Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Low-Fat Tamales

I recycled the taco filling (sweet potato & black bean) from yesterday into tamale filling.  I found a few recipes online for masa without tons of lard.  I ended up combining recipes, using 1 1/2 cup masa, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp. Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning, a bunch of “this & that” seasonings, and about 1 1/2 cups of water with bouillon (for 8 tamales).

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I steamed them for about 45 minutes.  Some recipes said 2 hours, others 30 minutes.  I have no idea what a longer steam time does.  Does it make the masa more tender?  Or tougher?

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I had a little trouble peeling the corn husk away.  Using lard probably helps with that.  Otherwise they were good.  I liked the tamales better than the tacos.  I might try more liquid and baking powder too, because the dough didn’t really get puffy.  Fun way to use up leftovers.

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(Almost) Meatless Monday

“Almost” because I used meat as a “seasoning” for burritos.  I hate to admit it, but I like hamburger with packaged taco seasoning for burritos.  I like to add lots of beans, rice and other goodies, though, so it’s mostly other stuff and not all meat.  The tacos were vegetarian, though.  (I saw a recipe this morning for Sweet Potato and Black Bean tacos.)

Sweet potatoes and onions are seasoned with cumin, chile powder, cayenne and lime juice, then roasted in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

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The recipe calls for mixing the sweet potatoes with black beans and salsa, but I kept everything separate.  Plus I didn’t add salsa because I noticed the black beans I bought (La Costena brand) were already seasoned.  Add cheese, lettuce, avocado, and dinner is ready.  (I forgot the sour cream!!!  I’m so mad, I had even bought some just for the burritos.)

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Out With The Old

I’m trying to get back on track with clearing out my freezer.  Tonight we had sweet potato gnocchi (from the freezer), with olive oil, butter, onions, garlic and parmesan, and roasted turnips on the side.

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At Walmart, I noticed they have displays of “seasonal” food.  Right now there is a section with black eyed peas and cabbage.  That I understand is traditional Southern New Year’s food.  What perplexed me was another display with chili, saltines and Rotel.  One explanation is that it is good cold-weather food.  Another persont old me that it’s traditional for New Year’s Eve.  ‘Ya learn something new every day.

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Meatless Monday – Ginger Garlic Soup

I’m almost ADD with recipes, I’ll find one, want to make it that day, then find something that replaces it online.  I saw this recipe for Ginger Garlic Soup on Friday and have been wanting to make it ever since.  I made a few changes, based on what ingredients I had on hand.  Instead of red pepper, I  used green bell pepper, Anaheim, and maybe a jalapeno.  I also added carrots in hopes of disguising the peppers (picky eater in the house).  I must have had a jalapeno because it was really spicy.  Oh, I also grated the ginger and garlic instead of simmering the broth with chunks.  The ginger and garlic made the house smell so good.  Loved the soup.

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We had soup last night too, jook in a crockpot.  I read through the comments before making it and one person said it looked watery, so I did a 1:8 ratio of rice to liquid, instead of 1:10.  I grew up with this soup, made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  I used “Better Than Bouillon” instead.  It wasn’t as good as with fresh stock, but not bad either.  I love soup weather.

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Linguine With Swiss Chard, Parmesan, and Bread Crumbs & Walnuts

I’m still working on the produce from the last CSA box.  I wanted to make linguine with swiss chard and garlic, from Jeanne Lemlin’s “Simply Satisfying.”  Then I found some similar recipes online and combined them all.  First I sauteed some panko and chopped walnuts in oil, then set them aside.  Using the same pan, melt about 1/2 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil, add chopped garlic and chopped swiss chard stems (to give them a head start cooking).  Cook for about a minute then add chopped chard (I also added some kale) and cook until wilted, season with salt and pepper.  Add the linguine and pasta water if needed.  Serve with parmesan and the toasted bread crumb/walnut mixture.

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For dessert, we’re having leftover brownies and turtle graham bars.  My friend calls the grahams “crack” because they are so addictive.  They are easy to make for holiday baking.  I changed a few things with the recipe.  First, I don’t add the pecans with the brown sugar and butter because the chunks make it hard to spread the syrup over the grahams.  Instead, I pour the syrup on, spread it out, then sprinkle on the pecans.  Also, I just scatter chocolate chips over the bars when they come out of the oven.  The residual heat melts the chocolate so it can be spread, in just a few minutes.  The recipe makes a lot.  I filled a Trader Joe’s low fat cat animal crackers tub with half the tray.

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Roasted Turnips and Daikon Radish Greens

Veggie-palooza continues tonight.

Roasted Turnips with Parmesan (looks like turnip home fries)
http://www.marthastewart.com/326623/roasted-turnips-with-parmesan

And daikon greens with onions, lemon and garlic
http://sweetveg.org/2013/02/22/sauteed-daikon-greens-with-onion-garlic-and-lemon/

I got everything ready after lunch.  Washed the greens, peeled & sliced the turnips, mixed up balsamic vinaigrette and chopped the other ingredients.  I’m less likely to talk myself out of cooking if I have some of the prep done ahead of time.

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I have a new favorite vegetable – turnips!  I’ve never had them before.  They were good with the parmesan cheese.  We also had salad with daikon radish, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.  The daikon greens lost their bite after cooking, and tasted just like plain greens.  They were good, I was just surprised at how mellow they became after cooking.

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Turnip Greens and Salad

I started in on the produce from the CSA tonight.  We  had turnip greens (using the braised winter greens recipe from Cooks Illustrated Cookbook), salad, and leftover spinach balls.  The lettuce and daikon radish in the salad are from the CSA, red pepper from the vegetable garden, honey glazed nuts, and store-bought peas and broccoli.

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CSA Share #4

The CSA I belong to recently had a setback due to our freezing weather, so we didn’t get deliveries for the last two weeks.  We did this week, though!  Hakura Turnips, Sweet Potatoes, Mustard Mix, Red Russian Kale, Swiss Chard, Daikon Radishes, and purple lettuce.  I’m looking forward to salad after all the food from Thanksgiving, plus I went to a Holiday luncheon yesterday with way too much food.  I’ve never had turnips before so I’m looking for recipes.  Never had mustard & turnip greens either.  All the fresh produce is cheerful during the dreary weather we’re expecting this next week.

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Meatless Monday – Meatless Meatballs!

Last night I came upon a recipe for Meatless Meatballs and decided to make that for dinner tonight.  It involves blending lentils, mushrooms, spices and oats in a food processor, then cooking the mixture in a pan along with onions and garlic.  I didn’t have enough mushrooms so I added green pepper, plus I skipped parsley (because I don’t like it).  The mixture seemed kind of dry and I ended up adding an egg as binder.  Here’s a picture of the mixture, with some granola I made this morning.

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The granola is from a Food Network recipe, from “Southern At Heart.”  It has coconut oil and lots of nuts.  I like that there is only 1/4 cup of oil in the whole recipe, yet it is crunchy.

Back to the meatballs…I scooped them out with a cookie scoop, and ended up with 23.  (The recipe says it yields 15.)  Someone couldn’t wait until everything else was ready so a few were snatched from the cookie sheet.  They look like meatballs made with meat.

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I wanted to taste them on their own, without a lot of sauce, since it is the first time making the recipe.  We also had mashed potatoes with feta cheese, and crudites (with some leftover salad dressing from Thanksgiving).  The meatballs weren’t bad, I’m sure they would have been better with the correct amount of mushroom.  I might try meatball sandwiches with some of the leftovers.

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