My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sloppy Lennies and Sweet Potato(?) Fries

Ok, so I bought what I thought was a Sweet Potato. From the outside, it definitely looked like one and felt like one. However, when I went to make fries out of it (like Megan the Vegan often does), I found the sweet potato was white! What!?! I pulled out my cookbooks and tried to figure it out, but no luck.

So, we cut it up into fries anyway and started baking. After about 30 minutes, the fries were done and we were able to try this mysterious potato. It was awesome! Tasted just like something from a bag of Terra chips. Not sure which root vegetable, but it was still good. Is it possible that there are white sweet potatoes? Was it a yam? Anyone know?

Anyway, we also made some sloppy lennies with spinach instead of the kale. We kinda forgot about the kale at the back of the fridge and by the time we remembered, it was too late. Oops! The sloppy lennies were served over whole grain english muffins and were very tasty.


















While I enjoy these Sloppy Lennies, I also really liked the recipe Catherine from Food Snob had us test awhile back. I liked the heartiness of the French Green Lentils as opposed to the softness of the red lentils used in the above recipe.

Now, if I could only figure out the mystery behind that dang potato thing!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Guinness Glazed Halibut

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was very busy and involved dining out 3 times! Not much time to make food, but I still managed to make a Garlic-Herb bread Ryan's mom's breadmaker and some more granola for the next couple weeks. Oh yeah, and I made some Spicy Black Bean soup for lunches today. It was a crockpot recipe, so super simple to make.

Here's something we made in the recent past, Guinness Glazed Halibut from Melissa Clark (the same cook as the Buckwheat Salad recipe) and the recipe can be found here.


















This dish turned out pretty well. The fish was pretty thick, so I had a hard time judging when the middle was cooked, hence the darker color on the top of the fish. We really liked the carrots as it was a different way to cook them. We might make the carrots again, but probably not the fish.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brooklyn Pad Thai

A follow-up note to my last post: Just to be clear, I typically don't clean. It was a rare occurrence that I cleaned. I'm usually fine living in moderate chaos. Ryan on the other hand, is a neat freak and I leave the cleaning up to him. Thank you, Ryan!!

Ok, now that we have that cleared up, onto another Vegan with a Vengeance recipe - the Brooklyn Pad Thai. We've made plenty of pad thai dishes before, but now that I've tried this one, it's going to be the one we stick with. I made a few alterations such as lowering the sugar drastically as well as reducing the oil. I don't think it affected the taste of the dish at all. I'm just not one for super sweet sauces.



















A big tip that Isa gives in the book is to cook the pad thai in 2 batches to avoid stickiness and boy did that tip work! We were thrilled with the outcome of this dish and it had just the right amount of spice for us.

I brought the leftovers to lunch the next day and some of my girlfriends asked for the recipe because it looked so good. Not only did they ask for the recipe, Rachel actually made it for her and her guests (who also loved it)! I think that's one of the first times that has happened to me. Usually when I give a recipe to someone, it takes awhile for them to try it, but not in this case :) It's neat to hear what others think about the same recipe.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fettuccini Alfreda

Ok, so my day off didn't go exactly as planned...I didn't work on the blog, I didn't go to Trader Joe's, and I didn't meet Ryan for lunch. Turns out, we got 7 inches of snow on Sunday evening/Monday morning so Ryan urged me to stay home and not trek across the cities to meet him or to trek further north to TJ's. So, instead of spending a couple hours driving, I was a cleaning machine. I even cleaned the dust from the ceiling fan!

I also worked on my never-ending recipe project of transferring recipes from magazines onto my formatted recipe cards. I think I got rid of over 15 magazines - woo hoo, only like 100 more to go!

Here's one recipe book that I use a lot...VwaV. Ryan and I have been trying to use up ingredients from our cupboards and freezer, so Fettuccini Alfreda fit right in.

















We really liked this. We used our old food processor (should have used the new one), so the sauce was a bit chunky, but I liked the bites of onion. I also really like nutritional yeast, so it made for a great cheesy sauce. We wished we had some great steamed veggies to serve with the pasta, but ended up adding some spinach later.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Craft Post - Necklaces!

TGIF!! I'm lucky to have Monday off, so it's a long weekend for me. Ryan, however, doesn't have the day off. He just started his accounting internship last week, so I'll use the day off to meet him for lunch and see his new work digs. I'm pretty excited! I'm also hoping to make it up to Trader Joe's and do some work on this blog.

In an earlier post, I mentioned some new necklaces I've been making. It's been fun and I've also held a necklace making session with Ryan's mom and sister. Here are a couple pictures of the necklaces I made for my coworkers' gifts. Stephanie and Diane help me out a lot at work, so I wanted to make something that they could use either as a necklace or a badge lanyard. (Hi ladies!!)






















Here's a close up of the beads. I buy the beads from a big pot 'o beads at the bead store and it's really fun to pick out the neat ones.
















One more thing I forgot to mention was that Ryan and I bought a fruitshare earlier in December. We had never done a fruitshare before, but wanted to check it out. We were not disappointed! We received a huge box of citrus fruits - grapefruits, oranges, satsumas, and clementines from organic farms in the U.S. We never took a picture because we dug right in and started eating.

The clementines were the best I've ever had - the sweetness was amazing! The oranges were bigger than grapefruits and the satsumas were really cool to try. I juiced most of the grapefruits for breakfast each morning...I just LOVE fresh squeezed juice!

We'll definitely be participating again in the future...can't wait for the peaches.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Crispy Salmon & Spiced Lentils

Wow, can you believe I'm still trying to get over this cold? I lost my voice for 2 days and that's really tough for a talker like me. I think the cold is on its way out of my system, but I've been thinking that for quite a few days now and every day that I wake up, there is a new aspect to this dang thing. Let's hope it goes away fully!!

I haven't loaded my new meal pics on my computer yet, but I still have a meal from awhile back that I can share. I can't quite remember where I got these recipes, but they were great. I'm trying to get more Omega 3's from various sources; flax, hemp, other nuts, and salmon.

















The salmon was cooked perfectly and served with an herb salad of cilantro, basil, parsley and spinach. We also made some spiced (aka - curry spiced) lentils as a side dish. The lentils were good, but not great. Maybe I just didn't like curry and lentils together. Who knows!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Cannoli & Overnight Oatmeal

I never was an oatmeal fan as a kid. It's not that I didn't want to be, I just didn't like it. I remember several times where my aunt and uncle would try to get me to eat Malt O Meal and other similar individual servings of oatmeal. I tried at least! A couple years ago I ventured into oatmeal land on my own using plain oatmeal and adding some dried fruit and a sprinkle of brown sugar. It took a few tries, but eventually I started liking it.

After watching Alton Brown and learning about steel cut oats, I knew I had to try it. He had a great recipe for Overnight Oatmeal in the slow cooker. It involves steel cut oats, dried figs, dried prunes, dried cranberries and water. Turn it on low overnight and it's ready in the morning. We added soymilk instead of cream before serving. The finished product is not the best looking, but it is fantastic for breakfast! Here's a picture of the "before cooking" stage:

















Ryan and I are big fans of Mike's Pastry in Boston and I try to bring cannoli home when I travel out there for work. However, my work travel has slowed down a bit and we decided to take things into our own hands. I bought some cannoli shells and followed the recipe on the back. It's nothing compared to Mike's, but if you use fat-free ricotta and fat-free Cool Whip, it makes for a good lower calorie treat!























We made the slightly higher in fat version for everyone on Christmas Eve and they were gobbled up. It's just the right amount of "treat" on a late night.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Orange Seitan & Vegetable Fried Rice

Happy New Year! This year's celebration was very low-key. I ended up getting a cold although the source is hard to tell since most people around me have been sick lately. So, it was best for me to stay inside all weekend and rest. In addition, it finally snowed here (enough to stick on the ground at least) and driving conditions were very bad. I had fun flipping through all the channels and watching the New Year's Eve coverage.

I've found my new favorite meal...Orange Chicken Seitan with Vegetable Fried Rice. Yum! The fried rice is made with brown rice and includes veggies like bok choy, carrots, and onions. The Orange Chicken Seitan is a mix of a bunch of recipes I've gathered on blogs...here's the final version:

Orange Chicken Seitan
(4 servings)


½ lb. chicken seitan
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
¼ cup agave nectar (or honey)
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup soymilk
4 tbsp orange juice, divided
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cut chicken seitan into bite-sized cubes. In one bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, Ener-G, and baking powder. In a second bowl, mix soymilk, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and garlic.

Heat sesame and peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Dip seitan in liquid mix and then in flour mix. Tap off excess flour and add to skillet. Cook, flipping pieces until golden brown. Lower heat and add agave nectar and remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Toss until coated. Serve with fried rice and garnish with sesame seeds.






















We've made this a few times in the past couple weeks and I highly recommend trying it. It's great leftover too.
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