Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I had for dinner

I'm sorry to be using the blog as a roundup for what I've been eating, rather than sharing delicious homemade home thought of recipes, but I keep saying, "lets make that thing we had that one time" and Mr. Barefoot gives me a blank stare and I can't believe I didn't blog about it, so that's why you're getting the links.

Shallot-Garlic Quinoa, except I did the quinoa in the rice cooker and used three shallots instead of the recommended one, and added the garlic and shallots to the quinoa towards the end.  It was pretty good.

Honey Mustard Kale - we've been getting some unidentified greens lately, that my sister says are kale, but don't make very good kale chips, so I found this recipe and used the last of them.  Now that I'm not afraid of kale any more, and it's pretty cheap, I think I will be buying kale at the grocery store.  Not so much for chard.  Chard is still a somewhat tolerated guest in my house, but one I really don't want to have over for dinner very often.

Last night for dinner, I made this Sweet Potato Lasagna, which I will also be making for Thanksgiving on Thursday.  Rather than making a sauce with cream and egg whites, I did a standard bechamel sauce with a roux and milk.  I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do when I double the recipe, because I am pretty sure it will take forever for 8 cups of milk to thicken.  Any ideas?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recipe Review: Crockpot Falafel

I really like falafel.  I'm a total failure at making it though.  It's just a flipping disaster.  I mean that literally.  I can't flip them.

So I decided to try the falafel crockpot recipe from 365 Crockpot.  First off, let me just say - it WORKS. I did NOT think that you could crockpot falafel and have it come out all crunchy.  I did lay a towel over the top of the crockpot under the lid to absorb extra moisture, but I don't think it was necessary.

The second thing I will say is that I didn't feel like the spices were strong enough.  That's probably because I don't actually measure spices and just shake.  There is no way I put two tablespoons of cumin and a tablespoon of ground coriander in this, and, I didn't put in nearly enough salt.

I served the falafel with a greek yogurt-dill sauce that was very good.  I took about 5 stems of dill, washed and trimmed them, and chopped them, and then mixed them with about half a cup of greek yogurt.  I would be open to suggestions for ways to improve this sauce.  What do you like on falafel?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mexican Tortilla Soup

I love this soup. Mr. Barefoot and I used to make it in college, and it translates really well to the crockpot and our busy lives.  We don't make it often because we rarely have tortilla chips in the house (since I eat them all.)  Anyone know if it is possible to buy tortilla chips in single-serving bags?

1 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2-3 peppers, any color
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato paste
1 pkg tofu or seitan, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups vegetable broth (or 1 can)
2 cups black beans (or 1 can)
Taco seasoning (I buy it at Costco. You should too.  It's delicious and makes this so much easier. Otherwise, cumin, oregano, maybe some chili powder?)
Cheddar cheese

1. Chop onion, garlic, and peppers.  Saute onion, then add garlic and peppers, over medium-high heat until soft.
2. Add onion, garlic, and peppers to crockpot (or a stockpot).  Add diced tomatoes, tofu or seitan, black beans, vegetable broth, and frozen corn.
3. Add tomato paste, stirring it in to the soup until dissolved and soup looks thick.
4. Add salt and taco seasoning.
5. Cook in slow-cooker for 6-8 hours on low, or in a stockpot for 30 minutes to an hour.
6. Line bowls with tortilla chips, serve soup over chips.  Top with a small amount of shredded cheddar cheese.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Roasted Asparagus

I discovered over the summer that, contrary to my upbringing of steamed asparagus, I prefer asparagus when it is roasted on a pizza stone.  I think you could probably achieve a similar effect with a baking pan that you put in the oven and allow to heat up, but everyone should own a pizza stone, so you should really get one.

Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus, rinsed, ends trimmed
1 lemon
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 with the stone in the oven.
2. Toss asparagus with lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  (I actually do this on the pan, because I'm too lazy to wash another dish, and it works out all right.)
3. Bake for 10-15 minutes until desired level of done-ness.

Extra Fluffy Quinoa

I like my quinoa super-fluffy.  Almost cous cous like in it's fluffiness.  If you haven't tried quinoa, or have been disappointed that it just...doesn't taste good, you might want to try it the Barefoot way.

1 cup Quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
bullion or other vegetable stock seasoning (or you can use veggie stock instead of the water)

1.  Wash quinoa in a strainer.  This is definitely, totally, necessary.  If you don't wash the quinoa, it tastes like eating sand.
2.  Combine quinoa, salt, bullion, and water in a pot, or in a rice cooker pot (I think the rice cooker is my secret to great quinoa, but if you don't have one, you can do it on the stove.)
3.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until super fluffy.  If quinoa seems to be cooked but not fluffy at the end of the 15 minutes, add more water.

Favorite Summer Recipes

So I'm participating in a monthly meal planning cooperative and I have been assigned the month of June.  I have some recipes already, a combination of old standbys that are good any time of the year (sweet potato tacos, macaroni and cheese, felafel burgers, curry) and summer-only favorites (garlic scape and arugula pesto, panzanella, quinoa salad, couscous chickpea salad), but I'm looking for a few new ideas.

I'm especially looking for things to do with greens.  I'd like to have a good standby recipe for steamed or sauteed greens that you can do with collards, mustard greens, kale, or chard, that comes out tasting pretty good with any of them.  Greens are really, really healthy, and they are relatively easy to prep ahead of time and then throw into a big pan right before dinner is ready, so they are perfect for weeknight cooking.  When I first waffled on the CSA, several of you suggested that greens could easily be steamed and frozen - but I have not perfected this method, so please help by suggesting your method of cooking or recipe. 

I'm also looking for a really stellar grilled tofu recipe. I had some recently that was really good, on a sandwich in DC.  It didn't have much of a marinade, but it was really good in a sandwich with raw yellow squash and zucchini that was sliced really thin.  Anyone have a good recipe?

I will definitely share the fruits of my/your labors as soon as everything is set up!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More eggplant?

We got more eggplant from the CSA.  I love eggplant, I really do, but guys, I'm getting pretty tired of it.  So what do you do with eggplant?  So far I've found a recipe for some kind of eggplant wedges/fries, but I'm a little weary of them and so I was wondering if anybody had ever tried some kind of eggplant fries.  Are they good? 

We have another two weeks of the CSA. I can't decide if I'm excited or nervous to go back to actually menu planning and buying food that we want to eat at the grocery store.  We've basically stopped grocery shopping and instead I go to Costco every two months and sometimes Mr. Barefoot gets sent to Whole Foods on the way home.  I usually like grocery shopping, but I've gotten used to not having to do it and it turns out that grownups don't have a lot of time because they can't go shopping after Commerical Law gets out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chard and Red Cabbage

We had chard and red cabbage to use tonight, so I made these:

Chard Risotto (really good - the chard doesn't taste bitter at all. I'm not sure how that happened.  I used less chard than this called for.)

Sauteed Red Cabbage (I liked this a lot, but my entire kitchen is now red.)  It had a sweet, crunchy taste to it.

Happy eating!