Saturday, February 27, 2010
Easy dinner tonight. We went out to eat at Little Italy Food Center in Pohatcong last night. I brought home about 2/3 of the sausage in my spaghetti and sausage. So, since my daughter and I are heading to Philadelphia tomorrow and won't be cooking, I thought we could make our own spaghetti and add the leftover sausage. It was a hit.
Friday, February 26, 2010
This is the basic recipe for a basic Asian style sesame sauce:
For a half-pound of meat, or equivalent veggies, mix
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use low sodium)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
Now from here, I'm making some spaghetti noodles because I'm out of rice. I'll fry them and make them like lo mein. I'm using the seitan I made yesterday as my meat. And california blend vegetables, which I plan to marinate in whatever sauce the wheat meat (seitan) doesn't soak up.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Laure Lovelace got me interested in making my own seitan, because we used to love "wheat meat." I lost her recipe so I found this article on the VRG.
Here are two recipes that sound fun:
Quick Homemade Gluten
(Makes 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds or 2 to 2-1/2 cups)
This is the basic recipe for gluten.
2 cups gluten flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons lite tamari, Braggs liquid amino acids, or soy sauce
1-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)
Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.
Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to 60 minutes.
4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-inch piece of kombu (a type of seaweed)
3-4 slices ginger (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is covered. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.
Total Calories per 4 oz. Serving: 77
Fat: 0 grams
This is a more modern and gourmet version of a traditional stew, but oh, so much more tasty.
1 cup of water plus 1/2 cup water
1 ounce dried wild mushrooms such as morel, shiitake, or porcini
1 Tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 small turnips, peeled and cut in quarters
4-5 small potatoes, cut in half
1/2 pound mushrooms, halved
3 dried tomatoes, made into powder
8 ounces seitan, cut in small chunks
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 Tablespoon miso
1 Tablespoon arrowroot plus additional if needed
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Boil one cup of the water and soak the dried mushrooms (if they are morels or shiitake) for 30 minutes. Save soaking water. If using porcini add when recommended.
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, turnips, and potatoes. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add fresh mushrooms, tomato powder, and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 5 more minutes. Then add seitan chunks, dried herbs, and rehydrated mushrooms that have been cut in pieces. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Add soaking water drained of any debris and porcini, if using them. Add the miso and stir. Cook for about 10 more minutes until vegetables are almost tender.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup water with the arrowroot and add to the pan over medium heat, stirring until thickened. If too thick add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If too thin add arrowroot 1 teaspoon at a time. Season with black pepper. Add parsley just before serving.
Total Calories per Serving: 277
Fat: 5 grams
For the gluten:
- About 2 cups vital wheat gluten, Hodgson's Mill
- about two tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon four color organic peppercorn
- 1.25 cups water
- 28 ounces vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
My apologies to anyone who's been watching this blog for some breakthrough recipe this week. It's the fourth week of the month, which means I have board meetings; and it's February, which means the afterschool programs I run are wrapping up; and I've been sick; and I had a paper due.
And that is a badly punctuated sentence.
So, lunches have been leftovers. Tuesday night for dinner after Girl Scouts we had boxed mac and cheese (spirals) from Wegmans-- and we didn't even add a vegetable. GASP!
Last night we had leftover vegetable soup my mother-in-law made. I had frozen it.
Today is a snow day. I'm making bread. I'm also going to take some of the roasted garlic I stowed in the freezer and mix it with cream cheese to make a spread for that bread.
Also, we have a ton of heavy cream. My husband bought it at the warehouse club. So who knows... we may make ice cream to use it up.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Forgive my lack of specifics because this isn't a recipe "high caliber" enough for the world...
Tonight, I took Wegmans Spinach Feta peorogies, boiled them, dried them, and then fried them in butter and extra virgin olive oil. I put them in the oven to keep them warm and in the skillet I combined approximately:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoons garlic pepper
- 1 teaspoon it's a dilly
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- less than 1/4 cup bordeaux
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tonight for dinner I'm making chicken in lemon-butter sauce (française) and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, a side salad, and Vouvray.
Except my husband grabbed the Bordeaux instead of the Vouvray.
For the mashed potatoes:
- about 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth/olive oil/chicken "juices" from frying pan skillet
- probably 3 lbs of potatoes, mostly peeled
- About 15 cloves roasted garlic
- About 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- About 1/4 cup sour cream
- shredded carrots
- zesty sprouts
- Ranch for him and child, red wine mist for her
- About 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloin (from the discount pile: $3)
- lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- unbleached white flour
- four color organic peppercorns
- chicken broth
Reserve juice in skillet into cooked potatoes for the mashed.
In the skillet, add about three tablespoons butter and about the same amount of lemon juice. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring often. Pour oven chicken and serve.
This looks to be a good guide on mashed potatoes:
Normally when you roast garlic, you roast the whole bulb, papery shell and all in a bath of broth and spices/herbs of your choice.
When it gets done, the roasted cloves will pop from the shell with ease, and they'll be soft, mild, and delicious. Perfect for blending with butter or cream cheese.
My sister-in-law received a ridiculous amount of peeled garlic cloves from her elderly landlord as a thank you for shoveling the snow during the blizzard. She passed about 30 cloves on to me.
I put them all in a pfaltzgraf bowl (because it's shallow and small enough that I can use just enough liquid) and pulled some chicken broth from the freezer. I have them baking in the oven at 350, with just enough broth so each clove is very wet, but not submerged. Every ten minutes or so I go out and "baste" by shaking the bowl.
This process should take about an hour, and I don't know if it will work this way, but we'll see.
Is it sacrilegious to make a grilled cheese sandwich in a Le Creuset skillet?
(Probably, but I'm a rebel.)
- Multigrain sandwich bread from Giant (yes, I've been ill so no homemade bread)
- Velveeta (a gift from Gayle)
- Neufchâtel cheese
- perhaps some shredded cheddar
- lots of butter
- a hint of garlic pepper
- a hint of extra virgin olive oil
Step two: generously butter bread on on one side. Put one slice of bread from each sandwich in the skillet, butter side down.
Step three: spread a thin layer of neufchâtel or cream cheese on the unbuttered side of the lid of the sandwich, the piece not in the pan.
Step four: cut enough thin slices of velveeta to cover the bread in the pan. Go ahead and put the cheese on the bread.
Step five: increase heat in skillet to medium.
Step six: put the cream cheese-laden lids onto the sandwich.
Step seven: sprinkle each with a pinch of garlic pepper.
Step eight: frequently press down on the sandwich with a turner/spatula. After about three minutes, flip the sandwich and press down more. Let the bottom brown, flip again. When the other side is brown, smear about 1/2 teaspoon of honey on each sandwich side. Let the honey cook on the bread for about 30 seconds. More than that and it will burn.
The skillet heated slow and evenly AND fit two whole and one half-sandwich at the same time. It made a beautiful sandwich, though I did burn some honey to the pan.
Served to my family with juice diluted with selzter, raw carrots and dip, and the sandwich.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I had some milk product, some eggs and some cauliflower that needed using up, so I made a crustless quiche.
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh half and half
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 3 strips morningstar vegetarian bacon
- 1.5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- about 2 ounces cheddar cheese
Add to bottom of pie dish. Add cheddar, in crumbles. Pour egg mixture over top. Place in oven for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 300 and cook at least another half an hour until eggs set and toothpick in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'm enjoying a cup of Easy Now Traditional Medicinal tea because the French professor at Lafayette emailed me about the papers I asked him to read. He says my French is excellent but I'm sure he's being polite.
To keep this vaguely on topic, I'll mention that we had lunch with our German friends today and were treated to an apple walnut salad, krautwickel and garlic mashed potatoes which our daughter loved.
On Saturday, before I fell ill, we made a romantic trip to the pizza parlor and the warehouse club. I was going to report the items on the receipt, but most seem pet or school related.
- Cat litter, 35 lbs, $10.83
- 36 double rolls of toilet tissue, $14.98
- Cascade Gel, $8.79
- HUGE container of Dawn dish detergent, plus a small one (I have to be careful with dish soaps, I'm allergic to some) $4.98
- Post It Note Flags (306) $6.57
- Two giant jars of JIF creamy $7.79
- My favorite "MM Bonus Bag" now before you think it's chocolate candy, that's 22.5 pounds of Meow Mix cat food, $12.78
Saturday, February 13, 2010
1. Fill the tea kettle and set to boil.
2. Carefully measure and grind your beans, if preparing your own. You don't want them fine, you want them fairly large but yet smooth.
3. Put the beans in the pot.
4. When the water boils, remove it from heat and let rest for 2 minutes or so. You never want to pour bubbling boiling water into a delicate glass carafe. I call this the lesson of exploding pyrex and glass pitchers.
5. Once the water settles, pour the appropriate amount of water slowly into the carafe. I pour mine in thirds with a rest at each third. At each rest, I swirl the pot with my wrist gently. Before the final pour, I use a wooden spoon to stir the coffee if I feel it necessary. Never use metal in your delicate glass carafe. I then pour the final third of water in, using it to rinse the spoon and the coffee still clinging to it.
6. Fit the lid.
7. Set a timer for at least five minutes. I start with six.
8. While waiting for the timer, prepare your cups with milk and sugar.
9. When the timer beeps, slower depress the plunger.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I am making something that resembles beouf bourgogne... I chopped the stew meet and dusted with flour, four color organic peppercorns, and sea salt. I'm browning them with a touch of olive oil, a touch of the petit sirah (on sale for $5 at the liquor store) and a touch of French brandy.
The vegetable stock has been reduced by half, and lots of herbs added. In the absence of a true bouquet garni, I have added a variety of fresh herbs from the freezer and dried herbs. Dill, sage, rosemary, oregano, garlic pepper.
My husband has chopped a mound of potatoes and carrots, which one the beef had browned, I put in the beef juice in the skillet and moved the beef into the vegetable stock. I added some olive oil, some wine. I poured the rest of the wine bottle in with the beef, and then filled it half way with water and poured that over the vegetables in the skillet.
I let them cook for five or ten minutes in this mix before I incorporate them into the stew. Then I mix everything up, put it on medium and wait. My husband has chopped some fresh broccoli and cauliflower, which makes it more beef vegetable stew than beef burgundy, but it need to be used...
These vegetables will be added much later, closer to eating time.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I took this basic crab roll recipe I made:
and decided to pump it up, nutritionally. I couldn't find asian slaw and I didn't feel like grating my own cabbage so when I saw that Wegmans had "rainbow salad" which was Asian slaw with grated broccoli... I thought what they heck, and substituted for the additional nutrition of broccoli. I used zesty clover and radish sprouts this time, added more dill, and sprinkled in some five spice.
- Wegmans large curd cottage cheese $1.79
- One dozen extra large eggs, $1.59
- Wegmans one pound salted butter and one pound unsalted butter, $1.69 each (an increase from the recent $1.50)
- Wegmans fresh half and half, one pint, $1.29 (I was wondering if this had a better texture than the ultra-pasteurized stuff)
- Stonyfield Yo-Baby yogurt six-pack, $2.89
- 32 ounces Wegmans extra sharp cheddar cheese, $5.69 (ten cents more expensive than the warehouse club)
- half gallon two percent milk, $1.74
- half gallon chocolate soy milk, $2.79
- two bags of frozen cauliflower, 89 cents each
- two boxes of spinach and feta peorogies, $1.69 each
- one bag Wegmans florentine ravioli, $2.99
- 12 liter bottles of plain seltzer, $5.99
- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla tea, $2.29
- Hunts fire-roasted diced tomatoes, two cans, $1.09 each
- Wegmans chunky pizza sauce, 99 cents each
- five pounds of sugar, $2.39
- five pounds of whole wheat flour, $2.29
- five pounds of unbleached white flour, $1.59
- Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum tea, $2.69
- Traditional Medicinals Easy Now tea, $3.99 (this used to be $4.99)
- dark red kidney beans, so salt added, 4 cans at 59 cents each
- four big cans of halved pears in pear juice, $1.59 each
- lump crab meat (in the tuna fish sized can) $3.99
- Wegmans Spirals and cheese dinner, four boxes at 50 cents each
- Wegmans white cheddar shells dinner, two boxes at 79 cents each
- black beans, three cans at 59 cents each
- peaches in pear juice, three cans at 79 cents
- corn meal, $1.39
- Rumford baking powder, $1.99
- apple butter, no sugar added, $2.99
- wheat gluten, $2.39
- breadcrumbs, $1.29 (I ran out of homemade)
- vegetarian refried beans, $1.29
- organic mango salsa, $2.99
- Morningstar vegetarian breakfast strips (bacon), $3.49
- chicken breast tenderloins, $3.71
- stew beef, $5.03
- "rainbow salad," a prepared 'slaw' mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, and broccoli $2
- bananas $1.09
- a fresh yam, 71 cents
- eggrolls wrappers, $2.50
- broccoli crowns, (two), $1.39
- sprouts, $1.99
- organic field mix (for the tortoise), 60 cents
- five pounds white potatoes, $1.99
Monday night I had chicken planned for dinner as I bought some "on special" chicken that needed to be consumed... but my mother-in-law made a huge pot of vegetable soup, so the chicken went in the freezer.
I had some of the soup yesterday for lunch with some crumbled up Gorgonzola crackers from Aldis.
Then for dinner, since my daughter had Girl Scouts and I had night class, we made the Wegmans florentine ravioli. One bag was barely enough for us for dinner, but the flavor was delicious. You could taste the spinach and the cheese. It was surprising how distinct the flavors were.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Neither she nor I tasted a difference, though I want to say that the apple flavor was more intense. It irks me that so many products made with fruit have no much sugar added to them. Like popsicles. Because fruit is naturally sweet, why all the sugar? And canned fruit packed in heavy syrup. I find that gross.
(Though sometimes I use that kind of fruit for my tarte tartin, and I simply use the syrup to make the sugar syrup without adding sugar.)
Okay, end of rant.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I have a small loaf of my homemade multigrain baquette in the oven thawing from the freezer... My daughter is arranging a platter of fresh veggies... I have French butter on the table and a nice place setting...
I have four thin boneless pork chops, that I breaded in a mix of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, seasonings from the spinach rigatoni from Aldi, four color peppercorn. I warmed some extra virgin olive oil in the skillet, with two shredded leaves of fresh sage and about two teaspoons of oregano. I cooked the prokchops over medium, for four minutes on each side. Then I put them in the oven with the bread to keep them warm.
Meanwhile, I have my daughter making some pepper ranch dip (for the veggies) Two teaspoons sour cream with an equal amount of ranch dressing, and some fresh ground four-pepper.
Now for the appetizer... I'm going to cook some veggie bacon and some dates in a bit of olive oil, then wrap them and put them in the oven. Debating whether or not to put some cream cheese in the dates first...
Okay... what I wrote before this point was written while cooking, so let's try to organize our thoughts better and present everything in a more manageable fashion.
First course: 'Bacon'-Wrapped Dates
Inspired by Gayle
- Six dates, in this case sliced in half. I used pitted dates from Aldi's that weren't exactly fresh, but they weren't exactly dried either
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices Morningstar Vegetarian bacon
- About 3 teaspoons Neufchâtel or Cream cheese
These turned out fantastic. (On the bottom shelf in the oven.)
Second course: Crudités with tangy ranch dip
Using up leftover vegetables my mother-in-law brought Wednesday
In this case some broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red pepper and green pepper
Ingredients for dip (combine and serve):
- About two teaspoons sour cream
- About two teaspoons ranch dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground four color peppercorns
- about 3/4 teaspoon It's a Dilly
Ingredients for the pork (photo on top):
- Four thin boneless pork chops
- About 1 cup breadcrumbs
- About 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper from four-color peppercorns
- About 1/8 cup seasoning from the spinach rigatoni I buy at Aldi (it's cheese and Italian seasoning mostly)
- One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- One tablespoon butter
- 2 leaves fresh sage, shredded
- About three teaspoons fresh oregano
For the vegetables:
I cooked the pork first and kept in hot in the oven. Then I wiped the pan and prepared the appetizers. Without cleaning the pan again, I dropped half a can of corn in (leftover from last night's casserole) and the rest of a bag of frozen French cut greenbeans. Cooked in the pan until warm.
For the bread:
I think this was the batch... http://angelfoodcooking.blogspot.com/2010/01/multigrain-dill-bread.html
Blueberry bread pudding (from the freezer) with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I don't even know how I could have not updated this since Tuesday... Last night we had a 50% off coupon for our favorite Mexican restaurant, so today we had leftovers for lunch and fruity fred for breakfast. Somewhere on my camera, I have photos of Wednesday night's dinner which was Light Life Vegetarian stir-fry beef, sautéed in olive oil and soy sauce, sprinkled with oriental five spice and rolled into a warm wrap. With a side of fresh vegetables with dippings...
Now, I'm cooking some tator tots and I'm going to place them in a greased bread pan. I'm going to layer some thawed French cut green beans on top, with a hint of four-color pepper, and pour some Aldi brand Italian blend steam-in-bag vegetables with herb sauce.
Debating whether to add corn for sweetness...
I will probably add some crumbled boca burger for protein and cook it like a casserole. My family will love it.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I am so disappointed that I got yogurt products with artificial sweeteners. I think they taste nasty and I don't approve of putting those chemicals into my daughter's body. I try not to make foods that have preservatives, so why I earth would I approve of artificial sweetener?
My daughter is calling this trail yogurt, because I compared it to trail mix. Since we had eggs and sausage an hour ago, I had to find a hearty snack that would tide my daughter through kindergarten.
So, I made a yogurt platter. Which she mixed everything into her vanilla yogurt:
- blueberries, from the freezer, and the juice
- rainbow sprinkles
- chopped dates
- graham cracker
- one oreo cookie
My daughter woke up starved this morning and helped herself to a Nature Valley granola bar. This meant she had no interest in breakfast, so we started a school project instead of eating.
At nearly 10, I realized I was dangerously starving so I made us both scrambled eggs with parsley and the leftover chicken-apple sausage from Trader Joes.
Lunch will be leftover pasta, and dinner depends on whether or not my daughter has girl scouts. My thoughts are vegetarian cheese steak wraps, blueberry pancakes, or parmesan-herb breaded pork with a side of fresh mango and steamed veggies...
Last night, I had three meals in mind. But, since my husband got home from work first, he whipped up his famous Daddy Pasta for an Army. He makes more than a pound of pasta, because he thinks it will make good lunches to take to work.
In this case, he made a huge quantity of wheat pasta with red sauce, peas and vegan Boca burger.
The sauce, as usual, is the cheap cans of plain tomato sauce with his special seasoning added.