• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Beans, beans, and more beans: Taco Soup

The last time I went into the pantry, I noticed 3 bags of beans. I dug around and found 3 more. On more digging, more were found. I know that dry beans don’t last forever so it would be a shame to waste the food. I enjoy Taco Soup so when I was making up the meal plan for this week, I figured I could make a vegetarian version easily with all those beans.

I cooked up 1/2 pound of each bean I had the night before. I learned that they all cooked together at the same time happily except this giant dried corn I had. I picked them all out. I froze the beans I didn’t use for the taco soup and froze some of the soup for future nomming.

Taco Soup to Be
Taco Soup to be

Taco Soup
Taco Soup to be … eaten
Taco soup
Since it was so late, I took it in to work for lunch. Perfect day for it. Look at that rain!


Taco Soup
Not exact measurements, of course. I don’t always use what follows. Some is because I had it on hand like the cilantro and leek.
various beans (black, pinto, kidney, great northern)
can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Ranch dressing mix
1/3 cup taco seasoning mix
fresh cilantro
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and leek. Stir till soft. Add beans, tomatoes, seasonings. Cook till of consistency you like. Add water, if needed. Add cilantro near the end.

Experimentation with OAMC: Burrito

Sweet Potato Burrito

I stuck to my Meal Plan. A few weeks ago, I made Sweet Potato Burritos but there were so many! So I wrapped each burrito in plastic wrap, then put them in a freezer bag. I wasn’t sure what I should do with them after that so went searching.

I ended up cooking two in the microwave for 5 minutes, then crisping up the tortilla in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. (I probably could have been fine with just the nuked version so I’m thinking lunch…) I topped the burrito with Pace Picante sauce since the first time eating it was bland.

There was some cilantro in the fridge from I don’t know what, so I took a few leaves from that and added it to already hot corn. Very num! (Needed no salt or butter.)

Review: Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! (with Recipe)

I recently grabbed a copy of Eat, Shrink & Be Merry, cookbook by Janet & Greta Podleski with cartoons by Ted Martin. Yes, cartoons. Not only are the cartoons great, but there are “funky factoids,” “cooking tips,” and puns — lots and lots of puns. This is one of the only cookbooks that I’ve read.

When I was looking for a recipe to cook, though, I skipped the cutesy titles and read the subtitle which was more descriptive of what the dish is. For example, “Livin’ on the Vedge” is subtitled with “Roasted vegetables with lemon couscous.”

There are many illustrations, but mostly cartoons and not photos of the food. The photographs of food are a few pages throughout the book. It’s not gathered up in the middle like some books. The photograph goes with the recipe which is nice, in a way. Sometimes I just like to “shop” for a recipe by looking at the pictures. What? Yeah, I’m a visual creature. Each recipe has nutritional information (calories, fat, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, cholesterol, and sodium) which is great for those following a point or other numerical system.

I checked for vegetarian dishes. And I don’t mean boring sides either. I mean main dishes that don’t just have lettuce as the major ingredient. Interestingly, there’s a section called “Don’t Have a Cow, Man!” that is full of meatless entrees. Nice! (And Greta recently did a “vedge” week.

The authors have a home at http://www.eatshrinkandbemerry.com and there are even videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/GranetPub.

Here’s the gem I settled on cooking:

Curried Cauliflower Soup
Melancauli Baby
(Available on their website in PDF form so you can see the whole page.)
Curried cauliflower soup with Swiss cheese and wild rice

1 tablespoon Butter or olive oil (I used olive oil)
4 cups Chicken or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
2 cups Leeks thinly sliced (about 2 large)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Garlic minced (I used more, of course)
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
4 cups Cauliflower small florets
1 cup Brown and wild rice blend cooked (I had frozen brown rice so used that)
1 1/2 cups Sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 cup Evaporated 2% milk
1 1/2 teaspoon Curry powder (My curry powder ran away so I made up something)
1/2 cup Swiss Cheese shredded and packed
1 teaspoon Ground cumin

Heat butter in a large, non-stick soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook and stir until leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, sweet potato, curry, and cumin. Cook and stir for 1 more minute. Add broth, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot with remaining soup and mix well. Stir in cooked rice, milk, and Swiss cheese. Heat soup for 1 more minute. Serve hot.

Note: I was halfway through and realized I didn’t have curry! So I made up a curry-like flavor with these guys:
Spices used