Invest in Your Kitchen

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

calabaza

Invest In Your Kitchen

To use the staples we’ve been talking about, these powerful kitchen tools will help.

Remember, you don’t have to buy top-of-the-line kitchen utensils; simple versions can be found at a reasonable cost.

In addition to the basics – sharp knives in a few sizes, wire whisks, mixing spoons, spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, and cutting boards here are a few very useful kitchen tools:

*Slow cooker.

This handy device is perfect for the plant-powered kitchen:  just toss in soaked beans, whole grains, vegetables, broth, herbs, and spices, push the button, and when you get home a one-dish meal is waiting for you.

A 3-quart cooker is the perfect size for most of the plant-powered recipes we give.

As a general rule of thumb, if a recipe takes 1-2 hours to make in the oven or stovetop, it’ll take 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

*Pressure cooker.

Today’s pressure cookers are sleek, safe, and easy – and, best of all, fast!

You can cook soaked beans in about 10 minutes instead of an hour or more on the stove, unsoaked beans in about 25 minutes instead of soaking overnight before cooking, and whole grains in about 20 minutes instead of about an hour on the stove.

*Food processor, chopper, blender, or immersion blender.

Even the budget-friendliest ones can help you chop large amounts of vegetables for soups or stir-fries, grind nuts into nut butters, puree herbs into pesto, turn dairy-free soups creamy, and whip up a fruity smoothie in seconds.

Recipe of the Day:  Pigeon Peas with Pumpkin and Sofrito

Active Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  2 hours (not including soaking time)

Puerto Rican cuisine uses Latin and Caribbean flavors, with a nod to local foods available on the island, like pigeon peas and calabaza – a pumpkin-like squash commonly used in many dishes.

And a Puerto Rican dish wouldn’t be complete without sofrito – a traditional flavorful cooking base of herbs, spices, peppers, onions, and cilantro.

With the help of a pressure cooker you can cook this up in just minutes.

Makes 8 servings (1 generous cup each)

1 pound dried pigeon peas

5 cups water, plus more for soaking

1-1/2 pounds calabaza (see Notes)

Sofrito:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon annatto seeds (see Notes)

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and quartered

2 small sweet chile peppers, seeded and quartered

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

2 medium garlic cloves

1 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch of sea salt, optional

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Cover the pigeon peas with water and soak overnight.

2.  Discard the water and place the pigeon peas in a large pot with the 5 cups of water over medium-high heat.

3.  Peel the calabaza and slice it into large chunks.  Add the chunks to the pot, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 55 minutes.

4.  To make the sofrito:  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the annatto seeds and toast for 3-5 minutes, until the oil turns a dark golden red.  Remove the seeds with a slotted spoon and discard.  Reserve the oil in the skillet.

5.  Place the bell pepper, chile peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  Pour into the skillet and saute for 10 minutes.

6.  Add the oregano and tomato sauce and combine well.

7.  When the beans and calabaza mixture have been cooking for one hour, add the sofrito.  Stir well.

8.  Cover and cook for an additional 50-60 minutes, until the consistency is thick and the beans are tender.  Taste and season with black pepper and sea salt, if desired.

Notes:  If you can’t find calabaza, substitute kabocha squash or cooking pumpkin.

You can find annatto seeds in specialty supermarkets or online.

To prepare this dish with a pressure cooker, add the soaked beans, water, and squash to the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes, according to manufacturer directions.  Add the sofrito and cook for an additional 5 minutes

Per serving:  242 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated), 96 mg sodium, 40 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugar), 10 g fiber, 13 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com

from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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