Wheatberries: breakfast of the hard core.

This is extremely easy and hearty as can be, but will give your jaw a workout.

1 cup wheatberries (I used hard winter wheatberries)
3 cups water
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup frozen mango chunks

Put it all in the crockpot before bed and set to low. When you wake up, breakfast will be ready! Top with a couple spoonfuls of coconut milk and sweeten to taste. You'll be full for hours. Makes 3-4 servings.

You could also make this with fresh mango (add in the morning?) or dried mango (add in the evening, and definitely more coconut milk. ALWAYS more coconut milk.

Note to self.

This unattractive, oddly satisfying snack you're eating--leftover pureed butternut squash mixed with Trader Joe's soy chorizo--would, with queso fresco, make a great dip for tortilla chips. Or skip the cheese--it would still be good.

Just saying.

For a few weeks, all I've been doing is eating various squashes and kale, potatoes and kale, whatever and kale. The CSA is done and I guess I haven't quite gotten back in the hang of buying vegetables, especially green ones. My backyard kale is still going strong, so my tendency has been to chop it fine and throw it into everything, in the manner of stealth vegetables. It's hard to be stealthy with kale, though. Fortunately no one around here really minds.

Anyway, grocery shopping. I'm just not on top of it yet and it seems like there aren't a lot of ingredients in the house, at first glance. But I had a batch of roasted and pureed green tomatoes in the freezer, and I started thinking they'd make an interesting base for chili, or stew, or something.

Green tomato.

What's that you say? You've never roasted green tomatoes? Well, I hadn't either, until a month ago or so. We had loads of tomatoes in the garden, but many, many of them never ripened. I window-ripened some.

Tomatoes in the window.

In fact, I still have a few in the window right now, and they have actually turned red. But overall, I was pretty disappointed with our tomatoes; they were Jet Stars, and I just didn't like the variety for eating raw. So I roasted and/or froze LOTS of them.

Roasted tomatoes.

To roast green tomatoes, cut them into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 or 375. When they come out, you can eat them straight up--they are delicious, melty, caramelized little things--or puree them. I did a bit of both. The puree is super-tangy, without the sweetness of ripe tomatoes. And it's great in a simple curry, like this one I'm about to drop on you.

Roasted Green Tomato Curry with Chickpeas and Brown Rice
Oil for the pan
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pinches red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of your favorite curry powder or sambar (I used both)
2 cups roasted green tomato puree
4 cups water
3/4 cup brown rice
4 carrots, diced
1 large can of chickpeas
A dash of agave or other sweetener
Salt to taste

In a medium soup pot, saute the onion in oil until translucent, then add the garlic. Let that cook for a minute or two, then add the red pepper flakes and spices and cook a minute or two longer. Dump in the puree, water, rice, and carrots, and bring the whole mixture to a low boil. Turn the heat back to a simmer and do something else for awhile, while the rice cooks--say 25 minutes or so. Add chickpeas and simmer awhile longer. Taste for salt and sweetness and add agave and salt accordingly. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and some cilantro, if you have them on hand. If not, eat it straight up.

Fresh green tomatoes would probably work just fine in this. I'd just chop them and let them cook down with the onions, garlic, and spices for awhile before adding water and rice. This would also be great with some fresh spinach tossed in at the end, but then I'll put spinach in anything.

Picture to follow, when it's not pitch black outside. Siiiiigh--that's the bad thing about Falling Back.

ETA: here it is, in lunch form:

and with the rest of Mr. Bento: