Meatless May

Colorful vegetables and fruits

The Mak family is going Meatless for the month of May.  Why you ask?  Well, I devised this little plan/challenge for lots of reasons. The biggest reason is that I’ve always wanted to try going totally veggie.  We already eat meatless at least 2x each week, so we have lots of yummy recipes. 

We also have a goal of not eating out as much. No cheeseburgers = no fun eating out :).  Also, DMP and I are, um, chubby lately, so I think meatless and not eating out could help with that too.  Also,  it is good for our health and the environment.

This should be a fun and interesting challenge. We have decided that eggs, cheese and fish are OK (DMP couldn’t QUITE face no meat at all). It is our anniversary this month and I’ll be travelling, so that will be challenging. Good thing DMP and I both love sushi!

Wish us luck and if you have any good veggie meals, send them my way!

April 29, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 16 comments.

Food Storage Auditions- Black Bean Burgers and Chicken Salad

Last week, we auditioned two more potential 3 month food storage candidates. 

First we tried the Black Bean Burgers from the excellent Safely Gathered In blog:

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Before we proceed with the results of the audition, I want to add my standard disclaimer to this as well as any and all types of “veggie” burger.  If you are expecting it to have the texture and taste of a ground beef burger, you will always, always be disappointed. If you are expecting a delicious grilled sandwich- you may be suprised that you like it in spite of the missing meat.

So- back to this recipe.  It was excellent- one of the best bean burger recipies we’ve tried (and one of the easiest).  We did almost double the amount of salsa called for in the recipe, and we added about a 1/4 or 1/2 coup of corn (about 1/3 of a can). 

They cooked up nicely on the stovetop, too- crispyish on the outside and mushy (creamy?) on the inside.  We served them with melted cheddar, salsa, tomatos and lettuce.  Kid rating was a double-thumbs-up- Birdy ate her whole sandwich (which is the ultimate kid test). 

My only issue is that I wonder about the suitibility for “shelf storage” since it relies on buns (which, technically I could make- you know, if they have a “hamburger bun” recipe for the bread machine).  However, I think for the practical purposes of the 3 month supply, it gets a “pass”.

On Saturday we went to the zoo.  We have a new commitment to NOT eating out, so we decided it was a perfect opportunity to bust out the Chicken Salad  recipe (also from Safely Gathered In) and give it a try (Pic from Safely Gathered In- not mine):

chicken-salad

I only became a Chicken Salad sandwich fan recently, and have been pretty committed to a great recipe that my sister  found on one of my favorite recipe sites, Allrecipes.com.  It is awesome, but definately not food-storage friendly.

We really enjoyed this chicken salad. The canned chicken suprised us again by being really good. The craisins gave it a great shelf-stable sweetness and the toasted almonds provided the crunch. Our only complaint was that it seemed a bit dry and we had to add a good 1 1/2 extra tablespoons of mayo.  The girls also thought it was great and ate up their whole sandwiches while watching the rhinos.

So now our total is up to 4 recipes and we have started shopping and collecting ingredients.  I’m curious, readers, shall I continue these reviews? Are you interested? Do you care? Do you want me to just send you our final list/recipes?

Let me know in the comments!~

April 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

No need to wonder why I am the way I am

I love food. It is a VERY important part of my life (perhaps that is why I’m sucking at Weight Watchers??? Damn you cheese fries and ranch!).

I was amused by the comments left by my family about my fried chicken and wafffles comments. Several members de-lurked to also ponder this strange-yet-strangely-compelling dish. I come from a family of foodies, I tell ya!

Here is some more proof:

Here is a comment by sis Bek on another blog we both follow, Light Refreshments Served:

“Am I the only one in the world that enjoys both?? We love both events in our house and each event has annual “must have” foods… (Back in the day we used to host parties for these events, but now we have too many kids and are too lazy)… for Superbowl we always have those Bisquick sausage cheese balls.. um, yes please. We also do Cowboy Caviar….. for the Oscars we have baked brie w/ ham and garlic and blue cheese fondue (for the brie…saute up some large chunks of ham –think costco spiral sliced–place in bottom of small ish baking dish. Throw in 20 whole cloves of garlic (I usually buy mine pre peeled and sometimes roast them the day before), cut up chunks of brie…bake till the cheese is bubbly, serve with bread… you dip the bread in the brie, smear on some roasted garlic and then top with ham…. sigh.. I love food…”

I read this and was literally drooling. I didn’t know blue cheese fondue existed, but hook me up, Bek!

A couple of weeks ago, another sis, Jenn, sent an announcement to the fam that her COOKBOOK is thisclose to being published!

Even the “boring” eaters of the family (I’m looking at you Kate and Brad) appreciate good food- just so long as there is no condiment or vegetable touching it.

It all started with my Dad, I think. We used to think he was joking when he said he wanted to be buried with his pepper grinder, but know we know he is serious. When he kicks the bucket, we will ceremoniously grind pepper on his grave every memorial day.  Nice mustard was always a must-have in our house, too. None of that nasty yellow stuff for the Kinsels!

It is nice to finally know why I am the way I am 🙂 It is all genetics.

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

A Mystery Decoded- Sort Of

I like food- alot.  That means I also like to cook and watch cooking shows.  Lately on the “watch someone else travel and eat yummy food” shows it seems there have been several instances of a beloved southern meal of fried chicken and waffles.

chicken-and-waffles1

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this dish (I know, I’m crazy).  As you can see from the picture, it isn’t chicken strips, it is chicken “on the bone”. So are they meant to be eaten together like you would take a bite of chicken and eat it with a bite of creamy polenta?  Are they totally seperate? Do you pour syrup over the whole thing- fried chicken included?  Who the heck came up with this dish? 

So, my blog public, I turned to my old friend, Wikipedia for answers.  Turns out, this dish has a long history- particularly among the African-American slaves in the “olden days”.  They would typically get leftovers and waffles at that time were a great novelty and they rarely got fried chicken.  So it apparently became a special occasion meal for them and, later, many families would have a hearty breakfast of chicken and waffles before church. Now there are a couple of restaurant chains that specialize in the dish.

So that answers a lot of my questions, but I still don’t know- do you pour the syrup on the chicken?  Based on my intense 30 scanning of pictures on Google images, I’m going to say no. But perhaps it is like eating bacon or sausage with your waffles- some people don’t mind or even enjoy the mixing of maple and meat.

January 25, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Award Winning Chili

So, I entered our company Halloween chili contest and WON for the vegetarian category.  Yep, DMP’s cooking skills paid off (he prepped and assembled, I heated it up and stirred).  So, if you are interested, here is my AWARD WINNING Super Chili:

4 cans of beans (your choice) rinsed and drained

1 16 oz bottle of salsa

1 small can of tomato sauce (you know, the really little ones?)

1 regular can of diced tomatoes w/ juice (I used chipotle ones)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

8 oz of velveeta cheese, in chunks

About ½ c. chopped onion

About ½ c. chopped green pepper

Cayenne and Chili powder to taste (I think DMP added 1 tsp of each?)

Dump everything in a pot and bring it to a boil then turn the temp down and let it simmer for 30 min or until melted and heated through. Or, if you prefer, you can put it in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hrs. (or high for 2).

 That’s it. It is really good with tortilla chips, saltine crackers, cheese, sour cream and etc.

November 4, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.