I straight up love quinoa, and I don’t care who knows it! I could eat it every day, and here’s an easy way to accomplish that. Cook 2 cups of quinoa, and about half a bunch of kale (I used a whole bunch (literally) and it was a bit too much).
Mix the cooked quinoa with the kale, and some diced onion, if you want. I used about 1/2 and onion cut in big chunks, because I like to live dangerously. I mixed in a half cup of plain yogurt, but you could go as high as 3/4 to make everything nice and moist. I also use a metric ton of cheese in casseroles, so it’s really hard for me to tell you how much I used. I probably mixed 1 – 1 1/2 cups into the casserole, then scattered at least another 1/2 – 1 cup on top. I know! But it tastes so good!!!!
I mean, look how delicious that is. Can you really fault the amount of cheese I put in there?
A couple things I learned while making this that I should have known already: stir it all THOROUGHLY. Nothing ruins a casserole like a dry spot. Also, if you add a little salt you can use less cheese, but would you really want to?? You can also substitute broccoli for kale if you want, and it would still be fantastic. Hell, with as much cheese as I used you can probably substitute old kitchen sponges and it would still taste great!
I accidentally made the greatest split pea soup EVER. Be warned, I used a TON of herbs because I get them super cheap in bulk. Basically I was sick with zombiedeathplague, so I threw a bunch of stuff in the crock pot, then went to sleep for a few hours. Because I was in a Nyquil-induced fog, I didn’t really make good measurements, but this is pretty close. You need:
1 16 oz. bag of split peas
2 tbspn dried basil
5 bay leaves
2 tbspn dried parsley
1 tbspn chopped garlic
10 cups of water and 4 bullion cubes, or 6 cups water, 4 of broth
1 cup textured vegetable protein
To make it vegan use veggie broth, and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
To make it meaty, add a cup of chopped ham or sausage.
Throw everything in the crock pot, and set it to cook for 4 hours. Mine ended up being too brothy, so I added a cup of textured vegetable protein. If you don’t want to do that, reduce the water by at least 2 cups. When it’s done cooking, add salt and pepper to taste.
This stuff was so thick, hearty and nutritious, I couldn’t get enough. It’s great for this cold, rainy weather, and it’s VERY filling, with a ton of fiber and protein. You could throw in even more of the spices I used, or even add cumin, or chipotle. My favorite part of this recipe is how easy it is. You can also keep all the ingredients in the pantry to make in an illness emergency. I just finished the last of it today, and I might make more tomorrow. IT’S THAT GOOD.
I’m posting this recipe mostly because I did it on accident, and I don’t want to forget what I did. I chopped up a whole onion, 2 carrots, and one small potato, and tossed them in the crock pot. I added a giant spoonful of jarred, chopped garlic, 3/4 of a bag of lentils, 2 handfuls of barley, 2 bay leaves, 4 tablespoons of tomato bullion powder, and water to cover, maybe 8 cups. I set it to cook for 4 hours, then went upstairs and took a nap. The food smelled so good I was dreaming about eating. I woke up because the dogs decided to wrestle on top of me, so I went downstairs to feed them and check the soup. It needed some more water, so I added a bit, and let it do its thing. Ya’ll. It’s FANTASTIC. This is for serious.
I don’t know if it’s the bay leaves or what, but I am DAMN proud of this one. It was insanely easy, and took a total of 10 minutes to throw together. The bullion I used isn’t vegetarian, but you can easily substitute a can of tomato paste, or some tomato glut sauce, since it’s the season to make it. Then it actually would be vegan. This recipe is very cheap, and healthy. I had all the ingredients on hand though, so I can’t calculate exactly how much, or the nutrition info or anything. Meh, do it yourself. I got soup to eat!!
The other day I realized I had a can of enchilada sauce and too many tortillas in my house. Well, make enchiladas, right?? Except I did not want to be in the kitchen rolling tortillas all night. So I made it into a layered casserole instead. Laziness, for the win!
You will need:
Tortillas (corn or flour)
Cheese (A LOT)
Your choice of fillings. I used beans, onions, jalapenos, and cheese. You could use cooked spinach, chicken, beef, or a whole host of things. I had squash and corn filled enchiladas in California once (which were okay), so try anything your little heart desires.
Layer tortillas in the sauce.
Throw down some fillings. I used onions, jalapenos, and beans. I didn’t do a very thick layer. You can make your filling layer thicker, or add another filling layer on top of this one, if you want.
I then added a ton of cheese. I used colby jack and American cheese. Do NOT tell Hubby. It’s so inauthentic to use American cheese, but it was so good! I used big slices of cheese, so there’s probably the equivalent of 2 cups in there. I didn’t feel like shredding it, and slices worked fine.
Then add another layer of tortillas. At this point you can add a second filling layer if you want. I also spread some more enchilada sauce on top of these tortillas. They soak it up while it’s baking.
I then added more raw onions and jalapenos, and EVEN MORE CHEESE YYEAAAAAHHHHHH!!
This is how it came out of the oven. I baked it at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese on top was bubbling.
It was so very awesome. I want more right now! It also reheats really well. The way I made it was a little thin, so Hubby and I each ate about 1/4 of the pan. You could make it thicker as I mentioned earlier, or serve it with a side of rice and refried beans, or a salad. It was so cheesy and melty and delicious and heart attacky.
I always have fun at the Asian grocery store. If you’ve never been to one, make an effort to track one down. You can find all kinds of random, interesting things. On my last trip I found these Vegan Beef Slices, which is basically soy protein made into fake beef.
Unfortunately, they don’t have any instructions on the package in English, so I kind of made up a recipe. I made some very strong broth from buillion, and then soaked the “beef” in it for about 10 minutes while I chopped vegetables. This makes the “meat” soft, and gives it flavor. Hubby ate a plain, dry piece of “beef”, and he said it wasn’t good. I didn’t even trick him, he just wanted to try it!
The buillion I used had beef in it, which somewhat defeats the purpose of soy meat, but I need to use it up anyway. Plus, this was only $3 for a big package (think the size a cereal bag is inside the box), but the measurement is in grams so I have no idea what that means. Thanks, American public school system!
I made a regular stir fry, and added my rehydrated “beef” to it once the vegetables were mostly done cooking. The “meat” is ready to eat once it has plumped back up; it just needed to be heated up with the rest of the food. The texture is good, but I doubt you could trick someone into thinking this is meat. I love the high protein and low fat and carb content, and of course the cheap price tag. This “meat” also absorbed flavor pretty well, so it would be a good option for people that don’t like tofu for that reason.
I also like the fact that I can store this in the pantry, and it can be cooked and ready in 10-15 minutes. It’s great for quick meals, and impromtu vegetarian cooking. Add the fact that it’s cheap, and you know I love it.
I love sushi, but as everyone knows, it can get expensive. I’ve wanted to try and make it myself, but the process seems prohibitively difficult, and the ingredients are expensive. Add to that the fact that I’m scared if I use raw fish I’ll kill myself and Hubby, and it seems like a recipe for disaster. I have possibly invented a solution, however. There’s no rice or fish, but it is sushi-like enough to make my mouth happy, and that’s the only thing that matters. I basically stuffed some seaweed full of vegetables and sauce, and ate it, and it was great!
Nori seaweed: my normal grocery store has this in the “International” section. It’s $2.50 for ten sheets. It was a little cheaper at the Asian grocery store.
Veggies: I used sweet potato, avocado, carrot, raw cabbage, and cucumber. You could also use sprouts, tempura vegetables, or anything else your little heart desires. If you’re going to use green onions, I would chop them up and use them sparingly so they don’t overwhelm everything else.
Sauce: I used the Thai Hot Chili Mayo pictured above. It is simply mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha, so you can easily make your own. I found eel sauce at my Asian grocery store also, which would be amazing. I used teriyaki sauce for dipping. You can easily make this a vegan recipe by using Nayonnaise (soy mayo), and it’s almost raw vegan, although I don’t know enough about that particular diet to recommend a sauce.
Optional fillings: If you want you can add some chopped up scrambled eggs, cooked brown rice, fake crab legs, or sesame seeds. Hell, add cooked shrimp, I don’t care. Experiment, because this is much easier (to me) than making real sushi, so just try whatever.
In order to use sweet potatoes, you should cook them first. I attempted to cut one into long strips, and the knife got stuck. I persevered however, and it was still a big hassle. I have experimented since, and discovered a few tricks: 1) Buy long, skinny sweet potatoes, that are kind of small. 2) Bake them most of the way first, like in the microwave so it doesn’t take too long. 3) Now peel and cut them into strips. 4) A little goes a long way. I used one small sweet potato about the size of a banana, and that was enough for 3 of these rolls. What I actually did is cut this potato up as though I was making sweet potato fries, and bake them all in the oven on a cookie sheet. You can use either method, I just found the first method listed here to be easier, and it didn’t heat up the whole kitchen.
There are a few options for how to prepare your vegetables, but I think this is the easiest. I have this handy-dandy cheese grater that comes with different blades, but it turned out the basic cheese grater with the large round holes worked the best, so you can just use your normal cheese grater. I chose one big, fat carrot, washed it (rather than peeling, because that’s where a lot of the vitamins are), and grated it to nothing. This was way easier than I thought it would be, even with my weak, useless, T-Rex arms. I grated the cucumber as well, but this released a LOT of water. It was very fast, but then I had to drain the veggies on several paper towels to remove the water. If you don’t drain them the water will mix with the sauce in the roll and start to leak out creating a HUGE mess. Chopping the cucumber into long matchsticks seemed to eliminate this problem. I chopped up a little raw cabbage and cut the avocado into strips also.
Once you have everything chopped up, you can lay out your seaweed. I happen to have a sushi mat, but this is not a necessity. I did a few by hand and it worked fine. I spread the mayo onto the seaweed, leaving one edge blank for about an inch and a half. Keep your fillings in the mayo square so you can roll it easily.
I laid out my shredded veggies and sprinkled them with sesame seeds. If I had any eel sauce I would have squirted it on right here. Try to keep the veggies low, and evenly spread. We’re basically substituting raw veggies for cooked rice here. That’s good nutritionally, but then the whole thing doesn’t stick together the way regular sushi does. That only means you don’t slice it up in the end; just eat it like a burrito!
I have now added my avocado and sweet potato chucks. I tried to keep them relatively centered. I did a few tests of the rolling process to make sure I was not over-stuffing them. To roll this up, the first thing you need to do is rub some water on the blank 1 1/2 inch section. It needs to be damp to stick to the other seaweed. I just got my fingers wet and rubbed it (That’s what she said!!!). When you’re ready to roll, start with the side that’s away from the camera, the side where the mayo goes almost to the very edge. Roll that over the toppings. Try to make it pretty tight, but not so tight that things are squishing out everywhere. I rolled the far edge down so that the edge just touched the spot where the blank area of seaweed started. I then rolled the damp edge over top of this, pulling everything together snugly. I rolled it pretty much by hand, then used the sushi mat to firmly squeeze the whole thing together, but that didn’t seem that necessary. I have no clue if I am using that thing how I’m supposed to or not, but now it’s covered in mayo, and I have to figure out how to clean it.
I did cut this one in half, but after this first one I just started eating them. I made one that was only seaweed, sweet potatoes, and spicy mayo and it was awesome. I also made a few where I tried to seal one end of the roll by folding the seaweed over itself, and those were a little bit successful. These things taste amazing, are easy and cheap to prepare, but my rolling technique will take some practice. If you want to add some scrambled eggs to yours for additional protein, I would scrambled 2 eggs with a tablespoon of water and some teriyaki or other sauce you like to give them flavor. You then cook them like an omelet, just letting it sit in the pan and cook into one solid piece. Let it cool, then cut into strips.
I want to experiment with more sauces, but I am currently completely enamored with this spicy mayo. Tempura flakes in there would also be great, but of course adds fat and empty calories. I used very cheap vegetables for mine, so I think my cost came out to around 50 cents per roll. Considering most sushi rolls are $4-5, that’s pretty cheap! Plus you don’t have all the carbs from white rice. There are tons of possibilities for these, and I can’t wait to try more.
This is another amazing idea I found on Pinterest. If you haven’t been on there, be careful. It’s addictive. If you ever wanted to make your own
McMuffins generic breakfast egg sandwiches this is the perfect recipe.
Spray some baking spray into a muffin tin, and crack an egg into each muffin cup (or however many you want to make). Bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes. These bad boys pop out looking just like this:
Well, I semi-scrambled mine. On hers the yolks were intact. These are the perfect size to fit on a mini bagel, with a little cheese!
The author of the recipe was pre-assembling whole sandwiches, wrapping them individually and freezing them for fast breakfasts during the week. She used english muffins also, but the eggs fit better on mini-bagels.
Here are my ideas (as yet untried) for variations that could be mixed into the raw eggs before baking: chunky salsa, cheese, diced onion, spinach and romano cheese, bacon or sausage bits, chorizo or soy-rizo, and sauteed mushrooms and onions. I would mix in ingredients that have low water content, so things don’t get mushy, but it seems like having it mixed in would make these so much easier to reheat.
She recommends reheating in the oven, but if you keep the bun separate from the egg, that’s not necessary. I just toast my bagel and microwave my egg for about 30 seconds on 50% power, or else exploding happens and I get teased.
I had never had homemade refried beans until a friend of mine opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities. We make them for breakfast tacos, but they are good any time of day. For this recipe you’ll need some cooked beans, preferably pinto or black, garlic, garlic salt, and either bacon or olive oil, depending on your preferences. I start out by cooking some bacon.
While that’s cooking I chop 4-5 cloves of garlic up very finely.
Oh look! Beans that are already cooked, as if by magic! (I’m like Rachel Ray, but with a normal-sized mouth).
Once the bacon is mostly done, start the garlic browning. If you’re making vegetarian refried beans, brown the garlic in olive oil. Turn the heat down pretty low for this.
I use garlic salt and sriracha to flavor mine, and the potato masher will be very important in a minute. I don’t just take photos of random crap on my counters, this is all part of my plan.
Put a bunch of beans in the pan and mix in the bacon fat or olive oil. Let that heat up a little bit.
Once the beans are warm, smash them with the potato masher (see? The plan! I had one!). Warm beans are a little easier to squish than cold ones, in my opinion. Once you have everything smashed thoroughly, let the beans cook a little more. You want to cook off some of the liquid until they reach a consistency you like. But remember, the beans will thicken as they cool, so let them cook until they are slightly runnier than you’d like. That way, when you serve them they should be just right. If your beans are too dry you can add warm water or olive oil a little at a time to get a consistency you like.
I made these beans into breakfast tacos with the bacon, but I ate all the results before I took a picture. Meh. I had plenty of extra, and I’ve made quesadillas also, which were amazing. This process is way easier than I thought it would be, and it’s very easy to make a small batch to experiment. You can use canned beans, or beans you’ve cooked from scratch yourself. And it’s an excuse to eat bacon!
I’m sure you have all figured out by now that my “recipes” are just, in fact, conglomerations of whatever random crap I have in the house at the time. For this one, I used chicken, but it is very simple to make this vegetarian or vegan; the variations are at the bottom.
Today we’re using one chicken breast, about a half cup of frozen peas, a cup of frozen broccoli, one cup uncooked rice, two scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and a bunch of teriyaki or soy sauce, whichever you like.
Start by cutting up the chicken really tiny, and sauteeing it in a large sauce pan. Get your rice cooking at the same time, according to the package instructions.
Chop what needs choppin’.
Throw the veggies in to cook with the chicken. You can add some teriyaki or soy sauce, and garlic salt at this point. You can use different vegetables, if you like, such as bell peppers (ew), water chestnuts (EW), or even just a bag of mixed frozen veggies. Once the veggies are almost done, throw in your raw scrambled eggs, and stir them around to cook. I throw teriyaki sauce on top of them while they’re cooking so they get some flavor.
Hey, the rice is done! It’s so fluffy and delicious! You can also use leftover rice for the recipe. If it’s a bit chewy, just throw it into the veggies, once they’re cooked, and add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let it cook and stir it around to make sure all the rice gets coated in oil and heated up.
Once the rice and veggies are both ready, you can combine them in the pan, and stir everything together. Add your sauce and spices to taste.
To make this recipe vegetarian, leave out the chicken. You substitute tofu if you want, or add extra scrambled eggs. To make it vegan, leave out the chicken and eggs. I consulted my teriyaki sauce bottle, and it appears to be vegan. Everyone can enjoy my cooking; I’m just that amazing.
I usually make a nice breakfast on weekends, even if it occurs at 2 in the afternoon. This last weekend I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to make a sort of crust-less quiche. I started by chopping up a small head of fresh broccoli.
I diced up a small amount of onion.
I sauteed the two together in olive oil with a dash of garlic salt.
While that was cooking, I shredded a little over a quarter cup of parmesan cheese.
I cracked open and scrambled 4 eggs. I threw in a dash of pepper, and about half the cheese.
I then threw the eggs into the pan on top of the veggies. I stirred it around, and made sure all the egg was thoroughly cooked.
I used the rest of the cheese to top the eggs. It was AMAZING. I started stealing off Hubby’s plate, it was so good. I may make it for dinner tonight. I think the key was making sure the broccoli was well-seasoned before the eggs were ever introduced. Plus, this type of cheese is very flavorful, and I want more right this second.
First off, I have to tell you all that something very serious has happened. I’m almost out of coffee. There’s enough for right now, but after that I have to go to the store!! I’ll try to be strong and plow ahead, because that’s how much I love you little minions. Enough to inflict my barely-awake, nonsensical ramblings on you. You’re welcome.
Friday night, I had a fantastic night. Me and Samantha went dancing at our favorite place, Barbarella, and it was everything girls’ night should be: dancing, drinking, gabbing, and pretending to be a lesbian couple so the people hitting on us would go away.
Saturday morning (and by “morning” I mean 2 pm) I paid the price. Not only were my legs sore from jumping around, I was dehydrated and *un-caffeinated*. I know, I don’t know how I survived either. I usually function based on a large number of caffeine injections throughout the day, starting at 9am, so I was well below my daily quota by the time I woke up. I am honestly surprised I even regained consciousness.
After scrabbling around in the kitchen blindly, coffee was created, and I gradually fought off my zombie-like state. I then realized food was the other cure for what ailed me, but again, I need to go to the store. I decided finding pants (other than my Mr. Bubble pajama pants) was a ridiculously monumental task, akin to getting the ring back to Mount Doom, so simple food would have to do. This is a recipe I’ve made before, and I really like it. You will need 2 eggs, 1 cup (uncooked) rice, 1/4 cup onion (or more depending on your preference), and this stuff:
The teriyaki sauce totally makes this dish. It’s similar to soy sauce, but with a more complex, savory flavor. I use instant rice, so I start it in the microwave first thing. Then dice up the onion; I like rather large chunks. Start the onion sauteeing in a frying pan in some olive oil or butter. Once they start to get a teeny bit cooked, throw in some of the teriyaki sauce, and stir.
Let the onions cook to your preference. I like mine a little golden, but still crispy. When the onions make you happy, crack the two eggs into the pan, and stir them around. As the eggs are cooking, throw in another tablespoon or two of teriyaki. Let’s all keep in mind that when I took the pictures I had not had any caffeine for about 15 hours, so the pictures are a bit blurry. You should all just be amazed at the fact I had the presence of mind to take pictures at all in my handicapped state.
Put half the rice in a bowl, and throw a dash of teriyaki on it, then put half the egg mixture on top. This recipe makes enough for two servings, so you can either share, or eat half, pass out, and reheat the rest when you regain your mental faculties.
I know it sounds weird, but this is really good, simple food, and I’ve made it many times when I was not hungover in the slightest. It is easy enough to make when brain no workee, which makes it great hangover food.