Presenting the: It’s HOT – It’s Africa HOT – Tarzan couldn’t stand this kind of heat – Edition of the Lazy Cook

When you don’t have Air Conditioning and it’s this freakin’ hot, the last thing you want to do is cook. Well, the last thing you want to do is move. But even in the Lazy Cook’s household, food prep can sometimes include movement.

And while we eat a lot of cold salads and watermelon in hotter weather, those foods don’t tend to “last” in the tummy. It’s the cooler version of Chinese food: 20 minutes later and you are hungry again. So, how do we resolve that problem? The Lazy Way of course.

Here is a picture tutorial for a cooked vegetarian curry that doesn’t require heating up the house with… heat.

The dish: a nice Corning Ware casserole with lid. The lid is a necessary part of the endeavor, so keep that in mind when following this recipe.

To fill this casserole you will need the following:

About 2 cups of Vegetable Broth, or about 1/2 of this container (Chicken stock is good if you aren’t going vegetarian on this one). Wolfgang Puck brand isn’t necessary, I’m just showing off that I got this at Big Lots for $1.50

1 cup of coconut milk or about 1/2 the can:

3 or 4 tender summer squash from the garden, cubed.

Sweet pepper, chopped. This is probably about 1/2 a cup.

A medium onion chopped. (Hello Kitty bowl is not required) And since I had some curried okra canned up from last year, I thought “Why not?”.

Red Curry Paste. I get mine at the Asian Market for about .60 cents a can.

You’ll use a tablespoon, more or less, depending on how hot you like it. Add it to the broth and coconut milk in the casserole. Mix well. This will keep you from getting lumps of paste in your curry. ‘Cause stirring it while its cooking  is too…  hot.

You can add salt at any time to your taste. But at least 1/2 teaspoon. You can add in the chopped vegetables at this point, along with cubed extra firm tofu and cubed carrots. Try cutting them into smaller bits than shown here.

Once you’ve got it all in there, it should resemble this:


Pepper is optional, I just added it as an afterthought. Now for the lid.


Let’s look at the time. Okay 11:30 ish… so we’ll get this in well before noon.

Now into the cooker.

And to set the temperature, we simply go over…

and make it so.

Serve with brown rice, white rice or millet, along with a tomato, cucumber and onion salad. Enjoy.

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Split Pea and Barley Soup with Hot Sausage

There is not much that can beat split pea soup. It is warm, creamy and filling. The tastes of the peas in chicken soup stock with onions and the occasional sweet bit of carrot are a completely satisfying experience.

But as with most of the dishes I cook other considerations, like what needs to be eaten, influence the process of my kitchen experiments.

Split pea soup was on the menu and ½ pound of spicy pork sausage was sitting in the fridge looking kinda lonely. In the process of gathering up supplies, I ran across about a cup of barley and I thought: Why not?

As I noted earlier, I like chicken stock as a base for split pea soup. In this instance I thought stock and sausage might be too rich. So, I cut the amount of stock  and added water for the remaining liquid.

2 cups of split peas and 1 cup of barley.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and 3 cups of water.

Add salt to taste

Add chopped carrots if desired.

Bring to a boil then cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Chop up the ½ lb of sausage and place in a skillet,

Chop one small onion and add to the sausage.

Cook thoroughly

When the sausage is cooked, drain the oil for use with other dishes.

Crumble the sausage and add, with the onions, to the soup.

What I liked: The texture of this soup is amazing. It is full bodied and has a great mouth feel. I always like barley in food because it has a slightly chewy texture that I find very satisfying. The hot sausage was an interesting change from ham. And as with many spicy foods, by the following day, the spices had become more pronounced.

What I found less than perfect: Adding the barley flattens out the taste of the peas.

So there is a slight trade off of texture and taste, I will make this again, but it wasn’t so good that I would let it replace the standard version of split pea soup.

Enjoy.