Category Archives: Recipes

My Vegetarian Diet

So I promised to talk about this while I was doing it, but I’m not anymore. Oops. However! I will talk about it now. I decided to do various diets on a whim, and I started on vegetarian because it was the least radical leap into the diets. Actually, pescetarian would’ve been, but I never buy fish and I want to go meat free first. I’ve learned a few things about myself over the course of this month.

  1. I used eggs A LOT.
  2. Somehow the majority of my meals had spaghetti sauce. I apologize to my roommates for turning the tupperware and plastic bowls orange.
  3. I love eggplant. However, I am sick of it right now because I’ve got nothing but eggplant parmigiana in my fridge. That was not eight servings. It’s more like ten. This segways into #4.
  4. I need to start halving recipes because I get really tired of leftovers after a few days.
  5. I really like almond milk.
Although I could still drink milk, I decided to buy a half gallon of regular milk and a half gallon of a substitute for the sake of finding a substitute I liked when I go vegan for a month. At first it was soymilk. Soy milk tastes really odd, so after I finished that, I vowed never to get it again. I bought almond milk at Nate’s suggestion and found I really loved that. So I’ll be drinking almond milk more!
Being vegetarian actually got me to read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. If you would much rather not know what your meat goes through, I would not recommend this book. However, I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s not a case for becoming vegetarian. Foer simply puts forward what goes on in the meat industry and leaves it up to the reader to decide. It is a personal journey.
Time for a recipe I made towards the tail end of the month! It’s spaghetti. I noticed I ended up eating a lot of spaghetti or macaroni and some recipes called for half of the box. I had half a box of spaghetti, half a box of macaroni, and a lot of random vegetables. That weekend, I got the urge to go exploring. I went into Trader Joe’s and bought some tofurky sausage links and a jar of spaghetti sauce.
What resulted was some pretty delicious spaghetti. You can throw in whatever vegetables you want! It’s pretty good for leftovers.
Leftover Spaghetti
 
Ingredients

 

  • One broccoli crowns
  • 1/2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 red peppers
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • Handful of spinach
  • Favorite spaghetti sauce
  • One box of spaghetti (I think mine was approximately 12oz or 16 oz, I’m not too sure)
  • Cinnamon
  • Two tofurkey sausages
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
Directions

1. Cook noodles according to directions on box. When there are five minutes left of cooking time, put chopped broccoli in. Drain and put back into pot.

 

2. Cut up all the vegetables. Dice mushrooms, pepper, and onion. Cut tofurkey into 1/2 inch balls.

3. Cook tofurkey through. Put the tofurkey into a bowl. Put oil into pan and saute peppers and onions until onions are slightly translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for another two minutes.

4. Put all the vegetables into the pot. Empty jar of spaghetti sauce and put a dash of cinnamon into the pot, then stir it until it’s just about evenly distributed. Put on cover and cook for ten minutes, or until heated through.

5. Take pot off of stove and serve!

 

You may want to put in more spaghetti sauce, depending on your tastes. I found it tasted just fine with the amount of spaghetti sauce I used. Experiment! That’s what everything is about.

 

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Viva Las Vegas Dog Treats

My dogs are a huge part of my family. There used to be times when my family would spend a good ten to fifteen minutes trying to get the dogs to come sit with us, let alone sit still for the camera. We used to include them in our holiday cards, because they were family. My little fluffy brothers, you know? Once upon a time, we got them those rawhide bones to chew on Christmas Day. They ruined the soft squeaky toys. Or, well, the small one did. Rawhide bones had the guarantee of being IMPOSSIBLE to ruin until they worried it with their teeth enough.

This is Joey, a West Highland Terrier. Definitely not the cleanest. 
This is Chester, a Golden Retriever. He’s really light for the breed.
 
In the past two years or so, I’ve noticed something. My parents were no longer including our dogs in the Christmas picture or getting them presents. The horror! This past Christmas, I resolved to do something about at least one of them. While getting them in the picture was impossible, I got them Christmas presents. Specifically, I made their presents.
I was browsing the internet one day when I stumbled across Brown-eyed Baker’s Gone to the Dogs dog treats. No, it wasn’t the fact she had a Golden Retriever that hooked me. Although that may have been a factor. I’m not too sure. But I digress! The reason I picked these treats is Chester. The poor guy is (likely) allergic to meat. The vet didn’t actually check him for allergies, but it’s a safe bet to say he’s allergic to meat because the two times we tried to feed him dog food with meat in it (after we suspected this) he stopped eating. He eats fish instead. Fishes are yummy. In order to make treats both dogs could enjoy, I decided on the above recipe because it used peanut butter! My dogs are suckers for peanut butter.
Healthy Dog Treats
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup whole milk (Now, there may be a difference for using low-fat and whole milk. I ended up using whole milk because my mom refused to buy a gallon of low-fat specifically for the dogs. It should be fine to substitute the milk. Nothing’s happened to my dogs.)
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the peanut butter and milk.
Dry ingredients.
And wet ingredients!
3. Put the dry mixture into the wet mixture or vice versa. Mix well.
4. Knead dough on lightly floured surface or parchment paper. Knead out dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick and cut out shapes with card suit cookie cutters. Place on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out, let cool, and store in an airtight container. (And don’t forget to let your dog have a sneak taste!)
I was in the holiday spirit, so holiday treats are in there too.
My batch came out much larger than the original because I rolled the dough thinner and I used tiny cookie cutters. I know my parents have a habit of separating treats, so the smaller the cookie is, the easier it is to snap the treat in almost equal halves. Plus, my dogs are never given big chunks of treats. Thirdly, I wanted the homemade treats to last longer. I also bagged about six to give to Nate’s sister’s dogs. According to him, they devoured them. Maybe I should make them some dog treats, too!
My dogs took to the treats like dog-sharks. After I gave them a taste, they went around the island, looking to see if I’d give them more. The personality of my dogs showed pretty clearly. Chester sat close to me, knowing he wouldn’t get any more, but hoping that if he was good enough, he’d get another. Joey sniffed around for more and kept looking up at the island.
“Don’t. Move.” 
Chester noms on his treats nicely.
Joey usually takes them somewhere else to nom on.
 

Tuna Rolls

My mom made tuna rolls for me and my brothers when she doesn’t feel like cooking a full-on meal or can’t go out and get something. I love tuna rolls. They’re the only rolls I do eat at home. At restaurants, I eat most rolls. But that’s beside the point! I recently asked my mom how to make these, and I’ve made them twice so far. Delicious! Plus, I have plenty of leftovers for when I want a snack.

Tuna Rolls
Makes 10 rolls
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rice
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • A little bit of salt and pepper
  • Few spoonfuls of mayonnaise
  • 1 large can of tuna
  • 1 packet of seaweed
Directions
1. Wash and cook 3 cups of rice. The method doesn’t matter. I prefer using a rice cooker because I have one.
2. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl, then add the rice. Mix well. Attempt to coat all the rice with this mixture.
3. Drain the tuna and place in a bowl. Add mayonnaise and a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Use a roller with a paper towel underneath or a piece of plastic wrap. I cannot guarantee the plastic wrap will work because I’ve never used it. Place a piece of seaweed on top of the roller/plastic wrap, then cover the 3/4ths of the seaweed with rice. you shouldn’t have to use more than a scoop of rice because it needs to be spread thin.
This is what the roller I use looks like.
 
5. Put tuna in the first fourth of the rice. Then, roll up the roll. This is kind of tricky to do initially. Roll up a little bit of the roll and press. Then, take the bit you just rolled up, then roll it so it’s larger. (I may have to do a tutorial for this if it’s really confusing…)
6. Repeat until the ingredients run out. I wrap my tuna rolls up in plastic wrap if I’m not going to eat them immediately. They’ll keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
And there you have it! Tuna rolls!
 

Best Banana Bread

I am a huge fan of banana bread. My mom always made the best, and when I went off to college, she sent me the recipe so I could make it. Whenever I buy bananas, I purposely let three ripen so I can use it in the bread. It’s my favorite breakfast food.

Banana Bread
Ingredients
 
 
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 medium bananas, very ripe and peeled
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Butter (a little)
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, using the wooden spoon, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl, smash the bananas with the fork. Add the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended.
4. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Stir until just blended.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a wooden spoon. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a rack to cool for 20 minutes.
6. Gently run a table knife along the inside edge of the pan to loosen the bread from the sides. Using oven mitts, turn the pan on its side and slip the loaf out onto the cooling rack. Let the loaf cool for 15 minutes before serving.
And there you have it! The best banana bread I’ve ever had! It really is delicious. So soft and light. Drink it with a little milk and it makes the perfect breakfast.

Strawberry Nutella Muffins

A while back, I found the blog Two Peas and Their Pod and went through all the recipes that were on their blog. They have a ton of good ones. You should definitely check them out sometime! I stumbled across these delicious Strawberry Nutella Muffins. I had to make them. I absolutely love strawberry and nutella, so why not combine the two and follow this delicious recipe?

I’ve made this twice for breakfast. Both times, I skipped the turbinado sugar. The first time, I had no idea what it was. The second time, I figured I didn’t need it. According to TPaTP, it gives it some delicious crunch. My muffins tasted just fine without them! You may or may not want to put in a little more sugar to make up for lack of turbinado sugar, or just go and put the turbinado on. Either way, it’s delicious!

I also found out my dough was still dry after the amount of milk put in, so I suggest eyeballing it to see if the dough looks dry. If it does, pour in a little more.

Strawberry Nutella Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • Nutella
  • Turbinado sugar (optional)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease well.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
3. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the canola oil, egg, milk, and vanilla together. Whisk until well combined.
4. Combine the dry and wet mixtures in the medium bowl. Mix until just moist. Add in the strawberries, being careful not to mush any of them accidentally.
5. Fill each muffin cup with a spoonful of batter. If it looks like it’s lacking, put in a little more. Then add a tablespoon of Nutella on top of each mix. Use the remaining batter to cover up the nutella. (Optional step: Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar.)
6. Bake muffin for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool.
I didn’t wait for them to cool. I bit right into them! They make an excellent breakfast, and could probably make an excellent dessert as well. I have to be making these again sometime soon!

Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Today was such a good day! I didn’t have to go to class today, so I sat home until I had to go meet my student for tutoring. Did I mention it snowed today? So I got to spend the majority of my time sitting in the snow and freezing my butt off. Once I got back to the dorm, I ended up sitting in the room refusing to move. I made myself some egg drop soup. It ended up tasting pretty bland, so I had to pour more soy sauce in it. Time to make some changes to that recipe…

A little while ago, I made some pasta using this recipe. I made some changes to it. I had my own tomato sauce hanging around, and I added mushrooms. That’s pretty much all of the changes. My sauce had cinnamon, basil, and  in it, so it’s tastes much different that using, say, Ragu. Maybe I’ll post that sauce recipe up sometime. It was something I did on the fly.

Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) package bowtie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups homemade sauce OR 1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 mushrooms
Directions
1. Chop green pepper and onions and slice mushrooms. Place into a small bowl.
2. Bring a large pot of hot, lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until done al dente; drain and set aside.
3. Melt better in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms until onions and bell peppers are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add ground pork and cook until evenly brown. Drain excess fat.
4. In a large pot, heat spaghetti sauce until bubbling. Stir in pork mixture, pasta, and sour cream. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Just a warning, if you don’t use a large enough pot, pouring everything in will be messy. That silver pot I used wasn’t large enough to accommodate everything, and some of it spilled out. Enjoy your pasta!

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day and is getting a lot of candy. I, for one, am binge-eating the candy I collected on Sunday. As of tomorrow, I won’t be able to eat sugar. I agreed to join an anti-sugar diet with Susanna, Olivia, and Sam. No refined sugar for three weeks. That means marshmallows, hot chocolate, and just about everything I eat. One of the guys across the hall said to check the ketchup. There’s sugar in my ketchup. I am going to fail this diet! One of my necessary dinner foods is omelet rice, and that needs ketchup. I guess my anti-sugar diet will be eat-less-sugar diet.

So apparently I can’t put sugar even if I’m baking something. So if I’m making banana bread, I can’t use sugar. I can’t use sugar in muffins. Okay, never mind. I’m making this diet a diet without candy, soda, and desserts. That’s the best I’m going to be able to do. I need sugar for my baking. I’m not letting my strawberries rot because of this diet.

Anyway… A while ago, I had to look up recipes using tomatoes. I got some tomatoes from helping out at the gardens and I needed to use them. None of my roommates wanted to use the tomatoes. I found one I could use! Admittedly, these tomatoes are not the garden tomatoes. I used them all making tomato sauce.

Here is the recipe! (Adapted for the fact I’ve used so many vegetables)
Scrambled Eggs and Vegetables
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • little bit of salt
  • Soy sauce
Directions
  1. Spray a frying pan with PAM or melt butter. Scramble eggs until almost done, then move into a plate.
  2. Put the carrots in first and cook for three minutes. Then put in the tomatoes, mushrooms, and green onions. Cook another three minutes.
  3. Put in the sugar, salt, and soy sauce and mix well. Add eggs back in an cook for a minute longer. Put onto a plate.
  4. Enjoy!
It tastes delicious.

Yakisoba

During my trip to the oriental market, I picked up some yakisoba noodles. I haven’t had yakisoba in forever, and truthfully, I wanted some. A lot. Today I finally got the chance to make some! I have a grand total of two more times to make it before I need to go get more noodles. Here’s the recipe for yakisoba! It’s quick and simple, and doesn’t take much effort. You can put almost anything in the yakisoba. More common additions are carrots, lettuce, and meat, but I put mushrooms in mine. You can also include onions or green onions or whatever you want, really. Whatever tastes good to you!

For the yakisoba noodles, I used Nama Yakisoba. It comes with all the noodles prepacked into nice little servings and has a sauce pack for each one. It’s really nice! It looks something like this:
Yakisoba
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package of yakisoba noodles
  • 1 package yakisoba sauce
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 medium mushrooms
  • 1 leaf lettuce
Directions
  1. Cut the lettuce, mushrooms, and carrot into small pieces.
  2. Heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Put noodles in and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour water into the pan and soften the noodles with it. Put in the cut up vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes. Before doing anything else, check to make sure the water has evaporated. If not, keep cooking everything.
  4. Put the sauce on the noodles and mix it well. Try to get the sauce on everything. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. The sauce will find a way on.
Looking back at my cooking, I realized I put in more carrots than I liked, so I may only use half of the carrot next time. I may also try to cook the vegetables first, then put in the oil and start cooking the noodles. The carrot tasted raw… I’m not a fan of raw carrots. To me, if I can poke a hole through a carrot easily, it’s probably not a cooked carrot. I’m going to put in meat next time, because chicken has become my new favorite meat and it would make this yakisoba taste great!
I don’t know what’s up next. Maybe curry? Maybe another thing from allrecipes where I decide to modify the recipe a bit? I know a really good breakfast food I should do…

Egg Drop Soup

I’ve recently had sore… Whatever, I’m not quite sure what. It’s at the little depression where your collarbone meets. It hurt like hell last night and my boyfriend recommended drinking tea. That helped, so I decided that tonight would be the perfect night to make egg drop soup! I used this Easy Egg Drop Soup recipe!

When I opened up the recipe, though, I found right away that I got the wrong sized can of chicken broth. My can was 10 ounces- already a problem. I decided to use the recipe as a list of what I needed and created my own egg drop soup! It tasted fantastic.
Egg Drop Soup
One serving
Ingredients:
  • 1 can (approx. 10.5oz) Campbell’s Chicken Broth
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 teaspoons+ a few dashes of soy sauce (I used Kroger’s low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon+four or five pinches of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon+2 pinches of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • An egg
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
Utensils:
  • A small pot
  • A bowl
  • A whisk or fork to mix everything together
  • Measuring cups
Directions:
  1. Chop up the green onions and open your can of Campbell’s Chicken Broth. Pour both into a small pan and heat on medium. Bring that to a boil.
  2. Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl until smooth. Mix into the pot and heat that up for 1-2 minutes. It’ll start bubbling again. Don’t worry about it.
  3. Crack an egg into a bowl and add the 2 teaspoons of cold water. Mix together, then pour into soup. Use a fork to mix up the egg. Leave it for 2 minutes, or until the egg is cooked. Pour into a bowl and eat while hot!
This had a strong hint of soy sauce at the beginning, but as I drank more, the soy sauce taste went away. If it tastes too strong because of the soy sauce, add more cornstarch, sugar, and/or water. It’ll take care of the problem.
The soup really took care of my throat. It doesn’t hurt as badly as it did this morning. I still feel it when I swallow normally or swallow water, but it’s definitely not a distracting pain. I really wonder what it could be… I’m thinking it’s a cold. But if this doesn’t get any better by tomorrow, I’m going to set an appointment with the student health clinic to check it out. I really hope it’s just a cold.