Browse Category: Mark Bittman

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Bacon

I don’t have a food processor. I don’t have a blender. This recipe involves the use of both devices, and instead, I chopped the ingredients up pretty small and just mashed them while they were cooking. I get the idea that this soup was intended to be far creamier than it was when I made it. Still, I liked the combination of sweet in the apples and salty in the bacon, and the butternut squash serves as a creamy mediator between the two. However, the soup as a whole felt a little heavy – perhaps this would have been different if I had blended it, or used more squash.

Cabbage with Crisp Tofu and Peanut-Lime Dressing

I made this salad last weekend, and I really liked it. The tofu is good and crunchy, and the peanut-lime dressing is really good – I want to make it again and smother it all over noodles and vegetables. However, next time I make it, I’ll use less onion and be sure to cut it up smaller, as I found it slightly overwhelming. I think I want to use this tofu prep style on other kinds of salads, too. It would be great on a spinach salad with walnuts and blueberries and strawberries.
Also, I assumed that four servings of this salad meant four side-salad servings, but it’s more like four meal-salad servings, meaning that I had a ton of this salad, and it doesn’t keep very well, so I ended up throwing out a fair amount of it. Next time, I’ll make it for more people, or make a half recipe.

Stir-Fried Curried Chickpeas with Potatoes and Carrots

I’ve had fried chickpeas once before, and they were great. This recipe was a bit of an experiment for me, for a couple reasons – the spices, and the vegetables. The recipe called for curry powder and fresh ginger. I assumed that there was curry in my home, and while I was at the grocery store, I could not find fresh ginger. I threw some red pepper and salt in with the chickpeas, though. Instead of using potatoes and carrots, shredded, I used a sweet potato, chopped up. I think I should have used a larger pan, as well – the frying pan I used wasn’t big enough to stir the chickpeas very well, and I think they ended up slightly soggy as a result.
Overall, I think this plan of learning to cook is going well – I’ve been feeling more resourceful in terms of food, and I think I’ve been eating healthier. I’m hoping to get friends together for dinner at some point in the next month, but I’m not sure what I want to make. Breakfast for dinner, maybe?

Cooking: Spicy Black Bean Soup

Tonight, I made spicy black bean soup, from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Fast” and it was pretty good. I made a couple changes, of course – I didn’t include chipotle chilies, because I couldn’t find them at the grocery store. I put cilantro in the soup, because it seems ridiculous to have an ingredient that’s solely for garnish. A bell pepper that I found in my kitchen also ended up in the soup, because it was sort of going bad. I also used three cups of water when the recipe said to use four, because I like my soups pretty thick.
The recipe was pretty easy, and it made enough for me to have some tonight and pack up to take to school tomorrow, and I probably could have used a bit less water than I did.
On the menu later this week: fried, curried chickpeas!