Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Skip the workout, bring on the cooking!!

I was bad today. I didn't work out when I got home.

And there was a new episode of Ghost Hunters International after dinner, followed by the newest episode of Top Chef.

Sorry, elliptical, I still love you, but Ghosts and Food win.

So... during commercials... I can update on the recent goings-on in the kitchen! Way more fun.

I'm trying out a new little project here for 2009.... one of my goals is to cook more. Really, this is going to mean making more lunches for myself. So far, I've made 3 things.

Well, bring it on, lady!!

Cook More 2009: Lunches, Week 1 - Veg out!!

Tamale Lentil Casserole

A friend (hey look Jane... you're famous - or is that infamous? - now!) mentioned this recipe and I had to hunt it down... I've got loads of lentils on hand for some reason, and I was happy to see it used a taco seasoning packet. I'm trying to break myself of the habit of using them, and I had one lone "Hot Taco Seasoning" packet left in the cupboard.

The lentils... simmering.... it smelled wonderful....


Lentils, ready to be topped with the cornbread mix....



And the cornbread topping goes on....



Into the oven. Easy enough to do... a lot of unattended cooking time. And out of the oven....




Ooops. Um, lentil mixture bubbled through the top. Oh well.

It did actually hold together somewhat well in slices after it cooled a little....



My serving... with some homemade quac (I had an avocado to use), sour cream and olives (I did work out that day, I swear, so I could eat those things).



Overall... pretty good. I used a Jiffy cornbread mix, and I found the cornbread to be a little too sweet for my tastes. But boy... is it hearty... you wouldn't think it was meatless. The leftovers have been very tasty this week.

On to recipe number 2....

Thai Soup

I have made the chicken version of this several times and love it, and I did intend on doing it with chicken, until I saw some tofu on sale at the market. I don't have anything against tofu - it's not tofu's fault it has no bacon in it - and I do enjoy it in Asian soups. So, bring on the tofu!!

My mis en place....



The stalky-thing... lemon grass. A couple shallots. Two cans of coconut milk, fish sauce, chicken broth (ok, so it's not TOTALLY veggie, but I had the chicken broth on hand and wasn't going to spend money on veggie broth when I already had chicken broth on hand), some leftover lime, panang chili paste, cilantro, and some shitake mushrooms.

First the broth... one can of coconut milk, some fish sauce, the stock, the shallots, some cilantro (not too much for me, I'm not a cilantro person), the lemon grass, and I threw in the stems from the mushrooms since they were cleaned. Simmer that for ten minutes, then strain off the soilds, return the liquid to the pot, add the sugar & chili paste & additional fish sauce, and continue on....



Mushrooms, tofu and bean sprouts, ready to join the party....



What's that... the picture above is why you hate tofu? Me too. I accidentially bought non-firm tofu, so I couldn't really cube it up like I wanted. Oh well.

Add the mushrooms to the stock, simmer for a couple minutes until they're cooked....



Bamboo shoots! Dive on in!!



Add tofu and let it warm through....



My tasting portion....



Very tasty. The original recipe calls for button mushrooms and if I'd used those and the firm tofu, you might not even be able to tell the difference between the mushrooms and the tofu. And the bean sprouts were surprisingly good... a nice crunch, and a nice alternative to noodles or something else.

Baked Falafel

No recipe here. I had a package of falafel mix that I needed to use up. I did follow Ellie Krieger's method of baking them though.



Falfel mix, meet water. Go hang over in the corner for about 15 minutes while the oven comes up to temp.

Made my patties, threw them in the oven.

Ta-da!!!



I've tried baked falafel before and have been very disappointed... not so with these. Maybe a little dry, but still tasty and crunchy (when the hubby came in and saw me making these tonight, he asked what I was doing, and I replied "Making crunch patties!" since a day without a Simpsons reference is pretty much unheard of around here).

On to my own tzatziki recipe... started with a half a cucumber in the food processor. Since that bowl was already dirty, I plopped my greek yogurt in there along with some garlic, salt and pepper, and mixed away....



This will become watery. Which is one reason I usually throw it in a container lined with several coffee filters... the water will drip down to the bottom and it won't water down your sauce. If you're serving it right away, just drain the cucumber for a little while. I won't be eating this until tomorrow, so it'd be watery by then if I didn't have a draining system figured out.



There you go, kids. Three things that make multiple, tasty lunches, and they don't even involve bacon. Who'da thunk??

3 comments:

Hurricane Mikey said...

Nice recipes, although, I can't see myself making *anything* with tofu at the house. Why cook with tofu when bacon is so tasty and plentiful?

Anyhow, browsing Amazon, I thought of you when I saw this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596910704/ref=s9subs_c4_14_at1-rfc_p_si1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1ZJC9RMJF92HN62P2RE0&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463383371&pf_rd_i=507846

Marilyn said...

You've been a good little suburban hausfrau, haven't you?

And I'd much rather watch Jason and Grant on the original Ghost Hunters, but I can live with GHI.

MrsVJW said...

Mikey - that may have to go on my reading list for the next trip!

Marilyn - me too, me too. But at least I get the fun of yelling at the TV "I don't believe there are any ghosts there, or they would have knocked that stupid visor of your punk-ass head!" when that one kid is on. A backwards, upside-down visor?? Really????