Tag Archives: Elizabeth Alpern

Hard Times! Cookin’ is Back with Recession-Ready Chili!

We know, we know…it’s been a while.  But thanks to our fans’ enthusiastic (and frequent) requests for another episode, Cookin’ has re-emerged (!), this time with a dish that’s sure to go well with your barely bulging (no doubt) wallet.  Admit it ya’ll, dining out just can’t happen as frequently anymore.

I hate to say “I told you so”, but cookin’ in your kitchen is going to be the key to your survival through these hard times.  So start with this SUPER simple chili that uses everything but the kitchen sink to make a quick, healthy, delicious meal.  Feel free to get creative and then share your personal touches.  I’d love to hear them.

So roll up your sleeves and turn up the volume…Welcome back to Cookin!

Ingredients:

2 (28 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can beans (black, red, garbanzo), drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

3 potatoes, cubed

2 tbsp. olive oil

1. Fry onion in oil until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add spices and cook another minute.*

2. Add all other ingredients, including your personal touches.**

3. Lower heat and simmer at least until all vegetables are soft, adding some water and/or more tomatoes if the liquid gets absorbed.

4.  The longer you simmer, the better it’ll taste so let that chili sit!  Chili will serve 4 people.  Recommended served topped with sour cream (or nonfat plain yogurt) and some chopped fresh cilantro.

*Spicing: A couple of tsp. of the following spices go great in chili: Chili powder, paprika, oregano, garlic (add extra!), cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander. Salt and pepper can be added to taste.

**Extras: Veggie ground round or ground beef, 4 chopped fresh tomatoes instead of second can of stewed tomatoes (highly recomended when available!), 1 carrot (chopped), 1 red pepper (chopped), 3 stalks celery (chopped), extra can of beans.

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Live from the Dirty Dirty a.k.a. Liz Gets Clowned!

In July, I helped lead a Civil Rights Journey of Black and Jewish teens across the South, following the trail of the Freedom Riders. The group that organizes the Journey (and an entire year-long program before and after the Journey) is called Operation Understanding DC (oudc.org). We began in New York and went to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, hitting up spots of importance in the Civil Rights Movement, meeting with local leaders past and present and also checking out Southern Jewish Communities. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience.

The food along the way ranged from eye-opening and mouth-watering, to downright nasty. I ate some excellently authentic soul food, though being a vegetarian, I missed out on some of the most famed items. Highlights included warm biscuits and corn bread, sweet tea mixed to perfection, creamy mac n’ cheese, bread pudding and the bbq’d tofu prepared by the African Hebrews. mmmhhhhhmmmm. (You best expect some soul food on the show real soon).

Some of the low moments included questionably vegetarian items at a Chinese buffet in Mississipi, salads consistently covered with soo much cheese (!), weak and bitter coffee, and greens made with pork (no iron for me).

As you might have expected, my digestive tract and I were very excited to return home after eating on the road for so long and I had a homemade sushi feast waiting for me when I got back from the airport! I also had something else waiting for me when I got back.

So, without further ado, I give you, Bizzaro Cookin’

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Episode 2: Noodles with Peanut Sauce!

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In this episode, I start cookin’ in New York’s Chinatown, where you can grab the best variety of noodles at the cheapest prices, and maybe meet some characters along the way. I then return to my kitchen where I’m making a peanut sauce to top off my noodles. Upgrade your dorm-room ramen with this easy-to-make, mildly spicy sauce coupled with steamed broccoli, green onion and sesame seeds. The soundtrack is pretty spicy too. Don’t forget to post your comments. Thanks for watching. Peace!

Ingredients:

  • Noodles (Udon, Soba, Rice, Egg, whatever!)
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter (Use the pure stuff, no sugar added)
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Hot Sauce (Chili-based, Asian varieties work best. Add more to taste.)
  • 1 Cup Soy Milk (You can also use coconut milk for a richer taste or water for a lighter taste)
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice
  • 2 Cloves Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Ginger
  • 1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (add more to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 1 Bushel Chopped Green Onion/Scallions
  • Broccoli and Sesame Seeds (to garnish)

Start by making the noodles, as most cook in 2-5 minutes once dropped in boiling water. Read the package or keep a close eye. Set noodles aside.

Fry the garlic and ginger in sesame oil for about a minute until they get slightly browned. Don’t let the garlic and ginger brown too much as they will burn. Stirring after each, add the rest of the ingredients until sauce develops a thick, cohesive, creamy texture and is nice and warm. Stir constantly.*

Pour sauce over noodles immediately and top with scallions, steamed broccoli and sesame seeds.

Recipe should serve 4-5 hungry people.

Eat!

*This sauce is very peanuty and quite thick. For a thinner, less peanutty taste/texture, add more water and/or soy milk. Feel free to experiment with different amounts of hot sauce as well.

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