Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Last Supper of 2016

For our last dinner this year we had vegan veggie burgers from Aldi and air fryer fries.  The veggie patties didn’t really taste like much.  On the other hand they didn’t have an overpowering flavor either (like Morningstar Farms sometimes has).  Homemade pickles and candied jalapenos too.  We had cheese so it’s vegetarian not vegan.  Happy New Year, everyone.

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I’ve been meaning to post but either WordPress or my internet connection or “all of the above” have been painfully slow, to the point where I just give up.  Fourth of July we had “bbq sandwiches” with Morningstar Farms veggie ribs.  I remember liking them but maybe my tastes have changed and they’re not as good as I remember.  Not bad, just not great.

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Last week I made a baked ziti casserole with asparagus and peas.  I love having leftovers.
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We have tomatoes from the garden.  They are so good, most of the time I just dice them and eat them just like that, with a sprinkle of salt.  Otherwise I put them on everything.  On a bagel with hummus, cream cheese and balsamic vinegar.

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Or on baguette slices with Gorgonzola.  With pears from our yard.  Yum.

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Ok, I think I am caught up a little.  I probably won’t post for Meatless Monday but will likely be cooking Meatless.

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Shopping

I spent last weekend in Richardson, visiting with cousins.  One was there for a women’s hockey tournament, which meant dining out with hungry hockey players.  We tried some new places, like Rudy’s BBQ.  I probably ate more meat there for one meal than I do for a week.  It was good, though, especially the pepper beef tenderloin.  I had a veggie sandwich (portobello mushroom and eggplant) at Shady’s Burgers.  That was OK, sort of bland.  New to me but not to the team was Yoshi’s Shabu Shabu.  Each diner gets their own hot pot with kombu boiling around in it, and the water is seasoned to taste with various condiments like garlic, green onion and sesame oil.  I tried the scallops.

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Towards the end of the meal, everything that’s left gets thrown into the pot, including udon noodles, to make a tasty soup.  I thought the scallops tasted fishy when cooked.  I’m not a fan of sushi but I actually liked them better raw.

An old standby place we go to is Kirin Court, for dim sum.  We don’t have anything like it where I live, so it was a real treat.  My favorite dish is the taro puffs.  It used to be the sesame balls (jian dui).  This time they had a smoky flavor I didn’t care for.

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On the way home I stocked up on bread from Whole Foods.  I got a cranberry walnut bread, seedalicious bread (with different seeds in it), and a fancy boule.  I love the texture of their bread.  It’s a little pricey (some were $4.99 a loaf) but definitely worth it.  I cut the loaves in half and froze them.

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I always stop at Trader Joe’s too.  I have not been doing a good job at using up what I have in my pantry, and tried to hold back a little.  I focused more on refrigerated and frozen foods, and things I haven’t tried.  Some of the things I picked up were some tempeh, TJ’s sriracha sauce, thai-inspired veggie burgers, and a mango salsa.  I wish we had a TJ’s here.

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Meatless Monday – Buffalo Veggie Burgers

Last time I went grocery shopping, the woman next to me at the veggie burger section was picking out a package and her friend said not to get the buffalo chicken ones.  I asked her what did she not like about them and she said they were too spicy.  Of course I had to try them!  They are the Morningstar Farms brand.  We had them on ciabatta rolls with Gorgonzola cheese, avocado and lettuce.

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I didn’t think they were super spicy.  They remind me of Boca burger’s spicy chicken flavor.

I am taking the semi-homemade route lately in order to simplify my life.  Hence the tater tots as a side.  Over the weekend we had meatball sandwiches made with frozen packaged meatballs, and jarred marinara.  Last night we had corn and cheese ravioli with the same marinara.

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Meatless Monday ala Trader Joe’s

This morning I saw a recipe for Spicy Tofu Peas Stuffed Naan Calzones.  I’m always ambitious in the morning so had planned to make it for dinner.  As usual, when I looked closer at the recipe, I just didn’t feel like tackling it today.  Instead I cleaned out some of my freezer and we had Trader Joe’s vegetable masala burgers on whole wheat naan, with some TJ’s kale and a dressing made with TJ’s mango chutney.

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I also used the dressing (cottage cheese and mango chutney) as a dip for the carrots.  It’s mixed in a food processor so the cottage cheese loses its regular consistency.  Loved the flavors.

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Baked Avocado Tacos

I’ve been curious about fried avocado but I hate frying.  I found this recipe for a baked version with panko.  It’s the basic flour, egg, panko dredge.  Here are the avocado slices after baking.  There’s a piece of cod in the pan too, remnants from a Sam’s Club box.

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The picture of the tacos is a little blurry.  For whatever reason, recently everything always happens at once.  Tonight, the timer went off, the phone rang, UPS was honking in the driveway, among other things, all at the same time!!!

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I made tacos with refried black beans, the avocado, plus cheese, lettuce and taco sauce.  The avocado was kind of bland so was overpowered by the other ingredients.  Overall I liked it, though.  It would be fun to try as a crispy sushi roll.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Meatless Monday – Crispy Cauliflower

I saw a recipe for crispy cauliflower that involved dipping florets into a mixture of cornstarch, breadcrumbs, water and seasonings, then baking.  The photos looked yummy.  I ended up adding way more water because the cornstarch kept “seizing” as I mixed it.  The cauliflower turned out golden brown.  I think the breadcrumbs sort of dissolved because of the extra added water.  The florets did end up crispy but I think if I make this again, I’ll mix everything but the breadcrumbs, dip in the mixture, then dredge in breadcrumbs.  I didn’t use the sauce for the recipe since I had leftover teriyaki sauce.  Definitely will try again with some adjustments.

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Our neighbor kids came by while I was cooking dinner and noticed the cauliflower in the oven.  One of them said something about cooking healthy.  I told him it was “Meatless Monday” and that eating meatless once a week saves resources.  I wonder if it registered with him or if it made him think he has a hippie neighbor.

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Chickpea Salad

I wanted to prepare something that would make our dinner salads heartier.  I saw this recipe based on a Whole Foods item, curried chickpea salad.  I’m currently reading Marcus Samuelsson’s “Yes, Chef” memoir, in which he writes about Berbers seasoning, so I had that in my mind.  I substituted berbere for curry, and added grated carrots.

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The closest thing to injera bread that I had was naan.  This one is from Trader Joe’s.  It’s from the freezer section, and is baked for less than 2 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  It turns out crispy!

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Everything was good, but the berbere seasoning, from Penzey’s, was a bit too hot.  The first ingredient is cayenne.  Maybe a combination with curry would have been better.  I loved the addition of raisins.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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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