Tag Archives: recipe

Vegan MoFo Readers Inspire

This is an infant blog. I post willy-nilly when I feel like I have righted some food wrong in the universe with a really delicious recipe. Mostly I blog about food because when I tell people I’m vegetarian or semi-vegan, people give me that blank “deer in the headlights” sort of stare; however, in reality, vegetarianism and veganism is not so uncommon. According to a recent study by my friends at Vegetarian Times, 7.3 Million people are vegetarian, of those 1 Million are vegan, consuming NO animal protein at all and a pretty incredible 10% of US adults, say that they are “vegetarian inclined”.

Good work friends. Keep up your enthusiasm and fierce dedication to a meat free lifestyle and I will keep sharing simple, fun and fresh meat-free recipes to assist your quest for a veg life. If I can do it, so can you. I even have Mr. Wonderful requesting and eating TOFU when we go out to restaurants. It’s a great contagion. Happy Vegan MoFo-ing. Be sure to check out other blogs linked to this site:  Vegan MoFo Headquarters.  Cheers to your next meat free masterpiece.

Fresh bread, 45 minutes, no yeast. Really. It’s yummy too!

Turns out you can make bread that tastes good, without much time, yeast or overloading your very busy napping, I mean working, schedule on a Sunday afternoon.  I forget that I own this cookbook until I see that someone else has dug out a keeper of a recipe from it.  I made more potato soup this afternoon in the crock pot from basically what we had in the fridge, 6 baking potatoes, 2 small yellow onions, a handful of baby carrots, 4 dried chiles, fresh thyme, a little half and half, and some skim milk while we were busy with grading, laundry, cleaning, etc and this quick savory bread was the perfect compliment to that delish dish.

Olive Oil and Salt Quick Bread
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
  • 1 cup of warm water

To Do:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 and grease an oven proof dish or skillet – 8-9″ is probably best.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Turn on the machine and slowly add the olive oil and most of the water.
  3. Process for 30 seconds. The dough should roll into a ball and barely sticky.  If it hasn’t come together yet, add remaining water a tablespoon at a time, processing for 5 seconds each time.  If you want to add herbs, cheese, whatever, to the dough, do it now.
  4. Put the dough into the pan and flatten it until the dough fits to the edges.  Flip and press again. Cover tightly with foil and bake.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top with coarse seat salt and herbs (if you like). Bake for another 20 minutes. The top will be golden and it will spring back when touched.

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Vegan MoFo!

Confession:  I ate out tonight.  Worse yet, tomorrow I begin noshing at Restaurant Week GR, which means, the next 10 days will have more dining out than I care to admit to…however, in honor of November 2, Election Day FINALLY being behind us, I give you a recipe I will be making at some point in the next few days, as I have already baked off the potatoes in prep for it:  Baked Potato Soup. What’s the correlation to Election Day?  Well, I came across this YouTube clip of the humble potato and its rise to fame in 1992 when then VP Dan Quayle was schooled by a 6th-grader in how to spell the singular of potatoe, er, I mean potato.  Soup’s on!

Baked Potato Soup

2 T EVOO
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baking potatoes (about 2-1/2 lbs.)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 oz.)
6 cups milk (reduced fat if you prefer, or plain soy if vegan)
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (use reduced fat if you prefer or soy if vegan)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream (for garnish, omit if you prefer)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 faux-bacon slices, cooked and crumbled or other meat sub that has a smoky bite to it.  I used Morningstar Ground Sausage Crumbles in a pinch tonight.
Cracked black pepper (optional)

*adapted from Cooking Light, Rachael Ray and anon on the Interwebs

Adzuki!!

Sometimes I look at recipes on veg websites, scan the list of ingredients and then set off to stump my local health food grocer.  West Michigan lacks a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s which typically has all of these little bulk dried treasure bins and so, after I looked for a way to get rid of a butternut squash that was going to go bad this week, I found a recipe by Heidi Swanson adapted from a vegan cookbook that uses adzuki beans as a source of protein.

Adzuki beans?  Yeah, until last year I hadn’t heard of them either.  In popular Japanese and Chinese culture, they typically sweeten them and turn them into delicious desserts.  Turns out they are a substantial little bean that hold up well in chili, soups, and stews. They take little time to cook from a dry state and store beautifully in your freezer in Ziploc bags, so you can make a bunch at a time.  Additionally, they make a great non-refridge salad to pass at potlucks or picnics in the summer in this zesty Adzuki Bean Salad recipe from Whole Foods.

Adzuki & Butternut Squash Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (dried) coriander
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle pepper (from can, or rehydrated from dried chile)
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 2 medium-large onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 5 – 6 cups water
  • 5 whole canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked or canned adzuki beans
  • cilantro drizzle (optional)*

To make adzuki beans from a dry state.  Rinse, rinse, rinse.  Pick through for any duds, toss those.  For 4 cups of cooked beans, try for 2-3 cups of dry beans.  I had 4 1/2 cups of dried beans on the shelf, so I decided, if I’m gonna cook 4 cups I may as well cook what’s in my jar; thus, came out with 13 cups of cooked beans, of which I froze the extras not needed in the recipe.  Put beans in a large pot with cold water covering over the beans about 2 inches, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for about 30 minutes.  They don’t take too long.  The bean is perfect when it takes a little pressure to smash it against the roof of your mouth when you are testing and burning yourself 🙂  This is obviously a VERY scientific method here.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, coriander, chipotle, cumin and salt and saute for a minute or two – until aromatic. Add the onions and saute another 5 minutes or so, until they start to go translucent. Add the garlic and butternut squash, stir well, and then add 5-6 cups of water. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, and once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for a few minutes, until the squash begins to soften – 5 – 10 minutes.

Once the squash has softened, use a potato masher and break up the squash pieces a bit. Add the tomatoes, and cook a couple more minutes before adding the beans. Serve drizzled with the cilantro.

Serves about 8.

* I made a cilantro drizzle by putting one bunch of cilantro leaves into my mini-chop food processor with about a tablespoon of EVOO and a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes for good measure.

Adapted from 101cookbooks.com

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Spicy Lentil Soup

Lentils are wildly simple to use, satisfying and filling, cheap and quick to cook.  Now why is it that you haven’t tried them?  Yeah, I’m not sure either.  Give this recipe a try.  It’s pretty tame as far as curry flavors go, so you can ease your friends/family into the whole lentil idea.  🙂

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
  • 7 cups liters water or veggie broth
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons HOT curry powder (which if you purchase from Penzeys turns out to not be very hot, more spicy than hot)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (butter for non-vegans or ghee)
  • 2 cups or 1 can rinsed chickpeas
  • 8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can low fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • one small handful cilantro, chopped
  • cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. This takes quite a while but believe me it is totally worth it.  The first time I made this, I rinsed just so-so and it was a no-go.  Ick.  Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful so as not to burn the curry, this is a huge #fail.  Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, currants, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. Add the cooked chickpeas just at the end so they don’t turn to mush.  The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it.  Sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro and the remaining green onions.

As Heidi Swanson so frequently does, I served this concoction over leftover brown rice that I would have tossed the next day.  It’s like upcycling for food.

Turns out this freezes beautifully for single-servings throughout the week.  It thickens up a bit, but just thin it out with water if you don’t like the consistency upon reheat.  I’ve found a container of this in the back of my freezer and enjoyed with delight up to four weeks later.  🙂

 

recipe adapted from 101cookbooks.com

VeganMoFo, Ya Know?

From one of my fave bloggers and cookbook writers, not to mention totally rad human being comes VeganMoFo: “It’s that time of year again! Time to wear down your stove and your keyboard. Time to mow people down with your shopping cart. Time to answer the age old question: do lemon and chocolate taste good together? It’s time for VeganMoFo, the Vegan Month Of Food. VeganMoFo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage toNaNoWriMo. Because we do want to write novels, but sometimes cooking gets in the way. So why not combine them! 

The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea, right? If not, browse around on some of our round-ups and you’ll catch on fast!

There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month. If you’d like inspiration or would just like to whine about how hard it is, check out the MoFo forum on the PPK message boards.

As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.”

I’m excited!  Hopefully I can get in the quota of writing.  Between this and Grand Rapids Restaurant Week…I’ve never been more excited for a November! Inspired?  Start your own Blog for the month.  Perhaps become a Vegan or Veg for a month in homage to PPK’s VeganMoFo.  You might even like it.  See you on the Veg side.  Bring it on Internets!!  🙂

Tender Zucchini Fritters

This recipe looks scary, but it’s well worth it.  I know it’s intimidating reading the laundry list of ingredients and taking the time to put it together but, it’s a small price to pay for summer in your mouth.  Yet another great way to use the Summer Zucchini in your crisper you are going to toss in another week anyway.

Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Fritters:

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini (5 to 6), trimmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1 4-ounce package soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled, chilled (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (lightly packed) mâche (lamb’s lettuce; 2 to 3 ounces)

For dressing:
Blend all ingredients in processor until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

For fritters:
Using large holes on box grater, coarsely grate zucchini into large colander. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon coarse salt over and toss to coat evenly. Place colander over large bowl. Let zucchini stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Press on zucchini to release as much liquid as possible. Empty zucchini into kitchen towel. Roll up to enclose and squeeze dry.

Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in medium bowl to blend. Mix in beer. Scrape zucchini from towel into bowl; stir to coat evenly (batter will be thick). Mix in cheese.

Heat 1/3 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Working in batches, drop batter into skillet by 1/4 cupfuls, flattening to 3-inch rounds. Sauté until brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F oven 5 to 6 minutes.

Place mâche in large bowl. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons dressing. Place 2 fritters on each of 6 plates. Top with mound of mâche salad. Serve fritters, passing remaining dressing alongside.

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Beans and Cornbread

The theme song to Dinner and A Movie with Paul and Annabell on USA Network was THIS.  It would be stuck in my mind for DAYS!!!  I regressed and began singing it while making chili and promptly wanted to leap off a cliff.  Hope you suffer as much as I did.  🙂  For your misery, a cornbread recipe.  BEANS AND CORNBREAD!

Mexican Cornbread

  • 1 C yellow cornmeal
  • 1 C sifted all-purp flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C skim milk
  • 1/3 C reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4 C veg oil
  • 2 T chopped jalapenos

Preheat oven to 425, place cast iron skillet inside while warming up, buttered.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  To this mixture, add egg, milk, sour cream, oil and jalapenos, mix until smooth.  Pour into prepared hot pan.  Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Recipe is a combo of many from Ina Garten, Paula Deen and Gourmet Magazine.

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Soup Season!

Fall is my favorite food season.  Tailgating and soup making are really the highlights in my humble opinion.  Mr. Wonderful did all the grocery shopping for the week after we picked out our recipes for the week over a blueberry pancake breakfast (yes, some of THOSE blueberries).  So this evening, all I had to do was pull together this easy, soul warming soup.

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Black Bean Corn Chowder

  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 C black beans, cooked
  • 4 C veggie broth
  • 2 C skim milk
  • 1/4 C sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1/2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste

Saute’ veggies (not corn) in EVOO, cook until soft.  Add spices, cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring.  Add liquids bring to boil.  Drop in frozen corn and beans.  Bring back to boil.  Serve hot with toppings of your choice.  We like sour cream, avocado and a squeeze of lime.

My black beans generally do not come from a can, except for when I am in a super duper hurry and haven’t done a good job of planning ahead.  Tonight I made a two pound bag of black beans before putting together the soup so that I had a few bags in the freezer ready to go for the next few weeks.  To quickly cook black beans, in a large pot, dump rinsed and picked over beans, cover with water plus 2 inches up the side of the pan and boil until al dente.  They will cook the rest of the way in whatever you cook them in, soup, tacos, etc.  Yeah, that’s it.  You don’t have to do all that soaking if you have about 45 minutes to boil the crap out of them.  This way, you save money, they taste WAAAYYYY better and the sodium content is much lower.  I then take the beans and freeze them in plastic bags.  They don’t last long, so I’m not sure how long they keep.  Hispanic food stores have the BEST deals on dried black beans.  I once bought a 10 pound bag for $4.00.  Seriously.  I just finished that bag a few weeks ago, it lasted about 6 months.

Calling All Butternut Squash For Role In Pasta Dish

I purchased 8 huge, I mean HUGE butternut squash from the orchard last week. I began processing them this weekend in an effort to eat them, or store them before they go bad.  I cut up two of the bad boys and baked them, then I pureed them to an astonishing 13 cups of golden deliciousness.  They now are secure in 1 cup measurements in the freezer ready to use in a pinch.  So awesome!

I reorganized my recipe heap, yes, heap this weekend and came across this one from an old Rachael Ray magazine-so what if it’s from 2007, I mean I’m getting to it at least!

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Penne with Squash Cream Sauce

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2T butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 C squash puree (butternut, pumpkin, etc)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or thyme (sage might be good here too)

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the squash and cream and bring to a boil. Return the pasta to the pot, along with the reserved pasta water, and toss. Stir in the parmesan; season with salt & pepper.

Top pasta with herbs and more parmesan to serve.

I know that so many people have such a love/hate relationship with Rachael Ray. I admit, I don’t watch her shows, nor do I like a lot of her recipes but this one is YUM-O (okay, that was sarcastic, sorry).

Oh, I almost forgot, the side dish pictured is my fave way to eat cauliflower. Break into smallish pieces, toss with EVOO (another Rach-ism) some kosher salt and bake until browned at 400 degrees.  Here is my second fave way to eat cauliflower.

My Friends Cook Too! Anne P., Guest Post

I get really excited when my friends make veg friendly food.  Fall is a great time for soup, and what is cheaper right now than winter squash?  Not much, so stock up and keep it in a cool dry place, it will last through the winter.  Or, as Anne mentions below, cut it open, place face down on a cookie sheet, pop into the oven at about 350 degrees until soft, scoop out the flesh (sans seeds-save those to plant in the summer next year), drop it into a freezer bag and you have most of the work done and in your freezer for pies, soups, muffins, breads etc all winter.  Great idea Anne.

Squash Soup a la Anne

Anne Porter-I got the original recipe off the Food Network website. It’s an Alton Brown recipe, but I have altered it quite a bit.

It called for butternut squash, but I used a blend of acorn and carnival squash in the batch, I have used butternut in the past.

  • 6 cups of prepared squash
  • 2 cans of fat free vegetarian vegetable broth
  • 2 T. Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 can lite coconut milk (used Thai Kitchen brand)

Directions:  In a large stock pot combine squash, broth, brown sugar and ginger. Simmer and then puree with immersion blender (or in your blender, food processor, food mill). Stir in coconut milk and return to a low simmer. Season to taste w/salt, pepper and/or nutmeg.

Approximately 8 – 1 cup servings at 115 calories per serving.

My squash was in the freezer from what I had frozen last fall, so it took me less than 20 minutes to make this, so it’s super easy and so tasty!

*I just made this soup tonight-with butternut from my garden!!!  To her base recipe I added:

  • 1/2 frozen banana (out with the brown sugar)
  • 1 medium onion, saute’ with garlic
  • 4 cloves of garlic, saute’ with onion
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp hot curry
  • 1 tsp sweet curry
  • 1 T Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1/2 C fat free half and half

Instead of blending the whole thing, I blended 1/2 and left the other half chunky. I like texture in my soup.  It was delish served with Nantucket Baking Company Sourdough Bread.

Sage Advice – Old School Style

I was feverishly flipping through my recipe cards last week and came across these vintage cards from my Grandma Helen.  I thought I’d post a few for your enjoyment.

“For Throwing Up”

  • 1 pint diluted OJ
  • 1T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Directions:  there aren’t any directions on the card.  I’m guessing stir and drink.  I am 100% convinced this would make me barf, not help me stop.

“For Windows”

  • 1/2 C ammonia
  • 1/8 C vinegar
  • 1 quart water in a spray bottle

Directions:  Combine.  Tip-when drying windows on the inside vertical, outside horizontal, you will then know which side is in and out when you polish.

Other Tips:

  • To discourage rabbits from nibbling on veggie plants, mix a solution of soap powder granules and water. Spray on plants.  The soapy mix will not hurt the plant or you, but the rabbits will not like it.
  • Sugar dampened with turpentine will stop bleeding.
  • Mix equal parts of soda and pure lard.  Apply small amount twice a week to remove corns.
  • A cure for warts-cover wart with white adhesive tape, make it air tight for several weeks.  When tape is removed wart will be gone.  Caster Oil and white vinegar also helps.
  • To remove chewing gum from clothing pour white vinegar on and let stand for 5 minutes.  Gum can then be pulled off (Aunt Jane’s sewing circle).

Simple AND Delicious

After the “less is more post” I promised a Pineapple Brie Pizza post.  So here we have a common sense delicious pizza. Made at home in like 5 minutes plus about 5 more to melt the Brie.  I tried and didn’t HATE the low fat Brie on this pizza made by President.  Now, it didn’t melt into the delicious puddle that I had hoped, but it didn’t look like a melted styrofoam plate either and it was still pretty tasty.  For naked eating enjoyment, and I mean on crackers plain obviously…the full fat Brie would be better to create that delicious melty mess to put on top, but for this pizza, the low fat version was totally acceptable.

Pineapple Brie Pizza

Adapted from Clean Eating

Makes 2 small Boboli Crust pizzas

  • 1/2 cored, and slivered ripe pineapple
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small wheel Brie thinly sliced, with skin still on
  • 2 cubes Pesto (about 2 Tbs) from my Pesto blog post (or any Pesto really)
  • 2 small whole wheat Boboli crusts

Directions:  Couldn’t be easier.  Preheat oven to 425, prebake crusts for about 5 minutes so as to keep them from getting soggy from the pineapple juice.  Remove, cool, add to pizza crusts, fine layer of pesto, red onion slices, pineapple slivers, then sliced Brie.  Pop back into oven until Brie melts, remove, salt and pepper for taste and enjoy.

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Suzy Baker’s Fancy Meat Marinade

Suzy Baker was my college boyfriend’s mom. She was wonderful. Fun, lovely, stylish, composed, and a great cook. I didn’t know a lot about cooking until I met her. I mean, I had put together Chicken marinated with Italian dressing, brownies from a box, salads, and made pizzas from Pillsbury biscuits, but I didn’t use recipes to create a finished product. Suzy taught me to marinade cheap pieces of meat to create grilled masterpieces that tasted like they were filet mignon, mix together common household ingredients to make amazing dips and sauces when company showed up unexpectedly and more importantly taught me that you could be an educated mother and wife while not sacrificing your freedom or integrity of mind by finding joy in taking care of others; that it was still cool to be a care giver and a feminist at the same time. Suzy passed away a few years ago this week from cancer that she battled so gracefully for years, so I thought I’d feature this post of her “Fancy Meat Marinade” created from common pantry ingredients, which turns flank steak or any other cheap piece of meat (excluding seafood) into a succulent prime cut every time. This recipe helped create my dish that I entered in the Beat Bob’s Meat Contest that I wrote about in my last post. Thanks Suzy for lighting my culinary fuse.

Fancy Meat Marinade

  • 1 large sweet yellow onion cut into 1/8ths
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed with skins removed
  • 1 C EVOO
  • 1 C Red Wine Vinegar (any vinegar would be fine)
  • 1 C Soy Sauce
  • 1 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 C Worchestershire Sauce

Put above ingredients into a Ziploc freezer bag, add meat, marinade in fridge flat over night turning every 4 hours or so.  Marinade at least 12 hours, but not more than 48.  Grill meat to taste.  Do not use on seafood or tofu. 

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Cook with a book, but make it your own recipe

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I’m embarrassed every time someone asks: can I have the recipe?  I reply, sure you can, but it um, won’t taste exactly like this…  Which leads the consumer of said tasty goods to ask a perplexed “why not?”  They then proceed to give me that, “you stopped at D&W’s deli counter on the way over here didn’t you bitch!!?”  To which I must defend with a totally lame-o explanation:  No!  I didn’t buy it!  I um, don’t follow directions, really, well, exactly.  Which is true.  I don’t.  It’s ironic actually, because I am a fantastic rule-follower, order-taker and baker (which requires precise, level it off with the back of a knife measurements-my worst nightmare).  It makes my friend LEP really frustrated as every time she encounters a new recipe, she follows it to the letter so as to produce the EXACT item and then the next time she will re-make it according to what she likes, wants, etc.  I myself don’t mess around with that first step…I feel like the integrity of the dish is what I make of it, the original recipe is sorta like the skeleton, I provide the flesh for it.  This way, I can LOVE or sometimes, loathe what I have created, claim the recipe as my own and then fix it or nix it as inspired by another recipe.  The trick is…writing it down.  As a result of this behavior, ALL of my cookbooks and recipe print outs have “x’s” through some things and a ton of margin notes.  It’s an illness.

Here is a great example.  Most mornings, breakfast is two whole grain pieces of toast slathered with EVOO butter, OJ and #Freshpots.  Today, no bread to make toast…damn.  I did however have whole wheat tortillas, lots of eggs, red peppers (on sale!!!), onion, a jalapeno fresh from my garden, a handful of cilantro from a pot on my deck, a sweet potato, some really limp sad spinach in clam shell box ready to go to old food heaven, queso fresco, and a beautiful shiny poblano pepper in the crisper.  So I dug through a file folder for a recipe I know I fished off the Internet about 100 years ago, and whew…I still had it!  This is the recipe I used as the base, with the ingredients up above as subs, adds, etc.  Since I’m planning on using tofu in my dinner dish tonight, I opted to omit the soy protein.  It freaks me out to eat so much soy in a day-I try to follow these guidelines, but also my brain that says, too much of anything, while tasting wonderful, will probably turn out to be bad for me (this is true for more than just food it may seem).

The end result?  Here is my breakfast burrito recipe as adapted from the Cooking Light Tofu Breakfast Burrito recipe from the May ’09 issue-and yes, I did write it down.

Ingredients:

  • 1  teaspoon  EVOO
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4 of each, diced finely, sweet onion, red pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) queso fresco crumbled
  • 2  tablespoons  minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4  (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1  cup  baby spinach leaves, close to compost (good save!)
  • 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and grated (yep like cheese–cooks faster)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Frank’s Red Hot

In a saute pan, heat EVOO gently over medium heat, add all veggies at same time, cook until just tender.  While veggies are cooking, scramble eggs and seasonings in a bowl.  Add eggs to veggies after they reach your desired level of “doneness”  scramble until you don’t gag anymore when you see wetness of the eggs.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with queso fresco, liberally cover in Frank’s Red Hot, then add some more because you can never have too much Frank’s Red Hot.  Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 of the mixture, roll and eat from your hand, preferably over the kitchen sink as you wouldn’t want to appear to be too dignified (you don’t need a plate!!) and certainly you do not want to pick up all those diced veggies that will fall out of the back of your burrito onto the floor.