Entries Tagged 'In the Pantry' ↓

Say it loud, say it proud – Soyrizo!

photo: Jeff Moser

Although we aren’t vegetarian, life has conspired to prevent us from cooking meat at home, or at least mostly.  This has led to some need for creativity with protein sources and I wanted to share one of our best finds. Soyrizo! Vegan, no GMO, healthy, kosher & absolutely delicious. Not usually a fan of soy meat alternatives, I was surprised and happy about how much we love this. Foodie friends make shake their heads, but they really don’t know what they are missing.

A  favorite way to use soyrizo is fried up with onions and some cooked cubed potatoes in tacos or tostadas with fresh tortillas, salsa, cheese, lettuce, avacado – the works. So good.

The other night I made a version of the traditional Portuguese soup, Caldo Verde, by frying some up with paprika, garlic and onions, adding sliced potatoes and a couple cups of broth and cooking for 15 minutes. Then a big bunch of chopped kale went in and was wilted. This was amazing and perfect for the chilly fall weather setting in.

Also try it with scrambled eggs,  burritos, chile and black or white beans. It’s greasy (but healthy), crumbly and a bit messy to get out of the plastic casing, but worth an extra swipe of the sponge. Trader Joe’s makes a version that is equally tasty and may cost less depending on where you live.

So give it a try – it’s really tasty, I promise! Don’t just take my word for it – even folks at Chow Hound love it (well some of them anyways).


Lemon Ginger Carrot Cornbread

lemon ginger carrot cornbreadSummer has come to our little corner of the woods, but no summer break in the craziness. So when I felt the need for fresh baked goods I had to fall back on good old “just add water” Marie Callender’s Cornbread mix. As a way to sneak some additional veggies into our diet I decided that grated carrots would be a good addition. And since I was getting creative anyhow, I decided to add some grated lemon peel and powdered ginger too. After smelling it in the oven, I was really glad I did. Jim was late for work but stuck around long enough to try some and declare it delicious enough to blog about – so here it is. Just follow the recipe on the package for an 8 x 8 pan and cut the water back to just over a cup for about 1/2 cup of grated carrots and add the rest to taste.

Three Cans & a Box

I’ve been making up recipes for years. I think it all started when it was my job to have the family dinner on the table by the time mom came home from work. Ah nothing like the pressure of cooking everyday with limited store bought ingredients, but plenty of frozen & canned meats, fruits & veggies from the garden to get those creative juices flowing.

Here’s one I made up in college, flexing my skills on the fast, easy, available, pre-made foods. I gotta say it became a favorite among my friends. This one also works wonders for those last minute potlucks too. Just double the recipe to 6 cans & 2 boxes & use a larger cake pan. Guys at potlucks love this stuff & clean the plate every time! Go figure…

Three Cans & a Box

1 Can Tamales
1 Can Chili
1 Can Corn
1 Box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix + milk & egg

Pre-heat oven 350°

Open can of tamales & dump into 9×9 pan. Remove the pieces of paper surrounding each tamale & chop into bite size pieces. Open can of chili & add the pan. Open can of corn, use lid to drain juice & add to the pan. Mix ingredients together. Make corn muffin mix by following directions on the back of the box. Spoon batter over the top of the chili mixture & bake until the top is golden brown.

More Fun With Pumpkin

Happy New Year
Its been too long since I have posted and I did miss some stellar opportunities with holiday foods I pretty much invented. Then today, we needed lunch and didn’t want to spoil our appetites for our special new year’s dinner, so I did the combine leftovers thing – lentil soup and pumpkin (not the same can as the previous post!). Rummaging in the cupboard I came up with the additions of paprika and hot sauce this soup proves that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I might do this again on purpose since the pumpkin made it creamy and smooth and the paprika added both color and sparkle. Anyone have another example of this to share? Here’s to a great new year of making things up as we go along.

Great sounding recipe featuring TJ’s

You might have noticed by now that here at Made Up Food we are not afraid of pre-packaged items. But they have to be good – at least as good as the “real thing”.

Trader Joe’s Frozen RiceOne that I am a huge fan of is Trader Joe’s frozen rice – both the Jasmine and Brown varieties are (almost) better than I can make from scratch and zap in the nuke-o-matic in 3 easy minutes. Sounds too good to be true, but so far its been great every time.

Stock up when its in the store cuz its so popular they can’t seem to keep it in stock.

Here’s a recipe I want to try from over at Table for Two: Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole that also happens to use one of my favorite condiments, Sriracha.

* Careful you don’t burn your fingers opening that hot package the way some people have.

Homemade “Instant” Oatmeal Bowl

Lately we like to have some hot cereal to get things started in the morning. Normally my husband cooks up a pot which takes about 20 minutes. Too long? I think so too, well more to the point I think that when I look up from my computer mid morning and realize I forgot to eat and am starving that I want something NOW.

So although its not quite as good as the “real thing” I have created a shortcut that might be handy to have around that is definitely way better than packaged instant oatmeal.

Take a nice jar or other container and dump in the following:

fastporridge.jpgCouple of cups of quick cut dry oats, couple of handfuls of walnuts or almonds crushed up a bit, some dried cranberries (or raisins if you like them) and if you like sweet I suppose you could even add some brown sugar to the mix itself although I haven’t tried that. Shake really hard to evenly distribute the goodies in the mix.

When you are ready to eat grab a half cup or so in a bowl, add some hot water ( I boil it up in the electric kettle first) and pop in the microwave for 1 minute. You can add some frozen berries during or after and the heat will warm them up.

I like to stir in a spoonful of plain yogurt or some soy milk and start chowing down.

Best sauce to get addicted to

Since we just stocked up on all kinds of goodies there won’t be the impetus to get super creative with limited ingredients. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite keep on hand ingredients – Café Yumm! Sauce.

Cafe Yumm!We here in Oregon are lucky to have this local and it looks like you can buy it by phone too, but so many have loved it so much that there are scads of “hacked” recipes – try here: http://mpchickchat.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_archive.html
(about halfway down the page, I like her substitute on the fly style too!)

It’s basically (from the jar and the myriad of times my neighbor and I tried to recreate this)

Canola oil, lemon juice, almonds, nutritional yeast, garbanzo beans, soybeans, garlic and secret herbs and spices – and the process and proportions are part of the secret.

Plus check out their menu for meal inspiration ideas – just about everything we’ve had there is delightful.
And of course if you’re in Oregon find one of the restaurants and eat there.

Here are a few of the ways I use Yumm! sauce:

  • Dip for those bitty carrots or chips or crackers or anything else I can fit in the jar.
  • On rice with salsa for a faux Yumm bowl
  • On nachos
  • As a salad dressing
  • With leftover chicken or meat in a pita with whatever is green (but not moving) in the fridge

If you’ve used this fantastic fattening condiment let me know what else you’ve made with it.

Cold Spicy Noodle Salad

It was unexpectedly bloody hot and humid today – a day filled with numerous technical snafus and stress. But I was hungry anyhow and this is what I threw together. All I can say is that it was tasty enough to inspire this blog.

Cold Spicy Somen Noodle Salad
here’s what’s in it:

1 packet somen noodles (1 serving)
8 mint leaves finely sliced
hot and sweet asian chile sauce
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar

I added what i had left of pickled herring and onions in wine sauce – about 1/2 cup rinsed thoroughly and drained

Toss the seasonings and herring/onions in a bowl while the noodles are cooking. Rinse the noodles under really cold water and stir in.

total time – about 10 min.

I’m thinking I could do this with canned tuna or a nicer protein if I wanted to serve it to others…