Asian · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

Boom Boom Boom

Tofu Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry

tofu_rice_cabbage

Happy 4th of July and with that, welcome to July’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I got to visit Alaska by way of Anna’s Cheese with Noodles Blog.  I loved her in her intro she was up front about blog pictures, something that I’m so bad about that I have my husband do it for me!   I found so many incredible recipes on her blog including baked tofu bites and a corn pudding recipe so amazing it survived a divorce.  In the end however I couldn’t move past her Pork Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry after reading that it’s so good it should be in a restaurant.  I swapped the pork for tofu and waited until the end to season the dish as tofu has a tendency to go from just right to over salted super easily.  I also used baby bella mushrooms as my store was out of the full size variety – luckily Anna’s recipe included the weight so that was a super easy swap to make!  She didn’t say what type of cabbage to use so I went with red over Chinese but either would work.

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Another fabulous dinner thanks to the secret recipe club!  I also reserved a bit of the red cabbage to steam with some apples and ginger for baby girl’s dinner and she was also a huge fan!  I’m also in the process of joining some other food groups – hoping that eventually my cooking spark will come back as little one gets older.   I still enjoy spending time in the kitchen but it’s no longer the sanctuary it once was.

Casserole · Freezer Meals · Gluten Free · Slow Cooker · Vegan

Nearly Forgot

Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff
stroganoff

In the weeks leading up to little one’s arrival, I tried to prep as much as possible in regards to food so that even if I was functioning on two hours there would still be something edible.  With that, about a month before D-day my mom and sister came up from VA for a day of (in my opinion) fun prepping two dozen freezer meals.  While a few of them were some old favorites (stuffed shells, enchiladas, and lasagna) that would just need to be popped in the oven, the rest were variations of recipes I had been collecting and tweaking in order to make them freezer AND slow cooker ready.  I read soooo many articles about freezer meals, taking notes on what freezes super well (presoaked bagged beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc) and what does not (coconut milk, sour cream, cream cheese) and special items where the other ingredients determined if it would freeze well (tofu is awesome solo or just with veggies but no sauces).  Once I had identified what meals I wanted to try I then set out to make the ultimate shopping list while keeping to a very tight under $10 per meal with each meal making 4-6 servings.

Some of these meals, everything is in the bag and it just goes straight in.  With others there are things to add day of (extra stock, coconut milk, etc) or a side dish that needs to be prepped.  Like today’s dish, Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff.  This was one of the first dishes on my list and is a variation of my standard stroganoff just with more “green stuff”.

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One of the biggest tips I can give is if you are having people helping you make sure the ingredients are set up in a way that flows.  This is something I did not do and it resulted in lots of extra work until I put my Lean Sigma hat on (yes, I’m a dork) and figured out how to eliminate a good chunk of the transportation/motion waste that was happening.    To get the meals out of the freezer bag, place in bag in hot water for 5 minutes then use a knife to cut a slit along the side of the bag, then open the top and peel back from the corner (if using a zipper bag cut the side the zipper is one when closed).

Hot Summer Eats · Mexican · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Endless Summer

Grilled Fajita Bowl

fajitas_bowl

Welcome to the first installment for #HotSummerEats – an awesome blog link-up created by the always amazing Cam of Culinary Adventures with Cam.  This link-up has been a bit of a challenge for me (wahOo HG) but I had committed to it before we knew this treatment round worked so I wasn’t going anywhere.  As all the sponsor goodies started arriving. I just got more and more and more excited. PLUS there is AWESOME giveaway involved with some fantastic products – many of which will be featured over the next couple of days.

Today’s post is one of my all time favorite summer recipes – with a chipotle twist thanks to T. Lish dressings and marinades.  I’ve always been a fan of fajitas, regardless of the vegetables involved I know that as long as the vegetables are fresh the dish will be amazing!  I had originally planned on doing more traditional fajitas (tortillas, homemade salsa, etc) but given the current state of things I knew that I needed to adapt the recipe in order to fit with my new lifestyle.  So I made up some yellow rice and sliced up some avocado to make a delicious fajita bowl – all the flavor with a fraction of the prep time as everything just goes in the bowl.

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Hot Summer Eats is here. Rallied by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, a talented group of 18 food bloggers will be posting recipes for a week. From June 1st through June 8th, we hope to inspire you for your summer grill dates and cookouts, provide you with ideas for your beach bonfires, and get you planning those ice cream socials and cocktail hours. Not only will you find over a hundred summery recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

 

The Prizes

BenBella Veganwill provide one winner with one print copy of each of their Spring 2015 releases:Love Fed, by Christina Ross (March 2015); PlantPure Nation Cookbook, by Kim Campbell (March 2015); Plant-Powered Families, by Dreena Burton (May 2015); Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living, by Lindsay S.
Nixon (May 2015); and China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, by Del Sroufe (May
2015).

Casabellawill provide one winner with a trio of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for summer entertaining: a set of two large ice cube trays; a citrus juicer and reamer; and a cherry pitter.

Gourmet Gardenwill provide one winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.

Not Ketchupwill provide one winner with a prize pack of four fruit ketchups – Blueberry White Pepper, Cherry Chipotle, Spiced Fig, and Smoky Date.

Quirk Bookswill send one winner a copy of their cookbook Summer Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa, photography by Tara Striano.

Spicely Organicswill send one winner their Backyard Barbeque Gift Box.

T.Lishwill provide one winner with each of the three current flavors: Sweet Garlic, Asian Sesame, and Chipotle.

Members of the Sauceology Grouphave donated a summery prize pack that includes six delicious products. You will receive either the Calypso Kick or Island Thyme Spice Rub fromCaribeque, Garlic Goodness Hot Sauce and Chai Curry Chup fromIntensity Academy, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette fromOut of the Weeds, Guava Girl Gourmet Grilling Sauce fromPirate Jonny’s, and Southern Gold Barbeque Gold Sauce fromVoodoo Chef.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden,
Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books,
Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for
#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.

Casserole · Gluten Free · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Simple and In Season · Vegan

Without this Fear

Root Vegetable “Lasagna”

Potato Au Gratin

Another day, another delicious recipe!  I was hoping to start prepping some delicious spring-themed treats but apparently mother nature is not quite ready for that.  As I’m writing this the temperature is preparing to drop some 40 degrees, and with the forecasted wind chill we’ll be back in the single digits.  So instead of thinking up ways to use the asparagus that will soon be arriving in the market, I’m back to my winter favorites: root vegetables (and mushrooms)!  This dish doesn’t really have a name as it’s a bit of a hybrid between an au gratin and a vegetable lasagna.  While lasagna noodles could be used I’m trying to think outside the pasta box – and so I decided to use pan fried potatoes as my “pasta” with various vegetables in between.

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Once plated this isn’t the prettiest of dishes, lots of white with a bit of green and orange for color – but it’s delicious!  I served it with some crusty sourdough, but anything with a good crust will do well when it comes to getting every last bit of the sauce.  I’m sending this on over to the amazing Ren who hosts Simple and in Season, and I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that winter will soon be over.  As much as I enjoy root vegetables, I’m ready for some fresh greens and spring onions!

52Weeks · Asian · Breakfast · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Boil the Sea

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young

When I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a TV show for inspiration I realized two things: 1) there aren’t many vegetarians/vegetarian friendly shows on TV and 2) I don’t really watch that much TV.  As part of our move we did away with cable, relying on Netflix and honestly haven’t missed “normal” TV at all.   So I made a list of possible shows, and then tried to figure out if a vegetarian meal would make sense.  Some of the bigger shows, such as House of Cards or Game of Thrones, it was clear from the beginning that going meatless was not an option.  I debated making some “fish” fingers with pudding for Doctor Who, but the best part of that is the fish so…I enlisted some outside help.  Which lead me to Firely, easily one of the best TV shows ever and one that has a few options when it comes to food.  From mock protein bars to anything involving strawberries. however my friend who suggested Firefly also suggested doing an American/Chinese dish (aka what most Chinese restaurants serve) since that’s all the Alliance seems to be made of.   I debated the options and decided to go with Egg Foo Young, for while delicious it does resemble the protein dish served during Out of Gas.

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As a bonus it turned out Joe had never had this dish, and there’s something rather awesome in introducing someone to a new dish.   At some point I want to figure out a way to vegetarianize the sauce that comes with this dish, but it wasn’t until researching it that I found out it normally contains fish sauce as well as shrimp paste – so I probably won’t be ordering this dish anytime soon.  Another great thing about this dish is it works well for all meals, I served it as part of a weekend brunch – but typically order it as part of dinner.  Nothing like a quick and versatile meal 🙂

52Weeks · Baking · Breakfast · Casserole · Random Recipes

As I go Out

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Mushroom Bread Pudding

I’m so thrilled to be getting back to Random Recipes, hosted by the awesome Dom.  Random Recipes is a bit different than my other challenges in that it sends me back to my books, some of which can get rather neglected.  This month the challenge was to pull out all our new books and randomly select the book from that group.  I was lucky enough to get four books this year: Indian Slow Cooker, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Dining with the Doctor, and The Heart of the Plate – which was the “winning” book!  I used my same random method (Joe picking a number) to select the winning page which led me to a Mushroom Bread Pudding, and wow did I wish for a different page at that point.  The last time I made a bread pudding was Home Ec back in middle school, so it’s been a fair bit of time.  However I had some leftover sourdough bread so with the addition of some fresh peasant bread I at least had the basic ingredients.  I also adjusted the ratio a bit, along with the seasonings, as things didn’t look quite right at first and I was worried about it being a bit bland as written.

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I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their eggs challenge since I rarely, if ever, prepare dishes that feature 5 eggs.   This is the first of their challenges for 2014, and if things go as planned the second one will be up on Wednesday!

Home Cooking · Slow Cooker · Soup · Vegan

Wait for You

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

For the record, stomach bugs and food blogs don’t really go hand in hand – however I’m slowly getting back to normal and with that slowly getting back in the kitchen.   When I’m sick, be it stomach flu or otherwise, I tend to go toward simple dishes – mostly because being on my feet for an extended amount of time is bad.  I also tend to use tools such as my slow cooker and dutch oven, since both lend themselves to being set up and walked away from.  This delicious lentil soup is simple, hearty, and easy on the stomach in addition to being adaptable for either slow cooker or dutch oven.

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Since I had spent more than a fair amount of the day in bed, I went for the dutch oven this time around.  For a slow cooker, precook the onions then add everything else and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2.   If cooking on low, turn to high for 30 minutes before serving in order to ensure the pasta has cooked thru – adding more liquid at this point if needed.