buying and storing bulk foods

Good morning 😉

Since moving to Colorado, I’ve found that I have much more access to buying foods in bulk ( beans, nuts, dried fruit,rices, spices) <—  made a little rhyme for ya 😉

 

Not that I didn’t back in Plymouth ( most health food stores have bulk bins and for the most part, they are far more affordable than buying pre- packaged.

So you grab your plastic bag, scoop your ingredients , place a tag with the PLU of ingredient in the bag and write it on the tag

( I know you know how to do this…  but I have something cool to share that I just figured out yesterday .. grab a cup of tea and stay tuned)

 

bulk itemshere is Saturday’s haul

Yellow peas

White beans

Pistachios ( they were on sale)

Himalayan sea salt

Brown Lentils

Peanuts ( SOOO much cheaper than buying a jar! )

Golden raisins ( used in the kale salad that I made to go with this and that I’m making this

Slivered almonds

 

I have a huge infatuation with ball jars. It’s the inner 1950’s housewife in me.  I also love to reuse interesting jars from pre-packaged food.

I have actually purchased items in the past based on the fact that I loved the packaging and would re use the jar for years to come

 

strawberry-basil vinegarsee the jar that I used to store  Strawberry-basil home- made vinegar … that was a salad dressing bottle  ( I make my own most of the time ) but I seriously loved the jar and knew It would become part of my collection!

 

here’s my new Tip..  I usually try to empty the bags of goods the same way that I scooped it in, through the big wide opening.

Which is WAY bigger the the mouth of the ball jar, and most of the time ends with lentils and chick peas rolling all over the kitchen floor.

Until… I thought of this bulk itemsusing kitchen shears, cut a small triangle int the bottom of the bag. Place the hole into the mouth of your storage jar and it acts like a funnel and will filter down into your jar with no runaways!

 

The only thing that it didn’t work on were the raisins. They were tactile enough that they stuck to the inside of the bag. For those I just cut the bag down the center and using clean hands, scooped them into the jars.

ball jars storage

I’m really lucky to have an open shelving area in my kitchen; But this is not necessary. In my old house I had a bookshelf that I re- purposed to be my grains & beans shelf.beans and grains

 

so no recipe today, just a little tip that I figured out this weekend and i wanted to share.

 

speaking of sharing… allow me to share this amazing Colorado sunset with you!

 

colorado sunsetnamaste, friends 🙂

Ethiopian spiced coconut-tofu

When I was a young girl, I used to pray nightly for the children in Ethiopia

Truth is…. I had no idea where Ethiopia was, nor why I prayed for them.. But somewhere along the line I heard that they needed help and so each and every night right before I’d fall asleep, I’d ask God to do so. ( I also prayed for the children in Cambodia and the hostages in Iran — I remember Easter morning watching the tv waiting for my grandparents to arrive ,watching some of the hostages being released… And crying thinking that prayers are sometimes answered)

Ok… I’ve never told anyone that story. And yet I just shared it with the world 🙂

I haven’t thought of Ethiopia in a very long time.. Then last week , I bought an ‘Ethiopian ‘ blend coffee..

And I’ve seen Ethiopian restaurants ( not that I’ve tried any..) must-change-this

And when I was in Denverat a yummy sandwich shop (ironically where I bumped into Scott with his co-workers) I saw an Ethiopian spice blend .. And despite the 10 dollar price tag.. I bought it.

I’m-so-glad-that-I-did

Everyone say hi to my blankie… I’m writing this 38,000 ft in the air 🙂

It is a mixture of
Fenugreek
Cardamom
Cloves
Paprika
Cinnamon
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder

Near as I can tell it was equal parts of everything except for them paprika and chili powder. Those packets had a little more than twice as much. (Maybe 2 teaspoons of everything and a tablespoon of the paprika and chili powder

I simply mixed it all together then stored it in a jar .

So while I was putting my laundry away yesterday ( for the first time in 2 months— like tell me you’ve never done that)

I got hungry . And I remembered that I wanted to try this. And I remembered that I had half a block of pressed tofu to use . And I walked away from the laundry. And into the kitchen

Which by the way is why my laundry never gets put away… I can’t stay out of the kitchen.. *le sigh*

And in less than 10 minutes I had the MOST delicious little lunch.

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Ethiopian spiced coconut tofu

1 tablespoon spice mix

1/2 block pressed tofu ( I use a tofu press. If you eat tofu ..it’s the best investment you can make.. You’ll pay for it in saved paper towel money in under a month;)

1 tablespoon coconut oil ( this stuff rocks! It should be on your shopping list)

1/4 red onion, chopped

About 1/3-1/2 cup light coconut milk ( I like trader joes the best)

1/4 bunch cilantro , rinsed and chopped ** optional — see note below

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile cut tofu into cubes and toss it with spice mixture . Add to heated oil and let tofu crisp and get a light crust .. Turning occasionally . Add chopped onion and stir . Add 1/3 cup of coconut milk, and scrape up the bits from the pan

Once coconut milk is heated , stir in cilantro, transfer to serving dish and squeeze a wedge of lime on top.

You can thank me later …

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If you don’t eat tofu.. I’m sure this would be good with boneless chicken breast.. Just make sure your internal temp of the chicken ta-tas is 165 degrees before eating 🙂

** cilantro note… I’ve mentioned this before but I’m throwing it out there again.. Some folks don’t like cilantro .. They think it tastes like soap. And guess what? To them it DOES! It’s a chemical In Their bodies ( that is hereditary ) that makes cilantro taste like soap. ( or cat pee as a friend once told me, but I’m pretty sure she never tasted cat pee so I’m going with the soap 🙂

If you are one of these people.. Then I am sorry. Because cilantro is truly a wonderful herb.. But I ‘get’ it… Just sub out fresh parsley instead ( if you don’t like parsley, then I can’t help you today .. Check back tomorrow 🙂

And I just read the spice package and it was 7.99 not 9.99 ..

Don’t have those spices on hand? No worries.. I’ve got your back .. Did you know that in most health food stores you there is a section that you can buy herbs in bulk ??? It’s true! You can buy just a teaspoon of something by putting it in a Baggie with the code on the box:). It’s soo much cheaper than buying a whole bottle And you won’t end up with jars of unused spices..(which go bad fairly quickly. If you’ve had it for over a year.. There is dust mixed in.. Yuck. Unless of course you like dusty- soup )

Maybe I’ll try that some time..

Eh… Maybe not.

Honestly… as I end this post it has me thinking about how long it has been since I recited those particular prayers nightly.. life kind of happened and my prayers started to become more personal.. still are in fact .. when i think back to my innocence and how big my heart was despite how little I was.. it kind of makes me smile :).

and makes me want to shout out a silent prayer to the whole wide world 🙂

Gotta run… Snack time :).

(What us it about getting so excited for snack time on an airplane????)

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