Category: homecooking

Typical breakfast on the weekends Omelet with veggies and…

Typical breakfast on the weekends

Omelet with veggies and cheese:
Cooking a good omelet can be challenging when you cook with steel pans instead of non-stick pans (not a fan of Teflon, personally). To keep the eggs from sticking, use a higher heat oil, like avocado, butter, or coconut, and make sure the pan is hot. Don’t use high heat, but let the pan heat up before putting the oil in. One the pan is hot, add your pull and coat the pan. Add your veggies, in this case onion and broccoli, and saute until they are your preferred level of doneness. I like onions well done, so I add them first and get some carmelization.

Once the veggies are done, add some oil, if needed, and then add well-beaten eggs. I use four for the girlfriend and I and cut the omeletin half. Make sure the eggs are beaten to a pretty consistent mixture add it helps them to not stick.

Add the eggs. They should immediately start to sizzle/bubble. If not, your pan isn’t hot enough. Let the eggs sit for a minute or two until the edges look pretty solid. Use a spatula to slide in one edge of the eggs and tilt the pan so the liquid eggs in the middle hit the pan directly. Repeat this as necessary. Once mostly done, you can either flip the eggs, which I do, or just continue cooking until done to your preferred level of doneness. Fold in half, add cheese, and let the cheese melt. Top with hit sauce, ketchup, whatever. Done!

Potato hash browns:
We LOVE crunchy hash browns. We wanted to make them ourselves, so I set out to figure out how. I buy whole potatoes and shred them with a cheese grater. After shredded, I put them in a dish towel (we have one dedicated for this purpose only because the next step stains the towel). Then, my precipitous strength (not really, I’m a cyclist with the legs odd superman and the upper body of pee wee herman…) I squeeze and wring out the potatoes as hard as I can. Get as much water or add you can. Seriously, this is the key step. Once rung out, I drop them into a hot, oiled pan. Again, like the eggs, the pan should be hot and the oil a higher heat oil. The potatoes should sizzle immediately. Using a spatula, I spred the potatoes out over the whole pan and flatten them out using some good pressure to flatten. Fry for a minute or two and add salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes in pieces so that both sides are hitting the heat directly. If you are making a lot, you might need to break up the mass a couple times. Just keep flattening, flipping/scrambling until done to your crispness. We like crunch, so this is a several minute process. Once done, add to your plate and eat. I like ketchup on my potatoes, the girlfriend doesn’t (I know, she’s weird).

Lasagna made with tofu, spinach, onion, and pecans on top.

Lasagna made with tofu, spinach, onion, and pecans on top.

Avocado Pickled Beet Egg Toast!This was a simple “what do I have…

Avocado Pickled Beet Egg Toast!

This was a simple “what do I have that I can throw together for breakfast today” kind of meal.  The girlfriend and I (ok, just the girlfriend) made asiago garlic bread and pickled beet eggs this weekend, and I bought a bag of avocados at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

My twisted brain said “screw it, let’s put them together!” so…I did.  This was surprisingly good.

Pickled beet eggs are very easy and can be made many ways.  Basically, clean (and peel if you want) beets, then boil them in a water and vinegar solution.  Different recipes call for different amounts of vinegar (from 1/3 cup to 3 cups, though 3 cups is too much, in my opinion) and some salt and other seasonings if you want.  Boil until soft and fork piercable (depends on size of beets.

Hard boil some eggs (pretty much a no brainer, just boil for 10-15 minutes depending on egg size), then peel and set aside.  Place eggs in a container that has a lid, then add the sliced beets.  Pour the beet boiling water/vinegar mixture over the eggs and beets and let soak overnight.

The bread was from a recipe in “The Breadmaker Gourmet” book that the girlfriend owns, so I don’t know what went in that.

Mash the avocado on the toast, then add beets and eggs, sprinkle some salt and pepper (trust me, it helps cut the sour vinegar if the eggs and beets are vinegar-y) and enjoy!

Spicy Raw Beet Salad!This is a great side to go with just about…

Spicy Raw Beet Salad!

This is a great side to go with just about anything.  It has lots of flavor, and doesn’t take too long to whip up.

Ingredients:

 – Beets – washed, scrubbed and/or peeled

 – Jalapeno

 – Green onion

 – Lime and/or lemon juice

 – Olive oil

 – Salt, pepper, garlic, cumin to taste

 – Greens (if desired – I put it on a bed of greens when I have them, but it is just as good without)

The beets in the above photo are shredded, which you can do for ease of eating, or you can just slice it and eat the beets that way.  I have made this both ways (disclaimer:  the salad above was actually made by my local favorite vegetarian restaurant Crave & Co., but I got the recipe and have made this salad myself a bunch of times) and prefer shredded.  Be careful if shredding, though.  Beet juice is VERY LIKELY to stain EVERYTHING.  Seriously, I have a cutting board and a corningware dish lid that are still purple…

Anyway, shred or chop up the beets to your desired size.  Slice the green onion and dice the jalapeno, and combine with the olive oil, lemon, lime, and seasonings.  Mix well, then serve on the greens or by itself.  Yummy, healthy, and it’ll make you poo and pee purple/pink!  Yay!

Pepper Poppers!This was a fun little treat that we made after…

Pepper Poppers!

This was a fun little treat that we made after receiving a big bag of baby bell peppers from our CSA.  We wanted to use them up, but 1-2 per omelet wasn’t cutting it, haha.  We love jalapeno poppers, so we decided to make our own play on them.

So, what you’ll need:

 – Peppers (bell, jalapeno, banana, whatever!)

 – Cheese (I’ve used fresh mozzarella, pepper jack, cream cheese, ricotta, even meunster)

 – Bread crumbs (panko, homemade, whole grain, whatever)

 – Egg wash

 – Flour

Start by cutting and cleaning the peppers.  I usually find the direction that will give me the most symmetrical halves of the pepper while cutting down through the stem.  Cut or scrape out the seeds and ribs of the pepper.  NOTE:  If using a pepper with any spice, DO NOT use your fingers to clean out the seeds.  I have made the mistake of doing this and then touching my eye, nose, or other, um…”sensitive” areas, and it burns like hell.

Once cleaned, set up your dredging/breading station.  Get three bowls in a row:  1) flour (if you are ever breading something that allows egg to stick better, like egglplant or okra, you don’t need the flour); 2) egg wash (just egg and water); 3) bread crumbs.  

Add the cheese to the open side of the pepper.  Just cut and stick or scoop in.

Start by coating the pepper with flour, then dipping the pepper in the egg wash.  Let the excess egg wash drip back – you don’t want too much or your bread crumbs will turn into a mushy ball – then place in the breadcrumbs cheese-side-up and press down gently.  Scoop some crumbs onto the top of the pepper and cheese and press lightly.  Remove the pepper shaking gently to dislodge any loose crumbs.  Too many crumbs will mean your pepper and cheese don’t cook and the crumbs will just burn – not tasty.

Bake at 350 until you have golden brown crumbs and you can see cheese bubbling.  You don’t want burnt crumbs, but they can darken as much as you want for crunch/flavor.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Pizza BoatsSo, with our CSA this summer, we got lots of…

Zucchini Pizza Boats

So, with our CSA this summer, we got lots of squash and zucchini.  Since I can only eat so much without craving pizza, I decided to make zucchini pizza boats!  In the first picture, you’ll see the zucchini, cut in half, then brushed with olive oil and salted and peppered.

The second picture is the final product with the sauce and cheese added.  As a vegetarian, I didn’t add any meat or anything, but you probably could add pre-cooked meat to this.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (maybe more or less based on size of zucchini) and enjoy!

Pro Tip:  In the future, I will scoop out the seeds to allow for more sauce/cheese.  The way they are here is good, but the overwhelming taste was still zucchini. 

Chickpea “Tuna” SaladBefore swearing off meat, including fish, I…

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

Before swearing off meat, including fish, I ate a lot of tuna salad.  I found it to be a good protein and calorie source while studying and was good recovery food from cycling, swimming, etc.  I would make up a big batch of it and eat it all week.  Now, as a vegetarian, I substitute chickpeas for the tuna and get the same benefit, plus extra fiber!

Ingredients:

 – Dry chickpeas

 – Celery, chopped

 – Carrot, diced or shredded

 – Onion, diced

 – Greek Yogurt or mayo (I prefer greek yogurt since I don’t like mayo very much)

 – Salt, pepper, paprika

Start withe the chickpeas.  Soak them overnight or at least 6 hours ahead of cooking.  I try to use dry beans as much as possible since they are cheaper, not salted like crazy, and don’t sit in cans, which have linings that are questionable.  Bring the chickpeas to a boil, cover, and simmer for at least an hour.  I usually splash some apple cider vinegar in while they cook to aid digestion, but you can use whole garlic cloves, kombu, a bay leaf,and a few other acids to accomplish the same thing.

After the chickpeas are cooked, cool them down under cold running water.  Chop up your celery, carrot, and onion, and dollop on your yogurt or mayo.  Add in your chickpeas and mash the heck out of them with the back of a fork to mix them all up.  The mashing is important because, otherwise, you just get a weird mixture of whole chickpeas and chopped veggies.  Salt and pepper to taste at this point, too.

Serve on whatever you want (toasted baguette in the picture) and dash some paprika on the top for color and flavor.  You’ll never miss the tuna in this recipe.

After the sandwich halves have baked, add sauerkraut and russian…

After the sandwich halves have baked, add sauerkraut and russian dressing to the sandwich.  I love sauerkraut and the dressing I make is pretty awesome, too.  Use a bottled russian or 1000 island dressing if you prefer, but I like to make my own.  

My russian dressing contains all or some of the following:

 – Mayo/greek yogurt (whatever I have)

 – Hot sauce

 – Horseradish

 – Pickles/relish

 – Paprika/cayenne

 – Garlic powder

 – Onion powder

 – Ketchup

 – Whatever else I feel like using, just make it taste good.

Once your tempeh is golden-brown and has a bit of a crust (from…

Once your tempeh is golden-brown and has a bit of a crust (from the caramelizing of the brown sugar), get your bread ready on a baking sheet or pizza stone.  I use a preheated pizza stone because it give a very nice crust on the outside of the bread.  Sometimes, I’ll even toast the bread in the oven on both sides before assembling the tempeh and cheese.

The amount of cheese you use is up to you.  I often put a piece of swiss on each piece of bread, but it’s totally up to you.  Bake the un-assembled sandwiches in the oven for 7 or 8 minutes.  You can do more or less, but you want the cheese to be melted.

So, to make the tempeh, you have to slice it thinly and then…

So, to make the tempeh, you have to slice it thinly and then saute it on both sides.  Tempeh browns nicely on its own, but, in the interest of giving these sandwiches some great flavor, that’s not all we’re going to do to them while in the pan.

To saute the tempeh, heat oil over medium in a pan (I like using steel pans, not tephlon coated pans).  I prefer to use sesame oil for this particular recipe, but I’ve used olive, too, and it works just fine.

Once the tempeh is lightly browned on each side, you will add the “secret marinade/sauce.”