Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Brown Butter Sage Sauce and Toasted Pecans


1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
1 butternut squash (or be smart and lazy and buy it pre-cut because those things are a giant pain)
2 tbsp finely diced fresh sage
3/4 stick of butter (really I guess you should use unsalted and then salt to taste but I just use salted)
1 clove garlic
roasted pecans


Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash up into <1 inch square cubes (the squash cooks more slowly than the sprouts, so if the pieces are too big, the sprouts will burn before the squash is done). Put in a roasting pan with about 1 tbsp of butter and cook until everything's soft (about 30 minutes or so).

When the vegetables are almost done, put 3/4 stick of butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn a golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't get too dark. When it's almost fully browned, add in the sage and 1 crushed garlic clove. Cook for about 1 more minute, being careful not to let the garlic brown, and remove from heat.

Pour the butter sauce over the roasted vegetables in a serving bowl and top with the pecans.

Now that's good eatin'... unless you're one of those weirdos who hates Brussels sprouts, in which case I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE. But seriously, even if you're not a fan of the sprout, this might turn you around.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin-ish

Au Gratin-ish? Yeah, well, I think technically it all needs to be baked together to be a gratin, and I wasn't convinced something as cruciferous as Brussels sprouts would cook before the cheese burned and I'm making this stuff up, you know.


About 25 Brussels sprouts
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup cream or half and half (set it on the counter to warm slightly while you prepare)
pinch of nutmeg
white truffle oil (Not really cheap, and optional, I guess, but you really want this, I swear. No matter how poor I am, I always have this around)
2 tbsp of butter or olive oil
bread crumbs (I used Nabisco rice crackers with sea salt and black pepper. Super good! Why did I not know these existed?)


Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut the Brussels sprouts into 1/4 inch disks and roast with some butter or olive oil for about 30 minutes or so.

Toast the bread crumbs (or, if you're using cracker crumbs, roll them out with a rolling pin... or, um, vodka bottle. Hey, I'm not much of a baker, all right?) in a dry frying pan over low heat, stirring frequently, until they are a deep, golden brown. Set aside.

When the sprouts are almost done, saute the diced shallot in a tablespoon of butter or oil until they are translucent. Add the cream, cheese, nutmeg, and pepper and  heat on low, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add a little truffle oil and the roasted Brussels sprouts. Stir to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the bread/cracker crumbs and a drizzle more truffle oil.

Eat and be happy.

(Stay tuned for another delicious Brussels sprouts recipe tomorrow. I bought a giant stalk of sprouts and have had to get creative before they turn to mush).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Preserved Lemon Hummus

I really should have measured what I was putting in this but I didn't so these are estimates.


1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
juice of 2 small lemons
1 can chickpeas
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp diced preserved lemon
1/2 cup water

*crap, I forgot to put garlic in. Garlic's always good.


Put the tahini, lemon juice,  and olive oil in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add the cumin, salt, preserved lemon, and paprika (and garlic) and blend some more. Add the chickpeas about 1/3 of the can at a time and blend, adding water, if needed, to keep it smooth and not too thick.

I'm About to Leave Town for Ten Days, Use All the Veggies Concoction

This was one of those "eh, I'll throw it all in and I'm sure it will be edible" kind of meals, but it was actually pretty darn good.


asparagus (cut into 1-2 inch chunks)
green peas
tomatoes ( I used 4 small ones from my garden)
kalamata olives
preserved lemons
olive oil


Nothing fancy here, just saute the asparagus and peas in olive oil until they're cooked but still crunchy, add diced olives, about 1/2 tbsp diced preserved lemon, quartered tomatoes and toss until warm. Top with crumbled chevre and some ground pepper.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CCC- Day 6

That egg purchase really changed my life. This morning I had two fried eggs for breakfast, more of the lentils and rice for lunch, and then breakfast tacos for dinner.

Included are some diced onion, a jalapeno from my garden, a clove of garlic, and diced zucchini, sauteed until soft, then I scrambled two eggs into that, served on four browned corn tortillas with chopped cilantro and some sriracha.

I'm down to just dried lentils, rice, a can of chickpeas, and the lentils I made the first day now (which I guess I should finish before they rot). I may call time of death on this experiment shortly. I also have to go buy groceries for a dinner party I'm going to on Saturday, so it will be hard to not let that spill out into Real Life.

Monday, July 8, 2013

CCC- Day 5

I caved and bought eggs last night, and I feel like my quality of life has significantly improved! I had pancakes last night, then 2 fried eggs for breakfast, and more pancakes for lunch (yeah, I know... shut up), and for dinner, i finally cut into a butternut squash I've had around since butternut squash was in season. Luckily, these things seem to live at room temperature unscathed for months.

First, after gutting the squash, I thought "Hey, I'll bet you can roast those seeds like pumpkin seeds!" So I olive oiled, salted, and lightly cumined (What? It's totally a word... I mean. I made it one) them and roasted them for about 10-15 minutes until I heard popping noises coming from the oven and figured that was a sign of something. Totally delicious.

And while those were roasting, I was also roasting the pieces of squash, over which I poured a brown butter-sage sauce. Best. Stuff. Ever.

For the butter sauce, I just melted some butter over low heat until it began to brown, then added chopped sage from my garden, and one crushed garlic clove. I let that go for about a minute or so and took it off the heat just before the garlic seemed like it was about to begin to brown. So so so good. Really. It's also great over brussels sprouts. Or pasta. Or gnocchi. Or... the bottom of a bowl. I might have drank the remainder in the bottom of the bowl. Maybe. I'm not telling.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Maybe just...

I really, desperately NEED pancakes right now, and the only thing standing between me an pancakey goodness is some eggs. So unless someone talks me out of going and buying eggs, I'm going to do it. Anyone? OK, well. That was long enough. Eggs it is.

Challenge Day 4- boring update because I feel like I'm supposed to do this.

So far so good. I have still not purchased any new groceries, though I have been given a couple of meals by friends. Breakfast was more lentils and rice, lunch was tuna salad on crackers, and dinner was the pasta dish I just posted. Yawn.

Clean out the Cupboards Challenge recipe #2: Pasta sauce

This was super good, and made with my own tomatoes and herbs


2 cloves of garlic
3 small tomatoes
sprigs of rosemary, basil, and parsley, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup diced zucchini
a healthy splash of red wine *hic*
salt to taste


Cook everything down until the zucchini is soft. That's pretty much it. You were hoping for complicated? Hm, well then learn Arabic while it cooks down.

I served it over some brown rice penne with the grated remains of some parmigiano reggiano I had laying around. Yum.

Clean the Cupboards Challenge- recipe #1: "Some Kind of Lentil Thing"

I started out my challenge week by making a huge crockpot of lentils using what I had around. It turned out totally decent, but if it was a choice between this and my other lentil recipes, I'd definitely go for the others. But just in case you're curious, here you go.


1 cup vegetable broth*
1 onion, diced
2 cups of curry base using this recipe, which I keep in my freezer. It's not simple, but its good.
2 cups green lentils
4 cups of water
2 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno
a handful of golden raisins

and totally unmeasured pinches of the following:

chili powder
garam masala


Uh, basically throw everything into a crock pot except the raisins, and then cook on high for about 6 hours. I threw the raisins in about an hour from the end, and then I served it over basmati rice and topped it with cilantro. Ta daa! And I'll be working on this stuff all week. I have enough to feed an army. OK maybe not an army. Well, if Vatican City or Monaco had an army. I could probably feed them.

* I make my own vegetable broth and have some in the freezer all the time. I keep a big ziploc bag in the freezer and every time I have vegetable scraps (ends of onions, the stalks off kale, the tops off celery, broccoli stumps, carrot ends, stuff that's too floppy to have a nice texture but is still edible) I put it in the bag, and when it's full, I boil it all up and portion it into 1 cup bags or containers.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Clean the Cupboards Challenge- Day 3

What have I been up to on my No New Groceries challenge? Well, kind of lucking out/cheating, really. Dinner Thursday, lunch Friday, and breakfast and lunch Saturday were all made or bought by someone else! So yay! I'm eating the lentils I made the other day for dinner now, and there are SEVERAL portions left. I considered going and buying a cheap bottle of wine at Trader Joe's tonight, but then I figured there would be nothing stopping me from buying a carton of eggs while I was there, and that feels like cheating.

So that I don't end up eating lentils and rice all day tomorrow, I think I'll use the zucchini, tofu, maybe the shrimp if it looks not too freezer burned, and some of the sauces in my fridge to make a stirfry of some kind. Oh, I also ended up with some crackers after the picnic on Thursday, so I can use that can of tuna to make tuna salad and then have something on which to eat it. And I have THREE ripe tomatoes on my vines now!

So... doing fine with the challenge.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 1- Clean the Cupboards Challenge

Well, this was the easy day. I had strawberries for breakfast, and, a bit later, a browned corn tortilla. I also made a huge crock pot of lentils and some basmati rice that I can dole out throughout the week. I'll post a recipe tomorrow, but it's not my best work. It's totally acceptable, though. There are things I have which might have added to them nicely, but I didn't want to use them up in what was already a complete meal.

I made a simple salad of half of my remaining mixed greens and that leftover tomato piece for lunch, with some bottled ginger-miso dressing.

And then for dinner I lucked out. My boyfriend and I had a picnic while we watched the fireworks, and he bought a dozen blue crabs and made potato salad, and then foisted the leftovers on me (I didn't put up much of a fight). The potato salad didn't make it through the night (yum), but I can eat the crabs for lunch tomorrow. All that cracking and picking and foraging slows you down enough to forget you're hungry, anyway.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Clean the cupboards challenge!

So. Several students are out of town this month and my rent is past due and I'm broke. So I thought what better time to try something I have always thought about? We're all always saying "there's nothing to eat" when, in fact, there is plenty of stuff in the cabinets which could be combined to make... well, something, I'm sure. So I'm going to see how long I can go without buying any groceries and just living off what's in my cabinet/fridge. I don't expect this will last more than a few days, lest I wind up malnourished and yet somehow ten pounds heavier from eating nothing but rice all day, but I'm up for the challenge. I did a video inventory of what I have:

 In addition to this, I forgot I have a can of tuna, a can of chickpeas, a very old can of lychees, and a bag of horrible-tasting chicken-flavored soy protein (I have no idea what made me buy it other than it was $1.99 for a huge bag, and I'm a cheap bastard so big bags of anything for $1.99 seem like a good idea to me fairly often). I'm hoping I run out of everything else before I get to this and just surrender and go to the store. Just a note that all of those containers in my freezer that I didn't mention are vegetable broth. Lots of vegetable broth. Maybe I'll make some soup.  I also have tomato plants in a pot on the stoop, as well as jalapeno, orange bell peppers, and various herbs. The jalapenos are ready to go (thought that's not terrible practical, I guess), and there are a couple of tomatoes which will be ripe in a couple of days. So there's that.

Stay tuned. I'll post whatever I come up with. I actually have no idea what to expect. I'm pretty creative, but that's not a lot to work with.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Best Salad Dressing Ever

OK, this isn't mine. And, um, I forgot to take a photo, but this is the best thing you will ever put on a salad. I got the idea here, but since I'm not a huge mustard fan, I altered the amount of that.  It was also a bit thick for a salad, though it was nice on the hot dish on that page as is, so I added a little extra water.

1/2 cup water + 2 tbsp.
6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp. soy sauce/tamari
8 tbsp. nutritional yeast

4 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. sweetener. I used honey.

Blend well.


(And the tempeh & kale bowl on that page is really good, too. You should totally eat that).