In an effort to not only save money with the food bill – IE, stop ordering take out – I have taken to planning a weekly menu of sorts. I pick 7 or 8 online recipes (most of them from the Betty Crocker site lately) based on what meat is on sale for that grocery shopping period. I then make sure I have all the ingredients on hand to make said recipes, if not I simply add them to my shopping list. I have been doing this for over a month now and it seems to be working out fine. Tonight’s offering is one I have wanted to try but was always hesitant since I am super iffy about cooking tofu myself. I usually buy a well seasoned nigiri and make it into baked cutlets, this is the extent of my tofu cookery. However, Betty Crocker rarely steers me wrong so I decided to try this one tonight. Currently the veggies are in the saute phase which means I should be serving very soon. I also think this one would adapt well for chicken, pork or shrimp.
Just going to cut to the chase and list the recipe this time. (For some reason, this post stayed in my drafts so here you go, a bonus recipe post, heh)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 -2 tbl of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl moroccan kefta spices (you could use a mix of chili, cinnamon, mint, cumin, coriander, paprika and cilantro)
juice of one lime
1 cup of pearl or Israeli couscous
1-1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth or stock
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 of a red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbl butter
1 – 15 oz can of no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp kefta spices
drizzle of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of low sugar dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds (toast these beforehand in a hot pan)
drizzle of honey
feta cheese crumbles
Add cubed squash to a large ziploc bag with 1-2 tbl olive oil, kefta spices and the juice of one lime. Close and shake well to coat. Allow to sit and marinate for 15 min before spreading on a cookie sheet and baking in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Bring stock and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 2 – 3 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork.
Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet in the 2 tbl of butter until translucent. Add roasted squash, couscous, 1 tsp of kefta spices, canned tomatoes and a drizzle of red wine vinegar…mix well. Heat through for about 5-8 minutes before adding the cranberries, almonds and drizzle of honey. Mix well and serve, topping each portion with a crumble of feta cheese
I looked up a bunch of recipes for Omurice, a Japanese and Korean comfort food, and then devised my own recipe based on what I researched. This was the result.
1 tbl toasted sesame oil
1 small bunch of scallions, diced
1 lb lean ground beef (you can use ground chicken or pork here as well, any will work)
2 bags of steam in the bag brown rice
1 tbl grated ginger (I always have a jar of fresh grated ginger on hand, but powdered would work too, just use maybe a tsp or two of powdered)
generous squirt of low-sodium soy sauce
generous squirt of seasoned rice vinegar (I used a roasted garlic variety)
decent shake of garlic powder
generous pinch of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes…though you can use any red pepper if you wish, or none at all)
1 bag of your favorite frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the traditional mixed veg of carrot, peas, green beans and corn)
1/4 – 1/3 cup of ketchup (I prefer the natural no fructose kind)
Add sesame oil & diced scallions to a well heated wok pan. Saute for 10 minutes before adding ground beef. Crumble well and add soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic when it is almost completely browned. Add steamed rice and mix well, sauteing for another 10 minutes until most of the moisture has cooked away. Add steamed veggies & ketchup, mix again. Remove from heat.
Add one to two beaten eggs to a well oiled omelet pan and allow to cook on both sides.
Serve generous scoops of rice mixture topped with an omelet and additional drizzle of ketchup. It’s fun to use the bottle to draw ketchup designs on the omelet too.
Makes 8 portions. (This is even better the next day, just reheat the rice and make a new omelet)
So I dried some Dragon Tongue long beans a while back. They started out looking something like this:
and end up looking something like this:
Today I decided that they had hung next to my computer desk long enough and it was time to see if those hillbillies were right about how delicious these beans are supposed to be, so I created the following recipe.
Wash beans well
and add to a stock pot. Cover with water, add a large bay leaf
and bring to a boil. Once the pot starts boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour. Go play a PC game, paint your nails, watch some Korean drama…whatever. Just leave the pot alone for an hour. Once the hour is up, drain the beans well, remove the bay leaf and dry out the pot.
Return pot to the stove and turn the burner to medium. Add 6 slices of center cut bacon (diced) and allow the fat to render well. Once the bacon starts to crisp and you have a nice amount of fat, add half of a diced red onion
Saute for 5-10 minutes until the onions start to caramelize then add two small cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of grated ginger. Saute for another 5 minutes before adding the drained beans plus the bay leaf, 2 cartons of unsalted chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for another hour.
Remove pot from the heat and taste to see how salty it is, it should be fairly bland at this point. Next add 1/3 cup of seasoned ssamjang (I like the garlic & sesame stuff) and a tiny dollop of gochujang (you can add more here if you wish, I just cannot eat things too spicy), a drizzle of honey…not too much honey, you don’t want it too sweet, and finally a splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar. Easiest way to add the ssamjang and gochujang is to put them both in a 2 cup sized dish then add some of the hot broth to them and mix well before dumping in the pot.
Simmer for another 10-20 minutes before serving with some kind of hearty bread or rice crackers.
Since I can no longer eat potatoes on a regular basis, I decided to give cauliflower a whirl as a potato sub. It seems to work well for mashed potatoes and potato salad, so why not soup? I didn’t use a recipe, but instead just tossed everything into my instant pot and hoped for the best.
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbl unsalted butter
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp of dried thyme
drizzle of white wine vinegar
24 ounces of low sodium chicken stock (this is a weird number, but I used most of a carton minus 8 oz…to use up the carton I had in my fridge.)
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of crumbled bacon
1 cup of 2% milk
salt & pepper
Arrange cauliflower and whole, unpeeled cloves on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray more cooking spray over the cauliflower and garlic and sprinkle on 1 & 1/2 tsp of the thyme. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, turning as needed so the veggies don’t get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool, peeling the husks off the garlic when you can safely touch them. (I forgot to snap a pic after they were roasted. OOPS!)
Set your instant pot to sauté and add the tbl of butter and olive oil. Add the diced onion and the rest of the thyme and sauté until the onion softens and begins to caramelize. Deglaze with a drizzle of white wine vinegar (regular white wine would work here too, I didn’t happen to have any).
Turn off the sauté and spoon in the roasted cauliflower and garlic. Don’t worry about the whole cloves of roasted garlic, they will melt into the soup as it pressure cooks. Cover with the chicken broth & water.
Make sure your steam vent is closed, cover and cook on manual pressure for 6 minutes. When it beeps, vent and open, add the milk and bacon, salt & pepper to taste. Stir & serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.
So I have subbed us to a meal service, but one of those that sends you the ingredients and you cook the food. After researching several services I settled on Green Chef. I like the vegetarian options they have, they don’t use a lot of fillers (IE pastas or breads in most of the meals), the menus were delicious sounding, and the price was perfect ($80.94 for 3 meals that feed 4 people each a week…which comes out to about $6.75 per person per meal*). I chose this as a way to not only get more vegetarian food in us, but also as a way to expand my wheelhouse vis-à-vis veggie cooking.
In light of this occurrence, I have decided to blog about each recipe I make and include ratings for the meals. Ratings will be based on how complicated or easy the recipes were to prepare and how tasty they are. My rating system will be based on chocolate crickets, 5 being the best.
Our first set of 3 meals arrived today, and it was like Christmas for me. I unpacked the boxes and, of course, started snapping photos. I was pleasantly surprised at how neatly everything was packaged and that all the items were color coded with the recipes. I don’t like to think of myself as an amateur in the kitchen, but I can see how this would help someone who is. One thing to remember, each box contains all the meals for 2 people…so if you have 4, you need to double the recipe amounts listed…like for water or oil, etc.
Basically I just followed the recipe directions (mostly) and served dinner. Recipe can be found here. The menu sheets were clear and concise (other than you needing to remember to double certain things) and having the ingredients pre measured and in their own containers really saved a lot of time IMO. Perfect for mise en place!
It took a little time to prepare and cook, but on most days I would prep what I could ahead of time…today that was just not possible. Taste-wise it was fantastic, the portions were a little on the large side I thought, and the boys were meh on this particular recipe, but Spouse & I were pleased.
*And this is an erroneous amount. Apparently I received a discount on the first week of meals for some reason…one that wasn’t clearly indicated. The cost is much more…I had to cancel
I have looked up various pot roast recipes for the Instant Pot pressure cooker, and have yet to try any of them. This one looks super promising and I plan to try it sometime, but this one seemed to best fit what I want to make tonight with the boneless chuck arm roast of beef I have. Naturally I have made some changes. Basically I looked at that recipe for the cooking time, heh.
1 Boneless Chuck Arm Roast of Beef (I think mine is 2-3 lbs…size matters not with a pressure cooker)
1/2 of a vidalia onion sliced in rings
1-2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 small can of low sodium V8 juice
1 V8 juice can of water
your favorite meat rub (I used a Trader Joe’s Coffee & Garlic BBQ rub)
drizzle of worcestershire sauce
Drizzle roast on both sides with worcester sauce and rub on liberal amounts of your favorite meat rub. Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors sink in.
Add olive oil to the pressure cooker pan and set to Saute. It should get hot fairly quickly and you can sear the meat on both sides. I had to cut mine in two pieces to accomodate my pan, but it will all cook the same.
Set the meat aside and toss in the onions, let cook until they just start to get soft and get some color on them.
Turn off the Saute and place the seared meat chunks on top of the onions. Place one bay leaf on each chunk of meat (or just lay both on top if you did not have to cut) and pour the V8 all over the meat. Pour the can of water around the beef in the bottom of the pan.
Cover and set manual (high pressure) for 70 minutes…making sure you have the vent closed. When it beeps, vent and serve with the roasted veg.
Citrus-Garlic Roasted Root Veg
3 medium sized yukon gold potates, peeled & cubed
5 medium sized carrots, peeled and cubed
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
pinch or two of sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
the juice of one fresh clementine
Preheat oven to 400
Arrange cubed veg in a baking dish, sprinkle on the chopped garlic. Drizzle on the olive oil then squeeze the clementine all over the whole mess.
Roast until things start getting browned and crispy, about 45 min to an hour.