I Want Some Mote

I had a lot of a few things and no food in the fridge.

Today was going to be a cooking day. A creative one at that. And I was excited for the challenge. Most days, I fancy myself a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped. A show that I would binge watch for hours when I first was learning to cook.

With a giant squash, some onions, carrots and tomatoes I filled the next few days with some healthy and flexible dishes that could be easily manipulated into different meals.

I got a veggie stock brewing with leftover scraps that I keep in the freezer and started on the crock pot. A new ingredient I have never worked with made it’s way into our weekly canasta that we get from our friend’s farm. After a quick google search, I found a couple recipes for molido mote or ground corn that included making a milk-based drink or soup.

I went with the latter. I’m more of a savory girl than a sweet any day.

I chopped all the veg and got to work. Filling the crock pot with a few handfuls of squash and onions with the powdery mixture of mote and some spices. Hoping for a creamy, almost porridge-like substance. Envisioning a faux-fredo sauce over grains with a runny egg for dinner this week.

Same veg, but this time cold and crispy. Adding carrots and tomatoes to the mix with some pasta, a can of tuna and a light dressing of soy sauce, oil and vinegar. A little oregano. Mustard. And salt and pepper rounding out the bunch. This is a staple at our house. The starch, protein and vegetables vary depending on what we have, but this is a great way to use up what you have. And the kiddo loves it for those extra hungry days when he gets out of school.

The rest of my cutting board went into the clear stock that I boiled down to a rich brown. I cut the squash in half and thinly sliced it, deciding then and there this would be called moon soup. Rice noodles and a spritz of lemon. Maybe even some fresh herbs if I can remember to pick them up. Our version of pho.

With so many peels in front of me, I decided to go for one more. It will only save me time later. I threw them in a small stock pot and used the broth to cook some lentils. Love lentils. So versatile. My son has been asking for burgers lately and this will make a perfectly healthy patty.

Update: The mote made the most amazing corn chowder. It thickens itself instead of using cream or a roux, which gave it a lot of depth without any added fat. For breakfast, I added it to some leftover white beans with eggs. And tomorrow night, I’ll make a stew with some white fish for dinner. So good!!

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