With Halloween approaching it seems only fitting to tell the 3 day tale of Jar O’Luncheon and Scary Good Wondersauce.
For the past several years I have been trying to eliminate as many packaged foods from my grocery list as possible. There are so many foods I can buy in bulk, so for the most part I’ve narrowed the packaging down to a few condiments I can’t seem to live without–such as Pickapeppa Sauce and Daddy Sam’s Ginger Jalapeno BBQ Sauce.
But today I’ll share my discovery of a simple and versatile condiment that I stir together myself without packaging which has revolutionized my lunching habits. It is commonly referred to as potsticker sauce. But think of it as an all purpose wondersauce. Perhaps it’s the fact that this stuff is so easy to prepare that makes its excellence such a surprise.
5 TBS Tamari Soy Sauce
5 TBS White Vinegar
Minced Jalapeno & Grated Fresh Ginger to taste (1 tsp each is a good starting point)
Stir together. That’s it! And if you live in Minneapolis, you can bring your own bottles to buy vinegar and soy sauce at the Wedge.
For a lazier version you can substitute hot sauce (like Sriracha) for the minced jalapeno, and a dash of powdered ginger for the fresh ginger. For an even lazier version equal parts white vinegar and tamari soy sauce alone is still quite good! Read on to see how the sauce factors in to my lunches this week.
I kinda love glass jars. Food tastes good in glass. I re-use jars collected over the years to carry my lunches to work. If there is a glass-encased product you buy repeatedly, it is easy to acquire a uniform set of jars–absolutely free of charge! The uniformity makes it easier to find the right lid. But I can tolerate a little complication so I save all kinds of different glass jars. They last for years; and handwashing the lids helps prevent rusting. It gives me peace of mind to know that if I get jumped in a dark alley I can shatter my lunch jar against a brick wall or dumpster and defend myself with the glass shards. But I digress.
When I don’t want to grocery shop or think about cooking–it’s time to put some lentils and brown rice on the stove. I can practically make this in my sleep, and I frequently cook up rice and lentils in the morning while I’m getting ready for work. Just a little rinsing and measuring and rice and lentils can cook away with minimal attention. My friend Autumn Kern taught me to add fennel seed and cumin seed to lentils as they cook to give them an extra savory flavor. Recently I started combining barley with the brown rice to increase the variety of whole grains in my diet. It also cuts down on “food miles” since barley is grown locally in Minnesota. Lentils and brown rice together create a complete protein, are cheap to buy, and last for months in your pantry. Seasoned with potsticker sauce, they become a surprising satisfying meal.
On Monday morning I cooked lentils and rice to augment my leftover Fire Noodles with Thai Basil from dining out the night before. My husband Brian made Potsticker Sauce. We had a rehearsal right after work so I brought a double portion for lunch and dinner. I also brought part of my breakfast to work. It’s so hearty it takes me all morning to eat it (see my previous blog on sprouting buckwheat for the breakfast recipe).
On Tuesday morning I steamed some Kale to go with the leftover lentils and rice. And topped it off with potsticker sauce, but of course! Easy Peasy.
On Tuesday night I babysat my nieces at my sister’s house; where my brother-in-law/bad-ass-chef Mike Crabtree fed me his delicious vegetable curry. He even sent me home with leftovers. Wednesday morning I put it together with the remainder of the lentils, rice and kale, and boiled up some quinoa (so quick! only 12 minutes) to round out the meal. And needless to say, a sprinkling of potsticker sauce. BTW, you can also use potsticker sauce for dipping potstickers.
This concludes the 3 day tale of Jar O’Luncheon and Scary Good Wondersauce. Thanks for tuning in and please have a Spooky Halloween.