Monthly Archives: December 2006

tofu mushroom stroganoff

Even my commited carnivore of a husband really like this. I found it online:
http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/food/1342
You’ll have to copy and paste the URL – too lazy to create html code at the moment!

It calls for 1 1/2 lbs tofu, but I just use a 14 oz package (make sure it is the firm type!) and use about 10 oz of sliced mushrooms and keep the other ingredients the same.

Last time, I used eggless “egg” noodles – which are great. But, wanted more fiber in this meal so am using that Healthy Choice – can’t remember the brand name at the moment – comes in a brown box and most supermarkets around here (north of Boston) has it – whole wheat blend pasta – the rotini kind.

I’m serving it with Maple-Ginger butternut squash. YUM! Let’s see if I can find the link again…

Here it is:
http://www.epicurious.com/cooking/menus/cooknow/recipes/103193

I actually roasted the squash almost a week ago because I roasted a turkey to have on hand for holiday guests. Things ended up very informal and I never used the squash. BUT, you can roast the squash anytime and have it on hand to mash up for at least a week. Well, let’s see if Steve and I are still alive tomorrow 🙂

I just peeled off the skin, and mashed it up with the grated ginger, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and have it heating in the double-boiler right now. Actually, I have to go make that stroganoff now before my husband gets too hungry and thus cranky. 🙂
I can’t remember if I posted about the super roast turkey I made last week. Quite tasty. And, thanks, Lori, for lending me your roasting pan and rack! <3

I did an herb paste thingy and lifted up the skin and rubbed in all over under the skin as well as in the cavity and on the outside. High heat, too – mostly at around 400 degrees, but had to tent with foil to prevent the breast skin from getting too brown. I did the breast down first thing, too.

Shaw’s had free-range turkeys from Vermont on sale. Still pricy, but I think worth it. I don’t feel nervous using the giblets (especially the liver) in free range birds – less junk to build up in there.

I actually made really good gravy for the first time ever… Dang, I hope I wrote down what I did…. I didn’t do it in the roasting pan because the pan was non-stick and had some chips. But I have another smaller pan that fit under the rack to collect drippings and I used them, making the gravy in a saucepan. I used cornstarch… I guess I was patient enough. I can always make a great white sauce, or “roux,” but somehow I’ve been missing the gravy “touch’ until now.

Always something more to learn about cooking!

Ooops, speaking of cooking, I had better go finish making dinner!!!

Meatloaf tests with Tempeh and Tofu results

Oops – forgot to post the results. Steve liked the one with tempeh added better – more flavorful is what he said. He liked the one with tofu, too – but I think I will step up the seasoning with any meatloafs using tofu to lower the meat content from now on, since tofu doesn’t really have much flavor to add on its own. BUT, since tempeh has a good fiber content, I’ll probably just use tempeh to make a healthier version of meatloaf.

Either way – it works, as long as you are not allergic to soy products. Thank goodness Steve is not – the egg allergy is actually a big silver lining since he needs to cut cholesterol, although sometimes I’d like to use eggs in particular recipes…. But, better he be allergic to eggs rather than soy!

making meatloaf healther with tofu and tempeh

Time to create a lower fat – part veggie product meatloaf! I have two in the oven. I used my basic meatloaf recipe, which is based on the one from Cooks Illustrated, but, instead of two pounds of ground meat (1/3 to 2/3 pork to lean beef) this is what I did:

One is with part tofu – tofu comes in a 14 oz package so I just used the whole thing. Sliced it into eight or ten slices (can’t remember which!), squeezed water out of it (I actually pressed in under weight on a slanted board, but I think just squeezing the slices between paper towels would be fine) and crumbled it up and mixed it in with about 1 1/2 lbs of meat.

The other has an 8 oz package of tempeh crumbled up with the 1 1/2 pounds of meat.

My guess is that the tofu one will be fine – as in Steve will like it. 🙂 Tempeh has a rather distinct flavor, being a fermented product. Although, it has a fair amount of fiber, so I am hoping Steve likes this one, too.

As always, I adjust the main recipe by adding 1/2 cup grated carrot per loaf and I use flax seeds ground with water (about 1:3) to replace the eggs because of Steve’s egg allergy.

Well, only time will tell how these come out! I’ll post later…..

how to justified time spent in the kitchen….

Okay – here I am, experiementing in the kitchen again – which I love to do. BUT, I have two issues.

1) I find myself taking a lot of time on meals, and sometimes I resent interupting my work for Breton Electric, my freelance jobs, or my volunteer stuff for up to 3-4 hours each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to “feed the husband” when there are times I really just want to work for 3-4 hours straight. It is hard to find that kind of chunk of time in between meals or after dinner and cleanup…. Sigh. It is not like Steve is hanging around watching TV. At this moment I hear him shoveling gravel to put around the garage… BUT, sometimes meal prep is a big pain in the butt, timewise.

2) I could make quicker meals or we could do more take-out…but that usually isn’t healthy except for soup and salad things – I’d be fine with that since I can survive on grazing, but Steve is used to a MEAL for dinner and will buy a sub for lunch if there are no good leftovers or a nice sandwich prepared.

ANYWAY – I do love to cook, but how do I stop feeling resentful – or guilty (I always have plenty of business-related or volunteer work I could be doing) for spending the time on it?

I think I have the answer. I do want to write a cookbook and get a cooking column gig, so I do need to experiement. Also, now that Steve has the doctor’s orders of lowering bad and raising good cholesterol orders with medication as a threat, I have even more reason to experiment for a genre cookbook about “healthy meals for meat lovers.” There! It is all an investment (Maybe I can even write some of the time and ingredients off as R&D, especially if I get off my butt and get a writing gig. Hey, why not? I’m going to check that out. I’m a bookkeeper, remember?

Okay – now I have to go check my two 1/2 veggie 1/2 meat meatloaves – one part tofu and one part tempeh. That saga will be in the next post.

Eternity – two people and a ham but with cool sides!

Cook’s brand ham was at 1.89 a pound at Shaws. Unadvertised, but I saw it while shopping for the lindentreecoffeehouse.org kitchen supplies. It’s all cooked as I write this. I also nuked two yams, then mashed them with olive oil, allspice, salt, and fresh ground pepper – as well as kept adding bits of water to get the right consistency. That’s holding in the double boiler.

I also carmalized a large onion (sliced thin) in a bit of olive oil and then added three unpeeled small granny apples, also sliced thin. That’s on low in my (recent present to myself) 3 quart All Clad saute pan ) with the cover on.

All I have left to do is steam the asparagus, and dinner with be ready.

I don’t think I have mentioned on here that I need to cool it on meat – husband Steve had some too high cholestorol results! Luckily, he can deal with tofu. 🙂 I’ll have to post the tofu stroganoff recipe that I found. He really liked that. And, he was okay with Fantastic Foods Tofu Scrambler. He can’t eat eggs, anyway – allergic.

My biggest goal is to provide lots of other “sides” when serving animal products so that he can fill up on thoses and not feel he needs to eat as much meat. And, that means more veggies for us both – a good thing.

Okay – off to have dinner! By the way, there is a spell checker for this blog, but I have not been using it recently. Better to take the time to write a bit more than spend it editing!

Fish and Scallop recap

The sauce was really good. The rice “pilaf” was really good. The fish and scallops were okay, but I think I need to figure out how to have less liquid going on. I did not get what I expected as to “pan-seared.”

This ended up more braised or poached… I will try the fish and scallop combo the next time – but get extra moisture out of both before cooking. I do remember seeing a technique for doing that with the scallops when I was wandering arount the Net looking for ideas. And, get the scallops really browned before adding the fish. Or something… 🙂 Higher heat will help.
Anyway – can’t learn without trying!

WELL! I am not posting much…. but have been thinking about somehow getting a food writing column gig at one of the local papers…THAT would get me writing more.

Anyway – fish tonight. I’ve done baked fish with the breadcrumbs, etc., but tonight it is pan-seared scrod fillets and sea scallops (will probably cut them at least in half since so big) with a sauce from pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes (stored in oil) and – the recipe calls for heavy cream, but I will use 2% evaporated milk. I can always add a little corn starch if it needs to be more thick! No cholestorol in corn starch!

Serving with swiss chard (would prefer asparagus, and it is even on sale at Farmland, but I bought the chard yesterday and need to use it!) and brown rice pilaf. Well, not really pilaf since I cooked it in water and not a stock of some sort, but I added a diced carrot, some fresh chopped parsley and some diced onion.

That pesto/sundried tomato sauce sounds really yummy. Hopefully I’ll remember to post as to the results. 🙂