Snow Drift/Pantry Challenge

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Day 26: It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! 

Wow, it’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift?! That’s some weather. Thanks, climate change! Truly, this prompt is really just a pantry challenge — and y’all know how I love a pantry challenge!

I had to set some ground rules for this prompt, though. Roots Market — one of my favorite local grocers — has been celebrating its “grand reopening” throughout the last week, and they’ve been running some great sales. I headed out to Clarksville to stop by and pick up some goodies, like Califia Farms almond milk (two for $7!) and a few Gardein items (buy one, get one free!), along with a pound of organic almonds (on sale for $5.99/lb!). But I didn’t think it would be fair to include anything I bought today, since I wouldn’t have been able to make it out of the house with that big ol’ cold/rain/snowdrift keeping me in. Instead, I used ingredients I already had to put together a super simple, super comforting kale and yellow split pea soup.

Kale and Yellow Split Pea Soup

Truthfully, I didn’t measure everything I put in this soup. If I were snowbound, I likely wouldn’t be worrying about keeping track of everything! And in a soup like this, the proportions don’t really matter; you can’t go wrong. This particular soup was nice and brothy, with lots of kale. Roughly, here’s what went in:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 big bag of Tuscan kale (from TJ’s)
  • ~1 cup dried yellow split peas
  • ~6 cups water + concentrated veg broth
  • Lotsa spices (coriander, cumin, onion powder, turmeric)

This is exactly the type of thing I’d make on a snow day! I’d also whip up a loaf of crusty homemade bread — because what could be better than hot straight-out-of-the-oven bread when it’s cold outside?! Today, I used this recipe, because I wasn’t in the mood to knead the dough. I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I cooked it in a cast-iron skillet instead. And I didn’t include any herbs because I wanted a simpler bread. It was so simple and surprisingly good. Again, perfect for a snow day! (Or, y’know, a somewhat cool early fall day. Same thing?)

Unintentionally Mushy Peas

Last weekend, I hosted a party.

Half of you probably read that and thought, “…yeah, okay?” You’re probably thinking, “Is hosting a party even worth mentioning unless something ridiculously awesome happened at said party, like aliens?” Well, haters, there were no aliens, unless my social ineptitude rendered me particularly un-humanlike. The thing is, my roommate and I are both rather introverted, and we. don’t. host. parties.

Okay, that was a lie, because obviously we hosted one last weekend. We had many things to celebrate, so we shoved our introversion aside and planned and planned and planned, and then we planned some more. As part of our planning (some might say “over-planning”), we created a [physical] drink menu for guests, and in preparation for making said drinks, I might have gone a little overboard on supply purchasing. Not only is our liquor cabinet now overflowing with more booze than I’ve seen outside of a bar (shut up; I’m sheltered), but our pantry is overflowing with citrus. We currently have a giant bag of limes and a giant bag of lemons to use up – turns out most cocktails only require a relatively small amount of citrus juice, not the juice of 5 lbs of fruit. Who knew?

So, in an effort to not waste said citrus, I’ve been on the hunt for lemon-y and lime-y recipes. I got to use 4 whole limes yesterday during a curry-making adventure with a delightful fella, and today I gave my lemons some attention with this Lemony Yellow Split Pea dish.

Cheery peas!

This is meant to be a side dish, but it totally works as a main dish. If you were not lazy like me, you might serve it up with rice or some veggies, but I’m super lazy and ate it all by itself. It’s surprisingly tasty for such a simple recipe; the major players are yellow split peas, garlic, lemon, and cilantro. The recipe also calls for freshly grated ginger, but I didn’t have any so I substituted the powdered variety, which was totally overpowered by all the other flavors. Even with the absentee ginger and the garlic I might have slightly burnt and my overcooking fail (it was much more mushy than intended), I really enjoyed this dish, and topping it with cilantro totally sealed the deal for me.

However, it only used 1.5 lemons. Curses! Help a girl out – what awesome lemon-y or lime-y recipes do you like?! Also, have you ever had intentionally mushy peas? Like the kind they serve across the pond? I tried some in Ireland, and I really enjoyed them!