Over the past few months, we have been making arrangements for our first child as well as learning the ropes of pregnancy. One of the most common tropes we’ve heard is the random, off-putting, late-night food cravings; in most stories, the dutiful spouse rushes off to a store or restaurant to buy whatever will satisfy the craving. This hasn’t been our experience, however. It’s true that we may have more coconut- and cashew-based ice cream on hand than normal; but we also finished wiring the outlet for our chest freezer very recently. The extra space for frozen foods also meant buying 36 pounds of grass-fed lamb.
Even before the pregnancy, there were regular requests for curry dishes. Our local international market has a great red curry paste, that we’ve since found online, and we have a homemade green curry we love. This recipe was another excuse to make curry, and it does not disappoint. We ate it for days, and it was a hearty meal by itself or paired with cauliflower rice.
I can’t remember why, but a couple of weeks ago Brent and I thought it would be a good idea to buy one of those 10-lb bags of carrots at Costco. I had visions of carrot juice in the morning, carrot soufflés, and finding other creative ways to use the carrots. Admittedly, we have made neither juice nor soufflé of carrot.
Fortunately, Brent remembered that during our first trip to Germany, we enjoyed a carrot salad that was bright and tangy as we sat on a bench outside Nymphenburg Palace. In our research, we found quite a few varieties but we settled on keeping our version simple. We’re enjoying it now, and I think we’ll be making it more often once spring time arrives. It’s a perfect side dish for a picnic or cookout!
We may or may not have mentioned before that we enjoy cooking for others as much as we enjoy it for ourselves. We’ve made a habit of cooking food for new parents we know, either by taking over their kitchen for a meal or dropping off batches of food.
One of our neighbors recently had a baby, and they’re similarly focused on eating real food. We did what we do best and took them a batch of this soup after they came home from the hospital. The next day, while out walking our dog, their oldest son ran up to the fence and said, “I really liked your soup!” With eight nieces and nephews, I know how hard it can be to get kids to eat. So, unsolicited praise must mean we did something right!
Just this weekend we made another batch for ourselves, and froze more than half of it. As we look forward to our own baby’s birth in June, we are slowly planning ahead for the inevitable weeks of exhaustion that will follow bringing the baby home. Batch cooking now will save us time and money in the future. We hope you’ll like this soup as much as we and our neighbors do.
Chop Suey has been popularized in America through Americanized Chinese restaurants, although it has a history in Asia and the South Pacific as well. What I hadn’t realized is that Chop Suey roughly translates to “assorted pieces” (thanks, Wikipedia!). I’m always excited to find different cultural versions of “kitchen sink”-style meals. In the spirit of assorted pieces, I learned all of this and prepared this recipe when confronted with uncooked boneless pork ribs that had to be cooked or frozen—we didn’t even have to make a trip to the grocery store to put this together, in true Chop Suey fashion.
I enjoy the spirit of making something with what you have on hand. It’s not as intimidating as an episode of Chopped, but it’s empowering to know that even when a meal isn’t already prepared, you have the tools to make one in your refrigerator. I am sure you’re going to enjoy this recipe.
For the start of 2017, I’m trying something that I normally despise—eating breakfast. Most mornings, I don’t find myself particularly hungry and I get by with a cup of black coffee and wait until lunch. That said, it’s always been a hunger decision rather than a dislike of breakfast foods. You can see from our multiple breakfast recipes that we’re pretty keen on breakfast foods (although Heather is a much bigger fan of pancakes and waffles).
This recipe hits a number of must-haves for me: you can make it in one pot, it makes multiple servings, and you can make it spicy. This skillet dish reminds me a bit of chili, but the addition of cauliflower and the final step of baking the dish brings the texture closer to a breakfast casserole. And if you’re like me, and like things spicy, you can cover it in hot sauce with no regrets.
Without further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for our tex-mex style breakfast bake.