Not Your Parents "Shit on a Shingle" (Creamy Lentils and Mushrooms on Toast)

IMG_0043The other day the mister and I started reminiscing about some of our earliest memories of what our parents fed us or what they used to eat when we were growing up. One of the dishes that we both remember eating was the classic creamed beef on toast, or as my mom use to call it, shit on a shingle.   Yup, shit on a shingle. (who ever started calling creamed meat on toast is a freaking genius) I think that as a kid, I liked  the dish just for the mer fact that I could say the word shit and get away with it.  I think my mom liked it for few reasons; she could make a big butt load of it really fast, for a crap load of kids, on the super cheap. And I think that she just really like it.  

Shit on a shingle is one of those foods that I like to call "trash food", you know stuff like beefaroni or pork and beans. Stuff that we all loved as little kids but might think twice about feeding to anyone now. ( I'll still feed nick a can of beefaroni.. he likes it) As a throwback to our earliest food memories, (also a lack of food in the house and wanted to make something fast, easy, and cheap.. thanks mom!) I made the mister my rendition of the classic. Creamy Lentils and Mushrooms on toast. Not quite as trashy as creamed beef (lentils, mushrooms and onions are not trashy) but you get the same reminiscing feeling. I guess I could call it something like "stuff on a shingle" or lumps on a shingle", but what kid (or adult)  would want to eat that. Let's just stick with shit, it makes it more awesome to eat it.

IMG_0014The shit….. A few mushrooms, a bit of onion, cooked lentils, flour, milk, oil, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. And the shingles.. 2 pieces of thick white country bread. IMG_0027Slice the mushrooms and the onion and toss into a skillet with a drizzle of oil. Cook on medium heat until browned and fragrant..Remove from pan.IMG_0029In the empty pan still on medium heat, add in the olive oil and the flour. Whisky constantly, slowly add in the milk. Keep whisking until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Add in  salt, pepper, and garlic powder.IMG_0035Add the mushrooms and the lentils into the sauce and give it a good mix. Oh, and don't forget to  toast up the bread. IMG_0055Now dump that shit all over those shingles! Oh the memories.

If you need to, make it classy by serving it with a cloth napkin and a nice fork and knife. But eat it however you need to. (As kids we like dirty hands and no fork, preferably with a big tall glass of overly sweetened red flavored kool-aid)

Enjoy this fantastic Spring weekend!

-C


 Shit on s Shingle (Creamy Lentils and Mushrooms on Toast)

One serving

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 2- 3 mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 cup milk (cow, nut, plant… whatever you want)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pieces of nice thick but soft white sandwich bread

Slice the mushroom and onion and toss into a pan or skillet with a drizzle of oil. Cook on medium heat until brown and fragrant than dump onto a plate. In same skillet, add the oil and the flour and mix with a whisk while slowly adding in the milk. Keep whisking until sauce starts to thicken. Turn heat to simmer and add in the cooked lentils and the sautéd mushrooms and onions. Push down the bread in the toaster.. and when it pops up, dump the shill over it.

Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup

IMG_0207 I'll let you know now, I am a make and eat soup all year long person. I can think of few things better then sitting outside, basking in the sun, hopefully with a light wind, a book in hand, enjoying a nice big cup of some good homemade soup. (Doesn't that sound so freaking lovely?) This soup right here is perfect for just that. Parsnips are the best, kind of like a big white sweet, yet starchy carrots. And cooked together with a little bit of light and lemony thyme, rich earthy turmeric and a couple more chopped veggie….. you got yourself a nice thick and fragrant bowl of happiness that fills you up without weighing you down. It's food you can eat that fills you up, leaves you feeling cozy, yet still wanting to hop on a bike or lace up the running shoes.  Hearty without the feeling of all the heaviness.

A perfect soup for spring! (or summer, winter, or fall)

IMG_0156The stuff. Parsnips, carrots, onion and garlic. Thyme and turmeric, salt and pepper. the tinniest bit of oil and water (water not shown)IMG_0171Chop all the veggies and the garlic, drizzle a dutch oven or a pot with oil, toss in the veggies. Add the turmeric, the thyme, and 1/2 cup of water. IMG_0185Sweet sweating the veggies. Turn pot on medium and cook until the water completely cooks out. When the veggies start to brown and stick to the pot, deglaze with water. Give a good stir and keep cooking. Repeat the deglazing process until the veggies are super soft and ready to blend. (I did this 4 times.. it only took 10 minutes)IMG_0199Add enough water to cover the cooked veggies. IMG_0206And now blend the heck out of it.. Go as smooth or chunky as you want. I blended as smooth as I could get with this crappy immersion blender. (Blender on loan until I finally decide on, and buy a new one)IMG_0214And there you have it. Scoop into bowls, add lots of cracked black pepper, and go to town. I made enough to save a bowl for later…  it didn't last for later. 

Soup so good. 

-C


Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup 

  • 4 large parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 whole onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • water

Dice up the parsnips, carrots, garlic and onion and place into a large dutch oven or pot. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil,  sprinkle on the spices, salt and pepper and add about 1/2 cup of water. Turn heat on medium and start cooking down the veggies. Once the water evaporates and the veggies start to caramelize, deglaze pot with about a 1/2 cup of water. Give pot a stir, and continue to cook until water evaporates.  Repeat this 2-3 more times until the veggies are super soft and fragrant. 

When the  veggies are ready, add enough water to the pot to submerge the veggies. Bust out the immersion blender or dump into a blending device and blend until smooth (or the consistency that you want) Have a cup of water ready to thin out if needed. When blended, taste for salt and pepper, add more if you want, and cook on low heat until you are ready to serve.

Garnish with a lot of good cracked pepper

Eat from a vessel, use a spoon

Quinoa and Asparagus with Sumac Dressing

IMG_3892The bounty of spring is upon us. Asparagus is everywhere and I have been embracing it.. smelly pee and all.  And along with all my spring veggies and smells,  I have grabbing for more springy spices. I go through seasonal spice kicks, like cinnamon and ginger in the fall, curries and chills in the winter. And for spring, I am big on sumac. If you haven't heard of it or tasted it, it kind of taste like a tangy salty lemon..without actually having any salt. And its a really pretty, a bright red, almost purple color. I use it on a lot of things, especially veggies and bean dishes, sometimes as a lemon replacer, but mostly to add another level of tangy flavor. It's fantastic, really great for all those springy time dishes. Nice and bright!

 This dish is perfect made and eaten right away, but it's one of those dishes that tastes even better the day after. Also it's good and safe to serve room temperature. (think lunch box or a picnic!) And did I mention healthy? Protein packed quinoa and the lean green asparagus, I mean come on. You won't feel an ounce of guilt for eating a hugmongo bowl of this stuff because you should, so it's totally ok.

Eat away! 

IMG_3824The stuff of the stuff. Quinoa and asparagus for the base. Sumac, lemon, garlic, onion, salt and pepper and a little splash of oil for the dressing. 

Note. Sumac is not always the easiest spice to find. I know that its available online (what isn't) and that some health food store or herbal apothecaries carry it, but i have ye tot see it at a conventional supermarket. And once you find it, buy a good amount cause you will also fall in love with it and use it on everything. 

IMG_3836     IMG_3839Start by making the dressing. You want to have it sit for at least 10 minutes. It will be perfect by the time the quinoa is done. Mince the garlic, dice the onion and juice the lemon. Stick it all into a jar with the sumac, a pinch of salt and pepper and about a teaspoons worth of olive oil. Stick a lid on the jar and shake shake shake. and let it sit.

Now you should make the quinoa.. Water and quinoa go into pot, high heat until boiling,  topped with a lid and set to simmer for about 15 minutes. 

IMG_3866When the quinoa is simmering, cook up the asparagus. Add a drizzle of oil, to a pan and a few splashes of water. Place trimmed and chopped asparagus to pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until cooked but still has a nice crunch to it. Take off heat and add the dressing to pan.  Let it sit and marinate for a few minutes.IMG_3869When the quinoa is tender, fluff with a fork and add to the skillet with the asparagus and dressing. Toss around to make sure all the quinoa gets dressed. Take a taste.. does it need a little salt and pepper? Add a pinch if it does.IMG_3871Pile into a bowl, add a bit of cracked pepper.. and eat.

Or… Idea! Make this dish and pack it into a jar. Maybe grab a baguette and some hummus os some other  tasty foods and take yourself and a friend out for a picnic. 

So much good .

Keep it real yo

-C


Quinoa and Asparagus with Sumac Dressing

serves 3-4  as a side dish or 2 as a main meal. 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 8-10 asparagus 
  • olive oil

For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 jumbo lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Start but making the dressing. Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Place in a  jar with the sumac, the juice of the lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a little splash of oil. Top the jar and shake the crap out of it for a minute. Let sit and meld. (This dressing can be made ahead of time and is fantastic on all sorts of everything)

In a large pot, add water, quinoa and a spindle of salt. Bring to a boil, cover , and reduce heat to simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes or until water has completely absorbed.  When the quinoa gets going, trim the woody parts of the asparagus and chop the remain asparagus into inch long pieces. Toss into a lightly oiled skillet with a few splashes of water, sprinkle with salt and put on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until asparagus is cooked, but still crispy. Take off heat and add the sumac dressing. Once the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork and toss it with the sumac dressed asparagus. Scoop into a bowl, add some cracked pepper. Bring food to face and eat. 

Any leftover? This dish is fantastic serves cold or at room temperature.

Baked Navy Bean Polenta with Chunky Veggie Tomato Sauce

IMG_3584Is it really for real April? Where has all the time gone and where the hell is the warm weather? It's not funny anymore. I am officially OVER winter!  Ok, so now that I got that off my chest…..

Last night the misters Dad came over for a long awaited dinner accompanied by talk of life goals and what her referred to as "narratives" or the story of our lives. Some deep shit to be talking about at dinner, especially with zero alcohol to be had.

Me, being so super awesome, was all up in taking charge in making the food. Except that  last night I didn't have a bunch of time and honestly, much energy to be doing anything.  And sure, I could have just made a pot of spaghetti, but that just felt like cheeping out. So Polenta it was. And because I just made a hug pot of navy bean, those were going into the polenta too.

Beany polenta baked in the oven with a tomato sauce cooked on the stove. About 5 minutes of hands on time and an hour to cook it all. It's the perfect meal to make when you have guests coming over. Fast prep, into the oven and on the stove, and then you have an hour to clean and make yourself presentable. See, I am a thinker. (I ended up skipping the making myself presentable part… I stayed in my gym clothes.. no need to impress family right?) Then after about and hour you end up with a hearty healthy pretty meal, all from scratch, that seems like you spent the afternoon cooking. When in fact you spent the past hour vacuuming and watching Gilmore Girls. 

IMG_3538The Stuff. Cornmeal, water, navy beans and parmesan for the polenta. Crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried basil, onion, carrot, zucchini, and summer squash for the sauce. Salt, pepper, and olive oil all around.

IMG_3558Cornmeal and water go into a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe dish) with a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it a little mix and stick it into the oven at 400 degrees .

IMG_3544Once the polenta is in the oven, make the sauce. Chop up all the veggies and stick into a dutch oven or sauce pot with a pinch of salt, the basil and a good drizzle of olive oil. Stick on medium heat and let veggies cook down a bit.  When the veggies are tender, add in minced garlic, crushed tomatoes and another drizzle or oil.  Turn burner to lowest setting and simmer (giving it a stir every now and then) for about 45 minutes or until the polenta is done. IMG_3568After about 30 minutes when the water had pretty much all cooked down, take the polenta out of the oven and stir in the beans, the parmesan, a tablespoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper. Smooth top out and sprinkle with more pepper, parmesan and drizzle with a bit more oil. Stick back into oven for another 1/2 or until polenta  has formed a crust and no longer giggles when you wiggle the pan.

IMG_3630Pull polntna from the oven and let sit for at least 1o minutes. IMG_3605

Two big spoons and a pile of plates. Have the people serve themselves!

Have a Happy Day! 

-C


Baked Navy Bean Polenta with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Serves 4 hungry people

For the Polenta

  • 1 1/2 Cups Course Ground Corn Meal
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 3 Cups Prepared Navy Beans (Or just use to cans)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese or Vegan Parmesan (Optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce

  • One 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 4 (or more ) Cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Small Zucchini
  • 1 Small Summer Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400

In a large skillet, mix together the cornmeal and the water and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place into oven for about 30 minutes or until the polenta starts to congeal at the edge of the skillet nd most of the waster has cooked down.

Remove skillet from oven and with a whisk or wooden spoon, mix in the beans, the parmesan (if using) and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Smooth out mixture, sprinkle with salt, pepper, parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Stick back into oven for another 30 minutes or so.  Polenta is done when it no longer wiggles when you giggle the skillet.

For the sauce

Small dice the carrot and the onion and stick into a medium dutch oven oor sauce pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Place on medium heat and cook until the veggies are tender. Add in tomato, minced up garlic and basil. stir and let simmer on stove top for about 45 minutes. When you place the polenta back into the oven for the second bake, dice up zucchini and squash and add to sauce. Stir and keep on simmer until ready to serve.

Once the polenta has completely cooked, remove from oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes…10 is better to solidify.

Spoon big piles of polenta on a plate or in a bowl, top with a big heap of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a little more parm  and maybe another dash of pepper .

Eat…..Spoon or fork is recommeded.

Happy Food!

Spaghetti and Bean Balls

IMG_3037Last night I had my sister and her kiddos come over for dinner. Nothing fancy, nothing to complicated,  just something  fast and something that I knew the littles would eat.  Spaghetti and meatballs, except replace meatballs were bean balls So they came, we played, did a little drawing and had a bit of first grad gossip. Then came  dinner time  when I was told by one little that she was not going to eat.. She had pasta for lunch. Well I made her sit anyway and she mainly just ate carrots (I was ok with that) Then the other little was all into his pasta and bean balls, 1 down, 3 more to go, when the mister let slip that the meatballs were not really meat. He ate around the remaining balls, said he didn't want them anymore. And my sister, well she doesn't eat anything that is not pizza.

Good thing a neighbor stopped by while we were eating. He had a few of the balls and told me that they were amazing. I needed someone to tell me that.  

So yeah, the littles were not overly enthused with the ball, but the Mister the Neighbor, and I thought that they were awesome and delicious. Maybe next time I will make sure that  pasta was not lunch and tell Nick to keep his mouth shut and stop talking about balls at the dinner table.

IMG_2960I feel like I don't need to tell you how to boil pasta or heat up the sauce, so I left that portion of the recipe out. I have faith that you are capable in doing that part without my instruction.

The bean ball stuff. Chickpeas (soaked and cooked or canned), sweet potato, carrot, onion, and some chick pea flour. Dried garlic, basil and oregano. Salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil. IMG_2974Small chop all the veggies and toss them and the dry spices into a skillet with a drizzle or two of olive oil. Stick on medium  heat and add about 1/4 cup of water to pan. Top with  slid and let veggies cook down until soft and fragrant.

IMG_2983Add the cooked veggies to a food processor or blender with  the rinsed and drained chickpeas. IMG_2984The mixture gets pulsed until combined,  keeping a little bit of chunkiness.  Now go warhead and taste  the mixture. Add another pinch or two of salt , pepper or any of the spices that you think it need.  Dump the mixture into a bowl and mix in the chickpea flour than stink the mixture into the fridge for a least a 1/2 hour. Cooling to off is really important to forming the balls. If you don't, it's much harder to keep mixture from falling apart and sticking to your hands.

IMG_3016After the mixture has had time to cool and set, start rolling the mixture into balls roughly the size of ping pong balls. In a shallow bowl, add a few tablespoons of the chickpea flour with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Take each ball and roll in flour and place each ball on a well oiled baking sheet. When the balls are all rolled, stick into the oven and bake away for about 30-40 minutes, flipping balls after about 20.  After you flip the balls, get the pasta ready so its finished about the same time the balls are done.IMG_3039You pasta and sauce is cooked and the balls are all crispy and oh so nice.

Serve balls over pasta with sauce and eat with a fork.

Your day is now complete.. balls and all.

Happy Weekend!

-C


Spaghetti and Bean Balls

makes about 20 balls

  • 4 Cups (or 2 cans) Cooked, Rinsed and Drained ChickPeas
  • 1 Small Sweet Potato
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/4 Cup Chickpea Flour plus extra to roll balls in
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Basil
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Olive or Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Your choice of Spaghetti (Use Vegan and or Gluten Free if needed)  Prepared as package recommends
  • Marinara or Pasta Sauce of your choice

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees

Small dice the carrot, onion and sweet potato and toss into a skillet on medium high heat with a splash of oil. Add in the dry spices and add in about a quarter cup of water. stir and cover the skillet with a lid and let the veggies cook down until the water has evaporated and the veggies are tender. 

Add rinsed and drained chickpeas to a food processor with the cooked veggie mixture. Pulse together until the mixture is combined and slightly smooth, but still with a little bit of texture left.Place bean mixture in a bowl  and mix in the 1/4 cup of chickpea flour. and stick in the fridge for a least a 1/2 hour to cool. (Mixture can be made a day ahead if you want)

Once the mixture has time to cool and set up , remove from fridge and with a light head, roll mixture into ping-pong sized balls. In a separate shallow dish add a bit of chickpea flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll each ball in the flour mixture and place balls on a well oiled baking sheet. Once balls ae made, stick into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, flipping after about 20 minutes. The balls are done when the outsides are once and golden brown and crispy. After about 30 minutes, get to cooking your pasta and mariana sauce.

Once the pasta and sauce is done, plate it and toss on some of those awesome bean balls!

Bean balls also make fantastic bean ball sandwiches or bean balls on a toothpick. 

Beet and Bean Cabbage Steaks

IMG_2604 Being that it was St. Patricks day this week and lots of folks buy up a good amount of cabbage, I figured that this is a good time to get people to try one of my most favorite of favorite meals…..Beet bean and cabbage steaks. I love to play around with food, how to pair textures and colors plus tastes while trying to make whatever I am making healthy and balanced. This is one of my fav creations. And sure,  this may seem like a somewhat weird combo, maybe a little like a extremely hippy dippy vegan fake meat thing, and you might be kind of right, but screw if it doesn't taste like A-mazing. First off, notice how freaking dang pretty this thing is. The roasted beets bring a earthy hearty flavor but also pack a huge punch of color, especially when blended together with the ever so sweet white bean, which  brings a nice mellow taste and a great serving of protein. (Beets and beans are meant for each other). Spread that  brightly colored, tasty mixture onto of a huge slab of one of my favorites, roasted cabbage with all its crunch and cabbagy flavor and you got yourself a hearty healthy meal of deliciousness.  

So maybe this might seem a little out of your normal food routine, but why not try it? Trust me….you will love it and everyone you make it for will think you are a number 1 badass too.

IMG_2504Cabbage, white beans, and beets. There is a lemon involved, but it didn't make it into the picture.

Notes.... I used white beans, but I have also done this with chick peas and lentils. All are fantastic. Also, I did not peel my beets because I never do.(I do not peel anything the skin is full of goodness and I love the taste) If you don't want to eat the skin, then peel them. IMG_2512Cabbage is cut into inch thick slabs… I like to us the inter most part of a cabbage head cause I like the core. But use any cut that you want.  2 beets are chopped into chunkers and both the cabbage and the beets are placed on a lightly oiled baking sheets, seasoned with salt and pepper,  and stuck into the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.

IMG_2581Once the beets are tender and the cabbage is cooked to a nice withered golden pretty, take out of the oven, but leave the oven on.  Leave the cabbage on the pan but throw the beets into a blender or a big bowl if using a hand blender  with the white beans

IMG_2585    IMG_2595Beans and beets get pureed together. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon (or the whole lemon, depending on your taste) and a pinch of salt and pepper. With a big spoon or spatula, scoop equal amounts of the bean/beet mixture on top of the cabbage steaks and spread around. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and place back into oven for another 5-10 minutes. (You could totally skip the second bake, but I like my cabbage well done and crispy)

IMG_2623Oh ho boy… And with a good squirt of mustard to finish off… I could eat this all day, everyday 

And now I am #1

Happy Wednesday... Keep it good!

-C


Beet and Bean Cabbage Steaks 

Makes 2 Thick Cut Steaks

  • 1/2 head of cabbage (green or red)
  • 2 cups or 1 can of cooked white beans
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • Mustard (Optional)

Preheat Oven to 4oo degrees

Cut two 1 ish inch thick rounds of cabbage from the widest part of the head. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Chop beets into chunks and toss on same baking sheet.(Peel if you want) Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Stick into oven for 20-25 minutes or until the beets and cabbage  are tender. Remove veggies from oven and place roasted beets into a  blender (or bowl if using a hand blender) but leave the cabbage on the baking sheet. Add the white beans, the juice of half a lemon, and salt and pepper to the beets and puree until smooth. Scoop equal amounts of the mixture to each cabbage steak, sprinkle with pepper and place back into oven for another 5-10 minutes to give the beans and beets a nice crunchy crust (You can skip this step if you don't want to be crusty)

Remove from oven, stick on a plate and drizzle with mustard….Fork and knife are good ways to eat it, but eating it with you fingers makes less dirty dishes.