Tag Archives: yum

I dream in ice cream.

Really, I do.  I could eat chocolate ice cream with crushed peanuts and bananas until I vomited.  Then I would start all over again.  I can’t explain ice cream’s hold on me.  I have always, always loved ice cream.

I can remember when I was a kid, my Grandma Helen would take me to the deli on occasion and we would get ice cream.  Every time Gram would get strawberry, but I would struggle making a choice, selecting very carefully a new flavor that I was sure was the best.  We would walk around eating our cones and within minutes, I would be asked by Gram if I wanted a taste of hers, I of course, would share a taste of mine, and then as if it were scripted, I would end up with her strawberry ice cream cone.  Meanwhile, she struggled to figure out what things like bubblegum, blue moon and superman tasted like as she was stuck holding the newest and greatest flavor I had rejected in lieu of the ever tasty tried and true strawberry.  I have since, moved on to chocolate.

In the middle of grading papers, it hit me.  Must.  Have.  Chocolate.  Ice.  Cream.  Mr. Wonderful, because he is well, wonderful, perked up and offered to drop everything and make an ice cream run.  I couldn’t let him do that (could I? no.)…so I went to the pantry and to Google.  “Chocolate Pudding Recipe” entered and like magic the interwebs returned a number of recipes.  I combined a few pudding and ice cream recipes (basically the same ingredients) to make this one, which satisfied my craving for chocolate goodness, sans bananas and peanuts, which I didn’t have on hand.  I forget how delicious REAL pudding is just out of the fridge.  It’s worth the 20 minutes of effort, with 5 minutes of stirring to get this velvety consistency.  Another bonus, most of the items you probably have in your pantry and fridge right now.  Go on, make your midnight snack before bed, you will thank me later.

Mexican Hot Chocolate “Pudding”

  • 2 C half and half*
  • 2C skim milk *
  • 4 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 hot chili peppers dried, whole
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 C Splenda or sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt

*You could use 4 C of whole milk if you like also.  To make vegan, omit both milk products and go with a soy replacement, just make sure it’s not labeled “light”.  Coconut milk would be delicious in this too!

Directions:

Combine cocoa powder, espresso powder, Splenda, spices and peppers in a thick walled saute pan, slowly add the milk and half and half while whisking so as to avoid lumps.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, keep stirring for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add vanilla.

In heat resistant bowl, whisk eggs together with a small amount of the hot mixture, tempering the eggs, add the remainder of the chocolate mixture to the eggs, combine.  Lastly, add the chocolate chips, whisk until melted.

Pour into bowls, coffee mugs, ramekins, whatever you have lying around the house that you can fit a spoon into, wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge.  If you want to avoid the “skin” which I happen to think is gross, but Mr. Wonderful loves, press the plastic wrap down to the pudding until it touches and wrap up.   I tossed a few in the freezer in ziploc containers so as to mimic the frozen delish that is ice-cream.

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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.

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

What’s in the freezer?

So my plans for tonight were cancelled, believe me, I’m not complaining.  I don’t even know what happened to the month of October.  As you can see from my last post at the beginning of October, I was obviously abducted by aliens and didn’t have Wi-Fi in order to blog.

This evening, I arrived home to a growling stomach, courtesy of too much PM snacking with only caloric and fat benefits and two dogs that needed my immediate attention (i.e. let’s go for a walk) which calls off all audibles to the store to wander and create.  Took care of the dogs, fielded a few calls from frantic students with assignments due, then opened up the freezer…squash puree, black beans, soups of all kinds, blueberries (gosh, those are STILL in there?) and the usual culprits, cheese, veg burgers, etc…boooorrriiingg.  Then, the lightbulb flickers…squash burritos?  Yes…squash burritos.

Squash Burritos with Black Beans

  • 2 C black beans, cooked
  • 2 C butternut squash, pureed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 T chipotle en adobo (if you aren’t a fan of spicy, use 3/4 to 1 T for the smokey kick minus the tongue burn)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 T pineapple juice (plus more for the avocado)
  • 2 T crushed pineapple
  • grape tomatoes (a couple of handfuls)
  • 1 avocado
  • 6 reduced-fat, flour tortillas
  • 1 C finely shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (or goat cheese, yum)
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • Chopped red onion
  • Light sour cream or my newest sour cream replacement, plain Greek fat free yogurt

Directions:  Combine beans through pineapple in list above in a medium pot, cook until warmed through.  Assemble burritos on flour tortillas with all ingredients except for sour cream.  Roll into burrito shape.  Place into 9×9 pan, put in oven covered until warmed through and moist.  Serve with sour cream and leftover avocado.  I also use plenty of Frank’s Red Hot on top with a sprinkle of extra cheese.

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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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Last of Summer Squash, Summer Tacos

Today, it reached 86 degrees in west Michigan.  Did I mention it’s SEPTEMBER!  So what better way to celebrate summer’s last hurrah?  Summer Squash Tacos.  This is a colorful way to get your family/friends to eat their veggies AND use up that plethora of summer squash you have sitting in the crisper waiting for a slow veg death.  Throw in some homemade corn tortillas (thanks for the idea Chef Mike and Andrea) and you have a substantial tasting low-fat and low-cal dish.  Easy on the add on’s and you can keep it healthy and light.  Make the tortillas, the taste of fresh corn tortillas will change your life.  I swear.

Corn Tortillas

  • 2 C Masa Harina
  • 1 1/2 C Hot water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Yeah, that’s it.  Three ingredients.  Combine the Masa Harina and salt with the hot water until it takes form, cover, toss in fridge for an hour.  After you let it set, form 2 inch balls with the corn dough, press with tortilla press or old school like I do, between 2 sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin, then toss on a dry fry pan 1 min first side, a few seconds on the second side and keep in a warm oven covered until you are done frying all of the tortillas.

Summer Tacos

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 C frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1 C chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 C red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 C poblano pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 small summer zucchini, diced
  • 1 C black beans (I used fresh made, frozen from a previous post)
  • 1 tsp epazote or oregano
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • salsa, light sour cream, reduced fat cheese, hot sauce, lime, pickled jalapenos

Heat the oil in a wok or large fry pan.  Toast corn if fresh, if using frozen corn, in pan with oil combine, onion, peppers, garlic and fry until tender crisp, add zucchini, beans, pepper, epazote, tomatoes and frozen corn cook until warm. To serve, top corn tortillas with veg mix and salsa, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce and jalapenos.

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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.

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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Wanted: Pretty Girls To Sit At The Bar

My girlfriend Randi has been dying to take me to this vegan restaurant in Chicago. It NEVER works out that we get to go when I’m there for anything and so my friend Amy and I took a trip to Chicago to eat, drink and be merry with Randi while her hubby was out of town. Best meal I’ve had in forever. You should certainly go out of the way to visit Karyn’s on Green in Greektown for a few reasons, 1) the waitstaff doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, they make you go out on that limb where the best fruit lies and pick it (the raw Maki roll is proof), 2)  Karyn greets you at the door and calls you pretty even when you don’t feel pretty, 3)  there is POPCORN to nosh on when you are waiting for your table drinking $12 expensive as all hell cocktails that an incompetent waiter is creating (you really do have your fingers crossed), 4) the bathroom blasts crunk, 5)  they take and adhere to reservations, 6) the food is amazing, 7) they have $7.00 valet parking so you can wear your fancy shoes that you actually can’t walk a city block in, to dine here.

I was basically in a food orgy, so these are the only two pics we could get on Randi’s sweet new phone.

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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This is NOT about a recipe…this post is about a snack.

My name is Adri and I have a problem.

This is what I will say when I find the True Delights Multigrain Fiber Crisps Quaker Oats support group with their 12-step program.

I can’t stop eating these things.

My fave are the blackberry pomegranate flavor, I just can’t stop eating them.  I mean, 3 days ago, I bought 3 bags…and today, I have no bags left.  I’m gonna say it’s a pack a day habit. Now I have to return to my dealer, Target to get another hit/bag.  The ingredients list doesn’t say “contains crack” but I feel like the little Quaker guy might be lying.

Happy snacking.  Did I mention they are perfect beach food?  Snack on.