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impromptu back of the freezer recipes

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In an effort to simplify and use what we have, we’re experimenting with some new dishes… Here are two recipes we've actually made more than once, though we can't say we'd choose them for a dinner party...

Fia’s veg bowl recipe #45

(Let me preface this by saying that on our last grocery run over a week ago, frozen vegetables were almost depleted in the stores – except for green beans, which apparently not that many people in Bozeman like... I was on the hunt for spinach and kale - both of which were completely gone... my only option for organic frozen greens was 2 bags of collard greens… I took one and left one for someone else to discover)

1 c. leftover cooked rice

approximately 15 frozen unshelled edamame

a tablespoon of olive tapenade

a healthy handful of frozen collard greens 

Heat the skillet until it’s hot, add a tidge of olive oil and the frozen veg – sprinkle with sea salt and lightly stir. Cook just for a minute or two, then mix in the rice and tapenade, cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Go do something else for about 10-15 minutes and let the residual heat do your cooking for you. Come back, and it should be ready to go.

It’s a rather flexible recipe – you could use leftover noodles or quinoa or any other grain you have only a bit of, or enjoy this with a piece of toast. You could swap in frozen corn, add broccoli or even green beans if you’re the sort that likes them…

I find it strangely satisfying. Yoshi is in agreement. Brian is not.

Brian’s Broken Fish and Grits:

2 pieces of white fish out of the freezer

(I’d like to tell you what kind it was, but it was old enough neither of us remembers buying it… It wasn’t tilapia – maybe flounder – the thin kind of fish that you can only really cook on a hot grill or in parchment because it completely falls apart the moment it begins to flake)

grits for two 

(if you’re using something like Geechie Boy out of South Carolina, you need to think ahead on this dinner because those are like Arborio rice… you cannot rush them no matter how high you turn up the heat. If you’re using Bob’s Red Mill – you can do this last minute and still feel legit… somewhat…)

Brian tends to make the grits with milk – I make them with water. We both add butter and cook them to attempt to get a few lumps.

(We find this is a lesser known secret to a good relationship: knowing early on if you’re in the no lump cream of wheat/grit group or the lumpy group. We are in the lumpy group – fully understanding there may be some reading this who will have deep and justified opinions of this.)

Get the grits going.

When they have about 5 minutes left, cook the fish in a tidge of olive oil in a very hot pan – flip once, turn off the heat and cover with a lid for about 3 minutes. The fish will have split, probably when you went to flip it… that’s ok. It gives the dish character.

Spoon some grits on a warmed dish or in a bowl, layer the broken fish on top, and sprinkle with Slap Ya’ Mama Cajun seasoning.


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  • I’m trying to think of an instance when lumps are ever acceptable! LOL. And then there’s that white fish problem…don’t you know we all have that happening?! That’s when you make fish tacos and call it a day. ;)

    Simran on
  • Found a bag of frozen peas in the freezer this week that I couldn’t remember buying. A vague memory surfaced of using a bag of frozen peas for pain relief on an injured knee several years ago. Wondered if these peas were those peas. Rather than take a chance eating them, I returned them to the freezer for future medicinal applications: fever reduction, headache pain, joint swelling, etc. In case of a serious food shortage, we’ll revisit the peas dilemma.

    Linda Hodges on
  • Lumpy cream of wheat—the lumpier the better (I thought I was alone in this!)—but no lumps in grits. However, they must be really thick and never watery.

    Jan on
  • So easy and super delicious. Toffee bars. An aluminum pie dish….important as they stick to glass for some reason. 1/2 cup just about melted butter….1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla….1 cup of flour. 3 ounces of dark chocolate chips and a half cup of broken walnuts. Press in pie dish….350 degrees till brown around the edges…let set 15 minutes and cut. Essential to eat while the chips are still melty.

    Judith on
  • Dear Brian and Fia,
    Thank you for bringing smiles and joy and out loud laughter to our house with your wonderful stories. Bless you both. And keep up the good work. You two are a National Treasure.

    Philip Rakita on

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