August 30, 2011

Gadget Love

YJDKIY lives in a 91 year old house. Insane right? And although the Green Kitchen was redone just a couple of years ago, we're still lacking one common modern convenience:

The garbage disposal. I don't really miss it, since I never had one growing up, and certainly not in those college apartments. But that doesn't mean we don't have our fair share of well, food-related garbage. Enter my latest $7 Stein Mart find!

The most ingenious invention from OXO.  It's not just any sink drain strainer. It's flexy! So, when you're ready to empty, just flip, press the bottom, and poof!

All the sink goo flips out an into the trash without you ever having to touch it. Plus, there are no weird edges for stuff to get stuck on. I've tried the cheap $2 basket/mesh ones (bent/broke, never got clean), a nice $4 (melted with a hot pan placed in the sink, and stained) plastic one, so the $14 to outfit our sinks was well worth it in my opinion.

In case you are jealous, you can order your own from Amazon!

August 29, 2011

Fall Preview

There was a bit of a nip in the air this morning. It made me think fall. And that, of course, means pumpkin. I love the butternut version of this, and I had a can sitting in the pantry.

Saute some baby spinach and most of a sweet yellow onion. Add in 1/2-3/4 can of pumpkin and reduce heat to low. Prepare a white sauce using 1 t butter, 1/2 c light soy milk, and some flour to thicken, mix in a little of the cheddar until melty. I also always add in garlic powder. Mix 1/2 the sauce in the pumpkin-spinach mix and set the rest aside. Meanwhile, cook 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles as directed.

Cool the noodles and spread the mix evenly over the length of one noodle.

Roll'em up and place in a greased baking dish.

Top with remaining white and cheddar.

Bake ~ 30 minutes at 375-400 (YJDKIY is the worst recipe instruction giver ever huh?).

These were funner to eat than they were to taste. Def love the butternut lasagna better...the pumpkin, although providing a nice creamy ricotta-like (healthier) consistency, is just bland and there isn't enough cheese or other flavor to really kick.

Perhaps topping with tomato based sauce instead of white would have been good. They did make a nice and easy packable leftover lunch for the next day though!

August 28, 2011

Laboring Toward Labor Day

For $10 at the Farmers Market I got: 3 peppers,  a bag of stringless green beans, a green pepper, a sweet onion, 2 cucumbers, 3 summer squash, and 3 asian pears (SO happy those are back at the FM).

SUNDAY: Pumpkin & Spinach Stuffed Shells
MONDAY: Pineapple Chicken, Green Beans
TUESDAY: Quinoa Summer Vegetable Salad
WEDNESDAY: Red Beans & Rice with Shrimp & Chips
THURSDAY: Tofu Veggie Quiche
FRIDAY: on your own
SATURDAY: Taragon Tuna Toasties
SUNDAY: Black Bean Sweet Potato Boats
MONDAY: Corn, Notdogs, Coleslaw (oops, that is Memorial Day isn't it?)

August 27, 2011

You're Welcome

You can thank me for this post! Since I knew I liked Good Housekeeping's Pasta Sauce, I thought I would give this one a try.

I even sliced up the tofu to marinate for a couple of hours.

Fresh local green beans.

Basmati rice from the Earthfare bulk bin

Pan seared.

Add red pepper slices and boiled green beans and lid-it to simmer for a while. Add some more of the sauce.

It looked like it should taste good, and it wasn't bad, I guess. But after my last curry, this was disappointing. I found the simmer sauce to just be spicy hot with no real flavor.

So, save your $4 (it was on sale!) and make it from scratch.

August 26, 2011

Hot Potato

This was SUCH an easy twist on twice-baked potatoes.

Microwave them for about 8 minute each. Then scoop out, combine with artichoke hearts, a LOT of garlic powder and some grated parm. Restuff and bake for about 15-20 minutes on 375 until melty. Served with  my perfect collards. This recipe is now officially tried and true (I even used veg stock this time).

August 23, 2011

Rockin & Rollin New Recipe

Literally! More on that (clicky) in a minute though...

Totally awesome recipe coming at you. And I mostly just invented in my little YJDKIY bobble head. Hold on, I'm getting to that (different clicky).

Un-cob the fresh, local, sweet white corn and microwave it for about 1 minute.

Thin slice 2 zucchinis and dice half an onion.

Saute those three ingredients in EVOO with some cumin and cilantro until tender, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap corn tortillas in damp paper cloth and microwave for a minute.

Pam the pyrex (fun expression, no?) and layer a bit of salsa, 4 tortillas and the corn-zuch mix.

Ignore the cheesemongrel.

Top with cheddar, salsa, and olives. Repeat, finishing with a layer of tortillas and a bit of salsa.

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

This was such a good combination. Sweet fresh corn is the key. The look on their faces sums up the day...

HUH?! What was that? Is that ... an EARTHQUAKE?! I was in a meeting at 1:50 when the loud rumbling started. We all talked over it for a few seconds and then quickly realized there wasn't a lawn crew outside the door. The beverages on the table were sloshing and the door joints were very squeaky! It felt like driving over the rumble strips on the side of the road. The weirdest thing was that I suwannee (so worth-it clicky) it lasted about a minute despite reports of 20-30 seconds. The funnest part, of course, was the social media flurry for the next 2 hours (I'm pretty sure no one was actually doing work this afternoon). It made me slightly more endeared to Twitter.

That was the second quake I've felt in Winston, the first was in 2006 at like 5 am and was just a loud noise and quick rattle, enough to wake me up. My very first quake experience was like a 2.1 in Boonetacular in high school. Who knew?! And as one of my favorite local reporters said: "stop rolling your eyes at us, Cali!"

Obligatory: Did you feel it?

August 22, 2011

Green and White Pizza

YJDKIY had some store bought (whole wheat) pizza crusts sitting around. After making my own dough with the quick rise yeast, it's hard to justify ever using these. They kinda taste and feel like cardboard, and don't expire for 2 months. Never a good sign.

At any rate, I didn't want them to go to waste, so I invented an alternative to red sauce. Hey if it turned out bad, at least I wasn't wasting good dough! The green ingredients.

And the white.

Four cubes of frozen pesto mixed with half a container of fat-free ricotta (plus I added extra fresh garlic because the pesto maker doesn't use as much as I do).

Spread across the crust just like sauce and top.

Bake for about 10 minutes at 405.

It was kind of like green cheesy toast. Good, but not great. The second one got a little tomato sauce added to the pesto-ricotta mix and that helped significantly! Overall, can't complain about this 20 minute dinner.

August 19, 2011

The Week Ahead

SUNDAY: Cheesy Butternut Bake
MONDAY: Green & White Pizza
TUESDAY: Zucchini-Corn Enchiladas
WEDNESDAY: Nocream Creamy Broccoli Bake
THURSDAY: Seared Tofu with Green Beans & Asian Coconut Sauce over basmati
FRIDAY: Artichoke-stuffed Baked Potatoes & Kale (didn't happen last week!)

August 16, 2011

Totally Honest Tempeh Wraps

YJDKIY has one gorge looking tempeh wrap to share with you.

Pretty simple ingredients. More plastic than I'd like, though.

Slice the tempeh in triangles and then thin it in half.

Do the same to the apple and cheddar.

Saute in a cooking spray'd pan. Notice that weird moldy looking piece?

(clicky the pic to enlarge if you can't read...that doesn't really make me feel better)

They'll start to get golden and crispy. 

Prepare your wrap with a base of apples and spinach. 

Top the tempeh triangles with some cheddar and lid-it to melt. 

Nom! Doesn't that look delicious? I couldn't wait to take the first bite it was so gorge.

And then I promptly recoiled in horror. All my previous dislike of tempeh came flooding back. It. Was. Gross. Bitter, bland, and well, moldy tasting.  Apparently I don't like this kind, I only like the high-sodium masked by other flavors tempeh. I told you it was Totally Honest.

August 15, 2011

Our Own Potluck

The neighborhood was having a picnic last night. I love potluck style dinner, but the whole concept, well I just can't handle food sitting for 3 hours and made in who knows what kitchen. I'm not young or male, after all.

Not to miss out on all the fun though. I made our own!

Clockwise from 12. Caprese pasta salad, homemade tortilla chips, peach salsa, sparagus, black bean cakes over baby romaine with cucumber-radish chutney. What a hodgepodge!

August 13, 2011


SUNDAY: Those lentil enchiladas that never happened.
MONDAY: Other cooker shrimp & veggie specialty
TUESDAY: On your own!
THURSDAY: Salads with MSF
FRIDAY: Artichoke stuffed potatoes, kale
SATURDAY: Date nite!

grocery list
artichoke hearts
fresh parm
cooking wine

August 12, 2011

Being Green

This is what happens when YJDKIY is crunched for time and/or is only cooking for one! At least it's green! Spinach pasta, frozen green beans, frozen pesto. Done.

August 8, 2011

State of Tom

Join Tom's of Maine in supporting nonprofit organizations.

50 States for Good is a national initiative to support the goodness behind grassroots community projects, and we need your help! Six organizations will share in our $150,000 sponsorship fund, including one organization that will be given $50,000!

Our panel of judges selected 20 non-profit finalists doing great things in their communities. Now we need your help. Your votes determine which organizations get funding! Vote Now.

HERE'S THE COOL PART: Leader Board. In case you're too lazy to click through, I'll tell you:

Galveston Island Tree Conservancy
Alamance County Meals on Wheels - Fresh Food to Seniors
The Lands Council - Reforest Spokane Day
Joplin Peace Garden - School of Metaphysics
Parkway Partners - ReLeaf New Orleans East
Philly Friendship Circle - Friends for a Caring World

 GO VOTE LOCAL! You can vote once a day until September 13. 

August 7, 2011


Not to be confused with What-A-Burger. I really wish I liked hamburgers because these places are all retro MCM fast food cool.

TUESDAY: Nature Burger (i.e. YJDKIY whataburger)
WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti with Soysage, Peppers and Chard Sauce
THURSDAY: Mama Pea's Red & Green Lentil Enchiladas
FRIDAY: Homemade Pizza
SATURDAY: Tempeh Wraps with hummus, spinach, apples, and white cheddar

August 2, 2011

My Second Curry

This is My First Curry. It's pretty good. But My Second Curry is sort of showing it up.

Start with all this, pretty simple right? The secret ingredient is the coconut milk (not to be confused with coconut water, which is very different, and I wrote about here). One thing I didn't realize is that coconut milk has a lot of saturated fat. But, as we know, all fats are not created equal, and there is considerable thought that it is indeed good for you (LA Times article). The bottom line for me though, is, like with many other things, moderation. Fixing this once every other month....not going to kill you. Eating it every day...probably not wise.

The other, not so secret ingredients: low sodium everything.

I digress. Chop up two sweet potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes.

Dice a sweet yellow onion and 4-6 large gloves of garlic.

Saute. Add curry powder, pepper, garlic salt, ginger, turmeric. I did not measure, duh.

Ever wonder exactly what is in curry powder?

Once translucent, add chick peas, sweet potato, frozen peas, water, and coconut milk (it will be gross coming out of the can). Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring frequently. Add a little more curry powder and garlic salt to taste.

Add the tomatoes and simmer 5-10 more minutes.

Remove lid, and bring to a boil again to reduce any excess liquid (you want it slightly runny but not soupy).

Prepare base of basmati rice and top.

Holy. This turned out superduperdelish and was pretty easy to make, the hardest part was peeling and cutting the potato, and who can't do that?

This is definitely a keeper and tasted even better the next day for leftover lunch.


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