Thursday, January 29, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower Soup for Cold Zombies

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

olive oil

2 cups broth

2 cups water

1 tbsp cream

salt and pepper

cashews, for garnish

Place cauliflower on a lined baking sheet drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap onion and garlic in a little foil, and place in the corner of the baking sheet with califlower. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a large pot, add water, broth, potatoes and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes or so, til the potato cooks. Take off the heat, and puree the mixture, and add the bit of difference with cream. you can also season this with red pepper, but cashews are a nice touch. Tastes even better the second day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Healthy Baked Chicken with Smashed Peas for the Hard Working Zombie

! 1/2 lbs chicken tenders

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp spicy spice mix, no salt added (I prefer trader joe's bqq spice mix)

2 tbsp paprika, for daring red color

salt and pepper

1 bag frozen peas

a dab of butter

Line a baking sheetwith foil, (a dark baking sheet is best) toss chicken, spices, salt and olive oil together. Spread chicken out on the baking sheet and bake for 15 min, in a 425 oven. (Or til done if you have an oven that likes to take its time).

Heat up the frozen peas with a dab of butter, and a little salt and pepper. When warm, smash with a potato masher.

Leftover chicken can also be served on salad the next day with a vinaigrette, avocados, lettuce and tomatoes.

Leftover smashed peas can be served on pasta with pine nuts, parmesan, and extra pepper.

The Ultra Lazy Zombie's Avocado Salad

1 avocado for two people

your favorite vingrette (or lemon based salad dressing)

Slice avocado in half length wise (leave skin on), remove seed (i use a knife to remove the seed but this can be hazardous to your health) and fill cavity with dressing, eat with a spoon.

Although this is a very easy dish, it make a nice presentation and can served as a first course in little bowls at a sit down dinner.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zombie style - Cocoa a la Mode

1 1/2 milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 coco powder (unsweetened)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup dulce de leche ice cream

For the microwave unenthusiastic: cook on medium heat, milk, water, coco powder, and sugar, til bubbles form on the sides, stirring a little now and then. Once warm add vanilla and pour into serving cups (not too full) Top with some nice ice cream. If you're a microwave person, zap the whole thing all together in a bowl and ladle into serving mugs. This is great for rainy days when you feel like being a quiet stay at home type of zombie.

Monday, January 26, 2009

African Zombie Peanut Soup

2 Potatoes, peeled and chunked (or yams or squash)

1 Bell Pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (or 1 apple, cored and chopped)

2 slices of peeled ginger (i keep fresh ginger stored in the freezer)

2 onions, 1 inch pieces

2 carrots, 1 inch slices

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp Ethiopian pepper (or more if you like it spicy)

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup tomato juice, (or sauce, or some paste mixed in hot water, some tomatoey)

1 tbsp brown sugar

i tbsp oil

Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in large pot, add bell peppers, onions, carrots, ginger and Ethiopian pepper. Cook a couple of minutes, then add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer around 25 minutes (til potatoes are cooked). Puree soup with either a handheld or upright blender. Return to large pot. Add peanut butter, tomato juice and brown sugar. Reheat and add salt and pepper according to taste. You can garnish with some peanuts (or just use chunky peanut butter).

Great for that peanut butter fix you just can't get anywhere else.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grilled Haloumi for the Cheese Loving Zombie

1 package Haloumi (a rubbery Cypriot cheese)

2 tbsp flour

remove haloumi from packaging and if you dont like things salty wash it. Slice the haloumi into 1/4 in slices and toss on a thin layer of flour. Shake off any excess, heat up cast iron (or other dark and heavy pan) on high heat. When really hot put haloumi on top and cook til you have a nice golden (or darker) color, then flip and cook other side. Serve with grapes for a dessert, or as part of a Mediterranean appetizer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oven French Toast For Zombie Sundays

1 loaf challah bread, (unsliced, Trader Joes sells them, yay)

2 eggs

around a cup of milk

a dash of cinnamon

heaping spoon of sugar

canola oil

maple syrup, to serve with

Pre heat oven to 425. Line a dark baking sheet with silicon pad and a bit of oil. Cut the Challah into large slices. just under an inch thick. Mix in a large bowl eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Add bread one slice at a time covering both sides with mixture, and place on baking sheet, they can be close to one another, but not touching. Bake for 12 minutes, take them out and flip them, (you want a nice color on the bottom, if not bake them on original side till you get color) Bake another 5 minutes and serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Killer Pasta Salad, for Zombie Bragging Rights

I eggplant, 1 in pieces

2 bell peppers, 1 in pieces

1 red onion, 1 in pieces

Some olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 box pasta (any kind you like in pasta salad)

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

a basil leaves, all rolled up together and sliced,

1/3 pine nuts

red wine vinegar dressing, (say 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 olive oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp pepper)

Place veg on a dark rimmed cookie sheet, top with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 min, mixing half way through cooking time. Meanwhile boil pasta according to box instructions. Add veg and dressing, mix. Taste to see if it needs salt.  Garnish with basil, feta and pine nuts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Pot Stroganoff for the Zombie who Doesnt like Clean Up

I huge onion

1 package sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)

2 or 3 nice steaks

1/4 cup sour cream, eyeball it

corn strach

Some butter, more if youre not shy

Some canola oil, if you are shy

salt and lots of pepper

Slice the steaks nice and thin, and start cooking on med high heat, (rub a bit a of butter on the wide side if you're not shy first). Take them out and put them aside. Add onions and some butter and oil (if youre shy) to pot reduce to medium low and let them cook nice and slow, round 15 min should be fine. Add mushrooms, wait for them to reduce and give off their water. Put the meat back in. In a little bowl put in some cooking juices, a teaspoon or two corn starch and sour cream. Mix til its no longer lumpy and add to the whole. If you don't like the color add more sour cream. Add pepper and salt to taste.

Usually served with egg noodles, but also great on its own with a bit of toasty white bread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dealing with Leftovers - Zombie Style Pizza

I Package pizza dough (I like Trader Joe's Garlic and Herbs), you can store more brands in the freezer

Some pesto (Sun dried tomato pesto if you have some works well)

Sherded motzerella (I just keep a bag in the freezer)

Leftover luncheon meats, diced (they just disappear into the pizza, its amazing really)

Leftover veg, like a bit of onion, half a pepper, some potato (thinly sliced if raw), spinach, some olives, frozen veg, garlic, artichoke heart, jarred roasted peppers, whatever you have really

A bit of goat cheese, i like to add a good 3 oz. and keep small vacuum packs for just this purpose, but a bit of creamy cheese makes this pizza

dried oregano, just sprinkle some on

olive oil, dizzle on a bit,(unless youre using pepperoni, in which case ommit)

open up dough as thin as it gets before it tears too much, i make it the shape of the tray it will gone on, who ever said they had to been round? Place on a dark cookie sheet (so it gets nice and brown on the bottom), top with pesto, (not too much, a little bit goes a long way) and then modzerella, then meat (except pepperoni, that goes on top to crisp), then veg, then goat cheese crumbled (nice big chunkc are yum) a bit of olive oil and a bit of oregano. Bake according to dough instructions, and then cook it some more, check the bottom of the dough for color, and dont let the top turn to charcoal. Slice into squares and enjoy, when i make this, there is so much topping its nothing like delived pizza, and it bursts with flavor.

This isnt really a nice half hour no clean up recipe (its not bad) but it is the best way to avoid chucked all this stuff out in a cuple days cause what are you going to do with scraps?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warm and Spicy Watercress Soup for Cold Zombies, also a Really Easy Starter for Fancy Company who like Fancy Sounding Food

4 cups chicken broth

a couple potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/4 of an onion, peeled and chopped

1 bunch watercress

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, depending on how salty the broth is)

1/2 tsp white pepper, less if you dont like spicy, more if you live dangerously (although taste it cause watercress is pretty spicy on its own)

1 cup milk

Bring to boil a large pot of broth with potatoes, onion, and watercress (attempt to just add the leaves with a pair of scissors standing over the pot, but dont put it too much effort, its not a picky soup), reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 min. Place the veg and a little broth into a blander til you get a nice even color, (you may want to strain it if its for fancy company). Pour it back into pot add milk, salt and white pepper. Reheat, but dont let it boil. This tastes even better the second day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bypass the Fries, cause the Asparagus is Better?

A collection of Asparagus for those of us who love them.

1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp black pepper

Turn on the toaster oven to 425. Asparagus has a natural break point near the bottom, the drier the aspargus the higher the breaking point. You can wrap a wet paper towel round the tips of asparagus when you buy them. Line a little cookie tray with foil, spread out the asparagus, litter it parmesan, black pepper and olive oil. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until charred (or not charred) to your liking. Charred asparagus, oh yeah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bash the life out Chicken Tenders, for the frustrated Zombie.

A pack of chicken tenders

Bread crumbs (Panko crumbs are nice)

An egg or two

salt pepper


Preheat over to 425. Fun part take a mallet (if you have one with spikes use it sideways), or rolling pin, or frying pan or blunt object and hit the chicken bits (which you wrap in cling film for easy clean up, yay) unless they are flatter. The good news, tenders are freaking easy to flatten. Two bowls, one with egg, slightly beatten, the other bread crumbs. Line a cookie tray, black sheets are better, cause it browns the outside more (with foil or silicon sheet) and oil a little. Salt and pepper each chicken piece, then put in the egg. then in the bread then on the tray. Put in the oven, cook for around 10 to 12 (15 for some slow ovens) mintutes. Serve with Pasta and chopped tomatoes, parmesan, and a bit of basil, OR mashed potatoes (or any other veggie mash you prefer).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dessert in a Vase, wait what? For Zombies who dont own trifle bowls.

2 packages beligum chocolate Pudding (from trader joe's, cause nothing else comes close)

1 box lady fingers

1 pint cream

couple tablespoons powdered sugar

bit of vanillia

1 package frozen fruit, whatever you like, but raspberrys are damn good

Whip the cream till stiff, with a couple tablespoons sugar and a bit of vanilla (a tsp at most) Take out a large glass bowl or vase (you want to be able to see all the layers) and put a little bit of cream on the bottom to help stablize the next layer. Then layer some lady finger sideways on the edges so you can see all the layers. Then a bit of pudding, then fruit, then cream, each layer should show on the side and look around an inch thick (cause that's what ladyfingers are sideways) Keep going but make sure you end with cream. If you have a bar of choclate, hold it in your hand to get it a bit wamer, and use a veg peeler to curls. Don't worry though, if it looks odd, doesnt really matter its choclate. Assemble this a few hours before you serve it, so the fruit runs (this is why raspberries are best they give off great color and run like crazy) This will feed a crowd, and if you freeze the leftovers, you can scoop it out later like trifle ice cream. Leftovers Good.

Other trifle bowl ideas in case your vases are just not the right shape...

  • glass pitcher

  • punch bowl

  • goldfish bowl, sans goldfish

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lazy zombie's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 bag of cut butternut squash in bag from TJ's (cause it wouldnt be a lazy zombie if you had to slice it)

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 clove garlic (skin on)

drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

a few sage leaves

a little more oil (canola)

Set toaster oven on to bake at 400, put foil on tray, spread an even layer of butternut and onion, place the garlic in a corner, drizzle with olive oil and salt and papper. Roast for around 25 min (you may want to rotate the tray once half way through if your toasted oven is really uneven) Remove from oven, and peel garlic, plop it all into a blender and blend. Add a little stock or water if its too thick. Heat up the canola oil in a little pan, toss in a few sage leaves (dont crowd the pan) remove after around 30 seconds (youre looking for a crisp leave) drain on a paper towel and use to garnish the soup.

Monday, January 12, 2009

what to eat with various tv shows

Company's coming, and the fridge is empty - serve shrimp and pasta

one bag shell on developed frozen shrimp (always keep this on hand, quick so quick you can prepare it in zombie mode)

1 clove garlic

i tbsp chopped basil(fresh of frozen or anything else you have on hand)

Garlic Basil Pasta

3 tbsp sun dried tomato pesto

Defrost the shrimp in the fridge for the day. Cook on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes with a bit of olive oil (til pink and opaque) toss in chopped garlic, basil and pesto. Serve communal style in a large bowl filled with pasta. If you're in a rush you can flow cold water over shrimp till its mostly defrosted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peachy Iced Tea

I love a glass of anything I made at home, at work, looks so fancy, and it so simple, sometimes a week goes by and this is the only thing I brought to work from home, but it's still homemade ice tea. 11 tbsp loose leaf tea (Black, green, white, no discrimination of colors)

One bag frozen peaches

10 cups water

1/2 cup sugar or honey (or to taste)

Ice Cubes

Bring to boil half the water with sugar (or honey) and peaches in a mid sized pot, then simmer for 10 minutes, pour into pitcher. (discard peaches if they are really falling apart). Boil rest of the water in kettle, (except if using green tea, then don't let the water actually boil, green tea is picky) pour water into the pot add tea and let hang out till you get the right flavor. Pour the tea into pitcher, add cubes, mix.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stewing with Zucchinis

There are few dishes that are from childhood that can never leave you, this is one of them. It also has the added benefit of using up zucchinis, a summer plague for some.

Half a dozen zucchini, cut in half length-wise then sliced into 1/4 inch slices

14 oz can of tomatoes, or three fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste or pepper paste

1 large onion, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1 tbsp dried mint

1 tbsp oil

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a mid sized pot,
add onions,
cook til transparent,
add garlic,
stir it till it smells fabulous (garlicky, maybe 30 sec)
add zucchini,
stir it a bit and cook for a couple minutes,
add tomatoes,
tomato paste,
and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer covered for half an hour or so (I like mine cook til really soggy, takes longer)
Add mint and cook a couple more minutes.
Serve with rice or bulgur and yogurt. (For yogurt people)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spicy Chicken and Rice to Feed the Invading Army

This can feed a small family for a week, all your cousins for a couple of days and an invading army for dinner. Its very addictive, the leftovers taste better and better as they last, and teenagers have even been known to heat it up and feed themselves rather than sticking with grab and go food.

6 Chicken thighs

Jar of spicy salsa (TJ's has a great one, very liquidy with a yellow cap)

1.5 cups rice

3 tbsp butter (to make it better)

Yogurt, to serve with (oh yeah) or Sour Cream, if you're sour cream people

Place thighs in a large pot, pour salsa on top, use the empty salsa jar and fill it with water and pour it in. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 to 60 min. Take out the chicken (dont toss the water) shred it all up with either forks or your hands (when you lose patience with the forks). Put it back in the pot, if you marinate it overnight it will be even better. Top it with the rice, mix it all up, cover it with more water if you need to (you're looking for 1 in of water on top of the rice. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for around 30 minutes. Cut the butter into chucks and mix it in. Serve with yogurt.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Omelet For When the Kitchen is Bare

Eggs, two per person

Cheese, (almost any kind will do, I went Dubliner last)

Herbs, dry or fresh (plant a lot of seeds in a small pot, and see what grows, I used my chives last)

Salt and pepper

A bit of butter

OK so there's a lot you can do with an omelet, but sometimes simple is best. Heat the bit of butter in a frying pan on med heat till melted. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a mid sized bowl a little (the more you beat, the more eggy flavor you lose) Add the salt (not too much if your cheese is salty, and none if you re using Parmesan), pepper and herbs. Pour it on to the frying pan. Arm yourself with a spatula, and gently push the cooked edges inward so the uncooked parts reach the edge. When done to your liking cover with shredded (or crumbled) cheese. Fold it in half for full effect, slice into wedges and serve with toast.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Roast with the Most

one pork tenderloin

one onion, peeled, wedged

one potato, scrubed and cut into large chunks

olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

grilling spice mix, no Salt or MSG (i like TJ's)


Preheat the oven to 425, spread veg on roasting pan, place tenderloin on top, dizzle on olive oil, grill mix, garlic and salt and roast for around half an hour, til the

A White Fishy World

I'm usually for simply prepared fish, my go to, for white fish, is a little mayo on top before baking. But the best upclass is some pesto (homemade pesto lasts forever and tastes heavenly) You can also simply use your favorite fresh or frozen herbs.

4 White Fish Fillets, I usually use Tilapia

1/4 cup Mayo

1/4 cup Pesto

OR  Herbs (optional)

Black pepper

Alright this sounds a little odd, and it take time and usually a meal to convince others I actually do do this, but I have been for years. To cook any sort of white fish, I smear on a little mayo mixed evenly with pesto on the fillets, top with fresh cracked pepper, and place them on an ungreased foil lined baking dish.
In a 425 oven it takes around 15 mins (it depends on the thickness of your fillets). Just test it flakes and if it does, it's done. Serve immediately with carb of choice.