Tag Archives: mozzerella

7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Barley Bride all in White (or, “Flavor for Fatigue”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c barley, uncooked
  • 1 c frozen(-from fresh) spinach
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 4 leaves basil
  • 2 tbsp Greek seasoning
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So I’ve hit my head pretty hard at least five times this week from my own dysmetric clumsiness, the piece de resistance having happened last night with a hammock. Were video to have been taken, I would be wildly viral right now; instead I have to be the person who nobody witnessed being flipped upside down like a bad carnival ride. This morning the headache remained, along with blurry vision most likely due to a little trauma to my occipital lobe… but other than that I meet no criteria for a true concussion. Regardless, still gotta eat, right?

This will be a nice single-dish meal for the confused and lethargic amongst us. The barley experiment from a day or two ago was both the flavor and ease inspiration. Start the event with mincing your garlic and onion as finely as possible and throw them in an oiled pot warming to M; once it reaches full temp reduce to ML and let simmer. Mix water with turmeric and 1.75 tbsp of Greek seasoning, mix in uncooked barley and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to L and walk away for 15m. In that little window, mince spinach and basil as finely as possible and add to the oil when onions look translucent. Mix well and let that simmer for another 15m. When the barley is a moment from completion, take from heat and add ricotta cheese. Stir until a creamy sauce tenderly holds each pearl of barley. Top with mozzerella and Parmesan, then cover the pot and return it to your off burner until the cheeses melt. 4 spoons!

Tofu Parmesan (or, “No, Really. Tofu Parmesan.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/3 package Nasoya® firm tofu
  • 3-4  c cooked spaghetti
  • 1 24 oz jar Prego® (roasted garlic and herb)
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 c tofu marinade*
  • 1.25 c breading*
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese

First thing’s first: prepare your tofu properly for cooking for the first damn time, Katherine. Stop thinking that it will magically find deliciousness through little preparatory effort. Drain your cube o’fu and gently squeeze a clean towel or paper towels around it for a little casual pre-press. Then wrap it in [clean towel/paper towels] and set a light-medium weight pot or pan on top and walk away for 30m or so. When you return, slice into 1/2″ thick steaks and place into sweet overnight dreams of flavor…

*tofu marinade:

  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix everything together and lay steaks flat (I used a rectangular tupperware dealie). Let sit in the fridge overnight, flipping once halfway through said marination.

And okay, pretend it’s now dinner time the following afternoon. Boil spaghetti until at your preferred consistency then season your Prego® with 1 tsp hot red chili powder and call that part of the meal a day. Get back to your tofu, and mix the following for its breading:

  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 c plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

While your oil is warming, remove tofu steaks gingerly and let sit on paper towels. Pat them on the back and let them know you appreciate their patience, then roll them in the breading and let them fry. Once one side turns golden, flip and continue cooking until the desired color. Mine came out a little browner than I’d have ideally liked, but they were still really, really tasty. When I was little, my dad used to make little bread crumb fritters when he’d fry something and there were breadcrumb left over… they were delicious, but even I knew they were bad for me. In the 80s. This, though? Well, nothing fried is really healthy — let me say that to the universe so it knows that this time I am not taunting it — but at least… well, nothing fried is really healthy. And nothing fried then covered with cheese could certainly count… but damn but it weren’t tasty.

Once fried, let the tofu sit on paper towels until crispy and dry of their shame. I layered in a bowl: spaghetti, sauce, tofu then cheeses and put each stainless steel bowl under the broiler for 5m to get the melty goodness going. 4 spoons!

Double-Duty Cheese & Broccoli Bake

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c raw broccoli tops
  • 2 c leftover hibachi rice
  • 1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella
  • 3 saved packets of Chik-Fil-A® croutons
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

By gum, if there’s any way to make copious amounts of cheese a healthy addition to the human diet I will find it. Today was a battle I won with the tools of a mad, desperate woman. And also a lot of cheese. Start out by cutting your florets from the stem and pick apart most with your fingers so that various sizes of broccoli exist in your casserole dish. Set aside and move to a small sauce pan that’s melting your butter. Once melted, add milk, garlic paste and seasonings. Stir in cheeses and rice; once stirred, pour over the eagerly awaiting broccoli. Mix everything together real good ‘n stuff, then crumble the croutons in their packets and sift out over the fray. Cover and bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes. Because I am some kind of elitist, apparently, about vegetable texture I can only give this 3 spoons. If you enjoy broccoli at this color and consistency, godspeed.