‘savory’ Category

  1. vegan mashed potatoes

    November 27, 2016 by Angie

    I am really bad at making mashed potatoes. I get horrified by the ingredients in the internet’s favorite recipes: bucket of sour cream, 19 sticks of butter, multiple cups of heavy cream, gallons of whole milk. I feel guilty enough about the potatoes. I have tried several healthier versions over the years and they have all sucked.

    This year I based my attempt on a vegan recipe that pledges to be “the creamiest vegan mashed potatoes” from the blog My California Roots. They were cold by the time I got to eat them on Thanksgiving Day, but Robbie and I loved the leftovers. I would make and eat these again and again. I think next year I need to explore a vegan gravy to go on top.

    Thanksgiving 2016

    There they are with apple and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce (I used brown sugar this year – yum), tofu vegetable pot pie, and cheddar bay biscuits. Mom’s sweet potato casserole and Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes were dessert.

    I changed things around a little so here is what I did.

    Ingredients

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews
    2.5 lbs gold potatoes
    4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
    2 tablespoons (probably more like 5, but who’s counting?) minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes.
    2. Submerge the potatoes in water in a large pot.
    3. Microwave a cup of water in a bowl.
    4. Add the half cup of cashews to the boiling water. Set aside for at least half an hour.
    5. When it’s getting closer to meal time, boil the potatoes in the pot for about thirty minutes or until the potato chunks are tender when poked with a fork.
    6. While the potatoes are cooking, make the cashew cream by blending the water and cashews together. I used my crappy food processor and it worked out fine.
    7. Drain the potatoes.
    8. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cashew cream, Earth Balance, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    9. Using a hand mixer, blend everything together for as little time as you can while still getting the lumpy to smooth ratio you like for your mashed potato consistency.
    10. Eat them right now! They get cold in a hurry.

  2. crunchy tofu tacos

    July 28, 2016 by Angie

    I feel like a fancy chef, y’all! This recipe is easy and so delicious but it looks like something from a cooking show. At least it did in person – I hope the photos do the tacos justice. It’s a flour tortilla topped with a sweetened carrot slaw, pan-fried tofu, toasted cashews, vegan sriracha mayo, and green onions.

    crunchy tofu taco!

    Mmm, sriracha mayo.

    I was looking through the Cooking Light website for new recipes and found this one for supercrunch tacos. I followed it pretty closely except for cheating a bit with the carrot slaw. I used a bag of pre-cut julienned carrots, broccoli stalks, and cabbage instead. I also used flour tortillas and skipped heating them. I will do the two damp paper towels in the microwave trick the next time I make this because warm tortillas would make everything nicer.

    an aerial view

    Two thumbs up from both halves of Robgeleen!


  3. eggplant parmesan

    May 28, 2016 by Angie

    My mother-in-law makes the best eggplant parmesan. The best. I tried to make eggplant parmesan a couple of times using other recipes and I didn’t like what I made. The recipes called for salting then frying the eggplant slices leading directly to disaster. Even Italian restaurants seriously mess up eggplant parmesan so making delicious eggplant parmesan has been a culinary goal of mine for years.

    Blanky's eggplant parmesan

    Blanky’s stellar eggplant parmesan

    My mother-in-law shared her recipe with me along with some tips and the brand of sauce she uses – Ragu Chunky in a giant plastic container. Can you believe that? That sauce is key!

    The recipe is this baked, not fried, version from Martha Stewart. Baking is lower fat, less messy, and a lot easier than frying. I followed the recipe pretty closely because I really wanted it to succeed this time! My small changes included the addition of a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder to the bread crumb and cheese mixture and decreasing the initial baking time as advised by my mother-in-law.

    I don’t buy eggs, but I do keep Eggology egg whites in the house. Robbie looked up the conversion for me. Two tablespoons of egg whites are equivalent to one egg without the yolk. He poured four tablespoons of Eggology into a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance oil to try to make up for the fat missing from the two egg yolks he omitted. From there he added the two tablespoons of water and whisked.

    I ran out of the bread crumbs and cheese mixture halfway through and had to make another one. I will double it from the start in the future.

    I had to bake the casserole longer than the recipe said to achieve the coveted bubbly, golden brown status. I think my oven is wonky so YMMV.

    I’m happy to report that my eggplant parmesan was amazing! It was not exactly like my mother-in-law’s but it was really, really delicious. Way better than what I’ve had at many restaurants and I’ve eaten more than my fair share of restaurant eggplant parmesan.

    eggplant parmesan

    Next time I will do everything the same except I’ll also slice the eggplant more carefully to get consistently thin slices and I’ll be prepared to bake the final casserole longer, maybe even using the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end.

    unphotogenic serving

    Lifetime culinary goal achieved!


  4. bruschetta

    May 21, 2016 by Angie

    The jar of pesto in my pantry was in danger of expiring, therefore, bruschetta. Eating bruschetta is much more enjoyable than throwing pesto away. I made a good life choice.

    pretty bruschetta

    Ingredients:

    loaf of fresh French bread
    jar of basil pesto (I would guess I used about 3 tablespoons – the jar is still quite full.)
    1 cup of cherry tomatoes
    reduced fat feta cheese (I used almost the entire container.)
    balsamic vinegar

    Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.

    2. Slice the French bread into small discs. Arrange the bread slices on the cookie sheet and spritz them with olive oil.

    3. Bake the bread slices until slightly toasty. You have to keep a close eye on them – they want to burn.

    4. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes and feta in a bowl.

    5. Spread pesto on the toasted bread slices. Top with the tomato feta mixture. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the bruschetta, if you’re into that. Enjoy!

    plate of bruschetta


  5. spaghetti squash black bean mexican bowl

    March 12, 2016 by Angie

    I made this Mexican-style dish from Kalyn’s Kitchen recently. It’s a hot black bean mixture with avocado salsa served over roasted spaghetti squash strands. Robbie and I both loved it. We ate it all.

    avocadoy beany goodness

    My spaghetti squash wasn’t very large so the ratio of black beans/salsa to spaghetti squash is a little off. The deliciousness was unaffected.

    spaghetti squash underneath

    There it is! Spaghetti squash peeking out from underneath all the beans and veggies.

    I followed her recipe pretty closely. The changes I made were I only halved the spaghetti squash instead of quartering it. It wasn’t big enough to require quartering and I really struggle to cut through them. I don’t have Vege-Sal so I used salt, as suggested. I skipped the green chiles and the green tabasco sauce. I don’t keep those things on hand and we don’t really like them anyway. The dish is very flavorful. I didn’t miss the things I omitted. Kalyn’s Kitchen did it again with a great, healthy recipe!

    bowl!
    Mmm, limey avocado.


  6. stuffed zucchini

    March 6, 2016 by Angie

    I’m always looking for new sides. Somehow (maybe MyFitnessPal emails?), I came across this post for Summer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini from the Mountain Mama Cooks blog. I can rarely leave a recipe alone so I changed it up a little.

    eat zucchini filled with zucchini!

    Ingredients

    olive oil spray
    2 zucchini per serving, depending on the size of the zucchini. I used 6 small zucchini. Larger zucchini will work out better.
    1 small red bell pepper, diced
    1 bunch of green onion, diced
    tablespoon of minced garlic
    about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    salt and pepper, to taste

    stuffed zucchini in a row

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with olive oil.

    2. Wash the zucchini and trim off the ends. Slice all the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the insides of the zucchini halves. Save the insides in a bowl.

    3. Arrange the zucchini “boats” on the prepared cookie sheet.

    4. Prepare the red bell pepper, green onion, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cut up the zucchini pulp.

    5. Spray a pan with olive oil and cook the bell pepper, white parts of the green onion, and the zucchini insides with a tablespoon of minced garlic over medium heat for about ten minutes.

    6. Add the rest of the green onion, quartered cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and everything is heated through.

    7. Pour the vegetable mixture into a bowl. Add in the shredded parmesan and breadcrumbs and stir. Start filling the zucchini “boats” with the vegetable/cheese/breadcrumbs mixture. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs and parmesan on top of each stuffed zucchini if desired.

    8. Bake the stuffed zucchini for about 25 minutes.

    stuffed zucchini with baked tofu


  7. spaghetti squash “lasagna”

    February 12, 2016 by Angie

    I’m really into spaghetti squash lately. I found this recipe from UpRoot Kitchen and made it with a couple of changes. Robbie even liked it. I want to eat delicious cheesy, saucy, spaghetti squash everyday so this recipe is a major winner in my book.

    a "slice" of spaghetti squash lasagna

    Look at that – mmmmmmm.

    My Changes:

    I omitted the egg, grape tomatoes, and crushed red pepper. Recipes with ricotta love to tell you to throw an egg in there. I just don’t and there are no consequences, as far as I can tell. The grape tomatoes and crushed red pepper were less “omitted” and more “forgotten in hunger”. I used a block of part skim Mozzarella instead of the shredded variety. I like that I can cut or peel off small pieces which melt beautifully.


    the whole lasagna

     Melty Mozzarella pieces

    side view

    Here’s a view from the side right out of the oven!


  8. cauliflower fried rice with tempeh and vegetables

    December 31, 2015 by Angie

    I saw a very intriguing recipe on a blog called Healthy Nibbles and Bits, via one of my favorite blogs, Kalyn’s Kitchen. It’s cauliflower fried rice with baby bok choy. Robbie loves fried rice and I love cauliflower. I tried my own version adding tempeh and some different vegetables. It’s really quite delectable. I will be making this one again!

    caulifower "fried rice"

    Ingredients:

    1 large head of cauliflower
    1 package of tempeh
    teriyaki sauce
    peanut oil
    1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
    2 zucchini, chopped
    a handful of snow peas
    2 handfuls of bean sprouts
    2 handfuls of spinach
    1 and a half bunches of green onion
    about a tablespoon of minced garlic
    sesame oil, to taste
    soy sauce, to taste

    Instructions:

    1. Cut tempeh into small squares and marinate in about 3 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce in a small bowl.

    2. Heat a large pan for the vegetables and a small pan for the tempeh. Add a small amount of peanut oil to the small pan and a small amount of sesame oil to the large pan.

    3. Wash the large head of cauliflower and chop it into smaller pieces. Place the pieces in a food processor and process briefly to achieve a rice-like size and shape. It didn’t take long at all and my food processor is not very good.

    4. Start browning the tempeh in the small pan, turning to brown each side of each cube.

    5. While the tempeh is cooking, wash and chop/prepare all of the vegetables. Throw them in the large pot in the following order, stirring and waiting a minute or two for each to cook: red bell pepper, zucchini, white parts of the green onion, snow peas, bean sprouts, spinach, green parts of the green onion.

    6. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cauliflower “rice” to the vegetables pan and stir. Add in about a tablespoon of minced garlic. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

    7. Once the cauliflower has warmed up and the tempeh has browned, add the tempeh to the large pan. Add soy sauce and sesame oil as needed.

    veggies!


  9. garlicky cauliflower and goat cheese puree

    December 30, 2015 by Angie

    It may not look like much, but this new side dish is soooo good! It’s from my favorite low-carb blog, Kalyn’s Kitchen. She calls it pureed cauliflower with garlic, parmesan, and goat cheese. I followed her recipe except I didn’t add any half and half or cream. It’s similar to very creamy mashed potatoes and was not difficult to make. 10/10 will eat cheesy cauliflower again!

    yum!

    So cheesy.


  10. goat cheese, arugula, & fig preserves panini

    November 10, 2015 by Angie

    Robbie and I are suckers for grilled cheese sandwiches. I made these “grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches with French bread, goat cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese, arugula, and fig preserves. I cooked them on a grill pan in olive oil, where I pressed them with a dish and a heavy bowl. My understanding is that the pressing and grill marks qualify them for panini status. I’m going with panini because I am a resplendent woman deserving of an elegant sandwich.


    pile of arugula on top of cheesy bread goodness

    Serves two as an entree

    Ingredients

    freshly baked French bread – I used just shy of half of a baguette
    about 2 oz goat cheese
    about 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices
    4 tsp fig preserves
    3-4 handfuls of arugula, washed
    olive oil

    goat cheese, arugula, & fig preserves panini

    Directions

    1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Coat it in thin layer of olive oil.

    2. Cut the French bread to make two hearty chunks then cut those in half horizontally.

    3. Spread the goat cheese on the bottom half of each sandwich.

    4. Spread the fig preserves on the top halves.

    5. Place the both panini bottoms on the grill pan. Top with about 2/3 of the washed arugula. Top that with slices of the sharp cheddar followed by the top halves of the paninis.

    6. Place a dish upside down over the paninis. Put something heavy on top of that to press everything down. I used a glass bowl.

    7. Once the bottom half has grill marks and the cheese is starting to melt, flip the paninis over and replace the dish/bowl pressing setup.

    8. After that side is cooked and the cheese is melted, plate the paninis and top them with the rest of the arugula.

    couple of paninis