Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Tag: Vegetarian

Orange Tempeh Stir Fry

Orange Tempeh Stir Fry

I know what you’re thinking. “Really Jo? Wasn’t the tofu enough? What’s wrong with chicken? Do we really need more vegetarian options?” Yes. Always! Variety is the spice of life, my friend. And tempeh, like tofu, is excellent if you take the time to do […]

Spent Grain Burgers

Spent Grain Burgers

Do you have a home brewer in your life? You’re going to need to find one. “What is spent grain?” you ask. I’m going to let Wikipedia answer that: Brewer’s spent grain (also called Spent grain, Brewer’s grain or Draff) is a byproduct of beer […]

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

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You know how every family has a set of side salads that appear at functions? Like Grandma’s broccoli salad, or Auntie’s guacamole? We’ve got those too. But we have things like “Romance Jello” or “Frog Eye Salad.” We were hilarious as kids.

Those side dishes are wonderful, but this one is a little different. It has vegetables. It has noodles. It didn’t come from the back of a romance novel. (I think)

My mother in law brought this salad once, and was told in no uncertain terms that she was to bring this to all future functions, no matter the occasion. That’s how we roll. You bring good food, and you’re in for life. Whether you like it or not!

It is so easy, too! Technically, I consider this a “cheat” recipe because the “sauce” isn’t homemade, but sometimes cheating is essential for success (in the case of food, not life). My sister and I made up a recipe for the 4th of July because my mother in law was out of town, and I think it was darn near perfect. Maybe Anita can give us some pointers in the comments section ūüėČ

Anita’s Pasta Salad
Not sure where she got this one, but I’m so glad she did!

1 box of pasta (your favorite kind, but we like the colorful noodles)
1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
2 cups of olives, either sliced or halved
1 or 2 large cucumbers, diced
1 bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cool water. Add chopped vegetables, and 3/4 to 1 bottle of Italian Dressing. Mix. Serve. No kidding!

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I don’t usually peel vegetables, but some people don’t like the skins. Do what you will.

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Thanks for doing the work, Amanda!

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Colorful noodles are really fun. And they totally taste better!

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For some added color, you could add sliced cherry tomatoes or chopped red pepper. We were kind of in a hurry though, and didn’t really think ahead. It happens.

So now you have another item to add to your family’s repertoire. What are your family staples?

The Best BBQ Garnish

The Best BBQ Garnish

Tasty, easy, fast, and cheap! Plus, people seem to really enjoy it. I get requests for this recipe at just about every summer function with my family. It’s macque choux! (Pronounced mock shoe) My sister and I cooked at her house on the 4th of […]

Eggplant Mykonos

Eggplant Mykonos

I got to use my kitchen. It was fantastic. I’m definitely not used to the stove though. It was a learning process last night, but the good news is that I didn’t burn anything! I moved my cutting boards around. Moved them back. Sighed with […]

Single Jo Food

Single Jo Food

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No, I’m not technically single.
But Nick has been gone for over a week, so it’s kinda like being single.

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It seems like when Nick is home, there’s all kinds of things I want to try that he’s just not that into. But as soon as he left, I couldn’t think of a single one.
Go figure.

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I think the truth is that both of our tastes are evolving to be a bit more similar. I’ll have to see what he thinks about that.

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I was also sick for part of the week, and then the kid was sick for part of the week, so big to-do dinners just weren’t in the cards.

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This recipe was perfect because it was simple, relatively quick, and super easy to clean up after.

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Sweet Potato Wraps
Serves about one and a half

1 large sweet potato, diced as evenly as possible
1/2 cup black beans
1/3 cup feta cheese (I had roasted tomato and basil feta. It was fancy)
several cabbage leaves, shredded (I just tore them apart)
2 flat breads

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and spray or brush with olive oil. Spread the sweet potato out on the baking sheet, then bake for 10 minutes.
After the ten minutes, add a little bit of hot water to the baking sheet and return it to the oven. Not so much water that the potato is drowning, but enough to give it a nice steam. Repeat this process one or two more times, until the sweet potato is very tender.
Warm up the black beans, and then the flat bread. Combine all the ingredients and wrap in foil.

This is probably one of those meals that Nick wouldn’t be wild about, but I guess I’ll have to make it again this week to find out.

Darn ūüėČ

White Asparagus:  Answers

White Asparagus: Answers

I got some amazing feedback from you guys about my white asparagus debacle. ¬†There are tons and tons of great recipes out there, but the overwhelming¬†consensus has been to peel it first! Who knew? ¬†I mean, besides all of you. ¬†And Google. ¬†And Food Network. […]

White Asparagus

White Asparagus

Ok, for once, I had a kitchen disaster that wasn’t my fault. At least, I don’t think it was my fault… Passing through the produce section of Costco, something strange caught my eye. Something unique. What on earth could that be? How can asparagus be […]

Strawberry Fruit Leather

Strawberry Fruit Leather

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Did you know you can make your own fruit leather? I guess I knew that in theory, but it just never crossed my mind as one of those things I’d actually try.

Ok, so this is one of those things that Nick tried. I’m too honest for my own good!

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Fruit leather is ridiculously easy. All you do is boil some fruit in water, puree, and dehydrate.

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Yep. Totally doable.

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We spread ours a little too thin, but that’s an easy fix for next time. Even still, we were able to get some pretty sizable chunks.

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And it all tasted perfect, even the little flakes!

Since Nick did all the work on this one, he earned the right to abscond with the loot (he took it to work with him). At least he shared a few pieces. Next time we will probably do a triple or quadruple batch, just so there’s some the next day. (Fruit leather is hard to keep around with…well…us in the house. We like our fruit leather)
This is one of those infinitely changeable recipes. You can use whatever kind of fruit you want, and dehydrate it all at once. Then you’ll have fruit leather all summer long to bring with you on camping, floating and hiking trips! I’ll give you the recipe we used, and as we make this more often, I’ll post variations. I’d love to hear how you do it, too!

Fruit Leather
**Please wash all your fruit! I hate to sound preachy, but I know more people who don’t wash their fruit than I care to think about.

2 cups strawberries, roughly chopped
2 apples, sliced (we used Pink Lady, cause that’s what we had, but Granny Smith would give a nice bite of tartness)
1 oranges, peeled and segmented
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Gently boil until fruit is very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer fruit and liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth. ¬†At this point, you should taste the puree to see if it needs sugar. ¬†Most fruit is naturally sweet enough that you shouldn’t need it, but if you have particularly tart fruit or a particularly sweet tooth, add sugar in small amounts until it’s right.
You can use a food dehydrator or your oven–just follow your food dehydrator’s instructions, or set your oven on the lowest setting and bake for about 8-10 hours. Yes, hours. This is a good rainy day project. If you use a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper and spray or brush a bit of vegetable or olive oil over it.
We didn’t use our Misto this time, but it definitely would have been helpful during the removal process.

When the leather is sufficiently dry, cut into strips and store in an airtight container.

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming!

Let’s back up so you can see this properly. This was the most epic fruit salad. I even tweeted about it! (Did you know you can follow me on twitter? I’m super hilarious. ¬†Well, I said something mildly funny once, anyway.) The salad was epic, […]