Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Meatless Monday & Misc.

Dinner was kale, hummus, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, avocado and onion, on toasted naan.  Kind of a rehash of last week’s kale, hummus & avocado wrap.  Actually I liked it better than the wrap, the way it is more like a sandwich.  We also had fresh edamame from the farmers market.  So much better than frozen!!!

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Sunday we had roasted chickpea and cauliflower tacos.  It was the last cool day we’re going to have for awhile, and thus the last day to comfortably have the oven on.  Chickpeas and cauliflower are tossed with oil, chile, and cumin, then roasted in the oven.  I should have made the whole recipe instead of half because everything shrunk up quite a bit.

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The roasted goodies are served as taco filling, with a cilantro lime “crema” (greek yogurt).  I like how the chickpeas make the filling more substantial than just veggies.

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August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.  Cookie & Peeets coffee for me, sweet potato dog treat for Percy.

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Lastly, over the weekend I tried the Thai grilled peanut butter sandwich that I’d seen on TV.  It has peanut butter, orange marmalade, curry powder, Thai basil, and Sriracha sauce.  It’s an interesting combination but when it’s all grilled and melted together, somehow it works.

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Meatless Monday – Pasta with Turnip Greens

I went to the Rose City Farmers Market on Saturday and did a big splurge.  I bought turnips, kale, fig & black pepper goat cheese, caramel yogurt, granola, strawberries, a t-shirt and picked up a homemade treat for my dog Percy.  Since the farm that sells the turnips is organic, I feel good about eating the greens.

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I googled “turnips” and “pasta” and found a recipe for Pasta with Turnip Greens.  I loosely followed the recipe, adding tomato 9since I had one to use up) and skipped the anchovies (since I didn’t have any).  It’s a simple dish but just what I was craving.

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I garnished it with some parmesan cheese.  I think it would have been better with the anchovies, for “umami,” but it was OK without it too.

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I make my own dog treats.  My dog Percy loves them, as do his friends.  Many people said I should start a dog treat business.  I could probably do good business at the farmers market too.  But…when I made some for friends, I realized what a big endeavor it would be.  One oven’s worth would yield maybe 3-5 bags, depending on how big they were.  For now, I think I’ll stick to small batches.  If a friend or two wants them, it’s easy enough to handle.  Or maybe I’ll go the route of marketing them as “small batch.”

The reason I bring this up is that one friend wondered what the treats taste like to humans.  I tried one, since the ingredients are only wheat flour, oats, peanut butter and water, and the treats really do smell good.  They tasted like a bland cracker to me, which gave me the idea to try making crackers from the recipe.  I thought homemade crackers would go well with the goat cheese from the market.  The changes I made were to substitute almond butter for peanut butter (thinking it would pair better with cheese), add a teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar.  I rolled the dough thinner and cut into squares with a pastry cutter.

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Since they are thinner than dog treats, I baked them at 325 F for 20 minutes a side, then left them in the oven for a few hours (after turning the oven off) to get extra crispy.

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Not bad!  I’ll try them out tomorrow with the goat cheese.

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Meatless Monday – Tempeh Sushi Rolls

I tried sushi rolls again, using less rice (as advised by my cousins who saw photos of my first attempt).  I marinated tempeh strips in soy sauce, water, garlic and ginger, then broiled them 5 minutes a side.  Here’s my mise en place.  I had cucumber, avocado, tempeh and sesame seeds.  The tomato was just there for a separate salad.  The fan is for cooling the sushi rice.  When we were kids, it was our job to fan the rice while Mom mixed the vinegar with the rice.  Doing so makes the rice glossy.  I have no recollection of how I have the fan in my possession.  I think they were so ubiquitous in Japanese-American households, everyone just had one.

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I have the wrong size nori, it’s for hand rolls.  I didn’t want to open a new package since stuff like that doesn’t hold up well in humidity.  This time I tried less rice.  It worked better but still wasn’t pretty.  Note that there are no pictures of the finished rolls.

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One of my cousins said that it’s easier to roll with the rice on the outside, so I tried that too.  It definitely worked better.  Obviously I need a lot more practice, lots of “bald” patches with no rice.

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Percy tried his paw at it too.  “Irrashaimase!”

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We made nigiri sushi and topped them with Kibbles ‘n Bits.  The dogs all ate it up!  Oishikatta desu!

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Scoby Snacks

I only make a new batch of kombucha every few weeks, and even so, I’m overrun with scoby’s  (Symbiotic Culture Of Yeast and Bacteria).  It has probiotics in it.  Today I cut some up and put them in the dehydrator.  They were too tough to use a cookie cutter, it looks like chicken and has the same sort of texture.

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The thicker slices took maybe an hour and a half, while the thinner ones only an hour.  I didn’t have any control over the thickness, it just depended on whether there were layers.

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Here’s my taste-tester, he was anxious to try them.  He likes them enough where he wanted another one!  Scoby Snacks are born!

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This seems like a “hippie” kind of treat so we had to do dress-up.

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Peace out!

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Chocolate Granola and Kale Chips

The food co-op I’m in had their drop (pick up) yesterday.  I ordered kale because I’d heard so much about kale chips and wanted to try them.  Most of the recipes I’ve seen were pretty similar:  remove the stem, cut or tear into pieces, lightly coat with oil and salt/seasonings, then bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.  I went for more like 20 minutes, but I think the most important thing is to keep an eye on them towards the end so they don’t get charred.

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They are so addictive!  They remind me of ajitsuke nori.  Percy liked the chips too!  They would make a great low-calorie snack for dogs.

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One of the other recipes I’ve wanted to try is Chocolate Granola.  Recently I made a peanut butter chocolate granola that involved melting chocolate chips on the hot granola.  Instead, this one has cocoa, with chips mixed in after it has cooled.  Among the online comments was the suggestion to bake it for 40 minutes at 250 F, instead of 50 minutes at 275 F.

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I get the impression it’s more of a trail mix sort of snack, as opposed to a breakfast cereal.  There’s coconut oil in it, which is a strong flavor.  This is my new favorite granola.  I had some candy given to me, to use for baking, so I added that too – chocolate covered raisins and dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds.

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Meatless Monday – Plain Old Veggies and Udon Noodles

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I had planned on making something with tempeh today, but got lazy and just made a plain old veggie stir fry with udon noodles and peanut sauce.  I did like Rachael Ray and “eyeballed” everything for the sauce:  peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, hoisin and water to thin it out.

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Earlier in the day, I made homemade energy bites, from a recipe a friend gave me.  I had a hard time keeping the mixture stuck into a ball.  I ended up using a piece of plastic wrap, putting a bit of dough in the center, and twisting the top, squeezing the ball together.  I like that they are stored in the freezer, you just pull some out when you need them.  Next time, though, I think I’ll try toasting the oats and wheat germ, letting it cool first, so it doesn’t have such a “raw grain” taste.

I got to try out my homemade cookie stamp today.  I had looked online to buy one, and they sell for like $10, not including shipping.  I thought I’d get crafty and make my own, by using oven bake clay from Hobby Lobby, imprinting a pattern with a rubber stamp, baking the clay, then using it for the cookie stamp.  It worked pretty well except the clay did not stay flat when I baked it.  It’s a little uneven on one side.  I covered it in “release” foil to keep the dough from sticking.  It worked like a charm.  The design is a paw print since these are dog treats.  I still have enough clay left to make 3 more stamps, maybe even one or two for human cookies.  (And the clay was only $1.27, and happened to be 30% off that week.)

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Tortellini PIzza

We had tortellini pizza tonight.  I’d seen penne pizza on TV before, and decided to try it with tortellini instead.  I had bought a giant box of mushrooms at Sam’s Club, and piled them on the pizza too, along with onions and turkey Italian sausage.

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It was one of those “best of both worlds” dishes, pizza and pasta all in one.  The only thing I would do differently is put the mushrooms on top, so the liquid would evaporate.

Today is my dog Percy’s 3rd birthday.  I spent all morning making pupcakes and cookies for him.  I think I went a little overboard this year.  The pupcakes were made with bananas and whole wheat flour, with less sugar than for humans.  I used the silicon mold I got at Target during Valentine’s season.  (It was only $3.)

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Three dogs tried them and nobody turned up their nose, so it must have been good.  I tried a bite too.  It was kind of dense from having all whole wheat flour.  As I said, though, no complaints from the dogs.

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I made peanut butter oatmeal dog too.  I thought it would be easier rolling out the dough then cutting it into squares.  The website I found the recipe on (I can’t remember right now, I’ll post it later) had made “paw” prints by making indentations with thumb and pinkies.  I found it easier using the blunt ends of a chopstick.  I want to find a spritz cookie recipe.  The last one I tried, the dough wouldn’t release from the cookie gun.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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