Thursday, February 7, 2008


That would be fried cheese at the local smoke filled pub. These are recipes I've come up with, while trying to feed us well through the winter. Fresh fruit & veggies are scarce right now, and some standby ingredients (international/ethnic) are very expensive, so I've adapted these to accommodate availability and budget.

Tomato Lentil Curry

Leek - few slices
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - thumb
Canned Tomatoes - 2
Cumin (Rimsky Kmin)
Lemon Juice
Red & Black Pepper (red pepper flakes, when we can spare them as we rely on our family&friends in the states for those)
Lentils - 1.5 cups to 2
Basil - at least a TBS dry
Carrotts - 2-3 sliced

I boil all of these things until lentils are soft over med to low heat. I add water if it starts to dry out (drier than say a chili).

Spinach Pasta

Frozen Spinach
Red & black pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Boil Pasta, saute other ingredients until frozen spinach isn't frozen & mix everything together. We serve with Moravian cheese (like swiss) since we can't get parmesan a lot & it's the only available cheese with flavor that isn't blue. Although, if you're a blue cheese fan, I'm sure that would be a wonderful addition. We serve it alongside a couple of slices of fresh tomato.

Tofu Burger

1 brick of tofu or a can of beans
1 handful of walnuts and/or sunflower seeds
1 egg or handful of cheese (usually use Moravian, gouda or parmesan)
1-2 slices of toasted or stale bread, grated with cheese grater or some whole wheat flour
3-5 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar or wine
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp basil, thyme, oregano & parsley (dried)
Sauted leek slices (3-4 small pieces, we don't like a lot of onion flavor)
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
leftover veggies (or fresh chopped carrot, peas, broccoli, whatever)
Some tomato sauce if too dry, the mix should be sticky
Olive Oil

I put together all of the wet ingredients in a bowl & add the dry spices & tofu (as if to marinate) but am usually too rushed to let sit for more than a minute or two. Then I saute- if I have time-the garlic, leek, and veggies with the nuts and mix everything together with a fork (don't let the hot stuff hit the egg). Then I heat a pan with a little oil to prevent sticking and either create patties or a big fat scramble if I'm too lazy to mold & flip burgers. I serve the scramble with tomato sauce & pasta, or potatoes.

Tomato Sauce

2 Cans crushed tomatoes
1 TBS or 2 of each dry basil, thyme, balsamic vinegar or wine & olive oil
3-6 cloves crushed garlic

Saute herbs, vinegar, oil, then garlic (don't let it turn brown), add tomato before garlic cooks too long & simmer to hearts delight. If we're feeling extra special, I add chopped mushrooms, but too many other vegetables will require more spices, as they weaken the flavor balance. I use this in Italian cooking, for minestrone broth (with a TBS of tamari and a few cups of water and a bay leaf), and to make it mexican I saute a bay leaf, oregano, cumin, red pepper, parsley, and onion or leek & add the sauce. To make enchilada sauce I make a rue out of butter, olive oil, whole wheat flour, and add the mexican version of this sauce. Sometimes I am too lazy to make enchiladas (what with the stuffing & baking) soooo I just make wet burritos by adding pinto, kidney, or black beans, carrot, potato, and cauliflower to the sauce & spooning it into a tortilla (black beans go really well with potatoes & kidneys go really well with the carrots). We serve with yogurt instead of sour cream. I add some of this sauce to rice with cheese, beans, and broccoli to make fried rice.

Tofu Ruben

Sliced sauted tofu (sometimes I add a tsp of tamari)
saurkraut (we like the hame brand in a jar)
mustard & mayo
tomato slices
optional Moravian cheese

I slap these things together and then put the sandwiches back in the hot pan I used to cook the tofu, flip when toasty & throw a small lid on top (to weigh them down like a panini) & serve

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