The taco stew was the usual recipe only we used patty-pan squash instead of the main zucchini chunks. We did have some leftover thin-sliced zuchinni from the bruschetta so I chopped that finer and put it in. It was great as usual. We love this recipe. And we had lunch for the next day
The Baked Basil fries were an idea we had for the B themed meal but didn’t do. It is from the recipe below. I also added some fresh basil and I really just eyeballed the rest. They got really, really crispy but I think it was the sprinkled parm cheese that crisped. Maybe a bit too much cheese. I didn’t really taste any basil but they were still good. Roasted potatoes and slightly burned cheese. You really can’t go wrong.
Nothing too special here. We used the griddler to grill hotdogs (too hot outside). As with last time, we eschew the use of crappy hot dog buns. But good bun alternatives were not easy to find so as to avoid too much bread. So, we used ciabatta where we just stuffed two hot dogs in each with a bunch sticking out. The hotdogs are really light in calories and fat so you can have a few.
I also broiled zucchini and hot bannan peppers. The peppers were really hot but I enjoyed them. For the zucchini, I sliced it on the mandoline. Unfortunately, I broke the number one rule of mandoline use and didn’t use the guard. OUCH!!!
We had friends over for dinner and Meredith and I decided on a B theme.
First, the bruschetta. Meredith made two types from the recipes below. They were Mediterranean and Zucchini Ricotta. For both, we used fat free ricotta and we used a garlic parmesan baguette toasted. Also light on the olive oil. They were both very, very good. We will definitely make them again! Oh, and we skipped the olives (Yuk!!!)
The main course was beef bourguignon with the same recipe. We started it the night before and stopped right before adding the wine. We refrigerated it overnight and then we simply warmed it up and kept going from where we left off. It was good though I think I liked it the first time more. It was less thick than previously. I do not imagine it had to do with breaking up the cooking but maybe. It was still flavorful and good.
The broccoli rabe was basically made with a recipe by Mario Batali. It simply involved sauteing garlic and crushed red pepper then adding the broccoli rabe and letting it cook for 20-25 minutes. First of all, I put too much pepper in. It was HOT. Also, maybe it was the cooking time or the method but it tasted a bit dead. It didn’t have the nice bite and bitterness of just normally sauteed brocolli rabe (which may be a good thing to some people but I like the bitterness). Next time I will just do it like spinach.
Finally, the rice pudding. I do not have the recipe but Meredith said she followed a very basic fat free recipe. It called for honey but we replaces about 1/2 (Meredith- please confirm) with Splenda. Then she added her touches includes slivered almonds, raisins and cardamom. I liked it very much event though I am actually not a huge raisins-in-pudding fan. The cardamom was a nice touch giving it an indian flavor.
I was very excited to finally make seitan. I followed the recipe from my dad’s book. The gist is, 1 cup vital wheat gluten with 3/4 cup water (it came together with a bit less). Knead for a while, let sit for 20-30 minutes, roll into logs, simmer covered in simmering liquid for 1-1.5 hours. I made the simmering liquid with 5 cups light broth (I blasphemed and used real chicken broth since I didn’t care about the vegetarianism), 1 cup white wine, 1/3 cup soy sauce. I took it off a bit early because I like it firm. It was a bit too firm. Also, while it expanded in the liquid, it then shrunk again. Overall, I thought it wasn’t as good as when my dad made it. I will need to play a bit more, cook it a bit longer, and use it in something rather than just as the main dish.
The borscht was AMAZING! We used the same recipe as last time. Again, we used real mushroom over the dried (and not many of them). We also went heavy on the beats, light on the potatoes (Yukon Gold with the skin on), and we didn’t have carrots. Other than that, we basically followed the recipe. We used Texas Pete hot sauce (we had samples of it) but I didn’t really taste it. We also used the beet greens but Meredith carefully double washed each one (we had gritty beet greens last time and these looked extra dirty). I do not know if it was the beets or something else but this was just very, very good. Really sweet despite not much sugar. We will definitely do it again since it was easy and very good. We only stained a few things with the beets so that was also a plus.
This was not a good meal. We made sloppy joes starting from the normal recipe. Note that it calls for 1 lbs of beef and we used about 2/3rds of a pound. Then, we did the normal ketchup but we also had leftover sauce from the pizza. I didn’t think to lower the ketchup and I threw that in. Oops. It tasted like sweet, extra meaty, tomato sauce. And, it burned on the bottom. Just not great. Serving them on a pretzel roll was, however, delicious.
We tried to make a green been casserole. I do not know what recipe Meredith followed but it was basically a can of condensed cream of mushroom (we use a 96% fat free and low sodium version), some skim milk, and canned green beans. Normally you top it with fried onion but we used toasted multi-grain bread. Besides the fact that the beans were extra cheap and had a bunch of stems, the casserole didn’t congeal. Not a great meal :-(
Adam and Steph were over so we did make your own pizza. I made the pizza dough with the recipe from here except I used 1+3/4 cups of whole wheat and regular plus a 1/4 cup bread flour (finished it up). I used 1.5 yeast packets. I also used a bit more olive oil but still less than many recipes. Because of the timing, I made the crust in the morning, let it rise once, punched it down and then refrigerated it. Later I took it out and brought it to room temp. I cut it into 6 then cut two of them into 2 making 4 large and 4 small peices (1/6 for the large, 1/12th for the small)
For the sauce, I pureed the tomatoes first and then I let them really cook down to get rid of all the moisture. I also used sautéed onions, garlic and olive oil (just a bit)
I do not know what eat and every pizza was but the toppings we had (or at least the ones I remember) were:
- Low Fat cheese (Mozz, Mexican Blend, Cheddar)
- Fat Free ricotta
- some soppressata-like salami but not soppressata
- Grilled Zucchini
- Banana Peppers (hot)
We made empanadas using the normal dough recipe (internal link so not included). The filling was similar to the past but I did some things differently. It was 1/2 an onion, some zucchini, a jalapeño pepper, a hot banana pepper, and beans. Then, on top of that, I added some salt, pepper, habanero Tabasco, a bit of peanut oil (very little), and a tad of white vinegar for some bite. Also, with the addition of some salt in the dough (updated that page), everything was very, very tasty.
The patatas bravas were also similar to previous attempts. I based the sauce on the recipe used previously which I am also copying below. I pureed the tomates mostly (leaving a few chunks) before adding it. I forgot the bouillon but it wasn’t missed. It probably could/should have simmered a bit more. While I followed their sauce, I did the potatoes the easy way. I just roasted them untouched at 400 for about 45+ minutes. Actually, I added some paprika to them as well for the roast (in addition to the normal salt+pepper). Also, despite making the amount of sauce for 4 lbs, we used fewer potatoes. I didn’t weigh it but it was a reasonable amount for two people. (maybe a bit too much)
The tacos were basically made just with the directions on the packet. It was late and we wanted something quick so we didn’t do anything special with it.
The cauliflower was made by steaming it for a long time then using a fork to mash it. After the time on 2010-12-12 we did it by hand. I added NF greek yogurt, Molly McButter, onion + garlic powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and some smart balance. I thought it was okay but Meredith didn’t seem to like it. It was not baby food but it was no alternative to mashed potatoes.
Oh, also, note the flowers! (unrelated to the meal but we have a changing set of flowers these days and this inadvertently documents them)
We grilled for this meal and it was very good. First we used 98% low fat hot dogs. They are very skinny but only 40 calories each and 1 gram of fat so eating 2-3 is not really bad. However, we were sick of crappy hot dog buns. Instead we bought thin/small baguettes at Trader Joes. They were the ones that needed to cook a bit more. We let them sit in the top rack of the grill. We tore them into thirds, used a knife to hollow out a hole, added mustard and ketchup, and put the hot-dog in them. Not the healthiest of options but really, really good. Real crust and no crappy buns (I have become opposed to crappy, airy bread with no crust since my Germany trip).
The grilled eggplant caprese was based on a recipe Meredith read. We didn’t really follow it at all so I am not copying it. It was sliced grape tomatoes, pieces of mozzarella, basic and big pieces of grilled Neon eggplant. She tossed it with a tad of oil and some balsamic vinegar. We used pretty low quality (and low fat) mozerella. Next time we should buy buffalo mozzerella or any more gourmet kind. Or, make it ourselves. Either way, the dish was still very good. The eggplant got a bit dried out. I have since read that you should soak eggplant before grilling to prevent that. Noted!
The zucchini was thin sliced in the mandoline. I figured this was the best way to do it on 2011-07-05. After pamming them, I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder. They were really good. It was hard to slice them because they were big and the mandoline is a pretty junky one but it did the job. I love zucchini, especially when it is grilled.
We were in a hurry so this meal was fast. It is just salmon burgers with onion marmalade. Basically, the way we always do salmon burgers. We also had a Buffalo Chicken rice side dish thing. That did not taste much like buffalo chicken and we will probably not get it again.
The chicken was thin cut chicken with McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning. We grilled it on the griddler. It was think cut so it cooked faster than we expected. I’ll have to keep that in mind next time. The peppers were thin sliced and sauteed with a seasoning (pictured below) Meredith got a long time ago in Italy. It is a pretty standard mix of italian seasonings and it works well. Maybe a bit salty but not too bad.
This was an interesting meal. Everything we made was the first time we tried it.
First, the Jicaletas. The recipe is below. These are a traditional mexican streetfood. We did not have the type of chili powder it called for so we just used regular chili powder. Maybe we didn’t do it properly, but neither Meredith nor I were overly impressed. I think it was my first time eating jicima. It had a texture not unlike water chestnuts. We may play with this but no hurry.
The roasted asparagus tacos were really good. We basically followed the recipe as stated. We used a caribbean tofu on it which we put in with the cherries. We picked that one simply because it was a firm variety. The thing was, the asparagus got very mushy and springy. I do not know how to really avoid this, but next time we make it, we will chop them first so you do not pull them all out. We meant to top them with some cheese but forgot.
Finally, we made the asparagus salsa as suggested. We really followed this one recipe pretty closely. We added a bit more salt to taste. It was not the most flavorful thing but it wasn’t bad. It was a nice addition to the tacos. Maybe next time we will use hotter peppers to give it some zing.
This meal was big and fairly low in calories!
Not really anything special. This is the same as what we did on 2010-10-27, again with beef instead of chicken. We did not have mixed frozen veggies so we just used a mix of frozen peas and corn. Not much else to say
I experimented a bit with how to cut the zucchini. I had three. The first I used a knife to cut long-ways. This left uneven and thick pieces. Next I used the mandoline to cut slices/rounds, the normal way. This was the control. Then, I trimmed the edges and used the mandoline to cut long-ways. I ended up liking the long cuts so much that I attempted, when possible, to trim my hand-cut ones with the mandoline. The longer cuts made it faster and easier to bread, flip and serve. Definitely my new way to do it. The fiber-one frying was the standard, but I want to look for still-healthy alternatives to fiber-one for frying.
For the fish, I took frozen tilapia, added slices of roasted red peppers and then topped it with salsa (Pace brand, very hot). Despite a long cooking time, it was not fully cooked and I had to microwave it for a while. I know you can just microwave the fish from the get-go but I do not like that as much. This worked fine.
With all of the zucchini, it was a lot of food!
I made the burger with lean ground beef and put garlic, a chopped habenero pepper, salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce into the beef. I “grilled” it on the gridler but I left it for a bit too long. Still, it tasted fine. I bought a pretzel roll earlier in the day and it made for the perfect bread.
The baked fries were heavily seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. I roasted them at 450 for about 35 minutes which was just a bit too long. Next time, only 30 minutes.
This meal made sense for the 4th of July!
I made the mussels by sautéing onions and garlic, then adding about 1/2 cup of white wine. I just put the cleaned mussels in the pot without the steamer basket and let it go. I poured the whole thing into the dish and sprinkled it with fresh chopped parsley. I also bought a small baguette and used that to dip in the sauce. It was good and the mussels were flavorful but I have definitely had better sauce. I will need to work on it a bit.
The cauliflower was the usual from 2011-02-25 and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Though, eating a whole head alone was quite a bit of food.
I made the bean filling with black beans and seasonings. I do not remember them all but there was cumin and curry powder. I also added some peanut oil for flavor. To give it some bite, I added habanero tabasco and then just white vinegar. Finally, I added corn. I rolled it into Habenero-Lime tortillas Meredith had bought, with some cheese. I toasted to make it burrito/taquito like.
The edamame was just frozen from TJ’s
I semi-suscesfully butterflyed a tuna steak and grilled it with salt and pepper. I put it on a toasted Arnolds roll with BBQ sauce. For the zhuchinni, I thin-sliced it and then spread them on a tray. I added salt, pepper, Emril Essence, and some sesame seads. I roasted them at 450 for about 20 minutes.
The tuna was a bit overcooked and fishy tasking. The fishy-ness could come from the quick defrost. I have to remember to let tuna slowly defrost in the future.