Thursday, July 26, 2018

1980s Cheesy Bean Dip

Are we eating any healthier these days? We certainly know more about the effects of the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) on our bodies than we did in the 1980s, but do we care at all? I know I do.

I recently learned that a few dairy industries have had to close shop or at least cut way back on production because the demand for non-dairy milk has increased so much in recent years – and that is GOOD NEWS! And I also just learned that some of the disgustingly huge meat companies (think Tyson and Smithfield) have put some of their energies into cruelty free meats (think Beyond Meat and Tofurky …by the way, have you tried the Beyond Meat burger? OMG!)

Well, I regressed this week and ate a batch of this cheesy bean dip, which I lovingly call *1980s* cheesy bean dip….cuz, you know….cheese and all that….so 80s.

Here’s what you need:
2 cans refried beans
1 C shredded cheddar
1 C shredded Monterey jack
1 brick cream cheese
1 C sour cream
½ pack taco seasoning
Hot sauce to taste

Here’s what you do:
Melt and stir, melt and stir, melt and stir. Dip and eat, dip and eat, dip and eat.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Cashew Cream Zucchini Sauce

What happens when you go away from your zucchini plants for 5 days? It’s no exaggeration to say you get some pretty large veggies.

I do believe zucchini could feed the world, and if we prepared it this way, everyone would be happy!

I filled my Cuisinart 2 times. Jam-packed. 

Here’s what you need:
Freshly picked zucchini
Lots of fresh garlic – minced
Lots of red pepper flakes
Lots of raw cashews
Fresh basil

Here’s what you do:
Saute the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and cashews in a generous amount of olive oil. Roughly shred the zucchini and add it to the garlic mixture. I added more cashews at this point and I don’t regret it. Allow it to simmer and cook down a bit, but be warned, the zucchini never really ever shrinks at all. Toward the end, when the cashews are soft and the zucchini is pretty soft, add lots of fresh basil. Stir vigorously. The aroma is heavenly!

Allow to cook a bit and process in a high-speed blender. Serve on pasta with a nice parmesan. Delicious!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Simple Mushroom Sandwich

Sometimes the simpler a meal is, the better. This portobello mushroom sandwich is the perfect example of that truth. The secret is in using high quality mushrooms and high quality buns. Today I used homemade hamburger buns from my local bakery. I have used ciabatta buns, and those work too.

Here's what you need:
large portobello mushrooms - 2 per sandwich
olive oil
tin foil
Sandwich buns
Parmesan cheese (dairy or non dairy)
garlic salt

Here's what you do:
clean the mushrooms with a small spoon, scraping out the black gills and trimming off the stem. Place them on a grill pan and drizzle olive oil over both sides. Salt them generously. Start grilling them slowly, flipping them every so often. You don't want them to become brown, just soft and juicy. The salt will bring out lots of juice and that's good. Cover them with foil and allow them to cook for at least 20 minutes, flipping them once in a while. They are done when a knife slips easily into the center of the mushroom.

In the mean time, make the best garlicky Parmesan toast with your buns. The buns do not need to be hot at meal time; they can sit around a bit before serving the sandwiches.

That's it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Made a double batch of these beauties today to take to a sorority reunion this weekend. I'm getting used to bringing my own food everywhere I go - and that's OK.

Here's what you need:
1 T corn oil
1 small green pepper - minced
1 small onion - minced
15 oz tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1 T dark molasses
1 T brown sugar
3/4 - 1 C French lentils (also known as Le Puy lentils)

Here's what you do:
Cook the lentils in veggie broth or water until soft and toothsome. Set aside.
Saute the green pepper and onion in the corn oil, but don't let them get brown at all....just soft. Add the remaining ingredients, including the lentils. Continue to simmer and thicken and adjust ingredients to taste. Keep them nice and sloppy and be sure to serve them on a classic soft white hamburger bun.