Thursday, February 3, 2011
Okay, so I know it's maybe been getting a little ridiculous with all the soups and stews and hot one-pot whatnots I've been posting here as Frugal Ima Frugal Recipes. But in my defense? It was -7 degrees here today. So a crock pot meal is more than in order. (On that note, a special shoutout to David who ate lentil soup two nights in a row this week. The second night was over pasta as per my craving/complete laziness.)
Today was the kind of day that made me want to crawl under my couch cushions and stay there until the thermometer hits 60. So I want to share a recipe that is not only super-frugal but also packs two kinds of heat - the hot kind and the spicy kind.
I raised an eyebrow when I read the recipe Mara chose to feature on her blog for her "Crock Pot" kosher recipe exchange - It involved sloshing some chicken around in a mixture of salsa and peanut butter, letting it sit in the crock pot and...well, that's really about it. I was all, that's gross, Mara, but then I bit my tongue when my fleishig-loving parents came to town and I was struggling for something quick and easy I could make out of my pantry. Peanut butter and salsa? Always in my pantry. I made the chicken and all I can say is OhmyGod Maraisagenius nomnomnom.
I suspect that I am even more of a cheapskate than Mara. And not in a good way. So when my parents went home, I was back to my beans-and-rice-eating miserly ways, but I couldn't get that chicken out of my head. Seriously, it was so good. Three days later, I saw a bag of chickpeas in my pantry. Then I realized that there are entire Indian-food dishes that consist of chickpeas, sauce, and rice, so not only would it be uber-cheap but also kind of authentic? Maybe?
Extra bonus for you Yidden, especially us hippy-dippy-affiliated ones (for example, anyone who davens without shoes regularly or has ever lived in or visited Upsal Gardens - you know who you are) - this is a great pareve dish you can throw in the crock pot on Erev Shabbos in case one of those crazy Vegetarian Jews wanders into your house on Shabbos looking for an incredible meal. You know, the ones for whom you normally bake a slab of tofu doused in sauce and whip some quinoa because you just don't know what else to do, even though they probably eat that every single Shabbos and are so sick of it it's coming out of their ears.
Okay. On with the show. Here's what you'll need:
1 bag dried chickpeas (or a couple of cans)
1 1/2 c salsa
2/3 c peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, doesn't matter)
4 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
Some peanuts, if you have them.
hot red pepper, salt, ginger, and garlic to taste
Rinse your chickpeas and cook them in some water for a couple of hours. Or soak them over night. Whatever your M.O. for dried beans is. (Do you guys want a tutorial on that? Because I can do one.)
Chop up your peanuts and whatever else needs to be chopped. (Yeah, I just included this step because I like the picture)
Toss everything in the crock pot. You can put freezerburned veggies, drying-out onions you chopped but didn't use, whatever. I think cauliflower or green beans might be good in this, and I would not hesitate to put corn or carrots in either.
Dump in the lemon juice and the soy sauce, and whatever spices you want.
I covered the whole mess once with garlic powder and red pepper, and half with ginger. Not too much salt, either, because the peanut butter and peanuts are kind of salty.
Stir it up and let it sit there. High for four hours or low for seven or more.
Eat it with some white rice, or some naan, or challah, or whatever. Seriously, this was so good I forgot to take a picture of it until I had already mixed it up and eaten half of it.
Peanut Butter: $.75
Other Stuff: Let's say $3, liberally
That brings this meal in at right under $7. Frugal, and yields leftovers for lunch the next day. So you can afford to buy yourself a drink! Or five.
Happy Frugal Cooking!
Posted by Leigh Ann at 5:54 PM