Because a bare cupboard and an empty fridge are sad sights to behold, the Urban Forager hunts through food & wine shops bringing home tasty morsels that make your kitchen table the best place to eat in town.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Old Mother Hubbard . . .

. . . went the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. When she got there, the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none.

I've been reaching deep into the bowels of my cupboard this week, opening cans and boiling noodles and grains that have been in there for who knows how long. Yes, it is good to keep a well-stocked pantry, but it is also good to flush out the pantry now then. Spring is the perfect time to do this sort of cleaning and so is the week before you leave on extended time away from your apartment, which happens to be my motivation. I vowed to buy as few new groceries this week as possible and to shop only from my own cupboards and refrigerator. I've had some admittedly bad meals (the night of sardines and quinoa was rough) and some good ones, like this easy salad of cabbage, carrots and garbanzo beans in sesame-soy dressing.

This recipe can be adapted for whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. The egg can be left out if you like; I just happened to have one lonely egg sitting in my fridge that needed to be used. The garbanzos can also be subbed out for other forms of protein: chicken, salmon or tofu would be good.

Vegetable Salad with Sesame-Soy Dressing
1/4 of a cabbage, finely chopped or grated
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg, either scrambled or hard boiled.
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
dash of red pepper flakes

Combine the cabbage, carrots, garbanzos and cooked egg in a large bowl. In a pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for 3-5 minutes until very lightly browned. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and cilantro over the vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, scallion, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well.