STEP TWO: Squash (it takes longer than the cauliflower, so it goes in first)
When you want that big bowl of pasta but your actions (or lack of actions) doesn't really warrant a pasta party for one in front of House of Cards. It's a great way to use up that last little bit of pasta sauce and get your cravings under control. It's satisfying, and simple, and the chili flakes and capers give it enough dimension to keep it interesting.
YOU WILL NEED:
1/2 Cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup leftover spaghetti sauce (mine is just San Marzano canned tomatoes, lots of onion, and garlic at this point)
1 tablespoon capers in brine
Chili flakes to taste, about 1/2 a teaspoon is my dosage
Steam your cauliflower until it's softened but still retains it's crunch. About 2-3 minutes in the steamer.
Heat up your leftover sauce in a skillet when it's bubbling at the edges add the cauliflower and fold in to coat evenly. Add capers and chili flakes and sauté three minutes, or until the sauce is clinging to the cauliflowers.
Serve in a bowl with some torn basil and a nice drizzle of olive oil.
Braised cabbage in cider with apples, onion, caraway seeds, and baked tofu. I stole this recipe from @mortenlovach but he makes his with beer and veggie sausage which and sour cream which, honestly, is way better. But this gluten free and dairy free option serves a medicinal purpose today. Cabbage is loaded with electrolytes and minerals, and so much fiber! It kind of works as a scrubber to grab onto old dirt that might be lingering around in your digestive tract and get it on the move. So not only is this hearty and warming on a cold day, but it's a great way for me to scrub away anything I may have accumulated on my bartenders weekend (tuesday/Wednesday) for a happy, healthy gut and a flat belly. Sometimes balance is just one day away!
YOU WILL NEED:
1 small head of cabbage, chopped into pretty big chunks
1 large organic apple, or two small ones
1 large white onion, or two small ones
3 cloves garlic
12 oz cider, or you could use any blonde beer
3 branches thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or any kind but balsamic)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (this really makes it)
1 tablespoon mustard (any kind you like)
about 8oz or one package baked tofu, or you could use tempeh, or any veggie meat substitute, just read the label if you're avoiding gluten
chili flakes (optional)
Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent, add the apples and cabbage and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper, and you can drizzle a little extra olive oil on top so it all looks a little coated. All of this will cook down so if your pot looks pretty full, don't worry. When things sound pretty hot in the pan, pour the cider in, and add the garlic, thyme, vinegar, mustard, bay leaf, caraway, and whatever tofu or whatnot you're using. Stir it all up, the liquid should be almost to the level of the vegetables. Turn the heat to medium, cover, and let cook for about 30 minutes or until everything has started to meld together. Check your seasoning, and finish with a big drizzle of olive oil (or butter if you go that way). Serve with some extra mustard on the side with some potatoes, as a stew on it's own, or take it to work with some quinoa, like I did!
For a long time I had great difficulty perfecting my tomato bisque. I love the Pacific brand cartons of the stuff, and when I tried to make it at home it was either too much like tomato-sauce or over-seasoned and had lost that sweet tomato taste. The cherry tomatoes are essential because even the conventional brands will have ten times the sun-sweet, lemony tomato flavor than a traditional plum tomato will. As far as cans go, San Marzano brand has no BPA's and is a really delicious tomato.
(ingredients in boldface)
🍅➡️chop one onion, one carrot, three cloves of garlic and sauté in olive oil
🍅➡️when translucent sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour and cook for a few minutes, scraping the sides of the pan.
🍅➡️add two branches of fresh thyme
🍅➡️(optional)deglaze with a 1/4 cup white wine/sherry/brandy/vermouth, reduce, then add 3 cups of stock and one bunch of thyme (whole)
🍅➡️blitz 12 oz or one container of cherry tomatoes (they're sweeter) and add to the soup
🍅➡️blitz a 16oz can of whole tomatoes (I like San Marzano) and add to the soup
🍅➡️ let this whole conspiracy cook down until the level of liquid in the pan is down an inch, remove the thyme (which will just be twigs at this point) then (working in batches) transfer to the blender.
🍅➡️add a 1" cube of pecorino to one of the batches (or skip it and make it #vegan)
🍅 ➡️whisk in a little olive oil for richness and if it seems a little flat (sometimes you get a boring tomato) perk it up with a little balsamic vinegar. Like, a tiiiiiny bit. Garnish with crouton and olive oil and share with someone you give a big shit about. Like yourself!
My shift at work is 12-8 and I generally try not to eat after 8pm, so I pack lunches that I won't mind eating the other half of for dinner. These "casseroles" are my favorite, and a great way to use out leftovers. Adding a little liquid to this dish kind of brings it all together when you reheat. I had leftover French onion soup so that's my base here (spaghetti sauce, beans, or even just stock is great too) If you have your oven on, cook something extra! Being able to whip up lunch from leftovers in minutes is crucial to us workers always running around! Bake or nuke, or even have it cold.
Greens, grains, protein, vitamins, and minerals! This salad has it all. I invite you to use whatever you have in your refrigerator (corn, chickpeas, tofu, leftover fish or veggies, rice, nuts, pickles, WHATEVER! it's all good). Kale provides a nice sturdy base and it's earthy, vegetal flavor doesn't get lost under all the add-ons. Massaging the kale makes it soft enough to chew easily. If you get bored after 20 seconds of massaging someone's back, don't worry! It only takes about ten to get the kale where you want it to be. Do you need the parsley? Not at all, it's your salad. However, adding a little of any fresh herb (mint, cilantro, tarragon, celery leaves, chervil, or even thyme works) to your salad really takes it to the next level, I wouldn't skip it!
YOU WILL NEED:
one bunch kale, ribs and stems removed. USE YOUR HANDS
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
any veg you have hanging around, amounts aren't really necessary, we are just building a salad, after all. I used
-1/2 carrot (grated)
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
-a few pieces of baked tempeh
-roasted sunflower seeds
- about 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
-1/2 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon mustard (any kind)
juice of 1 lemon + zest (if you have a microplane)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic
(a scoop of hummus, nutritional yeast, a tablespoon of goddess dressing, a bit of mashed avocado or a little tahini are all welcome here as well.)
Wash your hands. You'll be using them a lot.
Add the mustard into a large mixing bowl, use your hand to smear it a bit around the inside of the bowl. If this weirds you out, you can use a rubber spatula. This step ensures that you won't get a bite of salad with an entire teaspoon of mustard hidden in it.
add your kale leaves into the bowl, and massage it in your hands until the green color deepens a bit, and the leaves are softer. You'll be able to see this change, and it only takes a few seconds.
Add the rest of your salad ingredients, add whatever you like. If you are using softer ingredients like avocado or a boiled egg, you can leave these aside and arrange them on top once the salad is dressed.
Drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic on top. Add a little salt and pepper and get your hands in there! Toss the salad thoroughly with relaxed hands, getting the dressing all up in everything. Dressing a salad like this means you need less liquids and fats to get the full flavor of a well dressed salad, without wilted greens or bland tomatoes.
Wash your hands, serve it up, and vow to never eat boring salad again.
I've been cooking since I was seven. Institute of Culinary Education grad and NYC trained chef. Food dork. Health nut. Bounty Hunter of beige foods. I don't think there needs to be a separation between food that's good and food that's good for you.