breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
Late Friday night (it was early Saturday morning by that point actually), my throat and chest seemed to burst into acidic flames. Pain burned at the base of my throat and seemed to travel until it ignited in my sternum. Recognizing it as heartburn, I tried my usual routines. THey failed. And so, come Saturday morning, I found myself in the ER, pain radiating from my chest and back, absolutely miserable.

I have never had heartburn so awful before, and apparently it was awful enough to actually cause damage. A diagnosis of reflux esophagitis followed after they determined that my cardiovascular system is as healthy as a horse, and I was sent home with prescriptions for some heavy-duty acid-reducers and the instruments to eat a bland diet, without coffee, tea, chocolate, peppermint, tomatoes, citrus, or anything acidic.

Usually I ignore those types of instructions, since my GERD is usually not triggered by acid. But in this case? I am following it, because my esophagus needs a break.

Bland diet doesn't mean it can't be tasty, though, and so I present...

Hot and Sour Soup

There are millions of recipes for hot and sour soup out there, each with their own variations. I know I probably have at least three or four recipes among my books alone. This one is from Cooking Light Vegetarian, and it's incredibly simple. The soup's biggest player is its broth, with mushrooms, tofu, and egg being the only chunky aspects. I followed this recipe exactly, except I used only shiitake mushrooms (fresh, so no reconstituting in water), used ground ginger instead of fresh, and skipped on the scallions, cilantro, and sesame oil (sesame oil is strong stuff, and I thought it may be a bit much for my poor esophagus).

Does this not look like something you'd order at a Chinese restaurant? Though I do recommend you beat the egg white a bit like it recommends -- I didn't, and I had giant glomps of egg white in my soup.

This soup? Tastes incredible. It honestly tastes like something I'd order at a restaurant. I'm usually awful at making broths, but this has a very nice, earthy flavour that is perfect if you've spent the entire morning in the ER and need some comfort. The mushrooms add a unique meaty taste, and the tofu actually absorbs a decent amount of flavour, leaving it not tasting like water.

The only thing I will note is that is neither hot nor sour. Definitely add ginger or sesame oil to taste if you want something spicier. Also consider adding white vinegar in addition to rice vinegar -- the latter is known for being quite mild. Also, you can definitely use less than the number of egg whites requested; I cut the recipe in half, and as you can see, two egg whites took over the soup.

Otherwise though? 9.5/10. It was just what I needed to assure myself that bland does not have to mean "tastes awful".

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
I have about five days to try and write five stories for the H/C Bingo, because depression sucks and made me lose a ton of time. I'll be spending today try to get at least one or two of those done, but first, I'm going to make a very quick Dinner Time post.

Under the cut! Pictures are huge again. )

And now to shower and laundry and write. Until next time...

breezeshadow: TEA TIMES ICON (ALLtheTea)
So back in September, Hari visited. It feels like a million years ago -- we were still dating, I still had my best friend, I still didn't have insurance. It's only been a little over three months since then, but it feels like a whirlwind.

Some things don't change, though. Like me cooking.

Apple & Brie Stuffed French Toast

Hari linked me this recipe a while back, and I told him I would make it when he visited. I kept to my word.

Pictures under the text because they are HUGE. Photobucket, what? )

Whole wheat bread doesn't make the most attractive French Toast.

I followed the recipe more or less exactly, except that I used whatever apples I had, not Granny Smith specifically. I'm one of those people who can't really taste the different between apple varieties. Or pears. Oranges and clementines taste different though!

But anyway. I'm not a fan of French toast. I associate with slimy bread and general "No". But this French toast? Fantastic. The apples and brie went very well together, and the whole wheat bread gave it some extra depth. It was also extremely filling. One French toast is more than enough for breakfast, trust me.

If I recall, making these was a trick and a half; the bread I was using was big and bulky, and the apples did not want to stay in between. This wasn't a huge issue, though, especially since I love sauteed apples. Once the cheese started to melt, things held together a bit better, but I would recommend cutting your bread in half to do this regardless, so you aren't struggling with batter, bread, and hot apples.

Overall, 9/10. Not a full 10 because it was a bit of a pain, and also extremely rich food displeases my digestive system. But it really was quite delicious.

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
So I'm not the biggest fan of alcohol. I don't like the taste, alcoholism runs in my family and I've had a couple of bad experience. But one thing I have always liked is some hot cocoa with butterscotch schnapps.

One day I was contemplating become a teatotaler, and realized that would mean no butterscotch schnapps. So I searched the internet...

Butterscotch Sauce.

And found this.

"Butterscotch is a thing?" I thought. "Like, a legit thing, not just a flavour?"

Indeed it is!

So. This butterscotch recipe is very easy to follow, includes pictures that are actually HELPFUL, and furthermore, is from what I can understand the original way to make butterscotch. It tastes just like the flavouring from the schnapps, and FAR better than your standard butterscotch ice cream topping from the store. I probably could have drank the whole bowl of it right then and there.

I will note, however, that I'm not sure how to keep it. I put in the fridge and that caused it to become rock solid. I reheat it when I need to use it, but then the sugar starts to caramelize further, and it gains a somewhat granular texture, even if the flavour is still okay. So I think a sealed, heatproof jar at room temperature may be your best bet.

Oh, and it tastes FANTASTIC in hot cocoa and ice cream.

10/10. Seriously. It's awesome.

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
So I had plans today. Plans to wash the towels and laundry, scrub the stove, do yoga. PLANS.

Then my stomach suddenly freaked out, shortly followed by my head. These plans are being postponed, and replaced with a post and some videogames.

Spicy Vietnamese Lemongrass Tofu Adapation

I'm calling this an adaptation rather than the actual recipe, because I ended up making so many substitutions that I'm pretty sure this dish is nothing like the original recipe. Here is the original recipe. Now, for what I ended up doing (I'm converting it directly from their recipe, because I can't remember how much exactly I used):

2tbsp Black Bean Sauce
About 1tbsp fresh ginger root
2tbsp curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2tbsps plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound tofu
1tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp olive oil
3tbsp water
3tbsp peanut oil
1 small onion
1tbsp chili paste, or to taste
Peppers, Tomatoes, or whatever vegetables you like
Brown Rice

From there, I think I recall screwing up royally. First off, I'm not sure I actually MARINATED the tofu in soy sauce like the recipe calls for. I do remember I pressed it to get the water out of it, because tofu is near-impossible to stirfry unless you do so. Then I coated the tofu with the black bean sauce, ginger, curry powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Then when making the caramelized sugar, I failed to add the extra water, and the caramel solidified in its container. That was interesting. But then I stirfried everything else and let it simmer and got:

A food that won't photograph well.

But taste-wise? It was pretty amazing. All of my haphazard substitutions somehow blended together very well, and forgetting the lemongrass did nothing noticeable to the flavour. It had a good kick to it, though it wasn't as sweet as you may expect from the caramel, likely because I messed up making it.

Of course, I will need to make this again without substituting half of the recipe, but the fact that I did and it still tasted great? Proves that either I know how flavours work better than I realize, or that the recipe has a solid foundation.

8.5/10 either way. I even enjoyed the leftovers.

Until next time...

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
Spent most of today cleaning... Fun times as an adult!

Roasted Portobello with Egg

So I love portobellos, and so the idea of pairing them with eggs with tempted to me. Hence me trying out this recipe. It's extremely straightforward, and in a fantastic fit of laziness, I just microwaved some scrambled eggs to go with it.

The bowl I made them in perfect fit the mushroom. Which makes for a very amusing picture.

As for the dish?

Meh. So very meh.

The thing is, the mushroom had almost no flavour; you can't even tell I ROASTED it. Maybe I just got a freakish portobello, since they are usually bursting it, or maybe it should have had a marinade.

Paired with the eggs, it really wasn't the most fantastic meal. Maybe it would have helped if I made the scrambled eggs the nonlazy way, but since the two are cooked separately, then thrown together, I doubt it would have mattered much.

It's possible that it may test better with eggs with a liquid yolk, though; then maybe the yolk would give the portobellos a boost. Or just try marinating it. As it is, though, there are way better uses for portobellos.

5/10. Giving it some benefit of the doubt since microwaved eggs are not exactly gourmet or fantastic. Otherwise, though, not going to try it again.

And that's about all I have to say about that.

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
It's a warm day today -- and it has my apartment humid and kind of unpleasant. It probably doesn't help that I just deep cleaned the bathroom, which leaves me wanting to just lay around and be like "See, I did work, I can play Sims the rest of the afternoon right?"

The answer is no.

Pasta with Tempeh and Roasted Garlic Sauce

So this is a bit awkward. I've been meaning to put this recipe up for ages, and now that I'm finally getting to it... the blog is gone :(. So you all can have SOMETHING to check out, I quickly found this recipe which looks very similar... Once I got to the recipe. However, the original recipe was based mostly on just tempeh, tomatoes, and roasted garlic, without the extra veggies.

It also looks pretty unflattering when paired with green pasta.

It's been a while since I made this recipe, but I still recall that I found it kind of meh, at most. It was a bit watery, hence why it doesn't seem to be covering the pasta very well at all, but I've found that true of many homemade sauces. I actually cut back on the amount of tomato used, so perhaps it was partially my fault; the tomatoes I had were huge and I didn't think I needed both of them.

The tempeh itself still retains a lot of the original flavouring that I think is from preservatives or SOMETHING. Basically, it just didn't seem to cook all that well in the sauce. If I recall, the leftovers that I microwaved with some pasta fared a bit better than fresh, which really is just bizarre.

So overall, I think adding some tomato paste could help give the sauce some body, while perhaps cooking the tempeh then adding it to the sauce would help with the flavour. I'm noticing that the recipe I linked as a substitute has you BOIL the tempeh which strikes me as a bit "Huh?". I don't know how the texture of that would be.

Overall rating? 5/10. It wasn't that impressive but it wasn't awful either.

Bonus Rating! The spinach noodles you see up there are Garden Time Fancy Spinach Ribbons, which is really just a ridiculously pretentious name for cut wide spaghetti. They brag about their pasta on the bag, and it's expensive stuff.

It also doesn't taste any better than Target brand. Raw it has a odd texture but I can taste the spinach, but once cooked? Pretty bland flavouring. I'm pretty neutral on recommending it, really. I guess that's another 5/10? 6/10? Something around there.

Until next time...

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
It's been a while. Sorry for that; I've been busy. Since I'm now SO backed up, I'm going to try and write quite a few posts tonight, and just set them to be posted later.

Today's recipe is from a site I used to go to quite often, years ago, but since have left since I have found it to go downhill, and also it's not nearly as effective as it claims.

Tempeh Fakin' Bacon

This website is Care2, and the recipe has this lovely picture of tempeh/tofu (it looks like a weird mix of both), while the recipe itself is super easy. It's also basically taken from here (though they do credit it), so I'll just let both of them be around.

So. I cut the recipe in fourths or something but otherwise, same recipe.

On a scale from 1 to 10, guess how much I recommend it just based on this photo alone?

That's right, it's pretty bad.

So this does taste like bacon. And I quickly realized why. It tastes like pure salt.

Soy sauce is choked full of salt, especially apparently if you buy a rum-sized bottle of it for only about $2. Simmering the tempeh in soy sauce then did very little to make it taste like soy and a lot more to make it taste like salt. I'm VERY sensitive to the taste of salt, so I actually ended up throwing this poor tempeh away, as I just couldn't handle it.

Luckily, this is a very easy fix; just use either much less soy sauce and substitute a different marinade (maybe a vegan/vegetarian BBQ sauce? Homemade BBQ sauce is very easy to make. Or something smokey?) or use reduced sodium soy sauce. This may help save the recipe.

However, I am perfectly content to let Morningstar Farms make me some veggie bacon, even if it has a list of ingredients big enough to build a house, and skip this recipe. If you're vegan or just against foods with a huge amount of ingredients, though, perhaps try the modifications and tell me how it goes!

On its own, without modifications, I give this a 2.5/10. It had to be thrown away and was a waste of a great food (tempeh), but there is room for modifications and thus hope.

Bonus Photo!

Plum and chocolate ice cream. If you're going to make plum ice cream, don't use that much extra sugar! Ripe plums have plenty of it :)

Until next time...

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
I'm in a half-fog and my web browser is freaking out, so apologies in advance if this post has a few weird issues. I'll fix them as I catch them.

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa

For once I think I found this recipe instead of my (now) ex-boyfriend. Or maybe he did. I'm not sure even WE know at this point. By the way, that's an example of a GOOD food blog, in my not-so-humble opinion. One picture, only one paragraph of explanation (and it's actually fairly interesting!), and then the recipe. Stamp of Approval for presentation.

As for the recipe... I don't like almond milk so I just used normal dairy milk. Otherwise, same recipe. And, well...


I love quinoa. But either this quinoa is awful, or this recipe is. I'm not sure if perhaps I boiled the milk too high, but as you can see it was very soupy, with the quinoa unable to absorb it all, and the flavour left much to be desired. As I recall, it wasn't even that chocolaty, while the texture and mouth feel of the dish was all wrong. I was so unimpressed I actually ended up throwing about half of it or so away.

Maybe the recipe does really need to have almond milk, but even then I believe the amount of liquid needs to be cut down substantially, or the cooking method for the quinoa changed. As it is, it becomes soupy, almost like a liquidy porridge.

My recommendations then are to not use dairy milk (don't know if it matters if it's almond or something else), cut the liquid down, and possibly add a bit more sweetener, to taste. That may save it, but I'm not going to try and find out.

3.5/10. It's no good if I have to throw the food out, but at the same time, I DID change the recipe, so credit given where it is due.

Until next time...

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
So apparently I was planning to put these cookies, baked and eaten weeks ago, onto the blog. I forgot until I found their pictures on my Photobucket account again.

Both of these recipes come from the same book, Green & Black's Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection. Green & Black's Organic is a fantastic chocolate company that offers fair-trade, organic chocolate bars and products. The recipe book was given to me by a friend, and since then, I've been trying a recipe or two here and there.

A few weeks ago my coworkers were planning an event, and I offered to bake for it. I brought two recipes: a new one I had never tried, and then one I've been trying and trying to get to work the way it does in the book. I'll introduce them both.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe calls for muscovado sugar, which I certain do not have, so I substituted brown sugar. Otherwise, it's exactly the recipe offered in the book.

This recipe is supposed to make 16 cookies. It so doesn't. I can't recall the exact amount but I think it was 12, maybe.

They were, however, quite good! I thought the oats would make them taste like weird quasi-oatmeal cookies, but instead the cookies were quite chewy, while the chocolate chips were still very gooey. Furthermore, they stayed this way for quite some time; I forgot about the cookie leftovers I had after the event for over a week, and after that time, they were not stale. So I recommend you seal them in tubberware for long-term storage, since that seemed to work.

So yeah, I'm giving them 8/10 for being tasty, just wish the recipe made as many as it said.

Truly Gooey Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

I've struggled with this recipe before, so I tried following it EXACTLY this time around...

Yeah, that title is such a lie.

These cookies are not "truly gooey". They are more like brownie-cookie hybrids. The cookie itself is very brittle, and so full of chunks that it's more like a pile of hazelnuts and chips barely held together by chocolate. This probably because the "dough" is basically just chocolate, and so while cooking it just spreads out ridiculously in the oven.

Adding more flour did not help, the last time I tried it. Perhaps you need to add more than I did. They are pretty tasty, don't get me wrong. The taste is fine, but the texture is not what it's supposed to be, and there's a bit too much filling (two types of chocolate chips AND hazelnuts). I much prefer the chocolate chip cookies, above.

It's possible baking these for a shorter amount of time may help, I have no idea. Giving them a 6.5/10 for being okay-tasting, but the wrong texture and all brittle. ALso this didn't make 16 either.

So that's about all I have. Short post, kind of too unfocused to go on and on. Next time: more food and probably more silliness.

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (RogerAlone'd)
So I've been having nasty insomnia lately, and right now am all happy to finally have talked with people who are up when I am (most of my friends are East Coast), and also possibly wired up from stress. This means, of course, I should write a blog post, right?

Red Quinoa with Mushrooms and Kale

Once again, my boyfriend linked a post that led me to this one. It has everything that drives me nuts about food blogs: long story, moaning about food, and too many pictures. But I love quinoa, and mushrooms, and kale, so I had to try it out.

I used regular quinoa since I do not have red, along with a chopped portobella cap instead of shiitake. I used this No-Chicken broth by Imagine instead of chicken stock because it's a fantastic substitute. I also added a tomato because I need to use them up, and once again pearl onions instead of diced because I have still failed to buy real onions. Followed the same instructions on that blog post though (basically sautee onions in butter, then add quinoa to toast, then add broth and simmer. Then sautee other vegetables, then add kale until wilted).

This is sounding like those annoying comments on recipes that go "LOL it was great I substituted the apples in the pie for blueberries and used cake batter instead of a crust!" Sorry about that.

So enough babbling, here's the food. I added goat cheese after this photo (SERIOUSLY what was I doing).

Overall? This was quite good. The kale was cooked properly unlike the last recipe I had, leaving it quite crunchy while still having a great colour and flavour. Portobella mushrooms worked well here. Once again, though, be careful about tomatoes adding a lot of extra liquid; you may want to consider draining some of the liquid before combining the vegetables to the quinoa if you use them. Otherwise, it shouldn't be a huge problem as mushrooms and kale shouldn't release too much moisture.

Goat cheese was a good addition, but if you're vegan and want to add an extra bit of flavour, I'd recommend dried cranberries. Moosewood has a recipe involving kale and cranberries, and it is EXCELLENT. I imagine cranberries would do well in this recipe as well.

I will note, however, that overall this was more filling than expected. I only ate half of it in one sitting even after halving the recipe. This is probably because 1 cup of dried quinoa makes FOUR cups of cooked quinoa, and two cups of quinoa is apparently just too much for my stomach.

This reminds me: I have a nice, simple lentil/rice recipe I should share sometime.

So basically? This recipe was good, filling, but I'm not sure on its own, without my additions, it would have been amazing. So it's getting a 7.5/10. I like being able to give recipes good ratings; world, MAKE DELICIOUS FOOD.

I'm so sorry for this post.

It appears I forgot to put two recipes up on this blog, since their pictures are on my photobucket. I will try to do those next. Not tonight, though, this insanity has gone on long enough.

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
College instilled one weird OCD exception in me: soup foods are totally okay late at night so long as they are fast noodles. Right now it is Annie Chun's Kimchi soup, which is spicy and tasty.

This has nothing to do with today's food, so let's move on.

Stir-Fried Egg and Tomato with Avocado

Hari found a recipe on this website that disinterested me, as I recall. So then I found this and found it interesting. Today's recipe is based off of this, but not quite the same.

This is mainly because after a "flaming oil" incident when I was 15, I don't like to add oil to a hot pan.

So here we are.

Start off with a bit of oil in a pan. I recommend peanut oil as it's very good with heat. THEN heat it up to about medium, medium-high. At this point, we go back to the recipe's instructions. I used a whole tomato, chopped it up, and then added it to the pan and stirfried it until it was basically what they said.

I tend took two eggs, cracked them in a bowl, and beat them well. Then I added a splash of 2% milk (I wouldn't add more than 1/8 cup), and then some goat cheese. beat it all together. I then added them to the pan with the tomatoes still in there, and removed the pan from the heat while stirring the eggs and scraping the bottom and sides.

Then once the cooking was slowed I put them back on the heat and basically just stirred them until they firmed up to a consistency I liked. Remove from heat, put in bowl. Slice up some fresh raw avocado and add it to the top.

It was quite a tasty, nourishing breakfast. Now for a few things.

First off, I DO recommend you listen to that website and remove the tomatoes and rinse the pan, THEN add the eggs. This is not due to taste or cooking, but to remove excess liquid. I had some unsightly liquid in the bottom of my bowl of eggs, and so to remove that, it's best to just separate the cooking processes. If liquid in the bowl doesn't squick you like it does me, then you can keep everything in the same pan.

Goat cheese really didn't add what I wanted to the eggs; you could barely taste it. Feel free to leave it out.

This basic recipe would likely go well with many other vegetables, including spinach, kale, MAYBE broccoli. It's very versatile and there are many options.

Oh and I don't know how adding the sugar works out since I didn't. My guess is it brings out the tomato flavour, I don't know.

Finally, you could probably translate this into a vegan recipe pretty easily by using tofu. I have made a pretty good tofu scramble in the past using a pile of dried herbs and some firm tofu. Perhaps someday I should add it to the blog so I'm not just stealing other people's recipes.

Speaking of this recipe, 8/10. It was good, and has great potential for modification.

Bonus Rating! So I was at the natural grocery again and I saw that they have this, except in a "one packet to try it" size.

For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT FALL FOR THOSE REVIEWS:

This is one packet, which is the equivalent of one serving, in 16oz of coconut milk (which is also gross btw). I needed a blender to stir it. The blender could barely even process it.

"Shake or dog poop, which could it be?"

The consistency was of a paste, and I wanted to chew it before swallowing it. When I could swallow it. I only tried twice. The flavour, oddly enough, was not BAD -- it actually tasted vaguely like the coconut milk it was in, basically. But I knew I wouldn't drink it so I brought it to the sink to pour it out.

IT came out like honey at first, then there was a little pop, and the whole thing slid out leaving barely any trace it was in the glass.

Food shouldn't DO THAT, guys. Please do not buy this. If you're starving and have no choice, use double the liquid it recommends. Garden of Life may like eating paste but it can't be good for you if you're already having food troubles and need to drink this instead.

Also bonus from someone who was pissy that someone dared give such a healthy, hippy product a two-star review:

"Your comment is your own personal opinion." (From here)

Unlike every other comment, which clearly is based in SCIENCE

On that charming note,

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
I had a busy day on Sunday baking, churning, and cleaning. Unfortunately, the only thing that really went right was the cleaning. Nonetheless, I present...

Mini Peach Tarts

This is another one that my boyfriend found, and I accepted it whole-heartedly. Peaches are delicious after all, and mini peach pies? Yes, please. I didn't have any graham crackers though, so none of those are in it.

The Pepto-Bismol is actually plum ice cream. It had too much sugar :(

And now for the poor tarts. I want to say they were delicious and the greatest use of my peaches.

But no. Even with a homemade, from-scratch pie crust, no. And I know exactly why.

The recipe calls for WAY too much cinnamon and nutmeg. My two peaches actually made twice the amount of tarts the recipe called for, which means I used half the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg the recipe technically wants, and yet the spices completely overpower the peaches. I can barely even taste them, and when I can, it's not a mind-blowing flavour. It doesn't help that I had to cook them for roughly 30 min to get the pie crust to brown, which may have burned the tips of the peaches.

The homemade crust is okay, crispy, not too flavourful but it IS just a crust. The filling? Meh. So meh. Cinnamon and nutmeg are very strong spices, using 1 tsp each of both is so inappropriate. I should have known better.

It MAY be possible to salvage these by significantly lowering the amount of spice (by half at least). It's also possible my peaches just sucked (They were still hard and not ripe/soft after over two weeks of owning them). But honestly I'm so off-put by how it turned out that I don't really want to try it again.

4/10. Sorry peach tarts. Even a sprinkle of salt did nothing.

I MAY be able to manage to wake up in time to make a good breakfast that I could post to here. Until then...

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
So I had a meal before this one that I photographed and everything... But I forget what it was like. It was a pasta dish, I know that much. So instead, we'll focus on what I made for breakfast this morning.

Kale with Egg and Toast

So my boyfriend linked me some recipe, I can't remember what. I was pretty "Whatever" about it, but it led me to find this recipe and another one I will try out later. Now, I'm neutral about most lettuces and greens, but I love kale. So a recipe involving mostly it? Yes, please.

I substituted the diced onions for diced pearl onions. Let me tell you, chopping frozen pearl onions in a blender? Way too amusing to watch. They hop around like popcorn before they finally get ground up. Also, I substituted vegetable broth for chicken stock. And I forgot about the lemon juice.

I was so ravenous that I took one rather bad picture before wolfing it down.

And now for the disappointment... It was kind of a bust. There are various reasons for this. First, the kale is too moist and thus this soaked straight into the toasted bread and turned it moist (ick). The kale, after being simmered in an absurd amount of broth (I used a cup less than stated, and still had almost all of the broth left over. Seriously. I poured it back into containers to save because some of that broth cost me $4/container), simply did not have the nice texture and flavour I associate it with. I'm not even sure I simmered it for the whole 30 min, either.

I couldn't even really taste the garlic or onion, not sure what the point of them being there was. I guess MAYBE the lemon juice would have rescued the kale, but why in the world would you simmer it for 30min only to give it a whole different flavour? A light saute or steam would yield a better texture and colour, and then you could just add the lemon juice after. I don't know.

We won't talk about the sad sunny side up eggs. I should have just fried them.

I don't know how this could be salvaged, or even if it's worthwhile. Suffice to say it's being removed from my recipe list, because I Know better ways to use toast, egg, and kale. (and in the case of the egg and toast, AT ONCE).

Overall rating: 4/10.

I made another disappointing recipe for dessert this evening, but that will wait for another time.

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
So I'm a pastaholic. I love almost any kind of pasta except for baked dishes and cream-based sauces, but oils, butters, tomato-based... All of the rest of it is fair game. My boyfriend knows this, and he also is desperately frantic to get me to gain weight. It seems to have become his personal mission. This leads us to today's recipe.

Cardamon Roasted Tomato Pasta

I save almost every recipe my boyfriend gives me if it involves pasta, and this was one of TWO roasted tomato recipes he linked me, because I don't know. I substituted the cardamon pods with ground cardamon, the lemon zest with lemon juice, and the chicken stock with vegetable broth.

I took this picture in one try.

Anyway, so beineg a pasta lover, I'm very biased. I wolfed this down pretty contently. I will note, however, that I found the sauce to be quite bland. I think my problem is lemon zest substitutions; one teaspoon of lemon juice apparently calls for two TABLESPOONS of lemon juice. Those lemon zest strips they used are probably easily two teaspoons a piece, which means I should have added, uh, four tablespoons of lemon juice or eight for the original recipe amount. That's quite a bit of lemon juice.

So yeah, I imagine with the right amount of lemon it's quite zesty (hur), but I also found the cardamon to be surprisingly underwhelming. Maybe try more for a stronger flavour.

The tomatoes were great roasted though (I had to roast them for longer than instructed, for what it is worth), nice and juicy.

Also, you know, pasta. I will note that since this is a pretty light sauce, unless you LOVE the taste of gluten-free pasta, this may not work with them. I bet it'd match with buckwheat though.

Overall? 8/10 if the modifications I recommended end up working. I added it to my "Delicious" Bookmarks so hey. SOMETHING went right (the pasta).

Bonus Rating! I had some Rising Moon Organic Feta and Hazelnut Ravioli. I expected amazing because holy shit feta, hazelnuts, and squash? In ravioli?

They were the most underwhelming, unimpressive ravioli I've ever had. No joke. Freakin' Target brand cheese ravioli are tastier. I come from a place with lots of Italians, and I've had top of the line ravioli before. Those were not even CLOSE.

I do not recommend that ravioli, and quite possibly that whole brand. Bleh.
breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
So thanks to the New Wholes Grains cookbook, I discovered farro. It's this chewy grain thing that cooks pretty quickly and has a texture between pasta and rice. While trying to find recipes for it, I discovered this one.

Coconut Farro Porridge with Mango Strawberries

So I don't have mango, or coconut extract, which the original recipe here calls for. And I had to do some very funky math since I only had half a can of coconut milk, but I kept the proportions of everything the same, just that the coconut extract was replaced with vanilla, and the mangos with strawberries.

I love how my food never looks like their food.

So, how is it? It depends on how sweet you like your foods. I have a great love for things that are sugary -- one of my favourite cereals is Fruity Pebbles, so basically the more horrifyingly diabetes-inducing bad it is, the tastier I find it. That being said, the flavour and sweetness of this porridge is quite mild. The strawberries were a nice touch to keep it from just being bland. If you don't like your food to be incredibly sweet, and also like hot porridge, this meal will likely work out for you. But if you prefer loading up on sugar, you may want to stick with instant oatmeal.

My rating is 7/10, since everything went fine and it wasn't awful, just not my preference.

Tonight I'm making another recipe from my list, so stay tuned for that. Until then...

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
So to kick off going through the recipes I have saved, I decided to make TWO of them last night using ingredients I had available: Mushroom schnitzel with some arabic lentil soup. I've actually made both of these recipes before, but things didn't work out as I wanted, so I tried them again.


Mushroom Schnitzel

So when I was in Germany, I fell in love with schnitzel. The problem is it is a meat dish, and while Germany had some great vegetarian options for it, The US does not. I found this recipe to my delight and was like "OMG FINALLY."

I didn't have scallions so I just subbed pearl onions that I managed to haphazardly chop up, while the matzo meal is actually matzo ball mix. Also, no lemon, and egg whites instead of whole egg.

I'd love to sing this recipe's praises. But honestly? It really didn't do much for me. First, do not cook mushrooms for 10 minutes! They will become gross! I cooked them for only a few minutes and got them to be tender but still able to hold form, same with the onions. But I had to use twice the amount of matzo ball mix recommended to make the patty stick in any way decent, and so in the end the flavour was sort of odd -- kind of salty, a bit dry. Most of the flavour seemed to come from the butter.

I imagine some more spices may be able to help it out, but I'm not sure which, and honestly, I'm willing to just let the recipe go and search out another vegetarian schnitzel. All the same? It wasn't horrible, just rather meh. Thus, 5/10.

Arabic Lentil Soup

This recipe is from here, and it was followed exactly except pepper instead of carrot, and also I forgot to add the cumin in until half-way through cooking (whoops).

I'd like to sing the praises for this recipe too, as I love lentils, and soup, and lentil soup. But unfortunately? It's very watery and the only real flavour is the earthy lentils. I did not find that mashing the lentils up added any sort of thickness, and I did not add any water from the initial 3 cups, and it STILL doesn't have good body to it.

However, I think this could be easily fixed if a) some additional cumin, along with a bit of pepper and salt, was added and b) if less liquid is used. The option of chili flakes that she recommends sounds like a good idea, and I'd try halving the amount of water, and just doing what she recommends and adding some as needed. Also, instead of water, using a high-quality broth should add some great flavour.

So basically, I think this soup recipe is a good starting point, but needs some changes to make it truly slurpable. These changes are pretty easy, though, so I'll still give it a 6.5 or a 7/10. I may keep a hold on the recipe and try fiddling with it again later, and report if it helps.

There should be another post from me later today or tomorrow, as I am currently making some Coconut Farro Porridge, another recipe I needed to use. Stay tuned!

breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
This is a new idea I have: when I'm near my best mentally, or just feeling antsy and wanting to get it out, I cook. Antsy!me cooks less extravagent foods. Well!me pulls out one of my many cookbooks and makes an impressive meal.

Dinner Time posts will be of those meals. With a review of them, and where I can, a recipe. The posts will be pretty short and picture and garbage-talk free. Seriously I hate blogs that talk on and on; just show me the food and the recipe dammit!

So to begin:

Indonesian Red Rice Salad with Boiled Eggs and Macadamias

The original recipe is from the fantastic cookbook The New Whole Grains Cookbook", which introduced me to a world of weird whole grains that taste good. The original recipe is also here.

But I don't have red rice, macadamias, molasses, or fresh basil. And I HATE green beans and carrots. Soooo....


Follow the same instructions as the recipe above, but I used this instead:

1/4 cup long-grained brown rice, cooked as desired
~1/2-1 tablespoon peanut oil
~1/2-1 cup frozen chopped onions (but 1 fresh onion would be better)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander
~1/2 of a large, fresh green bell pepper
~1/2 package of fresh white mushrooms (but baby bella or any type will do)
~1/8-1/4 cup coconut milk
~1 tablespoon of this weird soy sauce substitute I made (just use soy sauce, seriously)
~2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar (I used 3 but it was much too sweet)
1 boiled egg
Lime Juice (I don't know how much, maybe about 1/2-1 tablespoon)

Basically you stirfry the vegetables and spices until they are starting to get tender, or if you've cooked for ages like I have, until they just SEEM ready. You then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and dark brown sugar, swirl it a bit to mix, and then slice the egg lengthwise and put it in the pan in a space reserved for it. Simmer for a few minutes (I recommend until the liquid level has dropped somewhat, otherwise you'll have liquid sitting in your bowl like I do!), then mix it with the rice and bam. Dinner.

Flavour-wise? Pretty complex! Unfortunately I put in too much brown sugar so I mostly taste that, but upon swallowing there's a very good kick from the cayenne pepper. So I imagine if the sweet was toned down a bit, you could get the rich coconut flavour with a nice kick.

The vegetables still have a good bite to them, and the egg is pretty solid despite all it had to go through. However, I'm not sure the egg adds much to the flavour, so if you're a vegan and want to try this out, go ahead; you won't be missing anything by keeping out the animal products.

Since it does have quite a bit of flavour I'd recommend something cleansing after for a drink or dessert, but if you're crazy you can always have a sorbet with it:

But I won't be because that cherry sorbet? Freakin' STRONG. I don't know why it needed sugar with it. OR water. or ANYTHING other than sauteed and pureed cherries.

So overall rating for this recipe? 7/10 for now, I need to fiddle with it more, but feel free to check it out.



breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)

August 2016

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