Category Archives: Cooking

Sixth lunch set for a number of days

The first dish was roasted asparagus, spaghetti squash, and sliced shallots. I liked it.

The second dish was where I got creative. I made up a sauce of soy sauce, sherry cooking wine, peanut butter, shin-shu aka miso, and grated ginger. To which, I added tempeh. The sauce turned out good. I don’t think I like tempeh though. I did have one unmitigated disaster though. I roasted two vegetables which were new to me. The first was jicama. The second was yuca root. Little did I know that the yuca turned out to be covered in parafin wax. Which melted and made a mess in the toaster over. Sigh. What a CF. And then, when I cut them into cubes, the edges turned into a really tough substance and was unpleasant to eat.

With the third dish, I added some diced mango and apples to beans from Snow’s BBQ. I think that turned out good. It kind of made the beans more of a sweet dish while still being savory.

Tomato cornbread dish

I tried experimenting by making a tomato pie of sorts. And learned that I still need a ways to go in removing the moisture from the tomatoes. I was hoping that the cornbread would serve as a good “crust,” but I think mine turned out too thick.

Fifth lunch set for a number of days

This set had two new dishes.

The first dish was orzo, roasted asparagus, and dates. It was easy to make. The hardest part was cutting up the small, sticky dates. It turned out alright. Not too sweet.

The second dish was taken from zucchini pasta with creamy avocado cucumber sauce. I used the mandolin to thinly slice zucchini. And then I used a knife to slice into spaghetti stick shapes. The avocado cucumber sauce was easy to make and something I had not thought of as going together before. My horizons have broadened a little more. And I would make it again.

The third dish was a repeat with collard greens, mustard greens, and bacon with some pectin added to gel up the chicken stock sauce. I didn’t slice the greens small enough. But that turned out to be a minor problem.

Tuna melt omelette

One of my comfort foods is a tuna melt sandwich. So I decided to experiment and create an omelette version. This turned out rather well, I think.

Fourth lunch set for a number of days

So this set of lunches is a little unbalanced. Two dishes are spicy! The first is a somewhat of a grab bag stew. I browned onions, poured in vegetable broth and beef broth, cooked black eyed peas until tender, threw in New Mexico diced chilies, added corn starch to heavily thicken the stew (I’m not a fan of soupy liquids along side the two other sides in the one dish), and tossed in mustard greens.

The second dish was a macaroni and cheese dish. This was my first time making the cheese sauce and I think it came out okay. I cooked a roux of melted butter and a couple of tablespoons of flour until light brown in color. I then poured in about a cup or so of half & half and cooked it until thickened. I then grated 8 ounces of cheddar cheese and stirred until blended. But it wasn’t cheesy enough, so I added pepper jack cheese. Which helped it out considerably. I then added diced roasted Hatch chili peppers. And then poured in whole wheat macaroni.

The last dish was roasted root vegetables (consisting of one sweet potato, one beet, one butternut squash, one carrot, and two cloves of garlic). The only surprising thing about it is how much everything shrinks after roasting in the oven. I was a little short after I put together the sixth container.

More lunch for a number of days

For the first side, I experimented with a pickled dish. I fell in love with the pickled beets at Jack Allen’s Kitchen. So I tried recreating it at home. I sliced up beets and parsnips. I then marinated them in apple cider vinegar. I should have added some nutmeg and clove. They were good, but they fail as a frozen dish, I think. Too bad I can’t figure out a way to fit in the frozen dish, but only be defrosted and not cooked.

For the next side, I created a spinach and artichoke dish. I mixed one package of frozen spinach leaves, one sealed package of sliced artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, 4 ounces of Crema Agria, 4 ounces of cream cheese, 4 ounces of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, smoked sea salt, and pepper. This turned out excellent!

For the last side, I wanted to create an onion sauce and mix it with miso paste. I sliced up a large onion and poured 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda on it. The baking soda will break down the cellular walls of the onion and turn it into a soup. I then browned it in a pan and added miso paste to taste. The only problem with this dish was with the garbanzo beans. I had soaked them overnight with split peas, but ran out of time to make the dish. So I put them in the fridge (still in their water). Then, when the next weekend came around, I dumped them into this dish. However the garbanzo beans were still a little tough. I wonder what went wrong? But otherwise, this was not a bad first attempt.

Missed lunch for a couple of days

It seems that I’ve missed this set of lunches. So I will retcon an entry for it.

On the menu are three dishes I thought up. The first was a black bean succotash. It was easy to make. I rehydrated some black beans and cooked them up. And, to that, I added a bag of frozen corn, and I diced up some poblano peppers. The only problem with the dish is that the sauce from the black beans hides the other vegetables.

The next dish is a sweet potato au gratin. This dish was even easier to make. I thinly sliced sweet potatoes and shallots and layered them in a pan. I then poured heavy cream over them. And topped the mixture with cheese. I was going to use Manchego but came across a more interesting cheese at the supermarket (which I sadly forgot what name it had). The potatoes turned out surprisingly sweet! Next time I will use half & half instead.

The last dish was quinoa with apples and pecans. This dish was easy to make as well. I cooked the quinoa according to the directions on the package and added a diced Granny Smith and a Red Delicious apple. And topped it with salted and roasted pecans. Mmm!

Chocolate Milk Redux

85% Chocolate Milk

My previous attempt at making homemade chocolate milk used cocoa powder. But I recently had the bright idea to melt a dark chocolate bar and pour that into the milk. So I calculated that 10 grams of a chocolate bar would be equivalent to two tablespoons of cocoa powder. I melted it in a glass cup. mixed in 60 grams of agave nectar, and poured it into some whole milk. Unfortunately, something was very wrong. It tasted pretty weak. So I melted in 30 more grams with not much of a change. You could tell what was wrong when the milk was poured out. There were still large clumps of chocolate left at the bottom.

Texas Daily Harvest Milk

So I tried again. This time I bought some Texas Daily Harvest Milk at Monument’s market. And I switched to using a 99% dark chocolate baking bar. But, instead of melting the chocolate in a microwave and then pouring it into milk, I melted it on the stove with milk. The recipe follows:

Pour off 230 grams of milk to create space for the new ingredients. Melt 60 grams of 99% dark chocolate along with 240 grams of milk in a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly and watch that the milk does not come to a boil. When the chocolate has melted completely, add 120 grams of agave nectar and 4 grams of salt (as another test of a theory). Place the mixture in a blender and mix it on medium for 5 minutes (just to be extra sure). Pour the mixture back into the milk and chill until cold.

This time it is more homogenized. Not completely as some particles will settle down to the bottom. Still not sure if the salt is a good thing or a bad thing…