Sunday, January 2, 2011

And so it begins...

Day 1.

It began with this: Apple Blueberry Oatmeal with Speerville Newfound Oats. I spooned in some of my Pear Maple Walnut Conserve and it was so delicious, I hardly missed the cinnamon.

The morning ritual of coffee didn't quite end today, I'm afraid. Somehow Jeff made a convincing argument that we should grind up the last of the decaf beans and then we'd could *really* begin the challenge. I was up late and up early and it sounded convincing enough.

Lunch was some frozen leftover Christmas Eve soup, which was the perfect lunch when you've spent your morning shoveling.

Honey Wheat Bread
Vegetarian Cassoulet with Steamed Cabbage
Jeff managed to bake a loaf of this beautiful honey wheat bread, which was a lovely addition to our very hearty dinner of Vegetarian Cassoulet and Steamed Cabbage. Speerville's unbleached flour looked easy to work with and the bread was full of flavour. The whole meal itself was easy and really tasty and was perfectly complete with a mug of herbal tea and some Brandied Chestnut preserves for dessert from our cold pantry.

We've realized that it isn't feasible to use butter in lieu of oil. At $4.50 a pound, we'll break the bank on butter alone and our goal is to challenge ourselves, not go broke. So, we've returned Canola oil to the pantry and still feel comfortable with the level of commitment we've made for the challenge. Since we're new to this, we're reserving the right to tweak a few things until we find the right balance of eating local and maintaining our tight budget. We're still hopeful we can do this, despite the disappointment in adding oil back to our pantry on day 1.

Cheers to Day 1!

Vegetarian Cassoulet 
Adapted from: Epicurious 

Cassoulet - 
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 cups dried beans, prepared
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste

Bread Crumb Topping -
  • 2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs 
  • 1/4 cup (or so) Canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp summer savoury
salt to taste


Cook onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in butter with thyme sprigs in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes and water, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally until carrots are softened. 
Toss bread crumbs with oil and garlic and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool, about 2 minutes. Stir in savoury and salt to taste. 
Sprinkle crumb topping over cassoulet and serve (or reserve topping to remain crunchy and just add topping to individual portions, as I did).

Steamed Cabbage
1 medium head of cabbage, sliced down the middle and core removed, cut into 1/8ths. 
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Rosemary Apple Cider Jelly
1 dried sage leaf
1/8th tsp summer savoury
salt to taste

While cabbage is steaming, prepare sauce. Melt butter and jelly together and remove from head. Add seasonings and stir. Pour warm butter jelly sauce over steamed cabbage and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! This looks so tasty and the perfect way to start off the year!


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