Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Marchwich - Grilled cheese with apple

To finish off the month of sandwiches, let me show you my favorite sandwich this month: Grilled cheese with apple and bacon.

My ingredients were:
Rustic french bread
Granny smith apple, sliced
Swiss cheese, sliced
1 strip bacon
Olive oil

1. Cook the bacon through, but not to the point it gets crispy.
2. Assemble your sandwich. Heat oil in a pan and throw on the sandwich. (You don't want the sandwich TOO crunchy.)Cook each side until browned and the cheese has melted.

A great twist on a classic!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marchwich - Curried Eggplant burgers

Found this at FatFreeVegan.com:

The burgers turned out pretty scrumptious, but I'm not sure if it was really worth the effort. I used a large eggplant - spent quite a bit of time baking it and letting it cool, but I didn't get the meat yield from it that the recipe called for. So in the end, I was only able to make two patties after about an hour's total work.

(Also, instead of baking, I just cooked on the stovetop in olive oil like I do for all other veggie burgers, and this worked just as well).

Next time I do make this though, I'll try the onion-pepper relish the author recommends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekend Salad

Weekends are for relaxing, spending time with family, planning meals for the week, and eating last week's leftovers. It is in that spirit that I bring the weekend salad. Made up of produce (lettuce, tomato, carrot, green onion & avocado) bought mid-week, chicken (for the husband) made for Friday's lunch and quinoa (for me) for lunches this week, we bridged the last week and this week and made our bellies happy in the process.

The salad pictured is topped with quinoa, avocado and Annie's Lemon & Chive dressing, which is my new favorite.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marchwich - Cheese sandwich with veggies

Next up in my Ode to Sandwich month - Who doesn't love a warm cheese sandwich with a bowl of soup on a chilly day?

My version:
Sourdough bread
Butternut squash, large slices
Red bell pepper, sliced
Pepperjack cheese
Tomato, sliced
Olive oil

1. Slather the slices of bread with butter (of course I used vegan).
2. Layer the veggies and cheese in between the bread.
3. Cook until brown and crispy in olive oil on each side and cheese has melted.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baby food (plus a recipe for grown-ups)

Now that my little girl is eating solids, most of the cooking I do is for her. First, you need to know that by "solids" I mean purees. Although, if Top Chef is any indicator, purees are hot in the grown up, tooth-filled world, too. The "recipe" for these purees is as follow: 1. steam, boil or bake until fall-apart soft 2. cool 3. puree until there are no lumps, adding water, breastmilk or formula if needed.

So far little E chomps down on:
avocados (raw, mashed with a fork)
bananas (raw, mashed with a fork)
butternut squash
sweet potatoes

It's a pain in the butt at first to get a good variety of foods, but if made in big batches and frozen in small servings (like in an ice tray), it's easy to stock up quickly. I almost never have to make more baby food. And I feel like she'll be on table food before I finish up what we've got.

We're now in the exciting world of mixed & seasoned foods. Mostly I just mix a few of the above fruits and/or veggies together. Thinking about what tastes good together and trying new combination is my new hobby. FYI peas and carrots might taste nice and bring some color to your plate, but when pureed and mixed together they make a very unappetizing color. I've started adding cinnamon to appropriate food combos (like sweet potatoes & apples). And most recently I've cooked up a big batch of veggie broth and pureed the veggies and spices for her. Mixed with any combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes and cauliflower it's been a hit.

Super versatile soup stock:

1-3 Onions, quartered or roughly chopped
3-5 Carrots, roughly chopped
2-4 Celery ribs, roughly chopped
Any other veggies (except leafy greens) on hand are welcome to be thrown in... this is a good time to use up that leek that's been sitting in your crisper
2-5 Cloves of garlic, crushed

Throw everything in a big pot (I use a pot with a giant steamer insert and put the veggies in there so I don't have to strain them out later)

Add as much water as the pot will hold and season with any/all of the following:
Bay Leaves
(if you have fresh herbs on hand, use 'em, but I almost always go with dry and it works fine)

Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for at least an hour.

Strain out veggies, let them cool

Throw some or all of the veggies in a food processor or blender. Feed puree to baby, freeze, or add back to the stock to thicken. Or you could toss it out, but what would your depression-era grandparents say about that?

Tonight that stock is going in a lentil soup and tomorrow that soup is going in baby's belly. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marchwich - Bean sliders

My second attempt at a recipe from Vegetarian Times, this is a great bite-sized sandwich to pop while watching TV.

Small rolls, sliced (I used an asiago rosemary roll)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-oz can black beans
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
3/4 barbecue sauce
Greens of your preference - lettuce, arugula, etc.
Seasonings: cumin,salt
Sharp cheddar cheese slices

1. Boil edamame for 10 minutes and drain.
2. Process garlic, edamame, black beans, bread crumbs cilantro, BBQ sauce, and seasonings into paste.
3. Heat ~ 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Mold paste into small patties and heat on each side until browned.
4. Spoon 1 tbsp BBQ sauce onto each slice of the roll. Top with patty, cheese, and the greens.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marchwich - BK Stuffed Steakhouse?

March - a month that doesn't really belong to a season. Sometimes it's snowy, sometimes rainy, sometimes warm. Sandwiched between winter and spring.

Thus, to celebrate the month of March, I'm going to focus on sandwiches.

First up: I'm revamping a popular new burger - Burger King's BK Stuffed Steakhouse.

600 cal, 1250mg sodium, 34g fat... Daaaaammmmmmmnnnnn...

Here's my version - vegetarian-style:

I started off with my recipe for lentil burgers, and included all the necessary spicy add-ons.

2 cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ
2-3 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, in 1/4" cubes
Olive oil

1. Combine lentils, bread crumbs, wheat germ, and 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl, the mix in a food processor until combined.
2. Return to bowl and add peppers and cheese.
3. Mold into patties.
4. In a large fan, heat a few tbsp of olive oil. Brown patties on each side. Add more oil as needed.

I put my burger on fresh panini bread with lettuce and tomato. It was unbelievably good if I do say so myself - I'm adding to my veggie burger rotation. And much healthier! For 6 patties:

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving (Assuming BK's includes the bun)

Burger King burgerVeggie burger*
Total Fat34g16.5
Saturated Fat12g3.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.9g1.8g
Monounsaturated Fat0g8g
Total Carbohydrate50g58
Dietary Fiber2g12.7g

*Note - much of the fats come from the olive oil.