Category: Make Your Own


I bought wrappers in a hurry yesterday, intending to make potstickers when I got home, without realizing I had grabbed egg roll wrappers instead of won ton wrappers.  I googled to see if I could make potstickers out of the egg roll wrappers.  Conflicting information as to how well it would work to use egg roll wrappers to make potstickers made me decide to make egg rolls instead.  I had already made the filling mixture for potstickers, so the filling is more meat and less veggies than I would have used if I’d planned egg rolls from the start.

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1 package Nasoya egg roll wrappers

2 lb. ground turkey

1 large sweet onion, chopped finely

1 package chop salad

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. salt

1tsp. five spice mix

Cook onion in oil until softened.

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Sprinkle with salt and five spice.  Add in chop salad.  Cook over low heat until softened.

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Place veggies in colander lined with paper towels to drain off excess moisture.

At this point, I added the veggies to the meat and stirred in the ginger and soy sauce for the potsticker filling and refrigerated it.  Then I realized I was going to make egg rolls instead, so I cooked the meat mixture and broke it up and cooked the turkey through.  I drained the meat and refrigerated it to cool enough to make the egg rolls.

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I used my mini ice cream scoop and put two scoops on each wrap.  I followed the instructions on the package of how to fold it.  Point down, place filling on center.  Place bottom point up over the filling, then fold in the sides, and roll.  I placed them on a baking sheet brushed with oil.

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Spray top of the egg rolls with cooking spray or brush with oil.   Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden.

These were great!  Not as much work as potstickers either.  Daniel said they were like potsticker egg rolls.  Makes sense.

These would be a good way to use up leftovers.  The wraps are flaky and crispy.  I have another package and can’t wait to try another variation!

 

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I originally intended to serve the veggie “meat”balls I made the day Jeannine was over with coconut curry sauce.  Unfortunately (or as it turns out fortunately) I mistook a pouch of lemongrass basil sauce by Saffron Road for a coconut curry sauce by Imagine.  It was delicious!  I had some orzo on hand and a kale and brussel spouts chop salad, and so I cooked a veggie and orzo risotto type thing inspired by a recipe I saw Chef Jean-Pierre prepare with barley the night Lein, Molly, and I went to his cooking school dinner show.  This one’s a keeper.   Proof that good ingredients and an open mind can lead to phenomenal results!

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I baked the veggie “meat”ball mixture I made for 400 F for 20 minutes.  I used an ice cream scoop to make them all the same size.  When I rolled them, I put olive oil in my hands, so they were coated in a thin coating of olive oil.

Veggie Burgers

They came out nice and golden.

I put a thin layer of the lemongrass basil sauce in a 13 x 9 baking dish and placed the “meat”balls in it.  I spooned the rest of the sauce over them, and baked them at 350F.

Meanwhile, I cooked a Taylor Farms kale chop salad mix that had brussel sprouts in it over low heat, and boiled the orzo with ginger, garlic, and salt in the water.   I seasoned the veggies with 2 tsp. garam masala.  and when the orzo was done and the veggies were softened, I added 2 Tbsp. butter, a splash of red wine, and tossed in the orzo and a can of cannelini beans and heated it through and let it thicken a little.  I didn’t measure anything, but tasted as I went along.

This was far and away everyone’s favorite vegetarian meal to date!

 

 

 

What’s even more fun that cooking?  Cooking with friends!!  Jeannine came over today for a to make veggie burgers.  We shared ingredients.  We shared thoughts on future variations.  We chopped.  We seasoned.  We ground.  It was fun!

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I cooked up some brown rice with wild rice mixture.  I seasoned it with garlic and salt while it cooked in the rice cooker.

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I gathered the ingredients, condiments, and seasonings, so it was all laid out.

Jeannine did the same.

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It all gets combined in a big container.

 

It then gets run through a meat grinder to make it the right consistency to make into burgers and meatballs.  I taste some of the rice to make sure it’s seasoned well enough.  If it tastes good raw, it will taste amazing cooked!

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Amazing how much it looks like meat, right?

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I put this in the fridge until tomorrow, when I make the burgers and meatballs.  I use an ice cream scoop for uniformity of size.  It keeps up to a week with no problem.

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As usual, I did a double batch.  This makes 8 burgers and approximately 16-18 meatballs.

6 c. oatmeal

3-4 c. cooked rice

1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed.

1 c. matchstick carrots

1 c. cubed cooked beets

1/2 c. riced cauliflower

2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

1 Tbsp. spicy mustard

1 Tbsp. coriander lime seasoning

1 Tbsp. sriracha

Combine all ingredients.  Taste the mixture to see if the seasoning is sufficient (I tend to underseason).

Run through the meat grinder, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Form into burgers or meatballs at least 8 hours before use.

I store them in the fridge on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil, covered with plastic wrap until use.

Bake at 400F for 15-25 minutes.  I brush the tops with oil to make them get a little more golden.

I bake the meatballs ahead too, at the same time I’m cooking the burgers, and then the night we are having them, re-bake them in a sauce.

 

 

 

 

I again made a batch of veggie burgers and veggie meatballs in anticipation of Molly and Lein coming for a visit.  We had the meatballs in General Tso sauce over vegetable fried rice/quinoa.  Adding kimchi and/or banh mi veggies on top gave it a nice crunchy fresh texture.

Gen Tso Meatballs

The veggie burgers and meatballs are quite a bit of work, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort!  This is a double recipe to make two night’s meals of either burgers or meatballs.  I more or less doubled the original recipe I found.  The variations are endless, but basically, I use a grain (rice or rice mixture), oatmeal, beans, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and then a liquid, like the balsamic glaze and vinaigrette last time.  This time, I had some beet chutney on hand, and that served as the liquid.  This is the variation I tried this time.  Remember – this is a big batch – enough for 2 meals.

Something interesting I learned at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school.  He asked “how do you know what size to dice something if the recipe doesn’t specify?”  The answer – it depends on how long your cooking time is.  The longer it will cook, the larger the pieces so they don’t disintegrate.  Which makes perfect sense.  The veggies in this recipe are going through a meat grinder.  I used a medium dice on the onion and celery.

6 cups cooked brown rice/wild rice mixture (I can’t wait to try other grains!)
1 cup packed oatmeal
1 can black beans (I will soon be trying this with Cannilini)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cups diced onions
1 small can cubed beets
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 small jar beet chutney  (The original recipe called for sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
3. Portion into patties or balls, shaping them how you will be baking them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed with olive oil in the fridge and refrigerate at least overnight. I used my standard ice cream scoop.  (I’ve kept them up to 5 days and they were still delicious).  This keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)  If you don’t have an extra fridge like I do, you might want to put them in a tupperware with waxed paper between layers.

Bake in 400F oven 40 minutes for the burgers, 25 for the meatballs, if you are going to bake them a second time with a sauce, like I do.

I used a bottled sauce (Fusia brand), which was surprisingly low in sodium and  delicious.

After the meatballs are baked, I placed a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil, and then topped them with the rest of the sauce.  I then baked them for another 15 minutes

The fried rice was actually rice cooked in a rice cooker that I tossed with some stir fried broccoli slaw.  No egg this time.

 

These are another variation of the JAlexander’s veggie burger copycat we love.  The veggie burgers are definitely a lot of work and contain a lot of ingredients, but they are so worth it.  I decided to experiment and double the recipe and make veggie meatballs.  To keep them vegetarian, I made a veggie broth based onion “gravy”.  I have a sheet pan of veggie burgers in the fridge we’re going to eat later this week.  It cracks me up that I bought a meat grinder and only have used it to make veggie burgers!

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Remember – this is a double recipe!  It made 8 burgers that are 2 standard ice cream scoop size each and 16 veggie meatballs that are 1 standard ice cream scoop size.

6 C. cooked brown rice

1  C. oatmeal

1 can black beans, rinsed and well drained

3/4 C. diced cooked beets

4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 c. carrot matchsticks

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.

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Feed through meat grinder and refrigerate 1 hour.

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Shape into burgers or meatballs and place on baking sheets lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least overnight.  Important! Do not bring to room temperature before cooking.  Take them straight from the fridge to the oven.

Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

For the meatballs, I put them in the gravy and baked them 15 more minutes at 425 F.

The meatballs were amazing.  I will be making them much more often, and will cook and then freeze them for future use.

 

 

 

 

I had some not so fresh anymore bread, some leftover squash puree, and three eggs on hand.  Food obsessed, waste not person that I am, I felt they were begging to be made into bread pudding!  The idea came to me since the squash puree was a little pumpkin pie ish, in other words, sweeter than I intended.  You could easily substitute canned pumpkin and sweeten it or canned pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened.  This would be a nice addition to any brunch!  The picture is from the Betty Crocker website.  The picture I took of mine with my new camera was an epic fail!  Since we were having it for breakfast, mine was served with butter and maple syrup.  Also, I opted to not put any nuts in mine.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

3 C. pumpkin pie filling (I actually used leftover puree of acorn squash, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash)

8 C. cubed not so fresh bread

2 C. almond milk

3 eggs

Spray baking dish and put bread cubes in it.

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Combine puree, milk and eggs

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Pour over bread cubes and toss gently.  At this point, I refrigerated mine overnight.  You can cook it right away, though.  Make sure all the bread is completely immersed in the liquid.

Bake at 350 F for one hour.

This was yummy topped with butter and maple syrup.

 

 

 

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2 lb ground  turkey

1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage

1 egg

2 heaping Tbsp. Sweet pickle relish

1 Tbsp. Minced garlic

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. Oatmeal

Combine all ingredients and form into meatballs.

Bake in baking dish sprayed coconut oil. At 375 for 40 minutes.

Refrigerate or freeze.

On the day you are having these, heat until warmed through.  Cover with sauce or gravy of choice and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Super Bowl Sunday would be more exciting if my team (The Steelers) were in it.  However, I decided to watch the game, and commercials, and half time, while food preparing for the week ahead.  Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a BOGO sale on chicken cutlets.  We loved stuffed chicken, but the old days (before Donnie’s non-dairy days) consisted of chicken stuffed with cheese.  This no cheese version is amazingly cheesy tasting!

Chicken and cous cous

The prep plan:

Food Prep Sunday

“Cheesy” Stuffed Chicken

12 Chicken Cutlets

1 Container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

4 oz.  Vegan Mozzarella Shreds

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 oz. hard salami, finely chopped

Ranch Dressing (I used Cilantro Lime) – any dressing will do though.

Balsamic Glaze

Pound chicken cutlets flat and dry.

Cook onion, celery, and carrots in a little olive oil until softened.

Cheesy Chicken filling

Add in Tofutti cream cheese, and melt.  Stir in salami and vegan shreds.

Fill each cutlet with some of the cream cheese mixture and roll.

Pour dressing of choice in two 13 x 9 baking dishes – just enough to coat the bottom.

Place rolled cutlets in baking dishes.

Spoon remaining filling over the chicken.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Cheesy Chicken before baking

Bake at 325 for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cooked frozen chard and garbanzo’s on the stovetop over low heat.

Chard and Garbanzos

I cooked some pearl cous cous in the rice cooker, and combined it with the chard and garbanzos for serving.

Totally yummy and cheesy tasting with NO CHEESE!!

 

 

 

I try to make a breakfast/brunch every Sunday.  A busy schedule led to frozen breakfast sandwiches on BOGO.  Today, I felt inspired to use the pie crusts that had sitting in the fridge for too long, and the diced ham I bought on BOGO for the corn chowder, which ended up having the leftover chicken or turkey or whatever in it instead.  I bought berries intending to make a berry salad.  There’s some endive from our salad the other night.  Lots of Banh Mi style veggies still.  Setting everything out and letting everyone visit the table like a salad bar/buffet was great!  It looked kind of nice, too.

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The quiche were asparagus ham or spinach ham.  Both used tofutti cream cheese substitute and vegan mozzarella shreds, for a healthier take.

2 pie shells (I like to buy Immaculate brand, but any will do).  These will be baked before filling at 375 for 10 minutes, or as directed on the packaging.  Pierce them with a fork to prevent lifting and cracking.  Turn oven down to 320 when you take the crusts out.  The quiche cook at a lower temperature.

Filling:

8 eggs

1 container tofutti cream cheese substitute

4 Tbsp. butter

1 package mozzarella shred vegan cheese

2 (8 oz) packages diced ham, drained and dried

1 can spinach, well drained (ideally overnight)

1 can cut asparagus, drained

  1.  Place drained asparagus in one bowl and the spinach in another.
  2. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in ham and cook and caramelize a little  to richen the flavor.
  3. In the meantime, you can crack four eggs over each bowl of vegetables.

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  1. Stir in cream cheese and melt over low heat, stirring regularly.
  2. Spread half of the cream cheese ham mixture into each baked pie crust.
  3. Whisk eggs and veggies.  Add in mozzarella shreds and pour over ham mixture.

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  1. Bake at 320 for about 45 minutes.   They never seem completely set because of the cream cheese, but they are done when they don’t jiggle.

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I bought a jar of sauce at Aldi and it sounded like it would pair well with meatballs.   It did!  Plus I tried a new method of making baked potatoes making this a stress free night.

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Regular readers of my blog know I often prepare, bake, and then freeze meatballs ahead.  I prepared these the same night I cooked burgers.  My meat mixture included pesto, bacon jam, sweet pickle relish, an egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs.   The meatballs were baked at 375 for 40 minutes and then I poured the sauce over them and refrigerated them.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to make my baked potatoes in the crockpot, so I tried a new method.

I put olive oil and salt in a bowl and rolled  the washed and dried potatoes (sweet and russet) in it.  I placed them on a sheet pan lined with foil and poked them with a fork.

They took 45 minutes all told at 425F.  I put the meatballs in for the last 20 minutes.

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