Comfort food was in order. So I simmered noodles in almond milk until tender, stirred in two pats of garlic & herb goat cheese, and a sprinkle of salt. Yum and done.
I’ve been ordering grocery deliveries from Safeway for almost 10 years. It’s ideal for shopping anytime from your couch, rather than spending an hour of precious evening or weekend time pushing your cart through the crowded aisles.
Over the years, Safeway has expanded their line of organic products and healthy options. Their (unprocessed) frozen meals can’t be beat, price wise.
This delectable “Five Grain Beef and Vegetables” dish is $2. Hardly anything costs $2 these days! And for only 290 calories, it actually fills me up.
Pinterest makes anything seem possible. “Life changing mac & cheese in minutes!” This pin inspired me to try boiling said noodles in milk (in my case, almond milk) and then simply stir in shredded cheese at the end.
Not bad, although I should have been more generous about the amount of cheese.
One of the reasons I hardly ever bake is that I’m not good at following step-by-step directions with precise measurements. Instead, I prefer to wing it or rush it. I made that mistake this morning with the first batch of pancake batter. Lesson learned: don’t combine all the ingredients willy nilly; it’s not a salad!
My next rookie move was to cook the pancakes too quickly. Once I finally slowed down and let them sit much longer in the pan, they had that pretty golden color. (The first few were 50 shades of ivory.)
Adapted from a blueberry pancake recipe first attempted here. (And minus the blueberries, unfortunately.)
Mix in a medium bowl:
Separately, mix together; then gradually incorporate into the dry mixture above and whisk until the lumps are gone:
Cooking in 1/4 cup spoonfuls over medium heat seemed to be slow, but less accident-prone. Makes about 8 pancakes in a smallish frying pan.
Since I always struggle with stocking meat and using it before the expiration date, I decided to experiment with canned seafood. The smell is pungent and not for the fish-averse. But adding shrimp or crab to a meal is incredibly easy when it’s stored in the pantry for dinner emergencies.
Breakfast can benefit too. I made baked eggs with almond milk, spinach, and canned crab meat. For the recipe, see New Year’s Resolution-Worthy Baked Eggs.
I also made a simple “fried rice” dish by sauteeing the canned shrimp in a pan and adding frozen peas towards the end, while cooking the rice separately. Mix it all together and serve. (Even better, try adding the shrimp to a Caesar salad.)
Four years ago we lived in San Francisco and “Dinner with David” was born in our tiny little kitchen. On Oscar night that year, I tried a milk-braised pork recipe. The following year, we feasted on fiber-rich turkey meatballs and pasta. Things haven’t changed all that much. So tonight I decided to revisit the pork recipe, this time using almond milk and pappardelle noodles.
This morning I embraced resolutions to eat healthy, make more meals at home, and embrace imperfection. Inspired by a baked eggs recipe from Saveur, I made some tweaks; adding mushrooms and onions, swapping cream for almond milk, and leaving out the bacon. Despite some timing adjustments with the eggs, the result was a delicious brunch that’s deceptively healthy.
First, saute sliced mushrooms and chopped onions with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach at the end and remove from heat. Grease two oven-safe bowls or small gratin dishes with butter.
Next, divide mushroom mixture between two bowls. Make 2 wells in each bowl, and carefully crack 1 egg into each well. Add 4 tomato wedges and 2 spoonfuls of almond milk to each bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Bake uncovered at 425 degrees or higher if your stoneware can handle it. Remove once the egg whites are opaque, and topping is golden brown.
Note: It took me much longer than the 5 minutes (under a broiler) that the recipe suggested, to cook the eggs through. In fact, I discovered there was still clear liquid on the bottom layer, so I put them back in until I felt safer about the finished result. In total, I probably cooked them for 20 minutes or so, but it will ultimately depend on your risk tolerance, oven and cookware.
Delicious when served and scooped with sourdough toast!
Why should mozzarella have all the fun? After watching my Christmas hosts make pizza at home, David was determined to try it in our kitchen. I was equally determined to find a shreddable goat cheese.
Trader Joe’s is where we got the goods. You can pick up the dough, bell peppers, olives, sausage, mushrooms, and marinara sauce for less than the price of delivery. And I found Goat’s Milk Cheddar Cheese, which turned out to be a perfect substitute for mozzarella.
The only tricky part is cooking the pizza long enough to make sure the dough is cooked through. Ours took twice as long as the package suggested, which meant crispier toppings than we would have liked. I’d recommend reducing the heat slightly to help cook evenly.
My supply of vegetables was rather sad, and after setting my sights on lasagna, I realized the ground turkey had expired four days ago. In these situations, my instinct is to experiment and hope all goes well.
For this particular veggie lasagna, I simmered diced tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper; and went to work on a sauce. I started by boiling frozen corn in chicken broth, to which I added some leftover goat cheese, a scoop of plain yogurt, and a generous amount of almond milk.
For the architecture of the lasagna, layer 1/3 tomatoes, followed by 1/3 corn mixture; sprinkle a layer of Parmesan, followed by three no-bake lasagna noodles. Repeat three times. Finish with more almond milk and parmesan to cover the top layer of noodles. (My top layer of noodles dried out, so make sure they’re covered in liquid.) Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Lasagna noodles saved dinner, once again. Hidden in the bowels in the cupboard, they’ve come to the rescue many times before, paired with unexpected partners like beans, goat cheese and butternut squash.
This time around, I used ground turkey, spinach and crushed tomatoes for the bolognese; and yogurt and almond milk to make a bechamel sauce, inspired by this eHow recipe. The sleeper hit? Cinnamon…
Turkey Lasagna with Yogurt Bechamel
In a large pan, sauté 1 chopped onion in 4 tbsp butter. Add fresh spinach by handfuls, and simmer on low.
In a separate nonstick pan, brown ground turkey. Add 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and pepper; and 2 cans crushed/diced tomatoes. Reduce heat and bring to simmer. Add 1 cup almond milk and 1 tsp salt.
Combine turkey with spinach, simmer on low.
Meanwhile prep yogurt béchamel sauce:
In a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together 4 tbsp olive oil and 4 tbsp white flour. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble and turn a light golden color. Turn off heat.
Mix in 2 cups cold almond milk and 1 cup of yogurt. Stir constantly and turn a medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
Add 1/3 cup of grated Gruyere cheese and 1/3 cup of Parmesan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkling of nutmeg and black pepper. Mix together until melted and remove from heat.
For the layering, I used no-bake lasagna noodles, in the following order:
Bake covered with foil at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy the smell of cinnamon throughout the house, and every time you heat up the leftovers!