As we transition into cold weather, the denser fall vegetables need to cook longer in order for their flavors to meld together. Not too much longer: 15-30 minutes additional time of at a lower temperature setting gets the job done.
Meat is optional- it’s really all about giving your body the vegetables and grains in endless combinations of complex carbohydrates. This recipe is a template: the vegetables in this recipe were in the fridge, well-stocked from a recent trip to the store. You can make any combination of vegetables that pleases your palate, adjusting the flavor accents and quantities to your taste.
½ onion 1/4″ slices and chopped into 1” pieces
1/8 medium kabosha (or any winter) squash, 1/4″ slices and chopped into ½” pieces
½ cups daikon or turnip, chopped as above
1 ½ cups brussel sprouts, quartered (to cook faster- they’re fresh and dense)
3 plum tomatoes, chopped in small chunks (can use canned)
10 small mushrooms, sliced and quartered
1 red pepper or several small peppers, sliced lengthwise then cut into 1” pieces
1 small sweet potato, cut to ¼ inch cubes
4 cups washed greens, chopped and put aside until end
1/3 cup grain– this night we mixed brown jasmine rice and lentils
2 boneless pork chops, marinated ahead of time for 2 hours in fridge
Marinade: olive oil (2 T), lemon (2 T), onion chopped (1/4 C), garlic– 4 cloves minced, cumin (2.5 tsp), turmeric (1/2 tsp), paprika (1/2 tsp), dash of chili powder (1/4 tsp), cilantro– dried (1/2) tsp
1. Heat oil in pan at medium heat, add onions and cook ‘til golden; add mushrooms, drizzling in a little water if the vegetables start to stick; add peppers and sauté until begin to wilt
2. Move vegetables to sides of pan and add the pork chops; depending on thickness (these were about 1”), cook approximately 5 minutes each side.
3. Add the vegetables and pour over them any leftover marinade; add ¼ C water and cover, and lower flame to medium-low for a slow simmer.
4. Check every 15 minutes for fluid and turn the vegetables over so they are evenly cooked. About ½ of the vegetables will be above the fluid but after awhile they will throw off their juices and shrink into the spaces around and between the chops. Could have let these cook longer, will plan for that next time.
5. When vegetables seem ¾ done, add the greens and cook briefly until wilted.
There’s no set time to cook: mainly the vegetables should hold their shape yet gently soften and blend with each other.
We hope you’ll experiment using this template and gain confidence to cook without recipes.
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