Thursday, December 13, 2007

what's cookin'

When I was first married I could not cook a can of tomato soup. Really! I burned it every time. Some of you may be asking how this happened. Well, home cooked food never really happened at my house as a child. My mom was single, she was dating in the evening. She would pick me up from Hebrew School, we would hit the closest fast food, she would get me settled in at home and then head out for the evening. Seems strange now, but not so strange then. BTW, we did not keep Kosher.

As a young adult/college student I did not cook. I ate out all the time. Crappy food, but what did I know? See above fast food upbringing.

As young married people we also ate out all of the time. Better food, but still...

As a bride, Husband and I talked at length about raising children. We knew that we wanted one of us to stay home with the the baby(s). His job was WAY more conducive to raising a family, so it became me who stayed home. When making this decision it did not occur to me that I would be cooking.

The whole learning how to cook thing was not good, (this was WAY before Food Network). I checked out books from the library that told me to do things I did not know how to do. It was really hard. But I pressed on. After many years I felt I could hold my own in the kitchen, We began entertaining and before you could say, "come on over " our house became the go to spot for any celebration,

~Picture me here, doing the touch down dance, spiking the ball.~

Now, MANY years later I find that I am bored with cooking. I have been putting dinner on the table for 18 years and I am just plain tired. But there are still hungry people in the house to deal with, so I soldier on. We have a new dietary issue in the house, that makes for a new challenge, which I enjoy.

Background...2 vegetarians, 1 lactose intolerant, 1 MSG allergy, 3 who blissfully eat anything they want but are vocal about like and dislikes. GGGRRRR.

Here is what is cooking the week. If I take recipe word for word out of a book, I will list the reference, but not the recipe. Check it out from the library. If I have made the dish up, or sufficiently altered a recipe, I will post it. Hope this works for everyone. If not, let me know.

I have been making this recipe for years. I have to admit that I no longer use the
actual recipe and now make a doublish amount. Very rarely are there leftovers.

4 cups grated, russet potatoes
1 onion, grated
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper

Mix it all up and fry in olive oil. Using your hands pull 2-3 tablespoons of the potato mixture out of the bowl. Plunk it into the hot oil and spread it out a bit. Not so thin that you will burn your fingers, but not so thick that it will not cook through.
About half way through the batch you will notice a lot of moisture collecting at the bottom of the bowl holding the potato mixture. At this point I put what is left into a colander to drain. I know some people actually wrap their potato in paper towels to remove moisture. I feel that also removes quite a bit of starch and the starch is what gives the middles a creamy texture. Just drain it, its fine.

Don't buy it, this is so easy. If you have teenagers at home get them to peel the apples.

5 apples - any type will work, the more variety the better
1/3 cup unfiltered apple juice
2 tablespoons honey (I never use it)
a sprinkle of cinnamon (if you are so inclined, I never am)

Peel and quarter the apples and put them and the apple juice into a glass dish with a cover. Vent the cover slightly and microwave on high 10 minutes. An immersion blender works great here, but a food prosessor will also do the trick. Blend it to the texture you would like, chunky, smooth, whatever you like.

Sour Cream
Non-dairy will work if that is an issue at your house. Because of the MSG allergy we can
not use the off the shelf fake sour cream. The Uncheese Cookbook has a good recipe.
For me, latkes are special and I am willing to use the real stuff. Lactose Intolerant boy will not eat either variety, so we are good.

leftover roast chicken

I am not comfortable cooking or touching meat. I buy Lloyd's pre-sauced and bake them
in the oven. The carnivores approve and I do not get my hands dirty,

1 pound wide noodles, cooked
1 small onion, diced fine
1/4 cup butter, non dairy is fine, Earth's Best Vegan Non-Hydrogenated is my favorite
6 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper

While the noodles are cooking saute the onion in a couple tablespoons of butter. Let them get nice and golden. Once the noodles are done toss them with the remaining butter, add the onions and eggs and salt and pepper. Stir at all around and pour into a baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so. Uncover for the last 15 minutes to just barely brown the tips of the pasta.

I like it lightly sauced. If you prefer more, go right ahead.

1 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
1-2 carrots, shredded
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 jalapeno - seeds and stems removed, diced very fine
1/4 cup mayo - fresh, fake, whatever you like
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
salt and pepper
Mix the vegetables. Whisk up the sauce. Toss.
Not so good the next day, so just make as much as you think you will need.

Wednesday's are hard because we walk in the door from dance class at 7:15ish. I need to make most of the meal in the afternoon. I made the hummus early in the day and put pita in the oven to warm and salmon burgers on the stove as soon as I walked in the door. We were eating 15 minutes later.
2 cans garbanzo beans
1/3 cup olive oil, as tasty as you can afford
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
lots of salt
water to thin if needed

Pulse the beans in a food processor then add the olive oil. Get the mixture fairly smooth then add in the other stuff. Keep scrapping down the sides and processing until the Hummus is very smooth and creamy.

Salmon Burgers
I purchased the Salmon Burgers from You could make your own.

Potato and Kale Enchiladas
This recipe is in the new Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz. She is a genius!
I make them in the pressure cooker, adding salt and 2-3 whole jalapenos at the halfwayish point.

I am using Angel Hair
Quinoa Croquettes with Mushroom Sauce
Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. Its own flavor is quite bland. That means it can easily be mixed in with other flavorful things to make healthy, tasty meals. I have made this recipe before, it is quite good. I am thinking that this time I made add a bit of pureed chipotle to the croquettes.

I do not plan Saturday and Sunday meals. This leaves some flexibility in my schedule. Maybe we decide to have friends over. Maybe it is a nice day and we feel like BBQing. Maybe we take off for the day. Maybe the fridge is stuffed and we need to eat some leftovers. Maybe one of the days I planned I was too damn tired and/or stressed out to cook and we have ingredients for that meal still sitting around....We eat for 7 days on a 5 day plan all of the time.

So what are you cooking for dinner? I can use some inspiration.

1 comment:

Tan said...

I dunno, I was going to use YOUR menus. Thanks for the latke recipe. Maybe we'll have them for supper.