Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Meatless Monday – Teriyaki Tofu & Leftovers

I’ve been craving teriyaki lately so I made a batch of homemade teriyaki sauce.  I did a combination of recipes I found online, basically it was 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, ginger, garlic, onion powder, a splash of sesame oil, cooked in a saucepan and thickened with a cornstarch slurry.  Tonight I marinated some tofu cubes in it and cooked them in the air fryer.  We also had leftover Trader Joe’s mushroom risotto and broccoli slaw made with Ranch dressing, craisins and chopped almonds.  (For anyone out there thinking I’m starving my husband, I gave him larger portions plus added a few meatballs to his.)


I’ve been thinking about trying one of those meal subscription services like Blue Apron or Home Chef.  Has anyone tried them?  Cooking often feels like a chore for me and I thought something like that would make dinner preparation more fun, plus help my hubby gain a few pounds.



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New Gadget

For awhile I’ve been eyeing an Instant Pot but talked myself out of it.  That is, until Black Friday and Amazon had them on sale for $68 (nearly $60 off!).  The mail lady said she had already delivered 7 of them in my area!


I’ve been trying out the different features.  I made a 7-can soup (mine was 5 can), browning the ground beef and onions with the “saute” feature, then cooking everything on the “slow cooker” setting.


I topped the soup with some air fried sweet potato wedges.  The slow cooker feature did not cook as hot as my regular crockpot, but I like that you can saute then go on with the reset of the recipe without having to use an extra skillet.

Leftovers I served on an Instant Pot steamed sweet potato.  The sweet potato was a little too mushy for my taste, I like baked better, but it was fast.  On the side is air fried carrot fries and brussels sprouts.


I think it was a past Meatless Monday that we had cauliflower/walnut/mushroom tacos.  Cauliflower, mushrooms and walnuts are chhopped iin a food processor, then mixed with soy sauce & spices, and baked.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, going by loooks.


The recipe is vegan but my version was not since I added cheese.  By itself, the filling was just OK.  BUT, with the tortillas and other toppings, it was really good.  Definitely will make again.


With some of the leftover filling I made air fried taquitos for lunch the following day.


The most recent thing I’ve tried in the Instant Pot is poached eggs. I tried 5 minutes and the yolk was in between hard cooked and soft.  It would be good that way on an English muffin sandwich.  Next time I’ll try 4 minutes.


It may seem that I love to cook, and I do, but there are some days where I just want to heat a frozen dinner.  Between the Instant Pot and the air fryer, I’m more motivated to actually cook something, even if it is french fries.  Potatoes are my favorite-est thing in the air fryer.

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Catching Up

I’ve been doing Meatless Monday but haven’t kept up with posting about it.  Last week I made a lentil quinoa chili and we’ve been having leftovers all week with it, including last night.  I made a sort of sloppy joe with a hot dog bun.


For lunch today we had “California bagels.”  I had received an email from Einstein Brothers Bagels this morning for a free bagel with schmear.  After reading the fine print, it was free with purchase of another item.  Because of that I had bagels on the brain.  Ours was toasted bagel with cream cheese, mashed avocado, sunflower seeds and the last of the winter homegrown tomatoes.


For a snack later I made a spicy pretzel and nut mix from David Lebovitz’s “A Sweet Life in Paris,” which I finished reading this week.  The recipe on his website has cayenne instead of chili powder or paprika, and no cocoa powder, which are in the book recipe.  I did half a teaspoon of each.  For nuts I used half a cup each of cashews, walnuts, pecans and walnuts.  It’ll be interesting to see if we can taste the cocoa powder in it.


Speaking of chocolate, I saw that Starbucks has a new drink out from now through Valentine’s Day called the Molten Chocolate Latte.  It has chocolate chips melted into espresso, steamed mocha-infused milk, and some kind of chocolate whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle.  The whole thing (for 16 ounce size) has 450 calories and 44 grams of sugar.  I’m going to attempt a scaled down version at home.  There’s also a frappuccino version as well as a hot chocolate.


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The Other Days

The days I don’t post pics of food, sometimes I don’t always cook or do something “semihomemade.”  One day this week we had beefaroni mixed with the last bits of lentil soup.


I have been trying to use up bits & pieces of leftovers, so we also had sushi rice and a few pieces of wasabi  nori.  I used the nigiri mold I got at Daiso Japan for the rice.

Last night I thought it was  high time to use the ricotta I’d bought awhile back.  It has been so long I forgot what I originally wanted it for.  It might have been ricotta gnocchi.  I ended up making lasagna rolls, using ricotta, parmesan, peas (since I didn’t have spinach) and garlic for the filling.  The sauce was jarred, Trader Joe’s autumnal harvest.  It has tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, and cream.


Here it is after covering with sauce,, cheese, and then baking.


I love this pasta sauce and want to find a copycat recipe for it.  Dinner must have smelled good too.  We had salad and brown-n-serve bread to go with it.


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Catching Up

The squash and zucchini I got at the farmers market recently has inspired me to do more cooking.  One night we had pasta and sauteed squash, with some ricotta and parmesan mixed in.  Then we had the leftovers with vegetable omelets.  The eggs are from a local farmer.  They are really scrumptious.


This weekend I made a vegetable lasagna.  I cooked up the veggies first so it wouldn’t be too soggy.


The first night we had it with Southern green beans (green beans, a little powdered French onion soup mix and water, cooked for a few hours).


Then we had leftovers last night for Meatless Monday, along with some frozen lima beans.


I don’t understand people who don’t like leftovers!  I guess for me, it’s like a night off from cooking.

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Last Meatless Monday of the Year! – Gnocchi with Pesto

We had leftovers for dinner tonight.  Gnocchi and pesto sauce I had frozen, leftover cornbread, and salad with cottage cheese and feta dressing.  Nothing special, but I wanted the last Monday of the year to be meatless!


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Turkey Miso Udon

We are officially done with Thanksgiving leftovers.  Tonight I made a turkey version of chicken miso ramen.  I sauteed some turnip greens, kale and corn, put that in a bowl with udon, turkey, faux chicken (for me), and finished it with a ladle of turkey stock with miso.  It was good!


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“Tovers” is a word in the urban dictionary that means:  “Food left over from a meal recently ate, sometimes more than one meal. .short for leftovers.”  That’s what we had tonight.  I’m trying to clean out all the bits & pieces from the refrigerator and use up sauces before they go bad.  Tonight we had veggies (carrots, broccoli, yellow pepper, and green beans, some from the garden, some from the farmers market), with soba noodles and (leftover) peanut sauce .  We also had a sliced tomato from our very own garden (the extent of my gardening is limited).  I had a small bit of sushi rice too, that I wrapped with Trader Joe’s wasabi nori.  (I love that stuff!!!)  For something that was not exactly planned and thrown together, it was all pretty good.


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Red Lentil Rice Bowls

I still have some red lentil taco filling leftover.  We had it over rice with steamed asparagus and kale, and diced avocado.  After I took the photo and about halfway through the bowl, I thought that crumbled feta might be good with it too.  It added a nice saltiness to everything.


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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).


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?


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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