Monday, 7 January 2013

Use What You Got

The start of a new year is also the depths of winter.  Having come from one of the sunniest places in the world (aka Colorado), I find this time of year bleak.  The sun has made exactly one appearance over the last 3 weeks.  The children have been out of school since mid December and although we have unconditional love for each other, every day brings a new opportunity to keep them from killing each other.

Despite what my nutritionist tells me, I refuse to buy strawberries or any other fresh fruit or vegetable that is out of season.  My cupboards are also stuffed to bursting with tins and packages of items that jut simply didn't get used over the last year.  We've all spent way to much money over the festive holidays and we have probably set ourselves some resolutions about improving our financial standing over the next year.

We get a box delivered to us from the wonderful people at Abel and Cole every week.  The beauty of this arrangement is that they only deliver what is in season.  The challenge of this arrangement is that I am occasionally (aka usually) baffled by the contents.  Turnips, celeriac, and cabbage don't typically feature on my grocery list when I go to the shops but the rule is "If they send it, we will eat it."

With these objectives in mind, my children embrace (aka tolerate) the wonders of my Recipe Imagination. My husband will eat anything I put in front of him, so I worry less about him. His stomach is a slut.  My goals are to use up all the beautiful in season produce delivered that week and to empty my cupboards, fridge and freezer of the various bits and bobs that have been hanging around for far too long.  This also means I suspend the need to go to the grocery store or have a load delivered when, in fact, my family has plenty and doesn't need anymore.

I've tried referencing cookbooks, both online and printed.  I have an extensive collection of cookbooks.  I read them like novels.  But they have failed to provide me with a cupboard cleaning remedy.  So, into the depths of my imagination I have gone.

So far, my imagination hasn't let us down.  Or poisoned us.  Here's the first success!

3 Bean, Beef and Turnip Slow Cooker Chili

1 tin kidney beans
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin Berlotti beans
4 carrots, peeled and sliced thickly)
4 small turnips, peeled and chunked into bite size pieces
3 onions, peeled and sliced
1 tin whole tomatoes
2 cups beef (we had some leftover from our Christmas rib roast that I chunked up and threw in)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp salt

Throw it all in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  Serve over tortilla chips with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  

This got 5/5 stars from my husband and I.  4/5 stars from my son.  And a mere 1/5 stars from my daughter.  She hates anything that isn't bread right now so I wouldn't put much stock in her opinion. 

May all your cupboards be bare (temporarily)!

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