Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

We Tried the Beyond Burger

After trying Home Chef, I decided instead I would splurge and try things from the upscale grocery store and local health food store.  We tried the Beyond Burger, the one that has beet juice to mimic “bleeding,” that costs around $5.99 for 2 patties.  I wonder how much of the price goes to packaging for just 2 burgers.  Pretty fancy.

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I cooked them per instruction, 3 minutes a side, and checked that the temperature made it to ast least 165F.

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Served on a thin bun with lettuce, tomatoes, Just Mayo, avocado and pickled jalapenos.  The patty kept a red hue even after cooking.

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I tried squeezing it to see if it would “bleed” but maybe I overcooked it.

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It was definitely moist, but I think mainly because this thing is greasy.  Oils are the 2nd, 3rd and 9th ingredients.  The patties also felt greasy and after cooking the kitchen smelled like grease even though I had the fan on.

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The burger tastes good, though.  I liked that it wasn’t overly salty (450 mg of sodium) and that it is a thicker patty than most veggie burgers.  It was fun to try this much-hyped about burger but I don’t think I would buy it again, mostly because of the grease.

 

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Meatless Monday – Sopes

I tried Mexican sopes in the air fryer tonight.  I just realized I didn’t take a picture of the finished dish!  Oh well.

Sopes start as small tortillas made from masa, cooked on a griddle.  They’re made a little thicker, and when cool enough to handle, the edges are pinched up (sort of like crimping pie crust).

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I filled them with refried beans, roasted veggies (sweet potato, green pepper, onion and jalapeno) and topped with cheese and salsa.   I put them in the air fryer for a few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp them up a little.

The filling was good but I did not like the masa.  I used Quaker brand.  Even after cooking I thought it had a raw flavor and I just did not like the way it tasted.  I’ll have to try a different brand.

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Spiralizer

I’ve been looking at spiralizers online and found an OXO one that got good reviews but costs $39.  While grocery shopping today I found a Veggetti Pro for $9.88 at Walmart.  (It’s $19 on Amazon.)  I also found some green sriracha at Aldi.

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My first experiment was curly fries in the air fryer.  I’d say there is a learning curve to the gadget so I didn’t get all the strands evenly sized, which made some pieces brown faster than others.  I’m going to try potato “chips” this weekend.

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Tonight we had Chickpeas and Broccoli from the Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook.  I cooked the chickpeas earlier this week in the instant pot.  They’re mixed with a teaspoon each of oil and soy sauce, along with curry, pepper, and I added garam masala.  After they cooked a bit in the air fryer, I added broccoli and onions.  Everything went over basmati rice.  I find that the air fryer dries things out sometimes so I added a swirl of green sriracha and a dollop of yogurt.  I hadn’t been grocery shopping for about 2 weeks and had pretty much run out of fresh vegetables, which made this especially yummy.

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Happy National Hot Dog Day!

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We celebrated National Hot Dog Day with carrot dogs today!  I used Brand New Vegan’s recipe, which involves cooking the carrots, then marinating them in a soy sauce & vinegar mixture.  The recipe calls for liquid smoke, which I don’t like, so I substituted smoked paprika.  Sweet potato fries on the side added even more orange to the plate.

I wouldn’t say the carrot itself tasted like hotdog, but on a bun with the mustard, they did.  They are so much better than any tofu or faux meat rendition I’ve tried.  I want to try cooking them in the instant pot, as well as try using baby carrots and making “pigs in a blanket.”

The buns are homemade too, but not vegan.  The dough has water, flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and butter.  A lot better texture than the squishy store-bought kind.

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Meatless Monday – Eggplant Cutlets

Every time I go to Aldi, there is something new.  This time it was eggplant cutlets.  They come frozen, breaded, ready to bake.  I cooked them in the air fryer, then topped with some mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto (also from Aldi).  Instead of pasta we had “pizza fries” and mini sweet pepper rounds.

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I don’t know if it is from the humidity, but I’ve been feeling queasy the last few days.  Today was better and finally I felt like eating, so this was especially good.

I can’t wait to try making eggplant parmesan with the cutlets next.  They are a great shortcut.

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Meatless Monday – Soy Curls Tacos

Tonight we had tacos made from the “crumbs” at the bottom of a bag of soy curls.  I added the rehydrated bits to sauteed onion, pepper and garlic.  Seasoning was chili powder, cumin, and a shake of this and that.  I cooked the tacos in the air fryer for about 5 minutes, then added cheese and avocado.

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The bigger one is a flour tortilla and the smaller is corn.

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They were OK.  The filling needed more seasoning.  I think I’ll try making a sort of tamale pie with the leftover filling.  Corn on the side was seasoned with lime juice and chili powder.

I’m still trying recipes from the Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook.  Earlier this week we had Buffalo Cauliflower.  I made an Asian sauce instead of buffalo sauce, out of a tablespoon each of Mae Ploy, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce, thinned with a little water.

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They turned out crunchy!  Not as good as if they were fried but a nice change from plain roasted cauliflower.

 

 

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Meatless Monday – Mongolian Tofu

I tried one of the recipes from “The Vegan Air Fryer” cookbook I got a few weeks ago.  This was the first time I tried the method of cooking tofu in the air fryer, then simmering it in sauce for a few minutes.  I never did it before because I thought it would make it soggy.  On the other hand, sometimes foods turn out on the dry side and cooking it in sauce would “rehydrate” it.  I used the “Home Chef” method of roasting veggies in the oven (toaster oven here), while everything else cooks.  For the sauce I used leftover teriyaki sauce, with ingredients similar to the cookbook recipe.

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I like how the tofu turned out chewy and not dry.  Definitely will try this technique with other recipes.  Also, the sauce got sticky while it was simmering, which I like.

 

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Meatless Monday – Veggie Burgers and Crinkle Fries

We had Aldi veggie burgers for dinner tonight.  These had cheese and “grill flavor.”

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I had made jalapeno poppers the other day and they were too spicy to eat on their own.  I sliced one up and put it on the burger.   I finally remembered I had an avocado in the refrigerator so added that too.

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On the side of the plate is the new crinkle cutter I got from Amazon.  I made the fries in the airfryer.  I tried a tip of microwaving the potato first.  I did 2 1/2 minutes, rinsed under cool water then sliced.  Cooked in the air fryer at 392F for 20 minutes.  They were done at 15 minutes (those on the plate are 15 minutes) but I like mine well-done and did the rest for 20 minutes.  Microwaving the potato first made them crispier but also gave them a homefries taste.  I think I like cooking from raw better.

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Meatless Monday – Mushroom Tortelloni and Grits Fries

Tonight I managed to finish off some tomatoes I had frozen, tortelloni from Aldi that I hadn’t gotten around to cooking, plus try cheese grits “fries” in the air fryer.  I made the grits in the instant pot.  Love that you don’t worry about boiling over.  I added cheese then spread them in a loaf pan, refrigerated overnight.  At dinner-time I sliced into fry-sized sticks, lightly coated with olive oil and cooked in the air fryer.  I saw a recipe that had mayo mixed with Old Bay seasoning as a sauce, so I mixed up a little bit of that too.  I liked that the “fries” were crispy on the outside and creamy inside.

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Meatless Monday – Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes

I finally found a Gardein product that I like, their crabless cakes!  I had some on salad for Meatless Monday dinner.  They are a little pricey, about $4 for a bag of 10, but not outrageous either.  I want to try them in a California roll.

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We also had sourdough bread.  I haven’t had much luck handling the dough from no-knead recipes, it is just too liquid.  I found this recipe, that doesn’t require preparation the day before, and gave it a try, adding a little more flour for a stiffer dough, along with 1/4 teaspoon of yeast.  I mixed it in my bread machine then transferred the dough to a bowl for rising.

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It turned out shaped like a boule instead of flat!  I was so excited.  I think since the dough is not as wet, it has a finer crumb and not as “holey” as other recipes.  I want to try specialty flours to see if they make any difference in texture and flavor.

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Last week I gave corn cooked in the air fryer a try.  People in the vegan air fryer group on Facebook that I belong to have been raving about it.  I didn’t see what was so great.  It was on the dry side, even though I lightly coated the corn with oil.  I’m going to try the instant pot next time.

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