Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

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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Meatless Monday – Chili and Cornbread

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I threw together a crockpot of chili for dinner tonight.  I am in such a rut of waiting until the last minute to figure out dinner, that I planned ahead a little to avoid the stress.  (I saw a “tip” to start dinner in the morning to avoid dinner anxiety.)  I put overnight soaked pinto and black beans in a crockpot, along with onion, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, a can of Pato tomato sauce, water to cover, chili powder, oregano, and a  dash of cumin.  When it got closer to dinner, I added half a can of refried beans.  Cornbread on the side, half a recipe but using a whole egg (instead of half).  My thrown together chili was better than when I meticulously follow a recipe!

 

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Peanut Butter Powder

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I’ve been intrigued by peanut butter powder and finally gave it a try.  I marinated tofu in leftover carrot hot dog marinade (basically teriyaki sauce), then tossed the cubes with some peanut butter powder and air fried them. I didn’t really taste it, next time I’ll add more.  We had it with Trader Joe’s tricolor quinoa and stir fried veggies.  I tried sliced radishes in the mix and they were good.  Vegan Friday night dinner – yum.  I’m not exactly trying to be vegan but it’s fun when the meal coincidentally turns out to be vegan.  I’m currently reading the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer.  The book is grossing me out about eating animals.

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Meatless Monday – Quiche and Sweet Potato Fries

I wanted something that would yield leftovers so we had broccoli cheese quiche tonight.  The filling was broccoli, green onions, garlic, swiss cheese, and 4 eggs (with enough milk to make 2 cups liquid).  When I was looking for recipe ideas I saw one that had sliced tomato on top, so I did that too.

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I did add a little salt, pepper, paprika and Paris herbs, but I thought it was a little bland.  Maybe it will be better tomorrow.  I liked the acidity of the tomato.

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On the side we had air fried sweet potato fries.  I tried the method in the cookbook “Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking.”  That involves soaking the sliced sweet potatoes in water for an hour, draining and letting dry for half an hour, then coating ever-so-lightly with cornstarch and a small amount of oil.  Their recipe calls for baking and I air fried.  This method is supposed to make for crunchies fries.  I didn’t find them crispy but they didn’t get as charred as they normally do, and the texture was like baked sweet potato on the inside.  Somehow they were sweeter too.

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We Tried the Beyond Burger

After trying Home Chef, I decided instead I would splurge and try things from the upscale grocery store and local health food store.  We tried the Beyond Burger, the one that has beet juice to mimic “bleeding,” that costs around $5.99 for 2 patties.  I wonder how much of the price goes to packaging for just 2 burgers.  Pretty fancy.

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I cooked them per instruction, 3 minutes a side, and checked that the temperature made it to ast least 165F.

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Served on a thin bun with lettuce, tomatoes, Just Mayo, avocado and pickled jalapenos.  The patty kept a red hue even after cooking.

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I tried squeezing it to see if it would “bleed” but maybe I overcooked it.

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It was definitely moist, but I think mainly because this thing is greasy.  Oils are the 2nd, 3rd and 9th ingredients.  The patties also felt greasy and after cooking the kitchen smelled like grease even though I had the fan on.

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The burger tastes good, though.  I liked that it wasn’t overly salty (450 mg of sodium) and that it is a thicker patty than most veggie burgers.  It was fun to try this much-hyped about burger but I don’t think I would buy it again, mostly because of the grease.

 

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Meatless Monday – Sopes

I tried Mexican sopes in the air fryer tonight.  I just realized I didn’t take a picture of the finished dish!  Oh well.

Sopes start as small tortillas made from masa, cooked on a griddle.  They’re made a little thicker, and when cool enough to handle, the edges are pinched up (sort of like crimping pie crust).

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I filled them with refried beans, roasted veggies (sweet potato, green pepper, onion and jalapeno) and topped with cheese and salsa.   I put them in the air fryer for a few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp them up a little.

The filling was good but I did not like the masa.  I used Quaker brand.  Even after cooking I thought it had a raw flavor and I just did not like the way it tasted.  I’ll have to try a different brand.

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Spiralizer

I’ve been looking at spiralizers online and found an OXO one that got good reviews but costs $39.  While grocery shopping today I found a Veggetti Pro for $9.88 at Walmart.  (It’s $19 on Amazon.)  I also found some green sriracha at Aldi.

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My first experiment was curly fries in the air fryer.  I’d say there is a learning curve to the gadget so I didn’t get all the strands evenly sized, which made some pieces brown faster than others.  I’m going to try potato “chips” this weekend.

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Tonight we had Chickpeas and Broccoli from the Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook.  I cooked the chickpeas earlier this week in the instant pot.  They’re mixed with a teaspoon each of oil and soy sauce, along with curry, pepper, and I added garam masala.  After they cooked a bit in the air fryer, I added broccoli and onions.  Everything went over basmati rice.  I find that the air fryer dries things out sometimes so I added a swirl of green sriracha and a dollop of yogurt.  I hadn’t been grocery shopping for about 2 weeks and had pretty much run out of fresh vegetables, which made this especially yummy.

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Happy National Hot Dog Day!

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We celebrated National Hot Dog Day with carrot dogs today!  I used Brand New Vegan’s recipe, which involves cooking the carrots, then marinating them in a soy sauce & vinegar mixture.  The recipe calls for liquid smoke, which I don’t like, so I substituted smoked paprika.  Sweet potato fries on the side added even more orange to the plate.

I wouldn’t say the carrot itself tasted like hotdog, but on a bun with the mustard, they did.  They are so much better than any tofu or faux meat rendition I’ve tried.  I want to try cooking them in the instant pot, as well as try using baby carrots and making “pigs in a blanket.”

The buns are homemade too, but not vegan.  The dough has water, flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and butter.  A lot better texture than the squishy store-bought kind.

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Meatless Monday – Eggplant Cutlets

Every time I go to Aldi, there is something new.  This time it was eggplant cutlets.  They come frozen, breaded, ready to bake.  I cooked them in the air fryer, then topped with some mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto (also from Aldi).  Instead of pasta we had “pizza fries” and mini sweet pepper rounds.

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I don’t know if it is from the humidity, but I’ve been feeling queasy the last few days.  Today was better and finally I felt like eating, so this was especially good.

I can’t wait to try making eggplant parmesan with the cutlets next.  They are a great shortcut.

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