Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Grilled cheese.

Take a second and just think about those two words in combination and try to tell me you don't already feel nice and cozy and comfortable.

It's probably the one meal that you can make yourself but still feel like your Mom made it for you while you're eating it.

Believe it or not, food historians say its actually quite ancient in concept.  In the form of cooked bread and cheese.  Wikipedia claims here that the modern version of this amazing comfort food surfaced in America in the 1920's.  I like to imagine that this was a huge hit amongst all the flappers.

During the Great Depression, a sandwich called the Cheese Dream originated - it's description is pretty much exactly a grilled cheese sandwich, though the article describes how sometimes things like sliced tomatoes and ham were added.

I dont know about ham, but Im totally a sliced tomato on my grilled cheese kind of guy.

Anyway, you can probably see where this is going - but what you didn't see was this.

Today, the spirit of Andy Warhol appeared in my kitchen while Gina was on her way home from work and said:

"Jaaaaaaaaaason..." In a really droning, ghost-like voice.

I was already starting to make tomato soup so I was kind of annoyed but I turned around and was all:  "What Andy Warhol?  What do you want now?"

"Jaaaaaaaaasonnnn...  You are doing it wrooooong..."

I huffed, my irritation rising in tides.  "Seriously Andy?  Just because you painted that Cambell's Soup thing you think we all have to buy canned soup?"

Andy Warhol shook his ghostly mop of hair.  "Nooooooo."  he intoned.  "You forgot..."  He was beginning to fade now, back into the ether.

"Forgot what!"  I cried, upset with myself now for my earlier irritation.  What secret of life could Andy Warhol be trying to tell me!  "Forgot what, Andy, WHAT!"  I cried.

And as his spirit dissipated three words driffted up to the ceiling, scattering to the corners of the walls, and flying out the window forever:

"The grilled cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese....."

Of course!  I'd heard before that Andy Warhol loved tomato soup and grilled cheese.

So here's what I did:

Jason's Tomato Soup

It may not be Cambell's but it turned out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself:

What you'll need:

6 cups of water
4 cubes of veggie buillon (or whatever your brand says to use for 6 cups of water)
1 12 oz can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon each of:
-garlic powder (full disclosure, in my love for garlic I probably used a lot more than this, but if you're not that into it just use a teaspoon-ish.)
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon or more of yellow mustard (like what you would put on a hot dog, not mustard seeds or powder)
salt and pepper to taste

Whatchoo do:

- Bring the water to a simmer in a stock pot and then add the buillon and tomato paste and stir until its all disolved.

-Add the spices and let it simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes.

- Add the nutritional yeast, stir it in then add the mustard.

-salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for another 7 to 10 minutes.

Gluten Free Vegan Un-Grilled Cheeze Sandwiches with Mushrooms and Onions

Un-Grilled, you say, Yes, I answer.  I did not grill the sandwiches in the post about grilled cheese.  Deal with it, though, daiya really only melts in the toaster oven so you have to make do.  I think I mentioned in the last post that we are avoiding grains for a bit, thus the gluten free bread below. 

What you'll need:

4 slices of gluten free bread.  (We used the Udi's brand.  When you take the slices out you will immediately become outraged at how small they are.  I have no idea why being gluten free also means they are like the size of a pack of playing cards a slice.  Seriously.)

1 package of mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Daiya, or whatever vegan cheese you have (who am I to say you don't make your own artisanal vegan cheeses?)

Whatchoo do:

 -  heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the onions and saute for 6 minutes.

- add the mushrooms and saute for about 7 to 8 minutes.

- Thaw your unbelievably small pieces of gluten free bread. Morsels, really, and then cover with Daiya and then cover with the hot onion/mushroom mixture.

- Toaster oven for like 10 minutes.

- Serve with the soup and find yourself in Comfort Heaven.

Monday, September 16, 2013

No Grains!

Quick post since it's been a week or two.

Since last post, we went to see a naturopathic doctor who recommended to us that we try to cut back on the grains.  This has been tough since that eliminates breads, pastas, rice, seitan, most veggie burgers and fake sausages amongst a host of other things I cant think of until I want to eat them.

The discovery that Quinoa is not really a grain was awesome.

We've been making meals like the one we had tonight, for dinner, fairly often.

I totally invented it so I'll give a run down and feel free to change it however you want - I ain't no chef, I'm an insurance contractor.

Jason's Indianish Dinner 

I was craving indian food (again) so I made this for dinner.

What you'll need:
1 cup of dry Quinoa and 2 cups of water to cook it with.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic chopped very small
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 package of white button mushrooms sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 small or medium carrots chopped
2 large tomatoes cubed
Probably about 5 cups of chopped kale
2 15 ounce cans of chickpeas
(feel free to adjust the levels of the below spices.  Like I said, a chef I am not, so I kinda just put in what felt right to me.)
 1 tsp of Garam Masala
1 1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
generous pinch of dried parsley, oregano and basil
1 tsp curry powder
 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 to 1 tsp of powdered ginger
1/2  to 1 cup or more of white wine (booze it up)
1 1/2 cups of water
veggie buillon

What I did:

-1.  In a small pot add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa, bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

1.  Preheat a large pan or a stock pot with olive oil and then saute the garlic at medium heat for almost a minute, until it begins to brown.
2.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.
3.  Add the mushroom and saute for 6 minutes.
4.  Add the dry spices and saute for a minute or so
5. deglaze with the white wine and then let it come to a simmer
6.  Add the tomatoes and mix well, cover and let cook for about 4 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom about 5 minutes.
 7.  Uncover and add the water, bring it back to a simmer and add the buillon to dissolve
8.  Once simmering again add the kale by handfuls until its all submerged and wilting nicely. 
9.  Cover and cook for 7 minutes at a simmer.


I thought it turned out pretty cook.

The Dr. told us to try to eat high protein meals.  Beans for breakfast. Snack on nuts and seeds.

Breakfast has typically been blackbeans and chickpeas with quinoa and green vegetables (broccoli, sometimes even arugula)

I started making an avocado sauce to go over the morning meal thats pretty good.

2 ripe avocodos
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of water

Food process it all until smooth.

That's all I got time for!