Tuesday Burritos, Gardener’s Pie and an eReader!

17 Aug

Well – I realised I haven’t done any recipes for a while, so tonight you get two (though, they’re both pretty simple) and some added extras.

Tuesday Burritos

I’m not going to give you a recipe for burritos, because you don’t really need one.  I’m just going to say that this is a Tuesday-night tradition that you should be getting on the bandwagon of.  You can do so, so much with burritos but really, less is more!  We use, as weekly staples, refried beans, tomato, lettuce, hot taco sauce.  S has cheese, and sometimes has Fry’s chicken strips.  I sometimes make a more extravagant spicy-bean-mix.  Sometimes we have avocado.  They are delicious and you should be eating them right away.

Gardener’s Pie

This is a slightly-more complex recipe than the one I gave in the very first entry of The Thoughtful Kitchen.  You’ll need:

  • 500grams cooked brown lentils (or about 2 tins)
  • I can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 3/4 cup of peas
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 4-6 potatoes (depending on how much you like)
  • any and all left over cooked veges you have laying in the fridge (optional)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)

Steam or boil your potatoes and mash how you like.  Drain your lentils.  Put your oven on to about 180 degrees.  Dice up the carrots and celery so they’re about the same size as the peas.  Combine, in a mixing bowl, the lentils, tomato, peas, carrots and celery.  Mix well, and then scoop into a baking dish (or, into 6 individual ramekins).  Slice up the left over cooked veges and place them, either neatly or haphazardly, over the top of the lentil mix.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (this can be done between the lentil and vege layer if you like, or omitted all together).  Spoon mash potato (or pumpkin or sweet potato) over the top of the dish and bake until hot though and the top if crusty.

left over roast veges, over the lentil base

For something different – add some finely chopped spinach to your potato mash!

Added Extras: Recipes I have been throwing around the ‘net.

Home Made Pesto (Super Easy)

You’ll need:

  • About 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • About 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (you can easily toast your own in the oven – spread them over a baking tray and pop them in a 180 degree oven for about five minutes.  Let them cool before you use them)
  • Olive oil (depending how you like it – about 1/3 cup should be fine.  You could also replace all or some with another type of oil, or with an infused oil to give an extra flavour)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic

Throw it all into a food processor and blend until it looks right.

Apple Crumble (can be made, really, with any fruit: blueberry and rhubarb for example)

Get a tin of pie-apples (or stew your own on a weekend and pop them in the freezer for apple-crumble emergencies!) and heat them up.  Crumble is super easy – mix some wholemeal flour, some cinnamon, some psyllium husks (optional) and some brown sugar and then dump a lump of non-diary marg into the dry mix and smush it around with your fingers until the whole thing is lumpy – spread it over a baking dish and pop it in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until it’s crunchy and lovely.  Put hot crumble over hot apples and devour!

Awesome New Toy!

After spending the last two and a half years telling S how much I really, really want an eReader I finally got one!  Initially, I wanted the Kindle, but I ended up getting a Kobo.  First of all – it’s just an eBook reader.  You download books onto your computer, plug it in and hey presto, you have a (possible) thousand books in your hand.  I didn’t want any extra faff (and I don’t really need to spend any more time on the Internet), just something I could read books on.  The Kobo is really light, I could play around with one in the store and I like the eInk display.  It looks like paper.

There is debate about pretty much everything new than lands in our laps – and for eReader devices one of those contentious issues is about pollution.  Is it more environmentally friendly to read a (real) book or to read eBooks on an eReader?  There are a number of issues here including the energy/pollution/raw materials it takes to actually make the device and it’s battery.  Undoubtedly, when you look at any eReader v. a single book, the eReader would hands down be detrimental to the planet.  Then there is the obvious on-going carbon issue, as somehow you have to charge up your handy little reader and that consumes energy (and we all know that story).  On the other side is, of course, the trees that are not produced into books, and the energy and raw material saved from not publishing, and – this is the kicker for me – the miles that books are not flown all around the globe, driven from ports to bookshops to be picked up by people in their cars.

I read a number of things – like this article at Environmental Graffiti and this one at Care2.  I made the decision decision to buy one based on the number of books that I buy (obviously not including books that I borrow) and the fact that I often like to keep and re-read books; and due to my impending-lack-of-space for booky-deliciousness; and due to the number of articles I read (and often have to print – as I can’t stand the flipping back and forward from Preview to Word); and due to the fact that the eReader I chose satisfied me that it was, in fact, not all-consumpingly damaging to the environment (in fact, the eInk display on the Kobo, the Nook and other eReaders uses significantly less energy than other display types – I have lost the link for that fact, but I will try and find it again).  All of these factors lead to the decision to purchase the eReader – but the final deciding factor was the environmental impact that I think owning an eReader over buying (and having shipped from all over the world) books.  From now on I will only buy eBooks for fiction, cooking, general, miscellaneous, non-fiction and (where possible) academic books (which seem to be lagging behind somewhat – but I will also actively put off purchasing books which are unavailable in eBook format unless absolutely necessary for my research and unavailable in every other way – including suggesting purchases to the library, because I think it’s better for a book to be available to lots of people than just me.)

Of course – the best way to consume books is to walk or cycle down to your local library but for a person (like me) with a veracious appetite for books of all kinds it’s just not that much of an option.  But – the more people shift to using devices like these, the better the impact on the environment will be.  Here’s a thought-provoking graph:


I hope that by the time I have children, who will inevitably attend school and – should they choose –  university, things like this are pretty standard, and being used across ever faucet of life.  I hated carrying mountains of very heavy textbooks back and forward from classes that I hated in a badly designed brown schoolbag – and I would never wish that dismal fate upon anyone else.

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