||[Apr. 18th, 2012|12:51 pm]
When eating a low carbohydrate diet, it can be hard to get enough vegetables. Salad greens are low in carbohydrate, and so are cooking greens (turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, etc.). Onions are good, bell peppers are good, broccoli and brussels sprouts are good. |
But if you're like me, you like to have stuff around you can quickly take to work. It's hard ("impossible", in fact) to roast brussels sprouts in a microwave. And cooked greens can be saved for a day or two (after about three days, I notice that they go right through me - they don't make me feel *sick* but they make the, uh, full trip a bit too quick for my comfort - in both senses of the word).
So, I look for healthy low carbohydrate recipes. Like many a bachelor, I don't tend to actually have recipes - I tend to have techniques.
1 large onion (I'm sure you can find one that's "too large" - but I think you'd have to try.) - peel and chop.
1 lb green beans - washed and trimmed, and then cut into smaller sections. I like 'em about an inch long, but lord help me if I'd get a *ruler* out to measure *string beans*!
1 large can of diced, or crushed, tomatoes (28 oz - or, tomato sauce which tends to be 29 oz at the same volume)
crushed garlic - as much as you want, including "none".
A lot of olive oil - if you don't have nearly a cup of olive oil left, don't start this recipe.
I also tend to add basil and oregano. Once, I added rosemary, but rosemary can stay as sticky little spiky-things.
Okay: if you have a pot, or a smaller frying pan, fry up the onions. If you have a big pot or frying pan, you can cook both the green beans and the onions. Cook them in olive oil - a lot of olive oil. If I'm cooking them in a frying pan, I expect to see a puddle of oil surrounding the vegetables... not just a coating on the pan.
Cook them until they're all soft. You want the onions to be wimpified - floppy and having lost their bite. (Some people call this "transparent". I prefer "wimpified".) The green beans will be softer, but not exactly floppy - they're probably too short to flop properly.
Now, add the tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings (basil and oregano).
Here's the thing: you want these to cook a good, long time - you want to basically boil off as much of the water as you can, leaving the olive oil behind as moisture. This takes a long time, and, as I said, a lot of olive oil. I've never measured - I eyeball it. But I've trained myself to dump in a lot - probably a half cup - when I start cooking, and then might add more depending on the texture.
After a while, I get tired of having to watch it on the stove top, so I'll put it in a casserole dish, and put it in a 350 oven, and check it every 30 minutes or so. Eventually, almost all the water is gone, the tomato turns to a vaguely sweet goo, and the flavors are all blended.
This is *great* plain, and is a good, dense source of vegetable matter. It's also a good mix - green beans, onions, tomato, and potentially, garlic. (Garlic is a vegetable. Cooked garlic won't make your breath stink, but be warned - eat enough garlic, and people will know.)
If you have no blood sugar fears, you can put this on top of pasta - it's pretty good. Or, if you're learning to eat sardines, you could cook and mush a can of sardines, and then mix in a large dollop of this to hide the blandly-fishy flavor of sardine. (Sardines are not salty - *anchovies* are salty.) If you like anchovies, you can mix in some anchovy. Be warned, they're salty! Oh, you already knew that? Okay, cool.