Remember how I said I was worried my boyfriend was going gluten free? Well don’t worry, I decided to disregard his dietary restrictions and make these cinnamon rolls. And now he’s no longer interested in being GF. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a good person. It’s not like he has Celiac’s or anything (probably).
Anyway, my new goal in life is to stop eating vegetables and eat only sugar. My biggest hurdle so far is the horrific GI distress that ensues after eating all the pastries and then I turn back to my horrible, disgusting salad eating habit. I know, I know. I’m working on it. I’m kidding of course about the all-sugar diet. This weekend I ate a strict diet of Chipotle and frozen food from Costco. I’m the picture of health.
Anyway, to work on my #healthfoodgoals I used half whole wheat flour here. All whole wheat is too much, but you can get away with half without worrying that you accidentally had some fiber with your breakfast.
3/4 cup flour
¾ whole wheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2/3 c unsweetened almond milk (or, like, regular milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp melted butter, divided
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
For the glaze
About 2 tbsp each: melted butter, brown sugar, and unsweetened almond milk
Preheat oven to 375°
Spray a muffin pan with oil
Combine the flour, white sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk, vinegar, and 4 tbsp butter.
Add the milk mixture to the flower mixture
Roll out with a lot of flour on the counter (seriously, use a shitload of flour or you’ll cry when your dough is stuck to the counter).
Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and then smear all over the dough.
Roll it up, then cut into 8 or 9 even pieces. Place each piece in a muffin slot. Honestly, this would probably work with just a regular cookie sheet, but give them a little room to expand.
Bake for about 15 minutes
Make glaze by melting together more butter, brown sugar, and almond milk. Glaze cinnamon rolls.
Try not to eat too many salads in between your cinnamon rolls
Winter is throwing its last tantrum before it will suddenly become spring and we will no longer talk about how much winter has been a bitch where I live. I can’t always just get drunk to drown my sorrows, so I made chili.
I’m just kidding, of course I got drunk too.
This week has been incredibly hectic because, after 20 years, I finally finished that k-drama I started. It was horrible. I lost so many hours to those beautiful men, wasted away my youth, and literally nothing in the show up until the end mattered. Nothing. It was just a bunch of random stuff and then they realized they should probably just end it and then they did. It was beautiful.
Sorry, I’m still drunk.
To say that I phoned it in with this week’s blog would be an understatement. I had been planning this recipe for about a month. I took one picture. Here it is:
Anyway, I adapted a Betty Crocker slow cooker chili recipe to be vegan. It retains all the flavor of the meat infused one, but is a lot healthier in the sense that I didn’t have to go out and buy extra cans of chili beans because I didn’t want to go shopping. I also just cooked it on the stove top, but I would recommend putting it in a slow cooker for 8 hours to really get the recipe correct.
Slow Cooker Vegan Chili to Replace your Housemate on a Cold Night (adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 onion (or use onion powder like I did because you don’t have an onion)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (again… powder works too)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 smaller cans)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (use whatever you have on hand because that’s what I did)
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups frozen and cubed butternut squash (I used a small baby bag from a giant mommy bag from Costco)
1 can tomato sauce
2 TBSP chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
If you’re using real onion and garlic, sauté those in a pan with a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes until translucent. Otherwise, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, and set to cook on low for 8 hours. Eat with crackers and Beano.
There was no love in this post so I guess the title was a lie. But now you can make lazy chili.
My dear readers, last night, as I finished a paper several hours ahead of schedule, I was feeling incredibly impressed with myself. After contemplating what I would be able to do for the rest of the evening, it dawned on me that the next day was my day to post and I had nothing prepared. You see, Mary Ellen and I have shown you all that we are “with it” ladies of the go-go 90’s, and you know we wouldn’t misrepresent ourselves. We have published volumes on time management and avoiding the perils of procrastination. And yet, there I was with nothing for you fine readers.
PSYCHE! I have an obscene amount of posts that I prepared at various times when I was avoiding writing papers, just in case there was ever a day when I wrote my papers over my blog posts. While I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that day finally came, I am grateful for my past self who had her priorities in line. I promise I’ll get my shit together soon and take more pictures of gummy bears to inspire your healthy eating habits!
Let’s get to talking about meal prep. Now, I’ve read a lot about meal prep on other blogs. All the internet bitches are super into it (I’m using “bitches” in a gender-neutral sense here, so it’s not a hate crime). They say all this shit about how it’s “cheaper” and “healthier” than whatever the alternative is, but it’s really just a way to justify buying tons of glass containers off Amazon. Well, it’s time I joined them. And since we’re being thoughtful about our meals for the rest of the week, we want to make sure we are nourishing our minds, bodies, souls, and also being stewards to the planet. Let’s make a frozen pizza!
So you can see here that I have purchased this frozen cheese pizza from Costco. I used to buy the organic frozen pizzas from Costco, but since becoming an impoverished professional student, I switched to the normal, more economical convenience foods. The good news is that what this pizza lacks in fanciness and flavor, it makes up in calorie density!
In order to ensure that this sumptuous feast will feed me for days of school and work, I have purchased some completely unnecessary glass containers and placed pizza in each container. I’m sure this would not have worked if I used the tupperware I already owned.
I know what you’re thinking: what the fuck was that first picture with the green rice and chickpeas? Well, it was a legitimately good meal that took fucking forever to cook, so I don’t plan on making it again anytime soon. But it was really good so I’ll link it for you out of the kindness of my heart. Read that recipe and then go stock up on frozen pizza.
Yes I know. I’ve been cooking. Honestly, a person can only get so much therapeutic benefits from an Irish health smoothie before they have to clean up their life. That person might be me.
This week’s recipe is one that even Serafina’s vegetarian ass can get behind. It’s healthy, wholesome (unlike your mom), meat and dairy free, and also guilt free, so you can shove all these things in everyone’s faces at the next family get together. There’s no reason Easter also can’t be a holiday that families fight about food ethics. We can do better. Insert your jabs about Trump’s policies on deporting all vegetables from his plate, or how Bernie wouldn’t be such a commie if he’s stop enslaving cows. There you go, I provided topics for next year to get past all that awkward “weather” talk.
I was inspired to create these recipes to try and get my toddler to eat something with nutritional value. It didn’t work on him, but it did work on my husband so it’s a soft win. This also satisfies both team sweet and savory at the breakfast table.
For the Hash:
1-2 lbs yellow potatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 TBSP fresh dill
Herbamare to taste
Heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the potatoes, pepper, garlic, and onion to the pan and sauté until the potatoes are fork tender. Mash up the chickpeas and add to the pan, as well as the nutritional yeast and dill, and cook until the chickpeas are heated. Season to taste. Burn a little bit to the pan.
For the Pancakes:
1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground to a powder
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 – 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP maple syrup
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. You don’t need to whisk wet separately, and you need the batter smooth, no clumps. Let it rest for a few minutes before you griddle it up.
I don’t know how to end this post, but I want to go eat pudding now, so I’ll just do it awkwardly.
You guys, I have some rough news. You see, Mary Ellen and I have been friends for a long time, and I watched her go through the horrors of not eating gluten for YEARS before she ate some bread and was like “oh fuck yeah, this shit’s the best!” Well, my dearest, darling-est boyfriend is now talking about going GF. It’s literally killing me. You read that right, it isn’t figuratively killing me, it’s very literal. Because gluten is life’s antivenom (I guess the venom part is just normal life. Too dark?)
Anyway, I try to be supportive every now and then, so I made a quiche without the delicious gluten-y crust. And then I put broccoli in it, which he doesn’t eat anyway. He wasn’t happy. But the good news here is that my chickens are laying eggs more frequently since it’s getting closer to spring, so I had an abundance of eggs. My chickens are such good girls. At least they still eat gluten with me.
1 large or two small heads of broccoli, chopped into small florets
About ½ cup cheese (or if you hate going to the store, 5-6 slices of cheese chopped into small pieces)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
Small amount onion powder
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400
Heat oil and onion powder in cast iron skillet (or another oven safe skillet) and add broccoli. Cover and let steam/simmer for a few minutes until bright green and just a little soft
Beat eggs with milk, add a little pepper and salt, then stir in cheese
Pour egg mixture over broccoli and even out where your massive chunks of sliced cheese went if that is a problem
Cook for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently. It’s done when the middle is just set
Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
May you all find something with gluten to eat very soon
I’m going to try something different with you guys today. Instead of my usual fool-proof recipe that I provide you so that you can finally learn to cook and stop disappointing your family, I’m going to walk you through a cautionary tale about juice.
In a misguided “it’s still early in 2018 so I should try to eat healthy or something” attempt, I decided to make juice without a juicer. You see, juicers are probably expensive, and I don’t really like juice that much. So I never got around to buying one. I also never got married, so I only have kitchen appliances that I decided to purchase with legal currency or received as a hand-me-down. Anyway, no juicer. And I thought I didn’t care about juicing until I found several recipes for a beet-carrot-apple-ginger juice that’s made in a blender. Let’s start with the recipe and then we’ll get to the cautionary tale part…
Beet (peel it and cut it into some pieces so your blender doesn’t explode or something)
Apple (same instructions as above, but less important because apples aren’t as hard as beets)
1” chunk of peeled ginger
Throw it all in the blender with about ½ cup water or other juice (I used water, why would I be making juice if I already had juice?)
Dump into a sieve over a bowl and wait for it to drip out
Ok, now that the nitty gritty is out of the way, let’s talk about why you should never make juice with a blender, especially this juice.
First of all, the blender handled the task pretty well and didn’t explode, so that went fine. I was really busy trying not to stain my clothes as I dumped the “juice” pulp into a sieve/bowl so I didn’t get any pictures of that step. Luckily for you, as I have mentioned previously, I am a certified courtroom illustrator, so I can recreate the scene for you with ease and accuracy.
Now, as the juice is dripping into the bowl at mind-bogglingly slow pace, you might think that it smells really fresh and that you’re excited to drink it. Don’t get your hopes up. After the first round of straining, mine was still SUPER chunky, so I had to strain it a second time with a finer sieve. All told, I spent like 15 minutes mushing around pulp before I got about 200ml juice.
At this point, I figured this juice had to be fucking mind blowingly amazing or no one would have ever wasted their time with it in the first place. So, I took my first sip, and it was kinda ok. Then I took my second sip, and I thought it was kind of interesting, and warming with the ginger juice. And then when I took my third sip, I audibly gagged and had to try really hard not to vomit in the kitchen.
After that shock wore off, I thought it through and realized that I was just having an uncontrollable gag reflex and horribly unpleasant warm feeling in my stomach because of the ginger juice. No biggie. So I did what any good girlfriend would do, I brought the juice to my boyfriend and made him try it. He didn’t describe wanting to vomit, but he reported feeling repulsed before passing on a second sip.
So I was now faced with a dilemma, I had about half the awful juice left but I had put so much work into it I couldn’t bear to waste it. After deliberating for about 20 minutes, I decided that I had no choice. I gulped the rest of it down, which was a deeply regrettable decision.
You know, after all of that I’m actually having trouble deciding if this was a cautionary tale or a strong endorsement. Let’s do a Pro/Con list, those always help:
Your kitchen sink will make you feel like Dexter when you are cleaning up
You will feel very healthful prior to drinking this juice
Your blender probably won’t explode
You can give your chickens some beet greens, which they LOVE!
If the Dexter part really resonated, you can cover your hands in the leftover pulp and pretend that you murdered your boyfriend for a few seconds until it gets just a little bit too dark or he walks in on you and looks like he might call the cops
You will most likely vomit upon drinking the juice, or at the very least experience severe nausea
Your kitchen will be very messy and beet juice stains everything
You will most definitely get a beet juice stain on your favorite sweatshirt, no matter how careful you are
You might develop a taste aversion to all of the ingredients in the juice as a result of drinking it
If you end up keeping the juice down, all of the bodily excretions you have over the next several hours to days will “bleed” red because of the beet juice (wait, should this be on the pro list?)
You know what? We’re tied! 5 pros, 5 cons! I guess I’ll just leave it up to you to decide if you want to make this fancy blender juice!
I endured many hardships in writing this post. (I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way that’s true. She’s sitting comfortably in her house having just eaten leftovers of the dish she is posting about. What could she possibly have to complain about? Well don’t you fucking even start!)
First of all my free photo editing software crashed and I was worried I’d have to update it, but then it started and it was fine (again, I know what you’re thinking: she edits her photos? Yeah, I do. I spend like 20 seconds toiling over the free editing software that I almost kind of know how to use.)
Then, I had to find my hobo gloves because my hands were just slightly too cold and I thought I might die if I couldn’t experience 100% physical comfort in that moment.
Then, I found out that I’m in school again. Wasn’t I in school long enough? I thought so. I told them I was over 30 so they should just give me a fucking master’s degree and the first person I talked to was like “yeah, obvi” but then the second person was like “no, you have to complete the requirements and blah blah blah.” That second one was an exact quote.
And then I had to go comfort my chickens who are still super traumatized from Mary Ellen’s last post.
Anyway, I’ve come across a bunch of vegetarian recipes that use jackfruit. They all start off by talking about how jackfruit is fucking disgusting smelling just like durian which begs the question of how anyone ever started eating foods that make you gag when you try to cut into them. So I went the obvious route of buying canned jackfruit which doesn’t make you vomit when you open it. And then I made enchiladas which are probably more like smothered burritos, but I’m not changing the title.
1½ to 2 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked lentils
14 oz can jackfruit, rinsed
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups enchilada sauce (I used homemade sauce from this recipe)
6-8 tortillas, depending on how thick you like your enchiladas
Taco seasoning (I used a homemade blend from this recipe)
1 or 2 cups of veggies to throw in (optional- I used frozen zuchinni, with disappointing results, but other veggies generally work well)
Preheat oven to 350
Cook your rice and lentils if you didn’t already do so because you were being lazy.
Chop up the jackfruit. I followed the instructions from this site to shred them, but it was way too much work and I’m just going to chop it all up and let it cook down next time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating the seeds or the tough parts and the random seeds that I missed picking out tasted fine.
Cook the jackfruit with a little olive oil and taco seasoning for a few minutes, then mix it with the rice and lentils in a large bowl. Add in cheese, a little enchilada sauce (maybe ¼-½ cup) and any veggies you are using.
Put the enchilada mix in tortillas and place in a 13×9 pan with some enchilada sauce at the bottom. Once all your enchilada mix is tortillaed (it’s a word, trust me), cover in enchilada sauce and finish with cheese.
I usually cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the enchilada sauce and cheese are all bubbly.
Enjoy a jackfruit recipe that won’t make you gag while you’re preparing it
I was reflecting on my life as I welcomed 2018, and I realized that there’s something missing. Despite all of my grad-schooling, working in a meaningful career, and raising a family of chickens, I have some serious life goals that I am not pursing. I’m of course talking about my dream of being a babushka. You see, I have some Russian ancestry, and now that I’m pushing 67 (or 32, or however old I am*), I need to really focus on becoming my true self.
After this epiphany, I decided to take a hard look at my life and start making some serious changes. I mean, #newyearnewyou, right? With that, I am embarking on my babushka adventure. My amazon cart is full of various styles of head scarves, but this is going to take more than a wardrobe change. It’s time to make some fucking perogies.
I scoured the internets for perogy recipes and ultimately created this masterful hodgepodge recipe.
Spinach Potato Perogies
For the Dough
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
For the Filling
1 pound of potatoes, cubed (I used red potatoes and didn’t bother peeling them)
Several large handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
About ½ tsp garlic powder (or one clove of garlic, minced)
About ½ tsp onion powder (or part of an onion finely chopped)
¼ c shredded parmesan
¾ cup or so grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Combine flour, water, salt, and egg and knead until smooth. Most recipes recommend refrigerating the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, while you mix the other ingredients together which seems sensible enough.
Boil your potatoes until they are tender. Save some potato water, you might need it if your filling is too dry. Then mash with a little butter and salt (we’ll salt some more at the end too). Set aside.
If you can handle using real garlic and onion, you’d want to sauté them in some oil to start out. If you’re using good ol’ powdered shit like I do, you can just dump it in when you’re sautéing the spinach. Add in the cheeses and mashed potatoes and stir that shit up.
Now take out your dough and roll it out pretty thin (about 1/8th inch thick was the general internet consensus, but it’s not like anyone uses a fucking ruler in the kitchen, especially not babushkas). Cut the dough into circles with about 3” diameter (my biscuit cutter was about 3.5 inches, which created very large perogies). Plop a scant tablespoon of dough in the center. Wet the edges with some water, then fold over and smush the dough edges together. Place the finished perogies on parchment paper until you are ready to cook or freeze them.
Continue assembling perogies for what will feel like a fucking year, and then when they’re all ready, you can boil them in water. Once they start to float, let them coast for a minute to make sure the filling is done and then they are ready. You can also bake or fry them. There’s a lot of variability in perogy preparation. I haven’t been a babushka long enough to have a really strong opinion here. But serve your perogies with butter and sour cream.
If you want to freeze some of your perogies because you don’t feel like eating several dozen perogies in one sitting, you can freeze them raw and then just boil them frozen when you’re ready. It will take longer to cook if you’re cooking them from a frozen state, obvi.
May 2018 be the year we all become babushkas
*Time for a mini true story: My beloved boyfriend, whom I have mentioned on this blog at least once or twice, recently learned that he didn’t know when his birthday was. I made an appointment for him at the eye doctor and came home to tell him that they had the wrong birthday on file for him. He brushed it off, saying that they always had his birthday wrong, it was a clerical error. Then, they ran his insurance and his insurance also had his birthday one year off his supposed real birthday. His insurance, which is through his employer, should most definitely know when his birthday is. And that, my friends, is when a grown-ass man in his 30’s looked at his driver’s license and said “Whaaaaat?” And then he pulled out his birth certificate. And his passport. And then he called his father to double check all of the legal documents. And then, he took a bath. Because finding out you’re a year younger than you thought you were for your entire life is probably overwhelming.
I figured I would make my final recipe post for 2016 – wait – 2017, my most complex one yet.
Okay, I hope you’re all done laughing now. I would never ever ruin a good year of coming up with half-assed recipes with a decent one. I would never ruin things, like Serafina always does. Like when she puts wine into recipes instead of drinking it. I will never understand such monsters.
So if you’re done with the old year and have given up in hopes that somehow changing a ‘7’ to an ‘8’ will somehow make your life better, well, my recipe this week won’t get in the way of that. It’s very self-loathing positive. Also, if you are snowed in or something, it uses very few ingredients, and you may have some lying around, or you can just make something else.
Whatever, I’m already drunk for NYE so I don’t care.
Mary Ellen’s fancy rice recipe
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup veggie of choice (I used shelled edamame)
Salt to taste
Hummus as needed (optional)
Cook up rice in a rice cooker because who the hell actually makes it on a stove. Steam vegetables, then mix all together with oil and sprinkling of salt. I enjoy mine with hummus, but I bet ranch dressing would also work.
Now go make some drunken mistakes with camera phones this NYE.
I’ve talked to you all about how my boyfriend and I basically don’t eat any of the same foods. Because it wasn’t already hard enough to live and share a kitchen with a man-person, he also had to go and be a fucking meat eater.
Anyway, it was his birthday recently, and like any good girlfriend, I made his favorite meal. Now technically speaking, his favorite food is grilled dead cow or some shit, so I actually made his favorite vegetarian meal. The good news: it’s been so long since he’s had shepherd’s pie with meat that he thinks the vegetarian version is just as good. There isn’t any bad news. There wasn’t a reason for me to frame it like that.
This dish is a mash up of a bunch of lentil shepherds pie recipes, and unlike most of the shit I share on this blog, I actually cook this a lot so it doesn’t suck.
Oh, wait, I just thought of the bad news. I don’t measure things when I cook. I’ve tried to change my ways but it messes up the flow. So, everything in this recipe is an estimate. The second bad news: I didn’t actually make the gravy because my mushrooms smelled bad and I threw threw them in the compost. But I’m linking a gravy recipe that looks like it might taste good for vegetarian gravy….
1½ c veggie broth (1 ½ c water for 1 bouillon cube)
1 tbsp dry red wine (optional)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
Veggies (2-4 cups cut into small pieces)
2 c lentils (1/2 c dry green lentils)
Salt and pepper
Herbs de province
Cook potatoes and mash
Cook lentils with 2 cups water (add water as needed)
Mix the sauce by combining vegetable broth, tomato paste, wine and flour.
Sauté the veggies with oil, herbs de province and garlic powder for about 6 minutes until a little bit soft
Add the sauce and lentils to the vegetable mix and simmer for a few minutes
Pour the lentil and veggie mix into the bottom of the pan
Scoop potatoes onto the veggies and lentils in small portions and even out with a fork
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes
Broil for 5 minutes if potatoes are not yet brown on top (I also don’t set timers which may or may not be related to the shepherd’s pie getting a teensy bit more burned than it was supposed to)
For the gravy, you can try a package of mushroom gravy which comes out rather gross. Or you can try this recipe which is what I tried to do. Or you can do what I actually did which was to make a rue out of butter and flour and veggie broth, then just add dash of garlic powder, some more veggie broth if needed, and salt and pepper.
May you find many other common meals with your significant other so you don’t have to order Indian food every fucking night.