Just a bit of housekeeping to begin with! In case you haven’t noticed, I now have a “Recipe Box” tab at the top of my page. I’ve tried to categorize my posts as succinctly as possible so that you can search for recipes easier. The WordPress search box just wasn’t working so well. Let me know if you have any suggestions for how to improve it!

Secondly, a little news piece. The NYT ran this article yesterday on unplugging the fridge:

FOR the last two years, Rachel Muston, a 32-year-old information-technology worker for the Canadian government in Ottawa, has been taking steps to reduce her carbon footprint — composting, line-drying clothes, installing an efficient furnace in her three-story house downtown.

About a year ago, though, she decided to “go big” in her effort to be more environmentally responsible, she said. After mulling the idea over for several weeks, she and her husband, Scott Young, did something many would find unthinkable: they unplugged their refrigerator. For good…

As an eco-conscious individual, I’m always looking for good ideas on how to reduce my carbon footprint. I learned a lot of good tricks from the Hrens this past summer (in the summer don’t open the blinds/curtains during the day to keep the house cool, how to grow mushrooms in a spare kitchen cabinet, etc.) and I’m a big fan of local, organic food (hooray for Margie and Vegetable Husband!), but I’m just not sure what I think about this article. I tend to cook big batches of food and refridgerate them so I can eat all week. Since I don’t have a microwave, thawing soups and other food can be hard in a time crunch in my oven or on my stove. The benefits of not having a fridge seem shady too–and why do fridgeless people use a freezer? These are questions I’m going to research, but I’m wondering what you all think!

Now onto the recipe!  Oh look, it’s cabbage soup take 2!  The Russian Cabbage Soup called for 3 cups of cabbage, which worked out to exactly half of the cabbage I had in my possibly ungreen fridge, so I decided to use this recipe from Heidi at 101 cookbooks to use up the other half of the cabbage.  I buy dry beans, so I soaked them overnight and then threw the soup together about one hour before I wanted to eat.  The recipe is so simple, cheap, and quick, especially if you have a can of white beans sitting around, and it’s the perfect fix for a cold night.  Served with a chunk of whole wheat bread, you certainly can’t go wrong.

Rustic Cabbage Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
3 medium potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes – it’s o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times.

Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit.

Now adjust the seasoning – getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is.

Let simmer for 30-45 minutes. Serve with bread.