Monday, June 30, 2014

Artichokes, my long lost love

For Christmas Gina got me this cookbook:




And tonight I used it to make a pretty kick ass dinner.

Gina doesn't really dig spicy foods and tonight she wanted a veggie burger for dinner so I took the opportunity to make something I'd like (read: super spicy) for myself.

All you really do is mince up a few cloves of garlic, defrost 9 ounces of frozen artichoke hearts, sauté them in olive oil with the garlic, capers (I used way more than the recipe called for because I can't get enough of their briny goodness), parsley, a healthy heap of fiery red pepper flakes, lemon juice and bread crumbs.

I piled it on top of some soba noodles and proceeded to kill all if it by myself. It was only after I pushed back my plate and sighed with contentment that I realized the recipe I 'd just housed was supposed to serve four... And I hung my head in shame.

But only for a second.

It looked like this:




Under the Dome premiers tonight for season 2 so I guess I'll give Orange is the New Black a break and check that out while rocking out some Straubs.




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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weird lunch and more from India

Shop n Save closed near us, in Kennedy Twp.

Word is Giant Eagle bought them.

I miss mostly that I could walk to them, that was nice. Their prices were moderately better depending on what you'd buy, and they were within walking distance - that's key in an area where there's not much to walk to.

Giant Eagle does have better options for weirdos like Gina and I, though, like this gem:




This fake chicken is freaking awesome. Seriously.

With it we recently made these:




As far as "chicken" sandwiches go, these were a ten out of ten, we thought.

I also utilized this cookbook:




That we bought before we even lived together. Now that there's a worthy fake chicken to work with I attempted one of this books poultry dishes and made this tonight:




Having never had the real deal I truly don't know how close it came but I ate two servings and wanted a third so I guess that says something.

I will leave you with two things, first being a truly pathetic lunch I made the other day at work using literally the only things in our fridge. I took cold leftover pasta and a veggie bouillon cube. I added hot water to the pasta from the coffee maker's hot water spout at work and crumbled in the bouillon and voila, noodle soup.

It was embarrassing and it looked like this:



Several nights later I went to
Armstrong's in Moon Twp with my parents and had their damn good Linguini Puttanesca which looked like the below picture and I want to re- eat it every day for the rest of my life it was that good:




And that is all.


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Sunday, June 8, 2014

BREAKFAST!

As I've posted before I love breakfast.

A lot.

Today I made a doozy. Roasted potatoes, carrots and onions in olive oil and thyme along with steamed broccoli and smothered in a lentil-chickpea gravy inspired by a gravy in that new Isa Chandra Moskowitz book I mentioned in the last post, Isa Does it.

It took about 50 minutes to an hour, all told, but for a leisurely sunday morning it's actually enjoyable (as opposed to cutting up veggies on a work night when your hanger level is through the roof).

It looked like this:










If you've got some time some morning give it a whirl.

For the roasted veggies:

- 4 russet potatoes chopped up
- 1 medium onion chopped up
- 2 carrots cut into medallions
- A generous pinch of thyme crushed with your fingers
- olive oil to coat
- salt to taste

For the lentil-chickpea gravy:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 onion diced
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
Pepper
Oregano to taste

For the steamed broccoli:

- About a cup and a half of chopped fresh broccoli.
- 1/4 cup of water
- a teaspoon of garlic powder
- salt or soy sauce to taste

1) Set the old oven to 450 then do your prep work while it preheats.

2) arrange the potatoes, onion and carrots in a casserole dish and coat with oil then sprinkle on the thyme and salt and mix well so everything is coated. Stick that bad boy in the oven and time for 45 minutes.

3) cook your lentils.

4) sauté the onion and garlic in oil for 5-ish minutes.

5) add the lentils, oregano and broth and warm.

6) transfer lentils to food processor and pulse several times then return to pot and add chickpeas. Heat stirring often for about 10 minutes.

7). While the lentil-chickpea gravy is heating bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil I. A pot and add in your broccoli, garlic powder, salt or soy sauce, mix up and cover to steam until broccoli is softer but still has a slight crunch (probably about whatever time is left on the gravy.

8) fill half a bowl with broccoli and the other with the roasted schtuff and drown it in gravy.

9) MANGIA!


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Friday, June 6, 2014

First post from the iPhone!


I downloaded the blogger App since I was hardly ever posting in this blog anymore using the old computer.

Very quick first post:

Been trying out a lot of stuff from Isa Chandra Moskowitz new cookbook Isa Does It. So far Gina and I love it.

Imma try to post a picture in this new blog atmosphere, hang in there...




That was way easier than I thought!

Anyway, that picture is broccoli and seitan with homemade barbecue sauce from the aforementioned book. It was amazing.

Below is a night I made a bunch of stuff for us to eat the next day or so to save on time:




I tried to freeze the soup (which is Hot and Sour). It was a freezing disaster:




And below are roasted potatoes, onions, and carrots all from my garden..... Okay, I totally bought them and don't even have a garden but they were delicious all the same:




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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Late Night Sunday Bloggin'

Hi. Gina here.

I happen to be off work tomorrow so I am trying to amuse myself late into the evening because I'm too old and lame to want to throw back 80 beers tonight (I'll be hungover all day tomorrow and possibly into the next day and I will waste my entire day off.) and I don't feel like sitting in our basement and watching everything I have DVR'ed in the last 2 months (Jason and I are really bad at watching television. DVR is the best invention ever, at any given time we likely have 6-10 episodes of any show we like because we never watch them when they air.) and I also don't feel like reading because then I will either have to turn the light on in the bedroom thus keeping Jason (whom has to work tomorrow) awake or at least tossing and turning and grumbling about when I'm going to turn the light out like every ten minutes, or go read in the living room or somewhere else and then I'll just probably fall asleep while reading and the couch will destroy my entire body and by the time I wake up I will have to roll myself off the couch and into the bedroom. In this predicament, I remembered that I have not blogged in one hundred years. Here's some food I've made.


I think I have mentioned on here before that we subscribe to Vegetarian Times magazine and this is a recipe I found in there. It was supposed to be like a Samosa in Indian cuisine but instead of being a triangular fried pastry shell of magic, you put the mixture in a red bell pepper which I guess is healthier or whatever. Incase you don't know, A Samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoesonions, peas, lentils, ground lamb, ground beef or ground chicken. It's size and consistency may vary, but typically, it is distinctly triangular. That entire definition is courtesy of Wikipedia

It was pretty simple to make but I felt like it didn't have enough kick. I thought I perhaps should have used more curry powder and more garam masala but I'm not sure. I will attempt to revisit this again someday. Overall it was pretty good and helped us curb our often intense craving for Indian food. (Get ON this, Robinson Township. I am judging you hard for not having an Indian restaurant to enjoy. I don't even expect anything remotely close from Kennedy Township, but you, Robinson, you I have some hope left for.) 






My husband, expert photobomber.  I'm just so proud.




Next up is Mozzarella Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs. The recipe is here. I found this on The V Word. We both always enjoy the recipes from that blog, this one was no exception. It was delicious. We didn't use her recipe for sauce because we're Italian and both of our families have super secret sauce recipes and everything else we both eat tastes less than to us so we always just make our own. We used quinoa rigatoni as well, which we are big fans of. The only thing I will caution anyone with if they make these is to have a non stick pan. We, as of right now (or the last two years) do not and I tried to pan fry a couple of these to no avail. I ended up just baking them, which was still super good but I think pan friend would be even better. 




Next up is another recipe from The V Word. Spinach and Artichoke Rollatini! If you are a fan of spinach and artichoke dip then you will freak out over this like I did. I'd always dreamt of eating spinach and artichoke dip only for dinner and this kind of made that dream come true. Only thing I would have changed with this one is making more filling to stuff the rollatinis more. Though the recipes from The V Word are always awesome, the proportions sometimes do not work out for me. Usually I can spot it and add more of this or that as I'm going but with this one I didn't alter anything and I really wish I would have doubled the filling mixture. As you can see, mine are a little flat. I will likely make these often, though, so I will adjust for next time. 





For the finale, I give you the magnificent, extremely simple, and wonderfully tasty, BUFFALO CHICKPEA PITAS featuring RANCH DRESSING!! Courtesy of The Post Punk Kitchen. You can find the recipe right here. Jason and I both devoured these amazing little pitas like mad. I was glad that I cut the mini-pitas in half because then it was less bread and we could eat EVEN MORE. It was a little out of control. The ranch dressing recipe for this is by far one of the best I have tasted. I used to always pair ranch with everything (yes, I was one of THOSE people) but since vegan ranch is near impossible to find except for like one place around here (here's lookin at you, Mad Mex) I rarely get to indulge in it anymore. I plan on making these as appetizers for any and every event I go to. Mostly so I can eat them.




Thanks for hanging out. Max is watching you leave this post. Max is judging you for leaving this post.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BAINGAN BHARTA and HOT AND SOUR SOUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The craving have returned over the past few days.

The insistent nagging in my taste buds and in my stomach.  It has a hold over my entire mind.

Indian Food.

Again and again I tell myself that if I just wait but a little longer, Kennedy Twp - that little town outside of McKees Rocks - will probably open it's very own Indian restaurant any day. 

Yup. 

I can practically smell the curries and the fresh baked naan from that soon to be opened storefront right here in Kennedy Twp.  Probably right in the same strip of storefronts with Bob's Diner, Angelias Pizza, and Rockefeller's.  A perfect fit.

Any day.

In the meantime, my hunger was saying things to my brain that I cant repeat here (my god there could be children!) - and so to assuage it until the (very near) day that Kennedy Twp opens its own Indian joint (probably, like, tomorrow), I did the unthinkable:

I brought India...  TO US!

[Queue Baliwood pop beat and the Indian male and female superstars dancing out into the room with a crowd of other, equally enthusiastic, dancers.]

Tonight I made Baingan Bharta from Terry Hope Romero's Vegan Eats World and it was every damn bit as good as other Indian places I've eaten it at.  It rocked me gently, but fiercely, until I was so full and satisfied that I threw down my fork in dramatics, lolled back in my chair, and said something to Gina in genuinely satiated Hindi and she was like, "What?"  and I was all, "I dont know...  The words just came to me."

It looked like this:

And what, you may ask is Baingan Bharta?

Well, I'll tell you. 

It's made primarily of roasted, mashed eggplant and is of a part of both Indian and Pakistani cuisine and is a common item found on the menu in Indian restaurants (like the one that will shortly open in Kennedy Twp.  Any. Day. Now.)

 The Vegan Eats World recipe was roasted eggplant, indian spices including corriander, cumin and turmeric along with onions garlic, tomatoes, and chilli peppers.

Get this - this particular dish was used as a Protest Food in 2011 against genetically modified crops.  750 lbs of it!  

It was the 2nd thing (the 1st being Chana Masala) I tried at (the now closed) India Garden on Atwood St. in Oakland way back in my teenage years when I was first introduced to the wonders of Indian cuisine.

Last note on that Indian restaurant just over the horizon in Kennedy Twp.  I think I have nailed down what the delay probably is:  They are likely battling out real estate with the Kennedy Twp branches of Mad Mex and The Quiet Storm.

MOVING ON.

Another jonesing I satisfied recently was Hot and Sour Soup.

I deeply and desperately love Hot and Sour Soup and one of the most horrile things about this love is that this soup is incredibly common on the menu in pretty much all asian restaurants - even the fast food joints - but it usually is made with chicken or fish broth and so I can only drool about it from a distance.

I made the below bliss in a bowl last weekend using all vegan ingredients and it was amazing.  It didn't taste exactly like the vegetarian version at the Chinese Buffet in Oakland, but it was close enough to satisfy a deep craving.


It was from Veganomicon and was super easy and fast to make.  Really its just a bunch of mushrooms (combination of dried and regular), tofu, sesame oil and hot chile oil, rice vinegar and veggie broth with shredded cabbage, scallions, and bamboo shoots.

Oh and white pepper.  

Gina doesn't like Hot and Sour Soup so it was all mine.  MUA HAHAHAHAHA!

(cough)

It lasted like a day.

Im kind of kicking myself because Monday night I made a Pastichio (a greek lasagna), also from Vegan Eats World and it was so good - but I must have forgot to photograph it.  Sorry.  I'll make it again and post it.

Thats about all.  I have some new things I'd like to try so I will post again soon.  More Indian goodness.

MORE INDIAN GOOOODNESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

BARLEY SOUP

I'm kicking off the new year with a quick post and a recipe I concocted for BARLEY SOUP.

Use lentils instead of Barley and you have yourself a fine lentil soup as they two have very similar cooking times (like, kind of exactly the same according to the Shop 'n Save packages)

Barley Soup is more than just a pleasing bowl of hot goodness for a cold winters day - its actually a necessity.  That is scientific fact.  If you do not eat this soup on cold winter days, you will likely not survive the winter.

Be glad I warned you.

Dry barley (or lentils for that matter) are super, super cheap and very healthy.

I have band practice in like a half an hour so I need to wrap this up faster than I'd like.  Sorry.

JASON'S BARLEY (or lentil) SOUP - HELL YEAH

What you'll need:

2-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large onion (yellow or red or whatever you have) sliced and diced.
2 large carrots chopped up.
2 large celery stalks chopped up.
4 cloves of garlic minced.
8 cups of water
Vegetable Bouillon (read package to discern how many you use in 8 cups of water)
4 tablespoons of tomato paste (or if you're feeling saucy, 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice)
2 generous pinches of dried Thyme crushed with your fingers
1 tspn of oregano
1 tsp basil
2 large bayleaves
black pepper to taste (which for me is like 2 tablespoons but you dont have to do that.)
1 cup dry Barley (or lentils)
(optional:  3 tablespoons of lemon juice)

How you do this thing:

1.  Preheat stock pot, heat oil, Saute the onion, celery and carrot for 6 or 7 minutes in oil.
2.  Add garlic and saute another minute.
3.  Add herbs except for bayleaves and saute for another minute
4.  Add water, bring to a simmer, add bouillon, bay leaves and tomato paste and stir to dissolve everything
5.  Add dry barley (or lentils) and simmer on medium for 45 minutes stirring often scraping down sides.
6.  Add lemon juice right at the end (if using) and mix it well and then eat until your stomach nearly bursts.

Below is an inspirational phot of the barley soup while it was simmering this morning (soup for breakfast, what!?)


This is a picture of a spoonful of that soup when it was done:
Gotta go play music - Try this out and enjoy!