Mar 11, 2012

FNF - scampi with linguine

 I was the one who picked this Food Network Friday recipe, originally by Tyler Florence, and I am the last to post about it. It almost seems as though I am cheating by looking at Tami's Vegan Appetite post before actually making the dish. Although I feel bad that I didn't made the recipe much sooner, life at our house for the past month has revolved around our annual homeschool conference. This year I volunteered to be the sign maker for the conference and all I have been seeing, doing, printing, designing and breathing are signs. I'm a little sign-burned-out, to the point that after washing the dishes tonight, I realized that I had only cooked one meal all week, not including this one. How do I know that, you must be asking? 

One, I haven't been doing any dishes this week. And two, I haven't needed to do any since I haven't actually done any cooking that resulted in dishes needing to be done. Vicious, pathetic and yet intriguing happenstance of events. Sort of like a backhanded complement. Is it good or just in the disguise of being good?

Tyler Florence's Shrimp Scampi with Linguine was ultimately picked by my youngest from a choice of three dishes. She hates the idea of shrimp anything (Arthropods are not an ideal meal choice for her, and frankly I myself wonder at the fact that people actually choose to put bugs on their plates instead of having them accidentally be dropped into a dish by some unsanitary restaurant personnel.) I even purchased veggie shrimp to try out once (later having found out that it contained milk - read your labels! - even if you think the company is vegan) and she was put off by the texture and flavor. I found the fake shrimp quite real tasting and so did David. 

We were one of those shrimp-loving nut jobs in our pre-veg days, as ignorant of the whole bug-thing as we were, no excuses! I was a HUGE scampi lover, one not for the love of shrimp, but because I really enjoyed the garlic, olive oil and lemon combination. This still hold true and I've made Scampi more than once and even made Olive Garden's Chicken Scampi. So, for me, this was a great dish to make. But what, oh! what to use instead of the shrimp? Tofu, seitan (sea seitan would have been great here), vegetables? 

To understand the end I need to justify the means. David has been to the doctor for a well-visit and whenever that happens and blood is drawn and analyzed, our family is hit by a reality check and we always wind up reevaluating our diet. The healthiest plate of food to create contains Power Greens, Smart Protein and Super Carbs. This means that anytime you make a plate of food you should have dark leafy greens (not just salad greens), a protein choice (tofu, legumes, seitan, tree nuts) and appropriate carbohydrates (whole grains, winter squash, sweet potatoes, corn, root veggies). With this in mind, I was formulating a plan for the Scampi dish, threatening the family at every turn that I was going to make Kale and Carrot Scampi. Yum, I thought, but hubby says that if I announce the meal's name over a period of days, but not actually make it, I am threatening not cooking. Hmmm... 

Result? Kale, Carrots, Garlic, Lemon and Olive Oil are a match not yet dreamed up in heaven, but certainly should be. I used Meyer lemon and cut the fat in half. It could have been cut by another tablespoon without any problem (down to 3 from 8). I also tripled the garlic and doubled the lemon juice, but that is all according to taste. We loved it and it wasn't a difficult meal to prepare at all. 

A special shout-out to Tami for being so super patient and waiting for me and my blog post! Thank you!!  

Mar 5, 2012

chicken and dumplings

I know that I have posted of making Chicken and Dumplings before, but I haven't actually given a recipe. That is about to change! Even if the recipe will only be utilized by my kids after they leave home, that in itself is reason enough to write it out.

This is a much requested dish at our home and one that is very versatile. The 'Chicken' can be seitan, tofu, beans or extra vegetables. The biscuit mix is a variation of Simply Heavenly's Biscuit Mix

The broth in this 'stew' uses my VA Chicken-Style Broth Mix and water. 
Really a very simple and easy recipe (maybe because I've made it so often), the only heads-up would be to take care to have enough broth before you add the biscuit mix - it can be deceptive; you think there is too much broth, but by the time the biscuits are done they have soaked up a lot of it. 

Oh, and we LOVE the biscuit part of the dish, so this recipe has enough to satisfy any biscuit-lover.  

Cost Breakdown

oil, celery, onion, carrot, garlic: $2
seitan: $2
broth mix, spices and herbs: $.50
biscuit mix: $2
milk: $1
Total to make 5 servings: