Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House


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.


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.


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!


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.


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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Meatless Monday – Soy Curls Tacos

Tonight we had tacos made from the “crumbs” at the bottom of a bag of soy curls.  I added the rehydrated bits to sauteed onion, pepper and garlic.  Seasoning was chili powder, cumin, and a shake of this and that.  I cooked the tacos in the air fryer for about 5 minutes, then added cheese and avocado.


The bigger one is a flour tortilla and the smaller is corn.


They were OK.  The filling needed more seasoning.  I think I’ll try making a sort of tamale pie with the leftover filling.  Corn on the side was seasoned with lime juice and chili powder.

I’m still trying recipes from the Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook.  Earlier this week we had Buffalo Cauliflower.  I made an Asian sauce instead of buffalo sauce, out of a tablespoon each of Mae Ploy, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce, thinned with a little water.


They turned out crunchy!  Not as good as if they were fried but a nice change from plain roasted cauliflower.



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Meatless Monday – Mongolian Tofu

I tried one of the recipes from “The Vegan Air Fryer” cookbook I got a few weeks ago.  This was the first time I tried the method of cooking tofu in the air fryer, then simmering it in sauce for a few minutes.  I never did it before because I thought it would make it soggy.  On the other hand, sometimes foods turn out on the dry side and cooking it in sauce would “rehydrate” it.  I used the “Home Chef” method of roasting veggies in the oven (toaster oven here), while everything else cooks.  For the sauce I used leftover teriyaki sauce, with ingredients similar to the cookbook recipe.


I like how the tofu turned out chewy and not dry.  Definitely will try this technique with other recipes.  Also, the sauce got sticky while it was simmering, which I like.


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Meatless Monday – Veggie Burgers and Crinkle Fries

We had Aldi veggie burgers for dinner tonight.  These had cheese and “grill flavor.”


I had made jalapeno poppers the other day and they were too spicy to eat on their own.  I sliced one up and put it on the burger.   I finally remembered I had an avocado in the refrigerator so added that too.


On the side of the plate is the new crinkle cutter I got from Amazon.  I made the fries in the airfryer.  I tried a tip of microwaving the potato first.  I did 2 1/2 minutes, rinsed under cool water then sliced.  Cooked in the air fryer at 392F for 20 minutes.  They were done at 15 minutes (those on the plate are 15 minutes) but I like mine well-done and did the rest for 20 minutes.  Microwaving the potato first made them crispier but also gave them a homefries taste.  I think I like cooking from raw better.


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Meatless Monday – Mushroom Tortelloni and Grits Fries

Tonight I managed to finish off some tomatoes I had frozen, tortelloni from Aldi that I hadn’t gotten around to cooking, plus try cheese grits “fries” in the air fryer.  I made the grits in the instant pot.  Love that you don’t worry about boiling over.  I added cheese then spread them in a loaf pan, refrigerated overnight.  At dinner-time I sliced into fry-sized sticks, lightly coated with olive oil and cooked in the air fryer.  I saw a recipe that had mayo mixed with Old Bay seasoning as a sauce, so I mixed up a little bit of that too.  I liked that the “fries” were crispy on the outside and creamy inside.


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Meatless Monday – Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes

I finally found a Gardein product that I like, their crabless cakes!  I had some on salad for Meatless Monday dinner.  They are a little pricey, about $4 for a bag of 10, but not outrageous either.  I want to try them in a California roll.


We also had sourdough bread.  I haven’t had much luck handling the dough from no-knead recipes, it is just too liquid.  I found this recipe, that doesn’t require preparation the day before, and gave it a try, adding a little more flour for a stiffer dough, along with 1/4 teaspoon of yeast.  I mixed it in my bread machine then transferred the dough to a bowl for rising.


It turned out shaped like a boule instead of flat!  I was so excited.  I think since the dough is not as wet, it has a finer crumb and not as “holey” as other recipes.  I want to try specialty flours to see if they make any difference in texture and flavor.


Last week I gave corn cooked in the air fryer a try.  People in the vegan air fryer group on Facebook that I belong to have been raving about it.  I didn’t see what was so great.  It was on the dry side, even though I lightly coated the corn with oil.  I’m going to try the instant pot next time.



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Meatless Monday – Home Chef Mushroom Pot Pie

Tonight we had the second meal from our Home Chef box, mushroom pot pie.  The kit came with veggies (mushrooms, duh, carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, peas), puff pastry, vegetable seasoning, and cornstarch.


I did some chopping earlier in the day so I wouldn’t have as much to do at dinner.  It seemed like a lot for two people.


I managed to fit most of the filling into the ramekins, but saved some for leftovers.  Puff pastry goes on top and it’s baked for 20 minutes.


Here’s what the filling looks like.  I thought it was just OK.  Maybe more pepper would help, or thyme.  I didn’t add salt since the miso is salty.


We have one more meal to try from the box.  I’m skipping this week since there wasn’t anything on the menu that particularly struck my fancy.  If you want to give Home Chef a try, you can click here for my referral code.  It gives you $30 off plus I get $30 credit.  I looked into some other similar companies like Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, etc., and either they were a lot pricier or their selections were not as appealing as Home Chef.

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Meatless Monday – Garden Burgers

I like veggie burgers that don’t try to taste like meat, like Garden Burgers.  We had those tonight, along with salad and baked sweet potatoes.


These are not vegan, they have cheese in them.


I found some at Sam’s Club that are vegan!  I’ll post a picture when we try them out.  They’re a “Malibu Garden Burger.”

This week I’m trying Home Chef for the first time, a meal delivery service.  It is hard to get inspired about cooking, and I want hubby to gain weight, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll probably start with using the service every other week.  You get 3 meals a week for 2 people, for $59.  I have a referral code if anyone wants to try it.  You get $30 off your first order, and I get $40 if you use the link.  I looked at Blue Apron and I didn’t see much I would want to try.  Others like Plated and Green Chef are a little more expensive.

Also today I started a sourdough starter.  I miss the artisan breads from the S.F. Bay Area.  This recipe is just flour and water.  On the 3rd through 6th days you add more flour and water.


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