Tag Archives: Corn

What do YOU eat in Winter?

Toast slathered with butter.  Couscous porridge with butter and whole fat milk.  Potatoes mashed with butter, whole fat milk, and an entire head of garlic.

See a theme here?  For me, winter is all about fat and carbohydrates.  I have no qualms confessing that my diet is highly influenced by the season; I know I’m not alone here.  Most of humanity begins thinking this way as evening falls earlier and earlier and we all huddle about wondering how to survive another long, cold winter.  We may not be able to hibernate for the entire three or four months, but we can sure eat like we’re preparing to!

Tonight I made a cheesy potato-corn-white bean chowder.  It started out with onion cooked in a large chunk of butter until translucent, then a few minced cloves of garlic, two smallish diced potatoes, and about 2 1/2 cups each chicken broth and fully fat and wonderful milk, brought to a boil and simmered gently.  Oh, it smelled heavenly!  Once the potatoes were tender I added one (drained) can each of corn and white beans, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and some cubed cheese, maybe 1/3 cup, which led to the only slightly disappointing part of the whole shebang.  In my extreme cheapness, I had forsaken the real cheese and bought processed cheese.  I was thinking Velveeta; what I got instead was a sticky white brick that refused to melt even when cut into very small pieces, meaning that instead of a consistently gooey cheesy broth, I ended up with a milky broth with bursts of cheesy(ish) goodness.

(That’s all the recipe you’re getting for this.  It’s so very simple.  And soup is really something that was made for adaptation and improvisation, so you can take this idea and recreate it yourself in whatever manner works for you.  I would suggest better cheese, though!)

And I ate it out of a mug, because it is a well known fact that soup (umm, or chowder, whatever the difference may be) always tastes best when eaten out of either a mug or a bread bowl.  Bread bowls being in short supply round these parts, I happily grasped my mug in both hands (giving the additional benefit of warm to my chilly little fingers) and soaked up my leftover broth with a warm wheat roll.  (And no, I did not butter the roll.  But I did consider it…)

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CAN I CALL THIS SALAD?

We returned from our trip Over The River yesterday evening, so dinner last night and tonight necessitated quick and easy as well as minimal ingredients, as I’ve yet to go to market.  Fortunately (kind of)* I have a small stock of various canned, dry and frozen goods and had left some zucchini in the refrigerator while we travelled, hoping it would stay good.  And it did, because this refrigerator is golden and takes care of its contents.

So I pulled out the rice and the frozen molokheyya.  (Molokheyya post forthcoming; you’re in for a treat with that one!)  But it didn’t seem colorful enough to be the entire meal, and lacked any protein.  Also, although the weather is cooling down, it’s still too hot to eat only hot foods.  The answer?  A simple mix, semi-inspired by the results of a Google search for “white beans corn zucchini” and using the standard Mediterranean/Middle Eastern yoghurt salad as a dressing.

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited when I first tasted the beans and vegetables together, but once that yoghurt dressing was drizzled on, this salad was transformed into something summery and zingy and well worth the little effort it required.

White Bean, Corn and Zucchini Salad

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can corn, drained (or about 1 1/2 c. fresh corn, barely boiled/steamed until tender, if you’re so lucky to have it!)
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 very small onion, diced
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • big pinch of mint and salt

Mix beans and vegetables.

Mix yoghurt, garlic, mint and salt.  Drizzle over vegetables.

See, isn’t that easy?  And so many things you can add or substitute…black beans instead of white, red or green bell peppers, cilantro instead of mint, tomatoes…

*I have ambivalent feelings about canned and frozen foods.  Generally they are more expensive than their fresh counterparts, and I wonder about the preservatives, loss of nutrients over time, and the environmental impact of transporting food around the world.  (For instance, the can of corn I used tonight came from Thailand; I wonder what its carbon footprint would be.)  But sometimes convenience wins.