Southwest Veggie Burgers

February 24, 2012 § 4 Comments

J: While Erik and I do enjoy a good meat-burger every now and then, we are both trying to eat more vegetarian, for the health benefits as well as for the expense.  So, when we want to make burgers, we often turn to veggie burger recipes instead to get our fix.  This burger recipe is one we came up with, inspired by the ingredient list on a box of MorningStar Farms southwest veggie burgers.  We loved the burgers so much, looked at the ingredient list, and realized, hey — there’s nothing crazy in here.  We could make these!  So, we did.

with all the fixins!

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Simple Authentic* Dal

February 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

E: Now before anyone jumps down my throat here, let me clarify that title:  this was authentic. I got the recipe from my good friend Aditya by watching him prepare it a few times for dinner parties when we were in college. I wrote down what I saw, and may have adapted for one or two things that are difficult to find, but I would say this is 80-90% faithful to the original. Hopefully, Aditya himself will be reading this (I know you do check this blog from time-to-time) and can chime in if I’ve erred somewhere.

the garnish of chives is something of our own invention

Authenticity concerns aside, this recipe and I have a long and important history, and so I’m really happy to finally have taken pictures of the process so I can share them with all of you. This is the recipe that got me into cooking. When I tasted this the first time, I couldn’t believe how fantastic it was. And the process had seemed easy enough. So I learned to make it myself, and then promptly made it for everyone I could find. This was the “aha” moment for me, that interesting food could be healthy, tasty, and easily made at home.

Joanna and I have shared this dal many times. However, we often make it when we are tired and otherwise not looking to make an event of cooking. So we just haven’t gotten out a camera and photographed the process. But I picked up three recipes from Aditya during college (and I recently badgered him for some eggplant recipes that I hope to make and photograph sometime soon) and I really wanted to start getting them up on the blog. So here is the first of them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bourbon Chicken With Fried Rice

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: I apologize in advance for the fact that this post has 2 recipes and a 4 pictures. Yes, you read that correctly. That ratio is not very good. But that’s because we made this for a dinner party, and spent much of the time rushing around and entertaining our guests. The camera didn’t get used very much. But we deemed these recipes too good to waste, and so we have to present them to you in their present fashion.

both Chinese and Southern

We decided to try the bourbon chicken since it was a combination of Chinese food and bourbon. Bourbon is excellent stuff, we had just purchased a bottle of it, and we were ready to do some cooking with it instead of simply drinking the whole bottle. Ergo we looked up recipes with bourbon, and settled on this since it seemed down-to-earth and good to make for a big group of people. To go with it we made a version of my standard fried rice recipe, which I got initially from The Joy of Cooking. As you can see we also made some broccoli, which was so simple it doesn’t make sense to introduce it as a recipe. « Read the rest of this entry »

Baked Chicken Parmesan

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Whenever we make pizza, there’s always some sauce leftover, and it’s always a struggle to use it up before it goes bad.  In the past, we’ve come up with various solutions — make it into pasta sauce, make more pizza (obviously), etc. — but this time we wanted to actually make something more meal-like instead of just thrown together.  So, I had the idea of re-purposing the sauce to make a chicken parmesan-type dish, only instead of frying the chicken, as is often done, we just baked it instead.  Simpler, less messy, and healthier!  This is a fantastic way to use up tomato sauce of any kind, and I’m pretty sure it’ll become one of our standards.  It honestly turned out much better than expected — I think we were both sort of expecting it to be a perfectly unobjectionable but unremarkable dish, and it was actually a knockout dinner.  Give it a try!

what a wholesome meal!
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Quick Beans

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: I am a big fan of beans and Southwestern flavors. As a sometimes-vegetarian (and generally trying and succeeding to eat less meat than I used to, with a few minor setbacks like bacon here and there) I’ve been thoroughly wooed by the heartiness of beans and vegetables. This recipe owes a lot to Susan’s baked beans, with which it shares many of its ingredients. However this is something you can successfully make with any kind of beans in about 20 to 30 minutes, in basically any quantity you want.

quick, easy, healthy, and delicious

We make this or some variant quite often for lunches as well as dinners. I imagine it is a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have in the fridge. We always seem to have extra carrots, so that’s usually what we make this with. I’ll give you the basic amounts of things and you should play around with it to suit your liking. « Read the rest of this entry »

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