Saturday, September 4, 2021

Worth Making

Here are some recent successes worth both making and sharing. You will notice that we trend simple and big-batchy here lately (except for the smoothie, which makes one stressed-and-starving-mama-sized serving).

Best Veggie Burgers. These are vegan, nut-free, and delicious. They remind me of an old-school GardenBurger. They are made of primarily quick oats, onion, and mushrooms, but my mushroom-hater spouse nonetheless approves. We eat them on English Muffins with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and quick pickles. Tastes like '98 - a pretty great year.

Cumin Tofu Stir-fry. (Link will only work if you're a NY Times subscriber, sorry.) Crunchy tofu with a dry-spice crust, heady portions of fresh garlic, ginger, and cilantro, and al dente cauliflower bites. The leftovers were even better, heated up in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. A dollop of salted plain yogurt on top doesn't hurt.

Trail Mix Cookies. These are infinitely adaptable and invite experimentation and resourcefulness. I make them with seeds instead of nuts and have substituted cassava, tiger nut, and oat flours for the almond and they all work. No matter what flour I use, taste is earthy like trail mix; texture is soft like an underbaked cookie. 

Snickerdoodle Smoothie. Post-workout food of champions! I don't work out right now, so that was an inside joke with myself. (You crack me up, Self.) But it's delicious and has some vegetable in it, so obviously super healthy.

Peach Brown Betties. Heck yes I'm linking to my own blog! Perfectly-portioned pies without the fuss of pie dough (which, candidly, I have yet to master). 

And an array of vegan pancakes for the aspiring vegans and egg-allergic in our home:

Food52's Fluffy Vegan Pancakes. Makes hands-down the best diner-style fluffy pancakes I've ever seen without eggs. Graciously accommodating of any blueberries or chocolate chips that find their way into your batter. 

A Couple Cook's Nut-butter Vegan Pancakes. Still allergic to nuts here, so we use sunflower butter (though I bet almond or peanut butter would be even better). This recipe offers something a little different from the Food52 version; a little more depth. They brown beautifully albeit quickly - watch out with cast iron!

Banana-Oat Pancakes. These are amazing. Four ingredients plus pantry staples. Quick, quite filling, and - if you make silver-dollar-style ones - they are a good lunchbox addition. If you are feeding more than you or two, I recommend doubling the recipe. And you need a VitaMix or similar high-power blender.

I suspect we eat more pancakes than the average family.

Missing you all. Hope you're eating okay and finding occasional comfort in your kitchen.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Day 4 of W30 #2

Yesterday went well - zucchini-kale scramble for breakfast, chicken-veggie bowl for lunch - until I went out to dinner for a friend's birthday. I feebly abided until everyone else had alcohol and spring rolls and then I cashed in my 8% leeway and had a glass of wine and some fried things that definitely contained gluten, soy, and heaven knows what all preservatives. Everything was delicious and I had a fantastic time and all was not lost. And today I was stricter.

For breakfast: mug of homemade chicken stock, pulled pork, sautéed vegetables
Usual lunchtime when I couldn't get away for proper lunch: banana bread larabar
Actual lunch: leftover chicken curry, carrot, apple
Dinner: leftover chicken curry, greens, riced cauliflower, cup-o-kombucha

Fortunately the leftover chicken curry is absolutely outstanding so it's not bad eating it several meals in a row. Would you like to see some pictures of our food?


It's been a long time and photography has never been my strong suit, but you get the idea. That there above is the "paleo bowl" from Greenfield, one of I think three restaurants downtown where I can find a meal that is consistent with all the W30 rules but doesn't make me sad I opted for not making my own lunch. And that there below is documentation that MC's contribution is quite meaningful in 2019!


Are you impressed? Even though curry - essentially a pot of pressure-cooked mush - is not that photogenic? I am delightedly impressed. Being occasionally delightedly impressed is helpful in sustaining a longterm marriage.

And finally.


Nomnom Paleo's Spicy Tuna Cakes for my Ash Wednesday supper. The two in the corner are eggless (aquafaba as a binder) for my toddler to try.

I looked into my recount of my last Day 4 and evidently I'm doing much better this time around. It must be last night's sauvignon blanc and fried tofu. Ha! No regrets - even imperfect effort counts. Onward! Enjoy your Fat Tuesday - maybe eat an extra pancake for me. xoxo

Monday, March 4, 2019

Day 2 of Whole30 #2

MC and I are Whole 30-ing it this month - it's his first time ever and my first since 2015. This go already feels loads different, not only because I know what to expect and whether it's worth it, but also because I have a live-in partner committing to the program alongside me, and - wonder of glorious wonders - that partner's kitchen skills have vastly improved since 2015. So it's not just me prepping all the food (and then prepping an entirely separate table of food for my grain- and cheese-loving family). It's also MC and his trusty Instant Pot! I have no doubt that seasoned W30-ers (and all primary-food-preparers) will appreciate this new development without further explanation. Another development is that everything about my life has changed since 2015! I rarely blog or teach cooking classes these days, I work outside the home full time, and I have a toddler (allergic to eggs and tomatoes). We are mostly vegetarian and I barely ever cook or bake anything interesting. And worst of all is that my creative writing skills are super rusty. But I thought I'd try to keep a record here nonetheless, since 2015's record sure has come in handy and I know other W30s out there like this kind of anecdotal data.

This time, I'm not doing it 100%. I'm doing it like 92%, meaning, e.g., we snacked on Trader Joe's absolutely delicious vegan jackfruit "crab cakes" last night even though they had rice bran oil as an ingredient; I ate some soup with lentils in it for lunch today because I needed to finish it up from earlier in the week and I didn't want to postpone our W30 start date. Like everyone else, we've got a lot on our plate, including but not limited to: three children, jobs, school and church commitments, endless laundry, and a gazillion feet of snow outside of our house. So we are doing our best but accepting that what our best is right now will result in a somewhat modified W30, but will still serve as a functional reset for us.

We are on Day 2. We are a little hangry but hanging in there.

Yesterday we ate:

Scrambled eggs and sautéed kale and grated root veggies for breakfast
Shredded chicken with stir-fried red peppers and zucchini + carrot-squash soup*
Instant Pot Shrimp Curry, cauliflower rice, mixed greens, and Trader Joe's jackfruit "crabcakes" for dinner. MC made the curry and it was great, though it did not meat his expectations, which I just learned were recreating Chino Latino's Coconut Shrimp Curry.
Both of us snacked on fruit and nuts and/or sunflower butter.

Today we ate:

Eggs and veggies (MC) and chia-hemp smoothie (me)** for breakfast
Leftover shrimp curry (MC) and veggie-lentil soup + fruit + celery + sunflower butter (me)** for lunch
Instant Pot Sweet Potato-Chicken Curry with green beans and greens for dinner - this is another MC creation and it's outstanding. I wish I had taken a picture of his v. impressive mise en place, but I didn't realize I wanted to blog about all this until after the fact. Next time!

More later. xoxo

* Subbed three tablespoons ghee for butter

**  Smoothies aren't "Whole 30 compliant" but see above; this falls into aforementioned 8%.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Note to Self

Week One
To do
Make chicken stock (crockpot on Monday)
Dressing for pad thai (Monday)
Chop veggies for breakfasts (Monday)
Make chile verde stew (Tuesday night)
Make tuna salad (Thursday night)

Tuesday: Eggs and veggies
Mexican bowl
Sunflower Seed Pad Thai

Wednesday: Eggs and veggies
Cauliflower soup, raw veggies + sunbutter
Big salad with chicken

Thursday: Chia pudding
Veggies, hard-boiled eggs, apple + sunbutter
Chile verde stew + cole slaw

Friday: Eggs and veggies
Leftover chile verde stew + fruit + cole slaw
Tuna salad, leftover cauliflower soup

Saturday: Eggs and veggies
Leftover tuna salad, apples, carrots
Chicken-sweet potato curry (MC/Instant Pot), cauliflower rice

Sunday: Spanish tortilla + 101 Cookbooks magic sauce + green smoothie
Big salad w/ chicken + fruit
Lettuce wraps or steamed cabbage rolls and green beans

Monday: Chia pudding
Leftover Spanish tortilla, big green salad
Leftover curry, cauliflower rice; sautéed greens

Looking ahead
Greek meatballs (double or triple?)
Plaintain rice??
Crockpot chicken enchilada soup
Roasted sweet potato salad - sub more chard for quinoa