Stuck in a food rut

It has been awhile since I’ve added new items to my regular cooking repertoire. Well, I guess I tried the Brussels sprouts, but I’m talkin’ main dishes here. Meals.

I need some inspiration. I don’t get Food Network and PBS is showing ‘Viewers Favorites’ today so there won’t be any Mark Bittman or Everyday Food to study.

In my head, I picture something noodly or rice-based or chock full of beans. I don’t know. Something new and delicious. Sans exotic ingredients.

I know it’s a broad request. Maybe a nice go-to recipe of someone else would fit the bill. A lunch or dinner you’ve got down pat.

7 replies on “Stuck in a food rut”

food network’s barefoot contessa makes a dish called “chicken with 40 cloves of garlic” that will change your life forever. i make it with black current cous cous. something noodly could be fetticini in olive oil with roasted garlic, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon and smoked mozzarella. easy and good. chock full of beans you could find a good jumbalia (sp?) or gumbo recipe. have you ever made paella, like at your brothers wedding? that is a good “something new”.

Cousin, I do not eat chickens any longer and I imagine eating a pile of 40 cloves of garlic might make my tum hurt.

The pasta sounds good, minus asparagus and smoked salmon of course.

Yes I am still quite picky. Plus I have never successfully roasted garlic. Doesn’t mean I can’t give it another go.

Ask and ye shall receive:

1. Rosemary Skewered Vegetables (courtesy of Rachael Ray)
-1 medium zucchini halved lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch slices
-1 medium yellow squash halved lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch slices
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, tops removed
-1 & 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil
-8 stems of rosemary
-salt & pepper to taste

Preheat pan or grill over high heat. Combine veggies in bowl and whisk together dressing in separate bowl. Thread veggies on rosemary stems. Put skewers in pan or on grill and baste with dressing and season with salt & pepper. Cook 10-12 mins turning 1 time. I like to serve these over rice or cous cous.

2. Spicy Black Bean Burritos (Rachael Ray)
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 jalapeno chopped (optional to me…)
-2 cloves garlic chopped
-1 medium onion chopped
-1-2 cans black beans, drained
-2 Tbsp. cilantro chopped
-1tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. cayenne pepper (hot sauce also works)

Mix it all together and heat until warm. Serve with salsa in a tortilla.

3. Basic Risotto (Rachael Ray)
-4 cups broth (any kind works)
-2 Tbsp butter
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 medium onion
-1 1/2 cups arborio rice
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup parm. cheese
-salt & pepper to taste

Simmer broth in saucepan. In deep skillet, melt butter into olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions; saute 3 mins. Add arborio & sate 2 mins. Add wine and let it cook away for 1-2 mins. Add broth a few ladles at a time over the next 18 mins, stirring it into the rice each time the liquid has been full absorbed. Stir in the cheese and season w/ salt & pepper to taste.

4. Marinade that works for Portobello mushrooms (Rachael Ray)
-3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1/3 cup olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 tbsp thyme
-1 tbsp parsley

Mix it all together and marinate mushrooms for at least 10 minutes each side. Grill or cook in pan. It’s delicious!

Whooie, thanks Gally Pally. I’m not much for the Portobello, but the others sound good.

I looked for arborio rice at TJ’s and didn’t see any so I’ll have to pick it up at the regular market.

Those black bean burritos couldn’t be easier.

cousin- to roast garlic, take a whole head of garlic and cut off the non root side just enough to expose the raw bulbs. cup it in foil and put about a tablespoon of olive oil in and wrap it up tight. bake it in the oven at 400 for about 30-40 minutes until it is golden brown and soft. it works as a spread on your no knead bread, in pastas, incorporated in a veggie dip or hummus or just eat it plain.

ps: it is a shame that you and chickens are no longer speaking. are you vegan now?

This is an awesome- and I have made it on the stove top before. Just double liquids and cook on medium/high for about 1-3hours (depending on how you like your soup- thicker and softer? cook longer.)
It looks a little weird, but tastes delicious, especially on a big thick piece of bread. and if you don’t like hot, don’t add the peppers!

Slow Cooker Two Bean Chili

Our chili is more than an ordinary bowl of soup: We browned the vegetables first to bring out their flavor and pureed part of the base to thicken it up.


* 1 sprays cooking spray
* 1 1/2 medium leek(s), or 1 large, white part only, finely chopped
* 1 Hungarian peppers, cored, seeded and finely chopped (or an Italian pepper)
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 habanero chile, cored, seeded and minced*
* 1 large stalk celery, trimmed and chopped
* 2 cup mushroom(s), sliced
* 2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
* 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
* 15 oz canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* 15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp chili powder
* 1/2 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 2 1/2 cup canned chicken broth, or vegetable broth

Coat a large nonstick pot with cooking spray. Add leek, Hungarian pepper, red pepper flakes or habanero chile, celery, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté over medium-high heat until golden, about 5 minutes.

Spoon mushroom mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Add cauliflower, beans, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper and broth; stir. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 to 8 hours.

Just before serving, remove 1 cup of beans and vegetables, and about 1/4 cup of liquid. Place in a blender and puree; return to slow cooker and stir to combine. Yields about 1 heaping cup per serving.

Okay, that’s it. I’m getting a slow cooker. I had one in my meat chomping days and loved it but now I’m convinced there’s a place for one in my vegetarian lifestyle.

Plus, cauliflower in chili? Love it.

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