Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go-To Crunchy Stirfry

Good protein, bright colors, big flavor.

1 eggplant, peeled
1pkg extra-firm tofu
1 egg

Cereal bowlful of summer tomatoes, quartered
2 ears corn, boiled & cut from cob
1 pkg shelled edamame
1 bunch torn kale
Thai peppers (I had about 5 finger-sized little guys from my garden), cleaned & thinly sliced

Soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger paste, crushed/diced garlic (lots of ginger and garlic! More than you think!)

Dice eggplant and tofu into cubes. Marinate in a bowl in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger paste, and garlic. Then place on a flat cookiesheet, and stick under the broiler (with oven door open) until deeply browned.

Meanwhile, beat the egg with a little milk or water and pour into a small frying pan to cook, then cut the resulting pancake intro strips.

Also meanwhile, heat up more marinade with the strips of peppers in a wok until it starts to spit. Throw the tomatoes in first, as you want them well-cooked and everything else just seared. After they start to lose their shape just a little, add the kale, corn, and edamame and sear them, then throw the tofu and eggplant in, mix it all up, remove from heat, and serve over brown rice.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vaguely Tuscan Veggie Stew

I didn't post this when I first made it, but I've really been enjoying it as a lunch leftover and want to remember to make it again next time I have some good white beans, leafy greens, and day-old bread. Between beans, bread, quinoa, and pasta, it's a spoon-bender and not a bad dose of protein. As a leftover, the broth all gets absorbed, and it's like a pleasant, savory casserole or something. I might leave out the pasta next time; the quinoa and bread were really nice together.


1 large, sweet white onion
One small jar of artichokes packed in oil
Approx. 2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight
Leftover bread, torn into bite-sized chunks
1 jar canned whole tomatoes (first time using the ones I canned myself...)
As many leafy greens or green veggies as you can pack in (I used kale and broccolini)
2 cups tiny pasta (like estrellas, or orzo would be nice)
2 cups quinoa
8 cups water (didn't need broth, lots of flavor here)
Paprika, white pepper, celery salt, garlic & onion powders, oregano, cumin, chili powder

Sautee the onion & artichokes in their oil. Add the water & jar of tomatoes w/their liquid. Get them boiling, and add the beans, pasta, and quinoa. Add & adjust (tons of!!) spices while they're cooking. Once these are cooked, add the greens and cook just long enough to take away their crunch, then add the bread and eat it all up.

Carrot-Kabocha Soup with Honey Plum Vinegar

Soup, man. I can't get enough of it.

Our dad and stepmom brought me a bottle of honey plum vinegar from a trip to Korea years ago and, as I tend to do with special things, I never used it. Until Chris requested carrot soup, and I didn't have any white wine on hand as specified in the recipe I started with, and... one thing led to another. This kind of reminds me of eating more complex, less-sweet honey glazed carrots. Plus, it's orange!*

Ingredients - halve all quantities if you want enough for 2-4 people for one dinner. Use these quantities if you want to eat if for lunch all week, freeze some, etc.

2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onion, same
2 potatoes, same
1/2 a roasted Kabocha squash (acorn would work)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (a few more wouldn't hurt)
(I bet some celery would add a nice touch!)

4 TB butter
3/4 cup honey plum vinegar, or use another fruity vinegar and some honey
8 cups broth of your choice
1 TB hacho miso
Tarragon (I was using sprigs picked from the truly intimidating quantity currently hanging in my stairwell to dry, so I don't really have a measure for ya - maybe a tablespoon or two of freshly dried leaves, probably more if storebought)
Salt, few tsp lemon juice

Sautee carrots, onion and garlic in butter till onions are just turning translucent, then add the vinegar and cook until it's reduced by half. Add the broth, potatoes, and miso. Turn up the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so, until you can easily poke a knife through the potatoes and carrots (but they needn't be mushy).

Then puree with immersion blender or in batches in big blender, adding the kabocha and tarragon. I added the tarragon to one blender batch and let it puree for a really long time to break it up. Once pureed, add salt and lemon juice to adjust flavor.

*Notice how, out of respect for my Phoenician sisters, I didn't even say the word "fall"?

Cheddar Basil Quiche with Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Tomato

5 Eggs
1/2 sweet potato, already roasted
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fat free half and half, cream, or milk
Sharp cheddar, grated
4 Fresh Basil leaves, torn
1-2 large handfuls spinach, torn
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

Lightly grease a 9 inch cake round or pie pan. Layer slices of cold roasted sweet potato and torn spinach. Cover with a good amount of grated cheddar.

Beat 5 eggs with cream, milk, or half and half. Add salt and pepper. Pour over veggies and cheese. Place tomato slices on top and press in gently with a knife or spatula. Cover top with torn basil and another good dusting of cheese.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes and enjoy.