Thursday, December 10, 2015

Best salad ever

I self-destruct at Christmas. Part of it is due to working retail. Part of it is complex.

But I refuse to shop in December. Even for groceries. I believe my quote was "I'll live off tuna and chocolate chip cookies until January. Or gnaw off my own flesh."

After one annoying mishap after another, I ended up in the grocery store trying to buy the ingredients for a salad. I didn't get my salad until 7 p.m. At that point, my blood sugar was dropping but I managed to do this:

I took some diced chicken, sesame seeds and cashews and sautéed them stir-fry style (high heat, quickly dashing across the pan) in a few drops sesame oil and about a teaspoon or two of teriyaki sauce.

For the salad base I used an iceberg lettuce mix with some endive added, and lots of carrot ribbons. I sprinkled this with Brianna's strawberry champagne vinaigrette dressing. 

Added mandarin oranges, water chestnuts and red raspberries.

Tossed. And topped with generous amounts of the chicken mix.

Ate from a bowl the size of my head.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tikka masala

I started with a recipe from Epicurious but as usual didn't have the ingredients. So I made something that could have easily turned out to be cream of tomato soup.

It plated beautifully.

Step one:
Prep chicken. 

I used a 2 1/2 pound family pack of chicken breasts, beat with the bottom of a Le Creuset saucepan.

I poked holes in them with a fork and marinated them in a sauce of approximately:

- 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
-  1 tablespoon oil
- garlic powder, about 1 tablespoon
- juice of one lemon

In a saucepan I sautéed:
- one tablespoon dehydrated garlic
- one tablespoon butter
- two tablespoons paprika 
- two teaspoons cumin
- one teaspoon cardamom
- one-half teaspoon nutmeg
- one pinch hot Indian paprika
- one tablespoon diced candied ginger
- black pepper 

I added:
- about one cup water
- about one cup half and half
- about one-half cup tomato sauce

I let that boil and reduced to a simmer while I cooked and diced the chicken.

Then I added three colors of peppers, cauliflower and peas to the sauce.

When that warmed I added it to the skillet:

It was very mild. I could have doubled the spices I think. But delightful on this cold day.

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