Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sweet potato lentil stew

This stew turned beyond delightful, hearty and mellow.

In the crock pot mix:
• one of those huge cans of Bruce's Yams, 2/3 of the liquid poured off
• one cup dry uncooked lentils 
• one cup water
• 4 cups beef broth
• 1.5 cups cooked black beans
• 1.5 cups garbanzo beans
• about 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• about 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• about 1.5 tablespoons cumin
• about 1 tablespoon chili powder
• about 1 tablespoon ras el hanout 

Cook about 4-6 hours on high 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Nut fruit balls, version 2

These vegan snacks rely on a mix of dates & nuts. I made these to use up what was in my pantry.

Blend in food processor, then knead and shape into golf ball sized pieces.

- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup pressed pitted dates
- 1/4 cup dried cherries

This yielded 8 balls for me, about 125 calories each.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My first attempt at cabbage and noodles

I made cabbage and noodles. With fresh green and red peppers and kielbasa.

I didn't cook my cabbage enough. But it was still very super tasty.

I also used too many egg noodles.

I fried three servings of kielbasa (cut fairly small) in one tablespoon butter. Added one red pepper and one green pepper, cut into strips, and half a head of cabbage. Added more butter. And 1/2 cup water. And covered for five minutes (and it should have been ten).

Made a bag of yolk free egg noodles. Should have used 1/2 a bag. 

Combined everything in a big serving bowl. A really big bowl. Sautéed some white mushrooms quick for my husband.

Delightful. Very delightful.

My mother-in-law always serves with Parmesan cheese. So that's what I did. My father-in-law likes his cabbage and noodles with apple cider vinegar. I might try that next time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fried baguette with fresh spinach

We have had some amazing meals but I have not blogged them. The last week has been a special kind of crazy. On a whim, I started grad school (first step toward an MA in European History). And I broke my ankle.

Between boredom and necessity, I started experimenting in the kitchen and developed these:

So good I had to plate them on my fancy Royal Doulton. 

The ingredients are all hunks of leftover things... A day-old baguette, a random chunk of mutilated cheddar, some fresh spinach that is trying so hard not to wilt and a partial stick of butter my eleven-year-old daughter removed from the wrapper so she could use the wrapper to grease a pan.

I sliced the day old baguette thinly, to increase the chances that a layer of butter smeared across it and heated in the cast iron skillet would restore its edible potential.

I prepared each slice with a thin layer of butter on each side, dropping them directly over the center of the skillet preheated on medium. This allowed them to heat quickly and brown nicely on the edges. I flipped the bread over, topped with a very small piece of cheddar, a spinach leaf or two and a second small piece of cheese.

The assembled discs I pushed to one side of the pan, farther from the heat, and covered. I wanted to melt the cheese but not burn the bread. Probably 60 seconds.

I sprinkled with the tiniest bit of garlic pepper and some crushed red pepper flakes. I will be expanding on the concept for dinner.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Tartar Sauce and vegetarian fish sandwiches

My husband and I both came home from work exhausted so we made Gardein Fishless filets into sandwiches on Archer Farms take-and-bake baguettes with lettuce, cucumbers and homemade tartar sauce. I also added harissa to mine.

And I updated my tartar sauce recipe to be a tad lower fat, but just as tasty:

Mix, chill & serve...

• almost 3 tablespoons Hellman's light mayo
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• almost 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons Bolthouse Farms cilantro avocado yogurt dressing
• a teaspoon and a half fresh chives
• 2 dill pickle spears, diced very fine

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Imitation Pumpkin Pancakes

My daughter, being eleven, is angry with me. I believe this is her natural, at rest state these days. 

Couple this with the sour milk lurking in the back of the fridge, and I decided to make pancakes.

Specifically pumpkin pancakes because they have lots of vitamin A. 

But I looked in the cupboard and had crazy amounts of yams in heavy syrup and one can of pumpkin purée. So it made sense to get rid of some of the yams.

- about 1 1/2 cups sour skim milk
- 2 cups organic flour
- about 3 tablespoons brown sugar, which I did not pack, I merely tossed it in the bowl
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, which I never measure only eyeball
- some ground cloves (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
- about 1/2 teaspoon ginger
-1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 eggs
- about 1 3/4 cups yams (with about 1/4 cup of the syrup)
- 2 tablespoons PB2 powdered peanut butter with chocolate 

Serve with real maple syrup and powdered sugar 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pecan Crusted Scallops

We went to Aldi today and it strikes me as odd or perhaps apropos that I spent $60 on primarily cheese. And a binge purchase-- scallops.

I have been so hungry for scallops. I got twelve jumbo scallops for $10. 

I decided to crust them in pecans. Normally one would grind the pecans and mix them with good quality breadcrumbs but I went gluten free and just used pecans.

I found some recipes online but didn't like the sound of any of them so I used them as a base. I found one that served with orange butter (1/2 cup orange juice to 2 tablespoons butter). I wanted mango butter. So I took 2/3 cup of frozen mango chunks, thawed them in the microwave with water, and puréed them in the food processor. I added three tablespoons butter and processed it with the mango.

I put this mix on the stove so the heat would melt it partially but not reduce it to liquid completely.

Next I put 1 cup pecan halves into the food processor, figuring a touch of mango and butter wouldn't hurt. Ground those as much as I could.

To flavor my scallops and make them sticky for my pecans, I whisked together:
- three tablespoons honey
- about one and a half tablespoons Briana's Blush Vinaigrette 
- about one teaspoon ground ginger

(The inside of the scallops ended up tasting like maple syrup when they were done. Not sure why.)

I rolled each scallop into this sticky mess and pressed it into the ground pecans. I arranged them in a Pyrex dish, poured the extra goop on them and baked at 425 for twelve minutes.

I served with a nice dollop of the butter, put some extra butter on the plate for the Brussel sprouts and used my mother-in-law's leftover zucchini pie as a compliment. Really good stuff.