Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maple BBQ Tofu

(yes, those are the nastiest looking green beans you have ever seen. I should have checked the bag before purchase.)
A full scale Southern meal, soy-style.

Maple BBQ Tofu (Loosely adapted from VeganDad)

-1lb extra firm tofu, pressed (I place it between 2 cutting boards and weight the top board with cans) and drained

-2 tbsp oil

-2 tbsp mirin

-1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I used Trader Joe's Kansas City Style)

-1/4 cup real maple syrup

-Preheat oven to 350

-Slice tofu into quarters so that it makes 4 big sheets (i.e. don't cut from the top, slice across the side) and then in half into triangles

-In a medium dish mix oil and mirin; toss tofu in marinade on both sides

-Place in a single layer in a glass baking dish

-Bake 15 minutes on each side

-At this point, if you want crispier tofu: Turn the oven to broil (normal/medium setting, top rack) and broil briefly on the rack until desired level of crispitude is reached - about 3 minutes per side (but check frequently!) :) Otherwise continue to the next step.

-Meanwhile, back at the ranch, mix bbq sauce and maple syrup in a small bowl

-If you broiled the tofu, return it to the glass dish
-Pour bbq mixture over, spreading evenly

-Turn oven back to 350 (if not already there) and bake tofu 15 minutes more, until bbq sauce is bubbling

Serving notes: We served with refrigerator biscuits, green beans, and broccoli slaw (mix mayo, sugar, and white wine vinegar in a large bowl - I eyeball the measurements, ratio is about 3:1 mayo:sugar & vinegar - add 1 bag broccoli slaw mix, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and mix thoroughly.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

When Hyperbole are Worth It: OMG Chinese Beef with Broccoli

Please take this post as a public service announcement.

You. Must. Make. This.

Backstory - Mishke's mom is a great budget grocery shopper, and her son has inherited her talents. His first instinct at the store is to pick up the flyer, which I never remember to do, and plan meals around it. (I'm trying to train myself, really I am.) A couple weeks ago we made a rare (one year old + 3 year old in tow - you get the picture?) family trip to the grocery and Mishke discovered flank steak on super sale.

If you know me in real life, it won't surprise you that I don't think I've ever had flank steak before. My English heritage is never more present than in my taste for only the dryest, crumbliest, most well- (over-) cooked pieces of beef. They had Mad Cow disease there, people. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, I digress. We got the flank steak and I searched my google reader for a recipe for it. This was listed in the "OMG Recipes" section of a blog I enjoy: Sweetnicks.
I can't even begin to tell you how much it was worthy of that distinction.

Chinese Beef with Broccoli (Source: Sweetnicks)
Cooking note: I felt like the portions were generous in this, although I defy you to leave the leftovers alone.
We served this over microwave yaki soba noodles.

Usually I rewrite the recipe as we made it, but as we followed this one exactly and the blog is totally worth checking out, I'm just leaving you with the link above.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

The other day some lovely person commented on my blog! Perfect timing to encourage me to start posting again.

We're trying to be much better about our budget as we're currently living on one income. And I know we're certainly not alone. I hate that so many families share the battle with unemployment, and I know we are certainly one of the lucky ones. I'm hoping the recipes I cook can be healthy both for us and for our bank account :)

Today I really wanted to go to the bagel shop, but Mishke reminded me that we really didn't need to spend the extra money. And a pantry meal was born:

Cuban Black Beans and Rice (adapted from this Real Simple recipe)

-2 sweet bell peppers (I used orange and yellow for color - it's a really dreary day here in the Northeast!)

-1/3 onion, finely diced

-Garlic to taste

-2 cans black beans (we used Trader Joe's organic)

-1 cup water

-1 tbsp red wine vinegar

-4 servings of rice

The recipe also calls for cilantro, which we would have used but didn't have on hand. We used minute rice. If using regular rice, you should begin the rice first, as the beans are ready in about 20 minutes.

-Sautee peppers, onion, and garlic until caramelized and softened

-Drain and rinse beans and add to skillet

-Add a cup of water and simmer, covered, for ten minutes.

-During this time we made the instant rice

-Turn off the heat, drizzle with red wine vinegar, and mash some of the beans to thicken

-Serve over rice

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Menu Plan - Week of January 10, 2011

. . . anybody out there??
Wow, it's been a long time since I have posted. Trying to slowly get back into cooking and blogging from what has been a ridiculously long hiatus. I blame sleep deprivation :)
So here's to a New Year of making healthy food, sharing menus, and, hopefully, getting a little more sleep . . .

-Italian chicken and mushrooms with wholewheat pasta and salad
-Apple chicken sausage, peppers, and chard with balsamic glaze and wholewheat pasta
-Swiss Steak Stew-
-Bean Soup
-Spicy Vegan Chili (adapted from a recipe handout at Whole Foods Market)
-Baked peanut tofu, spinach, and couscous
-Crunchy Honey Chicken and rice

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - March 1, 2010

Back to trying to plan and make meals - with two little ones! Yikes.

No links this week, all recipes coming from magazines or recipes in regular rotation.

This gets us most of the way through next week too, along with some meal deliveries from good friends (thank you!!) and some freezer meals.

-Chicken parmigiana, spaghetti, and asparagus
-Cozy Quinoa Casserole
-Tortellini Florentine Soup
-Hawaiian Chicken, rice, and green beans
-Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
-Breakfast for Dinner - Waffle Casserole
-Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
-Zucchini, Sausage, and Feta Casserole and spinach
-Tuna Noodle Casserole and salad

-Peanut Butter Banana Bread
-Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
-Pumpkin Cream Cake

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - February 8, 2010

Last pre-baby menu plan, so the goal here is quick, easy, and low mess!

-College dinner (wholewheat pasta with lean ground beef, pasta sauce, and frozen mixed vegetables)
-Wholewheat pasta with white beans and sauteed spinach, tossed with olive oil, parmesan, and black pepper
-Refried bean, cream cheese, cilantro, and corn quesadillas
-Easy chicken parm (made with breaded chicken) and bag salad
-Buffalo chicken sandwiches with carrots and celery
-Shrove Tuesday pancakes (English tradition for Mardi Gras)
-Windy City Pie (from March/April issue of Clean Eating magazine) - I had to try one new thing this week :)


-Pancakes and applesauce
-Baked oatmeal
-Fruit, yogurt, and granola
-Cinnamon rolls
-Egg in a hole

-Almond Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (for toddler birthday party)
-Pudding cookies (for hospital)

-Cheese sticks
-Fresh fruit
-Trail mix
-Granola bars

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Lunch - Cheater's Salmon Chowder

Bean and I wanted a quick hot lunch, and after eating some pretty fake food at the Aquarium yesterday, I wanted it to be homemade. I adapted an already quick chowder recipe to be even faster. This whips up in 15 minutes - great for sneaking in pre-naptime!

Is it scary that I went to the Aquarium yesterday and today am cooking fish? :)

Salmon Chowder (adapted from a Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals recipe)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tbsp butter
-1/2 onion, finely shopped
-1 container (4 cups) fish stock (this was a little more liquid than my preference - I would probably use half the stock next time)
-1 can diced potatoes
-1 can crisp sweet corn kernels
-1 can pink salmon
-1 can low fat evaporated milk

-In a medium soup pot, saute onion in olive oil and butter until softened and lightly browned
-Stir in tarragon and saute an additional minute
-Add drained and rinse cans of potatoes and corn and saute 30 seconds
-Add fish stock, bring to a boil, and simmer five minutes
-Lower heat to medium-low
-Add drained salmon and evaporated milk and cook an additional 2-5 minutes