Saturday, February 26, 2011

Breakfast, pure and simple


Vanilla Yogurt with Fresh Strawberries

These days, finding food that satisfies is difficult for me. Nothing to do with the food, I am sure. It's me that has issues.

This isn't a post about making yogurt (though I have done that) or growing strawberries. Just a small meal - vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries - I can stomach.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

When precious little seems appealing


Sliced Rice Cake Udon Soup

I'm taking a forever lasting hiatus from trying new recipes. Alright, I'm just kidding about the forever bit. But, I am taking a break.

Unfortunately, these days, precious little seems appetizing to me. Puts me between a rock and hard place, when eating is kind of important. Anything, everything I cook seems repulsive to me right now.

Udon hasn't reached that status, yet, thankfully. And, I purchased Korean sliced rice cakes at the Asian grocery store recently. So with just a bit of sea salt, green onions, and a touch of soy sauce, along with rice cakes and udon, I made a little soup.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stovetop Vegetarian Chili


Stovetop Vegetarian Chili

This is recipe #1 in Good Housekeeping: Vegetarian Meals; Meatless Recipes Everyone Will Love. This is actually the third recipe in the book I've tried. For those of you who are just joining me, I had meant to go in order, for the most part. Somehow the pages got stuck together, and I neglected to see the first two recipes. Also, I am not a vegetarian, but I have good friends who are. One of those really good friends has this cookbook, and I told her I'd go through it kind of like Julie Powell did with Julia Child's cookbook.

I made this in a bit of a hurry, being on a time crunch, this morning. I'm pleased with how it turned out. Very tasty. My husband agrees. I made several of my own tweaks, as usually. You'll have to get a hold of the original recipe to see the differences. Unless you're content with my version. Plan on adding this to list of foods to make in the future.

  • 1 1/2 medium red onions - chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sent through a garlic press
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes - peeled & cut into small squares
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded & minced
  • 2 15.5 oz cans of black beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 28 oz can of pre-cut mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp red sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp sea salt
  • 6-8 c. water
  • In a pan, with a few tablespoons of olive oil, on low medium heat, cook the red onions until transparent. I added a bit of sea salt towards the end of cooking.
  • In a large pot, place in the sweet potatoes with just enough water to barely cover the sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil & lower heat until simmering with lid on but somewhat displaced. Cook for about 20-30 minutes.
  • In the large pot, add everything else to the sweet potatoes: garlic, jalapeno chile, black beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pre-cut mushrooms, chili powder, cumin, coriander, sea salt, and sugar. Add the red onions as well. Allow the contents enough time to soak in all the flavor, and it's ready to serve.

One rookie mistake I made was, I wish I had pan-fried the mushrooms first, before throwing them into the soup. Cooks fast that way. Sometimes the mushrooms don't quite cook well if they're thrown into the soup late in the game. Thankfully, the mushrooms were fine this time.

A delicious soup.

Still steaming. Can you see?

As my dad would say, "Try it; you'll like it."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caribbean Black Bean Soup


Caribbean Black Bean Soup

I apologize for the photograph that doesn't do justice to this dish. My husband said he really liked it; wondered whether I had put barbecue sauce in it. Barbecue sauce? Huh? No.

One thing I would have changed in how I prepared this soup yesterday, my first attempt, was to soak the dry beans over night, cook the beans by themselves first, cook the beans longer . . . the beans could have been more tender. I'm getting ahead of myself.

This is the 4th recipe in the Good Housekeeping Vegetarian Meals recipe book.

  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced, via garlic press
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 7-10 c water
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small squares
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • sea salt
  • 3 bunches of green onions, washed and cut finely
  • Soak the black beans over night (translation: don't be stupid or last minute like me; I soaked the dry beans for maybe four to five hours) and perhaps even cook them separately first.
  • In a pan, throw in a modest amount of olive oil and cook the red onions on lower medium heat until they are transparent. I threw in a few pinches of sea salt.
  • In a pot (stock pot?), throw everything else in. Bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for an hour or long enough for the sweet potatoes and black beans to be tender and for the flavors to soak into the potatoes and beans.
Our whole house smelled flagrantly of this delicious soup, and when my husband arrived home, his interest was peaked and ripened for tasting the aromatic food.