Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

Archive for the category “Vegetarian”

Batch Cooking for Refrigerator Food

I know when people talk about batch cooking, they are usually talking about putting it in the freezer to have a fully cooked meal ready.  Well, I’m not quite ready for that step.  I do A LOT of cooking from my freezer, but I freeze the pieces of a meal and the cook it.  Like, potatoes, chicken, stock and random veggies.  It’s great because everything is already prepped and ready to use, but it’s no where near the amazing batch cooking of freezer food you can find people talking about.  Part of the reason is that I love cooking.  It’s part of my unwind from the day ritual almost every night.  Get off work, drive home, cook dinner, eat.

There are some nights that I wish I had something that I could pull out of the freezer though.  Or a large meal I make doesn’t end up being so large and runs out before I’ve made something else, leaving me with the never ending now what do I eat question.  Freezer cooking would answer that question easily.  Even though I don’t think I will cook all of my meals for the freezer, I do want to have some options.  So, here’s my first step towards freezer cooking.

I cooked Sunday morning, Monday evening and a little bit on Tuesday.  Sunday I made refrigerator dough, a few buns, boiled and dekernelled (is that a word?) corn for chowder, tomato sauce and Bombay Sloppy Joes.  Monday I made corn chowder and tacos.  Tuesday all I had to do was make guacamole and heat up shells and tacos were ready to eat.  So far, I’ve had dinner and lunches all ready for the week.  It just takes a few minutes to heat everything up and you have dinner. 🙂  And dinner that’s way better than running out to the nearest fast food restaurant.  Plus it’s left me time for my newest project.  Anyone need a baby blanket? It’s handmade! 🙂

Since everyone has their own personal perfect guacamole recipe, I’ll spare you mine.  Just know that its amazing and I’ll share if you really want. 😉  Tacos we’ve talked about before and the sloppy joe recipe isn’t mine.  I will say that it is so awesome and you should make it as soon as possible because you won’t regret it. Promise.  It’s even better with homemade buns fresh out of the oven.

Corn Chowder

  • 6 ears of corn (why are they ears?!) boiled and kernels cut off
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup stock
  • rosemary and basil – I’ve also seen recipes with tarragon that look really tasty!
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheese
  • 1 clove garlic

Melt the butter and add onions.  Saute until they are soft, then add the garlic and saute for a minute or so.  Add the flour to make a roux.  Add the stock and milk and bring to an almost simmer.  Let it thicken just a bit and then melt the cheese into the mixture.  Add the seasonings and corn kernels.

Because this is a milk based soup, I try to make sure it gets eaten within three days because I’m not sure that it would hold up longer than that.  I had it for lunch for three days and breakfast one day.

Is soup ok for breakfast?


Vegan Eggplant

From time to time you have to try something different, like cooking something vegan. (Do you capitalize Vegan?)

I fully enjoy eating meat and dairy products (just wait until tomorrow, you’ll see just how much I enjoy them!), but sometimes it’s good to have some veggies and why not let them star in their own show?

Remember my plea for help to use all the eggplants I’ll be getting? Well, I found this one and it gave me an idea for this vegan fest.

Vegan Eggplant Patties and Squash Noodle Spaghetti

Eggplant Patties

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 cup of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 or 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Italian Seasoning

Tomato Sauce

  • Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Basil – I used fresh

Squash Noodles

  • 1 Squash
  • Olive Oil

I started with the sauce.  Just dice the onion and saute in olive oil until they are softened a bit and season with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and saute.  Rough chop the tomatoes and add then to the onion and garlic mixture.  They will start to break down and make a sauce as the heat through. You can help them along by mashing them with a potato masher.  Let it simmer while you make everything else.

To make the patties, start by roasting the eggplant until its soft and mushy.  Pull out all the insides and mix them together with the breadcrumbs, garlic and Italian seasoning.  It is a really wet mixture, but if it won’t hold together at all, just add a few more breadcrumbs until it does.  Form the mixture into patties and fry in a bit of olive oil until they are browned a bit on both sides.  It’s already cooked, so really its just to make the outside crunchy and delicious.

Use a potato peeler to make “noodles” out of the squash.  Once the patties are done, add some more olive oil to the pan and saute the squash strips until they are cooked throuh.  It will only take a few minutes since the slices are so thin.  Add the noodles to the sauce and serve with an eggplant pattie (or two).  I might try to make the patties into “meatballs” next time so it looks like real spaghetti and meatballs. 🙂

This is one eggplant preparation that I actually like. I still have many other recipes to try and make more eggplants coming my way in the next few weeks, so I’m glad to have at least this one to fall back on in case the others don’t work for me.

Come see me and some other great recipes at Real Food Wednesday and What’s in the Box link party




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