Beef-flavored Vegetable Pot Pie

Thinking of meat pie,
Couldn’t decide how to make,
Tried to be healthy.

Topped with fried onion,
Beef-flavored veggie pot pie,
Makes good comfort food.

Recipe

  1. Line an oil-sprayed pie plate with a 9” pie crust either pre-made or homemade. Note: I stretched out my dough a bit to fit the oval glass dish I used.

Easy homemade single pie crust: 1 cup flour, intermittently pour and stir in ¼ cup oil; continue stirring while adding ¼ cup water until dough clings together. Knead lightly and roll out. (from The Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown)

  1. Sauté 1 sliced onion and 3 minced garlic.
  2. Add 2 chopped carrots, 4 cubed potatoes, and 1 cup beef broth. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add 1 cup cubed zucchini and 2 cups sliced mushrooms. Add ½ cup beef broth. Simmer on medium- low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add 10 oz. frozen peas, ¼ cup raisins, and ¼ cup beef broth. Lightly sprinkle with Tamari sauce; simmer for 4 minutes on low heat.
  5. Add ¼ lb. cooked ground beef; turn off after meat is heated through with vegetable mixture.
  6. Pour beef and vegetable mixture in pie plate. (If any extra filling, use it the next day to make fried rice; add mung bean sprouts and chopped scallions and scrambled or fried egg.)
  7. Fully cover top with fried onion pieces; I used the Trader Joe’s brand. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Put dish in preheated oven set at 350 degrees F. Take out after 18 minutes. Let it set for 5-10 minutes, depending how patient you are.

Happy devouring!

Seafood Crawl

Started with a lobster roll crave,
Then thoughts of calamari rings became grave,
Followed by dreams of clam chowder, a life-long fave.

So I planned a seafood crawl,
Like a fisherman going out to trawl,
Looking forward to eating the haul.

As a glimpse to my obsession,
Behold this presentation
Of my maritime preoccupation.


(left upper corner: clam strip roll with onion rings and fries; left bottom corner: fried calamari; from upper right corner to lower right corner: lobster roll, haddock scampi, clam chowder)

A Fruitful Affair

A banana fare
With strawberries and nuts flair,
Add yogurt and pear.

Recipe
Mix together:
1 ¼ – ½ cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
4 packets of coconut sugar (or your choice of sweetener and amount)
1 egg
3 mashed ripe bananas
3 tbsp. olive oil (or your choice of oil)
Enough cups of almond milk (or your choice of milk) to make a batter with texture of your preference

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F while mixing batter
  2. Pour batter in warmed, butter- or olive-oiled cast iron skillet
  3. Time for 15 minutes, at which time take out skillet and press/mix in sliced strawberries and return skillet to oven
  4. Time for 25 minutes and check to see if done, stick toothpick in and see if it comes out clean
  5. Serve and have a great morning or evening, if you want this to be a dinner fare

Nut Mix

They squabble over the nut mix. Every morning, Elvira prepares their breakfast by sprinkling a mix of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit over their hot cereal. Without fail each day, she complains that the mix supply looks significantly less than the day before.

“Of course it does because you use it every day,” Henderson points out to his wife.

“Don’t take me for a fool. I hardly use much. A small handful is all I sprinkle over the oatmeal.” Elvira is annoyed because such exchange between them is starting to become routine. She wonders if she had been too hasty in getting married after knowing him for less than three months. But, she’s always been a decisive woman and they were both in their late fifties and not getting any younger. She also wanted to have a man around the house to help with the yard and her car.  Stuff her father used to do and her mum expected from a man.

As a woman of habit, Elvira would always leave for work soon after breakfast and return home right at dinnertime. Henderson, a freelance graphics artist, always works at home.  She and her husband had a silent understanding that this time apart served as a healthy break from each other. Nevertheless, Elvira’s suspicious nature couldn’t shake the feeling that the nut mix was dwindling faster than it ought to during the week.

To satisfy her curiosity, Elvira decides to break her customary ways for one day. Without telling Henderson, Elvira goes home for lunch, parking her car a block away and sneaking in the house to see if Henderson has been dipping into the nut mix. She knows he always makes a salad for lunch and she is tired of letting him think she doesn’t know what’s been going on.

Stealthily, she peeks through the living room window, sees that her husband is nowhere near, and silently opens the door. Tiptoeing into the kitchen, she screams as she sees a man-sized squirrel on its haunches preparing a big bowl of salad. Slowly turning around, the giant squirrel says, “What a surprise, Elvira.”  He looks down as he pours the nut mix into the salad, “Be glad I don’t eat meat.”

Bánh Mi Wannabe

Planned to make bánh mi,
But too many substitutes
No bánh mi for me.

Just a stacked sandwich,
So ban me for no bánh mi,
Though not a bad sub.

I had no baguette,
I used pain de campagne,
A pseudo-bánh mi.

My bánh mi wannabe ingredients for this classic Vietnamese sandwich:

  1. Sautéed Swiss chard, onions, and fresh basil sprinkled with tamari sauce
  2. Thinly sliced cucumbers
  3. Fresh mint
  4. Sweet pickle relish
  5. Leftover roasted chicken
  6. Mayo mixed with sriracha sauce spread on two slices of pain de campagne (aka “French sourdough”)

Mumble

“Ya got a big mouth on ya is yer problem, Eddie. How many people ya ate? Ya gotta pace yerself or we’ll get caught. I gotta do somethin’.” Royal, Eddie’s best friend glares at his shack mate, who is moaning at every chew.

Eyelids half closed, Eddie is too preoccupied savoring the last of his ill-gotten meat. There’s nothing like a good summer barbecued shoulder. Granted, it took him a few hours to wrestle it out of his prey who outweighed him by 65 pounds, but he triumphed, making him especially proud of his latest kill.

“I just looove tourist season,” Eddie mumbles, trying to keep in food from spilling out of his mouth.

With pressed lips, Royal saunters off to get his leather sewing kit. As he approaches his friend from behind, he says, “Sorry, buddy; this is fer yer own good.” Royal takes a swing at the back of Eddie’s head with a big sock filled with heavy rubber balls.

With Eddie stunned, he quickly proceeds to sew his friend’s mouth. As he almost finishes, Eddie’s lids flutter open. Eyes looking panicked, Eddie grunts, “Mmmph . . .”

“Oops, I forgot to ask if ya had any last words,” Royal mumbles, feeling a little guilty as he locks the stitches.

Mung Beans with Quinoa Stew Topped with Pork Rinds

stew

Here’s a fairly quick and easy stew, which you can eat as a vegetarian one-dish meal, or non-vegetarian if you wish to have a taste of pork rinds blended in.

Start by mincing 4 cloves of garlic, chopping 1 onion, and slicing 6 Roma tomatoes. Set them aside. Rinse in a mesh colander 1 ¼ lb. dry mung beans. Set aside. Rinse ¼ cup quinoa in a fine mesh colander and set aside.

Put 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a stock pot, and then place it on a stove burner over medium heat. Sauté the minced garlic, follow up with the chopped onion. After a minute, add in the sliced tomatoes.

After the tomatoes look tender, put in the mung beans and pour in one 32-oz. low sodium vegetable broth. Cover and continue cooking over medium heat. After about 15 minutes, put in the quinoa and cover. After another 10 minutes, pour in one 32-oz coconut milk and 2-3 cups water. Stir. Cover and time for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stir and time again for 20 minutes. While that continues to cook, chop a bunch of Swiss chard, which you will add when the timer goes off.

Add a few drops of fish sauce; you can always add more later when it’s cooked and you’ve tasted it. Continue cooking for 6 more minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the stove off and let the food settle for 5 minutes.

Serve in big bowls and drop a handful of pork rinds into each one, if you are so inclined. Just press them down into the stew with a spoon so they soften. Garnish with one sliced garden tomato.

Happy  dining!