Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Cabbage Pizza

I have cabbage from my sister-in-law’s vegetable garden to finish up.  I love cabbage, it’s one of those things that I used to eat only once a year (St. Patrick’s Day, of course) but have made a conscious effort to eat more of.  I also had some sourdough starter that needed to be fed.  This all gave me the idea of cabbage pizza.  I found a recipe online for cabbage pizza with an Indian twist.  (Looking at the recipe, though, I don’t see much Indian flavor in the ingredients.)

I changed the recipe a little by adding sliced onion to the cabbage, as well as a teaspoon of Patak’s Mild Curry paste to the white sauce mixture.  I also baked the pizza a little longer, because my dough wasn’t quite done enough.

cabbagepizza

It was surprisingly good, especially when you want pizza but want something just a little different.

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3-2-1 Microwave Cake

The science geek in me had to try this 3-2-1 Microwave Cake recipe.  The master mix is 1 box of angel food cake mix and 1 box of regular cake mix, any flavor.  Measure out 3 tablespoons, mix in 2 tablespoons of water, then microwave it for 1 minute.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  The “secret” is the leavening in the angel food cake mix, that eliminates the need for adding anything else.

321cake1

I used devil’s food cake mix.  You can see how the angel food cake mix lightened up the color a lot.  Angel food also had an almond flavor in it, that is quite noticeable.  I toned down the power level to 9, as well, I’ll probably try 8 next time, because the cake was a little dry.  It turns out light and spongy, it would be good with fresh fruit on top.

321cake2

I’m glad I only mixed up half a batch. I like the cake but I think I would get tired of the same flavor all the time.  I had wanted to try lemon but the store was sold out.  White or vanilla cake would probably be good too.

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Meatless Monday – Veggie Burgers and Chocolate Gelato

I found a veggie burger that I haven’t tried yet, Lightlife, at Walmart the other day.  I bought the Farmers Market Veggie Burger flavor, which had veggies & barley.

lightlife

I was planning on just serving them on regular bread, then decided to try making homemade burgers buns.  I found a recipe in my ancient bread machine cookbook, that incorporated water, nonfat dried milk, sugar, salt, butter and flour.  I was fighting the gluten when I patted them out, and was afraid they would be too small.

burgerbuns

In the end, it worked out.  I don’t like it when the bun overpowers the burger.  I added sauteed baby bellas, onion, cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and jalapenos.  (I don’t mind a lot vegetable toppings, though!)

veggieburger

The veggie burger was OK.  I liked that it wasn’t overly salty (only 280 mg.) and high in protein (16 g).  I thought it would have more mushroom flavor.  I noticed there is a portobello mushroom variety.  I’ll have to see if I can find that one at the store.

For dessert, I made Sicilian Chocolate Gelato, from an Alice Medrich recipe.  There are only four ingredients, milk, cocoa, sugar and cornstarch.  No cream.  No eggs to temper into the milk.  Easy!  I had seen a recipe for Double Chocolate Cookie ice cream, which calls for layering chocolate chip cookie bits into the ice cream.  I had a jar full of Trader Joe’s Way More Chocolate Chip Cookie crumbs in the freezer, and used those instead.  I love this gelato, it’s rich with less fat than regular ice cream.  (I’ve tried making vanilla with the cornstarch “technique,” but it didn’t turn out as well.)

gelato

I put two bowls in the freezer for later.  Time to get them out for dessert.  The gelato is good right out of the ice cream freezer but a little soft.  When it sets in the freezer, it’s almost too hard, but it softens setting out on the counter for a bit.

gelatowithcookiecrumbs

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I had a hankering for tortilla soup, and had forgotten I had a Pioneer Woman cookbook on my Kindle.  The recipe is online too.  I like reading books on an ereader but still have a hard time dealing with cookbooks, since you can’t really flip or thumb through them.

Her recipe calls for baking the seasoned chicken breasts before adding them to the soup.  When I’ve poached them, they turn out dry, and I liked this way better.  (I had the thermometer out because the chicken was thick in the middle and I just wanted to make sure it was past raw, even though it would simmer some more later.)

chickenbreast

My can of tomato paste was bulgy so I ended up using some leftover salsa instead. I added probably double the amount of seasonings.  Another change I did was to bake the tortilla strips before adding them to the soup, so they’d be crispy.

tortillastrips

The comments online mentioned adding lime juice too (did that at the end), plus a handful of chopped cilantro.

tortillasoup

I love this soup.  It could be vegetarian with more veggies and no chicken.  Or with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

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Lazy Meatless Monday – Scrambled Eggs and Tater Tots

I baked up more dog treats this morning, this time a Doggie Biscotti.  I like how the recipe is flexible.  I was able to use up a banana and canned pumpkin I had in the freezer.  I don’t have oat flour so just used more whole wheat flour.  Half a batch made this much.  Three out of three dogs liked them.

doggiebiscotti

By the time dinner rolled around, I didn’t feel much like cooking, to the point where I almost skipped Meatless Monday.  Then I remembered a conversation I had last night, telling someone we don’t eat that many eggs, and of course, it made me want eggs.  We ended up having breakfast for dinner…tater tots, scrambled eggs (with cheese & salsa on top), and salad.  It doesn’t look like much food but it’s 1 1/2 eggs.  I’m hungry again, though.  I’m going to grab a (meatless) cheesecake treat for dessert!

totsandeggs

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Tostadas, Pea Soup and Peanut Butter Dog Treats

I’m trying to use up leftovers before making anything new.  I finished off the beans for lunch, on a tostada, along with some of the peanut avocado salsa.  I had the oven on for dog treats (more later), and crisped up the tortillas by baking them for about 10 minutes at 350.

tostada

I buy my avocados from Sam’s Club, they come in a bag of 5.  Since there are only 2 of us, it takes awhile to go through them.  They keep well in the refrigerator.  Once sliced, they keep well sealed up in a Foodsaver container.  The one below had been in the refrigerator for about 3 days, and it hadn’t browned much.  The onion is in an onion-keeper I bought at Fresh by Brookshires.  I think Bed Bath & Beyond carries them too.

avocado

I stumbled upon a dog treat website, where I found a peanut butter and oatmeal dog biscuit recipe.  (I like to keep treats with basic ingredients in the house, because I live with someone who has dementia, who occasionally stumbles upon the treats and eats them.)  I also like the idea of less is more, as far as ingredients go, for my dog.  I didn’t use cookie cutters, instead followed the suggestion of scooping the dough into balls and flattening them with a fork, like one would with peanut butter cookies.  They turned out really crunchy, and so far, no one has turned their nose up at them.

pbdogtreats

I wasn’t too hungry for dinner, and I didn’t feel like making anything that involved a lot of dirty dishes.  I had planned to make pea soup for Meatless Monday, but made it tonight, since I didn’t have any vegetable stock, only chicken broth.  I’ve seen pea soup made (from frozen peas) on both Everyday Italian and Barefoot Contessa.  The reviews online raved about both recipes.  I did a variation of both the recipes, sauteing onion and garlic, adding broth and frozen peas, then pureeing it all.  After that I poured in a splash of half and half, and served it with some sourdough cheese croutons (again, more cleaning out of the freezer and getting rid of leftovers).

peasoup

It was perfect for a sunny but chilly day like today.  So much better than canned soup, and not a lot of cooking involved.

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Valentine’s Day Tacos

Valentine’s Day is not a big deal in our house anymore but I still wanted to do something special.  I saw some nice-looking strawberries at the store yesterday, which made me think of chocolate-covered strawberries.  I can’t believe I’ve never made them before.

strawberries

We had tacos for dinner, made with leftover chicken and beans.  I was too lazy to put together a salad, and put extra lettuce & veggies on top to make up for it.

valentinetacos

I watch Rick Bayless’ show on PBS (Mexico On A Plate), and the peanut avocado salsa he made was intriguing.  It has peanuts, cilantro, avocado, lime and serranos.  At first I was afraid the peanuts would overpower the avocados, but when mixed with the cilantro, it sort of balances out.  I like how it doesn’t turn all yucky brown, even after sitting for a few hours in the refrigerator.  It would be really good on nachos.

peanutavocadosalsa

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola

Today’s cooking project was granola, from a recipe on Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes.  The recipe is for PB Banana Chocolate Chip granola, only I skipped the banana chips, since a) I didn’t have any, and b) I don’t like them.  Instead I doubled up on the nuts, and used almonds instead of sunflower seeds or peanuts.  I also substituted honey for maple syrup, I’ll have to add it to my shopping list because the maple part sounds good.  It’s a straightforward granola recipe, except that after it comes out of the oven, chocolate chips are sprinkled on top, while it’s still warm.  I baked mine a little longer, to make sure it turned out crunchy.

pbchocgranola

When the chocolate gets melty, the granola gets stirred up to mix in the chocolate.

pbchocgranola2

It’s a decadent granola, for sure.  Tastes as good as it looks!  It makes for a good trail mix component or sprinkles on ice cream or yogurt.

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Meatless Monday – Baked Tofu and Mushrooms Hoisin

I don’t know where the time goes, it seems like Monday rolls around so quickly.  I had half a block of tofu leftover from last week (stored in water in a tupperware), and the last of the giant container of mushrooms from Sam’s Club, to make tonight’s dinner.  The recipe is from Jeanne Lemlin’s “Simple Vegetarian Pleasures.”

Cubed tofu and quartered mushrooms (and I added broccoli) are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, gingerroot and garlic.

tofumarinating

Then it’s all put into a pan, in one even layer, and baked in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, tossing once with a spatula.  A hoisin peanut butter sauce (hoisin sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, sherry – I used mirin, and scallion) are poured on top and mixed in, and it’s baked for 10 more minutes.

bakedmushroomsandtofu

I wasn’t in a rice mood so made quinoa instead, in the rice cooker.  My aunt gave us the rice cooker when we got married, I always think of her when I use it.  Quinoa has 5 grams of protein per serving.

quinoa

Et voila!  With salad and cornbread (leftover from last night), dinner was ready.  This is one of my favorite tofu recipes.

bakedtofumeatlessmonday

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Baked Tofu Taquitos

We finished off the last of the tofu taco filling tonight, with baked tofu taquitos.  I found two recipes online, one from Recipe Girl and another from Whole Foods.  I liked the idea of soaking the tortillas from the Whole Foods recipe, but instead just ran the tortillas under tap water then microwaved them wrapped in a wet paper towel for 30 seconds.

I mixed together the tofu filling, leftover refried beans, a handful of cheese, and wrapped it into the corn tortillas.  Brushed lightly with oil, and baked at 425 for 25 minutes.  I liked this incarnation the best, out of the tacos, tortas, and taquitos.  Baking brought out the flavor in the tortillas.  I served it all with a side of guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and salad on the side.

tofutaquitos

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