This was the second-to-last meal of an unofficial challenge that I embarked on for two weeks in a rather long term between paychecks. It’s been two years and I still have trouble getting used to monthly (or sometimes once every 5 weeks) money.
The challenge I set myself was to go without shopping at the supermarket or going to a restaurant, but rather make all my meals from food I already had at home. (I did take some liberties on the weekends, when the gentleman was kind enough to shop for us both.)
While it was really nice to save the money those two weeks, I wouldn’t say that I did it t prove a point, except to myself about the amount of food that goes forgotten in my kitchen.
This was a pretty great use of things that I’d had hanging around my kitchen and uses a lot of staples. You could go without the red pepper (though I quite liked it) and possibly without the cream cheese, if you were feeling really desperate. It was a filling, really flavorful stew. Plus, it freezes well!
I made it healthier by ditching the cream, lowering the dairy and using processed corn kernels and a bit of flour to thicken it.
On The Counter
1.5 cups whole corn kernels
1.5 cups corn kernels, run through a food processor
1 shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
1.5 cups milk
3 tbsp cream cheese
3 cups warm vegetable stock/bouillon in boiling water
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil or butter
salt to taste
What to Do
In a large soup pot on low heat, saute the garlic and shallot in butter/oil, until shallots are soft. Add in bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, or until pepper is no longer crunchy. Sprinkle on 1/2 tsp salt and stir.
Add in flour, and mix until it starts to look like pastry dough. Whisk in vegetable stock and milk, until combined. Sprinkle parsley and cilantro.
In small spoonfuls, add in cream cheese and whisk to combine. Add in pureed and whole corn and cayenne pepper, if using. Add salt to taste. Heat for another 10 minutes, until heated through.
I don’t normally have anything with this, as it’s rich and filling on its own, but if you really want a side, a bit of crusty whole wheat baguette would probably do it justice.