Bittman’s Food Matters


While we are cooking with Ellie Krieger for the next 6 months with I Heart Cooking Clubs we take a break and have a monthly Featured Chef. This month – Mark Bittman. I love cooking with Bittman. His recipes are healthy and delicious. And this recipe fits right in with his ideas of Conscious Eating – lots of veggies and whole grains.

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Curried Lentil Soup with Potatoes

    2 tblsp oil
    1 medium onion, roughtly chopped
    1 tblsp minced garlic
    1 tblsp minced peeled fresh garlic
    salt & freshly round pepper
    3 tblsp curry powder
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
    1 cup dried lentils (wash and picked over)
    1 quart vegetable stock or water
    1 can light coconut milk (or another 1 1/2 cup of water)
    2 medium or one large potato, peeled & cut into chunks {Bittman says you can just about any root vegetable here.}
    1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves

Heat oil in deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add onion and cook until soft/translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic & ginger and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in curry powder – stir frequently until darkened and fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes
Stir in tomatoes and lentils. {I used red lentils and they will fall apart unless you put them in with the potatoes.}
Add stock and coconut milk.
Bring to a boil, partially cover and turn down heat to simmer.
Stir occasionally until lentils are just becoming tender; stir in potatoes and more stock if needed. Cook another 10 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables. Cover and cook until all the veggies are done.

Stir in cilantro or mint, adjust seasoning & serve

I really enjoyed this soup. It is filling, hearty, spicy, and delicious. I’m glad I made the full recipe.

Visit IHCC for the rest of Bittman’s dishes.

This recipe is on page 204 of Bittman’s Food Matters and you can find it several places on the WWW.

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It’s PotLuck week at ICHH. And since we can choose any chef/cook we want from previous months I went with Bittman again. This time, something simple – COOKIES.

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    1/2 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil, 8 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup granulated sugar Stevia
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup applesauce, or 2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
    1 cup (about 3 ounces) chopped dried apples, or other fruit
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Pinch salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup almond milk, rice milk, or oat milk, or cow’s milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Blend butter (or oil) with sugars. Add in the applesauce (or eggs) and mix until well blended.
Mix the dry ingredients. Alternating with the milk add to the sugar/oil/applesauce mix.
Stir in the vanilla.
Drop tablespoon sized mounds of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack. About 40 cookies. {Original Recipe}

These were pretty good. They are not very sweet but the pecans add a nice crunch and the apples add a little sweetness. They would also be good with dried cranberries. I think I would try and add a little PB next time for sweetness and fiber.

{Nutritional info: (each cookie) 106 calories, 7 g fat, Less than 1 g cholesterol, 11 carbs, less than 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein.}
The recipe is from Bittman’s Food Matters page 290.

I am working my way through some of the Bittman’s recipes for Potlucks this go round. Last month I made his Coconut and Nut Chews for the Potluck. This month I settled on his

    PAELLA

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Paella is a Spanish rice dish often made with different kinds of seafood. The dish is actually named for the pan it is made in and usually cooked over open fires. While mine was not cooked over an open fire and it is rather small compared to traditional HUGE paellas it did not disappoint.

    3 1/2 cups any stock or water, plus more if needed {I ended up using 4 cups of Veggie Stock}
    Pinch saffron threads (optional)
    1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into thick wedges
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 teaspoons Spanish pimenton (smoked paprika), or other paprika
    3 ounces Spanish chorizo or other cooked or smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (optional) {I used a local Louisiana Smoked sausage}
    2 cups short-grain brown rice {I used a long grain white rice}
    6 large peeled shrimp; or 2 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (optional)
    1 cup fresh or frozen peas
    Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

PRHEAT the oven to 450°F.
HEAT the stock with the saffron, if you’re using it, in a small saucepan. Toss the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
HEAT the remaining oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
STIR in tomato paste, paprika, and chorizo/sausage, if you’re using it, and cook for a minute more.
ADD the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s shiny, another minute or two. Slowly pour in the warm stock and stir until just combined.
ADD in the shrimp {I also added some chopped chicken to this} and peas.
PLACE the tomato wedges on top of the rice and drizzle with the juices that accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Bake, undisturbed, for 30 minutes. Check to see
if the rice is nearly dry and just tender. If not, return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes, check again, and repeat if necessary. If the rice looks too dry at any point, but still isn’t quite done, you can add more stock or water. When the rice is ready, turn off the oven and let it sit for at least 5 and up to 15 minutes.
REMOVE the pan from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. If you want to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving put the pan over high heat for a few minutes .

SOOO good. I would like to make it using some mussels, maybe some squid, or some fish. It is so adaptable.

Check with the IHCC members for the POTLUCK this month. Tasty.

I am slow getting started with this round of IHCC. Nigel Slater is the new chef until the end of September. I am excited to try some of his recipes, but not just yet! This week is Potluck Week. Since I missed cooking with Mark Bittman early in the group’s life I want to do his recipes for PotLuck. I read his bok, FOOD MATTERS ages ago and have lots of recipes marked. Seemed a logical choice.

Starting with someting sweet and SUGAR FREE.

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    1 cup sugar Splenda
    1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
    1 1/2 cups chopped nuts {I used pecans}
    4 egg whites [about 130 gms], {I would use a few more grams next time} lightly beaten until just foamy
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pinch salt

Heat the oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula or your hands.
Use a nonstick baking sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Use a small cookie scoop and make balls with the mixture,
each measuring about 1 tablespoon. Place balls on the pre-
pared sheet about an inch apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 30’minutes Store in an airtight container.

I remember Mom making a cookie like this when I was little.

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They didn’t last long around our house because we all loved coconut and pecans.

Check out the other POTLUCKS with the IHCC members.

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