Thursday, February 25, 2010

Summer/Winter's Bounty Soup

Extended Shelf Life for: Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Eggplant, Tomato, Carrot and Green Bean

This was unfortunately a little bland, although it could easily be adjusted with spices and/or peppers. Mostly, it’s a good way to use up a variety of vegetables and feed a lot of mouths.


Place the following in a large slow-cooker:
1 Eggplant, peeled and cubed
2-3 med. Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Onion, diced
1 cup Carrots, diced
½ cup Celery
2 Zucchini, diced
1 Yellow Squash, diced
2 cups fresh of frozen Green Beans
4-6 Garlic cloves, minced
2-3 Tomatoes, diced OR 1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can white Beans
2 cans Tomato soup
Italian Seasoning to taste
Water to cover Vegetables

Turn slow-cooker to low and let cook for 8 hours until ready to consume. Enjoy with bread and sisters (if you have sisters).

Elk and Veggie Lasagna

Extended Life for: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chard and Garlic/Sun-Dried Tomatoes

With a small wealth of broccoli and cauliflower I hit the Vegetarian Times search engine and came up with a variety of dishes. However, none seemed to disguise the flavors of these two vegetables better than this recipe for Vegetable Lasagna. Recognizing Mike’s distaste of broccoli and cauliflower, I browned some ground elk, boiled some vegetables and went to work layering this lasagna.


1 lb. Ground Elk or Beef
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups chopped Broccoli, Cauliflower and/or other vegetables
Spinach or Swiss Chard
1 pkg. No Boil Lasagna Noodles
Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Seasonings to taste


Spread a small amount of sauce on bottom of a 9x13 baking dish followed by noodles, vegetables, meat, sauce and cheese, continue these layers until all ingredients are in the dish or there is no more room. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Let set in fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Bake in oven at 350 for about 30-45 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and noodles are tender.

The Harvest is (occassionally) Plentiful

These are the foods I will have the pleasure of cooking with in the upcoming week or so. Our dumpster harvest actually reminds me of when we started this "semi-freegan" lifestyle. There was sucha great variety and so much produce - it got the wheels turning and I'm so excited to create some meals with this bounty...stay tuned and get excited!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Greek Inspired Pasta Skillet

Extended Shelf Life for: Sun-Dried Tomatos with Garlic and random marinated vegetables and olives from the holidays This dish was inspired by the delicious Valentine's meal Mike and I made a couple of weeks ago.
It is ultimately a very simple dish and can take on numerous variations. As with other various recipes, this one seems to require a less formal presentation in the ingredients and directions, so here we go...
Bring to boil a large amount of water for half a box of linguine noodles. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat some oil and saute a few minced cloves of garlic and a chopped onion. Turn off heat to skillet until noodles are ready. Chop and prepare a handful of Kalamata Olives, Mediteranian Salad Mix or Artichoke hearts and some Sun-dried Tomatoes. Reserve about 3/4 cups of Olive juice or Red Wine. When noodles are ready, heat skillet, add olive juice or wine, heat for a couple minutes, toss in noodles and then add vegetable medley and ENJOY!

Salmon Chowder

Extended Shelf Life for: Ground Salmon and Red Potatoes

Lent is here. And although we're not Catholic, we appreciate the intentionality that is often put into the lenten season, the sacrifice and the concern for others. I also, personally enjoy having some sort of reason to do something - like eat fish on Fridays. So, we welcomed in the season of lent with this Salmon Chowder and our dear friend Mark and his parents, who are practicing Catholics!
Olive Oil for sauteing
about 2 lbs. Ground Salmon
4 Garlic Cloves; minced
1 Onion, chopped
2 cups Potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 med. Tomatoes, chopped
5-7 cups Broth or Tea (I used Stress Blocker and Apricot Vanilla mix)
4 0z. Cream Cheese
Italian Seasoning
1 cup Heavy Cream
Heat oil in pot, saute onion and garlic until tender. Add ground salmon to the stockpot and cook and crumble in pot until cooked through. Add potatoes and liquid, bring to boiling and cook for 10 minutes or so until potatoes are close to tender. Add Sesonings and cream cheese, melt cheese. Add cream and tomatoes when potatoes are tender, cook until heated through. Serve with crusty bread or corn bread.

Apple-Strawberry Pancake Syrup

Extended Shelf Life for: Apples and Strawberries I wish I could accurately inform readers how this was put together, however, I ended up throwing things in my baby crock-pot added more water than I had intended and decided it would be syrup rather than apple/strawberry sauce.

So, here is what I think happened, peel and chop about 3 apples, add a couple cups or so of strawberries, sprinkle in some cinnamon, a generous helping of sugar, cover with water, cook for about 3 hours on low, until all ingredients are soft and smell delicious!

When ingredients have spent their time in the crock-pot, run them through the blender and enjoy in the moment or refrigerator for later and heat on stove top before serving over pancakes or French toast. Enjoy for Mardi Gras dinner or a Saturday morning breakfast with good friends, hot tea and engaging conversation.

Banana Pancakes

Extended Shelf Life for: Red Bananas and Orange Juice Growing up, I began to equate Mardi Gras with pancakes. Our church always hosted a pancake dinner on the Tuesday night before Ash Wednesday so occassionally, I do my own little flashback to the tradition and end up with severe pancake cravings the week of Mardi Gras. This year, I celebrated by whipping these pancakes together, serving them with a homemade apple-strawberry syrup and enjoying them with our dear friend Mark and a lovely CouchSurfer, Julia.


1 3/4 cups Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Shake of Salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cups Orange Juice
3/4 cups Yogurt or Milk
3 Tbsp. Oil
3 Mashed Bananas

Combine Ingredients, dry first, add liquids. Plop by the spoonful on a hot griddle until bubbles begin forming, then flip the cake over and cook on the other side. Serve with favorite jams or syrups.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Flatbread Egg Sandwich

Extended Shelf Life for: Letture and Tomato (kind of) So, a little bit, this meal is a bit of a stretch to be posting, but that may become increasingly true when we live in Asia anyway. However, the extended lifers in this meal were actually purchased at the grocery store, however they spent a few too many days in the refrigerator and were looking a little sad. This meal is really to simple to post full our Ingredient/Direction lists, so here is the plan for this light lunch:

Toast a slice of naan on a griddle. Top with a yougurt/Cilantro sauce or whatever you may have on hand. Add lettuce, tomato and feta cheese. Top with a fried egg and enjoy!

Indian Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Extended Shelf Life for: Salmon Filets and Orange Juice

Ingredients: (no measurements for this recipe, it's all subjective)
Salmon Filet(s)
Orange Juice
Ground Ginger
Ground Cumin
Ground Cinnamon
Ground Red Pepper
Plain Yogurt
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Preheat oven to 425. Grease a cookie sheet lay the thawed salmon filet on the cookie sheet. Brush filet with Orange juice, let set for a few minutes. Mix salt, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and red pepper together. Brush filet with additional orange juice, rub spice mixture over entire filet. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until fish flakes easily with fork. Meanwhile, mix yogurt with fresh cilantro and let set until fish is cooked through. Serve salmon with yogurt sauce on top, Indian Dal on the side and a piece of Naan. Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Indian Dal

Extended Shelf Life for: Jalapenos These jalapenos had already received the life extension through our truly magnificent dehydrator, therefore, the peppers were OLD! They were however, the perfect addition to our dal. Dal is an Indian dish that is delicious in so many ways as well as affordable, considering the main ingredient is lentils. We enjoyed this dish with Indian Roasted Salmon and a Cilantro Yogurt sauce, absolutely wonderful, especially when enjoyed in the company of sisters and a dear friend.

2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
3 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds
2 tsp. Dried Jalapenos or Red Pepper Flakes
1 med. Onion
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Shake of salt
2 cups Lentils
3 cups Tea or Vegtable Broth
2 cups Water
1 tsp. ground Turmeric
Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in jalapenos and cumin, saute for 1 minute. Add garlic, onion and salt and saute for 1 more minute. Next, add lentils, liquid and turmeric. Cover saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and lentils are soft.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Easy Ramen Dish

Extended Life for: Sun-dried Tomato Garlic Ramen is not really my style. But it's quick. And it's kind of light. So, at one in the afternoon before a Super Bowl party that starts at four, it's the perfect filler. Not to mention, I enjoy recipes that are inherently cheap and delicious, because everyone should be able to eat something delicious, even if they're strapped for cash. This is super basic and could easily take on many variations, I'll include some variation ideas after giving you the run down for the dish pictured.


Add boiling water to a package of Ramen or prepare noodles (no seasoning) in the microwave. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil (olive is preferable) in a skillet. Add some sun-dried tomato garlic or 4 cloves of minced garlic and a small handful of onions if you have them on hand. Saute until fragrant. Drain noodles of water, pour infused oil over noodles and toss. Enjoy as is or add fresh chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and/or pickled peppers.

  • Before drizzling noodles with oil, place some fresh chopped spinach in the bowl with the noodles
  • Toss in some Garbanzo or Pinto beans
  • Add soy nuts or another nut
  • Infuse oil with chile pepers rather than garlic or in addition to garlic
  • Infuse oil with fresh minced ginger
  • Infuse oil with curry powder
  • Chop some apples, add some raisins, toss noodles with some yogurt, honey and cinnamon and skip the oil procedure all together!

Be creative! This is an easy concept to mess around with and hopefully keep cheap!

Breakfast Smoothie

Extended Life for: Strawberries, Orange Juice, and Banana It doesn't take a brain surgeon to make a smoothie, but because I like to know how I'm using the world's waste, here is my latest smoothie ingredient list - plain yogurt, orange juice, handful of grapes, 3 clementines (sectioned), strawberries, and banana - simply throw it in a blender, push the smoothie button and voila, you've got a Breakfast Smoothie!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Comfort Kale and Sausage Soup

Extended Life for: Purple Kale and Potatoes Ingredients:

4 cups Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 lg. Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 bunch Kale, green or purple, chopped
3 qts. Broth or Cold Chaser Tea
1 cup Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Frank's Red Hot Sauce, to taste


Boil potatoes until tender. Meanwhile, in a seperate pot, cook Italian sausage. Remove sausage from pan, drain some drippings if there are a lot or just use them to saute onion and garlic. Stir in Kale, cook about 2 minutes, then add broth. Drain potatoes, add potatoes and sausage, salt and pepper, cook until heated through. Before serving, add Heavy Cream, heat through. Serve soup with hot sauce and crusty bread!

Beanie Weanies

Extended Life for: Hotdogs and Sliced Bread This was one of my all time favorite meals as a youngster. My mom didn't make it often, but enough that I knew it was a favorite! It's qucik, it's easy and it's cheesey - sometimes, that's all we need from life to make it a good day.

Hot Dogs
1 slice of Bread per Hot Dog
1 slice of Cheese per Hot Dog
1 or 2 cans Baked Beans of Choice
Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet, lay single slices of bread on the cookie sheet. Slice hot dog in half, lay down on piece of bread. Spread 2-3 spoonfuls of beans over hot dogs, cover with cheese slice. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted! Enjoy with favorite cartoon show and a cup of Kool-Aid.

Easy as 1, 2, Pie!

Extended Life for: Yogurt

This pie is literally as easy as 1 (Graham Cracker Crust) 2 (Whipped Topping) 3 (Yogurt)! Simply mix the whipped topping with your choice of yogurt, place in the freezer until an hour or so before serving time and enjoy!
Some Variations or Additions of Sorts:
  • Spread complimentary jam on bottom of pie crust prior to pouring cream/yogurt mixture into pan.
  • Mix in fresh or frozen berries that complimentary yogurt flavoring.
  • Use a different crust - consider going Gluten Free by using Chex cereal of choice, mixing with 1/4 cup butter and pressing mix against sides of a pie plate, let crust set before pouring in cream/yogurt mixture.

Morrocan Couscous

Extended Life for: Orange Juice and Raisins

Having spent a short amount of time in Morocco, I have a special place in my culinary heart for her foods. Couscous is one of the dishes that takes me back to those impactful days I spent meandering the streets of Fes and riding a camel through the Sahara. However, I cannot take credit for this dish as I simply followed these directions from and only chose to leave out the zucchini as I did not have any on hand. The dish is delicious and full of flavor. Great with a tangine of any kind, we served ours with Lamb Tangine.

Lamb Tangine

Extended Life for: Lamb, Carrots, Celery, Green Pepper

If you've never had Moroccan or lamb for that matter, it's about time you tried it out. Lamb is an extremely rich meat that is just unlike any other. Moroccan food is superb in it's combination of spices, you will feel blessed and as if you've flown into the heart of Morocco as this dish cooks on your stove top. Yet again, I have a recipe I can take no credit for and will simply direct you here. (I'm also slightly overwhelmed by the number of Ingredients, mostly spices, and feel as though they need not be typed out a second time.) Enjoy this dish, preferably with friends and perhaps couscous.
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