Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Meatless Monday -Trader Joe’s

imageI was super busy today, therefore I wanted a simple dinner.  Trader Joe’s cheese enchiladas doctored up with tomato and avocado.  The gelato container says it has 7 servings.  They’ve got to be kidding.

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A Plea for the Animals

I just finished reading “A Plea for the Animals” by Matthieu Ricard.  It took me awhile to get through it but I’m glad I stuck with it.  I especially enjoyed the parts about ethics, sociology, and morals.  I  have a scientific background and those subjects were not a big part of my curriculum (way back when).  I’ve been cooking more and more vegetarian.  When I can, I try to be vegan.  I still eat dairy, though, so technically I’m not vegan.  I just try when I can.  Anyway, here are two quotes I wanted to share from the book on this Meatless Monday.

a) To be a vegetarian or a vegan, it is only necessary to stop eating the animals themselves or the products made by exploiting them. Such a decision only takes a fraction of a second, and it is not difficult to find alternatives to animal products.

b) It takes no more time to be a vegetarian than to eat animal flesh. In fact…those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone.

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Jackfruit

For Meatless Monday (and coincidentally New Year’s Day) I tried bbq pulled jackfruit.  I cooked it in a crockpot with sautéed onions and garlic, plus a quarter cup each of bow sauce and water.  Here it is before cooking.

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After the jackfruit softened, I shredded it with two forks.  First I tried a potato masher but that didn’t work that well.

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I had planned to make sandwiches except the buns I bought just the day before were moldy!

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So I ended up making rice bowls with cabbage slaw.

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Tonight we had leftovers with homemade buns.  The King Arthur Flour cookbook recipe called for a tablespoon of yeast.  The dough was flattened discs but with that much yeast they rose quite high!

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I put the coleslaw on the side for the photo.  Anyway, I thought the jackfruit was ok.  The texture reminded me of pineapple with a lychee flavor.  I liked it better in the sandwich.  I don’t think it tasted like meat.  I didn’t hate it but don’t love it.  Not sure if I will make this recipe again.  I might try it as carnitas.

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Butternut Squash Mac Cheese

I had oven roasted spiralizer butternut squash and didn’t really like it so I cubed the rest and made macaroni and cheese with it.  I liked that better.  No real recipe.  I made a bechamel, added the mashed & roasted squash and onions, along with a bit of ricotta, cheddar and Parmesan.

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For Meatless Monday we had a rice bowl with roasted veggies, tofu and Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce.

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And over the weekend I made a soup with some mystery peas (that someone had given us that I had in the freezer).  I added celery, onion, garlic, carrots, butternut squash and bacon.  I like my crackers crushed in my soup.  How about you?

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Street Tacos

I’ve been eyeing these tortillas for awhile but they are pricey at some stores.  Aldi had them for $1.69 so I finally broke down and bought them!  Percy says they are just the right size for him.

imageI made tacos with Upton’s chorizo Seitan and roasted sweet potatoes, onion and jalapeno.  The tortillas are super sturdy and didn’t break when folded!

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Meatless Monday – Detox

Thanksgiving was nice and leftovers made dinners easy, but tonight I’d had enough.  I had bought a giant tub of mixed greens at Sam’s Club that were on their last legs, so we finished them off tonight in a salad.

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Hubby had turkey day leftovers.  I have to watch him while he eats so that he doesn’t choke.  Sometimes the frenzy makes me lose my appetite, which happened tonight.

i ended up having homemade sourdough baguette crostini with chèvre and olive oil.  I’m reading a Louise Penny book right now, and the characters dined on baguette with Brie, so that satisfied my craving.

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Real Life

Many of my real life dinners look plain, like this.

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I don’t feel much like cooking but I’m hungry.  Tonight I had sautéed mushrooms, pan fried chickpea cutlet and leftover rice.  Too lazy to have veggies.  So far I’ve made the cutlets in the air fryer, Foreman grill, and pan fried.  I like cooked in the pan the best.  Hubby had leftover chicken and rice, cooked in the Instant Pot.

Recently I read Alice Waters’ “Coming to My Senses,” in which she mentions mesclun salad.

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I’ve always wanted to try her salad with baked goat cheese.  I made the cheese medallions in the air fryer.  I think that method was too hot and the pieces melted.  I also didn’t make them as big as the recipe calls for.  Still, loved the flavor.  For me, though, it’s too much work and I have been crumbling th goat cheese on my salad.

Big cooking day this week and I’m not excited about cooking but I’ll get through it.  My sis-in-law is making the turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing.  I’m making dessert, sweet potatoes, rolls and vegetables.

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Tofu Meatballs

Last night for Meatless Monday I was lazy and we just had Morningstar Farms Black Bean burgers.  Tonight I wanted to be lazy but wanted real food so I made myself cook, and I’m glad I did.  We had tofu meatballs and noodles with gochujang sauce.  The meatballs have tofu, onion, garlic, panko, and a few other ingredients.  I added cilantro since I had some and though it would go well.  Instead of baking I cooked them in the air fryer.  They were really good.  I refrigerated half so we can have them later in the week.  I can’t wait to try the recipe with other flavors, like maybe enchilada sauce instead of soy sauce, for burritos.

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Last night for the veggie burgers I was going to add tomato but the package I got from Aldi all sprouted from the inside out!  I’ve never seen this before.  I tried cutting the sprout part out but the tomato tasted weird.

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Chickpea Cutlets

I’ve been wanting to try these vegan chickpea cutlets for awhile.  They’re from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Veganomicon.”  Recently she posted a “double batch” recipe that uses a whole can of chickpeas instead of just one cup.  It seemed like it would involve a little work so I decided to make that much.  I had read some reviews complaining the cutlets are too chewy so I decreased the vital wheat gluten from 1 cup to about 5/8 cup.  I also substituted half the breadcrumbs with wheat germ, and changed the spices to suit my taste.  I only added one clove of garlic, not four.  And lastly I decreased the oil to 3 tablespoons (instead of 4).  I mixed it all in the Kitchenaid with the paddle for 3 minutes, then kneaded a few turns by hand on a cutting board.  To shape the patties, I used a tortilla press.

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Instead of baking the cutlets, I air fried them at 400F for about 10 minutes.  Next time I’ll try 370 F.  We ate them as sandwiches along with sweet potato fries and leftover kale chips.

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The sage in the cutlets gave them a “Thanksgiving” flavor.  I really liked them.

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Meatless Monday – Pasta with Broccoli Pesto

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A recipe for broccoli pesto came across my Facebook feed so that’s what we had tonight.  I looked up other recipes and did a “little bit of this and that.”  I steamed florets and stems, sauteed onion and garlic, then put everything into the food processor with some parmesan, walnuts and olive oil.  I mixed that into some pasta along with diced tomatoes.  It was just OK.  It worked as far as using ingredients I need to use up in my refrigerator.  Some basil would have added flavor but on the other hand, then why not just have plain basil pesto (the basil would have overpowered the broccoli).  Not a recipe I would repeat but will file away the idea of roasted or air-fried broccoli for a similar recipe, for the future.

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