Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garlic Eggplant and Rice Noodles

I'm trying to find recipes to use up the excess of eggplants in my life right now, and through the Cookbook Project, I knew that Vegetables on the Side had a plethora of recipes for different vegetables, so I flipped through the pages until I found a recipe for Garlicky Stir Fried Eggplant.  It was fantastic.  Since the book is out of print, I'm going to repost the recipe with my modifications here.

3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks (I actually cut mine smaller than 1-inch, since I like my eggplant smaller.)
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, cut into small pieces
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup white wine
3 tbsp soy sauce
Rice noodles

1.) Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.
2.) Saute garlic in pan until golden
3.) Add eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
4.) Add green onions and cook for another minute, then add crushed red pepper.
5.) Combine vinegar, sugar, wine, soy sauce, and stir with a whisk.  Add to pan, cover, and cook on low for 5 minutes.
6.) While sauce and eggplant cook. prepare rice noodles according to the directions on the package.  Add the prepared rice noodles to soak up the remaining soy sauce mixture.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Unitasker you need

One of the things that bothers me about Alton Brown is that he is all against unitaskers, and then on the taco episode, he goes out and buys a tortilla press, but he gets a big one that also makes buritto-sized tortillas, thereby making it not-a-unitasker.

So in that vein, Tupperware Burger Keepers are Not A Unitasker, as they can be used to make hamburgers, veggie burgers, salmon cakes, and falafel burgers (as I have just done.)

I first saw the Tupperware Burger Keepers at my mother-in-law's house, and as I am terrible at making my own patties, Mr. Barefoot asked her to get me a set for my birthday.  "Now, I thought these were an odd gift but Mr. Barefoot said you would like it," she said, as I squealed when I opened them.

See, the tupperware set looks like this one from Amazon:
The great thing about them is that the burger patties get pressed into tupperwares that stack onto each other and can be refrigerated or frozen until use. Since we often make our salmon cakes at the beginning of the week, or have leftover burgers when we make a full batch, this is great! I actually have a double set of containers, since my MIL is extra-awesome.  These take all of the hard work out of shaping burgers, and the even harder work out of storing them.  

I wanted to share them with you because this isn't that common an item to have these days, but if you are like me, and like to eat food in burger form, these are a total kitchen must-have.  You can get them on Ebay for a pretty reasonable price, or you can get the knock-off Oster set from Amazon.  

Anyone else have suggestions for making and shaping burgers? I have seen people use foil, but that seems kind of wasteful, and in my experience the burgers stick to the foil.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I went apple picking today. It was awesome.
Naturally, it means that I have about 5lbs of apples in my kitchen, and I have to figure out what to do with them.  For starters, I made this.  It followed a dinner of a tasty warm butternut squash quinoa salad.

I thought I would be disappointed to see summer go, especially now that we eat more seasonally and locally, but I'm pretty excited for the fall.  What are some of your favorite fall recipes?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Something fishy...

I was at the local My Organic Market a few weeks ago and they had the usual sampler table.  I walked over to check out what it was, and I saw it was a tuna salad.  I almost immediately turned away because I hate tuna and I hate mayonnaise.  But then I realized something was missing - that horrible tuna smell!  I've never been able to take the smell of tuna, I don't know why, but canned tuna is just...repulsive to me.  I was intrigued, and when I looked at the salad I realized it was also mayo-free, so I took a chance.

It was delicious!  It was olive oil, capers, spices, and tuna on a cracker.  I immediately started talking to the demonstrator about what kind of magical tuna was in the tuna salad.  Tuna that didn't smell like tuna!  Tuna that tasted like fresh tuna!

So he told me about the tuna that they carry, that it is fresher and lower in mercury than your traditional canned tuna.  It is expensive enough to make tuna a delicacy in our household, when normally canned tuna is viewed as a cheap way to get some protein, but my poor husband has been tuna-free for way too long since I can't bear it in the house, so he was really happy I found a type of tuna that I find edible at all.  Now I'm excited to try making tuna noodle casserole, so bring on the suggestions for things to do with tuna! As long as they don't involve mayonnaise.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Costco Finds

I was pushing my cart through Costco yesterday and I thought, "y'know, somebody should pay me to sample all the weird but good looking products that they have that I'm afraid to take a chance on."  The particular item in question was a dried bean mixture that came in a 12-gallon bag or somesuch.  I've been burned before, so I'm really really reluctant to try giant packages of new things without review.  So I thought I would review a couple items that were risks, because I hadn't tried them individually before and had to buy a giant package, but proved delicious.

Kirkland Organic Ancient Grains Granola - I bought this yesterday, because I look at it every time I go in, and haven't gotten it yet.  We needed cereal, so I thought I'd try it.  It's really really good.  Slightly sweet, but not too sweet, with 5g of protein, 6g of fiber, and 9g of sugar.  I eat it with:

Kirkland Greek Yogurt - I have been buying the Fage greek yogurt at Costco, but was going through it pretty quickly and it's still on the pricey side.  I was happy to see that Costco has now come out with their own branded Greek yogurt.  The Kirkland Greek Yogurt has a lot of protein, comes with two large containers for about $6, and is good - a little runny, but pretty good.

House Foods Tofu - yes, buying tofu at Costco is borderline insane until you look at the price - 3 double packs are $3.50.  The nicest thing about this is that the tofu is already sliced in half, which made it really easy to slice into strips and saute them.  Also, you can freeze tofu, so it can keep for awhile.

Madras Lentils - Mr. Barefoot takes these to work when he's running late and doesn't have a lunch.  I've only had the samples, but they are really really good.  They are on the pricey side for work meals, compared to:

Cedar Lane Organic Burritos - I love these.  These are what I take to work when I'm running late and don't have a lunch.

Kirkland Weight Loss Shakes - These are what we take for breakfast when we are running late.  I actually prefer them to the SlimFast shakes, and they are a much better deal (something like $15 for 24).

What other things do you like from Costco?  Has anybody tried that crazy dried bean mix that I was talking about?  I just forsee it being something that gathers dust as I am constantly afraid to try it or something.  Is there a website that reviews all the foods you can get at Costco and comes up with recipes?