Got Leftover Sweet Potatoes?

Or yams? Or pumpkin?

(I did.)

MeatFreeZoneAt our house, it’s a meat-free Thanksgiving. 

Even though I haven’t eaten any meat or poultry of any kind since 1971, I used to continue to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving for my son and guests up until a few years ago when I learned about the horrors of factory farming.

Now I tell everyone if they want to eat meat, they can do it someplace else. I haven’t lost anyone yet, so I guess the food I do serve is tasty enough to keep ’em coming!

Here’s our Thanksgiving dinner menu:

  • Lentil-Walnut loaf (full of protein)
  • Kugel (click on it for the recipe)
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes with vegan gravy
  • Salad
  • Roasted yams
  • Challah
  • Apple and Pumpkin Pie

Challah just out of the oven. Mmmmmm.
Challah

Angel Boy and DIL have gone back to their own lives and my tugboat man and I didn’t have many leftovers because we packed them up with the kids — all except for the roasted yams.

I’m a frugal and thrifty gal when I’m not shopping, really I am. Honest. I swear. For reals.

Here’s what I did with them and it was soo easy!

I used my tried and true recipe for banana bread but replaced the bananas with mashed up yams (you could use sweet potatoes or pumpkin too, of course).

Look how moist and yummy it looks along with oatmeal raisin cookies.Yam Bread

So simple; one bowl; you don’t need to bring out the big mixer for this one.

Leftover Sweet Potato (or Yam or Pumpkin) Bread
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup sugar (brown and white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Mashed yam/sweet potato, about a cup
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 TBS milk (or plain, unflavored yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional: 1 TBS pure maple syrup)
1/3 chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Mix oil, eggs, vanilla, milk. Add sugar(s) and mix well.
Add mashed yam and mix well. I use a fork; it’s so easy!
Add flour combined with other dry ingredients and nuts. Mix well.
Turn into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about fifty minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
When cool, I make a little glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 TBS orange juice. It adds a nice sheen to the top of the loaf.

Super delicious with an afternoon cuppa. My fave is ginger tea. Enjoy!

Advertisements

The Lonely Bitches Guide to Solo Cooking, Eating, and Drinking™

Welcome to the first installment of Princess Rosebud’s Lonely Bitches Guide to Solo Cooking, Eating, and Drinking™

Lots of us womenfolk are alone for some reason or another at certain times in our lives.

(Cowboys and Crossbones and I recently discussed this exact topic. Hey girl, enjoy your Skinny Pirates!)

Could be we’re between relationships, taking a break from the sturm und drang of life in close quarters with another human, or, like me, you have a sometimes-he’s-here-sometimes-he’s-not spouse.

And if you’re like me, you don’t cook a seven-course dinner for yourself and pair it with the proper aperatifs, wines, and brandies.

I save all that for the times when my tugboat man is home. I mean, I really save it ALL up for then, if ya know what I mean.

‘Cos when he’s gone, the oven mostly only gets used to hide the dark chocolate from myself.

Wait, hold on, I’ll be back. Ohemgee, DAMN, so that’s where I put it! It works every time. Out of sight, out of mind. I really do trick myself that way. Yum.

Okay. For those of my “one is the loneliest number” sisterbitches of mine, I’m doing us all a public service by jotting down a few of my tried and true tips.

I don’t normally eat breakfast, and even when I do eat in the morning, it’s never cereal, just a protein drink or few bites of toast with a couple cups of freshly ground French Roast.

Because it’s really hot out, I  wouldn’t even want to fire up the stove anyway; I like to eat cereal for dinner. I love Raisin Bran or Oat Flakes or shredded wheat from Trader Joe’s. I use nonfat milk, but you can certainly choose your own favorite — soy milk, rice milk, coconut–vodka, whatever.

As an aside, homemade granola with a splash of apple juice is beyond delicious. Try it! 

Just as you’d pair a fine wine with dinner, I’ve discovered that a chllled chardonnay is a delicious partner to cold cereal. Ripe and fruity Ghost Pines Chardonnay exposes the lavish textured flaky crunch.  After a few glasses, you’ll hardly know you’re eating cereal for dinner — solitary and alone.

When the weather changes in autumn and winter, I love a huge bowl of hot and steamy oatmeal for dinner. As you might expect, a full-bodied merlot brings out the nuance of the rustic oats.

And I certainly won’t tell anyone you’re sitting in front of the television watching old episodes of Bewitched and Gossip Girl. Oh Chuck… Oh Nate… Where are you now?

Try 2008 Sawyer Cellars Estate Merlot tracks earth, dust and red currants in its flavors; made for those who know wine, and for those of us who don’t clean house as compulsively when their tugboat man’s out to sea. Hee hee.

Bon appétit!

For those evenings when even pouring flakes in a bowl and topping it with milk is too much work — that’s when it’s time for popcorn. You can’t go wrong with a crisply dry champagne or sparkling prosecco, a lovely counterpoint to the crunchy, sligthtly salty popped kernals.

princesa champsOf course, my champs of choice is Princesa. Duh.

As a vegetarian (mostly vegan), I eat a lot of salads but sometimes I HATE the tedium of preparation for just little old me. I have two “go to” options: sometimes I make a veggie wrap and shove as many thinly sliced veggies I can find plus lettuce and feta cheese or even tuna fish in a tortilla.

That’s really easy, right?

But if I’m too lazy to do that, I’ll take some whole lettuce leaves, slice tomatoes and feta, and roll the lettuce right up, eating it standing up over the sink. No plate, no mess, and only a knife to clean up!

A win-win for sure.

That’s a marvelous time for a Cape Cod: cranberry juice, vodka, and a spritz of lime. Yum. Doesn’t it just sound delicious? AND healthy? We all know cranberry juice is good for our lady bladder, right? And if you add grapefruit juice, it’s called a Seabreeze.

Let’s all raise a glass and toast my ocean-going hub!

Bean and Cheese Burritos are sooo easy. Open a can of fat-free refried beans and for each burrito, spread a couple tablespoons of beans onto an organiic tortilla. Add a thin slice of cheese ( I use fat reduced cheese because of a tricky gallbladder). Roll it up and nuke it for about a minute or so til it’s piping hot and cheese is melty. While it’s “cooking”, there’s enough time to mix and pour a margarita. My recipe is the easiest!  Tequila, fresh lime juice, a floater of Grand Marnier and that’s it. Salt the glass if you wish; but that’s too much trouble for this lonely no-sodium gal!

For those rare evenings when I’m struck with the urge to eat real food, this is the BEST RECIPE ever. I could win an award for my brown rice, no kidding. It always comes out fluffy and perfect. I’ll share my secret with you. I bake it. Yup, that’s the secret to success.

Here’s the One Dish Brown Rice and Other Stuff recipe…
Add one cup brown rice to a 9×9 glass baking dish. Pour over the rice not quite two cups water. Lay gently on top of the rice large chunks of tofu or salmon, ahi, or albacore. (I don’t cook with meat, so I don’t know if the baking times would change.) Add roughly cut broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, thinly sliced carrots, peppers, mushrooms. I don’t like onions, but you can of course add thinly sliced or chopped onions. Sprinkle, pepper, chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground salt (if you must). Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve with my Special Sauce: One teaspoon (or more to taste) of Sriracha and one tablespoon mayonaisse. Super delish!

Once again, a chardonnay will dance a tango on your palate and lend a oaky counterpoint to the spicy sauce.

One-hundred-fifty calorie Skinny Cow ice cream (sandwich and drumstick are my personal faves) marries exquisitely with B&B brandy. Delicioso!

To recap, chardonnay pairs well with cold cereal, merlot (or cab) with hot cereal.
That’s all you need to know.

Here’s the perfect song to accompany all of our lonesome meals.

What are YOUR favorite eat alone meals?

The Last Supper: An Indian Feast

When my tugboat man abandons me goes off to work oceans away, I like to make a special goodbye dinner. Last night it was Indian food. I tried to recreate the delicious dinner we had at Mt. Everest restaurant in Berkeley and I don’t know if it was exactly the same, but it was a pretty good effort, and much appreciated by my hubs.

Some of the ingredients…whew! 

Ingredients for Indian Food

This is Raita, an amazing dipping sauce for Naan. It’s so simple.
Plain yogurt mixed with shredded and chopped cucumber, cayenne, cumin, pepper, and fresh cilantro. It would be good on anything, every single day.
I think it was the best part of the meal– and so beautiful!
RaitaLentil Daal (recipe below) So fragrant and healthy.
Lentil DaalNaan Bread

Naan BreadNaan Bread Rising

Naan Bread Rising

And while I’m not confirming NOR denying where he’s going, this might be a clue– or maybe not.
http://youtu.be/vVGXcjM9SOQ

Recipes

Naan Bread:
http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/naan-bread/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/naan-indian-oven-baked-flat-bread-recipe/index.html

Lentil Daal:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/09/19/easy_dal_recipe_lentils_that_stay_true_to_the_spirit_of_indian_dal_without_the_hard_to_find_ingredients_.html

Raita:
http://chefinyou.com/2011/04/cucumber-raita/

She sees seashells and shelves near the seashore

That “sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not” tugboat captain of mine is leaving again in a couple of days.

I’m working hard on a meal for tonight that recreates the lovely Nepalese and Indian food we had in Berkeley.

I’m making Lentil Daal, Curried Rice, Naan Bread, and Raita, a delicious yogurt-based dipping sauce.

I’ll document it all for tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, I took photos of a few new shelves hubs so kindly made for me to display my ever increasing hoard of shells, his craft of marlinspike seamanship, and my small but growing collection of mudmen from China, and fans.

Yes, those really are seashells covering the screws in the lower part of the shelf.
Seashells can be so very useful, can’t they? Useful and beautiful.

mudmen collection

blackbottleonshelf vaseonshelf fan on shelf fan2

Happiness is a Fruit + Veggie Bread Recipe: Zucchini, Carrot, and Apple

This recipe is my own adaptation of a zucchini bread; it’s not too sweet and gets better the day after– if you can wait! Sometimes I drizzle over the top a simple glaze of powdered sugar mixed with orange juice and a little orange zest. It sort of enhances all the flavors.

All ready for the captain’s homecoming!

3-in-1 Fruit and Veggie Bread

Grate enough zucchini to end up with about 1 cup or so packed
1 carrot, grated
1 apple, grated
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla plus 1 tablespoon juice from orange
2 cups flour (I use all or part whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4  plus 1 tablespoon cup plain nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
You can always add dried fruit or blueberries or nuts. My recipes usually reflect what I have around the pantry.
Directions: Mix together all the dry ingredients, add everything else, mix until well incorporated. Fold into loaf pan. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, check often so it doesn’t become too brown.