Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Steamed Seitan Buns

This weekend I watched an episode of “London Notebook” on Cooking Channel that featured a recipe for soft steamed buns.  I liked the idea of browning the buns first before steaming, so it caught my attention.  I gave the recipe a try, since I had some leftover ground seitan.

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Since the seitan is pretty salty, though, I decided to steam the buns over water instead of with the beef broth.  I put a little piece of parchment paper under each bun to keep them from sticking to the pan.  The broth method calls for steaming for 30-40 minutes.  I only steamed mine for 15 minutes, and it was fine.

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I served rice on the side to cut down on the salty filling, ;plus some crudites instead of salad.  I want to try this with BBQ filling next time.

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Meatless Monday – Seitan Rice Bowls

Today I tried seitan for the first time and liked it!  I had tried tempeh and thought “meh.”  Seitan is so much better.  I tried Upton’s Naturals ground.  (Seitan is a high-protein faux meat made from wheat gluten.)  I think it would be better than Chipotle’s tofu sofritas, and would work well in sloppy joe’s and bbq sandwiches.  I made a rice bowl with seitan, bbq sauce, steamed kale, broccoli, corn and avocado.  I’ve been making a big pot of rice at the beginning of the week.  Then when I don’t know what to have for dinner, at least I can put together some sort of rice bowl or fried rice.

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Does It Taste Like Chicken?

I’m trying to get my husband to gain weight.  His sister suggested I give him more meat protein.  On the other hand, I don’t want to increase my meat consumption so I’m experimenting with cooking meat in bulk (like chicken) and finding alternatives for me, to use in the same dish.  Tonight we had stir fry with real chicken and faux chicken.  The real chicken is on the left.

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I made a stir fry sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, Tabasco Sweet & Spicy, and Mae Ploy.  For veggies, I had kale, onion, red & green peppers, carrots and broccoli.  Everything was served over rice. The fake chicken tasted kind of like tofu, not bad, though.  I’d buy it again.  I like that you can take out the amount you want to cook.

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Last night we had “hot dog spaghetti” inspired by “The Big Bang Theory.”  I sauteed sliced hot dogs with onions and peppers.

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My favorite jarred pasta sauce is Newman’s Own “Sockarooni.”    I know it’s sort of a contradiction that I had mystery meat hotdogs last night but chicken substitute tonight.  I’ve tried tofurky hotdogs before and thought they were yucky.

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Meatless Monday – Chipotle’s Sofritas

After about three glasses of water, I’m finally not thirsty!  I’ve been trying to incorporate taking a break from cooking (i.e. take-out) on the days I’m in town close to dinner.  I watched the video “Behind the Counter:  Inside Chipotle” yesterday, and of course, it made me want to go there.  The tofu option has finally made its way to Texas, so I gave it a try.  It was spicy, which I like, but also very salty, which I don’t like.  I got chicken for my husband and his wasn’t nearly as salty.  We also had squash from my sis-in-law’s vegetable garden.

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I looked up the nutrition information and calculated how much sodium my burrito had, including all the other items (white rice, fajitas veggies, tomato salsa, corn, cheese and lettuce, plus the tortilla).  My sofritas burrito had 3110 mg of sodium, and my husband’s chicken burrito had 2755 mg.  Wow!  I only ate half, thankfully.  It was tasty, just very salty.

I think it was Saturday that I made macaroni and cheese from a box.  I got a “healthier” kind that has no artificial ingredients.  It tasted similar to the blue & orange box brand, without the neon orange.  Look at the difference!

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With the leftovers, I had grilled cheese with havarti, cheddar, and some of the mac cheese, with butter and parmesan on the outside.  The cheese and macaroni gave the sandwich a nice consistency.  I love cheese on the outside of the sandwich too.  It has that “frico” flavor.

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P.S.  I placed my Chipotle order online, paying at the store.  It was a lot easier than having to pick and choose all the options while standing in line, for a to-go order.

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Baked Tonkatsu

I’ve been craving Japanese food recently.  Two of the dishes I order when we go out are tempura udon and katsu donburi.  Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the restaurants here serve either of those.  Mostly we get teppanyaki or fusion (like crawfish sushi).  Tonight I tried baked tonkatsu.  The “secret” to this recipe is browning the panko in oil, prior to breading the pork.  I had the oven on earlier today so I just put a pan of panko in the oven to toast, instead of sauteeing.  Here are the cutlets before baking.

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And after….

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I sliced the pork added some broccoli, and served it all over rice with tonkatsu sauce.  Oishikatta!

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Meatless Monday – More Tacos

I know I’ve made a variation of this before, kale tacos.  These were just a way to use up leftovers.  I sauteed kale, onion, leftover rice and Penzey’s Southwest seasoning, spooned that into tortillas and garnished with avocado, tomatoes, cheese and cilantro.  The bag of tortillas got crumpled in the shopping bag on the way home, so some of them were broken.  I liked these tacos, not as greasy as a quesadilla.

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Look what I saw at Hobby Lobby!!  The other side says “Farm to Table.”  I had one of their ubiquitous 40%% off coupons and was all set to buy it until I saw the price…$69.99!  They must be dreaming.

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Chili Night

Today I made Autumn Spiced Chili, cooking it in a crockpot.  It has pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, to add “fall flair” to it.  I soaked beans overnight instead of using canned, and added extra veggies (carrot, corn).  The peppers are from my sis-in-law’s vegetable garden.  Ripe today are yellow & green peppers, and red Anaheim and poblano.

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I used a cup each of dried beans, and halved the rest of the recipe.  It still filled the whole crockpot.

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I served it as a rice bowl with basmati rice, kale, avocado and tomatoes.  I liked it but think it needs more seasoning.  I’ll try experimenting with the leftovers.  Some I want to add seitan to.  I also want to make burritos and top baked potatoes with it.

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I didn’t post about Meatless Monday last night since we had leftover split pea soup with parmesan toast.  I’ve gotten better at scaling down recipes so as not to have leftovers forever.  I think I’ll freeze some of the chili for some night in the future when I don’t feel like cooking.

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National Taco Day

Happy National Taco Day!  Sometimes whatever food holiday helps me decide what to have for dinner.  Tonight I finally finished off the Sam’s Club bag of fish sticks I had in the freezer, to make fish stick tacos.  I added some rice that I’d cooked with Penzey’s Southwest Spice blend.  I’m trying to have a few things like leftover rice and tortillas, for impromptu dinners.  It seems to help.

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Last night we had curried split pea soup.  I used a Food Network recipe as a guideline, adding more veggies (carrots, three kinds of peppers, diced potato).  I only used a teaspoon of curry powder, but added a teaspoon each of garam masala and cumin.  Also, I didn’t puree the soup since I like it chunky.  I served the soup (or as Rachael Ray calls it, a “stoup” – thinner than a stew, thicker than a soup) over some leftover quinoa.  I liked these flavors better than regular split pea soup.  Yum.

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World Vegetarian Day!

Today is World Vegetarian Day.  I tried to make a vegetarian dinner on the quick, with angel hair pasta, Trader Joe’s puttanesca sauce, frozen veggies and Italian bread.  Then I realized that the pasta sauce has anchovies, so technically it’s not vegetarian.  I tried, though!

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P.S.  Yes, I do have frozen veggies in the house.  I haven’t been to the grocery store in about a week, and have run out of fresh produce.  I like frozen mixed vegetables for color in veggie burgers and to add to fried rice.  I figure and hope it’s better than no veggies at all.

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