Ravioli and Peppers

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…That thing where someone brings over something yummy (in this case, peppers), but you don’t eat all of it, and it’s not really a meal all by itself.

As far as I can tell, the mixture was originally sliced bell peppers and white onions that were sauteed in a lot of olive oil. I was looking for something that would absorb the oil, while providing a little balance to the dish. I had frozen ravioli- large or small to choose from. I went with the smaller ones, based on my desire for balance. This is not all that complicated, but here goes…

 

I…

…Removed the container with the leftovers. Btw, olive oil coagulates like woah in the fridge. Some say it hurts the taste, some say it doesn’t… but so far, no one has said it can hurt you. I will tell you it looks very funky, but don’t let that deter you.

…Started up the pot of water to boil.

…Put the peppers & oil into a metal mixing bowl. (Metal conducts heat. Science!)

Once the water was boiling, I dropped in the ravioli. They took another 5 mins or so to cook.

…Strained the ravioli & then placed them on top of the peppers.

…Let them sit like that a minute while I rinsed off the pots & pans…

Which made the oil melt- more science! Then, I stirred them,

…and that was it! It didn’t require any seasoning (but feel free to jazz it up if you like, you know I skew bland!)

 

You can’t beat leftovers that turn into 4 more meals. Yum!

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Lowfat Indoor-Grilled Vegetables

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Perfect for rainy summer days: This was so easy- and it was delicious!

1. I pre-heated the indoor grill (which involved all of plugging it in and waiting for the light to come on- it takes a few minutes).

2. Meanwhile, I sliced the zucchini using a knife & cutting board.

3. By that time, the grill was ready, and I put the zucchini slices on the grill.

4. While that was going, I de-stemmed the babybella mushrooms and filled them with low-fat feta cheese.

5. Some of the slices stuck to the top, so I was careful when prying them off. Then, I put the zucchini slices on a plate & spritzed with garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil.ย  I’d say it was about 4 minutes.

6. I put the mushroom caps face up on the grill. They took about 1-2 minutes, and required a vigilant eye. They also stuck to the top, which was more of a hassle/small mess because cheese was involved. I felt it was worth it.

7. I put the asparagus spears on next and they were fine. They also took about 4 minutes. No sticking issues. I spritzed them with the evoo also.

My intention was to halve the entire thing, but I ended up eating all of the mushrooms and halving the rest. So yummy!

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Easy Italian Sandwich

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As you can see here, here and here, this is a riff on one of my old standbys. My biggest challenge with it has been finding the patience to let it stay in the oven long enough for the mozzarella to completely melt.

I’m still not totally there, but I’ve found that baking it instead of broiling it helps. Also, use the middle rack, not the top rack. I like the occasional burn mark on my cheese, but I realize this is not universal. Otherwise, the recipe is more or less the same. I use fresh ingredients when they’re in season. Otherwise, I use canned.

 

Ingredients:

Kaiser roll

Can of tomato paste

Sliced mozzarella

Basil

Oregano

Garlic powder

Garlic-infused olive oil spray

 

Method:

1. I use a cake pan wrapped in aluminum foil. It’s just the right size, and makes for easy cleanup.

2. I spray the aluminum foil with the olive oil. Then, set the sliced roll down.

3. I then coat each half with tomato paste, place mozzarella slices on top, & season to taste.

4. Then, I baked it in the oven at 325F for about 10 mins. These sandwiches do best when you watch them. A little crispyness can easily change into a full-on burn otherwise, and that’s no fun.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Also, today is my Three Year Anniversary with WordPress! Wow!

anniversary-2x

“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!”
“You registered on WordPress.com 3 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”

 

Mashed Potatoes and Quorn

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Mashed potatoes plus Quorn patty = Yum!

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As I’ve mentioned before, Quorn’s cooking recommendations don’t suit my taste. While I’m sure they have their reasons, I believe if something is breaded, frying is usually the way to go. I also believe that when you are choosing to eat something breaded, you’re not in the healthiest of moods, and you might as well just go for it. The only thing I can add to my original post is that it’s best to ensure they cook thoroughly. I take a little extra time, starting off with them on a low heat, before finishing off the breading.

Now, on to the potatoes…

Can you believe I’d never made mashed potatoes before? I’ve certainly eaten my fair share. When the issue with whole milk (and too much butter) manifested, I figured mashed potatoes were out of the picture. Since then, I’ve had them prepared with substitutions, and they’ve always been wonderful. So it was time.

I had three potatoes, so I referred to this recipe for an idea of the quantities I needed. Then, I improvised. My body has some wacky rules for what it will and will not tolerate. This is something that even I don’t fully understand, but I’ve found it’s just best to go with. I often use combinations of dairy and dairy-free products in my cooking for this reason.

Most of the time rice milk is not a true 1-for-1 when substituting for whole milk, though obviously in some recipes it seems to work just fine. What I’ve found is that rice milk does not have the same thickness and general properties of whole milk, so oftentimes I have to mess around with it to get it to replicate those properties when trying out a dish intended for whole milk. For these potatoes, I wanted creamy, but rice milk won’t necessarily yield “creamy” when beaten. Enter the modifications.

Modifications:

I obviously kept the skins on. (Because I like potato skins, so why bother removing them.)

I skipped the salt altogether. Not a huge fan of salt, didn’t need it. (This made them on the bland side, but I like them that way.)

I used fake butter and it tasted fine. (This added a light touch of saltiness.)

I added the rice milk in 1/4 cup increments after the first 1/2 cup. (I used vanilla because I only had vanilla. While that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was perfect for me. This most likely worked due to the lack of salt or pepper.)

Tried the cream cheese option, which added the creaminess.

Ground black pepper is yummy on potatoes, but I figured if I wanted some, I’d just add it on the plate. I didn’t end up needing it.

Obviously, I used a mixer instead of the hand-held method described in the original recipe.

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Needless to say, I was happy the modifications worked out, and that I was able to have the breaded patty/mashed potato combo that I’d been craving. A very nice dinner, with just enough leftovers.

๐Ÿ™‚

Peppers and Blogiversary!

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I made these. They were awesome.

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And look!:

anniversary-2xHappy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

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Can you believe it’s been a year already? WOW!

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Have a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick and Easy Bowtie Pasta

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Have you ever been so sick that cooking was just not an option? Well, that was last week for me. By the end of it, I was craving veggies like you wouldn’t believe, but was still not up to a trip to the grocery store. Solution? This quick and easy pasta.

1/2 box pasta, diced mozzarella, some garlic, olive oil, and spices, with steam in the bag veggies. It took maybe 20 minutes, tops, to make, and there was enough for several days.

Celebration Roast

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently was lucky enough to catch this nifty product on sale. I’m sure my readers also know by now that my wee little blog does not receive sponsorship of any kind, and if this ever changes, I’ll be forthright about it. Funny thing about Field Roast, though, I’m not sure they actually *would* request my opinion on their own.

I recently read an interview where they claimed they’re not actually positioning their products for vegetarians, but rather, for those omnivores who just like to switch it up. (At least, that’s what I got from reading it). In this interview, they also said they’d never make faux bacon, which broke my little seitan-loving heart, since I’m allergic to the soy based crap, er, products, that Morningstar produces. The justification for the omnivorous approach is their correct assumption that most vegetarians are interested in the health aspects of what they eat. They state with a refreshing honesty that their products are not particularly healthy, but taste good.

As someone who was formerly teased for being the most unhealthy vegetarian on the planet, I can say while that while many vegetarians go for the healthy approach, not all do, and not all the time. Some vegetarians have trouble figuring out the ins and outs of the diet at first. In my opinion, better to offer them seitan than have them eating cheese fries every night.

This time of year, I don’t always have the time to linger in the kitchen, or even to prep food ahead of time like I usually do. Having a little seitan around keeps me from reverting to the frozen pizza option, and actually offers some protein my body can use. I discovered Field Roast right before my camping trip this summer, and so we ended up taking the faux hot dogs, the faux Italian sausage, and the faux lunchmeat slices (the reddish ones, I forget the flavor). All three were the perfect compliment to my partner’s meat-based selections, and we were easily able to share the rest of the sandwich components like bread, lettuce, and the like. It was also fantastic to have this protein in my system for a very active vacation. I was kayaking, walking, swimming, and I even tried a short zipline! Knowing that I get easily tuckered out without a proper diet, we consciously made an effort to ensure I had enough protein in my system to enjoy myself. When I returned home, I tried the mushroom slices, and then, the Celebration Roast pictured above. Everything I’ve tried, I’ve liked so far.

I first microwaved the Celebration Roast. It’s fine microwaved, because, as they state, it’s already cooked, you are essentially reheating it. Once I got mid-loaf (about midweek), I tried frying it, and obviously, I enjoyed that even more. It’s also fine right out of the fridge. The closer it got to Xmas, the more I needed quick but good, and this fit the bill. And now that the Celebration Roast is finished, it’s time to celebrate!

Happy Holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚