March 29, 2011

silent j

Do you know what this is?

I was first introduced to jicama (pronounced hick-a-ma) at The Prickly Pear in Mooresville, NC (yummy and one of my favorite Mexican restaurants!).

I've since kept an eye on it in the store, but they always seemed unfresh and weird. But then last week, Harris Teeter had them on VIC!

Peeled and sliced. Julienned would be better.

And coated in lime juice, cilantro, and Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime.

Excellent as a cold crunchy snack.

But even better on my mile high Nature Burger with avocado and sprouts.

More info on the yambean, or jicama from Wikipedia.

Nutritional information (go go Vitamin C and Dietary Fiber)

March 28, 2011


Vegan by accident! You know what YJDKIY hates more than anything about cooking right? Well, ok, I really hate exploding pyrex dishes and oversodiumified foods, but go with it. Mini-trips to the grocery store after my weekly shopping is done. So realizing I'd forgotten ricotta at about 6 pm last night could have spelled disaster for my spinach-ricotta lasagna rollups.

But no! Ingenious that I am, I'd been saving half a block of tofu (which may or may not be known as toadfood in this house!).

Combine with a little basil, pepper, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, kosher salt, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, and EVOO.

And what do you get? Vegan ricotta. I swear it was almost exactly like the real stuff, but healthy!

The yeast is the trick! I find it funny that I had allllll those weird ingredients, but not ricotta.

Moving on, 8 whole wheat lasagna rolls and some Earthfare sauce.

After they cook, place them in a cool water bath, and begin layering the tofucotta.

Then some spinach leaves.

And sauce. Carefully roll them lengthwise and place in a greased pyrex.

Bake for 25 minutes on 375 and finish with a 5-8 minute broil! I ended up topping with a little mozza though, so they weren't vegan in the end, but very easily could do without.

Someone else was getting worried I'd forgotten her dinner too.

Lucky for her I don't think you can make dogfood out of toadfood.

March 27, 2011

um, is it april fools?

3/28/11 weather forecast for 28144 (last week I wanted to turn on the AC because it was 78 degrees inside...and 83 outside!):


After planning my week of yummy eats, complete with exotic items like jicama, swiss chard, and greek yogurt, YJDKIY felt a little guilty. You see, the Winston-Salem Journal published two articles this week about the hunger crisis in our area.

First, on the 25th:
The first reaction to the news last week that Winston-Salem ranked third in the nation in a survey of people who say they don't have enough money to feed their families is incredulity.
The survey by Gallup for the Food Research and Action Center, both reputable organizations, shows that in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and three surrounding counties, 25 percent of families said they had trouble in the past year paying for food. Only the Fresno and Riverside metropolitan areas in California were ranked higher. Greensboro ranked fourth, Asheville seventh. North Carolina tied with Arkansas for sixth place among states with the most hunger problems.
Next, on the 26th:
Nearly one in five people in North Carolina don't know where their next meal will come from, according to a new national report.

ONE IN FIVE!! So, I've decided to seek out a few resources for making a difference in this area.

Feeding America

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC: Empty Bowls, Kids Cafe
Second Harvest Food Bank Metrolina

And...most importantly: LOCAL!!!!
I've put a widget up over there on the right to help you find your local food bank. I spend about $60-90 each week on groceries. Could I donate even just one more dollar a week to my local food bank? For Second Harvest, $1 = $12 of food they can distribute. Or, can you donate your Lowe's Fresh Rewards? Maybe you want to host a food drive in honor of an event? If you can't find something through the food bank, check other helping ministries, grocery stores, Goodwill, or church organizations in your area.

March 26, 2011


When I said last week was fend for yourself week, I apparently meant the blog too. It didn't really fend for itself, though, it just sat here and stagnated. This week hopefully brings:  some weeknight posts, a new extra paycheck slash what was I thinking experiment, uuughhhhh 530 am trips to the Y, and maybe, just maybe if you are lucky, the Saturday Summary.

SUNDAY: Cheesy Lasagna Rolls with Spinach & Ricotta
MONDAY: Nature Burgers, leftover broccoli, jicama fries
TUESDAY: Greens with Carrots, Feta & Brown Rice, Pan-fried tofu
WEDNESDAY: Pizza night (stay tuned for special news this day!)
THURSDAY: Panko (organic) Chicken, green peas, potatoes
FRIDAY: Cheesy Butternut Bake
SATURDAY: Pasta primavera

March 20, 2011

We had this instead

Tangy Tempeh Kitchen Sink Salad

Cleaning out the fridge last night! Combine one can of garbanzo beans, plus some pasta, one diced yellow squash and zucchini blanched, some extra spicy green onion, and sauted Tofurky Sesame-Garlic Tempeh. Add some lemon juice, basil, a LOT of garlic powder, pepper, and rosemary. Serve warm topped with tomatoes or parmesan.

March 15, 2011

Warm Quinoa-Bean Salad with Feta

Cook some quinoa. Add a can of red beans, some diced red pepper and onion. Mix. In a separate dish, mix EVOO, balsamic, agave, a ton of basil, spicy brown mustard, pepper, garlic powder and a tiny dash of salt. Drizzle over quinoa-beans and stir well. Top with feta. Nuke for 45 seconds. Done!

March 14, 2011


Now that we're back up and running, here is a missed meal! Maple glazed tofu and spaghetti squash.

This tofu pressed for about an hour before cooking. It really turned out well, seared with nothing but a dash of EVOO and garlic powder.

A tiny little Winter Harvest remnant, this spaghetti squash was extra thick and baked for about an hour with nothing but a little brown sugar.

Unpictured: the glaze. I combined EVOO, soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic powder and pepper and cooked it on medium heat until it was more of a reduction. It needed a little more brown sugar, but added a tasty tangy-sweet flavor and the two bland ingredients weren't bland at all!

March 13, 2011

Blogging live from...

The Neeeew MacBook Pro! After the Crash of Twenty-Ten,  cranky router play and inability to update the iPhone, it was time to say goodbye to the Little Black Book (who at a whopping old age of 5.5 had endured a lot!). Little did I know the Silver Fox would arrive so early and via special in-person delivery. :)

March 11, 2011


SUNDAY: Quinoa & Bean Salad (RRED) with Shrimp
MONDAY: Tofu & Veggie Stirfry with Brown Rice
TUESDAY: Black Bean & Spinach Quesadillas
WEDNESDAY: Chicken Meatballs & Spinach Spaghetti
THURSDAY: Salad with MSF (other cooker!)
FRIDAY: Marinated Veggie & Tempeh Kabobs

March 9, 2011

Couldn't wait!

With the unseasonably warm weather on February 27, I started one tray of baby basils and sage.

The basils are such allstars! Haven't seen the sage yet. Apparently the warm weather is gone, so these guys have been camping on top of the fridge.

March 8, 2011

Perfect Risotto Recip

This was delish!

Saute shallots in EVOO for 1-2 minutes. Add one cup of risotto and saute 2 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken/vege broth or water and stir until absorbed. Continute adding 1/2 cups of liquid and let it absorb until desired tenderness. Mix in a little dry white or cooking wine and garlic powder.

Meanwhile, saute diced shiitakes in EVOO for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped asparagus and artichoke hearts. Add dry white or cooking wine and saute 5 minutes.

Combine everything and top with fresh ground black pepper.

March 7, 2011


There wasn't much left in the fridge on Friday night.

Hmm...what to turn this into? First up, zucchini-tuna fritters.

TJ's was the first place I have ever seen no salt added canned tuna. This stuff could change life as you know it. I love the protein and ease of canned tuna, but detest the usually high sodium count and worry over the humaneness of it.

No need! It also tasted realllllly different. Like fresh tuna steaks...ok maybe not fresh, but not anything like normal canned tuna.

Grate the zucchini, and then drain out some of the water. Cheese cloth would work much better than this strainer.

Mash it all together with an egg, some spices, onion and bread crumbs.

Form into patties and pan fry with PAM for a while on medium heat...long enough to get a lot of the moisture out, so minimum 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I thawed some frozen spinach (forgot the fresh on the grocery list!), and mixed with a can of cannellini beans.

Those were NOT low sodium. WHY is this necessary?

Once that was mixed well, I added some garlic powder and pepper and about 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and let it marinate.

After about 10 minutes, I sauted it in the wok for about 8-10 minutes.

These were just ok. They needed some kind of sauce, maybe a cucumber chutney or something, though.

March 6, 2011

What happened to the weekend?!

We got all kinds of random treats in the last WH basket this week. Shiitakes, basil & garlic goat cheese, feta cheese, butter, whole wheat bread, ice cream, micro greens (I think), honey, chocolate spread, rocky road squares, and granola. None of that really lends itself to good cooking, so we will see what happens!!

SUNDAY: No-Cream Creamy Broccoli Soup with WH bread

MONDAY: Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

TUESDAY: freezer diving on your own!

WEDNESDAY: Maple-Glazed Tofu with Spaghetti Squash and Sesame Kale

THURSDAY: Pecan-Crusted Dijon Tilapia with cabbage-carrot stew (didn't happen last week!)

FRIDAY: Coconut-oil roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, snack & cheese

March 3, 2011

Chard, Sausage & Lemon Pasta

YJDKIY busted out a treat that has been in the freezer since November. At one of the last farmer's market, we bought some local sweet sausage from Wild Turkey Farms. We've had their tenderloin and some zesty sausage and although I don't eat a lot of meat, it is definitely tops on my list for when I do.

Not only because it tastes good, but because it is local and I trust the way the owners have raised their pigs. However, I don't really do raw meat. It was time to call in some reinforcements!

Other cooker to the rescue! Hooray...and can I just say, those casing things...gahhhrooossss. I think you could make this vegetarian with the Tofurky kielbasa or smart ground. And then your whole house wouldn't smell like sausage. Moving on to the other ingredients!

Rainbow chard! And lots of it. This was the freshest we've been able to get in a long time, but still not local. Can't wait til I can make this with all local ingredients! There was a really rainbow selection this time, usually it's just plain ol' red & green.  Four to be exact...FOUR!


I keep digressing...ANYWAY!
The rest of this recipe was a somewhat healthier cream sauce.

Which I have FINALLY perfected (all about the stirring!). I added some ground pepper and a TON of garlic powder to this.

Meanwhile, add in the chopped chard, once the sausage is browned.  Overheard more than once: "Are you suuuuure it's done?"

These local noodles were some of the yummiest spinach noodles I've had. You could actually taste the spinach, which was a nice earthy complement.

Layer it on!


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