Lentils, leftovers and popcorn!

No, it is not glamorous, and it is far from complicated, but popcorn is and will probably continue to be one of my most beloved snacks. And since Matt constantly tells me that this is the single greatest popcorn he has ever had, every time I make it, I decided to release the highly guarded secret of perfect popcorn to the masses.

Step one – Buy this

 

Coconut oil is a staple in my house for roughly 9 zillion things but it is the absolute star of popcorn. They actually used to use coconut oil in old timey theaters back in the day before people got all twisted up about saturated fat. Not knowing at the time, of course, that saturated fat from animals (lipids that are solid at room temp ie butter) are not able to be broken down as easily if at all, as the fat in coconut oil which contains a higher content of cholesterol lowering acid. AAAAAAAAAnd moving on.

You could use another oil, but why would you?

Put 2 T oil in a COLD deep pan with a lid and add 1/4 – 1/3 cup popcorn kernels. I like the white kind 🙂

Turn heat to med – med high and cover. Swish the pan around every few seconds until you start to hear them pop. *It’s important that the popcorn doesn’t get a chance to touch the lid once the pot starts to fill up. It makes it kinda stale if it gets damp*

Keep swishing around while the kernels are popping like mad and when they start to slow to  about once every 10 seconds, remove from heat.

Matt likes his with just a sprinkle of salt, and me well I am more of a wild child. I put about 1/8 t of cayenne and several generous shakes of nutritional yeast on mine.

 

This morning we had Liam’s favourite breakfast, Scrambled tofu and toast.

 

I kinda love it too ❤

Lunch was a sedate affair with left over taco salad and warmed up can of Amy’s Black bean Chili. I went in the kitchen to fix lunch and was like… “omg.. I’m done? that was flipping easy! As soon as were done eating  Imma go play zelda!”  Thats actually what went through my mind. I R LOSER. I ❤ leftover taco stuff lol.

 

I squished up 2 fritos on my chili lol.

Now, to the love of my food life, lentils. I have trouble finding ways to use them, even though I love them cooked and tossed in a little vinaigrette  and eaten over salads or plain, Matt doesn’t care for their earthy taste.

 

Enter Veganomicon (have I mentioned that I love this book?)

 

 

Lentils and rice with caramelized onions from Veganomicon.

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings

3/4 cup olive oil ( I only used 1/2 cup and I still felt it was too much, next time I will only use 1/4)

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 cup red lentils (I used brown)

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a large deep baking pan ( I used my cast iron skillet), toss onion rings in oil and roast for 25 – 30 min stirring often until golden brown and a little crisp, some burnt ones are okay too.  When done, remove from oven and set aside.

Boil 4 cups of water, add rice and spices, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 min. Add lentils and return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover cooking for 45 min. (I cooked mine about 35 and it was still a little too long, when the water is gone, turn off heat. )

It seemed a little dry to me, and I was going to stir in some vegetable stock, but my hand magicaly went to my coconut milk in the fridge so I put a couple tablespoons of that in there when it was done cooking it. I also added 1 -1 1/2 t salt and some pepper to the finished product.  This.Is.YUMMY. Liam tore it up and I had to keep myself from going back for more. Since it’s just brown rice and lentils, it is pretty calorie dense but it is soooooooooooooooooo good I almost couldn’t help myself.  I was going to braise some kale but changed my mind at the last minute and opted for a simple massaged kale salad instead.

 

Well, hope that there is something on this ridiculously long post that some of you will try and love as much as me! ❤ I hear a malbec and a book calling my name! Night! 🙂

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Super slacker

With Liam and I back in Oklahoma and Matt still in Florida, I have little desire most days to do much more than roast a giant pan of vegetables for dinner. I am the type of person that can eat virtualy the same thing every day for a week and not get tired of it. My personal criteria for food.

1. Is it tasty.

2. Is it good for me

3. Does it take more than 30 miniutes before I have food to shove in face.

That is pretty much it. All of those things considered, I have not felt the urge to take pictures of 2,472 avocado and black bean roll ups, or 75,000 kale salads. You should probably be grateful. Those are the actual numbers. Its lunacy. And while our grocery bill is quite a bit lower, it does get a bit old after a while.

This is my excuse for zero posts in over a month. It’s a weak one, but its pretty much all I got.

Yesterday Liam and I went to the grocery store and inspiration was throwing large boulders at my head as I meandered up and down the isles. By the time I got home there was no less then 7 things that I couldn’t wait to make. Only problem is I’m not very good at cooking for 1.5. Lucky for me, my favorite Katie ever was coming over for dinner.  I gave her options, but wound up deciding for her, mostly because I had to get the tofu marinading.

This dinner was not only super yummy, but wicked fun to make. Some times I like things that have lots of steps, easy small steps….kinda like the little kid slide at the park.

Balsamic glazed tofu

1/4 c soy sauce

2/3 c balsamic

2 T agave

2 smashed cloves of garlic

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/4 t pepper

1 block extra firm tofu sliced and pressed

Combine all ingredients and pour over tofu. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.  Make sure your grill is well oiled and set to med high. (because of the sugar content in balsamic, this tends to char a bit if cooked on too high a temp) Cook about 4 min on each side, longer if you like a firmer texture ( like I do).

While the tofu is on the grill, and if you have an awesome friend to watch it so it does not burn, pour the marinade in to a small sauce pan and simmer until it has reduced by about half.

Edamame and roasted corn salad

1/2 bag frozen shelled edamame

2 ears of corn

1/2 bell pepper

2 green onions

dressing

2T olive oil

1 t agave

2 T rice wine vinegar

1t sesame seeds

Soak corn (in husks) in water around 30 min. Throw them on a med high grill and turn frequently. I actually have no idea how long this takes, when you can smell it, it is done.  Put the bell pepper skin sided down on the grill to blister.

While corn is on grill steam or microwave edamame and put in large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients.   When the pepper is charred, peel away the majority of the skin, dice. Cut corn from cob, and combine everything together.

Sweet potato fries

1 large sweet potato cut in to french fries

2 t olive oil

1 t smoked paprika

1 t garlic powder

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 425

Put everything in a ziplock and toss to coat. Line a baking pan with parchment or tin foil and arrange fries evenly.  Bake for 20 min, turn the fries, raise oven temp to 450 and bake about 20 min longer.

I know I say this a lot, but I really, truly, honestly, loved this dinner. I had not experimented much with different glazes for grilled tofu, and pretty much just stuck with barbecue sauce. This is way better. And the salad! Just make it its stupid good.

I will indulge you with one of the things I have been eating very nearly every day. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you whole wheat toast, with almond butter and CHILI AND GARLIC CHOLULA. I eat this, no lie, every freaking day. It sounds so strange, but is just wonderful.

Hopefully my cooking day yesterday will give me the boost I needed to quit with the redundancy (Roasted broccoli and kale chips do not an interesting blog post make)

By for now! ❤

So um…what’s for dinner?

I really have to hand it to my hubs. Not only is he my best friend, an amazing daddy, and a super handy man, but he is also exceedingly patient with my cooking. I have always liked to cook, but it defiantly took a lot of trial and error before I really started to figure it out. With as much experementing as I have been doing lately, it  just goes to show how awesome he is.

Matt-what are we having for dinner tomorrow?

Me- well I have some cabbage left over so I was thinking about German style red cabbage with sautéed tempeh for dinner, and for lunch I guess we could have that tofu salad that you like.

Matt- Hmm sounds good.

Me – Really?

See? I love that he is so willing to try so many new things. Sometimes even after I make something new (particularly the tofu salad) I am a little apprehensive about trying it. But without fail, he is there to give me an honest appraisal of it 🙂 And the best part? When he doesn’t like something, or thinks it would be better with a little of this or with out that, he tells me.

That is my gratitude rant for the day. Now to the eats 🙂 Breakfast the last few days have been very different but super yummy. Now I must warn you my camera was dying when I took this so it’s sort of a crummy picture. Also, it looks gross, but I promise you it’s yummy!

Green Oats!

1/2 cup oat bran

1 cup (about) soy or almond milk

2 tsp ground flax

cook until kind of thick allow to cool a bit.

grab your immersion blender, or regular blender.

if using an immersion blender, add a few handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir stir stir until it is all worked in together.

if using a regular blender spin up the spinach first until it is liquid, then add your oats and mix.  I used agave to sweeten mine.

I have only used my immersion blender because my regular one died and we have yet to replace it. I have a feeling though that the regular blender would work better. I came across  a stray spinach leaf or two lol.

This was the first time I made it. I preferred it a bit thicker but either way it is yummy.

Inevitably, with as much experimenting as I do, I am bound to have some tragedies. Last night was one of the most epic fails ever, and it wasn’t even (completely) my fault! Remember that red cabage tempeh I was talking about? yeah…

I have been so excited to try tempeh, having heard so many great things about it I was sure it was going to be fantastic. The other day I picked some up and couldn’t wait to try. (honestly I think the anticipation just made my disappointed even greater 😦 )

The cabbage was good, not great and the tempeh!!!!!!!!!!!! eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……. for serious :(. I am a huge texture person and this stuff is where I draw the line. I made it just like I make my tofu, so the flavor was fine its just the chewiness that is just wrong. If you like it please tell me another way to make it because unless some one twists my arm I have sworn off the stuff for good. We wound up just eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lol.

Some experiments result in disasters of another kind, meaning my waist line lol. As if I need another reason to love toast I give you the best toast ever. And do not say ew. It must be tried to be appreciated.

This is whole wheat toast with peanut butter and tomato. I saw someone posting about this on a recipe website, figured well I haven’t eaten dinner yet, and I went and made it. Matt just sat there horrified but I’m telling you this is fantastic. Granted I come from a family where on occasion my brothers and my dad and myself would indulge in peanut butter and onion sandwiches.

Last but not least, gravy. Everyone loves it, but being vegetarian sausage gravy is not really feasible. Since that is what Matt wanted for breakfast I made him a skillet of regular gravy, and myself a mushroom one. Awesome accident!

Mushroom Gravy

6 mushrooms diced

2 -3 T flour

2 tsp butter

1 tsp crisco

milk ( I didn’t measure)

vegetable stock (also no measurements but equal parts with the milk)

salt and pepper to taste

Over med heat put one tsp butter in skillet, brown mushrooms, remove. Add remaining fats, allow to melt. Whisk in flour until a roux forms. While constantly whisking add in milk and stock. When desired consistency is reached add mushrooms back in, season to taste.

I sprinkled mine with red pepper flakes….

Okay I’m done 🙂 we have a really big day planned and I have lots of cooking to do! A great friend is coming over for dinner this evening (so excited!)

Obligatory Liam (and Matt) cuteness