."
"I don't want pasta again."
"We have no milk. Or juice. Or [insert pantry staple here]."
It's like that at my house. Only worse.
I'm a cook. A chef. Food is my life. Life is my food. And there isn't much of it to go around right now.
I pride myself in being able to make something out of nothing. Today was no exception.
I admit, my pantry has items that non-foodies wouldn't have. But I'm also missing quite a few things, as well.
Chinese Stir-Fry Serves 2
I couldn't use onions because Certain Household Member(s) can't have onions due to acid reflux and/or don't like their texture. Otherwise, I would have added some scallions or diced white onions with the garlic below.
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 Tbsp oil, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 chicken breast, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 egg, lightly beaten with pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup Low-Sodium Kikkomann soy sauce
Soak rice for five minutes to get rid of most of the starch. Alternatively, put rice in mesh strainer and rinse until water is clear. Add rice, 1 Tbsp of oil, and 1 1/2 cups of water to a saucepot. Bring water to boil, stir, cover pot and lower heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn pot off and let rice sit for an additional 10 minutes, to steam. Fluff with fork when done.
While rice is cooking, cook chicken with small amount of soy sauce in a separate pan until juices run clear but meat is still juicy.
Add remaining oil to cold wok or pan with red pepper flakes. When oil is ready, saute/stir-fry garlic for 30-45 seconds. Add chicken, peas, and carrots to pan. Stir-fry for one to two minutes. Add cooked rice, soy sauce, and stir-fry for an additional minute. Add egg and cook until just set. Serve.
The chicken breast as mentioned above is ONE breast, not the two breasts together that look like a big heart in the package. Let it be known that we had only two eggs in the fridge. One. Two. And they've been in there since... LOL I don't know. I told you...hard times are upon us!
I usually don't make Chinese food because I can't make it taste like a restaurant. I mean...I bet I could if I tried, but I'd rather pay $6.95 for my chicken wing and lo mein special, and be on my way.
After filling our bellies with the rice, I had a hankering, as they say, for some cake. I don't need cake. I don't have any flour! How am I going to make a cake?
Well, I had some leftover soy flour from the dutch crunch bread back in late April.
No milk. One egg. There has got to be SOME kind of cake I can make.
Sure enough, enter Stage Right:
Three-Minute Chocolate Cake adapted from lowcarbfriends.com
1/4 cup soy flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 packets Splenda
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Water
In a serving bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and Splenda. Add water, melted butter, vanilla and egg. Blend thoroughly with fork. Microwave on high 1 minute or until knife comes out clean. Cool slightly; Add whipped topping or icing. Serve.
It was surprisingly delicious. The soy flour made the texture a bit grainy, but I was so astounded by the fact that I made cake with my meager ingredients, that I didn't care. Some people substitute nut flours, but I wouldn't know anything about that. I topped my cake with 1 Tbsp Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Vanilla Frosting while it was still warm.
Oh. My. Goodness.
The lessons I learned today:
#1 I need to find some $$ and go shopping.
#2 I did a great job with not much
#3 the Internet is a great source for on-the-fly recipes. I typed in soy flour cake and the cake recipe was the first one to show up in the search engine.
God is looking after me, right now.