Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Unicorn Smoothies

i tried to make “unicorn” smoothies with natural ingredients.  The base is milk, yogurt, and frozen bananas.  For color, I added blackberries, mango, matcha and strawberry jam.  The colors are not as dramatic as the real thing but it tasted good.  I loved the combination of blackberries and matcha.

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The Struggle is Real

Tonight was a “cheat” dinner with frozen entrees, and air fried kale chips on the side.  Trader Joe’s frozen black bean and corn enchiladas and Aldi pre-washed kale.  While I was eating, I read the ingredients on the enchiladas and they have tofu in them!  I will have to try making my own and freezing them.

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Many nights I don’t know what I’m going to have for dinner until I start pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator.  Last night we had linguini with asparagus, lemon, and panko & walnut topping.

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It has been hard for me lately to get motivated about dinner because during the day I’m a caregiver and by the time dinner rolls around, I’ve either had it or about had it.  I made a big batch of curry peanut sauce from “Isa Does It,” though, and used that a lot to throw dinners together.  Here with udon noodles, air fried grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and rotisserie chicken.

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Also with stir-fried veggies and air-fried tofu, over leftover brown rice.

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More noodles with rotisserie chicken

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One night I took a break from curry and had tamales with cottage cheese and steamed veggies.

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/And croque monsieur sandwiches topped with bechamel and cheddar cheese.

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Here’s what’s hard for me.  Hubby eats too fast and that makes him susceptible to choking.  By the time I watched him eat his dinner safely, I had only taken a few bites of my sandwich and most of it had become lukewarm.  This is what is so discouraging to me about dinner and has sapped my motivation.

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To cheer myself up, I make desserts.  This was a chocolate peanut butter pie called Texas Flood Pie.  It has dark chocolate ganache on the bottom, peanut butter mousse for the filling, milk chocolate  mousse, and marshmallows, pecans and chocolate chips.  I sprinkled that on top instead of making it a layer under the ganache.  It is really rich and definitely cures the blues.

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I Love Aldi

Wherever I end up living next, I’d like to be able to go grocery shopping without it taking half the afternoon.  It’s not like I live that far from town, just that if I’m going to make the trip, I like to get as much done as possible.  One good thing is that we have Aldi now.  Before, we were limited to basically two choices.  Walmart or Brookshires/Super One/Fresh (same parent company).

By the time I got home yesterday and dealt with unloading groceries and everything else that needed to be done, I just wanted to have cereal for dinner.  I ended up making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, with ingredients mostly from Aldi.

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There was a bread there I hadn’t seen before.  It is huge, one slice makes one sandwich.

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I used just a little butter on the outside and cooked them in the foreman grill.  Unsalted butter was on sale for 99 cents a pound!

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Served with air fried fries made with potatoes from Aldi.  A ten pound bag is just over $3.

I have been having a hard time lately being enthusiastic about cooking.  Today I prepped a bunch of veggies in hopes of being able to easily throw something together.  I have cauliflower grated for “rice” as well as grated carrots and broccoli stems.  Tomorrow I’m going to make curry and peanut sauces to have on hand.

 

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Meatless Monday & Catching Up

In the Vegan Air Frying Facebook group I’m in, someone posted about air frying matchstick carrots.  I tried it with grated carrots, and used it as a topper for Morningstar Farms Buffalo Chik burgers.  The carrots add a sweet flavor.

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Other things I’ve tried recently include soy sauce eggs, marinating hard-boiled eggs in a water & soy sauce mixture.  I only used about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce to 2 cups of water, so the flavor was subtle.  I’ve seen a recipe based on Momofuku that calls for 3/4 cup of soy sauce.  To me if you are going to use that much you might as well just drizzle it on the egg.

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I tried the egg on  ramen.  It was a nice change.

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I also tried cauliflower rice.  Instead of using the regular blade in the food processor, I used the grater, which made the pieces more uniform.  It also kept me from going to far with pulverizing the florets.  Here is the “rice” on a bowl of bean chili.  It is “Rachael Ray” style with the rice on top, instead of the beans ladled over the rice.

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My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I cooked up Beast Burgers in the grill pan.

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Served on ciabatta.  I load up on buns when they are on the clearance rack at Walmart.  On the bun are homemade pickles and pickled jalapenos.  The fries are air-fried.  I always have ketchup because when I was a kid, I adored Olga Korbut and ketchup was her favorite American food.

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Lastly I tried a different way of making granola, adding a batch of streusel to the oat mixture.  It’s a little sweet to eat as cereal but is good as a yogurt or ice cream topping.

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Meatless Monday – Soy Curls & Potatoes

I belong to a vegan air-frying group on Facebook and one of the people there posted a recipe for diced potatoes, onions and soy curls.  Basically you cook the diced potatoes for 12 minutes, then add rehydrated soy curls and onions, and cook everything for 8 minutes more.  I added green beans and mixed the soy curls with leftover chili sauce plus gochujang.  I think cooking the soy curls with everything else helped keep them from getting dried out.  It was just what I wanted.

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Last night I made a “clean out the refrigerator” quiche with green onions, mushrooms and broccoli.  I have been buying lots of milk and eggs at Aldi because it is so cheap.  A dozen eggs is like 14 cents and a gallon of milk is $1.02.  I used an old Julia Child quiche “ratio,” with 1/2 cup total of liquid per egg.  For example, add an egg to a measuring cup and top it off with milk to make 1/2 cup.  So for 4 eggs, you should have 2 cups of milk mixture total.

Anyway, I dolloped on some salsa and added chopped pickled jalapenos too.  Leftovers for later this week!

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Baked Vietnamese Fries

I follow Vegan Richa on Facebook and her photos always look so yummy.  The latest one is for Baked Vietnamese Fries.  I only used the recipe as a template, since I didn’t have cilantro or bean sprouts.  I cut thin fries and cooked them in the air fryer.  I was afraid matchstitck size would burn so mine were a little bigger.  For toppings I added grated carrots (with the quick pickling in the recipe), grated broccoli and thinly slizedded brussels sprouts.  Drizzle with chili sauce  and thinned sriracha mayo.  The chili sauce really made the dish.

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Something I’ve been making a lot is taquitos in the air fryer.  I microwave corn tortillas until they are soft, spread with refried beans and cheese, then cook for about 10 minutes.  I stuffed each end with sliced avocado once they were done, and have been using the packets of hot taco sauce I’ve collected from Jack-In-The-Box.

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Reality

We went out this afternoon and by the time we got home, I didn’t feel like making anything that took a lot of time.  I started making quesadillas and scrambled eggs.  I was going to add enchilada sauce, avocado, and whatever else I could come up with but the natives were getting restless and I gave up, serving what I had cooked up to that point.  We also had some yogurt with Kashi cereal.  Sometimes dinner is not picture perfect but I am proud that I didn’t stop anywhere on the way home to get junk food.

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Shredded Veggies

I keep talking myself out of vetting a spiralizer attachment, since I can get similar results with the shredding disk I already have for the food processor.  I shredded broccoli stems, carrots, and thinly sliced purple cabbage – cleaning out the veggie bin.  Tonight we had fried rice with air fried soy curls.  I coated the soy curls with diluted “bottom of the bottle” gochujang.

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For Meatless Monday, we had the same batch of shredded veggies this time raw, with leftover soba noodles and air fried tofu.  I also added some broccoli and asparagus.

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Meatless Monday – Vegan Mushroom Tacos

Since I’ve been doing Meatless Monday for awhile, I thought this year I would try to have more Meatless VEGAN Mondays.  I roughly followed the recipe for “Chipotle Oyster Mushroom Tacos” from “Isa Does It.”  I used baby portobellas instead, and skipped the chipotle since I don’t care for it.  I cooked pinto beans in the instant pot, instead of using canned.  I love the instant pot for beans!  The tacos are topped with a red cabbage slaw, dressed with olive oil and lime.  Surprisingly the little bit of lime there made it “pop,” as they say these days.

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Meatless Monday – Tofu

Tonight’s dinner was a simple rice with steamed veggies, air fried tofu with peanut sauce.  I made the rice in the Instant Pot.   It turned out nice and soft.

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It may look like a simple dinner but it involved so many dishes.

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Fortunately the mess ended up not taking too long to clean up.

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