Tag Archives: vegetarian

Peanut sauce tofu and broccoli rice bowl and other food musings


I’m not sure who around here is eating tofu these days, but this recipe (also the source of the beautiful photo) pretty much combines my love for peanut sauce with my interest in getting some protein in my diet. I’d never thought to bake the tofu with the peanut sauce already marinating on the tofu, but it was delicious! I’ve also been using my bamboo steamer to steam veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, corn), so when I invited my pre-dinner cocktail buddy to stay for dinner (I already had the tofu marinating in the fridge but no ideas for other parts of the meal), the easiest thing was to steam up some broccoli and add everything to some brown rice.

Since I had the steamer out, I steamed some small potatoes and roasted them up with some garlic, rosemary and thyme and smashed them for eating later in the evening, a la this recipe. I highly recommend this method of roasting potatoes because they’re both crispy and soft at the same time, but definitely urge you all: don’t smash as much as you think you should. The potatoes will fall apart!

I haven’t really made anything all that impressive lately, but because it’s Passover, I’ve been eating lots of beans and corn products, (aka less pasta and pizza than usual) which reminds me of my favorite polenta recipe that I made a few days ago. A friend brought it to a party and I asked her for the recipe, and it’s my favorite way to eat polenta. You cook the polenta according to the instructions with a 3:1 ratio of water or broth and milk (the original recipe calls for cream- that’d be great for you, Nuna!), and then you add real corn kernels near the end of the polenta’s cooking time (frozen or fresh are fine). The polenta should have a “gruel-y” texture at the end (not the thicker texture that you cool and cut into squares). Add some grated cheese (parmesan and some other melty cheese work well) and a tiny bit of butter and basil leaves, and your polenta is delicious! Top it with many spoonfulls of tomato/basil salsa- chopped tomatoes, a tiny bit of garlic, and a generous amount of salt, olive oil, and basil. You guys, this polenta is my new comfort food!

What else are other people eating? On my list for this week is a kale caesar salad (sans croutons if I make it before Passover is over, and with a modified version of the dressing and no bacon…basically, using the above recipe just as a template), this lemongrass tofu bowl (don’t read the text to avoid frustration at apostrophe errors), and I want to try making this vegan chili mac and cheese once Passover is over! Cashews are expensive here, but when used to make a fake cheese sauce over pasta, it seems like it’ll be worth it!


Eggs. A Lot of Eggs.

Welp!  I think my food posts are probably only applicable to Michelle (and possibly Daria!), since Sarah and Brianna are eating pretty differently than I eat, but one thing we all seem to be eating is eggs!  And I eat a lot of eggs.  I recently discovered how to soft-boil an egg, and man!  Life-changing!  The fully cooked white combined with the creamy runniness of the inside is pretty much food nirvana.  I took a terrible photo of my soft-boiled egg yesterday that I’m forcing you all to look at.

My terrible cell phone photo of my poorly cracked soft-boiled egg. Everything about this is horrible, except HOW DELICIOUS IT WAS.

I’ve been using Beth from Budget Byte’s technique for soft-boiling eggs, and it works great for me!  I followed one commenter’s suggestion to add a quick splash of olive oil to the water, and it does make it easier to shell the egg, which is important since it’s pretty delicate on the outside.

Michelle convinced me to try making this white-bean mash, which I only prepared because of the promise of having full-fat milk on hand afterward for making my coffee even better than usual.  It turned out really tasty!  I had some extra lemony sauteed kale  leftover after I made it, and it was good even by itself the next day.  I modified the recipe by using whole milk instead of heavy cream, and I didn’t have any green onions on hand, but everything else I already had, which made it a great throw-together meal for a Thursday night.  Of course, topping it with the fried egg was the best part!

It’s hard to see, but this is a cheesey white bean mash with beans smushed together with some milk, cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and garlic. It’s topped with lemony sauteed kale and a fried egg! Some onions or shallots would also be tasty in this, as would a little rosemary!

I didn’t take a picture of it, but I also made this red lentil and spinach dish tonight, an it was SO GOOD!  Bri, are you eating protein like lentils?  You could use full-fat coconut milk to get the fats high up there!  You start by sauteeing onions, adding some garlic and ginger, and then a hint of coriander with some garam masala and cumin.  Then, you toss in some diced tomatoes, coconut milk and some water, and the red lentils.  You let it all simmer for a while, and then mix in some fresh spinach at the end.  I served it over some brown rice with a salad, and it was so delicious!

Photo from Feed Me Phoebe, at http://feedmephoebe.com/2014/02/red-lentil-recipe

In other news, you should all move out to SF!  Dan and I have been skiing most weekends (this is our home-away-from-home for the ski season, a sweetas ski lease in Truckee!), and generally been playing in the snow.

Our awesome ski lease!

This weekend, we stuck around the Bay Area and went road biking in Petaluma and  and Tomales Bay, which was incredibly beautiful.  I know we pay a lot to live in San Francisco (understatement of the century, perhaps), but living in a place where I can choose between great skiing or road-biking in 70-degree weather on the weekends is pretty awesome!

I get to marry this hunk!

What have you all been up to?

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad (mostly, just how to get more pickles in your diet)


I’ve been getting into potatoes a lot – why don’t I eat more potatoes?

To ensure appropriate potato consumption, I whipped up a (hideously unphotogenic) quick meal of warm lentil and potato salad. The dish was inspired by Smitten Kitchen, one of my all-time favorite food blogs!

Deb called for fingerling potatoes, and my fingerling potatoes were purple!  They were delicious, but definitely strange looking.  My lentils were not the “tiny dark green French lentilles de Puy or Italian lenticcie Castelluccio” that Deb instructed us to use in her recipe, they were just regular brown lentils.  I also skipped the capers.

I started by boiling the fingerling potatoes, and slicing them up.  While those were boiling, I cooked the lentils with a half shallot, bay leaf, and sprigs of thyme in the water, which added a lovely flavor.  One of my favorite things that Deb does is pickle any onion that she uses, and in this recipe, she calls for pickling the diced shallot with a bit of red wine vinegar.  You combine that with some olive oil, dijon mustard, and diced cornichons (which, as it turns out, are small pickled gherkins! I love pickles!), and a hint of salt and pepper.

It all comes together with the potatoes on the bottom, the lentils, and the dressing on top.  This was obviously just a big ploy to eat more pickles, and it worked!  YUM!  This could obviously be changed to be more paleo friendly by replacing the potatoes with meat, if you also want a vehicle for a pickly dressing.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Mustard Saves The Day!


A certain recently married lady introduced me to the wonder that is cranberry mustard, and I’ve been itching to make something yummy with it! (Mine just arrived on Saturday due to some strange postage issues, so I haven’t had to wait too long.) I saw a recipe for a honey mustard quinoa salad, and it seemed like a fun riff on something I make all the time. I decided to run with the cranberry mustard and see what could work!

For the dressing, I didn’t measure anything (does anyone these days?), but I included:

-large part cranberry mustard
-small part rice wine vinegar
-medium part honey (I would decrease it next time)
-tiny bit olive oil
-garlic salt, salt, pepper

For the salad, I tossed together:
-steamed green beans
-diced Fuji apple
-diced red onion
-slivered almonds
-dried pomegranates (from Turkey)
-crumbled feta on top

It turned out really sweet, which is why the feta seemed necessary for the top. I would decrease the honey in the honey mustard dressing for next time, too. But definitely delicious, and a lovely use of the cranberry mustard! Thanks, Bri!

PS: I need an opportunity to brag about my breakfast the other day.  It was a perfectly poached egg on top of half of an English muffin drizzled with hot sauce, and gently topped with white onion.  The other half boasted my Nanny’s famous pesto sauce.  The meal was finished with Greek yogurt mixed with my Papa’s homemade crabapple butter.  Add a brand-new mug that I won in a gift exchange filled with some fresh-ground coffee, and I have the bragging rights necessary to post this photo of my phenomenal breakfast!


PPS: Anyone else using their cranberry mustard in delicious ways?  Tell me!

Bean Dip, aka: Fart Your Way Into the New Year

Bean Dip, aka: Fart Your Way Into the New Year

Bean dip is definitely the way to ring in the new year. When I revealed the bean dip to Dan, he had just taken a sip of his coffee and did a strange cough/hack thing and said I was the biggest nerd he’d ever met. So definitely keep this in your cooking creations arsenal.

We’re hosting a bunch of friends at our apartment tonight before we go out, so to ensure that I could blame my farts on someone else, bean dip entered the world. I know others of you could use a strategy like this (cough/Daria/cough), so keep it in mind for your next group function.

Happy new year, guys!

Healthy Comfort Food

We here in California have been experiencing a cold spell.  And by cold spell, I mean it’s regularly been in the 40s and everybody is complaining viciously about it.  I know that’s nothing compared to the weather you’ve had in Washington lately, but it’s enough to drive everyone here to eat the warmest, most comforting foods we can find.  After two weeks of eating squash and various types of macaroni and cheese, I decided it was time to step up my game.  I turned to this recipe of a creamy mash of red lentils, topped with sauteed spinach and bok choy with a red wine dijon vinaigrette on top.  Paired with an easy 5-ingredient beer bread, it was filling, tasty, and satisfied my desire to feel healthy again!

To make the lentils, I just diced up half an onion, and let it boil with 2 cups of veggie broth and a cup of red lentils, as well as a dash of something I had laying around that calls itself “Turkish seasoning.”   Then, I sauteed the spinach and bok choy with some more thinly sliced onions, garlic, ginger, and a bit of the juice from a jar of pickled ginger. When the lentil mash is finished, it should be pretty creamy, with a bit of texture from the lentils.  I topped the lentils with the sauteed veggies , some pickled ginger, and a basic red wine vinaigrette.  I used the vinaigrette as a marinade for Dan’s chicken, and helped myself to extra slices of the beer bread while I shuddered in sheer anxiety while watching Season 2 of Homeland.  Even meat-loving Dan liked the lentils and veggies!