Monday, May 31, 2010


I am going on vacation. I don't know how much time I will have on the road for cooking and blogging. I know that from here on out I will be clearing out my fridge, so there will not be much in the way of new and exciting recipes. I am more than a little bummed that I will not get to share some of my summertime recipes with you...spring rolls, vegetarian sushi, pasta salad....sigh. I will also miss hearing from all of you on a regular basis. There is something so nifty about being connected by food blog, eating a meal in Georgia, that your friend in Oregon prepared last week. All discovering a new seasonal veg at the same time, and each coming up with our own variation on it. It's pretty dang cool.

All that to say, don't expect too much for the next few months in the way of recipes. I may get in the time to do some "eating healthy on the road" sort of stuff. My Father has kindly suggested that I post old family recipes in the interim......Great grandma Juanita's famous menudo anyone? I won't tell you what I kindly suggested back to him. :)

So sorry about the break from the norm. I promise to get back to posting recipes in the fall, as long as you all promise to come back to read them. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Coconut Ginger Rice with Crispy Fried Shallots

My Husband wanted me to make this for a potluck that his work is having....I wanted to make pasta salad. We have a jar of mayo in the fridge (no clue why, I just work here), and I'd like to get rid of it because little man is allergic. My thought is...people like mayonnaise. If I make a pasta salad, people will eat it, the mayonnaise will be gone, and all will be right with the world once more.

But my husband looked at me with those eyes that said, " I am really excited about this* dish." So I gave in. I won't be there to see the polite, yet inquisitive faces when he sets down a large bowl of rice and lentils, so I don't have to know how it is received. I will be at home chowing down on some leftovers and watching "13 going on 30" in peace.

This decision however posed another I make it to suit my own taste? Should I tone down the spices for a more mellow flavor that would be pleasing to the masses? Or do I kick it up a notch and wait for the leftovers to come back to me. I decided to compromise at about halfway. Feel free to adjust it to suit your tastes.

I really enjoy this recipe, and so do the kiddos. The coconut milk is full of fat and calories that are super good for their little growing bodies. I usually take a smaller portion for myself, and load up with a big side of steamed veggies. It's all about moderation, don't ya know.

Also important to note, the crispy fried shallots make an excellent topper on steamed veggies! It's the crunch of a breadcrumb, the taste of an onion ring, all without the gluten!

What you need

1 can coconut milk
2 tbs plus one tsp minced ginger from a jar
6 cloves garlic peeled and pressed
2 tbs sugar
cayenne to taste
2 dashes nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 rice cooker cups rice
1 rice cooker cup lentils (rinsed well, drained, and sorted as always)
more salt
rice cooker

more salt

Whisk together the first seven ingredients in a bowl.

Add the rice and lentils to your rice cooker, and pour the coconut mixture over the top. Add broth up to the liquid line required for four cups of rice.

Press down the lever and walk away.

Meanwhile in the frying pan.....

Heat your oil over medium heat and thinly slice your shallots.

Carefully add the shallots to your hot oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Cook until crispy, flipping once. For me it took about 3 minutes on each side, but it may take longer depending on how your stove thin you slice...etc.

Remove shallots with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel (preferably out of reach of the hubster, trust me it makes a difference) taste, and add more salt if desired

At some point your rice cooker will tell you it is done. At this point you should walk over and find out if it's a lying sissy la la or not. You will be able to tell by...
1.) the liquid will be gone
2.) the taste test, it should be the right texture............................................


Mine was not done...grrr....slam down the cook button and show that rice cooker who's boss. If it makes you feel better you can mutter under your breath, "I'll tell you when you're done". When your rice cooker is really and truly done, dump the contents into your serving bowl, season with salt to taste, fluff, and sprinkle shallots over the top as garnish.

*I was going to say, "look at me getting all fancy here with the italics and stuff. Don't worry it took me about twenty minutes to figure out how to do that, and switch it back. I'm not getting all high tech on you". Then I hit publish and totally forgot about my little asterisk friend for about 24 hours...oops....ya high tech editing is at the bottom of my list of stuff to improve on. How bout I focus on finishing my blog once and a while.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's in your freezer?

I think that about 80% * of healthy eating is planning for healthy eating. And part of that planning is knowing what to do when your plans fall through. I've mentioned before that freezer meals have saved the day for me on a number of occasions. I would love to amp up the variety in my freezer, and that is where you come into the picture. Currently I have flautas, chili, rhubarb (thanks for the help Toni), muffins, whole wheat sourdough biscuits, black bean burgers, beans, and an assortment of frozen veggies.

What is in your freezer? What is your favorite meal to freeze?

P.S. I promise to get a recipe up for my black bean burgers soon. I just threw away the bag that the beans came in, so I have to go to the store and figure out what size it was....what can I say, I'm not always super organized. :)

*Also interesting to note, about 37.5% of statistics are made up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

For as fancy as this sounds, the thought process that led me to it was rather simple. First I looked in my fridge to see what we had on hand, then I checked to see which measuring cups were clean. I could lie to you and say that I was trying to achieve a balance between the saltiness of the tomatoes and the sweet cherry notes of the pinot noir....but no, it was more like "Hey look Portobello mushrooms, I bet I have something in my fridge that will make those taste good....and look here, I have a tbs measure that isn't dirty, let's use that.

For the Marinade
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 tbs red wine
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs prepared mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cloves peeled and pressed garlic

Clean and degill* four mushrooms and place them in a baking dish. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours turning once. I left mine in all day, yum!

For the sauce

1 package (3.5 oz) sun dried tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 15oz can of tomato sauce

Put the garlic, oil, wine, and tomatoes in your food processor. Process until smoothish and start adding sauce. Once all the ingredients are in there, and you are certain you don't have any large chunks of garlic left you are done.

Now let us put it all together.....

Grill the mushrooms until desired doneness.

Heat the sauce in a saucepan over medium low heat until cooked through. Stir occasionally.

Pour sauce over mushrooms and serve.

This was delish! I added smoked Gouda to the hubsters portion (pictured). I thought the sauce was a tad salty, hubster disagreed....but he likes food super salty. I would suggest using no salt added tomato sauce, and adding more salt as you see fit.

*I don't know if degill is a word, the wavy red lines of doom are indicating to me that is in fact not. But what I mean by degill is take your paring knife and carefully scrape all of those black gilly type things out of the inside of the mushroom.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Smokey Chipotle Black Bean Burger

This is a OAMC recipe. I made these sort of assembly line style and it took a good bit of time, but it was worth it for us because now i have a ton of veggie burgers in my freezer that make quick and filling dinners. It only took a little bit of effort for each part of the process, but it can look a bit daunting when you put it all together.

I soaked the beans the night before, then first thing in the morning I drained and rinsed them. Then I set them to boil while I chopped up my onions, garlic, and measured out my spices in a bowl. I added the onion and bay leaf, and then I made breakfast for the kids. Thirty minutes later, when the timer went off I just dumped the garlic and bowl of spices in. Then I got the kids dressed and thirty minutes later when the timer went off again I tasted them, removed the bay leaves, and turned off the heat. I let the beans cool a bit then I pureed them up with the rest of the ingredients to make my veggie burger "dough". That went into the fridge until I was ready to turn it into patties.

You could probably cut this recipe in half and try it out before you commit to a freezer full of bean burgers.

For the beans
One pound beans rinsed sorted and soaked overnight...then rinsed again.
2 onions diced
2 bay leaves
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cumin

In a large pot combine the beans, onion and salt. Add water just to cover, and toss in the bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for thirty minutes and add the spices and garlic. Set the timer for 15 minutes and check beans. Mine took about an hour total to cook.

Remove bay leaves. Let beans cool.

If there is excessive liquid skim it off...a tiny bit of liquid is ok. You don't want it pooling, or for the beans to be submerged. The more liquid you have the more breadcrumbs you will need though. turn these babies into burgers....

1/2-2 chipotle chilis in adobo....start with 1/2 and you can always add more. And remember what I always say, you can never have too much spice....unless it's in your eyes, then pretty much any amount is too much.
2 baked potatoes skins removed
1/4 cup tomato sauce
Bread crumbs, the amount you need will vary depending on how much cooking liquid you had, how big your baked potatoes were...etc. I believe I may have used about 3 cups. What you are looking for is the texture of cookie dough so stop when you get there...
Salt to taste.
Liquid smoke to me, this stuff is the bomb diggity! Get some! Use it, love it, thank me later...don't be discouraged from buying it just because I still use early nineties catch phrases like "the bomb diggity".

Process 3/4 of the beans, the potatoes, tomato sauce, and the chipotle in your food processor until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.

Stir in the rest of the beans, and the breadcrumbs until your mixture is very thick and holds it's shape well. Add salt, pepper and liquid smoke to taste, cover and refrigerate.

When you are ready to grill, just shape the dough into patties and grill, bake or fry them up. I served them on homemade bread with mozzarella and avocado! Yum! I froze the leftover burgers. They did well reheated.

More tips on veggie burger making.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Veggie Burger Tips

There are so many advantages to making your own veggie burgers, you control the sodium, flavorings, ingredients, and texture. Also, if you happen to be avoiding soy, making your own is the way to go!
I have had some pretty epic fails in cooking. Mostly in the area of baking, but veggie burgers have proven to be a formidable opponent. I have learned a few things through my failures and I would like to share them with you.

First of all, all of my great successes have involved a food processor. They enable me to puree the beans to actually act as a binder in my burgers. If you don't have a food processor you should go get one, or borrow one.

The dough or batter (or whatever) should have a dense, thick consistency, like cookie dough....mmmmm cookies...,dagnabbit now I want a cookie.
Be right back.......

Thirdly, chill your dough! I find it's best to make veggie burgers in big batches. I do it on a scheduled day that I don't have much else going on. I make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge. It gives the flavors a chance to blend, and I have an easier time shaping the patties.

The dough should be easy to shape into patties. If it is falling apart in your hand it will fall apart on the grill.

After taking this picture I allowed myself a few minutes to snicker about how it looks like I'm holding a doodie. I will allow you the same....have I mentioned how mature I am? Are we all done then? Good.

Last but not least, you want your grill, or frying pan hot when you put the patties on.

I hope this helps some. Pictured in these photos are some smokey chipotle black bean burgers, I will hopefully be getting around to putting a recipe up sometime later this week. It's a OAMC recipe so if you are wary of veggie burgers I would suggest trying it (or another recipe) in small batches. See what you and your family like. Then if you have a couple of hours that you can set aside, make the whole recipe to keep in the freezer for quick meals.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grilled Asparagus Sandwich...

This is a grilled asparagus sandwich with garlic-ginger butter mozzarella and balsamic vinegar....but really that is much too long of a title for a blog, so "grilled asparagus sandwich" it is! This is my consolation for my husband never being home. He works very long hours, on a good day (that he is working) I might see him for three hours. On a bad day I "see" him for about twenty minutes, which is usually long enough for him to do crowd control so that I can take a shower. Some days, though we live together, I don't even see him at all. And today...on his day off...he is working at the local food bank. Have I mentioned my husband is Ahhhmazing? I try not to complain, because really it could be worse. He is here, living with me, and about once or twice a year we go on a daaa, deeeeeee, diiiiii....what's that word again...oh yes a "date".

Also it's hard to feel bitter and angry when your husband is defending our freedom while at work, and feeding the hungry in his time off. In an effort to dwell on the positive I have compiled a small list of things that are good about his absences. One would be how grateful we are after a long week apart, one would be watching chick flicks and other such movies that would normally provoke groans, sighs, and him eventually changing the netflix password....again.
Lastly, this sandwich. My husband doesn't like asparagus....

....or so I thought...
...until I wrote this blog...and read it to him.
And he said, "No honey, I like asparagus"...
So I must have been confused, which I must confess isn't too surprising.

For the sake of believing that this sandwich is another tally on the "things that I enjoy while the hubster is away" list, I am going to pretend he never said that. You can too...
that's really not a suggestion.

I grilled the asparagus, brushed it with olive oil, and sprinkled it with salt about half way through.
I Spread some garlic-ginger butter on ciabatta bread, added slices of mozzarella cheese. Once the asparagus was fully cooked I added it to the sandwich...*...drizzled balsamic vinegar over the whole thing, and took a really bad picture with my cell phone.
It was delicious!

* insert: arranged the bread so you can't tell that I burned the heck out of it

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garlic Ginger Butter

This is the story
of a stick of butter
and a boy who was hungry for a snack
So his Daddy handed him a stick of butter
And this is what it looked like when his Mommy snatched it back

Well if you aren't hungry now, I just don't know what I can do to tempt you further. I am most certainly a fan of butter. However, I am not as big of a fan as my son. Eating it plain, now that's devotion. I am sure it means he will be the next Julia Child or something equally grand....

I am not going to suggest you try eating plain butter, but I HIGHLY (see the caps, that's huge for me) suggest you try this recipe. It's four little ingredients, but it's big on taste. The ginger transforms the garlic butter (a favorite condiment of mine) into something with a little lighter and more refreshing taste. This was fabulous as a dip for artichoke and grilled asparagus spears. I suspect it would be just as nummy on steamed broccoli or a crusty bread.

If you like strong flavors (the hubster and I do) you can add an extra garlic clove and an extra 1/4 tsp ginger. As written though, I believe it would be suitable for most people who do not wish to go around smelling like Gilroy.

1/2 cup butter softened
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
Salt to taste (I used a little under 1/4 tsp)

Mix together the first three ingredients and add salt to taste....what have you got to lose?? Go try it now!

I'm comin' out....

hullo there

If I were nifty and technocapable you would now be listening to "I'm Coming Out", by the lovely Miss Diana Ross. Sadly, I am only nifty and indeed very far from technocapable.* So I'd like everyone to take a moment to get the song good and stuck in their head before we move on. shall we.....

I'm coming out. I want the world to know.....

good...we all there yet? Now just keep that as sort of a background noise while we continue.

Yes there are changes a coming for my blog, and the first step is to put a face to my posts........that doesn't sound right at all. So in addition to masses and masses of cell phone food pics, you now behold before you the obligatory "here I am with my head turned slightly to the side, and yes I took this by meself" cell phone picture. I may even get up the guts to tell my family and friends I have a blog. I am also working on a (for real this time) welcome to my I know you are on the edge of your seat with anticipation, don't even try to hide it.

Stay tuned for more food blogs. I promise I haven't run out of recipes. I have just run out of energy what with all the germs we have been swapping around the house lately.

*I am however quite adept at making up words when the mood strikes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rest in rice cooker

Today is a very sad day. Today marks the end of my Rival rice cooker. I loved my Rival rice cooker. I have had it for about two years, but because we used it every other day (if not every day) I am sure we got about ten years of normal people use out of the thing. For fifteen bucks you really can't ask for much more. Yes those Rival rice cookers are quite the deal. And it didn't even really break, I just managed to scratch the non-stick surface with my

OK, so I am saying "Rival rice cooker" a lot, I know. I am not going to lie. I not so secretly hope they send me a free could happen. But in all seriousness, I am very disappointed. And in the event that I don't receive a package of free goodies from Rival I will go out and buy a new one....from a store...sigh. Because I had big plans for my rice cooker, she and I were going to hit the road together...see the world (or at least California). "Rice Cooker on the Road"....ya, we could have been famous.

It really makes perfect sense to take a rice cooker on the road when you think about it. Rice travels well, you can mix in other non perishable items like lentils and boxed veggie broth to make healthy meals where ever you go. Plus rice cookers are easy clean up, and my Rival even steamed veggies! I'm done plugging Rival....for now. But maybe if you all click on one of the several links I have provided the people down at Rival will be like "Whoa, look at this out of 5,000 visits today six were from this blog". Then they will come to my blog and be blown away by my wit and charm. And then they will have to send me a new rice cooker....


P.S. My camera broke so.....Cannon....hey a girl can dream

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An acceptable use of flour tortillas

You may remember this post, where I mentioned that we don't buy flour tortillas with the exception of burrito and chimichanga use, or in the case of cooking for company. Well company is coming, and included in that are two beautiful (but picky) little girls, and one slightly less picky man. In the interest of planning ahead I decided to make and freeze some flautas so we will have a couple of quick meals to eat while they are here. Hopefully they will go over well, and I will lose my reputation as the aunt that makes the "weird food". So here is a recipe for not weird baked vegetarian flautas that you can make and freeze should you wish. If you like things spicy consider adding some salsa to the mix.

Totally Not Weird Flautas

1 block of cream cheese softened
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of green chilis
garlic salt, salt, cayenne and pepper to taste
Flour tortillas (ten pack)

Mix together the first 3 ingredients and add seasoning to taste.

Divide the filling evenly between the tortillas, placing it in the center of the tortilla.

Roll up tortilla and place flap side down on a baking dish. Bake at 375 for about fifteen minutes, or until tortilla becomes crispy at the edges.

If you wish to freeze these put them on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer to freeze individually first. Once frozen you can bag them and tag them. Errr that is put them in one labeled Ziploc freezer bag.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chickpea Pot Pie

Sorry about the lack of pictures, I promise to get in a whole slew of them once I can figure out how to get them from my phone to my computer....Now you have to ask yourself, which is better, no pictures, or a slew of cell phone pictures. I will leave you to decide weather or not you want to check back and see about those.
This was yummy! The sauce was a little thick/non existent. Mostly because I second guessed myself and added two extra tablespoons of flour. It's pretty much just chicken pot pie, but with chickpeas, and instead of a crust I used drop biscuits. It's a pantry meal so adjust it to whatever you have on hand. Since it has vegetables, protein, and grains, there was no need to make any side dishes to go with it. And we had leftovers for lunch the next day. /happy dance

For the biscuits
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil

Mix together the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients all at once. Stir to combine. Set aside.

For the filling
2 cups of chickpeas
2 cups of frozen veg (I used a mixture of peas and spinach)
2 potatoes diced
olive oil
2 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp seasoning salt divided
1/4 tsp pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour 1/4 tsp seasoning salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two or until the floury taste is gone. Pour in the milk all at once, whisking as you go. Heat through. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile pan fry the potatoes in olive oil until golden brown and add salt to taste.

Pour frozen veggies, potatoes, and chickpeas into a greased casserole dish. Pour sauce over the top, and drop biscuit dough in rows over the top of the veg mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes or until biscuits are done, and the filling is bubbly.

Here is the aforementioned slew....
Note the negative space, the contrasting colors....

The shadow of my elbow...
oooooh aaaaahhh

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saffron Rice with Lentils and Garlic Butter

The good news is I found my camera...the bad news is that it wasn't before I took this picture.
This was yummy. I'd like to say we all enjoyed heaping bowls of this round the dinner table, but that would be a lie. The truth is that my darling son woke up early from nap time, and he woke up hungry. And consequently he ate 3 adult size bowls of this, the result being that there was little left for the rest of us to eat. So I will definitely be using this as a side dish next time. Maybe along side some grilled veggies. If you don't have saffron, I'm not going to say you should go out and buy some just for this recipe, as it is very expensive. However, should you happen to have a bit left over from another recipe, or if you just love saffron rice as much as I do I think this is a good place to use it. I made this in my rice cooker......what's that, you don't have a rice cooker? Well go get one, no seriously, they are awesome.

What you need for the rice
1 1/2 rice cooker cups of rice
1 1/2 rice cooker cups of lentils rinsed and sorted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 pinches of saffron
1 tbs butter
3 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped

What you need for the garlic butter
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
Pressed garlic (I used 4 cloves) and salt (I used about 1/4 tsp) to taste.

Add the rice, lentils,salt, pepper, chopped garlic, butter, and saffron to your rice cooker. Add broth to the fill line required by your rice cooker for 3 rice cooker cups of rice. Cook. :)

Mix together the remaining garlic, butter, and salt to taste. Top your saffron rice with this mixture as desired. I think this would have been outstanding with a few tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs. Maybe next time.

To veganize simply replace butter with vegan "butter".

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vegan Malai Kofta.....kinda

Who loves a cell phone of hands? Alright then. This lovely dish is what we had for dinner tonight, and I gotta tell you it knocked my socks off. Malai Kofta is a dish made of... you guessed it unmeatballs (I know that is kind of becoming my thing) and a creamy sauce. Well traditionally they are packed with nuts and raisins, and all sorts of things my kiddos are allergic too. So this is my version, without the allergens, and packed full of chickpeas instead of cheese so they are vegan. They are great for a celebration, or special evening. You can make the unmeatballs a day ahead of time and cook them up when you are ready to make the sauce. Great served over rice, this recipe is also gluten free (be sure to check your ingredients).

For the unmeatballs
1lb bag of chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked according to package directions
3 baked potatoes with the skins removed
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
cayenne to taste

Heat the oil over medium low heat and add the garlic, salt, and spices. Cook for two minutes or until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic. then remove from heat.

Puree the chickpeas until smooth in your food processor and pour into a large bowl.

Mash in the potatoes and the spice/oil mixture until well combined. Taste, and add salt and cayenne as desired.

Shape into balls and refrigerate until ready to cook.

For the sauce

2tbs olive oil
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
cayenne to taste
1/4 tsp salt (or more, the amount you need will depend on the saltiness of your tomato sauce, I'm erring on the side of caution here. You are welcome to add more salt)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 cup of coconut milk

Heat the olive oil over medium low heat and add the garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add the spices and salt all at once. Add a dash of cayenne (you may add more later for more spice). Cook for another minute or two while stirring.

Add the tomato sauce, (lower the heat if your stove runs hot, mine does :) tomato sauce burns quickly) and stir in the coconut milk.

Heat just to a simmer (not boiling) and lower heat. Cook for about five minutes and add salt, and more cayenne to desired spicyness. *

Pour sauce over unmeatballs...enjoy! :)

Little man ate 5 of these over rice. Big man had about that many too, and would have had more, but he was saving room for pie. My darling girl only ate one, and some rice, it seems she was saving room for pie as well.

*Did you know that spicyness isn't a word?? A fact my spell check keeps trying to inform me of. That can't be right.....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spicy BBQ Tempeh Sandwich and Garlic oven Fries

This was my Mother's Day special dinner.....that I made for myself. I had a wonderful Mother's day, unlike my birthday the celebration of being a Mama is one I can truly get excited about. I am so thankful to have my two little ones in my life, they bring me so much joy and I love watching them grow.

I awoke in the morning to coffee and cards made by my dear little ones (with some help from Daddy). Inside he had captured everything that they had wanted to say to me, from my son....
"Mine, Mine, color, Mama, Mama, all done"
and just a small excerpt from my daughters card
"I love my Mommy because she makes me think of love, and wiggling my fingers".
She is such her Mother's daughter, I too love wiggling my fingers. :)
When Daddy asked what she thought I wanted for Mother's day there was no hesitation at all, "A sock puppet!" she proudly exclaimed. And sock puppets are what I got. Made with love by my beautiful unique little girl.

Anyhoo back to the meal. I didn't really measure, so I can't give you a real recipe. However if you are familiar with cooking and like to fuss around a bit with recipes anyway, I can give you the gist of this.

For the tempeh, I sliced it and pan fried it in some pam, turning once until it was golden brown. Then I added a mixture of BBQ sauce, hot sauce, and cayenne, lowered the heat, and let the sauce reduce and be absorbed by the tempeh.
I sliced the ciabatta bread. Then I brushed it with garlic butter, added mozzarella cheese and toasted it, before adding the spinach and tempeh.

The oven fries are simply sliced and roasted potatoes until golden brown or until you are so hungry you can't stand it anymore....check out my picture and see if you can figure out which one I did. :) Then tossed with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then sprinkled with parmesean cheese.

I think this is a wonderful introduction to tempeh, if you have never had it before....well and if you like BBQ sauce.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cilantro and Ginger Rice with Chickpeas (late night snack)

Since about February I have been working out.... a lot. And so far the main difference I've seen is that my rings are loose......but my pants are still tight. You do realize what that means right? All of my weight is redistributing from my hands to my aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. Not quite fair if you ask me, the point being that the hubster and I went to the gym tonight and when we got home, after feeding, dressing, changing, and putting the kiddos to bed we found ourselves HUNGRY. In need of some good fuel for our bodies (and apparently mainly my...back to the point) I thought I'd whip up a sauce that go over some chickpeas and rice that we already had on hand.


1 cup cilantro washed very thoroughly
2 cups spinach ditto
3 cloves peeled garlic
3 tbs olive oil
3 tsp vinegar of your choice
3 tsp minced ginger
1tsp honey (or more to taste, some vinegars might be sweeter than others requiring less to balance the acidic taste)

Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Everything except the salt, pepper, and cayenne, goes into the food processor until smooth. Add salt pepper and cayenne to taste. Spoon over rice and chickpeas. Super simple, super good.

In other fantastic news little man's sweat test (test for cystic fibrosis) came back normal! :)
/happy dance

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some Thoughts (not recipes)

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD...."
1 Samuel 1:26-27

WARNING: Dragging out the soap box, messages of love and hope, and a boating analogy are contained in this blog.

I don't know much about boats, I have been on a couple cruises. I could tell you that boats go on the water, they have sails, and decks, and I can even name a few movies that have boats in them. And if you give me some pretzels and cheese, I can make this.....

which resembles an actual boat. But that's where my knowledge ends, so keeping that in mind bear with me as I continue to give a boat analogy using my limited knowledge on the subject.

On the cruises I have gone on I am aware that I am on a large boat. I'm thankful for the buffets, the constant provision of food, and enjoyment. I know that if I pick up the phone to order room service there will be someone on the other line, and my needs will be met.

I have never been at sea during a storm, though I imagine this would be a whole new level of awareness and knowledge. In a storm I would learn things about that ship that I probably wouldn't notice otherwise, and be thankful for other aspects of the ship. The awning that I once ate my lunch beneath would be a shelter from the rain. You can bet I would be finding footholds and places for my hands to grasp. I would be thankful for the life jackets and radios that would help me make it through the storm. And even though I don't know how all those ropes and pulleys and navigational equipment work....they would work none the less.

It has been rough to go through these medical tests with little man. As a Mom my first instinct is to wonder if I did something wrong, should I have noticed a symptom sooner, did I fail to recognize an allergic reaction to a food, or miss a day of vitamins rendering him anemic for my brain it could happen. The waiting is what I thought would be the hardest part, but in it I am learning new aspects of my wonderful God.

In summery

Boat = God
Storm = Life
God = Shelter from the storm
God = Good

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vegetarian Cinco de Mayo

This soup was a hit with everyone. It had crispy strips of fried corn tortilla, chickpeas, onion, garlic, refreshing cilantro....and oh yes, did I mention these......

Spicy un-meatballs anyone? I know, I've been on an unmeatball kick lately. I can't help it, they are so versatile, easy to eat, and a great way to pack my kids food with veggies that would otherwise be vetoed for texture reasons like spinach and eggplant.

Spicy un-meatballs

2 cups chickpeas
1 block of cream cheese
1/2 cup salsa (divided)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup of COOKED brown rice
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup or less bread crumbs
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Tabasco and cayenne to taste

Defrost and drain the spinach. While the spinach is defrosting mix the chickpeas, 1/4 cup salsa, cream cheese, and garlic in your food processor until well blended. Pour into a large mixing bowl
and add the rest of the salsa, rice, pepper, drained spinach, cheese, cilantro, Tabasco, and ground cayenne. Stir and add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture becomes a doughy consistency that can easily be shaped. Form into balls and chill (I made these a day ahead of time)....fry those suckers up in some olive (the kind that says "for high heat cooking") until they are golden brown. Or bake them.
Serve over rice or in tortilla soup!

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
1 Onion Diced
1 cup chickpeas
2 cups frozen corn
2 cloves of garlic sliced
2 tsp chili powder
dash o' cayenne
olive oil
1 batch of spicy unmeatballs
corn tortillas cut into strips
4 cups stock or broth of whatever kind suits your fancy.
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat about 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot, add the onions and cook until they are tender. Add the corn, chickpeas, garlic, spices, and cook for two more minutes stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring soup to a simmer. Meanwhile fry strips of tortilla until crispy, and place on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Once soup is simmering and cooked through add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tortilla strips, and unmeatballs to individual servings along with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or any other toppings you desire. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Waffles (egg free)

Happy Monday!! Our week has been kind of crazy. We have been back and forth at the doctors trying to figure out why little man is so...well...little. His sissy eats the same types of food (less even with her sensory issues) and has never had problems with her iron or sodium levels like he does, so that left us perplexed and referred to about a bijilion specialists. The doctors all agree that he has allergies to food, but what that food is, and whether that is the only problem is being debated. So this week we go in for his second round of testing for Cystic Fibrosis.....which has nothing to do with waffles...and really not much to do with food at all. I just felt like sharing.

I really enjoyed these waffles, they weren't as light and fluffy as you would expect from a waffle made with eggs. However, given the choice between these and no waffles at all....I would definitely take these.

Also completely unrelated, Mother's day is coming up....................hunny.....

The dry ingredients
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom

The wet ingredients
3/4 cup pumpkin
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

In one bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Follow the directions on your waffle iron for some super yummy waffles. Fight the urge to make these every day. Seriously, we've had these twice already.
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