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Chris raved about this dish from his very first bite. I was stoked about that because I really liked it also.

A few hours after his first dinner, Chris headed back to the refrigerator for seconds. As he sat in the floor (we are big time floor sitters, in fact we have a whole room geared up for optimal floor sitting) eating cold Pad Thai, he commented that it got better and better with every bite. I totally took this the wrong way.

“What do you mean by that? Do you mean that you didn’t like it the first time around, but you just said that you did to appease me?”

“No, I meant just what I said, it tastes better and better to me as I keep eating.”

“Is that some kind of backhanded compliment?”

“Relax, it’s just that usually when I make things they taste good at first and then kind of ‘meh’ by the end.”

“But you always make yourself the same foods…”

“Uh huh. This is really good though.”

The moral of this story: You should make Pad Thai because it tastes good. Even cold Pad Thai, while sitting on the floor tastes better and better with each bite.

From Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 to 2 tbsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha.)
    • 1 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
    • 1 tbspn maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed (see my favorite pressing technique here), and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced green onion tops
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 8 oz (uncooked weight) wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho), cooked and drained
  • 5 lime wedges

Directions:

  • To prepare sauce, whisk together first 5 ingredients.
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms, carrot, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add sauce and tofu; cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in coconut milk; cook 2 minutes.
  • Stir in lettuce, sprouts, green onions, cilantro, peanut, and noodles; cook 1 minute.
  • Serve with lime wedges.

Servings ~ 5
Calories ~ 385, Fat ~ 14 g, Carbohydrates ~ 54 g, Protein ~ 14 g

After last winter’s love affair with Mac and Cheese with Squash and Peas and my obsession last fall with Pumpkin Ravioli, I knew that I had to try this recipe as soon as possible. It is essentially a hybrid of my two favorite pasta dishes and it did not disappoint.

Sunday afternoon I spent a few hours attempting to cook enough meals to last us for the whole week. It worked out pretty well. As of Thursday morning we still have two portions of food remaining for Thursday night dinner. For a long time, I did a weekly Sunday cooking marathon. I can’t quite remember why I stopped.

It may have come to and end during a phase of grocery list apathy. Cooking everything on Sunday means writing all of the necessary ingredients on the same grocery list in time for weekend grocery shopping. 

Another theory is that I stopped doing it when we joined our CSA. The CSA seemed like a nice idea, but the Wednesday produce pickup did not fit in all that well with our Saturday grocery shopping scheme. It had me going to the grocery store on Wednesdays and Saturdays which was far too often for my taste.

Whatever the case, I may need to revive that ritual so we can have another week mashed potato free.

Adapted from Meet Me on the Corner of Peachtree and Peachtree.

Ingredients:

  • 1 13.25 oz box whole grain pasta
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1.75 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 5 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • heavy-handed sprinkles of salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil
  • dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, dried marjoram

Directions:

  • Cook pasta, drain, then return to pot.
  • Set burner to a low heat, then mix in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and let it sit on low heat until the spinach is completely wilted.
  • Add additional milk as needed.

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 264, Fat ~ 5.4 g, Carbohydrates ~ 42.3 g, Protein ~ 12.2 g

When I go for my fruit and veggie pickup at my CSA it is kind of like an assembly line. I go down the line and take the designated number of each item out of its box. It is pretty good as long as you get there early. I make a point to go during lunch because it is always pretty picked over by the time I get finished with work.

Last week the last items on the table were pumpkins. Not jack o’lantern style pumpkins. Just little guys in a deep orange color. I immediately though “What the heck am I going to do with this?” We are not really “seasonal decorators” at Duke’s House.

Sadly, last year we didn’t even bother to put up our Christmas tree. Yes, it is that bad. Part of that was Duke’s fault. He was still just a little guy and we didn’t trust him not to eat it or knock it over.

This year Duke+Christmas tree will still be a little dicey. He has about zero sense of spacial relations and has no idea where his tail is and what it may be knocking over. Maybe next year. With plastic ornaments. 

Back to the pumpkin. I finally read the CSA newsletter that tells you what types of fruits and veggies you have. Usually this whole identifiying the produce thing is pretty self-explanatory, but it was helpful to know that the ugly little pumpkin was a pie pumpkin. Aha!

Knowing that if I baked a pie Chris would have one slice and I would end up devouring the remainder, I decided to find an alternate use for that thing. Pumpkin Ravioli it is. Yet another dish to get the Duke’s House “We could serve this to other people.” seal of approval!

This was seriously good. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

 

From The Picky Eater.

Ingredients:

  • For ravioli
    • 1 1/4  cups  pumpkin purée
    • 2  tablespoons  dry breadcrumbs
    • 2  tablespoons  fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  teaspoon  minced fresh sage
    • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/8  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
    • 28 wonton wrappers, round would be best
    • 1  tablespoon  cornstarch
    • Cooking spray
  • For Gorgonzola Sauce
    • 1  cup  fat-free milk
    • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2  tablespoons  butter
    • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Garnish
    • 3  tablespoons  chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

  • Spoon pumpkin onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels, and spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes.
  • Scrape the pumpkin into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, minced sage, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into the center of wrapper.
  • Brush edges of wrapper with water and fold in half, pressing edges firmly with fingers to form a half-moon.
  • Place on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and pumpkin mixture.
  • Fill a large pot with water; bring to a simmer.
  • Add half of ravioli to the pot (cover remaining ravioli with a damp towel to keep from drying).
  • Cook 2 minutes or until done (do not boil), stirring gently.
  • Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon; lightly coat with cooking spray, and keep warm.
  • Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli.
  • To improve the texture of the wontons, heat a pan over medium heat, spray it lightly with cooking spray, and quickly pan-fried the ravioli to make their texture “crispier” and more ravioli like on the outside.
  • Combine milk and flour in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk.
  • Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts.
  • Gently stir in Gorgonzola.
  • Place 7 ravioli in each of 4 shallow bowls, and drizzle each serving with 4 tablespoons Gorgonzola mixture.
  • Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons walnuts.
  • Serve immediately.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 350, Fat ~ 12 g, Carbohydrates ~ 48 g, Protein ~ 14 g

Last week we were on vacation. I sure wish that we still were!

Remember the refrigerator clean-out posts from a few weeks back? Well, it has remained cleaned out.

Although we have been home for a few days, we have not been grocery shopping in 19 days.

19 days! That is a long time.

Surprisingly, we still have a few decent meals left in our refrigerator! This was good the first night and the leftovers were even better!

Adapted from: Kate in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 112 g whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup canned mushrooms
  • 2 chicken sausage links
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to instructions on the package.
  • After the pasta has been added to the boiling water, combine olive oil, wine, lemon juice, and garlic in a large skillet.
  • If your broccoli and sausage are frozen like mine were (the sausage was pre-cooked), add them both first and cook for several minutes until they start to become tender. You are going to have to use some common sense here about which ingredients need to go into the pan first!
  • Add mushrooms and continue cooking.
  • Drain pasta and toss in the skillet with the remaining ingredients.
  • Enjoy!

Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 488, Fat ~ 12 g, Carbohydrates ~ 70 g, Protein 47 g

Who says an awesome dinner can’t be based on cabbage?

First we had Okonomiyaki now, this!

This cabbage really will melt in your mouth. And I think it may even be acceptable to non-cabbage eaters. 

Its only downfall is that Meltaway Cabbage may have to be reserved for the weekends due to the long cook time. Spending just over an hour cooking a weeknight meal does not happen often at Duke’s House.

Fortunately, Chris got home late tonight, so this meal stood a chance of being eaten, but on a typical night Chris would be two frozen dinners deep before the cabbage had been cooked to meltaway goodness.

I served the cabbage with tofu that was dredged in a mixture of flour, corn starch, and paprika, then lightly browned in a skillet. The tofu complimented the cabbage well. 

When I make this again, I may try to incorporate Sweet Thai Chili Sauce. I don’t know that it needs it, but Chris and I both really like Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and I can imagine that it would be pretty good.

Adapted from The Local Cook.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp yogurt butter
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz. pasta
  • pepper to taste
  • sour cream (for garnish, I used fat free)

Directions:

  • Melt the butter in a large pot with a heavy bottom.
  • Add the onion and sauté until tender.
  • Add the paprika and sauté further.
  • Stir in the cabbage and salt and cook on very low heat for one hour stirring occasionally until the cabbage is soft. (The longer the cabbage cooks, the sweeter it will be.)
  • Mix the pasta in. Add pepper to taste.
  • Serve with sour cream.

Servings ~ 3

Calories (not including sour cream or the tofu pictured) ~ 278, Fat ~ 6 g, Carbohydrates ~ 56 g, Protein ~ 11 g

Today was decidedly an “I don’t wanna cook day”, but there were plenty of vegetables that needed to be used before they went bad and was kind of digging the idea of having decent leftovers for lunch, so I went for it.

My lunch has been some form of avocado and cucumber slices on bread for the last four days. Exciting, huh? I am a huge fan of avocado sandwiches and all, but four days straight is a little much even for me.

Plus, I have a team lunch tomorrow and I would feel silly bringing an avocado sandwich. I’m sure my co-workers would give that one the side eye. Stir fry on the other hand, should be totally acceptable.

Now to snag a rubbermaid container to put it in that isn’t “yogurtwear”…

Everyone else grew up with yogurtwear, right? When I was a child, we had all different sizes of yogurtwear, Rainbow Sherbet size, cottage cheese size, yogurt size. Chris and I still do. I thought that would end when I graduated from college. Sadly, with the purchase of Duke’s House it has just intensified.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 oz (dry) soba noodles
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 4 cups broccoli
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 8 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1 chili pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 tsp sesame oil in a large skillet or wok.
  • Slice tofu into 1″ x 1″ x 1/4″ pieces, brown on both sides in the oil.
  • Add onion and broccoli to the skillet and cook until they begin to become tender.
  • Cook and drain soba noodles.
  • Add scallions, mushrooms, garlic, and chili pepper to the skillet and cook for several more minutes.
  • When the noodles are done cooking and have been drained, add the noodles, soy sauce, black pepper, teriyaki sauce and remaining 2 tsp of sesame oil to the skillet.
  • Toss until the noodles are well coated in sauce.
  • Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced to your desired thickness.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 360, Fat ~ 13 g, Carbohydrates ~ 47 g, Protein ~ 17 g

Last week, while on a mission to buy fenugreek seeds, I found myself at my local Asian grocery store with a carton of shelf stable silken tofu in my basket. I’m not really sure what inspired me to buy it, other than the fact that I had not ever noticed shelf stable tofu before and I was feeling adventurous. Some of my other loot included coriander seed (very difficult to find where I live), marjoram, prawn crackers, and soba noodles.

I was so excited about the prawn crackers that I opened up the package before I even left the parking lot. To my dismay, the prawn crackers were nothing but a disappointment. I am fairly open-minded when it comes to food and I had fond memories of prawn crackers from my trip to China, but these did not measure up to my expectations. In fact, the prawn cracker that I ate was the only thing that I have eaten in recent memory that tasted so bad that I had trouble chewing and swallowing it. After I got home with them and tried to feed Duke one, I decided not to feel so bad about them. Even Duke turned his nose up at these crackers.

Anyway, back to the tofu. In reality it should have seemed like an even worse idea than the prawn crackers. Consider Parmalat vs. regular milk, yes, downright unappealing. Fortunately, that logic did not win out and I ended up with a creamy pasta dish that reasonably approximates an alfredo but without the fat and calories. I anticipate stocking up on shelf stable tofu and making this dish quite often!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package firm, silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain light soymilk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8 oz (dry) whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta as directed on the package and drain.
  • Break the tofu into chunks and place in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, and soymilk.
  • Blend everything until very smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the sauce into a medium size saucepan and keep over low heat.
  • Stir in herbs and parmesan while constantly stirring until the cheese is melts (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Stir in the peas.
  • After peas have thawed, stir in the pasta.
  • Spread the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, parsley and basil as desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 350, Fat ~ 8 g, Carbohydrates ~ 52 g, Protein ~ 22 g

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