Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

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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Meatless Monday – Home Chef Mushroom Pot Pie

Tonight we had the second meal from our Home Chef box, mushroom pot pie.  The kit came with veggies (mushrooms, duh, carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, peas), puff pastry, vegetable seasoning, and cornstarch.

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I did some chopping earlier in the day so I wouldn’t have as much to do at dinner.  It seemed like a lot for two people.

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I managed to fit most of the filling into the ramekins, but saved some for leftovers.  Puff pastry goes on top and it’s baked for 20 minutes.

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Here’s what the filling looks like.  I thought it was just OK.  Maybe more pepper would help, or thyme.  I didn’t add salt since the miso is salty.

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We have one more meal to try from the box.  I’m skipping this week since there wasn’t anything on the menu that particularly struck my fancy.  If you want to give Home Chef a try, you can click here for my referral code.  It gives you $30 off plus I get $30 credit.  I looked into some other similar companies like Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, etc., and either they were a lot pricier or their selections were not as appealing as Home Chef.

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Meatless Monday – Garden Burgers

I like veggie burgers that don’t try to taste like meat, like Garden Burgers.  We had those tonight, along with salad and baked sweet potatoes.

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These are not vegan, they have cheese in them.

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I found some at Sam’s Club that are vegan!  I’ll post a picture when we try them out.  They’re a “Malibu Garden Burger.”

This week I’m trying Home Chef for the first time, a meal delivery service.  It is hard to get inspired about cooking, and I want hubby to gain weight, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll probably start with using the service every other week.  You get 3 meals a week for 2 people, for $59.  I have a referral code if anyone wants to try it.  You get $30 off your first order, and I get $40 if you use the link.  I looked at Blue Apron and I didn’t see much I would want to try.  Others like Plated and Green Chef are a little more expensive.

Also today I started a sourdough starter.  I miss the artisan breads from the S.F. Bay Area.  This recipe is just flour and water.  On the 3rd through 6th days you add more flour and water.

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Meatless Monday – Teriyaki Tofu & Leftovers

I’ve been craving teriyaki lately so I made a batch of homemade teriyaki sauce.  I did a combination of recipes I found online, basically it was 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, ginger, garlic, onion powder, a splash of sesame oil, cooked in a saucepan and thickened with a cornstarch slurry.  Tonight I marinated some tofu cubes in it and cooked them in the air fryer.  We also had leftover Trader Joe’s mushroom risotto and broccoli slaw made with Ranch dressing, craisins and chopped almonds.  (For anyone out there thinking I’m starving my husband, I gave him larger portions plus added a few meatballs to his.)

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I’ve been thinking about trying one of those meal subscription services like Blue Apron or Home Chef.  Has anyone tried them?  Cooking often feels like a chore for me and I thought something like that would make dinner preparation more fun, plus help my hubby gain a few pounds.

 

 

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Unicorn Smoothies

i tried to make “unicorn” smoothies with natural ingredients.  The base is milk, yogurt, and frozen bananas.  For color, I added blackberries, mango, matcha and strawberry jam.  The colors are not as dramatic as the real thing but it tasted good.  I loved the combination of blackberries and matcha.

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The Struggle is Real

Tonight was a “cheat” dinner with frozen entrees, and air fried kale chips on the side.  Trader Joe’s frozen black bean and corn enchiladas and Aldi pre-washed kale.  While I was eating, I read the ingredients on the enchiladas and they have tofu in them!  I will have to try making my own and freezing them.

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Many nights I don’t know what I’m going to have for dinner until I start pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator.  Last night we had linguini with asparagus, lemon, and panko & walnut topping.

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It has been hard for me lately to get motivated about dinner because during the day I’m a caregiver and by the time dinner rolls around, I’ve either had it or about had it.  I made a big batch of curry peanut sauce from “Isa Does It,” though, and used that a lot to throw dinners together.  Here with udon noodles, air fried grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and rotisserie chicken.

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Also with stir-fried veggies and air-fried tofu, over leftover brown rice.

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More noodles with rotisserie chicken

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One night I took a break from curry and had tamales with cottage cheese and steamed veggies.

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/And croque monsieur sandwiches topped with bechamel and cheddar cheese.

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Here’s what’s hard for me.  Hubby eats too fast and that makes him susceptible to choking.  By the time I watched him eat his dinner safely, I had only taken a few bites of my sandwich and most of it had become lukewarm.  This is what is so discouraging to me about dinner and has sapped my motivation.

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To cheer myself up, I make desserts.  This was a chocolate peanut butter pie called Texas Flood Pie.  It has dark chocolate ganache on the bottom, peanut butter mousse for the filling, milk chocolate  mousse, and marshmallows, pecans and chocolate chips.  I sprinkled that on top instead of making it a layer under the ganache.  It is really rich and definitely cures the blues.

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I Love Aldi

Wherever I end up living next, I’d like to be able to go grocery shopping without it taking half the afternoon.  It’s not like I live that far from town, just that if I’m going to make the trip, I like to get as much done as possible.  One good thing is that we have Aldi now.  Before, we were limited to basically two choices.  Walmart or Brookshires/Super One/Fresh (same parent company).

By the time I got home yesterday and dealt with unloading groceries and everything else that needed to be done, I just wanted to have cereal for dinner.  I ended up making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, with ingredients mostly from Aldi.

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There was a bread there I hadn’t seen before.  It is huge, one slice makes one sandwich.

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I used just a little butter on the outside and cooked them in the foreman grill.  Unsalted butter was on sale for 99 cents a pound!

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Served with air fried fries made with potatoes from Aldi.  A ten pound bag is just over $3.

I have been having a hard time lately being enthusiastic about cooking.  Today I prepped a bunch of veggies in hopes of being able to easily throw something together.  I have cauliflower grated for “rice” as well as grated carrots and broccoli stems.  Tomorrow I’m going to make curry and peanut sauces to have on hand.

 

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Meatless Monday & Catching Up

In the Vegan Air Frying Facebook group I’m in, someone posted about air frying matchstick carrots.  I tried it with grated carrots, and used it as a topper for Morningstar Farms Buffalo Chik burgers.  The carrots add a sweet flavor.

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Other things I’ve tried recently include soy sauce eggs, marinating hard-boiled eggs in a water & soy sauce mixture.  I only used about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce to 2 cups of water, so the flavor was subtle.  I’ve seen a recipe based on Momofuku that calls for 3/4 cup of soy sauce.  To me if you are going to use that much you might as well just drizzle it on the egg.

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I tried the egg on  ramen.  It was a nice change.

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I also tried cauliflower rice.  Instead of using the regular blade in the food processor, I used the grater, which made the pieces more uniform.  It also kept me from going to far with pulverizing the florets.  Here is the “rice” on a bowl of bean chili.  It is “Rachael Ray” style with the rice on top, instead of the beans ladled over the rice.

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My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I cooked up Beast Burgers in the grill pan.

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Served on ciabatta.  I load up on buns when they are on the clearance rack at Walmart.  On the bun are homemade pickles and pickled jalapenos.  The fries are air-fried.  I always have ketchup because when I was a kid, I adored Olga Korbut and ketchup was her favorite American food.

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Lastly I tried a different way of making granola, adding a batch of streusel to the oat mixture.  It’s a little sweet to eat as cereal but is good as a yogurt or ice cream topping.

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Meatless Monday – Soy Curls & Potatoes

I belong to a vegan air-frying group on Facebook and one of the people there posted a recipe for diced potatoes, onions and soy curls.  Basically you cook the diced potatoes for 12 minutes, then add rehydrated soy curls and onions, and cook everything for 8 minutes more.  I added green beans and mixed the soy curls with leftover chili sauce plus gochujang.  I think cooking the soy curls with everything else helped keep them from getting dried out.  It was just what I wanted.

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Last night I made a “clean out the refrigerator” quiche with green onions, mushrooms and broccoli.  I have been buying lots of milk and eggs at Aldi because it is so cheap.  A dozen eggs is like 14 cents and a gallon of milk is $1.02.  I used an old Julia Child quiche “ratio,” with 1/2 cup total of liquid per egg.  For example, add an egg to a measuring cup and top it off with milk to make 1/2 cup.  So for 4 eggs, you should have 2 cups of milk mixture total.

Anyway, I dolloped on some salsa and added chopped pickled jalapenos too.  Leftovers for later this week!

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Baked Vietnamese Fries

I follow Vegan Richa on Facebook and her photos always look so yummy.  The latest one is for Baked Vietnamese Fries.  I only used the recipe as a template, since I didn’t have cilantro or bean sprouts.  I cut thin fries and cooked them in the air fryer.  I was afraid matchstitck size would burn so mine were a little bigger.  For toppings I added grated carrots (with the quick pickling in the recipe), grated broccoli and thinly slizedded brussels sprouts.  Drizzle with chili sauce  and thinned sriracha mayo.  The chili sauce really made the dish.

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Something I’ve been making a lot is taquitos in the air fryer.  I microwave corn tortillas until they are soft, spread with refried beans and cheese, then cook for about 10 minutes.  I stuffed each end with sliced avocado once they were done, and have been using the packets of hot taco sauce I’ve collected from Jack-In-The-Box.

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