What A Dip

May 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

We had a potluck today at work and I made a super easy, super tasty dip.  I should probably acknowledge that I originally got this recipe from my sister, who made it as a side on Christmas.  She told me I had to give her credit where credit is due and since it was such a hit here at the office – here you go, sissy.  Your dip rocks.

When I say it’s super easy, I mean that.  I’m all about the simple cooking and when a recipe says it’s quick but involves 15 different ingredients and more than 4 or 5 steps, I can feel my attention start to wane.  Which is why this was absolutely perfect for me and why this may be my new go-to potluck accessory.  Besides on Christmas of course – I’ll let my sister have that.

So here’s what you need (and all of this can be conveniently purchased at Trader Joe’s):

  • 1 package of steamed black lentils, ready to serve
  • 1 tub of bruschetta
  • 1 tub of (low-fat, if you prefer) feta cheese
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 spoon
  • 3 minutes

Not mine exactly but very close.

Once you have all of the ingredients, dump them into a bowl and stir.  Voila!  That’s it!  See, told you it was easy.  You can serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or even veggies but I used pita bread and pita chips – the chips went faster so when I make it again I’ll likely stick with that.  This is a healthy, tasty and as I’ve been continuously mentioning, easy dish that you can either make right before a party or leave to sit in the fridge the night before.  Enjoy!

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Soup’s On!

January 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

In an effort to stay warm during this cold snap and also in an effort to kick the ass of the cold that tried to attack me earlier this week, I’ve been eating a lot of soup.  Like, a lot.  I even made some on my own in my handy-dandy crock pot and it turned out so well I figured I might as well share.  And it was so easy!

Crock pots are wonderful because you can just throw everything in, turn it on and go to sleep (which is exactly what I did on Tuesday night).  I always forget how simple it is to cook in a crock pot but this was a good reminder.  To get started, I raided the fridge, freezer and cabinet and grabbed anything that looked halfway decent.  You can do the same, or just use what I did:

  • vegetable broth

    Campbell's has nothing on me.

    Campbell’s has nothing on me.

  • spinach
  • frozen leeks
  • two cans of vegetable lentil soup
  • one can of black beans
  • frozen vegetables from a bag
  • vegetarian Italian sausage
  • pre-cooked quinoa

Every single thing on my list is available at Trader Joe’s, in case you’re curious/hungry/cheap like me.  Anyway, I really just dumped all this into the crock pot, turned it on for 8 hrs and walked away.  When I woke up in the morning my entire apartment smelled delicious and I brought some with me to lunch for the day.  And not to brag or anything, but this was the best damn soup I’ve ever made.  Maybe the best soup that anyone, ever, has ever made, anywhere.  Or maybe not, but it was still very good.

However, it does not look good when it leaks out of its container in your bag onto the ass of the jeans that you brought with you to wear out after work.  In that case, it looks like someone had an accident and needs a diaper.  Just letting you know.

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Squash This x 2

November 1, 2012 at 11:13 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I know I recently posted about my forays into the world of spaghetti squash and I made another, better meal last night that I had to share.  In my previous attempt, I simply added some olive oil, spices and some random veggies and called it a meal.

Look what I can do!

It was good but last night I was in the mood for something a bit more hearty.  Scott had class so he wasn’t around but a good friend of mine came over as I got busy in the kitchen.  Since Scott had been nice enough to slice the squash in half lengthwise before he left for the night, all I needed to do was remove the seeds (which I did after taking the squash from the oven last time…I highly recommend removing the seeds before cooking, since it saved me from burning the prints off my fingers…again), put some tin foil on a baking sheet, add a bit of olive oil and pepper and place them face down in the oven for about 40 minutes (at 350 degrees).  Once they were tender, I scooped out those insides and put it all into a big pot while I simmered marinara sauce and sauteed some garlic along with diced broccoli and carrots.  I also put a package of veggie meatballs in the oven so everything was finished cooking at roughly the same time.  I then tossed it all together, added some feta cheese and voila!  A healthy, nutritious and delicious Halloween dinner.

It was fairly quick and very easy, plus those squashes produce so much…squash…that it fed both of us and Scott when he got home, while leaving probably two more meals worth of leftovers as well.  Not bad for a gourd that costs less than $2.  I kind of enjoy this whole cooking thing when it’s this simple and tasty so I’ll likely make this dish again pretty soon.  After I enjoy those leftovers for dinner tonight, of course!

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Squash This

October 2, 2012 at 10:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last week (or two weeks ago…man time flies), I prepared a dish using a vegetable I haven’t messed with in a long time – spaghetti squash.  It was super easy and surprisingly healthy, so even though I neglected to take any photos of my final creation, I thought I’d share with you just what I did.  For those of you who don’t know, spaghetti squash gets its name because its insides look and taste somewhat like spaghetti, at least once they’re nice and cooked.  Scott didn’t believe me that one squash would yield enough to feed three or four people and he was convinced he could eat an entire one himself, so we bought two for the whopping price of $2.  Boy, was he surprised when he saw how they turned out.

Crazy, huh?

To cook them, Scott took a huge knife (because I don’t trust myself with such things) and sliced them lengthways down the middle.  Then I put some oil on a baking sheet and placed them on there face down before setting them in the oven for about half an hour.  Then I proceeded to have a dance party in the kitchen to kill some time.  30 minutes later, after letting them cool so they weren’t too hot to touch, I removed the seeds much like I would do with a pumpkin (note: I believe you can do this before cooking them and as I was in a hurry and didn’t wait until they were really cooled down, I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.  Steaming hot squash insides burn when you’re wrist deep in them).  After I removed all of the seeds my delicate hands could handle, I took a large spoon and basically scooped out the innards, again much like a pumpkin.  Those insides are what became the “spaghetti” and Scott was amazed at how much there was (we ended up having leftovers for a week).  I then took whatever else I had in my fridge that I thought would pare well (this is my preferred method of cooking) and sautéed it: orange peppers, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, black olives and feta cheese.  I threw it all into the squash, along with some olive oil and seasonings, and voila!  Dinner!

This is a great substitute for pasta, although it has a bit of a squash taste instead of that of grain (shocking, I know).  It’s still really good and the dinner guests we had that night seemed to enjoy it, or at least were able to lie well enough that I believed them.  Scott really did like it though, as did I, and next time we’ll add some marinara sauce or something to spice it up even more.  So if you’re feeling hungry and lazy, pick up one of these bad boys and give it a go.  Your stomach will thank you – and so will your wallet!

 

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Recipe from Little Old Me

July 21, 2011 at 11:19 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I figured it was time for another recipe post, especially since I got yet ANOTHER mystery cooking magazine in the mail yesterday.  I still have no idea where they’re coming from or who signed me up for them and while I’ll admit that I haven’t actually made anything from any of them so far, I have decided to pick a dish from this latest issue, put on my apron and get cookin’.

Disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with actual, well thought out recipes.

Instead, I’m going to tell you about a dinner I made this weekend using basically whatever I had in my fridge (you may remember that this is my preferred method of cooking).  Here’s the final product:

Mmmm pizza...

I’ll go ahead and apologize for the craptastic photo here.  I’m not much on food pics to begin with and to be honest, by the time this was finished I was so hungry and excited to start eating that I just couldn’t take more than 2.5 seconds to focus on anything other than stuffing my face.

This isn’t anything super fancy but it was really tasty.  I found some flatbread at Target and basically just rubbed some olive oil on both sides before placing it on my pizza baking stone.  Then I took a big spoon and ladled out the sauce, which happened to be a basic garlic marinara that I had in the pantry.  The first of four cheeses came next and cheddar became a nice base.  Meanwhile, I had tossed a bunch of veggies into a pan with a little more olive oil and got that going.  This included spinach, zucchini and roasted red and yellow peppers.  I split the veggies in half and spread one portion on the flatbread while saving the other for later.  Then I added some goat cheese, baked jalapeno cheese and spices (oregano, basil, red pepper etc) before putting everything in the oven.  While that delicious concoction baked, I made a box of Trader Joe’s Macaroni and Cheese (a little healthier than the typical stuff) and threw in the rest of those veggies at the end.  After adding a bit of Parmesan cheese upon taking the pies out of the oven, I was ready to eat!

And there you have it.  From start to finish, this entire meal took me maybe 30 minutes (that includes baking time and time for me to pour myself a drink).  It was probably the best pizza I’ve ever made and the leftovers I had for lunch the next day were just as good.  If you’re carnivorous you can of course add some meat product as well but this was pretty satisfying, if I do say so myself.  Which I do.  If anything I hope it gives you an idea or two for an easy yet healthy and tasty dish that can be made on the fly.  Happy Eating!

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