Strangely enough, for the first time since I was maybe fourteen, I'm starting to love Riverside again. It's easy to love a place which isn't permanent though...I'm off to Denver this coming week. Still, I'm really seeing why it's such an overpopulated, over-polluted habitat of happiness-seekers. It is a laughable place at times, and has an abundance of flaws, but overall, I'm glad to have come from here, and I'm glad it's where my parents' big house with all the memories is. I'm also really happy about the super uncharacteristic rain we got this morning. As a result of growing up here, smoggy rain smells better to me than clean rain.
Riverside Mission Inn: so many high school and post-high school memories of sneaking around here, running wild downtown, and frolicking in parking structures.
Annnd time for foods. More dinners for parents :)
First, chicken legs rubbed and marinated in a paste of coarse ground brown mustard, brown sugar, rosemary, salt, and pepper and baked. Served with Parmesan roasted cauliflower. Cauliflower tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and roasted at 400 until beginning to get crusty. Then tossed with Parmesan and baked further until completely crusty and cheesy. Corn on the cob, baked with the husk on.
Dad plate; Mom plate.
More Nutri-bulleting for Mom. One that worked out especially well was 1 banana, 1/4 an avocado, 1 orange, a handful of spinach, and 4 dried plums. The plums added back all of the needed sweetness and the avocado made is so creamy. Ice added at the end to make it extra cool and frothy. It was a bizarrely wholesome milkshake.
Crock pot salsa chicken - so delish! This was post-crock-potting, but pre-pulling. In the crock pot went:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of Pace chunky salsa
2 minced red bell peppers
1 minced onion
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves smashed garlic
Let it go for 6 hours. The bell peppers really made this I think...the rich sweet flavors of the red peppers permeated the salsa and chicken so deeply. They all became one. Flesh all-a-mesh.
Remove breasts from crock pot after 6 hours and shred with 2 forks. Toss meat back into sauce and let cook on low for another 30 minutes, and then serrrrve.
Would be fantastic in tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, etc. Also delicious on its own as a protein bomb.
Yum. It's amazing what time can do for a sauce. Served over brown rice for Mom and Dad.
Yay vegan meatloaf!
I needed some meat-free goodness, so I threw together this madly-inexpensive, delicious, nutritious, and super-filling bad boy.
3 cups dry TVP re-hydrated with boiling water or vegetable broth (I used water)
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 can tomato sauce
vegetable bouillon (if you used water to rehydrate)
2 tbsp Sriracha (optional. not optional if you're me.)
2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 5 tbsp water and mixed until sort of gooey. This is your egg replacer. If you can't dig this, use egg. This holds everything together when you shape it into a loaf.
You can easily add or exchange other things - instead of tomato sauce, you could use marinara or crushed tomatoes, or even a lesser amount of ketchup. You could throw in Worcestershire, or a touch of liquid smoke. You could toss in lightly-sauteed veggies, such as celery, onions, carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, etc if you wanted a bit more texture.
Anyhow, form into a loaf shape on a baking sheet, or use a loaf pan (sprayed with olive oil). Spread ketchup over the top, or do like I did and spread a mixture of tomato paste thinned with vegetable broth over the top. Bake for forever...for like an hour to an hour-fifteen at 350.
The top gets super sweet, and the nutritional yeast gives this a lovely hearty depth of flavor. This stayed together shockingly well, and did indeed have a very meaty texture and feel.
Chicken sausage pasta:
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 large carrot
2 stocks celery (all veg finely minced)
5 cloves minced garlic
1 lb spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 jar tomato sauce (I know, I know...we just had some)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ish red wine
whole wheat spaghettini
Saute all veg in olive oil until wilted and so very fragrant. Sea salt and pepper. Add sausage and let brown with the veg. Once brown, add tomatoes, sauce, wine, and remaining spices and let simmer.
Once sauce has thickened up a bit, throw your spaghettini right in and toss around until all is coated and happy. Some salted pasta-cooking water getting in there isn't a problem. Served with Parmesan and crusty garlic sourdough.
Frittata: somewhat of a leftovers solution.
1 minced red bell pepper
3 minced green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
meat of 1-2 leftover chicken legs
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup leftover brown rice
3 wedges Laughing Cow Swiss
1/4 cup milk
cayenne for heat
Parmesan for topping
Saute veg down with salt and pepper. Let cool a bit and toss all ingredients together in a bowl. In a cast iron skillet, greased with olive oil, pour mixture and then cook on medium heat on the stovetop until just the edges start to firm up. Top with Parmesan cheese. Then put into a 350 degree pre-heated oven until the center has set. Should take about 15 minutes.
Out of oven. Let it sit for five minutes before cutting.
Shredded potato cakes - shredded Yukon gold potatoes earlier in the day, and let them drain some of their moisture out with sea salt. Before shaping into cakes and frying, I squeezed all moisture out from them. Lightly fried in butter. Crisp like hash browns.
Served the frittata with the potato cakes and a marinated asparagus salad, which was 1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed, blanched in salted water for five minutes, and then marinated in 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp honey, crushed dried rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic. Marinated for about 4 hours before dinner.
Plated up and ready for my parents, all pooped from work.